page title icon The Morning Upgrade Podcast Featuring Greg Lewis

Welcome to episode #3 of The Morning Upgrade Podcast. This week, I’m speaking to Greg Lewis, the owner of the Tennessee Center for Family Business. We talk about our common interest in family-run businesses. Greg talks about his hobbies, passion to help other businesses, and how loves to get up early to enjoy time in nature.

Top Points In This Episode

  1. Fill in your learning gaps in business by bringing in experts that can handle the tasks. 
  2. Recognize golden opportunities and take them so you can reach your business goals.
  3. Surround yourself with others that are where you want to get so you can learn from them.

Links & Resources

Connect with Greg Lewis at the Tennessee Center For Family Business

Share link for this episode 

Find The Books Mentioned on Kindle or Audible

Leadership in Turbulent Times

QBQ The Question Behind The Question 

One Minute Manager

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Transcription of this Episode

Announcer:

Welcome to the morning upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote. Where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan Cote:

Hey Everyone, this Ryan Cote. Thanks for listening to the morning upgrade podcast. Today I have with me, Greg Lewis. Hey Greg.

Greg Lewis:

Hey Ryan. Thanks so much for inviting me to be your guest today.

Ryan Cote:

Yea, absolutely. I’m excited to talk to you. Why don’t you start off by telling my audience who you are, what you do, and then what you enjoy and what your interests are?

Greg Lewis:

Well, that’s a great question. I’m really a multitude of things. I’m a husband and a father, a serial entrepreneur, a family business consultant, a podcast host, and a speaker. My wife, Jennifer, and I created the Tennessee center for family business and the family business mastermind with three simple goals. The first one we wanted to create a positive environment in which families thrive and their business performs, to prepare the next generation of family business leaders. And finally, most importantly, to help families create an enduring legacy. For over 30 years, I’ve been involved in business and mostly in family business. So my experience working in our own family businesses has really made me a valuable resource to other family business executives, dealing with unique challenges of working together in a family business and planning for a successful transition. 

I host the family business podcast, where we interview local and national family business owners, as well as top family business experts on topics relevant to family business leaders. I have a passion for working with the next generation of entrepreneurs and family business leaders. I serve as a master mentor at the Nashville entrepreneur center, as well as a mentor in residence at the laundry center for innovation and entrepreneurship at Vanderbilt University. From a personal standpoint, I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Jennifer. Jennifer is a family counselor, a career coach, and co-founder and president of the Tennessee center for family business. And yes, Ryan, we are a family business. On a lighter note though, she played basketball for (Inaudible 02:17) while attending the University of Tennessee. We have three daughters Jessica, her husband, Chad, and our grandson Fletcher lives in Redlands, California. Chad and Jessica are both English professors at California state university. Our daughter, Becca lives up in Boston where she’s an actor and Elizabeth lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is a global brand manager at Bridgestone USA. Jennifer and I live in Williamson County, Tennessee near Franklin with our golden retriever giggles. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. We like getting out on the river, kayaking, and hiking, and I love cooking.

Ryan Cote:

That’s awesome, sounds like you love life. We have a lot of things in common too. As we were speaking before we started recording, Ballantine, my family’s marketing agency. I’m the third generation. I have three daughters, which we did not discuss. Why don’t we talk about your business? Let’s go towards entrepreneurship, you know, running your business and you can answer this. I know you had company with your father, then you had your own packaging company and then you’ve got the mastermind for family businesses. So whatever is the right one to speak of here, but what’s the hardest thing you’ve had to deal with in business. And how did you handle it? Mindset or action you took?

Greg Lewis:

You know, it’s a great question. I think for me, and really, I think it’s for a lot of boomers who are out there, is the greatest challenge is that technology is moving at warp speed. Especially today with the pandemic has really accelerated technology, we need to really work virtually more today. I’m working virtually with our clients all the time. So I’m really surrounding myself with a really tech-savvy group of trusted advisors right now, which allows me more time to focus on the vision and serving our customers well. It’ll be very easy for me to try to learn it all by myself but I really find that working with advisors that can help you in those areas. And while I mentor next generation leaders, I also have a number of mentors of myself, 20 and 30 somethings who really understand the technology and how it’s used in the marketplace.

Ryan Cote:

I think a lot of us are in the same boat, you know, Zoom’s customer base just exploded just for the pandemic. Everyone having to get used to video chat, audio quality, the background that’s in your office or wherever you’re taking the call. It’s just forced us all to, I guess, up our technology game. The morning upgrade podcasts, it’s about personal development and growth. I’m a huge fan of morning routines. I’ve got my own morning routine that I do, that I’ve constantly fine-tuned. Do you have a morning routine? If yes. What does it look like?

Ryan Cote:

Well, Ryan, I’m really a morning person, so I love getting up early and I’d say I get up when the sun comes up and this time of year, that’s very early in the morning. So I usually make a beeline for the coffee pot and make me a pot of coffee and then I’ve got a favorite place out on the patio where I sat down and watched the sun come up. I love birds so I’ve got bird feeders, but really, this time of year, I’m loving all the hummingbirds who are coming in and I love to read good books. So most of the books I’m reading right now has something to do with leadership or personal development. I usually have several going to one time and I can’t read but one at a time, but I (Inaudible 05:49) one time. And right now though, I’m reading Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Leadership in Turbulent Times, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, which is really appropriate for the turbo times we are in right now.

