Brad Casper

Brad Casper – Leadership is not a Title

On this episode Siebe Van Der Zee speaks with Brad Casper and learns some valuable lessons. Brad tells us  that "The best way to predict the future is to create it", that "Your career is the sum of many micro careers" and that "Leadership is not a title" among others.

About Brad Casper

Brad Casper is the CEO and co-Founder of Heart & Soul Marketing, the fiercely independent boutique agency for challenger brands that uses strategy, art, science, and your unique voices to create purpose-driven business solutions, while being a positive force for change.

A leading business executive across industries, Brad has a diverse track record of success leading some of the world’s most iconic brands like Tide, Dial, Olay, Pampers, Pantene, Arm & Hammer, Trojan, First Response, and Right Guard. He has run large, well-resourced companies, as well as entrepreneurial, smaller ones — publicly traded, private, and private-equity backed. Previously, he has served in several client-side leadership roles, including: CEO of Dogswell, a private-equity backed pet food company located in Los Angeles; Executive Chairman of Dymatize Nutrition, a private-equity backed sports nutrition business in Dallas; President of the

Phoenix Suns; President and Chief Executive Officer of The Dial Corporation in Scottsdale, Arizona; President of Church & Dwight in Princeton, New Jersey; and more than 16 years at Procter & Gamble in a variety of leadership positions domestically and globally.

Brad Casper received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Virginia Tech University, where he continues to serve as an advisor on the Pamplin School of Business and Chair of the Student Engagement Committee. He has also been involved in a significant number of community roles in Arizona and remains a Board member with the Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL) organization.

Lesson 1: Everyone is a brand…stand for something authentic and timeless 06m 19s.

Lesson 2: Believe in yourself and your instincts 10m 05s.

Lesson 3: Align your life mission with your professional one and live it fully 12m 49s.

Lesson 4: Your career is the sum of many micro careers 16m 16s.

Lesson 5: How one deals with failure rejection and disappointment is at least as important as how one deals with success 20m 17s

Lesson 6: Leadership is not a title 23m 25s.

Lesson 7: Never underestimate the importance of listening empathically & communicating inspirationally 26m 02s.

Lesson 8: Treat everyone like you wish to be treated 28m 47s.

Lesson 9: The best way to predict the future is to create it 32m 02s.

Lesson 10: People may not remember what you said but will remember how you made them feel. 33m 34s

Brad Casper – 10Lessons50Years


Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to our podcast. 10 Lessons it Took Me 50 Years to Learn. Where we dispense wisdom, not just information, not mere facts. To an audience of future leaders around the globe. In other words, we will be talking to interesting people with interesting experiences. My name is Siebe Van Der Zee and I’m your host.

I’m originally from the Netherlands currently living in the state of Arizona in the United States. Also known as the Dutchman in the desert. My company is involved in executive search and performance coaching. And Oh yeah, in my career, I’ve had the opportunity to live in four countries on three continents.

This podcast is sponsored by PDF the professional development forum and PDF helps up and coming professionals accelerate their performance into modern workplace. I hope you will enjoy the program. Our guest today is Brad Casper. Welcome Brad.

Brad Casper: [00:00:59] Good morning Siebe.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:01:00] I hope all is well?

Brad Casper: [00:01:02] It is. Thank you. We are getting towards the end of 2020, and I think everyone on this podcast, yourself and myself included, can’t wait for it to be over.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:01:12] Oh, absolutely. And then we’ll start the new year, hopefully with lots of good stuff coming our way. I agree. I want to mention a little bit about your background.  Brad is the CEO and founder of heart and soul marketing. A fiercely independent and rapidly growing boutique marketing agency for middle market and challenge your brands based in Arizona.

His background is very impressive, diverse, and still evolving for many years. Brad worked for Proctor and Gamble in a variety of leadership positions, both domestically and globally. I believe in Japan and China. And then he became the CEO of the famous Dial corporation in Arizona, which in turn became part of the Henkel corporation from Germany while working at these companies, Brad was responsible for leading some of the world’s most iconic brands, perhaps known all over the world, Tied to detergent, Dial Ole Pampers, Pantene, Armand hammer, Trojan, First Response.

