The Value Creators Podcast Episode #23. Moshik Temkin on Leadership By Warriors, Rebels, and Saints – Leadership Wisdom from the Pages of History

Moshik Temkin is a historian who offers an alternative perspective on leadership. He asks, do leaders make history or does history make leaders? Those two forces can’t be separated. While leaders contribute to shaping history, they are also molded by powerful historical forces. This nuanced perspective is evident in analyses of historical figures like FDR, Margaret Thatcher, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X, emphasizing the role of circumstances in leadership’s response to complex historical challenges, ultimately leading to significant changes in their respective nations. The conversation explores moral leadership in the civil rights movement, comparing the approaches of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Despite their distinct styles, both leaders shared a commitment to collective progress and justice, challenging the prevailing emphasis on individual success. Temkin addresses the ethical dilemmas leaders encounter during crises, prompting reflection on the justifiability of extreme measures for the sake of victory.

How does this discussion contribute to the question of leadership in business? Leadership is subjective. We look to those who we feel can guide us, whether in politics or business. There are principles that cross both fields.


Knowledge Capsule:

Leadership Perspectives:

  • Moshik Temkin explores the complex relationship between leaders and historical context, emphasizing that leaders both make history and are influenced by historical forces.
  • Rejecting a simplistic view of leadership, Temkin suggests that circumstances and historical momentum often shape the significance of individual leaders.

Individual Leaders in Historical Events:

  • Examining historical figures like FDR, Margaret Thatcher, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X, Temkin highlights how leaders interact with historical events and crises.
  • While acknowledging the impact of individuals, he emphasizes the role of historical circumstances in determining the success or failure of leadership.

Moral Leadership and Collective Progress:

  • Delving into the civil rights movement, Temkin discusses the contrasting leadership styles of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
  • Both leaders, despite their differences, shared a commitment to collective progress and justice, emphasizing the importance of leaders focusing on the well-being of the entire community rather than individual success.

Transformative Leadership:

  • Temkin underscores the concept of “transformational leadership” by citing examples such as FDR and Margaret Thatcher, leaders who brought significant changes to their respective nations during critical periods.
  • These leaders exhibited the ability to transform existing structures and navigate through complex historical challenges.

Leadership and Decision-Making in Crises:

  • Temkin explores the difficult decisions leaders face in times of crisis, referencing instances like the decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan during World War II.
  • The conversation touches on the ethical dilemmas leaders encounter, questioning the justifiability of extreme measures in the pursuit of victory in war.

Leadership’s Collective Impact:

  • Acknowledging that leaders play a role in shaping history, Temkin emphasizes the collective impact of historical forces and societal structures on the emergence and effectiveness of leadership.
  • The conversation prompts reflection on how understanding historical context is crucial for comprehending the complexities of leadership.

The Value Creators Podcast Episode #22 Cynthia Kay on Small Business, Big Success

We live in a video age, which opens up a vast array of entrepreneurial pathways. Video is a field for open-ended free creative expression, as well as for tightly managed business tools built for ROI. It’s the ideal field for creative entrepreneurial small business innovators. Cynthia Kay of CK and CO is both a business founder and CEO of a video production business, and a consultant and advisor to small businesses. She shared some of her insights and a preview of her 2024 book Small Business Big Success. 


CK’s business resources site:

Books you can buy now:

Cynthia Kay’s upcoming 2024 Book – Small Business, Big Success:

Knowledge Capsule:

Value Proposition:

  • Like any other entrepreneurial business, a video production business needs a compelling value proposition.
  • A value proposition is always about meeting customer needs – what need are they filling by paying for video production?
  • No matter how creative, video production must offer a customer value that exceeds perceived costs. It must make customers feel proud and fulfilled, and give them a sense of standing out from the crowd.
  • This often includes educating them on how to use a supplier’s services, e.g. the many different benefits and values available from one video shoot.

Operational Excellence:

  • High creativity does not in any way reduce the need for a video production business – or any small businesses –  to prioritise operational excellence.
  • Customer expectations of excellence are high, no matter the size of the supplier they choose.
  • CK advocates the use of top notch systems, procedures, and automation to enhance overall efficiency. Build the back room to be as strong and dependable as possible. Every business can deploy the best systems.
  • Owners must be in the operational trenches.

