Transform Your Personal Qualities into a Successful Business | Charles McCarrick

"If you have a plan that is well explained, such as others know what is exactly expected of them, then that's what you can expect of them." Charles McCarrick, Episode 127

How can you transform your personal qualities into a successful business?

Charles McCarrick, lead visionary of Micro-Ant, is here to discuss his bestselling book, Lessons My Brothers Taught Me.

Charles will share his wisdom on leadership, including:

  • How can people tap into their entrepreneurial spirit?
  • The key 3 traits to look for when interviewing
  • His philosophy on goal setting and failure 
  • The symptoms of ineffective leadership
  • The virtue of developing great partnerships
  • And more

Mentioned in this episode:


Charles McCarrick: If you have a plan that is well explained, such as others know exactly what is expected of them, then that’s what you can expect of them.

Voiceover: You’re listening to the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast with professional speaker, coach and consultant Nicole Greer.

Nicole Greer: Welcome everybody to the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. My name is Nicole Greer, and they call me the vibrant coach and I am here with a special guest today. His name is Charles D. McCarrick. But I just called his voicemail and I think I get to call him Charlie. So I’m very excited about that. We’re now on a nickname basis. So that’s cool. He’s an entrepreneur, an inventor and a lead visionary at Micro-Ant. And this is not about bugs, it is about antennas. That’s what I found out. 

With more than 10 patents to his name he pioneers and supplies unique equipment to the communications industry. Charles’ most defining characteristic is enthusiasm for new ideas, for the people who work with, him and for the continuous quality improvement he does on the daily. By cultivating people’s confidence and creativity, Charlie has forged a top notch team that delivers new technologies into the hands of customers and value to his investors. 

Now he delivers this book of life lessons to you and we’re going to talk all about it on the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. And you can find more out about Charles at And I’ve got a copy of the book right here. Lessons My Brothers Taught Me. So I’m excited to talk to you about this. Look, Charles, look at all of the stuff I’ve got in here that I’ve been reading in your book.

Charles: Thank you, Nicole. Thank you so much for that very vibrant introduction. And I’m glad you pointed out that we are not in the business of exterminating ants. Sometimes people can make that mistake, can confuse that.

Nicole: Yeah, well, it’s all in the naming. But I went and looked it up. I’m like, surely he is not an exterminator. Although there’s nothing wrong with being an exterminator. It’s all good stuff. Well, I’d love to talk about your new book. It’s the number one best seller. I think people need to find out about it. Is that a good way for us to get going?

Charles: I think that’s the perfect way to go.

Nicole: Okay, fantastic. So when I was reading your book, in the first chapter, it talks about this idea that you have before you start a business before you get into business, before you become a serious leader, you have to do some self assessment. You say in here, before embarking on anything near as monumental as starting your own business or being a leader, you should first begin with self assessment of what personal qualities exist in your toolbox that can be employed to your benefit. 

And I was like, oh, my God, Charles and I are of the same thinking because I have a coaching methodology, and it begins with self assessment. So share with me a little bit about self assessment. What do leaders need to do in terms of self assessment?

Charles: Sure. In order to achieve any goal, you have to understand what your objective is. You have to know what the motivation is, that is going to drive and get you there. I mean, that’s partly strategy. It’s partly planning and putting the path forward. But really, it’s those, that innate character within you, that you’re going to call upon, to drive it, to persevere and to never give up. So that’s why I say these qualities, character. 

This is what gets an entrepreneur going because we would characterize an entrepreneur, we might say, they’re a leader, they’re a visionary, and all these things. But what I think gives them a distinction in terms of character, they tend to be free thinkers, and risk takers, and willing to push forward, by all means necessary in order to succeed at their objective.

Nicole: Yeah, I would agree I fit in that category. I am a free thinker and a strategic thinker and an entrepreneur myself. I think that’s absolutely true. I love also that you have in your book, the four S’s and you said these are principles that you have in place, you know, in order to make sure you’re taking care of your company in a great way. And the four S’s were saleability, sensibility, sustainability and scalability. I  love the four S’s. How have you used the four S’s to move Micro-Ant forward or help other leaders move their business forward?