I saw the smile Rite Guard. And as, as if that wasn’t enough, Brad also served as president of the Phoenix Suns, the world’s famous professional basketball team right here in Phoenix, Arizona. That’s quite an impression. So it is clear that Brad knows what matters to most brands and marketers. And with that extensive experience he has now stepped basically from his established leadership roles at Proctor and gamble and Dial Henkel to help challenger brands compete against legacy brands and market leaders. Quite an interesting transition that is now can I say his heart and soul and the next phase? In his career again, welcome Brad. It’s it’s wonderful. We’re very happy to have you with us.

Brad Casper: [00:02:59] Well, I’m honored to be a part of the podcast, knowing that it’s global in nature made it even that much more appealing to me since, as you indicated I’ve worked domestically and internationally and globally for the last 20 years of my life.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:03:13] Yeah, it’s, it’s quite amazing.

And, and of course we have known each other, so I have been able to follow your, your achievements and it, it’s, it’s really interesting. And I look forward to discussing the, the 10 lessons that you provided. But I’m curious before we get into that, is there perhaps a lesson that you would define as the greatest lesson that you have learned in life or in your career?

Brad Casper: [00:03:38] Yeah, I think you know, I, I believe that maybe the greatest lesson was the last lesson my father gave to me while he was still alive. And this goes back to 2015 at the time, my father was 101 years old. He was very mentally sharp, but as he says to me, You know, Brad, my mind is willing, but my body is not.

And just before he really kind of slipped into a coma, the last piece of advice that he gave me is one of the most valuable lessons I think I can think about. And he said that during the latter part of his life, after he had retired and retired again and retired again, he continued to run companies well into his late seventies.

In fact took a company public while he was in his seventies and was the CEO and chairman of that company. His advice to me is don’t retire too early, stay engaged live vicariously through your children, just as I did through you and stay intellectually curious because your mind is a muscle and if you exercise it, it will continue to work for you.

And I can’t think of a better. You and I are kind of midlife right now, Siebe. But it’s nice to know that you know, there are people who have gone before us who decided to stay in the game into their seventies and eighties and lived a very, very productive and thoughtful life. And if I can repeat what my dad did, then that’s not a bad lesson to share with your listeners.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:05:14] It, is it’s powerful and obviously definitely very personal as well. And it’s hard to, to figure it out sometimes. And I, I respect people that, you know, come to a point in their life and their career and say, you know, I like to take it easy. I like to slow things down, nothing wrong with that. If you can, and let’s face it, first of all.

For people to be able physically and mentally to get through that stage. That’s very important, but I also see so many people and your father and you describe it well, that age doesn’t matter. It is that energy that they have and that drive that they have, and sure they won’t win a marathon, but they have that drive and, and to keep feeding that, to keep going with that that’s a great, that’s a great lesson.

That’s a great lesson.

Brad Casper: [00:06:02] My pleasure.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:06:03] Well, thank you for that first one. Let’s listen and find out about the 10 lessons. Did you have learned over 50 years or so? The first lesson everyone is a brand stand for something authentic and timeless.

Brad Casper: [00:06:19] I actually gave a graduation speech at my Alma mater of Virginia tech in 2019.

And I used this as actually the backdrop for it. Coincidentally, my youngest son Brody was. In the graduating class at Virginia tech. So I actually got to deliver his commencement address, which was a great honor and pleasure, but I think probably would help shape this for me. CIBA was the fact that I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cincinnati is the home of Procter and Gamble’s world headquarters. And. You know, I, I remember, I think it was a fundraiser I was doing for a football team, maybe to raise money for new uniforms or something like that. And I had to go door to door trying to sell some I think it was, they were cleaning products that we got from some distributor that was uniquely.

Targeting the high school and under and younger, a kid markets. So they could do door to door selling. And I happened to knock on the door of a P and G executive. And unbeknownst to me, I didn’t, I think I was 10 or 11. I didn’t know what P and G was, but this executive he was a little bit gruff and he.

It said, what are you selling? And I told him that these were these incredible, all purpose cleaner and stuff like that. And he said, do you know, Ty, do you know Mr clean? Do you know all these brands that I said, I’m just a kid. I’m just a kid. If you don’t want it, I won’t sell it to you. Well, he ended up buying some stuff, but I think that was the first time that I became really cognizant of the power of a brand.

Now, obviously he was a paid executive and he was I think partially responsible for some of the R and D pipeline. But I think at that point I can say it was coincidental that I did that at 10 or 11 years. And then 15 years later I would actually begin. A part of my marketing and advertising career there.

