I recently had the opportunity to meet Jeffrey Hayzlett, Chairman and CEO of the C-Suite Network at a local National Speakers Association event in New Jersey where he was speaking. He exceeded my expectations. He not only gave an inspirational talk on what has made him successful as a public speaker and an entrepreneur, but spent a lot of time interacting with attendees, including me.
Since I still had more questions, I reached out to him to see if you would be open to answering five questions that I would post it as a blog so others can benefit too. He replied immediately with a terse email: “On the BIG 5—bring it.”
Jeffrey is a busy man. Besides running his company, he is an author, keynote speaker, and a host of his own podcast show. He could have ignored my request but didn't. He knew I was going to add value to him by spreading his thoughts and enhance his brand. I learned something very important from attending his talk and interacting with him in that he is a great marketer and has an effective and efficient system in place.
To get the job done, he assigned one of his outstanding Senior Media Strategist, Keira, to work with me. I had a very good experience working with her. She made Jeffrey look real good that shows that he certainly knows how to hire the best.
To learn more about Jeffrey’s thinking about business, values, and success, I recommend you read his excellent books:
The Hero Factor: How Great Leaders Transform Organizations and Create Winning Cultures
Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless
Running the Gauntlet: Essential Business Lessons to Lead, Drive Change, and Grow Profits
The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing?
I have read all of them and will be blogging about what I learned about his working with Donald Trump in his book Think Big, Act Bigger.
Below you will find the answers to my questions and the five book recommendations that have influenced his thinking.
Can you briefly talk about what your preparation is like before you give a speech?
I like to prepare for a speech by knowing as much as possible about the event, its organizers, the venue, and the audience. I research everything about them – bios, interviews they’ve done, any press and I also look for some type of factoid, or original piece of knowledge, pertaining to any or all. I find that the more you can personalize your speech, the more successful it’ll be.
How do you measure your speeches’ success?
By the engagement I receive all over social media and the engagement I receive from the crowd while I’m on stage. For example, I always look out at the crowd, and if I see half of them on their phones, something’s gone wrong. My speeches are meant to live lively, engaging, and interactive. Afterward, I get tons of requests for pictures with audience members, and they ask me all kinds of questions about business, marketing, or leadership. I’m happy to answer any questions and take pictures with them. The more pictures I see on social media, the better. That’s how I measure success, not to mention the standing O’s are a pretty clear indicator.
With so much noise today, what makes one stand out?
What makes anyone stand out: being yourself. Authenticity is one of those ‘old’ values that never goes out of style. It’s about being yourself, regardless of the scenario you find yourself in. Being authentic, genuine, and speaking from the heart is how you stand out. Anyone can make a speech, not everyone is capable of reaching an audience.
What does it take today to get to the C-Suite?
Hard work and dedication. In business, nothing happens by chance or by luck alone. You have to work harder than anyone else, and while there are no guarantees that you’ll reach the c-suite, hard work always pays off. It’s called “work” for a reason -- because it’s HARD.
What skills, attributes and competencies folks in the C-Suite look for in people they hire?
They look for someone who is dedicated to the company’s mission and vision, someone who will roll up their sleeves to do whatever it takes to move the needle forward and increase the bottom line. They look for ‘clock changers,’ which I describe as people who are willing to stand out and go the extra mile by making a difference and doing whatever needs to be done, instead of being more interested in blending with the rest of the pack. Personally, I look for people who are willing to learn and not always necessarily the people with the most impressive resume. Don’t get me wrong, a good resume goes a long way, but you can always teach people a higher level, or different, skillset. You can’t teach attitude or passion.
One More Question
What makes you so good at what you do and what do you do to keep getting better at it?
You just keep trying every single day to do your best. There’s no such thing as perfection, but you have to keep on trying. You can’t let one bad day influence the rest of the week/month. People often ask me, “what has been your best day?” or “what has been my highest accomplishment?” I always reply with “I’ll let you know when that happens.” There’s always tomorrow (and room for improvement).
Can you please recommend five books that have influenced your thinking?
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life by Daymond John
Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renée A. Mauborgne
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Jay Oza is a writer, speaker, executive coach. He makes people thrive on high stakes stage whether it's for a job interview, a sales presentation or an important speech. He is the author of the book Winning Speech Moments: How to Achieve Your Objective with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere. Please download the speech checklist and the speech workbook to help you with your next high stakes speech.
You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-847-9877. Please contact him if you would like to attend his workshop on "Interviewing is the Most Important Skill for Success Today" to accelerate getting a good high-paying job and developing a critical skill for success.