C-Suite Network™

Evan Hackel Discusses His Path to Ingaged Leadership

Key insights from the new book Ingaging Leadership: The Ultimate Edition

1. What inspired you to write Ingaging Leadership, and what is the central message or concept that readers can expect to find in the book?

I wrote this book so that my kids and future generations of my family will be able to understand my life philosophy. This book is about business, but it’s really more about life itself and how to work with and be in partnership with people. The core message of the book is that when you start with curiosity, withhold the temptation to come to quick judgment, and involve other people, you make better decisions and have better support of your decisions that can make a major impact in both business and life.

2. Can you describe a time when Ingagement was used to deliver superior results?

In 2000, CCA Global Partners acquired its main competitor, Flooring America. Following the acquisition, Flooring America faced adversity as its parent company went out of business, tarnishing the brand and leaving franchisees frustrated and in legal battles. The franchisees believed CCA only acquired Flooring America to shut down their businesses and dominate the flooring industry.

Overcoming resistance and rebuilding the damaged brand involved a comprehensive “Ingagement” program. This initiative aimed at inspiring and achieving business results by involving everyone at Flooring America. Town hall meetings, advisory councils, and regional networking groups fostered open communication, allowing franchisees to voice opinions and ideas.

The positive experience resulted in doubling the number of stores and more than doubling business within four years. The success was attributed to a vision that inspired and an effective plan that engaged and empowered everyone involved.

3. How do you view the role of mentorship in leadership development, and have you had influential mentors in your own career?

Mentorship is one of the most important things in developing as a successful person. My father was my #1 mentor. I learned so much in life by observing how he could avoid taking things personally and remain objective. In addition, Howard Brodsky and Alan Greenberg of CCA Global Partners are two incredible mentors to me. I learned a lot about business from them andabout the power of collective action.

4. How do you see the role of effective leadership in driving organizational success, and what are the common challenges leaders face today?

Leadership is everything. Leaders need to promote a shared common vision and function as stewards of that vision. Without that kind of leadership, companies stagnate or deteriorate. I likely have a very different view than most people do regarding the number-one challenge that leaders face; I believe it is a lack of clarity of vision and the willingness to share it.

5. What advice would you give to aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs looking to make a positive impact in their fields?

Listen without judgment, always be in learning mode, recognize you can learn from everybody within the organization. Truly get to understand both your customers and your vendors because without them you don’t have a business. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

Evan Hackel

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