And you know, those brands that he talked about at 11 years old on his doorstep. I ended up having to opportunity to manage later in my career. And they really were timeless and tide was launched in 1945 or 48 after the war actually. And it, it pretty much stands today. What it stood for in 1948, it was the wash day miracle.

And although they don’t use those words today, the essence of being the best you can possibly be, has never changed. And I just think. We have to remind ourselves in this era of social media, when we put something out there, that’s part of our brand. Other people are interpreting that brand. And although all of us will evolve in our lives, what we stand for.

Probably should not. Now,

if you look at technology, I had to think while you were talking about Blackberry, remember and we used to, we used to carry pagers. That was pretty hot. And then now we say, you know, younger, what, what is a pager? And so there is, of course it, it does evolve brands and brands have to adjust to maybe change in technology or in perception or preference.

Right. Yes, absolutely. I think Apple’s a perfect example of what they started as and what they become today. It doesn’t mean you don’t change. It just means, Oh, and again, I can’t predict what Steven jobs and Wazniak had in mind in their garage and that year. But I think they’ve done pretty well.


As, as you stayed as well, it has to be authentic. It has to be connected. It has to, it has to be real. Yeah. Interesting. Lesson number two, Brad believe in yourself and your instincts. That, that sounds pretty. Straightforward, but I I’m sure you have a story attached to it.

It’s a glorious story. I guess I at, at times there were opportunities in my career where I honestly did not necessarily believe in myself when I got to P and G I was 25 years old and I had already started a career at general electric and, and shifted over to P and G.

But I was surrounded by all these MBAs from Northwestern, Harvard, MIT, Yale, Michigan, some of the finest MBA programs. And because I didn’t have those credentials, I questioned whether or not I would ever keep up. I told people I went to P and G thinking if I could get to brand manager, gosh, if I could just make it a brand manager, right.

That would be good enough and sure enough, I ended up spending 16 and a half years there. So I spent a little longer, but there were times, and I’m not suggesting anybody should become arrogant. Humility is a very, very valuable thing, but if you have that self doubt and you project, some of that doubt.

To your boss or a hiring manager and certainly in your executive search career, you know, if somebody doesn’t come across as really confident and, and really in control, Chances are, you’re not going to want to recommend him or her to, to your client. And I see all the time, these young people who don’t believe in themselves enough and don’t have a clear vision of what they could be.

And I typically don’t hire them.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:11:33] Yeah, that’s very interesting. And I, I, I understand where are you going with this? I think it’s an important point because when we grow up, when we learn, and I’m not saying growing up as a young child, but as a professional, you think you’re doing the right thing and you’re going to find out perhaps over time that.

Maybe I should have done certain things differently, but it’s hard not to go with your instincts. It’s hard to do something because simply someone told you and indeed, if you don’t have the confidence, you’re not going to succeed, you’re not going to perform well. So I think it’s very wise and I know you are in many ways, a great mentor of people, younger people, and that’s I think very much part of.

Your personality as well to guide them.

Brad Casper: [00:12:17] You’re absolutely right. And part of the reason I was seduced into doing today’s a podcast is I see as another opportunity to pass on some information to people and hopefully they get a nugget from you and I, that they can use in their own journey.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:12:31] Yeah, no, I like it. And I appreciate it. Align your life mission with your professional one and live it fully.

Brad Casper: [00:12:38] Yeah, I I was probably about 29 years old when I was asked, I Ronica CLI one of the pure joys of my career at Proctor and gamble. After I got transferred to Japan, I was about 28 years old. And one of the people we had invited to speak to a group of leaders in P and G Japan.

And I frankly was still a middle manager at best at that time. But Dr. Stephen Covey flew over from the United States and gave us a personal speech on the seven habits. Of highly effective leaders in a room with only 15 or 20. And this is obviously long before the Covey brand had become so famous and his book had become so widely read and adopted, but he asked us as part of this to write a mission.

And I had never done one before. And boy, I’ll tell you, and this is why I wanted to bring that up today. Seba for all of our listeners around the world, you’re never too young or old. To frankly, write down those things that you think are going to be timeless and a part of your personal brand. And I committed to writing a mission statement.

Oddly enough, maybe 10, 15 years later, my wife dug it up and she has now not only photocopied it, but she like lacquered it onto a plaque. And it’s in one of our homes and it’s there for everybody to see. And I was reading to my new daughter-in-law the other day, the mission that I wrote at 29 and she’s 27.

