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Aug. 4, 2021

101. Summit 16 - Catherine Cantey - Commit to Something Bigger than Yourself

How to awaken the possibility of creating true shared mission and purpose directed towards a common goal.

Getting people to work together towards a worthy goal requires tremendous leadership.

If we only focus on individual agendas, it can be near impossible to make meaningful progress.

When we help others see a bigger and more expansive vision of how we intend to serve others with our work, we awaken the possibility of creating true shared mission and purpose directed towards a common goal.

It doesn't happen instantaneously, but when we create shared purpose with those around us (co-workers, teammates or family) we ignite the passion and energy necessary to create truly great results and lives.

Catherine will show how you can do this in your community, your workplace and your family.



  • Catherine is a tenacious connector and recovering banker.
  • She is a leadership coach helping high potential managers turn into senior leaders.
  • Catherine’s goal is to partner with individuals and communities to create positive and measurable change.
  • She brings more than 20 years of professional experience in sales, consulting and coaching with focus on results.
  • Catherine is a wife and mom who about closing the broadband gaps in rural communities.







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A lot of people that start things out maybe kind of have an idea of what they're doing. They think they want to do what they're doing. Catherine is an immensely talented person, knows what she's looking to do, to have the big conversations, the important conversations. But she can also focus on what's important to the people, the people she serves and how she can help other people. So I'm so happy to have her here. How are you doing, Catherine?


I'm doing great. How are you?


Wade doing great. Thanks. So good to see you here.


Nice to see you. Thank you so much for having me. I love the energy that you have with the with the speaker. So Al's got the positive energy, Molly. I mean, my God, everything she talked about on sleep, it's like my life. She just summarized in one in 30 minutes. And then I love Bunny and how you got to take time for you. And that's something that I've been learning a lot about. And I can vouch for all this good stuff that the last three folks have been talking about.


I love it.


Yeah, it's like I said, it's it's been interesting. I, I just kept getting better. People are good people and great people every time responding. So for I wasn't sure if I could have an event with this much depth to it, but because of the quality of people we have and what they're doing, we've been able to do that. So thank you for joining us and I'm looking forward to what you're sharing. I'm just going to get out of your way and let you get started.


I'll be here in the background if you need help with anything.


Awesome. Thanks, Wade, and thanks everybody for listening in and letting me just kind of share some of this stuff that's taken me a few years to figure out. So today we're just going to talk a little bit about committing to something bigger than yourself. And just like Al talked about earlier, sometimes you just got to do it. And I am convinced that if you're just going to do it, you have to start with a small win, celebrate the small win and step on to the next next challenge.


So we're going to talk about the importance of the small wins and how that can create momentum that is going to create the change that you are looking for. If it is something small that you're looking for something big, it all starts with something, you know, that first step that you make. So I've got two goals for today. The first goal is I want to be able to either re share information with those of you who are already familiar with some of this.


Maybe you've forgotten one or two of these things. And then the second goal is if you're new to creating change, I'm hoping that you're able to walk away with one or two ideas at the end of this. The second goal is what I mentioned a little bit earlier. I'm convinced the only way to be able to get results is to be able to be able to start with one small step. And let's use our time today to be able to share some ideas on how you could create these small steps that are going to create change.


A lot of folks might wonder, you know, a little bit about who I am. And I have spent 20 years traveling around the country helping other people grow their business. And it's been a lot of fun. I've had a lot of experiences that have allowed me to make mistakes and also learn and be able to share some stories with you today. I think some of the the most fun that I had was managing a proposal team that actually had a success rate of 90 percent new business year over year.


So we we had a lot of fun and a lot of hard work, but we had to figure out how to tell the story. And there were a lot of small wins in the beginning of that. So, you know, I was traveling a lot and I always just wondered, you know what? What else is out there? How can I do something to create a bigger impact? And I've said, you know, if I could ever figure this out, I would love to be able to pay it forward.


And I always joked, you know, if somebody wrote a book about how to just do this stuff, much like what Bunny Young said, you know, she can share her story and what works for her, I feel like I can share my story and what worked for me. And if you can take a combination of a little bit of all these stories today and make it your own, I think you're going to do a phenomenal job. So this is my way of being able to pay it forward, and I'm excited to be able to share this with you.


