Nick Shaw, Mirrorbox Leadership Lab | ‘My Teacher, My Son: Lessons on Life, Loss, and Love’
2:31 - Nick's background and path to becoming an executive coach
6:24 - Introducing Nick's book: 'My Teacher, My Son' and the story of William
13:44 - Stepping off of the hamster wheel of life
21:01 - The power of empathy & keeping it simple
31:48 - Taking steps forward: what Nick's doing now
-To purchase Nick's book, 'My Teacher, My Son," go to https://bit.ly/4aiggoo
-For more information about Nick as an author, go to www.meetnickshaw.com
-For more information about Nick and Mirrorbox Leadership Lab, go to www.mirrorboxleadershiplab.com
-For more information about William's Be Yourself Challenge, go to www.williamsbeyourselfchallenge.org
-For more information on BluWave and this podcast, go to www.bluwave.net/podcast
Welcome to the Karma School of Business, a podcast about the private equity industry, business best practices, and real-time trends. In this episode, we have an incredibly impactful conversation with Nick Shaw, co-founder of Mirrorbox Leadership Lab and author of My Teacher, My Son. This episode is brought to you today by BluWave. I'm Sean Mooney, BluWave's founder and CEO. BluWave is the go-to expert of those with expertise. BluWave connects proactive business builders, including more than 500 of the world's leading private equity firms and thousands of leading companies to the very best professional service providers, independent consultants, and interim executives for their critical, variable, on-point, and on-time business needs.
So today we have a deep, and for me, profoundly enlightening and mindset-changing episode. We're talking with my friend Nick Shaw, who is one of the top executive coaches trusted by the best of the best executives, and an author. Nick and I are going to be talking about a tragedy that he and his family experienced involving Nick's son, William, and how this ultimately led to profound revelations about the hamster wheel of life, the power of choice, empathy, change, looking forward, and making your one shot your best shot. His recently released book called My Teacher, My Son has already had an incredibly meaningful impact on how I view the first days of the rest of my life, and I'm extremely honored to have Nick here with us. I know this episode will not only cause our core business audience here to become better business leaders, but more importantly to become better humans. So Nick, thank you so much for joining.
Thank you, Sean. It was great to get a chance to reconnect after a number of years with you. Yeah, happy to share my story with your audience. Looking forward to it.
That's great. Nick, maybe to set the stage, it would be great just to hear a bit about your personal backstory, where you grew up. You can share a little bit about us knowing each other in college, but not too much, and then how you came up in your career.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Happy to share. I grew up in Manhattan. Moved there when I was about four and a half years old, and basically spent my formative years there, all the way up through high school. After high school, went to Georgetown University where I had the privilege of meeting Sean and had a great time as a great institution, met a lot of great people. I studied business administration undergrad there. And then after graduating from college, I jumped into my first professional experience. I was a consultant for Ernst & Young for a couple of years. Did that, that was right around the late '90s, and then eventually followed the gold rush out West, the dotcom boom, and joined a startup out there for a couple of years. It was a new experience. It was a historic moment, right, the dotcom days.
And then as we all know what happened to that saga, about two years into it, the bubble burst and everybody lost their jobs and me as well. After that, I had decided to go back to business school, get my MBA at the University of Southern California. Spent two years there and then eventually went into the corporate world, worked for Staples out in Massachusetts, their corporate headquarters. I was more of a business process improvement supply chain guy. Did that for a couple of years and eventually joined another company, Otis Spunkmeyer cookie company in the Bay Area.
Yeah, the best, exactly. So spent three years there as a director of business process. That was about the time when my first son, William, was born. And right about that time, I felt like I needed to make a change in my career. I wasn't as fulfilled as I wanted to be. Something about having a son for me was life-changing because in that moment when I held him and started to process what it meant to be as a father, I had this deep sense that he was going to look to me for what it meant to be a man, I was going to be his role model, and I couldn't role-model for him that I was doing something that I wasn't fully vested in or fully passionate about. I did a lot of soul-searching in that moment and reflecting on what I want to do with my life, and that's when I made the transition to become an executive coach. Been doing that for, I'll call it, the last 10, 11 years now.
What was it that ultimately led you to choosing executive coach when you had this option in life on what to do next? What brought you to that?
