My guest this week is Kevin Hancock, author of the recent book, The Seventh Power: One CEO’s Journey into the Business of Shared Leadership (affiliate link). I loved this conversation with Kevin. There were so many profound points that emerged as we explored what it means to find our voice, and to be heard.
This topic is close to my heart for several reasons, including my own history of vocal difficulties and throat surgery. As you’ll hear, Kevin has dealt with a rare neurological condition that affects his voice, and now he completely embraces and owns his unique voice as he encourages others to embrace their own voice. I know you’ll get a lot out of this discussion. Topics we covered included:
- Kevin’s interest in indigenous cultures
- What the seventh power is
- Shared leadership as respect for all voices
- Kevin’s experience of spasmodic dysphonia
- How his voice condition led him to a different model of leadership
- The intersection of my history of vocal difficulties and my guest’s experience
- How easy it is to take the voice for granted
- What it’s like to not feel authentically heard, broadly defined
- What if everybody on earth felt trusted, respected, valued, and heard?
- What is the purpose of a human life on earth?
- The quest to self-actualize (see this previous episode with author and psychologist Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman: How to Transcend Fear, Anxiety, & Uncertainty)
- Identifying, loving, owning, and gifting one’s unique voice
- Seeing his condition as a gift, not an outside invader
- Recognizing that your voice is perfect exactly as it is
- Listening for understanding, not judgment
- What it means to heal
- Why simply being present is a pathway to change
- Dealing with frustration and feeling sorry for ourselves
- What keeps my guest going
- The importance of the questions we ask ourselves and the intentions we set
- The precept “Know thyself”
- Why specific places can help us find our voice
- Finding your own path and what brings you alive—regardless of what others might think
Kevin Hancock is an award-winning author, speaker, and CEO of Hancock Lumber Company. Established in 1848, Hancock Lumber operates ten retail stores, 3 sawmills and a truss plant. The company also grows trees on 12,000 acres of timberland in Southern Maine and is led by its 550 employees.
Hancock Lumber is a six-time recipient of the ‘Best Places to Work in Maine’ award. The company is also a recipient of the Maine Family Business of the Year Award, the Governor’s Award for Business Excellence, the MITC ‘Exporter of the Year’ award, and the Pro-Sales national dealer of the year.
Kevin is a past chairman of the National Lumber and Building Materials Dealers Association. He is also a recipient of the Ed Muskie ‘Access to Justice’ Award, the Habitat For Humanity ‘Spirit of Humanity’ Award, the Boy Scouts of America ‘Distinguished Citizen’ Award, and Timber Processing Magazine’s ‘Man of the Year’ Award.
Kevin’s first book, Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse (affiliate link) won three national book awards. He is a frequent visitor to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and an advocate of strengthening the voices of all individuals—within a company or a community—through listening, empowering, and shared leadership.