June 26

Bill Clark, CEO, Clark Leadership Group


Bill is a serial entrepreneur who has founded, bought, grown and sold multiple businesses. He has experienced both thrilling successes and catastrophic failures in his professional and personal life. Now, in the final chapters of his life, Bill provides insightful and strategic business knowledge based in practical experience, gained over a lifetime. His sole focus is to help others to achieve their dreams.

Bill enjoys the reputation of being a down to earth, resilient and self-aware person who is a life-long learner. His “perpetual learning mode” approach to life has allowed him to realize his own dreams of becoming an accomplished sailor and aviator, as well as an inspired leader.

Podcast Highlights:

  • Always Play UP - go for higher margins and higher prices  
  • Self-discovery is an essential activity that great leaders do
  • Let your people fail because that is where learning is done 

Contact Bill:

[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the no limit selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.

Umar Hameed 0:37
Hello, everyone. Today I'm privileged to have my coach Bill Clark. With me today, Bill, welcome to the program. Thank you, Omar. So Bill in 90 seconds, tell us who you are and what you do.

Bill clark 0:49
Oh, geez, 90 seconds. I think I can get that done in about 20 seconds, but I'll try this. I am a I'm a guy who is who is just lived a life of great successes. Huge failures, learning. I've always been a guy who has been put in this learning mode. And that's what I am. I'm a learner. What I do today is help other people learn and grow. And that's what I spend my time doing.

Umar Hameed 1:25
That's why I like you, because my highest value in life is learning cool stuff.

Bill clark 1:31
Yeah, mine. Me to Bill, you teach leadership?

Bill clark 1:34
Yes. So what is leadership? leadership is is really, one has to be chosen. To become a leader. It's one of those situations where you're called upon to step up, to make decisions, to influence others to bring others along on a journey. Not everybody can be a leader. Some people have to be a follower. But leaders are people who step up and are willing to help others. Move ahead.

Umar Hameed 2:14
So what would be some of the traits of a really gifted leader because you can have leaders that do a, you know, an adequate job, but you have other leaders that do an exceptional job. So what are some of the attributes of a really gifted leader?

Bill clark 2:29
Well, the first attribute houbara, that I would say, one has to have for leadership is and it starts with what I call self mastery. And self mastery is that one has to really understand self, if you You really must be on a journey to understand who you are, and what's important to you, and how you function and because if you don't have self, if you don't understand yourself, and how you function, it's hard to understand others. So in the journey of leadership, one of the first things you have to do is be the kind of an individual who really understands themselves.

Umar Hameed 3:21
So from a NLP neuroscience point of view, we have filters that we see the world through. And when you don't know who you are, and you don't have that self discovery, you don't know what those filters are. So everything is jaded. So when you go through that process of self discovery, it gives you clarity on what's really going on kind of your thoughts on that statement.

Bill clark 3:42
Oh, I would totally agree with you. But you also need to have the ability to be able to read where others are. Yeah. And if you don't have the ability to understand self, I'm not sure that you're going to have a good sense of others and, and to be able to understand where others are coming from. And in leadership. That is the that is the that's the fundamental number one thing that people have to have is that salted read self mastery and the ability to read individuals.

Umar Hameed 4:19
There's this quote, that I'm probably misquoting from the Talmud, you know, we do not see the universe as it is we see it as we are. And so when we get that self mastery, then we get clarity on other people too. So the traits are, you know, figuring out who we are the ability to read people, any other key attributes that a great leader should have. The one that

Bill clark 4:42
I think follows right on, and the word that I'm going to use is curiosity. The ability to be so Matic in their ability to ask questions, to be always curious about what is going on. And that that seems to me to be the second biggest trait that I look for in a leader and help develop in developing people into great leaders is this ability to be so Matic in their questioning and to really ask questions and listen and be curious.

Umar Hameed 5:23
I couldn't agree more, because I think one of the I heard this expression once, it was like, you know, why did God give dogs fleas to get them something to do? And I think that curiosity of leaders is the mechanism for improving things, whether it's communications or processes or companies or outcomes. If you're not curious, then you I think, improvement is a byproduct of curiosity.

Bill clark 5:51
Oh, I agree. But a great leader, with curiosity has to, therefore be able to ask great questions. You know, I think the struggle then becomes not only do you then ask great questions as a leader, but you also then have to learn to keep yourself quiet, so that you can allow somebody else the time to answer their question that you ask, because if you don't, for instance, in the beginning of leadership, for me, I struggled with the fact that I was great at asking people questions. But where I was failing was, I hated to see somebody really struggling to answer a question. So what I would do is jump in, help them out and help them out. And, you know, people learn a lot by giving them the opportunity to find out for themselves what the answer is, and not jump in and give it to them.

Umar Hameed 7:00
That's brilliant. So let's take a right turn here. Okay, so you were talking about, you know, great heights in your career? Yes. And also some lows, tell me about one of the times where you screwed up, what got you to overcome that obstacle and kind of keep moving forward? Because that's one of the traits to tenacity of great leaders. And it's easy to do when things going well tell me about a time where things went sideways and how you overcame it?