Charles: Well, I didn’t come up, or was even aware of the concept early on. I had to make many mistakes first. During COVID when a lot of ambitious things took place. I think when people were working at home, mine was to write a book. And I wrote the book really for myself, because I was reflecting on how successful the company was the things that we overcame, such as COVID, and the successes we had. 

And I just wanted to have a better understanding what were the problems? How did we convert those obstacles into opportunities? And I wanted to teach myself what it was that, what was the essence that made us successful? And as I was building the manuscript and reading it more and more, I realized that there was a theme that was forming. And the theme was that every situation, instance that we got it to, we got out of mostly by not smart business sense, but good character. 

In other words, letting yourself follow the path of what you knew was right. Following the path of integrity, following the high road, as they say. And as I was to break down these various characters, I realized that some were actually human traits, but others were traits that you could actually ascribe to the business. And so of the four S’s, which I eventually broke down, those are the four categories of character that both a person and a business possess. 

I realized that there was actually a transition or transformation that could exist, such that an individual with the right character, the might, the right frame of mind, and the right set of goals, could transition those character traits into a business of similar character, and, eventually success. So that’s how it came about. And that pretty much has served me for the past couple of years. It is a very, very good template, in how to solve decisions going forward.

Nicole: Yeah, I love that. So again, the four S’s are saleability, sensibility, scalability, and sustainability. And he’s got a really nice diagram in the book where it talks about, you know, if the human, the entrepreneur, the leader, the people inside the company, have those four qualities, then you know human quality equals company quality. That’s what I pulled out of that. I just thought that was a great way to think about it.

Charles: Beautiful, beautifully stated. Do you mind if I write that down?

Nicole: Yes, you can just quote me in the book. Absolutely.

Charles: I will quote you going forward, because that is precisely, and you said it better than I did. But that is the concept I was trying to convey.

Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. And you also talk about in the book, and I love this, because I think, you know, even if you’re not the entrepreneur, it’s so important to have an entrepreneurial spirit. And so in the book, you talk about that you had your entrepreneurial spirit inside of you. And it’s just the spirit that wants to do better and better and better. So how could people tap into their entrepreneurial spirit? I think it’s in everybody. But I’m not sure everybody knows it’s in there.

Charles: I think it is in everybody, or you are absolutely right. And many times we suppress it for a variety of reasons. One is that maybe we simply lack the self confidence, to be able to strike out on our own and dare to be in control of your own destiny. Let’s face it, it’s a lot more comfortable and easy to take the path that is straightforward, easy sailing, working in, you know, working for another business where they worry about all of the things like taxes, generating customers, and all that sort of thing. But now you’re responsible for all of that. Well, it’s a lot to take on. 

And for people inexperienced and not having done that before, either academically or have, actually being an entrepreneur, starting your own business, it can be scary, you know, to take that leap. And my message to them is well, it’s worth exploring within yourself, whether or not the entrepreneurial step is worth taking. But break it down into smaller steps, things that are easily managed and get yourself closer to that goal. So if you decide you do want to flip the switch, it’s just a step away.

Nicole: Yeah. And you know, even if you do choose the path of working for somebody else, that entrepreneur always needs somebody with an entrepreneurial spirit to come alongside them, you know, and help them. And so in my mind, an entrepreneurial spirit is what you have, you’ve quoted in the book, which is this desire for things to get better, but also to like play the game of business. I think business is just a big game. 

I you know, I don’t know, did you have a grandmother who played Monopoly with you and was ruthless and never let you win? That’s my story. That’s my beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. She never let me win. Finally, you know, I got close to beating her one time. So in the book, you also talked about goal setting. And the fact that, you know, sometimes you’re not always going to reach your goals, but that’s okay. Will you talk a little bit about your philosophy on goal setting and failure?