Yeah, it's a great question, Sean. I think when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do... So I didn't know what I wanted to do. One of my biggest challenges from stepping away from my former career is that I had no sense for what I wanted to do, and so the uncertainty scared me. But again, having William, just said, "Well, you know what? I'm just going to bite the bullet, take a leap of faith." And then through some soul- searching, I just started thinking, "Well, what are the things I'm good at? What are the things I enjoy?" One things that came to me is that I was always someone that people could approach and talk to and give advice to people. And so that's when I got this idea of doing coaching, and then I just experimented with it. I got certified as a coach and then one thing led to another, and I found my way into the executive coaching world.
That makes sense. I think, one, the executive coaching world is one of these areas that's, I think, going to be and should be and will be used more and more and more. And this will be a side conversation maybe for another day, but it's this whole concept that Tom Brady can have six coaches, why can't an executive have one?
Yeah, no, I agree. Look, it's hard out there. It's a fast-paced, ever-changing, increasingly more complex world and executives need support, so why not?
It's one of those areas that, and I think in general, and I think this is probably why I think I loved your book so much, is that you're able to explain really tough, really difficult, but ultimately incredibly encouraging and enlightening topics in a way that people can grasp and understand and leads to improvement. And so I can see just after reading your book what you do in the business world translates into how you've articulated these profound life lessons.
Yeah, I thought about that actually quite a bit, Sean, because had I not been a coach, I don't think I could have written this book. My training as a coach, my experience as a coach was a big part of enabling me to process what happened to me and my family and also draw out the lessons.
Maybe this is a good time to talk about the story of William, what led you to this book, and ultimately, and then we'll dig into the enlightening elements. I keep this book on my desk now.
Yeah, so William was my firstborn. He was my oldest son. Almost five years ago now we were on vacation in Big Sky Montana. We're a family of skiers. Every February vacation break we would go out West, ski somewhere in the Rockies. We started the day any other day, a beautiful day. Kids were going to attend ski school in the morning, and then I was going to join them, and William and I were going to ski the top of the mountain, which is something that he had aspired to do. He was a good skier. He skied on the local ski team here. He was nine years old at the time, and he was strong, he was a good skier. I had no concerns about taking him to the top of the mountain.
And so we did that. We went to the top of the mountain, we skied at the top of the mountain, it's called Lone Peak. William had the run of his life. He was skiing like I've never seen him ski before. I actually have the whole thing on video because I had a GoPro camera on my chest. Had a magical day, magical runs, he was top of his game. You can just imagine me as a lifetime skier, I was bursting with pride at seeing my son just crush it. And then there came a time where we had to go to the bottom mountain because we were going to join my wife and my younger son, Kai, and ski the easier slopes in the mountain to ski as a family.
And so William and I decided to make our way to the bottom. We somehow got lost and ended up on a catwalk. A catwalk is basically a... it's a winding road. It's effectively almost a flat road that's winds its way down the mountain and gets you to the bottom. And as we were skiing to the bottom, I was maybe 10, 15 feet in front of William because my weight increased my momentum and just caused me to go faster than him, which is the way it always happened on those slopes, and I never thought anything about it. I was skiing down and all of a sudden there was a curve in the road and I made the curve, and a skier came whizzing past me and he said, "Hey, was that your kid who went into the woods?" Because off the side of these catwalks there's a steep embankment and there's powder snow and trees.
That stunned me, so I stopped, took off my skis and quickly made my way back up the slope. As I walked back up the slope, I couldn't find him anywhere. I eventually tried to go into the woods and find him, but the snow was so deep and heavy that I got stuck. And it was actually quite risky for me because I didn't want to put myself into a precarious situation. I eventually clawed my way out and was able to find somebody who worked at the mountain. That's when we alerted the ski patrol and a search ensued. I guess that search probably lasted anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. Eventually they found William, brought him to the ski patrol clinic where I was waiting for him. After trying to treat him, the head doctor came out and gave me the awful news that my son had died.
So sorry to hear this. As a father and as a human, I just can't imagine.
It's unimaginable. I mean, honestly, as a parent, it's your worst nightmare and you almost don't imagine it because it's your worst nightmare. But in that moment, the worst nightmare came to life, and our lives were thrown into a tailspin.
What I'd love to understand, really, you go through this in such a beautiful, elegant way in the book, is your process of grieving, but then ultimately getting all these views on how the world is and should be. It'd be good to maybe walk us through that and what the process was. And then I'd love to go through what were some of these things that ultimately helped you emerge from a cocoon into another butterfly that helped your family soar even higher.