Bill clark 7:25
Well, I think I would start by saying,

Bill clark 7:29
you never really learn anything. When you're at the top of a mountain. For me, I never learned anything. When I was, well, I can't say I never learned anything. But I learned very little when I was doing extremely well, right. Where I've learned so much is when I have really been struggling when I've been down in the belly of the whale. There was a time that I had a company that I grew substantially. And I got noticed by a larger company, and they wanted to buy me and they offered me a lot of money for this company that I owned, I turned them down. Because I was sure that they would come back a couple years later and offer me even more money. But instead what they did is they decided to take me apart in the marketplace. And I wound up losing that company, the company went bankrupt. And then bill Clark personally I had to go bankrupt. And it was through that process that I wound up in the belly of the whale, I wound up from a man who had great wealth down to a man who didn't have any wealth. And I had to learn to start over and to pick myself up those lessons became a foundation on how to be even a better leader in the future. And it is through that process that I learned resourcefulness. I learned how I could survive. But those lessons were not available to me when I was doing extremely well. And, you know, then I rose again. And you know you always there would there is always in life setbacks. Yes. So when those setbacks occur, I look at I look at those as learning journeys, you know. So every time a setback occurs, whoops, I say I got something to learn. And that's the way I look at it.

Umar Hameed 9:48
Nice. So you coach, a lot of companies, a lot of leaders. So when you've got a leader, that's the market conditions or a mistake they made where things look really bad. It's going to be a tough Next year, what are the two three pieces of advice you give them to keep them in the right mindset and also keep them on the right path?

Bill clark 10:11
Well, probably the most significant thing I want to talk to them about is their own journey, and where they keep and how they keep their own mindset, in the right frame of mind for themselves. When you're going through difficult times, you get challenged by a lot of things. And there, there has to be that time when you when you look at your life, and you say, what is it that I'm going to focus on more than anything else? Where is my rock? Where is that one place I can go? Whether it's spiritually, or whether it's within me deep with inside me, where can I go and pull strength from? And I think that in talking to leaders and talking to people who run businesses, that is what I offer to them the most, they have to really struggle through that process. But they got to find within themselves that place that they can go and and find some solace and strength.

Umar Hameed 11:19
Absolutely. And I think one of the things that we're so afraid of is failure. And if you talk to anybody, it's like, you're not dead? How many times have you gotten to a point we thought is all going to end? It's going to be horrible. And somehow the ship writes itself, and we move forward, even if it's a bankruptcy or two. And it's easy to have those thoughts when you're past that setback, but sometimes tough when you're in the in the middle of it.

Bill clark 11:48
Yes, yes, I would agree. It is tough. But it's also what gives you strength, because it is out of failure, that you find strength.

Bill clark 12:01
That's when you grow.

Umar Hameed 12:03
So Bill, you're a mentor to a lot of people who's someone in your life that was a mentor for you, and what was the thing they taught you that you found invaluable?

Bill clark 12:15
Whole, I've had several mentors in my life. But the mentor that probably meant the most to me was a man by the name of James Powell. And James Powell was a mentor to me up until I was age 35. James passed away at at when I was 35. He was much older than I was, but he taught me a lot. The thing that I remember the most from him was in one of the companies I owned, we had gotten a big contract. And the bank had turned us down for additional funds. And I was so concerned about how we were going to how are we how are we going to execute this contract. We didn't have the resources to execute this contract. And I didn't know how I was going to get through this. And the greatest piece of advice that he gave me, which really strengthened me and became something that I've carried through all the eight different businesses I've owned, which has been, he put his finger out and he pointed his finger to me. And he said to me, Bill, just remember this, anybody. And I mean, anybody bill can run a company, when there's money in the checkbook. I fought to myself now. What does that mean? And the more I thought about it, there was a lot of wisdom in that. Because, once again, when your life is going well, and you've got money in your checkbook, hmm, life is great. But when you don't have money, all of a sudden you become a lot more resourceful. And you think of all kinds of ways that you're going to work to get more money in your checkbook. Great piece of advice. He was a mentor to me in so many ways. But that was one piece of advice that he gave me that I have remembered for years

Umar Hameed 14:28
and was talking to another leader in our community. Chris mechanic got from web mechanics. And one of the pieces of advice he gave in one of the episodes that we recorded earlier was humar. Add a zero to your price, people under charge for what they deliver. It kind of goes hand in hand like sometimes when there's not enough money in the account. That's where true leadership comes up. How do we adapt and overcome? And also, you know, how do you price stuff that because a lot of times, all those things are a mindset issue as opposed to a reality, if that makes any sense?

Bill clark 15:03
Absolutely. It also reminds me that one thing that I was taught, which is that always play up.

Umar Hameed 15:13
What do you mean by that?

Bill clark 15:14
Never, never go down. If you you know, always take a risk of asking for the bigger piece bigger ask Yes. The bigger ask it's so many times I've talked to salespeople over the years about the fact of that issue, and well, the customer will never buy this or that, you know, so I'm gonna go in with the lower price and lower offering. And I've always believed that you have to go in and go up, offer more.

Umar Hameed 15:49
And there's a really good chance they're gonna complain about the price no matter what you say, Yes,

Bill clark 15:54
very much. So I would agree

Umar Hameed 15:56
to get a better understanding of who you are. Who is your favorite superhero? And why?

Bill clark 16:02
Oh, I would have to say my superhero. I would put in this life that I'm in my superhero would be a person that would remain nameless, but this is a person who has inspired to be to go on to always take risk. who always said to me, you know, Bill, come on, jump off the cliff, you can figure out how to build the parachute on the way down.

Umar Hameed 16:33
So this was like a mentor a real life.

Bill clark 16:36
Well, this was this was a mentor. But this was a superhero because I watched him build stuff, and build companies, one after the other, and he was so good at it, but it was always about the fact he just humongous risk. There's something to be said about jumping off a cliff. When you have no idea whether or not you can figure out how to build a parachute on the way down. To me, that's exciting.

Umar Hameed 17:10
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five star rating. And if

Unknown Speaker 17:15
you're looking for more tools,

Umar Hameed 17:16
go to my website at no limit selling calm. I've got a free mind training course there that's going to teach you some insights from the world of neuro linguistic programming. And that is the fastest way to get better results.


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