Nick Friedman, owner and co-founder of College H.U.N.K.S. Hauling Junk & Moving, urges entrepreneurs to pace themselves and personalize their leadership. An author, speaker, and leadership authority, Nick has learned that enthusiasm motivates employees more than financial success.
Differences Can Create Balance
Nick and his co-founder Omar have been friends since high school. They always wanted to create something together, but it wasn’t until college that they discovered their golden idea from Omar’s mom. She suggested they start their moving and hauling business.
Nick credits his and Omar’s continued success as co-owners and friends to their foundation of trust, effective communication, and mutual accountability. Working with Omar who is more laid back than he is has taught Nick to appreciate a different perspective. It can be tempting to only hire people just like you, but differences can help create balance.
Personalize Your Leadership
Since grade school, Nick has been passionate about leadership, but he wasn’t always great at it.
He recalls thinking that leadership equated with yelling at people because he saw Michael Jordan do so in a video clip. He has since learned that leadership, including Michael Jordan’s, encompases much more. Referencing Brené Brown, Nick says:
[16:17] “A leader is someone who identifies the potential in somebody, [and] who has the courage to develop that potential.”
He highlights that taking time to identify what does and doesn’t motivate others is worth the effort. People respond best when they are led in a manner that resonates with them.
A Bit Wall Street, Not All Sesame Street
Nick has seen his fair share of good and bad leaders. From the good, he has learned to:
- Pause, listen, and understand the other person before reacting.
- Balance knee-jerk reactions with logic.
- Surround yourself with leaders you want to emulate.
Sometimes leaders can get caught up in focusing so much on their company’s values that they lose sight of the need to perform. Without a margin, there is no mission. Nick quotes Omar in saying businesses need to strive to make sure they’re a bit Wall Street and not all Sesame Street. Strive to balance values and results.
Motivate With Enthusiasm
Nick has interacted with an array of leaders, from his employees to White House officials. He has found common threads amongst many different leadership types, and settings:
- Caring about your work and people matters.
- Enthusiasm motivates more than money in the long run.
- Stoic leadership is critical in good times and bad.
Leadership best practices have also influenced Nick’s personal life. He says he doesn’t shy away from asking friends and family for feedback on both positive and negative aspects of his behavior. Strong leaders always strive to improve.
Reflecting on his journey, Nick offers to young entrepreneurs some advice he wishes he’d received at the outs
[38:17] “Be patient and embrace the pace. There are no shortcuts.”