Charles: Having an idea is the most valuable thing. No matter how many ideas you have in your head, your head doesn’t need to expand, you don’t gain any weight. Ideas, right, they’re just ideas, and they are a potential for energy. And so what I say in the book about it’s not so much the success or the failure of an idea, it’s the execution of it. Because that’s where the energy is. That’s where the kinetic energy is that puts that idea into motion. And what I was, the point I was trying to make is keep the ideas flowing, you know, keep them moving, the more ideas you have, sooner or later one’s going to stick. 

Whether you have 1000 ideas or two ideas. What’s the difference? They’re cheap, they’re easy, they’re free. And it’s an expression of the brain, which is why, I would say, like you said, if you are an entrepreneur and working for another company, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just make sure you are in a company that appreciates your ideas, and allows you that level of creativity that is going to help them and yourself succeed.

Nicole: Yeah. And I think, you know, the people that are risk taking that was one of the traits you mentioned earlier, you know, they know that not every idea is going to be a success, right? So all these ideas, and I love what you said, they’re free, they’re available, why not use them? I love that. And so we put them out there, we see what happens. But you know, if we didn’t have that failure, we wouldn’t know what does work, right? 

So you’re gathering data the whole time, right? That’s fantastic. All right, good. All right. And now let’s flip over to chapter two. And in chapter two, you talk about developing partnerships. And I underlined a couple things here that I thought were really great. It says, the world around you is populated by people who will be essential to your success in your business, as either employees, vendors, customers, or advisors. 

There’s no hierarchy, they’re just all partners. So, you know, I think sometimes people inside of organizations don’t realize, you know, we need all these people to keep the business afloat, not just the customers. So will you talk a little bit about the virtue of being able to develop great partnerships?

Charles: Partnerships exist, not only within the company, but on the supply side, the customer side, the adviser side, and you need all of these. The very first job that I executed, I did, I say in the book that I did it all by myself, meaning that I designed it, that I had created all the drawings to have it manufactured, I ordered the parts, the parts came in, I built it, I tested it, I boxed it, I shipped it. But you think of all of the collaboration that had to take place outside of the company to make that happen. 

First, I had to go to a vendor, who knew that I had no credit, but was willing to extend it to me because they believed enough in me that I was going to succeed. And one day, I was going to be a very good customer of theirs, which turned out to be true. And on top of the vendor, then there were those who were willing to license me the equipment and lend it to me, again, when the business had no credit. 

Finally, the customer who had the trust and faith in me to have the wherewithal to execute that transaction. I had no proven history with them, they simply believed in me. And that partnership, built the very first pathway to success, which I was able to exercise again and again and again, and to scale until it became a sustainable business.

Nicole: That’s fantastic. Yeah. And I think that there’s some serious leadership traits, you know, back to this idea of traits, quality human produces a quality company. So what are some traits that you had that help you have these people like decide to loan you money, loan you access to the equipment you needed? What kind of leader do I need to be?

Charles: That’s a really good question. At the time, I wouldn’t have characterized myself as a leader, because I was alone in the company. But as you put it that way, clearly, these people believed in me, and felt that I had the integrity to be a person of my word, and that win, lose, draw, I was going to do my absolute best to succeed. 

And I think that they saw that quality in me, that perseverance, that desire, that passion to not quit, and to win, that they believed in it. Perhaps it was infectious, maybe my enthusiasm in itself. But as terms of leadership, per se, I would say that a leader, and leadership is an agreement that you have with people that are willing to be led. And part of that agreement is they are setting expectations that you understand and that you promise to execute on their behalf and to their satisfaction.

Nicole: Yeah, and I think in your bio, one of the greatest traits is this idea of enthusiasm. My guess is you were seriously enthusiastic about this thing that you were doing too, right? Yeah. So setting expectations being a man of integrity and a man of great enthusiasm can definitely help you get your project or entrepreneurial endeavor moving forward. That’s fantastic. Now you may not know this, Charles, but I have recruiting as one of the things that we do inside of Build a Vibrant Culture and you had a whole thing in here about interviewing. And I thought, oh, I’m gonna ask him about this because you know, I interview people all the time. 

