Episode #89 – Charles McKee – A Curious Mind Inspires Possibility

“I think there’s going to be a much higher primacy placed on trust. Trusting brands. That should inform the way that we in turn respond to our customers. We need to respond more transparently; what happens behind the scenes has to come to the front of the house now.” Charles McKee  

  • Show Notes
  • [02:08] Patrick introduces his next guest, Charles McKee.
  • [03:56] Charlie and Patrick dive right in to discuss the strange times we find ourselves in amid COVID-19.
  • [05:13] Charlie gives us his elevator pitch! What he does, who he works with and now reaching beyond his 30-year career pursuits into new passion projects.
  • [08:06] In the space of marketing and taking on new brand challenges, Charlie takes us through his process of identifying the conundrum, the problem to solve, and the underlying curiosity and confidence to address solutions from less obvious angles. Intuition plays a part, always backed by data.
  • [10:05] Charlie talks about Air Canada and the challenges they faced with a new merger, followed by SARS and 9-11 as an illustration of how an airline company, or any business, can adapt and retool to rise to the challenge and find a way through to emerge stronger.
  • [14:22] Reflecting on the COVID-19 reality now, while considering what a “new world” may look like going forward, Charlie describes the focused response areas and the relevant streams of understanding all businesses will need to contemplate in the context of market demand and client appetite. Patrick and Charlie agree, there is no going back. Transparency and trust will be the fundamental factors.
  • [19:48] Patrick and Charlie discuss the Four Dimensions of Trust as the core components of any relationship. Truth. Reliability. Competence. Care. Together they create an outcome. An outcome of trust that can only be earned.
  • [22:55] Markers of trust between a rental housing provider and a client: being of service, aligning values as part of the screening process and creating a values-based relationship.
  • [26:50] Charlie takes us back to high school and time spent living with a family in Japan, followed by continued East Asian studies at Brown and Harvard, which indirectly lead to an encounter with Richard Branson and an opportunity with a little company called Virgin.
  • [29:58] Charlie shares a lesson he learned while working with Richard Branson.
  • [31:30] From a family of achievers (including his Great Grandmother who was the first president of the Girl Scouts of America and a good friend of Eleanor Roosevelt) and a world of possibility provided by a supportive family, Charlie was encouraged to embrace independent thinking and make the most of the gifts they had been given.
  • [38:30] Charlie gives his perspective of nature and nurture as the underlying drivers of our life path.
  • [39:53] Initially driven by curiosity, interests in sociology, psychology and how it manifests through commerce, Charlie takes us along his early journey and the pivot point that led to a broad unfolding of his capabilities and talents.
  • [42:32] Vulnerability. Through trial and error, and simply getting out and doing it, Charlie came to realize that owning and authentically exhibiting this quality was the most significant part of being a good leader.
  • [45:55] Charlie gives thanks for the great mentors he has had along his journey and the important lessons he learned from each of them. He now finds himself in a position to give back.
  • [47:25] The paradigm of servant leadership aligns with Charlie’s style of empowering his teams to achieve great success.
  • [50:05] Charlie’s definition of success.
  • [51:01] Charlie recounts a story of being psychologically depleted and the existential recharge gifted by a friend that made all the difference.
  • [55:02] What was the most substantial takeaway from that experience that still resonates with Charlie?
  • [60:17] Charlie offers his view of our current global health situation and the possibilities around recovery
  • [63:10] Risk mitigation guidance for business owners now and as we prepare for recovery within a landscape of uncertainty.
  • [68:46] Mindset plays such a massive part of this transformation and Charlie imparts his viewpoint of the building blocks, actions and choices that are needed on the other side of this pandemic.
  • [71:50] Charlie talks about his passion project working with horses and the impacts they feel as a result of the global shutdown.
  • [75:51] Comparison. Charlie shares his fundamental perspective of comparison and achievements and talks about coming of age as an openly gay man.
  • [78:52] Cruising into some rapid fire! Favourite book Charlie likes to gift or share; favourite inspirational quote from Dr. Seuss and a favourite poem from Rudyard Kipling; message at the pearly gates; swear word pass; what Charlie’s not very good at but obsesses over all the same; room-desk-car; favourite tune; favourite Netflix series
  • [83:16] Charlie’s gratitude.

Support the show

To stay up to date with future episodes, enter your email below.