Episode Synopsis:

Welcome to Episode #82 of Habitual Excellence, presented by Value Capture.

In this special episode of the "Habitual Excellence" podcast, Ken Segel, CEO of Value Capture, discusses the leadership principles of the late Paul O'Neill Sr., former CEO of Alcoa and U.S. Treasury Secretary. Joined by Bill O'Rourke, Kevin McKnight, and Paul O'Neill Jr., they share personal stories highlighting O'Neill's unwavering respect for everyone, his emphasis on safety, integrity, and his down-to-earth nature. The episode commemorates the fourth anniversary of O'Neill's passing, underscoring the relevance of his leadership lessons in today's challenging times, particularly for healthcare leaders.

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Leadership Redefined Quote 4

Leadership Redefined Quote 1

Leadership Redefined Quote 3 (1)


Leadership Redefined Quote 2


*Please note this transcript is not edited

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Welcome everyone. I'm Ken Siegel, the CEO of value, capture, and thrilled to have you listening to this special episode of visual excellence. That is.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): it is a special one. We're talking about the leadership, framework and example

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): and lessons shared by Paul O'neal, senior.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): With

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): 3 leaders who have a very special vantage place to help us think about that, and they are Bill O'rourke and Kevin Mcknight, both of whom were senior C-suite leaders at alcoa before, during and after Mr. O'neil's tenure as CEO between 1987 and 2,000

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): and Paul O'neil, Jr. My partner at value capture, who actually value. Capture was Paul's founding idea.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): And obviously Paul had a had a very unique lifelong connection to polynomial, senior and values and value creating enterprises of many types, and a special, a special place to view

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): the principles in action with a great leader.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): So we are really excited to have each of you.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): And for the listeners that maybe just slightly less familiar with Paulo Neal, seniors.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Story! He was the CEO of alcoa, as I described.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): After that he was the Ce. The sorry the U. Us. Treasury Secretary

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): and before that tenure he was the President of International Paper. He was a member of Alcoa's board, and he.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): was a the leader of the domestic section of at that time. The office of the President's budget serving multiple Presidents and associated with a lot of the breakthroughs and most fundamental achievements enabled by the American Government in our history

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): so a tremendous leadership example across across sectors.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): And we wanted to do this podcast today.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Because, it is still April. As we as we are taping this, it marks the fourth anniversary of the passing of this rodeo.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): and he would have been in this 80 eighth year, and we all know that we're in very challenged times across the globe for leaders and multiple sectors. And in this very significant way for American healthcare leaders, North American healthcare leaders who are a key audience here. So what better time to return to some of the fundamental principles

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): and the power that could be derived from them, and great leadership? Welcome, guys.

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kevinmcknight: Thank you.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Alright. So I'm gonna ask each of you to introduce yourself and to tie us to the theme. Tell us a hollow Neil story.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): and how it's an example that's impacted your life.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): professionally or otherwise, since. And, Kevin, why don't we start with you.

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kevinmcknight: Okay. Well, thanks ken appreciate that. So I I worked at Alcoa for about 35 years.

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kevinmcknight: and Paul came to Alcoa about 5 years into my tenure with alcoa, so I was rather young employee when Paul came in in 1987

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kevinmcknight: and

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kevinmcknight: I. I worked in various roles in alcoa, but ultimately became the Vice President of environment, health and safety, and alcoa is chief sustainability officer, and I had various roles under Paul, but none at that level. So Bill would really talk to you at that level when Paul was there.

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kevinmcknight: The the story that I have about Paul that really caught me initially was when I was very young in alcoa

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kevinmcknight: it was my birthday. It was 1992, and my wife had brought our 2 small children to the office.

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kevinmcknight: To surprise me on our birthday on my birthday, and they took. They took me to the William Penn Hotel Restaurant for lunch.

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kevinmcknight: and so I'm there with my 2 year old and my 4 year old and my wife.

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kevinmcknight: And about 5 min after we sat down, Paul walks in with a group of customers, and they were having a business lunch, and they were across the room from us, and I remarked to my wife that Hey, that guy's Paul O'neil. He's the new CEO of Alcoa. She had never met him before.

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kevinmcknight: and so we had a nice lunch, and I noticed that Paul and his group were breaking up, and they were walking toward the exit, and Paul spotted me.

