Inside LaunchStreet business podcast innovation podcast Art Coombs

No One Has Ever Gone the Extra Mile Because of a Sexy Spreadsheet

Have you ever wondered why some people are strong managers but some are strong leaders? What’s the difference? And why does having strong leaders foster a culture of innovation and having a strong manager leads to a culture of micro-managers? Fortunately for us, Art Coombs, CEO of KomBea Corporation, speaker and author of Human Connection: How the “L” do we do that? has some great experience and insights for us around this. He stopped by Inside LaunchStreet to talk about the importance of the “why” and help us distinguish between managing to the head and leading to the heart. He also has some great things to say about why even the sexiest spreadsheets never move people to action.


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Key Takeaways:

[1:20] You might be surprised to learn that Art is like the modern-day Noah. He is raising two sons, two daughters and two horses.

[2:16] Art’s philosophy of strong leadership has always been to lead with the heart and manage with the mind. Listen in as he talks about the differences between management and leadership. Managers focus on the who, the how, and the when. Leaders focus on the WHY.

[5:59] Is it possible to be both a manager and a leader? Why do most true leaders possess authentic venerability? How does one become both a good manager and a leader? It all has to do with talking about the WHY.

[7:32] Art shares a personal managing failure example about his son’s homework. Art helped his son to discover the WHY in his life as they visit the local Wal-Mart at 2 A.M.

[13:08] Tamara reminds listeners that you need to give people room to self direct. In some ways, leaders have to focus on delayed gratification. Sometimes you have to do the things you need to do today for tomorrow’s benefit. Art suggests to give people the WHY and then step out of their way and they will figure out the how.

[17:46] Art and Tamara discuss why you aren’t motivated to go the extra mile until the heart is convinced that the head has it right. How does leading to the heart help to bring innovation, creativity increased productivity to the workplace? There has to be an emotional connection to the leader and those they lead.

[22:02] Art shares some tips to help create the human connection in the workplace. In this book, The Human Connection: How the L Do we Do That?, he talks about the 5 L’s: Living, laughing, learning, leading, and loving. He shares a personal experience about a big mistake that he made and the response from his boss.

[27:32] Art and Tamara continue to discuss innovation. When people feel safe in their environment, innovation naturally sprouts like weeds. Art talks about how we create human connections that last. Great leaders are great cheerleaders. Communication is the key to inspiration. When you invoke an emotion, it goes straight to the heart. Art demonstrated strong leadership while working as a CEO in the call center. He used to dress up like Tarzan, and push a cookie, milk, and banana cart. Art was able to make personal emotional connections while talking to each employee.

[32:55] Art shares a story about Doyle, a worker that was consistently late for work. A co-worker helped Doyle recognize the WHY and that his behavior needed to change not only for work, but for life. Real leaders understand that we aren’t just dealing with assets. We are dealing with humans. The person at home and the person in the office are one in the same.

[36:44] Connect with Art on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or

[37:18] Art’s final piece of advice is that people don’t want to be managed, they want to be led.

[37:47] Tamara especially liked the part about how you should think about managing yourself and leading others. Help your team discover their innovation strengths by taking the IQE Assessment.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Human Connection: How The L Do We Do That? by Arthur F. Coombs III


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