The Ultimate Humble Leadership Style: When Your Leader Eats Last You’ll Never Know About It with David Fischer

Nov 14, 2021 | Hot Mess Hotline Podcast, Resilience

​David Fischer, chief revenue officer at Gregory & Appel Insurance, has always sought out challenges. As a marine, he learned the ultimate humble leadership style: leaders eat last. He continuously strives to grow himself, the companies he works for, and the people he leads. That hard work is rewarded with increasingly complex challenges to face, however.

He’s a wizard when it comes to creating sales systems and structures to catapult a company’s success. This problem he shares with us on the Hot Mess Hotline seemed to be a growth opportunity. And it certainly was. But not in the way he thought it would be.

David joined a company that couldn’t make payroll the first 2 weeks he was there. His initial step didn’t fix it, so he had to ask for help: from his team (but the whole team couldn’t know), his vendors, his customers, his banker. Everyone.

There’s a new kind of humility that is taught when you’re introducing yourself for the first time by telling others how much trouble you’re in. Listen in for David’s action, tools, and mindset that got the company back into profitability in mere months (after years of decline), how he worked with key stakeholders to make it happen, and why he continued to workout routinely in the process.

  • When leaders eat last, you’ll probably never know about it.
  • When you need help: ask. You’ll be surprised at how willing to help others are.
  • You can’t grow by cutting expenses, but investment needs to look different when cash is low.
  • You should ask for what you need, even if you know the answer will be “No.”
  • You may need to prove yourself longer than you think is needed.
  • Learn 2 powerful questions to ask to solve any problem.
  • All you can control is your controllables.
  • Show your work and communicate your plan for the uncontrollables.
  • Negotiate for the long game as a way to strip the emotion out of the situation.
  • If you want more responsibility, ask for more challenge.
  • You’ll never get full transparency because you don’t need it to do your job.
  • As a leader, you have the right to say, “I’m not going to answer that.”
  • It’s a business continuity issues when people transition.

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As a director or mid-level leader, you need to know what's creating chaos and complexity in your team. Take the Hot Mess Quiz.

As a leader, you've felt paralyzed by where to start first with your team's and organization's problems. Do you need team building or a frank conversation? Like a Rubik's cube, one shift changes everything else, but may create more problems than it solves. Take this 3-minute quiz to find your next best step.

About David Fischer

Propelling enterprise value through ethical leadership, innovation and action. David’s specialty is transforming organizations into market leaders that deliver sustained growth and profitability. Fusing a high-energy sales, business development, change management and operations background with life-long work ethic and leadership built within the US Marine Corps. 

David has ignited multimillion-dollar growth across a range of industries and settings, including startups, Fortune 500, and PE/VC-backed ventures. David is an innovator and natural leader that attracts and develops new business, expands market opportunities and builds trust across the entire business eco-system.

After serving eight years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corp, David spent twelve years in the high-tech public sector with an emphasis on international sales providing manufacturing software solutions to the Fortune 100. He then moved into the private sector where he led innovative startups from launch to acquisition, including. 

Currently David is the Chief Revenue Officer at Gregory and Appel Insurance were, he leads the organization’s sales development and goto-market strategies.

David earned his degree in Economics and Marketing at University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1987.

David has been married to his wife, Shawn, for 33 years, and together they have five children and three grandchildren. In his free time you can catch David enjoying the great outdoors. He is an avid mountain biker, downhill skier and technical mountain climber. A life-long, multi-sport, endurance athlete and racer who is currently training for the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Mountain Bike Race for a third time. 

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