So you say in the book and this is in chapter three, you say, what I’ve learned while interviewing candidates is to focus on three key traits. Now, don’t miss this everybody, he keeps using this word, traits. So it’s the quality of the man, the quality of the human, the quality of the woman who produces the quality of the company. And so the first trait that you say you interview for is intelligence. So what questions do you ask or what do you look for when interviewing people to make sure that they’ve got that high IQ,

Charles: If I’m sitting with the person and interviewing them, we’ve already made it past their resume. Meaning that I believe that they have the experience and the skills necessary to do the job. I might ask a few questions to refine that a little bit more, if I need additional convincing. But at this point, I really want to know who they are. Are they going to fit into our culture? Are they going to be like-minded in terms of our passion, enthusiasm for execution, and success? 

So by intelligence, I will ask them to explain various things about themselves. And to talk about various situations and how they analyze that situation. Whether they see what the root cause or what was at the heart, what the important thing was. The ability to prioritize that, which was important in something else was simply symptomatic. So that is one way that I would do it. 

For instance, if I was to say, you know, somebody fell in the pool, and Joe jumped in to save them, and in so doing slipped and hurt his ankle. And if they were to focus on the ankle aspect of it, the first thing you say, well, did they save the person in the pool? Right? I mean, now this is really dumbing it down. But, getting down to the important thing. That’s what I’m talking about, that they can actually extract from the question, the important thing.

Nicole: Absolutely, yeah. And then I think I’m right with you here. You know, you said what I’ve learned interviewing candidates is to focus on these three things. First, one’s intelligence. The second one is work ethic. How do you know somebody’s got to get up and go? What do you look for? What questions do you ask about work ethic?

Charles: That’s a good question. Because I have been and seen many times, where they pass muster on everything else. And then it comes in, and I am confounded by, they say everything, right, they know the job, inside and out. And yet, they simply don’t execute. I can understand they sit at their desk essentially doing nothing. And I’m just confounded by this. 

So in the future, what I like to know is a situation that they were involved in and what they did, even if was physically, right, as well as mentally how they managed to navigate through that problem. And I listen carefully to see, did they navigate through it? Did they come up with a strategy? How did they participate in it? Was it done in real time? Were they engaged, were they involved? That’s the kind of thing that I look for. I want to note that there is an engagement in whatever situation they’re describing.

Nicole: Yeah. And, you know, that’s the big buzzword out there employee engagement. And, you know, I think one of the things that we’re talking about about employee engagement is, you know, is the employer doing enough to get the people engaged, but at the same time, employees have to want to be engaged. They have to, you know, decide that they want to go to work. So I think that’s the flip side of that story. 

Yeah, I love that. And then this one’s interesting. Your third key trait was submission to authority. So that’s a real strong little statement submission to authority. So I’m curious. One of your key traits you look for in the interview is submission to authority. Will you talk a little bit about that?

Charles: Yes, authority is not necessarily a manager. Authority is the prime directive of the company to succeed. And what you want to make sure is that everybody is on board with what the company is trying to execute. So that they contribute to its success. Now, work ethic, right, is interesting, as well as intelligence. 

But I think, I believe that integrity is very, very closely coupled with whether or not a person, an individual is going to fit into a culture and is going to flourish in that culture, as opposed to languishing or even poisoning the culture simply because they will not respect the authority, the codes and the ethics of the company. And I have seen this issue. It’s typically a character flaw in that person, and the kind of things that you would want to find out about them asking about anything. 

Maybe they were on a fishing trip. Tell me about the fishing trip. Tell me about the fish you caught. And then from that, you can see what they were involved in, how they participated. Were they the only one holding the rod reeling in the fish? Or were they actually helping to cut the bait. Were they participating in all those things that lead to the successful consequence? So that’s what I mean by submission to authority. I don’t mean listening to the boss, but you know, following the code and ethics of the company.

Nicole: Yeah, I love that. Because when I first read it, that was the first thing that went through my head. I was like, wait, read closer, Nicole. Because I was like, I really want to know about this, because, you know, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I mean, like, these are our core values. So like, it’s not optional, to do these core values. The core values have an authority over us, right? You know, here’s the mission we’re on. You know, we give excellent customer service. So if you don’t submit to the idea of the authority of giving excellent customer service, it’s just not gonna work out. I mean, you can’t give, you know, half way customer service, right?