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kevinmcknight: and he said goodbye to the group that he was with, and he immediately walked over to our table, and he introduced himself to my wife and to my kids, and he stood there, and we had a 5 min conversation with Paul at the table, about the family, about how are things going? And

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kevinmcknight: finally Paul said goodbye, and he left, and my wife looked at me and said, Who does that?

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kevinmcknight: And I said, What do you mean? And she said that was amazing. And I said, That's why that's what I've been telling you about Mr. O'neil, I said. That's the kind of person he is, and he never treats anybody differently. And to me that was the core of Paul's excellence was the way that he treated everybody the same, and he made time for people.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Thank you, Kevin. Powerful example of that principle of fundamental respect for everybody and living it. Any impact for you.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Bill, how about you.

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Bill ORourke: Yeah, I I think that was a great story, Kevin, and it does show just a person that he was. He was the same with everybody, and expected the same in return. My name is Bill will work. I was hired at Alcoa as a patent attorney in 1975, and I retired in 2012.

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Bill ORourke: My career covered a number of different areas, as did Kevin's. I was the patent counsel, corporate Auditor, Chief Information Officer, Vice President of procurement and other positions, but from 2,005 to 2,008 I was President of Alcoa, Russia.

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Bill ORourke: In that position I would often reflect on Paul O'neil. Before I went off to Russia I got an overview of the situation, and, to put it mildly, everything needed to be fixed. It was a mess, a total mess. And I remember that plane ride over to the Sherment airport in Moscow. And I'm thinking to myself, what do I get myself into? What am I gonna do? Where in the world do you start if everything is broken? And I remember what Paul said.

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Bill ORourke: Paul used to say, if you get safety right, you'll get everything right.

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Bill ORourke: Safety was an absolute mess in Russia.

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Bill ORourke: But I decided I'm gonna focus on safety and did trained 8,000 people. The first year 6,000. The next year put people in protective equipment brought in the health and safety auditors. We focused on safety to try to make it right.

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Bill ORourke: But it was Paul in the back of my mind a lot of times throughout that assignment where I would reflect on what would Paul do in this situation? And I'll tell you. It kept me on the straight and narrow. It helped me to avoid paying bribes because it's wrong, and that's what Paul would say

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Bill ORourke: to pay the workers fairly

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Bill ORourke: to eliminate excessive spending, to move, to open offices in Russia, which we did, following Paul's example, and to be a good neighbor in the community. So I was often driven by what would Paul do in a situation like that?

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Bill ORourke: But I I enjoyed being around it. But I'll tell you one story that I had before you'd ever go to Paul's office. You used to stop and think because he's gonna ask you questions, lots and lots and lots of questions. And you used to prepare for that meeting. So I I would always do that ahead of time, spend a couple of minutes thinking about all the questions and the answers, and one day I went into his office and he and he caught me off guard, he said. Bill.

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Bill ORourke: do you sincerely believe we can get to 0 incidents?

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Bill ORourke: You know what I said? I said no.

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Bill ORourke: and he looked at me.

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Bill ORourke: he said. What do you mean? I said. We can go past 0, Paul. We could send those employees home healthier than they were when they came to work, boy. He liked that. That was his true North kind of thinking that he wants you to think beyond what you normally think. And he liked that. Yeah. So it was rare that you'd never get get beyond him. But I think I I got him that time.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Great, great, and.

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kevinmcknight: And I I just one thing to add bill again. Great ideas. But I remember also going and sitting in Paul's office from time to time various meetings.

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kevinmcknight: and I remember consciously I used to sit half on the chair and half off the chair, and the reason I did that was to remind myself that I had to be ready for anything that I couldn't relax, that I couldn't be as call again would ask the most scintillating questions, and so you couldn't really prepare adequately. You just had to be ready for whatever he came out of his mouth.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Love it, love, it can't add a word. The the principles and the framework are spilling out through these stories.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Paul, Jr. Will you introduce yourself and share a Paul senior story that sort of thing.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): show something fundamental to you, and has affected your life.

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Paul ONeill: Sure. Thanks, Ken. I appreciate it.