I'm going to share a few case studies throughout the day or throughout this next 30 minutes, and it's it's creating small change and we were able to put together a team that was able to create a twelve point one million dollar public and private partnership to help close the broadband gap. Also, you know, the same process that I'm going to talk about, these ideas also helped me double the South Carolina clients that were in South Carolina for a company that was based in upstate New York.


I also use the same technique to be able to recruit on board the first new client that a financial institution has in over 20 years. So to bring in a new new client over 20 years, that's pretty phenomenal. And that stuff just doesn't happen overnight. So that's a lot of just, you know, let's push the chip a little bit further, a little bit further and see how far we can go. And some of the same stuff that I'll be sharing with you actually works for college internships.


I've got some some talented babysitters, and they have dreams and will use some of these tricks to help them. So we'll go ahead and get started. These three things that I just want to share with you, I can share a bunch, but I just want to stick to these three things for today. And the first one is all about respectfully challenging people and ideas and thoughts. And the second thing I'm going to share with you is ask listen and thank.


And the last one is going to be about leveraging technology. So respectfully challenging, a lot of people will initially think that that is scary and they don't want anything to do with scary and confrontation and courageous conversations. And we've got to remember that respectfully challenging is is not meant to be scary. But we need to understand that there are a lot of difference of opinions that are out there. And these need to be seen as learning opportunities. And when we can take this and and be able to have these conversations with other folks and be able to respectfully challenge and we've all seen people challenge in a non-effective way.


And that could be, you know, shooting daggers across the table or the exam room or being disrespectful. But there's there's a way of being able to say, I hear your idea, I hear your point. And here's maybe two or three other ideas that you may want to consider. So being able to share your opinions that are maybe different than somebody else's is extremely important. And that's definitely a learning opportunity. You might be thinking, you know, this is this is something that I feel a little bit uncomfortable with.


And I want you to think that, you know, if you have the courage to be able to to step up and be able to speak and be able to share what your opinion is and what your insights are, it could be something that opens up the door to another idea that's in the room that maybe somebody didn't know was there yet. So we all know when somebody speaks, you know, our brains are kind of getting primed. And that idea that we're listening to could be something that sparks another idea that actually can solve the problem.


So it just takes a little bit of courage to be able to speak up, raise your voice and and be able to share what you're saying because it could trigger something else in the room. You know, I've got a couple of examples of just how to respectfully challenge and I'll share this this first one with you. It's the sham. Wow. It's those little towels that are super absorbent. And I was looking to get into a position at a different financial institution I've only been with to really financial institutions over the course of 20 years, really.


So I don't change companies very often. When I was working for corporate and this last company that that I wanted to get into, I knew that they had a water main that broke the city's water main, broke in front of them and it flooded their technology center. So they had to shut down the entire financial institution, have everybody work from home and clean up this flood. And so I had to think creatively. And so what I did is I sent a box a share miles from Amazon and sent it to the CFO and made a note in there and just said, you know, when you get the mess cleaned up, give me a call.


And that was enough to spur a conversation. And if you think about it, when you're in disaster recovery mode, you only have the C suite folks that are coming into the buildings and you can't help but notice a large box of Shamal sitting on the CFOs desk and that spurred a conversation of Husen and you towel's at a time like this. And and it turned into a conversation and they realized that there were some creativity there. They knew that they needed some creativity in in their bank and they reached out to me.


Long story short, it turned into a great seven year relationship with them. So, you know, just think creatively and respectfully challenge of of how you can provide value or create insights that maybe other people aren't seeing. The second step is all about ask listen. Thank you. And most computers to the left and to the right of the space bar is a little button. It's an LTE button. Ask listen. Thank you. And we all thought it was for adults, but it's actually ask, listen, think.


And these three words can change your life if you choose to let it do that. And it's been a lot of fun being able to try these, these, these questions. So you might be wondering what exactly do I want to ask? And and I've got some ideas that I'm going to share with you in a minute. But I want you to remember everything starts with a question and that we need to be curious. And if you're living in a community and you're wondering what kind of subdivision is going in or what kind of, you know, stores are being developed or you're just curious, be curious, ask questions, see if you can help, ask if there's anything that you can bring your expertize to the table and it opens up doors.