Charles: That’s exactly right. I think I went on to say that, like it or not, a business is a dictatorship, right? It’s not a democracy. I’ve seen companies that make decisions by committee, that’s more or less a democratic principle, they can’t get things done, because you need a person in leadership position to say, let’s go this way. Even if it’s the wrong way, at least somebody’s pointing in the direction that everyone goes. 

And so what I mean by that, additionally, is that there is a team, there is an organizational chart, and there’s a hierarchy. Those things aren’t necessarily people as they are operational, and you need to respect that. Where your place is in it, and how you can best contribute, because your job, my job, everyone’s job, is to make those around them succeed.

Nicole: Yeah, 100%. Yeah, and I love what you’re saying. So I’m gonna repeat what he said, everybody, in case you missed it. He said, you’ve got an organizational chart, you’ve got a hierarchy, but these things are in place so that you can respect those areas. Right. And so I think that’s huge. Because I mean, there’s a lot of companies where the senior leadership overstep their bounds, and they get, you know, go over here and mess over in this thing, and they didn’t, they didn’t check with who’s leading that particular area. 

You know, so the CFO is doing something, we gotta check with him, before we get in there and tell the accountants how to do the invoicing. So it can create a big mess. Alright, so I love that, I love that. Okay, so in here, we’re going on to the next chapter, which I love this, too, is making sure that you’ve got people with skills is one thing. We interview them, right. 

We interview them for their intelligence, we interview them for their, you know, ability to follow authority, all those things. But then you say, skill, this is tweetable, everybody, skill is only as valuable as how it’s managed and employed. So I’m gonna tweet that out and give you credit for that. I think that’s so true. You can interview all the best people on the planet, and get them all to work for you. But if you don’t manage that skill, we have a mess.

Charles: That’s right. And you know, and talk is cheap. And many times people can say exactly what wants to be heard. But the execution is where the rubber hits the road. That is what makes the difference. So I have seen people of incredible skill, fail miserably, simply because they’re following their own agenda. Or they’re working in a silo, where they do not follow the processes, the workflow plans that the company has established. 

You’re never going to succeed, if you can’t submit to those that no matter how much skill or intelligence or other things that you have going for you, you have to be part of the team. You have to be part of the plan. And that’s, that’s what I’m trying to point out that particular passage.

Nicole: Yeah. And the thing about like, again, intelligence, work ethic, and then can submit to authority of what we’re trying to do here. The thing about work ethic is, I don’t know about you, but like early in my career, I was a real go getter. I mean, but I did not have anybody managing my skill very closely. You know, it’s like if somebody was a go-getter, it’s kind of like you left them alone. But it’s almost like the go getters are the ones you need to pay a little more attention to. 

Because you can get even more skill out of them. You can get more energy out of them. Yeah, yeah. So your experience with that. Your thoughts about go-getters versus you know, the person you were talking about who’s sitting at their desk that confounds you, which is such a great word. Confound. Everybody write that down. Good vocabulary word of the day from Charles here.

Charles: I can clearly see that you are in fact a go getter. And you are an entrepreneur through and through. And the thing is, you have people with enormous energy, like, you know, when we each started out early in our careers. The job, succeeding, that meant everything. And we would do it selflessly. Because the success in doing something that was good for the company and knowing that you were part of it was the reward in itself. 

But not everybody has that ethic, work ethic, and not everybody has that same sentiment. That doesn’t mean that those people aren’t going to succeed. But you want to always manage them and to channel their strengths, because everybody has strengths in a way that will succeed for them and succeed for the company overall. And so that’s what good management, good leadership, communication comes into play.

Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. So let me repeat it again, because you’re probably thinking say it again, Nicole. So here it is. Skill is only as valuable as how it is managed and employed. So that’s leadership right there. That’s it. That’s a good definition of leadership. All right. I love that. Okay. So throughout the book, too, I just want to say and again, the book that we’re talking about today is Lessons My Brothers Taught Me. It’s by Charles McCarrick. 