I mean, as you start down your journey of grief, because that's really what it is, it's confusing at first. You don't really know how to do it. You don't know how you're going to come through it. There's a lot you don't know. There's so many unanswered questions or questions that you pose, some of which have answers, many of which don't. For me, as I was processing everything, I had this intense, visceral need to try to make meaning out of this event that seems so random and senseless. I couldn't just let it be my son was here one minute and gone the next. There had to be some meaning that came from it. I was sort of obsessed with that. For me, meaning meant learning from it, learning from it so I could live my life differently. Because when you lose your child, mortality stares you in the face.
Most of us conveniently push our mortality to the side because we can, because it's far into the distance. But when you lose your child, you can't do that anymore. And so I just had this need to say, "Well, how can I live my life differently? What can I learn from this? How do I make meaning from it?" And so every morning for about four or five months, the first thing I would do is go into William's room. I would sit and meditate. In my meditation I would pose a question, "What can I learn from this?" When I was done meditating, I had my journal next to me, I would capture any lessons I learned. I would capture how I was feeling, so where I was in my own process of grieving, and then I'd write a letter to William. And I did that every day for four or five or even six months. That really helped me to make sense out of it and to make different choices in how I wanted to live my life.
One of the things that, just reading through your book that there's a whole sequence of things that I thought were really impactful to me, is one you talk about just understanding this hamster wheel of life that you were in and the paradox of time, I think you called it. Maybe you want to talk a little bit about that.
Before William died, I was very focused on my career, and that meant that I was pushing as hard as I could to perform, and I was just trying to juggle it all, juggle my career, my young family. And really, my life was about getting from point A to point B and trying to keep all the plates spinning. It was about efficiency, how can I cram as much as possible into this very limited resource that we have called time. And fine, that worked, right? I mean, it worked to a point, but definitely it was exhausting. Actually, ironically, at the end of 2018, just two months before William died, and I had a really good year as a partner in the firm I was working for, and I was exhausted and I needed a break. I was thinking about that I get two weeks off for the Christmas holidays and then the clock would start all over again.
That just seemed so tragic. I had this sense that something was amiss, but at the time I just brushed it off and literally two months later my son, William, died. When he died, I had no other option but to pause, because if I was going to be any use to myself, to my family, I was going to need to just step away from my career and just try to figure out how we're going to survive this thing. Honestly, as a coach, I wasn't going to be of any use to my clients. I was just going through too much. And so I was forced to pause, which is not something I'd been used to. My whole life I'd been on a career path, driven, trying to keep moving up the whatever ladder I was on.
And so it was uncomfortable at first. My days were devoid of activity. I didn't have a schedule. I had to actually be with myself for the first time in a very long time. It was very difficult at first. But eventually as you settle into the new rhythm of things, I started to find value in just this notion of pausing, this notion of asking myself profound questions that perhaps I thought about but never actually did anything about. I think it's only when we do pause that we're able to do that. And so I took a six month leave of absence and that enabled me to learn to confront things that I needed to confront about who I was as a person and get on a path towards greater happiness and fulfillment.
I really like that portion of your book. As you think about it, as I even reflect on myself, when I think about us hanging out in Georgetown at the tombs when we're 21 years old, to me that seems like two minutes ago. And life just goes right by you and you're sitting there going, "Whoa, how did time fly?" And part of it is, I think if you think about if a lot of our friends, we were high achieving kids who were always looking for the next thing and the next thing and the next thing and next thing you know here we are. It's such a wonderful sentiment. I think one of your quotes, and I may not get this right, but it's in just the grand scheme of things we're all here but for precious and brief moment which makes me or makes how we choose to live our lives so important. It just goes by so quickly.
And so I think that is just setting things off in terms of this new life mindset that I've developed from reading your book is really important. And then I loved where you went from there. You went to this power of choice. You had talked about Viktor Frankl where you can make a choice. I think you quoted, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last human freedom is to choose one attitude in any given set of circumstances to choose one way." But maybe how did that help and how do you incorporate that?
When you lose your child, one of the things that you realize is that we really don't have as much control as we think we do. There are forces way beyond us that caused things to happen. I mean, if I look at what happened to William that day, and believe me, I've revisited that day a thousand times, and I can honestly say, if I were to relive that day a million times, there's nothing I would've done differently. I did everything that I would normally do to protect my child and circumstances occurred that caused him to die that day. So we don't have a lot of control.
