Make People Feel Comfortable — My father had remarkable gifts as a leader. He was able to make people feel comfortable — employees, customers, famous people and event people he didn’t know. He led thousands of employees, but treated everyone exactly the same — from the janitors all the way up to his senior staff.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Allison Maslan, founder of Pinnacle Global Network®, which offers business mentorship and mastermind programs to entrepreneurs who want to accelerate their growth, capitalize on their success, and balance it all with a meaningful life. Allison is also the author of two #1 Best Selling books: “Blast Off!: The Surefire Success Plan to Launch Your Dreams into Reality” and her newest book “Scale or Fail: How to Build Your Dream Team, Explode Your Growth, and Let Your Business Soar.” Visit www.AllisonMaslan.com.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I started my first business in college and, by the age of 25, I was already running my own national advertising and public relations firm. My clients included Fortune 100 companies such as Supercuts, Ben & Jerry’s, and Charlotte Russe. I was making great money, but I was working night and day. I should have been on top of the world, but I had no life of my own and, honestly, I felt miserable.
I recognized that my business needed a new model to continue its growth beyond my own individual efforts, but I didn’t know how. Years later, after a powerful wake-up call resulting from a near-fatal car accident and a failing marriage, I made a life-changing decision to walk away from the lucrative agency that was starving my soul and figure out how to get there — whatever that ultimately was going to mean.
The result was that I developed an innovative method of scaling that led to a much more impactful and meaningful business path, both personally and monetarily. I took a risk and have never looked back. Instead, I’ve moved forward to achieve even greater success through building and scaling nine additional businesses, generating millions of dollars. It is of even greater personal importance to me that along the way I’ve developed a business mentoring company that has helped thousands of other business owners around the world realize their full potential.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I vividly remember my moment of self-realization. I was so busy dealing with my projects, my top to-dos, and all the other minutiae I had going on. I looked through my office window at my team. They were busy talking among themselves. I had absolutely no idea what they were doing. Likewise, I’m sure they had no idea what I was doing. We were all over the place. Yes, we all had goals and projects, but nothing was integrated. As a result, they seemed lost and confused. I felt frustrated because they weren’t getting things done the way I wanted them to. One of my employees even said, “You are like a red Ferrari and we are running so fast trying to keep up with you.”
Wow, I thought, I am truly sucking at being a leader right now. I had to admit that the discombobulated culture was my fault. I wasn’t leading the team; I was managing and directing them, which is quite different. The team needed more communication, guidance, support, independence, and, most important, inspiration.
At that moment, I made a conscious decision that I was going to shift from being a boss to becoming a leader. Once I believed I had achieved this over time, I strived to become a great leader — which really is a never-ending goal.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
When I was making the decision to begin mentoring other business owners I was surprised to find so many coaches did not have much business experience, except for their coaching business. For myself personally, if I am hiring a mentor, I want to make sure they have been in the trenches of running and building a company so that they would have the wisdom and experience to share.
This truly sets us apart. Not only have I run 10 companies, my team of CEOs that mentor our clients have all built successful companies, and many of them have also successfully sold and exited companies as well. They understand the challenges and opportunities that business owners face so they can dive right into supporting and guiding the client’s journey.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
My new book, “Scale or Fail” is the first and only book on scaling a business written by a woman. It shows business owners how to grow, replicate, and expand while at the same time building a self-managed company they can step away from for periods of time as it continues to soar.
Also, our big event, Level-Up LIVE, is happening Jan. 18–20 in San Diego. This event attracts business owners from all over the world. We take three days and build your “business blueprint” for the entire year. You leave with clarity and confidence that your year is set with your plans for marketing, sales, team, leadership, revenue streams and more. This is our eighth year and it attracts over 500 business owners. The details are here: www.LevelUpLiveEvent.com
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
You, as the leader, are the visionary. It is up to you to attract and surround yourself with creative talent and how-to experts who can transform your vision into reality. That includes your taking the lead to build a culture that aligns your team with your big picture vision and feeds off your passion and energy.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
In order to be a successful leader, you must create a “radically awesome” company culture. I call this “the vibe of your tribe.” It will drive the happiness of your team, your clients, and even you. People want to work for and with companies that have a strong vibe.
My team is always number one. I believe in them, take care of them, and show my appreciation to them every day. If they are happy, feel like they are well treated and respected, and enjoy being part of a cool company culture, they will try to take even better care of our customers.
Alliance must be your team’s mantra. We all have different personalities and bring something unique to the table. Everyone needs to respect those differences and be open to creativity and opinions from each other. Here’s the thing: You set the example from the top. If you don’t demonstrate leadership in this fashion, the team alliance will never happen.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am a big believer in having mentors. I continue to have a coach and will always do so. As they say, new level, new devil, so having the support is crucial. My father was my biggest inspiration. He built the largest chain of women’s clothing stores in the US in his time and he has such a passion for his work. He used to say, “if you want something, go create it yourself.” I still hear his voice In my ear today. Thanks, Dad!
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I feel all of my companies have made a positive impact. I was a homeopathic physician for 20 years and helped thousands of people heal. Now, with my business mentoring company, we help them reach their dreams. Nothing better than that!
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why?
- Make People Feel Comfortable — My father had remarkable gifts as a leader. He was able to make people feel comfortable — employees, customers, famous people and event people he didn’t know. He led thousands of employees, but treated everyone exactly the same — from the janitors all the way up to his senior staff.
- Face The Fear and Make The Leap — Most leaders are sitting on two or three big decisions at any given time in their lives. Even if you make a wrong decision, it’s still the right decision because you’re moving forward.
- Great Leaders Always Listen — Use the effective technique known as active listening to make it clear that you hear those speaking to you, which allows trust to build.
- You Deserve Success — Leaders must work on their confidence all the time. They have to be able to handle the entrepreneurial rollercoaster.
- Lead With Heart and Character — Every interaction with your employees is an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you are a great leader.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I am working on this now. In my company, Pinnacle Global Network, we have a community of business owners around the world that support one another to grow and scale their companies. The number of people they impact with their ideas, innovations and breakthroughs is astounding and so inspiring. I am so proud of all of them. Their generosity and spirit of giving is what drives this movement.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I love this quote by Henry David Thoreau:
“All good things are wild and free.” To me that says, to be free you must be true to yourself. You must speak your truth and live in alignment on the inside and out. I live by this quote every single day. The day I am not passionate about my work is the day I am done.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Find me on Twitter @AllisonMaslan, on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllisonsFans, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/AllisonMaslan.
Thank you so much for these inspiring insights!
Thanks for your insightful questions, Akemi! I appreciate the opportunity.