And that’s who we’re talking to today on the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. He’s got another really great line in here that I underlined. It says, in business, try not to react emotionally. Instead, gather facts, then draw your conclusions and respond with some common sense. Now that sounds like something my grandma who beat me at Monopoly would say.

Charles: Well, your grandmother would be right. I said in business but in reality, in life, right? Whenever you react to something emotionally, other than running away from a spider, you really shouldn’t be making a decision in that frame of mind. You don’t want to be just reactionary that oh, my gosh, to make a situation even worse. Sometimes the response can be even worse than the stimulus. 

So you want to give yourself some period of time to assimilate the information, go through the process of getting the emotions under control, and try to understand why am I having such a strong emotional reaction about this. And then try to break this down into what the root cause not only of the feelings, but of the issue are. 

And then dealing with that, because if you’re dealing with emotions, your dealing through emotions, invariably, you’re going to only exacerbate a bad situation. So this is where calmness and coolness is always the way to go. But it’s normal for you to have any of us to have an emotional response to something. Just don’t make decisions, important decisions, in that frame of mind.

Nicole: Absolutely. And so what Charles is talking about here is this thing called emotional intelligence, right? Trying to get your amygdala, you know, your lizard brain back here calmed down, so that you can eventually come to your prefrontal cortex, which, you know, I’ve talked about this a lot on the show, where, you know, you can actually put facts, figures, you know, concepts, ask good, powerful questions, so you can figure out what’s really going on before you make those decisions. So I think that was solid advice. 

All right, now, you’ve got a whole chapter that I love. And its title is parentheses, in parentheses, of effectiveness. Okay, so it’s all about whether you’re an effective or an ineffective leader. So will you talk a little bit maybe about what makes somebody ineffective and makes them effective? And I’m curious, you know, the title of the book, The Lessons My Brother’s Taught Me, what did they teach you about being effective and ineffective?

Charles: Well, a manager is not necessarily a leader, a good leader. A manager, just generally the person who executes the strategies, they may participate in them, they may not, but they manage the expectations given by the directive above. Well, growing up with my brothers, they were the directive above. And the directives tend to be something that always had me at a disfavor. I say that they were passionate about my education, the reality they were passionate about their amusement, of putting me and my other brothers into situations that were both uncomfortable and, and meant to be stacked against us. 

In those situations, as I realized going through there was nothing I could have done, except lived through it. It was going to happen, it was coming. And I could have gone to the left or gone to the right and said oh my gosh, you know, this was awful. Well, you know, the world is an unfair place. But what I believe is those times of adversity, that is when character is built. The question is, is it good character or is it bad character? 

Whether it’s good or bad depends on your perception of how and what you learned. During that situation. I went through so many of these with my brothers, I got to the point that I actually enjoyed their high jinks because it became a challenge for me how I was going to navigate through this and come out intact. And you think, well, that’s just normal growing up. 

But as an adult, you realize those character traits that you have you built those when you were a child, through situations where you view it in a particular perspective. 

And as you can see, in the book, I had an extremely colorful, and varied childhood with my brothers around, and the sort of high jinks that went on. And I thought this was common to a lot of families, but with others who have read the book, they were aghast at some of the situations that would take place. They all say, I don’t know how you lived through it. But you do live through it. 

And if you do, as I did, then you’re able to apply those principles to something greater and larger in life, like running a business or leading other people. So as far as effective leadership, you take those things, which you learned throughout your life, and build your character, and you share them as a leader with those that are willing to follow you in that respect your ability to lead them. So that’s what I mean by ineffective leadership, because I have seen both. Effective and ineffective.

Nicole: I think everybody listening has seen both, too. And you’re right, it boils down to character. Right? So, and I kind of I’m hearing this old thing, we’ve all heard this one before, it sounds like Charles experienced this. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, you know, with his brothers and everything, you know, the high jinks that they were up to. But I think it’s so important. So you know, in my SHINE coaching methodology, when I’m coaching an executive or working with a team, we do the very thing, you’re talking about self assessment. Then you get to have these good habits in place, good interviewing. 