Return on Investment (ROI) Challenges:

  • Calculating  ROI in creative fields is a challenge – but must be done as part of the customer value proposition.
  • There’s such a thing as subjective calculation – e.g. recognizing the role of anecdotal evidence in demonstrating the value of creative services.
  • Focus ROI on the things that matter for customers.

Being the Best in Business:

  • Whatever business you are in, set out to be the best.
  • Making – and living up to – such a claim can be based on multifaceted performance.
  • Consider factors such as understanding client needs, building strong relationships, and optimising the utilisation of budgetary resources.
  • One of CK’s propositions is to be the best at getting the most of a client’s budget, whatever size it is. That’s an excellent “best” claim.

Small Business Success Strategies:

  • Pick your customers carefully – pick those who will love you and those you can grow with.
  • Commit to building relationships over time.
  • Build great teams that are right for the client, and turn them loose.

Supporting Small Businesses:

  • Cynthia Kay not only runs a small business,she plays a big role in helping others and in supporting small businesses in general.
  • She’s actively involved in associations and support groups, and urges other small businesses to do the same.
  • She gives her time to the facilitation of roundtable discussions, and offering advice on common challenges faced by small businesses, including scaling and team development. These kinds of discussions can yield enormous value for participants just by sharing experiences.
  • It’s good for small businesses to support other small businesses and build the business backbone of the neighbourhood, the town, the city, the state and the nation.

The Value Creators Podcast Episode #21. Forging New Relationships Between Entrepreneurs and Capital with LaSean Smith

LaSean Smith outlines a business investment partnership built on permanent capital, emphasizing long-term commitment and trust-building between an investor/source of capital and a business. The discussion covers disciplined methodologies, leadership transitions, and a unique compensation approach using Phantom Stock Shares. LaSean predicts a rise in smaller, values-based companies, and underscores the significance of audience and automation in acquiring and revitalizing brands. 

There can be a shift towards stable, smaller businesses connected to communities, challenging the trend of dominance by larger and larger corporations.

CAGR Investments:

Knowledge Capsule:

Permanent Capital Strategy:

  • There’s an investment strategy and a business strategy based permanent capital. It’s not widely used but has broad potential. It emphasizes the importance of long-term commitment by both the investor and the business. Short-term operational demands are entirely left to the business CEO.
  • LaSean Smith explains the advantages of having an investment structure that accommodates a longed shared journey, building a high degree of trust and confidence.

Operational Approach:

  • LaSean highlights a disciplined methodology to tighten business processes and leverage content-based marketing to assist companies. 
  • Small and mid-sized businesses often miss the great efficiencies available by automating processes. And they waste resources on direct sales and inappropriate marketing tactics.

Leadership Transition:

  • Permanent capital is a long-term investment; it works when there is a corresponding long-term commitment of current operators.
  • Some CEOs may want to avoid continuing in the business, especially in cases where technical founders find themselves dealing with aspects like sales and marketing, which they may not enjoy. Relieving them of that burden may extend their tenure.

Phantom Stock Shares:

  • Permanent capital embraces a unique approach to leadership compensation using Phantom Stock Shares – aligning incentives by granting bonus or dividend shares that compound in value until the leader leaves the company. This helps in providing a simple ownership structure and shared incentives without diluting ownership equity for the investor.

Cash Flow and Value Creation:

  • The conversation delves into the concept of cash flow and value creation, discussing how businesses can fade over time if not innovating. Lasean emphasizes the importance of adding technology and content marketing layers to ensure longevity.

Audience and Automation:

  • The concept of audience and automation is highlighted as a critical factor in the success of businesses, especially those acquiring old brands. Engaging content marketing towards a target audience allows for driving brands through existing supply chains, reducing customer acquisition costs.

The Value Creators Podcast Episode #16. Beverlee Rasmussen On Systems For Organized And Profitable Small Business

A breakthrough technique for Small Business: Don’t manage, build systems. 

Many small business owners experience frustration in trying to manage their businesses. So many things can get in the way of organized and profitable implementation. Management is hard, especially when it involves managing other people. Beverlee Rasmussen has interviewed and coached thousands of small business owners all over the world, and spent 10,000 hours developing her small business system of systems.

