We had the good fortune of connecting with Shane Hipps and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shane, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
Growing up I struggled academically. Early on I was diagnosed with dyslexia. It made my school years very overwhelming and difficult. I rarely got B’s. Even in my senior year of high school I was tested as having an 8th grade reading comprehension. This shaped my sense of self powerfully, I had low expectations for my success after school.
I almost didn’t go to college as I feared it would be a waste of money. I gave it a try nonetheless, to my shock and amazement I got straight As my first semester. College, it turns out, worked beautifully with my learning style. I had a different way of thinking as a result of my dyslexia and I suddenly saw this as an advantage few others have.
In addition, as early as middle school, my friends gave me the nick name “Freud.” This was the only way they knew to describe what I had the ability to do. People came to me with their problems and I some how intuitively knew how to help them navigate them. I don’t know how I knew what I knew, I just knew it.
After a 5 year stint in advertising as a strategic planner, working on brands like Porsche, I left to attend seminary and became a pastor. While I had the skills to work in advertising, it did not align with my sense of purpose, which was to help people.
The first church I pastored had about 300 people where I learned about the power of language in leadership. Eventually I went on to I lead a church of more than 6000 people. These contexts present very unique leadership challenges not found elsewhere. The emotional system in a community of faith is far more complex than any I have encountered since.
As a result, I was exposed to things very few leaders are. This is where I learned the hardest lessons about leadership. In other words, I made mistakes. Fortunately I had good coaches who helped me course correct before it was too late and I was able to learn critical lessons.
As I was serving as a pastor I began sharing these learnings with corporate leaders who were looking for help. I saw these interventions get results like greater productivity, more profitability, easier change management, and greater team engagement. The leaders were also enjoying their work for the first time in years.
Over the past 20 years of leading and coaching leaders, I have refined my learnings and formulated methods that helps leaders avoid the biggest mistakes and 10x the productivity and engagement of their teams.
Today I help Fortune 50 leaders enjoy leadership, while getting the best performance from their team, without adding to their workload.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve answered most of these questions before, but here are three lessons I’ve learned:
1) Leadership is all about language. The words you use will determine what happens in a team
2) Leaders need a mirror. Something or someone to give them an accurate reflection of themselves
3) 80% of all behavior in teams is governed by what I call “The Emotional System.” This is defined as how I feel about the work I’m doing, and how I feel about the people I work with and for.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hike Piestewa Peak Visit the Fransicsan Renewal Center and walk the labyrinth
Enjoy the shops at the Biltmore
Dine at Base Pizzeria
Take a day trip to Sedona and visit the red rocks
Walk Bridal Path on Central Avenue
Dinner at The Fat Ox
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to recognize Trinity Mennonite Church and Mars Hill Bible Church for your patience and teaching me to be a better leader.
I want to recognize Jim McNeish for his mentorship and introducing me to the world of executive coaching as a profession.
I want to thank all of my clients who have the courage to look in the mirror, challenge your habits, and awaken your highest potential so you can grow organizations that are good for people and the world.