And when you're curious and you're asking questions and you're showing that you're interested in what they have to offer, it just creates that relationship that makes it easier to continue the dialog down the road. And it may be a great conversation one day and it may be six months later that you need to reconnect with this person because you have something that that can maybe make their life easier. So asking questions is is just a very, you know, a fun way to be able.


To to open up the door and be curious, so if you don't know where to start, I want to be able to share with you that that these these great conversations definitely start with great listeners. So keep that in mind. You know, very often we we think that we have to provide so much information. And really all we need to do is ask these questions and they need to just be open ended questions and try not to do what I like to do with my elementary age child, which is ask yes or no questions.


I'm not getting anything out of it. So I've got to rephrase these words and rephrase my questions to be able to get good content to come out of him. And we need to do the same thing with the other folks that are around us. So samples of of good questions to be able to ask. I love to ask questions that cannot be Googled. So if you Google something and you can't find it, that's usually a good sign that that's a great question to ask.


Another thing to consider is the future focused questions where you're actually going to be able to say, what are one or two things I can do in our next meeting that's going to make me more effective? What are one or two things I can do in the next engagement that maybe makes onboarding a little bit easier for you? So when we ask these future focused questions, it's actually taking the heat off of these people. They don't have to think about maybe something that happened in the past that they weren't paying attention to.


But it's it's just kind of opening it up in its very future and it's very open. And people are willing to share information with you. And it makes it easier on you to be able to receive the information because it is it's out in the future. And then one other process of this ask listen and think is we want to be able to create purposeful follow up and we want to be able to follow back up with these individuals to let them know how that conversation impacted you.


And so we want to ask these questions, maybe future focus questions. You want to listen to what they have to say and you don't want to argue with them because it's so easy to say that you already tried something and it didn't work. But just listen, because the third or the fourth idea that they share with you could actually be something that is easy for you to implement, to create a little bit of change. And then after they share that information, we want to be able to say thank you and try not to make any commitments.


When we say thank you, we just want to say thanks. We don't want to commit because you might want to go back and sit on that for an idea and just kind of process it and realize that you don't need to do all of that. Maybe just take a piece of all these suggestions and you can still create that impact. So ask listen, think it's to the left and to the right of your space bar every single day you turn the computer on and it's an easy way to remember, a way to create a conversation that maybe you wouldn't have had otherwise.


And if we have time a little bit later, I'll share with you the difference between a mentor and a sponsor. And it's a game changer for your career. So this this last piece is all about leveraging technology. And, you know, in this unique space that we're in right now where we're starting to get back in the conferences and people are starting to show back up to meetings, you know, I don't know how well we're going to get full swing back into it.


I think there's been some comfort of being able to work from home. And we've been able to kind of stretch some different ideas to be able to see how efficient people can be and how we can have work life balance and a new better way than probably we ever imagined. So we want to be able to control our network because our network is what allows us this freedom that that Wade talked about, that Molly and Bunny and Al, all these things come to us when when we have our network.


And so we want to consider a few ideas in order to build a stronger network, in order for you to be proactive, to be able to to be able to to connect with folks. And just like most of the other speakers that have spoken today, we just want to work smart and we don't have to work so hard anymore. And since I've left corporate almost two years ago, I love it. And I've realized that if I work pretty smart, I don't have to work too hard.


I figure out what my gifts are, what my niches are. I focus in on that and it allows me so much more freedom and flexibility. And I think we can we can do the same thing when it comes to growing our network. So I want you just to kind of think about, you know, some low cost tools that could be right in front of you. And before we do that, you know, just talking about network and technology, this this individual, Ziggler, he's he was around many years.


He's since passed. But this, quote just sticks home. And, you know, you can have everything in life that you want if you just help enough other people get what they want. There's so much truth to this. And if we can show up authentically and just be able to continue to lead with value and help others, other people first, if we help enough other people, they're going to come back and help us when we need when we need their help.


So a few a few samples of just being able to leverage some technology in the LinkedIn is to be able to tailor the language to show how you help others. You know, a lot of times folks are using LinkedIn in order just to list a resume. And what we need to do is be able to tailor that language to show how we're helping other people and maybe show the the the way that you want to live your life, you know, the words that you want your life to become and go ahead and incorporate that in how you're helping other people.