Systems are how things get done. If you build systems, you don’t have to manage people. Beverlee offers systems for every facet of small business: Leadership Systems, Operations Systems, Financial Systems, Team Systems, and Marketing Systems. Those titles might seem like something for big businesses only. But they’re not. Every business owner can design and implement their own systems – and doing so will bring back all the joy and freedom and success that you expected from becoming an entrepreneur.

Don’t manage, build systems.


Beverlee’s latest book: Small Business, Big Opportunity: Systematize Your Business.

Small Business Coach Training

Small Business Field Guide: Organized and Profitable

The Small Business Coach Gameboard

Knowledge Capsule:

Leadership Systems:

  • Leadership systems are essential for maintaining consistency and stability in a small business.
  • Having a leadership system means paying attention to what you measure, control, how you allocate resources, and how you react to incidents.
  • Leaders need to ensure they don’t favor certain employees over others and maintain fairness.
  • Leadership systems are about creating a consistent experience for employees and customers.

Financial Systems:

  • Understanding financial concepts like cash flow, profitability, debt, P&L (Profit and Loss), and balance sheets is crucial for entrepreneurs.
  • Entrepreneurs often struggle to differentiate between cash flow and profitability, which can lead to financial problems.
  • Borrowing money for a small business is acceptable but comes with rules; avoid high-interest traps.
  • Tracking real expenses accurately is vital for borrowing and financial stability.

Operations Systems:

  • Effective operational systems enable a business to run efficiently and independently of its owner.
  • Having documented processes and checklists for various operations ensures consistency and reduces errors.
  • Adaptation and change are part of small businesses, so having systems in place can help pivot and respond effectively.
  • Operational systems are crucial for scaling and maintaining high-quality service.

Organization Systems:

  • Organizational systems include structure, job roles, and defining how things are done within a business.
  • Position agreements and clear expectations for employees help in reducing frustrations and improving productivity.
  • A system for compensation is essential for profitability and stability.
  • Understanding your target market and catering marketing efforts to specific customer segments is part of organization systems.

Marketing Systems:

  • Effective marketing systems require a deep understanding of your target market and consistent messaging.
  • Avoid falling into the trap of chasing the latest marketing trends without understanding your customers.
  • Making and consistently keeping promises to customers is crucial; going above and beyond creates a memorable experience.
  • Marketing should be based on a value proposition and understanding customers’ emotional and product needs.

In summary, Beverlee emphasizes the importance of systems thinking in leadership, finance, operations, organization, and marketing for small business success. Systems provide consistency, stability, and adaptability, allowing entrepreneurs to achieve prosperity and freedom in their businesses.

The Value Creators Podcast: Episode #11. James Burstall On The Flexible Method

There’s a considerable debate among consultants and academics regarding the definition of management: what is it? Is it a science, is it a process, is it a set of tools that business schools teach us how to use? 

In this episode, James Burstall comes on to explain his perspective on management as a mindset (the interacting mindsets of many different people in many different circumstances in fact)  as proposed in his new book titled The Flexible Method: Prepare To Prosper In the Next Global Crisis.


James Burstall’s Production Group – Argonon

James Burstall’s Book: The Flexible Method: Prepare To Prosper In The Next Global Crisis

Knowledge Capsule:

  1. Introduction to the Flexible Method:
  • “Flexible Method” is an approach tailored to managing uncertainties in business.
  • Central components include adaptability and radical determination, combined to form a powerful decision-making framework.
  • This method encourages an open-minded approach to research, teamwork, and resolute action for decision-making.

Action: Elevate responsiveness to change over planning.

  1. Radical Determination and Decision-Making:
  • Making and committing to decisions is crucial in the Flexible Method.
  • Teams need to reach a consensus and show unwavering determination.
  • Tough decisions are embraced and executed with full resolve.

Action: Don’t just make decisions, commit to them, and get team commitment.

  1. Adaptiveness and Scanning for Opportunities:
  • Radical determination is about executing decisions; adaptiveness involves identifying opportunities.
  • Scanning the horizon for changing circumstances is vital.
  • A case from the credit crunch illustrates the need to be open to new avenues.

Action: Where possible, anticipate change in the form of an opportunity space.

  1. Cash Flow as a Critical Metric:
  • Cash flow is the most critical business health metric, needing respect and management.
  • Managing finances during crises involves making tough decisions.
  • Strategies to retain relationships and sustain the business are discussed.