To Victor Frankl's quote, the only thing we actually really do have to control is how we respond, how we react, what our attitude is to all the different things that may come our way through the course of our lives. I'm a self-proclaimed control freak. I love to figure out and try to put plans in place to try to control outcomes. But that's an illusion, and the sooner we let go of that, I think the more we can realize that there are so many other things that could be possible and not to forget that, yes, we can control how we respond. So you can control even if something terrible happens to you, it's fine, you may be disappointed, dejected, angry, whatever, and you're allowed to have those emotions, but at some point, you have to choose a response that's better for you and better for those around you.
Yeah, I think that's an amazing thing born out of your experience, but certainly every person goes through that. You probably named the person, it's 2:00 in the morning. What if I did the little things and the big things differently from that day, from that month, from that year? And it's just staring at the ceilings. Finding that room to give yourself grace in such a huge thing. But also those little things. I think you're right about that a lot in your book about it's giving yourself grace and giving yourself the power to let go of not only the big things in life, but all the small things.
It happens to all of us. There's a lot of stuff that we want to redo on, or it didn't go exactly the way we wanted, and that's okay. I mean, I say this to my clients all the time, the only failure in life is the failure to learn from failure. Everything that happens to us is an opportunity for learning, to live our lives differently, to live our lives in a better way. That's the true growth mindset, and if we can really step into that, then everything that happens to us is in service of us.
I think that's a wonderful thing not only in terms of embracing change and moving forward and having that positivity, but the other thing that I really liked that you spoke about was having empathy and having empathy not only for others, but for yourself. Can you share a bit about that?
Look, we are our own harshest critics. And particularly if you think about high performers, many high performers are high performer because they are constantly trying to beat themselves or they are heeding to that little voice in their head that's telling them that they're not good enough. In some ways, that's fine because it can be motivating, but I think many people are harder than they need to be. We're all works in progress, and that's the beauty of humanity, is we all are works in progress, we're all different, we all have different things that we need to learn and grow on. And to do that well, you have to have compassion for yourself. You have to just accept where you are today. You are who you are, it is what it is, and just make that your jump off point.
One of the things that you wrote about that resonated with me is how you talked about struggling knowing how to be empathetic and not quite sure how to even do this. Particularly I can say, as a man, you're not supposed to be overtly empathetic, at least when you're raised in the '70s, '80s, and '90s. How do you think about that just as an everyday human? How do you become empathetic, and what does that do for you?
Yeah, it's a great question. I experienced all different types of acts of empathy. Obviously when you lose your child, people will approach you in very empathetic ways and sometimes very unempathetic ways, despite their best efforts, right?
I think empathy, you're right, I mean, for most men who grew up in the '70s, '80s, and '90s, I know I'm certainly part of that category, we didn't have the best role models for what it means to be empathetic, because I think we grew up in a world where showing emotion, being vulnerable was looked down on as a man. I think to be truly empathetic, you have to be willing to be vulnerable, because to be empathetic, you have to, number one, try to put yourself in the other person shoes and let yourself feel what they might be feeling. And when you do feel that, you have to emote it. You have to actually let them know that it's impacting you emotionally, and that is what empathy is all about.
I share a story in the book about an EMT. Essentially, this was EMT who was in the room when my wife and I saw William's body for the first time. As you can imagine, we were just totally shattered and in a highly emotional state. As we were with William, I stepped away for a minute. I noticed the CMT in the room, and I was crying, and as I looked at him, I saw that he was crying. This complete stranger gave me this unbelievable bear hug. I could feel without a shadow of doubt that he was feeling what I was feeling. I just could feel it. And that's because he was willing to just be there in the moment and let the emotion flow through him. That's what empathy's all about. It's got to be genuine, it's got to be real, and you have to allow yourself to do it.
Yeah, it's such in some ways distant concept for, I think, so many people, and even including myself, because you're raised your whole life not to, and finding your words is at least personally challenging for me. But the ability to put yourself in someone other's shoes is also so powerful, not only as a business leader, but also a parent, as a human, as a spouse.
No, you said something that I think I want to just touch on, finding your words. I remember somebody had called me after, this is after William died, and I picked up the phone and I could tell they were having a really hard time just literally finding their words. They were... They were stuttering. I just said, "There are no words." I just let them off the hook because I could tell they were trying. I think the trap for many of us is that we want to try to find the right words. There's no such a thing. It's not what you say, it's how you say it. And sometimes less is more.