I have found that just proactively connecting with other people with a very authentic message of, hey, I saw we had a few people in common and I just thought it'd be great to connect. And I just am that simple message. And I probably send about 50 of those a week. And, you know, 60 percent of them actually accept the message and then I'll get another 10 or 20 percent that actually come back and take a phone call. And, you know, it's just a 20 minute phone call.


And you would be amazed at what kind of folks that are out there that are just like us, who want to be able to connect with folks and just want to take 20 minutes, have a little outbound conversation, exchange ideas, build the network, lead with a little value. Say, you know, if if something comes across my plate that I think you can help with and I'll be glad to make the introduction. And I think that's just a great way to be able to control who you're meeting and how you're growing your network.


Also, you know, just from a sales and a business development standpoint, a lot of times when you go out to look at profiles on LinkedIn, there's a whole section over to the side that says others also viewed and you may want to consider to turn that off because that's technically your competition. And you may want to just have folks that are visiting your page to stay focused on your page. And my favorite new piece of technology right now is PodMatch dot com.


And I know that Wade has the next speaker that's coming up is is with PodMatch, the creator PodMatch. And I've had more fun reaching out to folks on PodMatch and being able just to network that way and be able to connect with people over video calls and be able to share stories. And it's just been a great experience. So I would definitely recommend going out and using PodMatch and checking it out and see if you enjoy doing an interview and being able to share your story.


You might be surprised. So I just want to quickly recap, you know, I just shared some some ideas and some of this stuff, if you're new to creating change, you might be able to take one or two ideas. If you've been creating change your whole life, you know, there could have been one or two ideas that maybe you forgot about that that we could revisit. And the second goal for today was just to let you know that if you're going to create results, you've got to create small wins.


The small wins are going to create that momentum that creates the change. And the broadband partnership is super exciting for us. We've got 256 miles of fiber that's actually going into our community to close the broadband gap and what that is, you know, allowing us to do to be able to support the farmers that need the Internet to support the telemedicine community that needs this this Internet, just the education and the workforce development. It's been really huge. But that was just a leap of faith, of one small win, of getting people of diverse backgrounds in a room and asking the question, do we need reliable broadband for our future?


And so that was one win. And then we would have the next meeting and then I'd ask the next question. So it was a great learning experience. It sounds like it was super easy and it happened overnight. It definitely took about two and a half years in order to pull this together. And but there was just great people that came together and we just did the best we could with what we had. And we followed follow the breadcrumbs to the next next step.


And it was a lot of fun. And the same stuff that we just talked about allowed me to double the clients in South Carolina for a company that's based in New York. And, you know, also to be able to recruit one new customer, the first new customer in over 20 years was pretty exciting. But that stuff doesn't start unless you can create one small win that can then begin to create some momentum. And the stuff even works for getting college internships.


So I just want to remind you that you definitely can can handle this. And if you don't know where to start, you know, I want you to just think about something easy, like just begin to think about what is something easy and and low hanging fruit that maybe you can take advantage of. And you might be thinking, you know, I'm not very creative. I don't even know where to get started with this kind of stuff. You know, I can't tell you how many times have actually gone out to Google or I've gone out to Instagram or Pinterest or wherever I need to just to start getting ideas.


And if you're stuck, shoot me an email and I'll see if I can get creative with you and see if we can help you get in the door. And if you're wondering how much time any of this stuff is going to take, as I think most of us can find three minutes to go out to Amazon to order some chamois to send over to a prospect or an opportunity of where you're trying to get your foot in the door. And if you want to just keep learning, I've got a couple of my favorite books out there.


And this third one strength finder, they have this also for students. So if you have high school graduates that are graduating right now, you can get strength finders for students that's available. I'm giving them all my babysitters and and folks that are in the in our neighborhood and have three ways. If if you would like to continue the conversation, I have a page of free resources that are available. You can connect with me on LinkedIn or if you'd like to grab a virtual coffee, my calendar is there as well.


In Wade, I am going to. Listen to your questions and check the chat room.


There you go, so you can you can pull down. I'll go to the chat. So first of all, I just got a lot of feedback on what you were doing. I had mentioned that a lot of times, as much as I've tried, as much as I've taken these taken courses on active listening and different things, I generally just get so excited when I think I have the answer. And I so want to just fix everything that sometimes it's difficult to to Wade on that.