And she said to me, Oh my God, This, you have lived this life, your balance between family and profession and treating love is a verb and making a house that’s warm and welcoming for guests and family. She says, Brad, you, you brought this. All together and, and you’ve lived this. And I said, I’m really proud of that.

And I, I’m proud that my wife found it, frankly, in a no Covey book. And then, and then photocopied it and enlarged it because she wanted my children to see that I’ve kind of lived the life. I said, I would.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:14:53] And you have been very consistent with that. Right? Interesting. When you write it down at, at that age, is it sort of, well, I have to stick to it that you keep that with you that, that statement,

Brad Casper: [00:15:04] I think I probably referred back to it periodically, then one of those leather binders that we use, but. Unlike a corporate mission statement, maybe, you know, which is six or eight words. Mine was a paragraph, multiple paragraphs and sections that was divided between family and profession.

And I probably looked at it periodically and set them aside, but I do think it represented my DNA and therefore it wasn’t forced and it became very, very believable for me to do that.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:15:35] Yeah, no, I, I can relate because I have done the same, but it was sometimes more in response to a situation where I was not too happy.

So I don’t refer to those statements to say leads your life according to these rules, because that would not necessarily be helpful to many, but I, I get it and it it’s. It shows again, the consistency, the next one that’s close to my heart. Your career is actually the sum of many micro career.

Brad Casper: [00:16:01] Yeah, of course. You know, when I came out of college in the early eighties, you know, there at least here in the United States, there was still this concept of lifetime employment. And when I joined general electric, which was one of the, the country’s great multinationals, it was. Under Jack Welsh, it was always consistently rated as one of the top three or five employers best place to work, et cetera, for me to go from GE to Proctor.

And even though I had some self doubt about how long I could survive at Proctor, because they were an up and out culture. I still probably fantasized about lifetime employment and boil boy. In my first, what, 17 or 18 years in the professional world between GE and Proctor. I have two employers now in the last let’s see, I left Proctor and end of 2001.

So in the last 19 years, I’ve probably had eight different careers. And I remember Hinkle then the owner of dial sent me to Harvard for one of those executive leadership programs. And I think the name of the course was something about managing change or whatever. And I remember one of the Harvard professors and authors walked in and he said, do you realize that people graduating from Harvard business school this year, we’ll have a minimum of 12 careers in their career.

And I was on number four, I think at the time after Proctor, there was church and Dwight and then dial. And I said, Oh my God, am I going to have eight more careers? And I’m well on my way. So that’s why I wanted to share that. You have to be ready for change. Sometimes you will be the one who invites the change and, and other times the change will invite you.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:17:48] Yeah. I wonder Brad, if things have changed over time in depth sense as well, because it used to be looked upon as. Very favorable. If you started your career at the age of maybe 25 or 30, and you stayed with that organization until retirement, you did well. And Oh my gosh, you’re no longer with the company.

What went wrong? And I think. Today, United States, Europe, and I know many other countries indeed. You actually gain value by having multiple careers. And, and it’s almost, I don’t want to say suspicious in a negative sense. Well, it is somewhat negative. If I have a candidate who has worked for the same company for 20, 25, 30 years.

Whoa, can that person actually work in a different organization?

Brad Casper: [00:18:38] In fact it with somebody in your profession and executive recruiter who said to me first and around 2001, when I was dabbling with the idea of leaving Procter and gamble, he, he looked at 16 and a half years at P and G as more, a negative than a positive.

Yeah. And he said, I don’t know if you’re entrepreneurial enough for the opportunities I would want to put you a part of and I’m going, are you kidding me now? He said, because I had lived in Japan and Hong Kong and mainland China for a number of years, that may be, I had proven that I can be one of those self-starters I can be nimble.

I can be agile. And I think. What’s so intriguing to me today is I think I’ve become the entrepreneur that I never imagined that head Hunter or myself to become, but I was almost forced to through the various changes and. Although all those large companies were individually blessings in my life and career.

I then had to prove if I wanted to remain in Arizona, that I had to be entrepreneurial and be able to show that I could go small even after I had been.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:19:48] Absolutely. You said it better than I could, but I can definitely relate to that. Very, very good point. How one deals with failure, rejection or disappointment is at least as important as how one deals with success, at least as important.

Brad Casper: [00:20:04] I’ll be honest with your listeners. I’ve had some, some real disappointments, some real frustrations in the last 10 years. Some of the exits weren’t always my decision and it felt like a gut punch it. If I felt coldcocked and, and I didn’t know that it was just a right and ultimately though how I felt, whether it was right or wrong.