All the things we’ve talked about so far. Developing people skills, but then at the bottom line, you know, the leader has to be a man or a woman of integrity. And, you know, I think everybody’s on the hook, Charles. It’s like, we know good leadership, like you said, and we know bad. And you just have to go to the light, right? Be vibrant. That’s what I like to tell people. Move towards the light. Absolutely. 

Okay. All right now, in the book, I love this. There’s a page, page 86 is a very good page. All right, everybody we’re reading and going through Lessons My Brothers Taught Me, How to Transform Your Personal Qualities, right? We keep talking about qualities, character traits Into a Successful Business. So you have this list of symptoms of ineffective leadership. And I think like everybody, listen to this list, I think it’s fantastic. Because you’ll be like, oh, we have some work to do at whatever your company is. 

So if you have these things going on, these are symptoms of ineffective leadership. Priorities are ignored, processes are not followed, the wrong people are assigned to the wrong task. information silos are created, communication breakdowns occur. I’m just sitting here thinking maybe Charles, everybody will want your help. Because they’re like, whoa, we have all five of these.

Charles: Well, if the company won’t rally behind a single individual, then they are going to rally to themselves. And any if everybody wants to succeed at their job, generally. So they will fill in the gaps that are missing from, due to ineffective leadership. And those gaps, maybe they fit in right with the corporate plan, or maybe they don’t, but it works for them. And silos, as everyone knows, when you start having silos, building your company, unless you’re operating a farm, that’s a big problem. 

Because now you have information that isn’t shared. And you have people that are extracting themselves away from or isolating themselves, away from the corporate culture. And now you have a leader who becomes more and more frustrated. In the book, I’m talking about a very specific example of someone that we hired as a leader who on paper was a triple A player, an all star. You said this person is going to come in and change your company. 

Well, let me tell you, they did. And they did not change it for the better. And I tried my darndest to understand what went wrong. I would socialize with this person. They were articulate, they were smart, they were gregarious, and yet nobody liked this person. And openly you didn’t see it too much. But after this person left they said if that person didn’t leave, we were all gone. I said whoa. How did I miss that? Then I realized the person had absolutely no saleability. 

They did not see this person as a leader because they did not believe that this person had their best interests in mind. Did not have a plan or an objective that they could rally behind and follow. And that they will always put the blame. There was never any incentive or motivation to succeed. It was all negatively reinforced by do this, or else. And now, taking a step back and looking at it behind us. I absolutely know that explains it perfectly. But at the time, barely aware of what was going on.

Nicole: Yeah. And so he just mentioned one of his four S’s. So I’m going to backtrack there for just a second, because you’re like, what are those four S’s again. I know that’s what you’re thinking. So Saleability, meaning that he could not get his leadership or her leadership message across. Is that what you’re saying?

Charles: Right, but having saleability.

Nicole: Yeah, talk about that a minute.

Charles: You are the type of person or you express the type of qualities that other people want to interact with. It’s a lot like being likable. Having saleability is what is essentially what you emote, how you radiate yourself to the world, and the things the perceptions that other people have about you. You can’t say, I’m going to be a nice person, you need to be a nice person. You can’t say, I’m going to have this particular trait, you that must be inherent in you. 

That must be part of your core belief for that to succeed. So saleability is essentially, what you radiate from yourself to the world. And what’s out there, people make a decision whether or not you are the type of person they want to interact with, which they want to transact with, especially whether they want you to lead them.

Nicole: Awesome. And so it’s saleability, sensibility, sustainability, and scalability. So those are all the S’s. So check that out in Charles’ book Lessons My Brother’s Taught me. All right. And so here are the benefits of effective management. Priorities are clearly communicated, information is transferred quickly, the right people are assigned to the right task, and everyone has a well defined understanding of what they’re responsible for. 

So I love your litmus test for ineffective and effective communication. So what does a leader need to do to get this effective communication in place? What are some linchpin activities that a leader can do to make sure all those things are happening?

Charles: You know, as you say it, as you read off that list. I can see how much it sounds just like common sense. You would think, well, of course.