Action: Measure your business’s health with cash flow and cash availability.

  1. Entrepreneurial Mindset and Restlessness:
  • Organizations in crisis operate like startups.
  • Restlessness is essential for fostering an entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Embracing change, creativity, and innovation is emphasized.

Action: All business is entrepreneurial, not managerial.

  1.  Leadership, Care for People, and Reflection:
  • Leadership involves emotional intelligence, authenticity, and prioritizing people.
  • Values like diversity, inclusion, and environmental responsibility are retained.
  • Gratitude, rewards, and reflection play a role in the Flexible Method.

Action: Caring brings resilience to business.

The Value Creators Podcast Episode #10. John Tamny Entrepreneurs Don’t Meet Needs, They Lead Them

Entrepreneurs aren’t just about meeting needs; they’re all about setting trends and leading the way. Think of the big names like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Sam Altman. They don’t just follow the usual business rules; they rewrite them. So, how do they actually pull it off?

In his talk, John Tamny will take us on a journey to see how entrepreneurs, the minds that redefine industries, shake things up by tackling needs that haven’t been addressed yet. He’s all about those game-changers who see opportunities where others don’t.  

Show Notes:

0:00 | Introduction

1:22 | Entrepreneurs

2:00 | Entrepreneurial Thinking

3:36 | Entrepreneurs Leading the Future

5:06 | Mindset of an Entrepreneur

6:26 | Characteristics of Entrepreneurs

8:23 | Changes Lead Businesses

11:18 | Entrepreneurs Think Differently

14:06 | Hidden Entrepreneurs

15:55 | Big Companies are Not Entrepreneurial

18:42 | Institutional Entrepreneurship

22:54 | Creating New Knowledge for People

24:12 | The Idea of Capitalism

26:15 | Understanding Causation

32:31 | The Idea of Next-Generation Entrepreneurs

34:30 | Crypto Revolution

36:40 | Outro

Knowledge Capsule

  1. Entrepreneurship and Progress:
    • Entrepreneurship is that fundamental element of human nature that drives progress and innovation.
    • The United States has a history of entrepreneurial spirit, with individuals taking risks and pursuing their ideas.
    • Entrepreneurs challenge the status quo, create new value, and drive economic growth. In this sense, they’re oddballs.

Action item: Indulge your oddball entrepreneurial instincts.

  1. Education and Learning:
    • Education is a consequence of prosperity, not the other way around. People who want to learn will seek out knowledge regardless of formal education.
    • The next generation’s access to information and technology will lead to even more innovation and progress.
    • Learning is a choice, and the desire to acquire knowledge and skills is a key driver of success.

Action item:  Use A.I. and other tools as much as possible to accumulate knowledge.

  1. Causation and Expertise:
    • Causation is often misunderstood, with people misinterpreting relationships between events and outcomes.
    • Expertise can sometimes lead to tunnel vision, where experts become entrenched in their own data and assumptions.
    • The market and individual choices provide a more accurate gauge of trends and outcomes than expert opinions.

Action item:  Accept emergence, avoid false assumptions about causation.

  1. Innovation and Global Warming:
    • Innovation arises from individuals (oddballs!) challenging conventional wisdom and exploring unconventional ideas.
    • The assertion that experts are always right is challenged by examples like climate change and sea-level rise. The behavior of the market and individual choices contradict expert predictions.

Action item:  Rely on markets, not experts.

  1. The Next Generation and Private Money:
    • The younger generation is poised to be the richest in history, benefiting from technological advancements and abundance.
    • The rise of private money (perhaps, but not necessarily, in the form of cryptocurrencies could revolutionize the financial landscape by offering more trusted and efficient alternatives to government-issued currency.
    • The ability to circulate money that holds its value and the profit potential in private money creation are driving forces behind this potential shift.

Action item:  Pursue innovation in private money.

  1. Optimism and Capitalism:
    • Capitalism, rooted in individual initiative and free markets, has fueled prosperity and innovation throughout history.
    • While challenges arise, capitalism’s ability to adapt and outpace government intervention is a testament to its enduring strength.
    • Optimism about the future stems from the ongoing creative destruction that entrepreneurs bring to the market, constantly reshaping and improving it.

Action item:  Be an optimistic capitalist.