And I was saying it's the same thing and I think that's just something that shifts. You mentioned that that's a huge part of what you do. How would you say that shifts the dynamic and and actually. When I when I think of and I am and I try to be careful with things that sometimes might enjoy people, but. You're a woman, I'm a man. Men sometimes were raised. OK, I've got to fix this. I'm going to take care of this.


My wife took Wade I don't need you to fix this. And sometimes I say I want you to listen and then you go to the business world, go God. Now, even more confused, like and I simply see you're a person. I don't see you as a woman or a man. You're a person. So, you know, if somebody has something I can fix, I'm like, OK, great, I can help. And yet.


In my experience, when people do that, to me, it almost feels like it can feel like, depending how it's delivered, that they feel like I'm helpless. What do you say is like, why is it sometimes not so good to offer the solution too quickly or not? Listen first and then what do you find happens that people open up when when they do listen?


For most people, they need to come to that realization themselves in order for that impact to hit home. I don't think everybody is that way. I think a lot of people are that way at times. Personally, I feel like I need to work through and get through that mud. And even with the coach that I'm working with now, you know, she's dragging me through this mud and I'm know doing this next step. And I'm like, oh, I don't want to do that, but I'm going to do it.


So I do it. And then I also just want her to tell me, hey, from this thirty thousand view, what do you see? And then I kind of balance it between those two things. But, you know, there's a lot of different personalities. And I think if you just want one big. Impact with one simple answer, just help them ask the questions that help them figure it out and the acronym all AWB has been really helpful and it's it's just asking the question and what else?


And just let them process because you don't know if they're internally processing it. If they've already processed it, they just might need a little extra time and asking and what else is another way to to create some space for them to keep keep leaning into it and and keep learning. And when they do finally ask what are what are one or two things I could do? A, that rarely happens, but B, take him up on it and and and be able to share.


Awesome, thank you. I think there's something that so brilliantly elegant about what you do, and I was going to ask you, I want to make sure I got this right because I've gotten a lot of cheesy pictures on LinkedIn, and I'm sure you have to. And for the most part, you know, there's there's a few varieties I see there's hey, we're in the same field, blah, blah, blah. Great. Let's connect. No problem.


I'm good because it feels light. There's the person that right away you can tell they're about to copy and paste something in. I'll still say accept whatever helps my numbers. Maybe someday I'll sell them something, who knows whatever. But when their stuff comes in, I'll use like, hey, now's not a good time or whatever I played for. But you said that you basically just said, hey, I'm happy to connect. I'm happy to see if we could be of value to each other.


I mean, is it really and going to say, yes, of course. Is it really that simple? I mean, it seems I guess some people just I mean, you said some of them reach back out to you and some of them just I mean, it sounds like just long game, like just like we're in the same area and maybe we'll run into each other. And then I guess if you see something that's relevant to them later, is that kind of how you play that out or.


Yeah, it's pretty boring, isn't it? Is just being me. It works. It works. So, yeah, I send out the message. I'm like, you know, they look kind of interesting. And we've got a couple connections. I feel like they've they've been vetted out by my second connections. And, you know, if you see that they're active and they're commenting, I think it's another way that, you know, they've embraced the technology and they're they're leaning into it a little bit.


And for all we know, they could be just as apprehensive as as the rest of us. And they took a chance to do that. And I've found that those that are showing up and giving, they're in the same boat that we're in, like the folks that are rising up to the top, they had somebody give to them and they are giving as well. And the higher up you go, the more you realize that there's a lot of people out there helping a lot of other people.


And we need to do the same because I think that's the secret to to get up there to to be able to help more.


Yeah, that that's one of the things I'm going to bring it up here, but I'm asking you to stay on it. I'm going to invite. Alex to jump in when he wants, but in the meanwhile, I'm going to pull up the screen sharing piece because one of the things that's been so. Really mind boggling, mind shifting for me is with doing PodMatch and connecting with people. I didn't realize there were that many people of a high quality that I would connect to.


Now, a lot of this also, I believe, reflects on who Alix's and who he attracts. And Alex also introduced a lot of this at Podfest. And that's a certain group of people that they attract. So it's like you said, there's people out there. And most people, if they're doing a podcast, there's a certain group that are looking to, you know, do the metrics and just kind of. Make it run as quickly as possible, but most people are trying on some level, and so for me, it's just been so cool to see, just like you said with your with your LinkedIn conversations.