Nicole: Common sense isn’t common, Charles,

Charles: Well, in business, yes, you are exactly right. You probably know better than anyone, Nicole. The thing is, if you have a plan, that is well explained, such as know that others know exactly what is expected of them, then that’s what you can expect of them. And I don’t necessarily mean, you go around telling people what you do, and then they, and you sort of manage that through. 

You have to have processes in place that are consistent, that were actually developed by the very people that are executing them, that are quality assurance minded, that are easily managed in such a way that if what you’re doing is consistent. And it’s clear, and you can see what that you are doing and how it contributes to the overall strategy and goals of the company, everybody feels good. And that’s where you get effective management. You had somebody on your show recently called Rich Russakoff. 

Nicole: Yeah. 

Charles: And I had listened to his podcast and Rich was so spot on with his definition of the leader and leadership qualities that that was one of the things that he said that resonated with me. I said, ah, it was right on with that. But this is one of the things that Rich highlighted as well. People have to have a plan that they can understand, that they’re willing to follow, and that makes sense.

Nicole: That’s right. That’s right. That’s fantastic. Yeah. Okay. So here’s the final question I have for you. Another one of the things that throughout the book, what I love that you did in the book, Charles, is that you kept saying, you know, like, here’s the moral of the story. Here’s the bottom line of what I’m talking about in this chapter. So you know, even if you get the book and you can’t get, you know, your stack of books is huge, like mine, although I love this book, you know, you can go in here and you can open it up. 

And you can see the one little moral of the story, which are all great takeaways, and this one is this. Good leaders are only as good as the team willing to follow them. And I think that is absolutely true. You know, you could be leading and turn around, nobody’s there. So very important to check that the followers are in the rearview mirror. So will you talk a little bit about how a leader develops good followers?

Charles: Yes. I don’t mean to say that a bad team. It has nothing to do with the team, right? You have a good team because you have a leader in place that brings out the very best in that team. And as I put in the book, my simple definition of a leader is simply a person that others are willing to follow. Question is, why are they willing to follow this person? And as we said, they have their best interests in mind. But the thing that really makes a leader stand out is their genuine. There is nothing artificial about them. But first and foremost, they care. 

They don’t go through the motions of caring, but they actually care. And if you have somebody who cares, and people know, whether you care about them or not or they’re being managed, that will bring out the absolute best in them. And I think if I was to leave everyone with a final one message that is right. If you’re a person that does not care about the objective that you’re going after, you’re going after the wrong objective.

Nicole: 100%. Oh, that is a great nugget to finish out our time together. So everybody, it has been my pleasure. Thank you, Charles, so much. Thank you for being on the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast.

Charles: Thank you, Nicole. That went by too fast though. Went by too fast.

Nicole: Yeah, it flew by. But listen, everybody. The book is called Lessons My Brother’s Taught Me and here’s the deal. You can find Charles in a lot of places. I’m LinkedIn with him already. I suggest you go over to LinkedIn and look up Charles McCarrick. And let me spell that last name for you. M C C A R R I C K. And when you get him, get it on there, you’ll see his book right there. And make sure you do that. And then also you can visit him at his website, which is the same as his name, Anything else you’d like to share before we sign off?

Charles: No, Nicole, thank you so much. You are a wonderful podcaster and I understand where the word Vibrant comes from. You certainly have a vibrant personality. Thank you. Thank you.

Nicole: You’re welcome. It’s my pleasure. All right, everybody. I know you loved this episode. Please go down and press the like button and then if you would, please subscribe to Build a Vibrant Culture podcast, I’d be most appreciative and then definitely go out there and link in with Charles McCarrick. Thank you so much, Charles. Have a great rest of your day.

Charles: Thanks, Nicole. Bye bye.

Voiceover: Ready to build your vibrant culture? Bring Nicole Greer to speak to your leadership team, conference or organization to help them with her strategies, systems and smarts to increase clarity, accountability, energy and results. Your organization will get lit from within. Email And be sure to check out Nicole’s TEDx talk at

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