Didn’t matter. It didn’t change the outcome. And yet I think what I have. Shown to my own children who will probably like me have many times in their career. I have three children, all young adults, 23, 25, tomorrow and 28. That how I dealt with some of these disappointments, some of these setbacks they all, they saw how resilient I was.

They saw. That I didn’t feel sorry for myself for very long. I picked myself up called some executive recruiters and, and started all over again. And I think that there’s a powerful lesson, particularly in a year, like 2020, where all of us have had one or more setbacks, whether it be personal professional.

Health wise maybe jobs were eliminated, maybe things shrank how you deal with those disappointments and frustration says a ton about your, your character, your resilience, and gosh, darn since business is such a challenge, regardless of where you are, whether you’re a leader. Ship brand or a challenger brand.

You’re always going to have difficulties. If you can show how you bounce back from personal disappointment, my guess is you’re going to show another employer how their brand can. So that’s kind of been my motto the last 10 years.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:21:48] I,  really listened to this and I’m impressed, not surprised because I have gone through those experiences and I know many other people have gone through those, those experiences.

One thing that stands out in what you’re saying is. The tremendous support you have from your family as a father as a family member. But, but that is something that is on the top of your mind and you cannot afford to give up. I think, as we go through life, if we may experience some of that or to a great extent at different phases, it’s not.

Always like in your case, you first have the, can I say somewhat stability to big corporations to success. And now you’ve got to figure it out. Some people at an early age in their career got to deal with problems and perhaps not with lots of family support, maybe with a few people or with themselves and have to get through that.

But the mindset to be. Resilient, right. That’s what you’re talking about. Debt. That is really, that is really a very, very powerful and yeah. Lesson number six. I like it. Leadership is not a title.

Brad Casper: [00:22:59] Yeah. Yeah. I think this is really targeting some of the younger people in the podcast community who might be starting their career.

Who knows maybe they just graduated from college. Maybe it was a virtual college because of the COVID-19. But regardless of whether you’re starting or starting with a new company or starting over leadership is such a powerful tool and to have in your toolbox. And I honestly believe it is something that is very much learned.

Even if you are at the bottom of the org chart. There are opportunities to demonstrate a leadership position or a leadership mindset. And I think it was P and G who really kind of put that model in my head that you can lead from anywhere at any time. You don’t have to be at the top of the org chart.

And I would just encourage our listeners to think about that. Somewhere today, no matter which company they’re in, they can demonstrate a leadership mindset that maybe is unexpected, but it won’t be unwelcomed. And I just wanted to make sure I shared that lesson with everyone.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:24:08] I, I think it’s it’s very positive again, in the sense that no matter where you are in the organization there’s always.

A need for leadership and new ideas. And of course the culture in the organization has to allow for that. And in, in some situations, you know, and I can think of different industries where you say, well, don’t go out on your own. We have to work as a team. And that is extremely important, but that’s that, that feeling that people have, that they want to grow, they want to expand.

And the opportunity is there. That’s what I read in your statement. At any level in the organization, no matter where you are on the org chart.

Brad Casper: [00:24:48] Absolutely. And I would, I would say that assuming that someone wants to accelerate their career and again, depending it almost is independent of which industry or sector you’re in.

If you demonstrate leadership, there’s going to be an excellent opportunity for you to advance your career and grow. Conversley if you don’t demonstrate leadership, it’s very, very hard to get, not only promoted, but to certainly galvanize an entire team behind you. So leadership to me is the most important single attribute along with integrity.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:25:23] Yeah, I appreciate that. Now I would, I would perhaps also make the point that there are people who are not seeking leadership positions, lesson number seven. Never underestimate the importance of listening empathically and communicating inspirationally. Boy, you’re the right person to teach us about that.

Brad Casper: [00:25:44] You know, I guess this is one of the areas that I think over time, the more leadership positions that I’ve found myself in the better I became added. But again, in this year of 2020, where. You know, leaders don’t just communicate. They have to stop and listen. And during earlier this year, when I was at another firm, boy, I became keenly aware that the combination of work from home.

The the, the social and racial issues that were taking place in the United States at that time. And the fact that we had a, a gen Z and a millennial workforce that was struggling with COVID work from home, and then the social issues as a leader, I really had to listen and I had to listen with my full heart open because for some people, this wasn’t just an extraordinary time, but they needed to understand that.