I think that's exactly right. And that's something that I think all of us struggle with, is sometimes there's no words, but there's things you can do that even in a couple words, it's more, and that's something that I'll certainly take away from this because, like you said, it's a journey, not a destination for most of us.
Every day I'm like, "Oh, I'm trying to understand the complexity of humanity." Every day you get closer it seems to be a little farther away. One of the other things of the many that I've taken out about this maybe goes to this not only empathy for others but empathy for yourself. You had this concept of, what would Willie want, and how that can be so freeing in many ways of addressing topics where you just don't know how to even navigate.
That phrase, that mantra was unbelievably important for me. It's still something I draw on today. I think even the worst situations can be reframed. I mean, I had to do that, so I think I could say that with some degree of confidence.
When I came up with that mantra, I was in a very dark place. And for whatever reason, through the darkness, that notion emerged, and I just grabbed onto it. Because one of the things I certainly had never thought about before this event is that the choices you make after someone you love dies can either honor or dishonor them. And so for me, that was a super important thing. How I was going to go through this, the choices I was going to make, I wanted to do it in a way that would honor William and also honor what happened. And so, yeah, "What would Willie want?" it's just a question I always ask. What would he want me to do? Would he want me to do something stupid? Would he want me to not have a happy life? No, he would want me to live my life to its fullest, to live my life in a way that perhaps he couldn't because his life was cut short. And so that's been my positive reframe. It's taking this love that I know my son had for me, and I just kind of use him as my own coach. He's always cheerleading me on.
It is such a great north star where you just think about, and I think you had this great point, it's like if you find yourself in their place that just, and I think it was your wish for someone, what would that person want from me? You'll be able to take the love and compassion that they've had and turn it inward and do unto others and that whole concept. It's such a liberating north star, you just keep things simple.
Exactly. Yeah, it's funny, in my coaching, there's so many times where an executive has had a tough time making this decision or that decision. Assuming they had kids, or even if they didn't, but let's assume they did, I say, "Well, what advice would you give your child? Well, give that to yourself." Right?
Yeah. It's so much easier to point it outwards. It's still hard to point it outwards, but if you do that circular motion, it can really be something that just makes things so much clearer and easier. I read that, and that was one of the... I've got three pages of notes from your book, and that's one of them that really struck to me. I think a lot of us and a lot of our listeners here can realize we've probably spent a lot of time making things more difficult than they need to be on ourselves and on others. Part of the mantra for the name of this podcast as a quick aside, is it's just a philosophy I came up with, this karma school, in this case of business. There's a karma scope of life, and mostly it's just like, you know what? Just do good things with and for good people, and the world tends to be so much easier and spin on its own axis. The point there is something that it's 100% part of that and more.
Yeah. I think you're right, we do make things harder than need to be for ourselves. And then what happens then is you make it harder for others. I do think finding a way to positively reframe a situation, taking some time to actually pause and reflect on how to do that, I think all of that, it all ties together.
100%. I think this has been incredibly impactful for all of us. One of the takeaways I have is, and it's probably a bad metaphor, but this whole... I think we all live in cocoons in our everyday life, and then sometimes in very utterly tragic situations. I think what you've portrayed here, no matter who you are, is this way that you can break out and live every day as the first day of the rest of your life. That was always a saying we had as kids, like, "First day of the rest of your life." And in some ways, that's what also put me on this hamster wheel, so it's not perfect metaphor.
No, I think it all requires balance. I think it's okay to be driven, to be motivated, I mean, none of that is bad. And it's also good every so often to maybe step off the hamster wheel and just check in with yourself and ask the question, "Is this the way I want to live every day for the rest of my life?" I even say it in the book, I think asking these types of questions at different intervals in one's life or even through the course of a year are important, because it's when we don't ask those questions that we just get stuck on the wheel. And then life passes by, and oftentimes that leads to some form of regret.
I think that's incredibly wise. Maybe to bring things kind of to a full circle here, since you've gone through this experience, since you've written the book, what's happened since? Maybe tell us a little bit about your company and your family and those types of things.
Yeah, it's been a big year, let's say. I released the book November 7th of 2023, so that's been exciting, just get the book into the world. The reception has been great, and so that's been a whole new learning experience for me. In addition to writing a book, I also started my own executive coaching and leadership development firm called Mirrorbox Leadership Lab with a dear partner and colleague of mine. That's just getting underway. We're looking to serve clients in businesses of all shapes and sizes and really bring in a lot of the concepts in my book to life. We use the mirror as a metaphor for reflection, because if we don't reflect, then again, we just stay on the hamster wheel and life passes us by. So that's a bit of the type of work we're looking to do with my firm.