For me, this is what my podcast turn into. And when I started my podcast, I was very apprehensive about having it be something where I would ask a lot of people stuck inside my first like 50 or so episodes. I did solopreneur those kind of insecure, like, don't you come in on my podcast, the the Divine somebody else's stuff. So I'm going to talk and of course that's great, but that you don't get a lot of interplay.


There's nobody's referring anybody to you. And then as I started doing the interviews, I started with a few people I knew who had known for years that I was safe. And as I started doing this and met Alex about. A little less than a year ago and started getting people come in and eventually, of course, you have you'll still have a couple like anything else like that. That was an interesting interview. All they did was talk about their book or their cat or whatever, not their cat.


But anyway, they just it just went on. But what's so interesting to your point, there were so many people and this is the part that has blown my mind. There are so many seven figure earners in MySpace who I've never heard of and probably will never hear of or run into in the airport or anywhere else. We won't bump into each other. We won't steal each other's clients. There's seven and a half billion people on the planet. And that's something that to me has been so awesome to experience.


And if you're ready, Alex, if you want to pop on and jump in, I just want to let you get a chance to say hey to Catherine Cantey. Have you met Catherine? I met Catherine. We met each other through PodMatch.


That's great. I love that. Alex. Hey, how are you? We chatted and I've watched a video that you sent me for one of the segments of my podcast. So. So I'm familiar with you. I've seen you in that same exact spot sharing that. So thank you for that. But yeah, this is our first like person to person introduction, I believe, right?


Yeah. Yep. I'd love PodMatch. I mean, it's been a game changer. And as a female in the South who normally has other people tell her stories, you know, you get a cocktail parties. And I hate that. It's just that traditional environment that sometimes we live in. And then I love I lived under the corporate story for so long. You know, this is my first chance of being able to tell my own story and my version of what my story is.


And it's been it's been really a lot of fun. And it's also a way for me to figure out, do I want to host a Podfest podcast as well? So I dabbled in and you were the you're the reason that, you know, Wade now are able to connect in so many other people and so much talent out there. I'm extremely impressed with what you've pulled together.


Well, thank you. That that makes my day right there. Thank you so much for that.


I love that. It's awesome.


Yeah, I thought everybody was just scratching each other's backs just to get more downloads. And then I started getting really good just like this. And I said maybe it's not original. I used the word awesome a lot. Awesome, awesome. Why can't a lot of things be awesome? The fact of my heart beats. That's awesome. That's that's great. That happens every day. Doesn't mean it's not awesome. So, Catherine, thank you so much for coming out and what you do for for those younger listening.


Catherine is just. Fundamentally solid, awesome, just in that sense of there are certain people in a meeting, more and more people like this, and this is why I'm finding a lot of work tracks. Danny, who's listening right now, who I hope to have on one of these events sometimes, Danny Purcell, who's going to be on a podcast interview that I did that I met through PodMatch. He's fundamentally sound Renney. I mean, there's just so many people that it's nice to see people that are doing the work.


So thank you for what you're doing. Thank you for sharing all that. And as I told everybody else in the in the community, if you have questions, find these people. It's the same people. If their pictures in there, it's them and you can reach out to them. And we really just are people looking to help each other do stuff and grow and learn and of course, to be cool, to get paid sometimes. And we want to make sure that happens.


But overall, there's a certain heart center of intention of doing it in a way that helps everybody. So thank you for what you're doing and what the actually begin soon. And thank you for all your sharing and promotion. Katherine's awesome.


Thank you, guys. Have a great afternoon. And Alex, I can't wait to listen.


Yeah. Thank you so much. It was great to to hear you talk for the last bit of time. I thoroughly enjoyed that. So thank you.


Catherine CanteyProfile Photo

Catherine Cantey

Leadership Coach

Catherine is a tenacious connector and recovering banker.
She is a leadership coach helping high potential managers turn into senior leaders.
Catherine’s goal is to partner with individuals and communities to create positive and measurable change.
She brings more than 20 years of professional experience in sales, consulting and coaching with focus on results.
Catherine is a wife and mom who about closing the broadband gaps in rural communities.