I was feeling it too. I may react and respond differently because of my age and the life lessons that I’ve accumulated. But boy, Oh boy, I think. I connected with my teams and I still am in my new enterprise of heart and soul marketing. And I just encourage people right now. Listening is one of the greatest skills and listening with your heart and your head, both open is so important to those around you.

And it doesn’t have to be even in the corporate setting. It can be at home too. This is, this is something that’s just crucial at this time.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:27:15] It is. And the actual listening part, I must admit, I’m still, I’m still learning tendency to talk and not listen enough. And it’s something that you can tell yourself.

I need to listen. Another element that I learned many years ago from my old boss in recruiting. He said, when you talk to people on the phone, it sounds almost old fashioned these days, right? You don’t see the person. When you listen to that person and what he, or she has to say, but also you pick up over time in, in my profession, especially the emotion that is there.

And that has been a very, very relevant experience. Like you said, You have to spend the time and you have to, in that sense, be quiet and listen to that person. It’s not what I have to say.

Brad Casper: [00:28:03] Absolutely. I think a lot has been said a lot has been written about emotional intelligence, but this is clearly an ingredient an important ingredient in emotional intelligence.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:28:13] It, it flows into lesson number eight, treat everyone like you wish to be treated. You would like to be listened to no doubts, right. That you’re a good listener, but you like to be listened to as well. Yeah. Treat everyone like you wish to be treated.

Brad Casper: [00:28:28] I actually probably heard this from someone who was in my high school, graduating class when we were 17 or 18.

And at my high school back in Cincinnati, we had an extraordinary opportunity where. Your final quarter or final semester of your senior year, if you could line up almost a co-op opportunity inside a professional organization, they would let us out of classes for a half a day in order to already immerse ourselves in a world of business.

And I had that privilege when just before my 18th. Birthday. And as we were driving and commuting from our suburb into downtown Cincinnati, he made a comment such as this about you just never know when that person who you’re working with maybe they’re your peer today. They could be your boss tomorrow.

They could be your client. And you know, what’s interesting. Seba just recently, as little as 10 days ago, a gentleman who was trying to work for me in my prior firm. And he was trying to recruit himself to Arizona from Indiana. He was a, a lovely guy with a lovely family, actually a French descent who had immigrated here to the United States, but he wanted to be an Arizona.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a place for him. At that firm, he’s now my client. And we were on a zoom the other day and he said, do you remember me? I said, of course I remember you. And I’m just grateful that I treated him with the respect he deserved when he was a candidate to work for me. But now the irony is that I have a chance to work for him.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:30:10] It’s not an expectation, right. It just happened that way. It’s not that you right. Are nice to someone because you expect something in return.

Brad Casper: [00:30:18] Correct. And I think it’s that old, you know, that old adage about turning the other cheek, et cetera. But I think if you, if you treat everyone the way you wish to be treated and they have a great experience today, they call it CX consumer experience.

If they have a great experience with you. First of all, it makes you feel good. Second of all you never know when it may assist you. And it reminds me of an ad campaign I was associated with early in my career at, on head and shoulders. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. So that’s, that’s the advice I pass on to podcasters today.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:30:54] I’ve used also in, in cross-cultural communications, dealing with people around the globe that. You may not understand the culture. You may not speak the language, but if you have a smile on your face and not exaggerated, right, but just a friendly face, that language is global people understand you, you don’t have bad intentions.

You’re, you’re a friendly person and that can set the tone as well. I know the two next two lessons. I liked them both, but of course we started with lesson number, number nine. The best way to predict future is to create it. It, it makes me think of the Muppet show. I don’t know if you remembered them up at show where it’s one section.

They said, this is where the future is made today.

Brad Casper: [00:31:38] Hmm. I do not remember the Muppets, but maybe Jim Henson had a seductive influence on me and I just forgot it. This was actually one of the lines that I put in my mission statement at 29. This is all about being proactive in your career and your life with your love interest with your family.

Proactivity is just such a, a wonderful, you talked earlier this morning about energy and positive energy. Yeah. I think proactivity shows you can be very proactive without being pushy and you can be very proactive and bring energy to an organization. We’ve all probably been in other organizations where they’re, you know, they’re whiners, they’re complainer’s, the glass is always half empty and it just sucks the energy out of the room or the organization.

And in fact, in our new company, Matt Moore and I at heart and soul, we talk about, we want our employees to be energy providers. We want them to provide that spark, that influence because we’ve been around too many people at too many times when it was never just good enough. So the best way to predict the future is to create it.