On the family front, when William died, for a moment we were a family of three. Our then younger son, Kai, was an only child. But a year and a half after William died, we were fortunate to be able to bring into the world our third son, Bodhi, who is now three and a half years old. And so I'm back in that stage of life with a toddler and then also an 11-year-old, but both are doing great. They're fighting like cats and dogs, which sometimes annoys the hell out of me, but I'm actually very grateful for it because it just means that my son, Kai, has a sibling, and they will always be a presence for each other in that way. And then my wife is doing really well too. She started a non-for-profit organization called The William's Be Yourself Challenge, which the mission of that organization is to empower children to find the courage to be themselves. Be yourself was the big mantra of William, so we're trying to just honor him and his ethos with that non-for-profit.
That's great. So how can our listeners get the book and get in touch with both your company and your non-for-profit organization?
The book can be purchased on Amazon, or really anywhere books are sold. If you have a local bookstore, you could certainly have them order it for you, if that's your preference. But Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Goodreads, really anywhere books are sold. If you want to learn more about the book or me as an author, I have a website called meetnickshaw.com. My business website, it's definitely a long name, but it's mirrorboxleadershiplab.com, and there you can learn everything about the company, our philosophy, and the work we do. And then if you are interested in the non-for-profit that we created, it's called thewilliamsbeyourselfchallenge.org.
That's wonderful. We'll also include all of those links in the episode notes. The last thing I mentioned from I think was a wonderful, wonderful book is that there's this beautiful poem on the last page of the book called My Wish for You. I wrote it down, and it's actually sitting in front of my desk because it's really impactful. I think when listeners get the book, I think they're going to like it too. And so I hope that maybe like me with most books where I too often flip to the last page first, in this case, it'll be a really good way to start as well. It's an incredibly uplifting, encouraging poem.
Yeah, yeah. Well, it's kind of cool, actually. So if that is your inclination, then you'll be met with a poem. I didn't intend it that way, but why not, right?
Human nature, people flip it like, "Oh, whoa?"
"My Wish For You, what is this all about?" Yeah, no, that is my wish for my readers, is to live their lives to their fullest, to realize that this life we have isn't forever. I say this to my clients all the time, this ain't no dress rehearsal, this is it. And so be intentional about the choices you make for you, your loved ones, and everybody you interact with.
That's, I think, a wonderful sentiment and a good lesson. Nick, thank you so much for joining us today. Certainly I and all of our listeners are and we'll be better for it, so thanks so much.
Thank you, Sean. I appreciate it.
Very special thanks to Nick for joining. If you'd like to learn more about Nick, his book, My Teacher, My Son, or William's Be Yourself Challenge, please see the episode notes for links. Please continue to look for us anywhere you find your favorite podcasts, including Apple, Google, and Spotify. We truly appreciate your support. If you like what you hear, please follow, rate, review, and share. It really helps us when you do this, so thank you in advance. In the meantime, if you need to be connected with the world's best-in-class private equity grade professional service providers, independent consultants, interim executives, or anything else, give us a call or visit our website at bluwave.net, B-L-U-W-A-V-E.net, and we'll support your success onward.
BluWave Founder & CEO Sean Mooney hosts the Private Equity Karma School of Business Podcast. BluWave is the business builders’ network for private equity grade due diligence and value creation needs.
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06:29 - Founding of Antares Capital - Eric recounts the creation of Antares Capital, its pioneering approach to private credit, and the strategic vision that drove its success.
09:23 - Innovations in Private Credit - Discussion on the innovative financing solutions introduced by Antares, including sponsor-focused lending and the development of the Unitranche loan structure.
15:41 - Transition to Blue Sea Capital - Eric talks about his decision to retire, the interim consulting period, and what ultimately led him to accept a partner role at Blue Sea Capital, focusing on industrial growth.
25:05 - Value Creation at Blue Sea Capital - Learn about Blue Sea Capital's approach to driving growth in portfolio companies, including the development of an executive network and leveraging strategic acquisitions.
31:06 - Eric's Personal Reading Recommendations - Eric shares his personal reading preferences, emphasizing the importance of leisure reading alongside professional studies to stimulate different parts of the brain.
For more information about Blue Sea Capital, go to www.blueseacapital.com.
