Episode 25 – Howie Milstein on Quieting Our Ego and Leading Vibrant Communities

Every conversation with Howie Milstein is a mixture of thoughtfulness, wisdom, silliness and laughter. Howie channels his nontraditional background to serve others as a career coach and as the CEO and Provocateur for the Institute to Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously! We talk about the normalcy of being human, how to create more humanized workplaces, and the key culprit getting in the way of having vibrant workplaces and communities - people’s egos taking over and them showing up as a FD. I hope you’ll walk away with some laughs, insights and things to consider so you can show up as a better version of yourself and create vibrant communities around you.

Guest Info

Howie Milstein, CEO/Provocateur - the Institute to Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously!

Howie Milstein decided early in his career to question conventional thinking and seek the truth that is rooted in unbiased observation. As the world of medicine tries to evolve towards a system of evidence-based care, so Howie believes that it’s more meaningful to live an evidence-based life and lead evidence-based communities.

As the Twin Cities’ first personal trainer in the 1980’s, Howie found that available resources that promoted certain ways of motivating his clients did not resonate with his observations. Spawned from this curiosity to learn the bases of the human condition was a passion that guided his studies and leadership principles. These principles have been implemented in many roles since his personal training days, including over 25 years managing teams in the medical device industry, with titles including Distributor, National Sales Manager, Sr. Vice President of Sales, Chief Operating Officer, President, and The Gangster of Love (his favorite). Now re-invented as a leadership consultant, author, and career coach, his titles are Vocational Irritant and Provocateur. Proudly annoying, Howie has many victims including his clients, audiences, community stakeholders, and non-profit agencies and board members.

A strong adherent to the ideas of Self Determination Theory - including the principles of autonomy, mastery and purpose - Howie learned that acquiring an understanding of motivation was only half the battle. In order to optimize culture, employee engagement, and predictable outcomes, he had to become deeply introspective and choose the best leadership style to nurture innovation, passion and growth. When he stopped taking himself so seriously, things got better. Much better.

As the CEO/Provocateur with the Institute to Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously!, Howie’s message is that, while there are myriad options to attempt cultural change in organizations, perhaps the only thing is for individuals to seriously manage their egos. Jobs and careers aren’t just for economic sustenance, rather they are a means to access and contribute to healthy communities where individuals are emotionally bolstered, challenged, and valued.

Howie takes a lighthearted approach to life and brings that to his writing and speaking style. He encourages questions and spirited discussions that challenge dysfunctional paradigms, to which he has developed a serious allergy. Believing that change is not possible without discomfort, Howie ensures that those in his sphere will never have so much fun while being encouraged to step outside their comfort zones.

Howie holds degrees in biochemistry and exercise physiology, as well as certifications in Intrinsic Coaching (Totally Coached/Intrinsic Solutions International) and as a Job and Career Transition Coach. He has a wife and three adult children with minds of their own. Residing in Plymouth, Minnesota, Howie likes to golf, garden, motorcycle, and keep himself in reasonable physical (and mental) condition. He is a strong advocate for community and has held many non-profit volunteer leadership positions. He is addicted to entrepreneurism and new ideas, which drives his wife and friends crazy.


 Show Notes

Don't Be A F*cking Dick: Leadership for Vibrant Communities by Howie Milstein

After many years participating with a multitude of communities, such as corporations, non-profit organizations, boards of directors, and bowling teams, Howie had finally mustered up the nerve to address the enormous elephant in the room. When leaders are dicks, the community is unhealthy, stakeholders are disengaged, and outcomes are marginal. DBAFD makes a concise, compelling case for treating others with respect and dignity, striking a balance between the lighthearted perspective that helps people swallow the sometimes bitter pill of self-awareness, and the serious message that we all abut, and occasionally cross, the line of being a dick. The book is perfectly suited to anyone in a leadership role, without regard to whether they possess a formal leadership title. In other words, it’s for everybody.

The Institute to Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously! This is where you can learn more about Howie’s workshops and speaking engagements designed to help foster greater emotional intelligence while being fun and entertaining.

Launchpad Career Coaching - Whether you're looking for your first big job, or are currently employed as a young professional, Launchpad's high-touch coaching methods guide you through the process to bring your story to light, enabling candidates to exude the quiet confidence that hiring managers find endearing.


Behind the Scenes

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