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Paul ONeill: My name is Paul Neil, Jr. Again, let's ken introduce me. I'm his partner. Value capture

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Paul ONeill: ken and I revolved in a bunch of things together that are about

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Paul ONeill: mission driven activities. And

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Paul ONeill: it's always great to participate in with Ken that's on his mind, and for sure this invitation was a was welcome. And I always enjoy time with

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Paul ONeill: being able to be with friends from alcoa Kevin and Bill. So it's great to be on this call. So thank you. Ken

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Paul ONeill: I I wanted to share something different. That for me is a framing thing. So

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Paul ONeill: in 1,974 we lived in Virginia.

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Paul ONeill: My dad was at Omb

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Paul ONeill: the first time, and it's 74. And it's it's March.

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Paul ONeill: It's actually so it's he's 38 years old.

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Paul ONeill: 39 years old, about yeah, 38 years old.

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Paul ONeill: and he is written up, and he doesn't share it with every business. He's not a glosser in any way. But there's an article written

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Paul ONeill: in the Sunday New York Times magazine

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Paul ONeill: when they would write, you know 5,000 word stories on a Sunday about different things that were going on the world. And if you think back to that time what was going on. Well, Watergate was at its.

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Paul ONeill: you know, at its peak of of what was happening with President Nixon.

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Paul ONeill: Dad was in the Administration as an appointed official as an associate director at that time at Omd.

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Paul ONeill: And there's an article in this article is about the 5 people that are running domestic policy

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Paul ONeill: in the country, and Dad's one of them.

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Paul ONeill: and you never would have known it. And the cool thing I think about this time in his life was

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Paul ONeill: on Friday night. We didn't get home

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Paul ONeill: like we'd go to Sears and he buy, you know, 2 gallons of paint to paint the bathroom

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Paul ONeill: or wallpaper to like wallpaper, the house, or in our neighborhood. There were 3 houses, the you know, alms, the Vulpies and the O'neills, and we live together, and the mothers decided that

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Paul ONeill: we needed to have fences in our backyards for the kids and for animals and whatever.

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Paul ONeill: And my father and these 2 other dads with the help of everybody.

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Paul ONeill: you know. Post toll digger on the weekend.

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Paul ONeill: Put this fence up. It's still there. I've seen it.

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Paul ONeill: But it's it's what I love about the store. I'm telling the story because

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Paul ONeill: Dad was out there in his white T-shirt and a pair of jeans like everybody else.

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Paul ONeill: he never held himself above anybody.

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Paul ONeill: He was a great neighbor.

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Paul ONeill: and was in his way making sure that anybody and I, just to me this is like a fundamental thing

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Paul ONeill: about him.

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Paul ONeill: because he did it later, too, in a bunch of ways. And I'll tell one more story related to it. But it's ties to it

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Paul ONeill: pretty much, but he just wanted to be part of the community. He wanted to do the right thing, and he did it with action. And so to me. All these things for me then were, oh, my goodness! Here's this person

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Paul ONeill: that's like

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Paul ONeill: running domestic policy in the Us. It's a fascinating article. It really talks about the breadth of his knowledge at that time, and how much he was respected, even though you know he was but below the fray of the political stuff. That was, you know, one of the most unsettling events in the last 50 years of our history as a country. But there he was there. But he was also this guy that was just a guy on the weekend, and if you were his neighbor he had a rolling rock beer with you and Bill of fence

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Paul ONeill: later on he did it a bunch of cool ways when he was in Pittsburgh.

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Paul ONeill: I'll quickly tell this, you know a story

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Paul ONeill: and I'm guessing that Kevin and Bill would at times would be invited to this party, but my parents would have an open house at their at their home.

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Paul ONeill: and like I don't know. 400 app coins were invited to their house

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Paul ONeill: for a gathering around the holiday season.

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Paul ONeill: and it was everybody. It wasn't just the C-suite folks, it was everybody, and

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Paul ONeill: that was a really cool thing, and my mother was great about

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Paul ONeill: co-hosting that party.

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Paul ONeill: and they actually held a neighborhood party. That was funny. Had a realtor tell me.

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Paul ONeill: maybe 10 years ago said that was unbelievable when I'd be selling properties in your parents neighborhood.

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Paul ONeill: One of the things people would hear was, Yeah, if you buy this house, you can invited the O'neills local neighborhood Christmas party. And so it's kind of a funny thing. But it was you know.