That means you just got to take life and opportunity by the wheel and drive

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:32:56] Lesson number 10. People may not remember what you said. I hope they will, Brad, but they will remember how you make them feel. I think that’s very strong and connected to you.

Brad Casper: [00:33:08] It is connected to me. It’s connected to our, our, our new company, heart and soul.

I looked it up and there are several people who are, have been given credit for this quote. So this isn’t original. One of the most recent is Maya Angelou, who is a kind of a poet Laureate. If you will, in the United States. And in her quote is, is very similar to this. And other people have been credited in saying it, but I, I started repeating it recently, even at our new firm, because if it’s just the words and maybe they’re put on a piece of paper or a digital banner ad or whatever, if it’s just.

Fact-based and it lacks that emotionality. It will probably lack that emotional connection. And I think hopefully at the end of this podcast, there will be a few things from what you said and what I’ve said that people will remember the words. But at a net net, maybe they’ll say, I just remember that Sieben, Brad had a pretty kind of cool vibe going and they seem to really care about the people who they may, may or may not ever meet who listened to the podcast.

And if we made them feel that they were really, really important. That’s enough for me.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:34:24] Yeah. Yeah. And that is, it’s truly part of the mission of our podcasts. Like, like you mentioned, in the beginning, we want to help people. We don’t have solutions to all the problems, but there is something about a mindset lessons learned obviously.

And so it’s, it’s, it’s really helpful to listen to you and, and your global expertise, your brand orientation. Very, very helpful, great insights. But I have to ask you. Another question because many lessons learned is there perhaps brat a first life lesson that you have learned.

Brad Casper: [00:35:00] You know, and so that our listeners don’t think that that was totally spontaneous, that I never had any pre-thought about it.

You gave me a heads up over the weekend. And I, I really gave a lot of deep thought around that. See, but I think one of my very first lessons, it goes back to when I was probably in high school. And it’s so important for our listeners today. It’s the power of the network and my very first job that I ever earned any income for.

And maybe it was $3 an hour or $25 a job. My dad helped me get a job, cutting somebody. Field and lawn and gardening, and basically being a helper around their home. Mom. When I had come home from my freshman year in college, I didn’t have a summer job. He asked the neighbor, Hey, bread’s a hardworking guy.

Do you have anything at the Coca Cola bottling plant? I ended up getting a night shift job, man. Oh, man. That was sobering. Yeah. To go in at four and get off a little after midnight after cleaning bottle, that would be recycled and reused to fill Coca-Cola products. It was a little bit humbling, but I think what it taught me is, and your whole profession or at least a good portion of your profession of executive recruiters.

Already understands the power of a network, a power of a reference, the power of of talking to somebody. Do you have anybody who might need a person like this? Well, my dad set me up for my first two paying jobs because he tapped his network. And now I look and I’ve been tapping networks for the last 30.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:36:44] Yeah. Great point, Brad, the value of a network and S as we have discussed on, on other podcasts as well, it’s not only. Who, you know, it’s who knows you. Right. And if you continue that, that line of thinking from being a young child, to being a perhaps junior employee manager, director vice-president, but even to board physician serving on a board, a great element of the value that someone like you adds to an executive board is the network.

That you bring with you. And if people that know you, that can be of service. And I liked that lesson, it is, it is critically important for, for success over time to build a network. And it’s not that you asked for favors, you simply get to know people and hopefully you make that impression as, as you have described where they think favorably of, of.

That individual that is you. You never know. You may meet again. You may connect again and it can provide great, great value. Thank you so much much for, for sharing these lessons. I think we have learned a lot and really appreciate it. So we may, we may have to do this again. One time to add more or less than Stuart, because you’re not done yet.

That’s obvious. And we will definitely follow you at heart and soul.

Brad Casper: [00:38:03] I appreciate it, Siebe. This has been a great pleasure. Obviously. I like to share what I’ve learned, if it helps anybody else. That is truly a gift. And I really appreciate you giving me this opportunity this morning. Thank you.

Siebe Van Der Zee: [00:38:17] Yeah.

Thank you so much. Very well said. You have been listening to the international podcast, 10 lessons. It took me 50 years to learn produced by Robert Hossary  and sponsored by the professional development forum PDF. PDF provides webinars, social media discussions, podcasts, and parties. For more information, visit professional development,

Thank you very much and stay safe.


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