Ryan Cote:

I’m actually familiar with this second book you mentioned, Turbulent Times. It’s a long read, but it’s definitely worth it. Are there any other leadership books that you recommend that comes in front of your mind in terms of worth recommending?

Ryan Cote:

I think QBQ, the question behind the question is really a great one. A lot of times what I find in businesses is that we tried to pass excuses off to other people, but really the question behind the question is, is what are you being held accountable for yourself and making decisions. And especially in a family business, many times we can blame somebody else when really the only person that you can change and you can control is yourself. Of course, Ken Blanchard, the one minute manager, is a very dear friend of mine. And Ken’s the author of one minute manager, which is probably one of the most-read leadership books in the world. And I love what he says that profits are the applause we receive by serving our customers and our employees well. And so it really flips that paradigm, we’re not focused on profits we’re really focused on serving. So the whole idea of serving leadership is so important there.

Ryan Cote:

I know I’ve read Ken’s one minute salesman, I think I read that one. I’m not sure if I read the one minute manager, I’ll put it on my list. I like his books because they’re easy to read. It’s not, I don’t know, maybe like a hundred pages. It’s a quick read

Greg Lewis:

Ken and I always laugh when we talk, his books are usually about a 90-minute read, they’re parables. And so they’re easy to read and their story storytelling and surprising enough, he’s written about 80 books, but only about three of those, he’s actually been the author himself. He’s actually written the rest of them, co-op and with someone else. And he says that he gets energy and creativity out of working together with someone else on writing a book.

Ryan Cote:

I love parables, that’s my favorite way to consume business content. So you’ve run a few different companies over your career. Are there any tips or anything you’ve learned from running your businesses or tips that you can share?

Greg Lewis:

You know, I think one of the things we have to as business owners or whatever it is, is we have to keep our eyes open for opportunities. And certainly, during a pandemic, there are companies that are doing great and there are companies that are not doing great. So I suppose I’d have to do that with a question. Have you ever had a golden opportunity stare you in the face and you look back and realized you’ve missed it? I know I’ve done it. And what made it even worse for me was when I did it as the owner of my own business, probably know what I’m talking about. You make a bad call and it affects your family and your business equally. That’s even more so in a family business because if it affects your business it does affect your family. So, Ryan, I don’t know about you, but I’m  making the same mistake over and over. Sometimes though, I think we need to surround ourselves with people who see things a lot differently so that they can help us to see them differently. You know, that’s what I do and I’m sure that’s what you do. And I would really recommend any of your listeners is make sure they surround themselves with other people who may have experienced the same things they have, maybe have made the same mistakes that they have to minimize the mistakes that you make, but also to help you see those golden opportunities that are right there in front of your face and be able to take advantage of them.

Ryan Cote:

I love that answer. I love masterminds, you know, being around like-minded people and that will hold you accountable and just see things you might not see. It leads to huge, huge things, things, huge next step for any business owner, that’s looking to improve their business. I’ve got one more question for you and then I’d like you to share with the best way for people to learn more about you if they want to connect with you recently, or semi-recently, I’ve been thinking about more what the perfect day looks like, especially with COVID and just have more time to think. So I kind of have my elements of a perfect day. What does that look like for you, a realistic per day? Obviously, we’d all love to go somewhere fantastic and have great food, but for your average day what’s the perfect day look like for you?

Greg Lewis:

Yeah. That’s a great question and I think it goes back to what I was talking about earlier about Ken Blanchard and about servant leadership. You know, in my earlier years in business and everything, it was all about, I, I, I, I did this, I got that, whatever. A dear friend of mine, Mr. Eugene Heller was a mentor of mine when I was first getting started in business. And when I said that he said, are you doing this all by yourself? And obviously, the answer is no. So I often say that my passion is really about serving others in the marketplace and having fun doing it. I have a goal of helping at least one person each day by either listening to what’s keeping them awake at night or connecting them to someone I know in my network that I believe can benefit them. At the end of the day, I really enjoy spending time with Jennifer, my wife, over a great home-cooked meal and sharing stories with each other from our day, and visioning what the teacher has in store for us and our family.

Ryan Cote:

Excellent. Thanks for sharing that. That’s definitely, some of the elements of my perfect day are some of what you said. So why don’t you tell everyone how they can find out more about you, what’s the best website they can visit to learn more about you and your business?

Greg Lewis:

Sure. Well, I’m Greg Lewis from music city USA, Nashville, Tennessee. You can find out more about the Tennessee center for family business at www.tmcsfb.com or the family business mastermind at www.thefamilybusinessmastermind.com.

Ryan Cote:

Great. Thanks, Greg.

Greg Lewis:

Well, thank you so much Ryan for having me today and if I can ever be of service to you, how may I serve you today? Thank you.

Ryan Cote:

Thanks, everyone for listening and we’ll talk to you soon. Thank you.

Announcer:

Thanks for listening to the morning upgrade podcast, please subscribe and review, and don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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