For more information about Eric Hansen, go to www.linkedin.com/in/eric-hansen510.
For more information about BluWave and this podcast, go to www.bluwave.net/podcasts.
This episode is a treasure trove of insights for anyone interested in the dynamics of finance, the transformative impact of private equity, and the career trajectories of industry veterans who have significantly influenced today's investment landscape.
Please subscribe to the Karma School of Business Podcast for more episodes like this, and leave us a review if you find our content valuable. Stay tuned for our next episode, where we continue to uncover the critical elements of business success in the realm of private equity.
Private Equity Innovator of the Year: Kevin McAllister, Access Holdings
Dive into the transformative world of private equity in this insightful episode of the Karma School of Business Podcast, featuring Kevin McAllister, the visionary Founder and Managing Partner at Access Holdings. Honored as BluWave's 2024 Private Equity Innovator of the Year, Kevin discusses the innovative strategies that propel Access Holdings to industry leadership.
01:22 - Exploring the Access Acceleration Center - Kevin provides a glimpse into their high-tech private equity office, where technology and data analytics drive value creation.
10:28 - Evolution from Fundless Sponsor to Market Leader - Learn about the growth trajectory of Access Holdings and the strategic vision that guided their rise to prominence.
20:38 - Commitment to Corporate Citizenship - Kevin delves into how Access Holdings embeds social responsibility into their ethos, aligning business success with community impact.
30:01 - Fueling Growth and Employment - A conversation on the targeted growth strategies Access Holdings employs to support their portfolio companies and stimulate job creation.
37:53 - The Culture of Learning and Innovation - Kevin speaks on the importance of nurturing a learning environment that encourages innovation and keeps the firm agile in a competitive landscape.
To learn more about Access Holdings, go to www.accessholdings.com
To learn more about BluWave's 2024 Top Private Equity Innovator Awards, and Access Holdings as our Innovator of the Year, go to www.bluwave.net/awards
To learn more about Kevin McAllister, go to https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-mcallister-5979347
To learn more about BluWave and this podcast, go to www.bluwave.net/podcast
Key Insights & Takeaways:
In this episode, Kevin McAllister shares a wealth of knowledge on how Access Holdings' commitment to research, technology, and data analytics has redefined their approach to private equity. Listeners will learn about the importance of selecting markets with persistent tailwinds and the strategic deployment of resources to build competitive advantages within portfolio companies. Kevin also emphasizes the significance of corporate social responsibility, not just as a mandate, but as a core component of building a sustainable and successful business. By focusing on job creation and supporting Main Street America, Access Holdings exemplifies how private equity can be a force for positive economic change. Furthermore, Kevin's insights into fostering a culture of continuous learning underscore the firm's ability to remain at the cutting edge of private equity innovation.
Private Equity Spotlight: Building Success with Tim Schulte of Council Capital
Join the Karma School of Business Podcast, as host Sean Mooney sits down with Tim Schulte, Partner at Council Capital, to explore the nuanced world of private equity and the art of business growth. Tim's diverse background, from consulting to startups, has shaped his approach to value creation and investment in the healthcare sector.
1:37 - From History Major to PE Partner: Tim Schulte's Unique Journey
8:41 - Key Traits for Investment: Council Capital's Market-Team-Company Framework
12:46 - Value Creation: Council Capital's Collaborative and Respectful Approach
19:41 - Innovating PE Deal Sourcing: Executive in Residence and AI Tools
23:58 - Life Lessons from Literature: Tim's Influential Book Recommendations
For more information on Council Capital, go to www.councilcapital.com.
For more information on Tim Schulte, go to www.linkedin.com/in/timothyrobertschulte.
For more information on BluWave and this podcast, go to www.bluwave.net/podcast.
In this enriching episode, Tim delves into the significance of market selection, the power of teamwork, and the strategic role of company potential in achieving long-term success. He also sheds light on Council Capital's CEO Council, Executive in Residence program, and their forward-thinking use of AI to streamline the investment process.
Beyond business acumen, Tim shares personal insights, including his commitment to community through Nashville Classical and his affectionately earned nickname. He also offers book recommendations that provide profound reflections on life's finite resources and the importance of balancing wealth, health, and time.
Join us for a conversation that not only charts Tim Schulte's path through the financial sector but also imparts actionable wisdom for business builders and investors alike. Whether you're a seasoned PE professional or an entrepreneur seeking growth, this episode is filled with valuable takeaways and inspiring ideas for the future.