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Paul ONeill: it just shows how much they have going to be part of communities, and to leave with example

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Paul ONeill: by example, and

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Paul ONeill: how much he really did care about people. But the but the invite to the alcoa party was an absolute demonstration of his

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Paul ONeill: thought about everybody being included all the time, no matter what your rank was, you know, so kind of a rule.

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Paul ONeill: you know, for him, you know of the 3 questions. You know he lived it and

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Paul ONeill: and I'm I'm proud to have watched them do it over. The years. Taught me a lot.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Thanks so much, Paul, and taught me a lot, and you and you do the same today.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): which is great, and we may want to hear a little bit more as we go about some of the founding experiences, all seniors life that helps shape some of these. But before we get there. Let's let's hear a little bit more about sort of the the

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): the example and philosophy and framework as a whole, as it was implemented.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): And again, Bill and Kevin. You've described your 10 years at Alcoa before, during and after different and intersecting levels.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Could you talk a little bit more, each of you about what it was like experiencing the change at all. Coa, you've given, you know, really tantalizing insight into the dynamic and the example he was setting and something that got to you. But what? What got you as leaders?

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): You know? What was it like experiencing the change from before to this, and then moving through it, and then really trying to sustain the same set of values and effectiveness and impact

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): after, tell us, tell us a little bit about that, each of you. We, Kevin, we start with you last time. So how about you, though? Will you? Will you sketch this out a little bit for us?

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Bill ORourke: Sure Paul was the first outsider to lead alcoa he came to Alcoa in 1987. So alcoa was founded in 1888. It's a hundred year old company, and they always had an insider running the company. So here comes Paul. That's a difficult position for anybody to be in.

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Bill ORourke: There was skepticism early on. Who's this outsider? Even though he was on the board? He's still an outsider. Aren't any of our leaders capable enough to to run this company, and there was not a whole lot of acceptance. Very early on then Paul arrives and he starts talking about safety.

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Bill ORourke: Yeah. So immediately there was skepticism there.

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Bill ORourke: The safety focus was considered to be somewhat phony.

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Bill ORourke: People expected to focus on safety the last a few weeks at most some executives were very open about saying, Wait till the price of metal falls. Yeah, let's see where his focus and attention is. Let's see how important safety is

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Bill ORourke: he had a safety focus for 13 years. Yeah. And the story is is well known. He reduced the incident rate every year for 13 consecutive years, which is absolutely amazing. Before he came, however, Alcoa was good. They were very good in a lot of different areas, including safety. When he came to the company. The lost workday rate was 1.8 6. That was among the best of industrial companies in the whole world.

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Bill ORourke: and Charlie Dimasio, who ran safety at the time, was called the Paul's office, and Paul said, This is unacceptable, Paul. Charlie was taken back.

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Bill ORourke: I'm doing good. I'm doing really good. You're telling me it's unacceptable. Yes, it's unacceptable. We can't. We can't hurt people.

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Bill ORourke: Paul did more than that, he articulated his thoughts. He restated the vision of the company. Alcoa aspires to be the best company in the world. He restated the values of the company, beginning with integrity. They weren't unlike what you find at other corporations. He put in the mission statement.

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Bill ORourke: and he let other people know what his expectations were.

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Bill ORourke: and one day he called over a hundred leaders of the company to the William Penn Hotel in town, and articulated his expect, his expectations, his thoughts, and his desires for the company going forward, and then he distributed a copy of the speech that he made, and this manifesto, or whatever it was, was available to everybody. I carried that with me

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Bill ORourke: for years. I carried that with me. I'm I'm sorry I can't put my hands on a copy right now, but that made it very clear to everyone in the company what his expectations were.

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Bill ORourke: He identified what the organizational structure of the of the company was, and he eliminated layers and did it in a very visible form, and I remember talking to one of the business unit presidents was Bob Slagle. Bob was running our alcoa, Australia. He got called to this meeting, had to take a 24 h flight to get to the meeting. He said he remembers getting back on the plane going back to Australia, and he felt empowered

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Bill ORourke: like never before. He didn't have 2 layers of management above him anymore. He's now in charge. All the business unit presidents were told that your feet are now in the fire.

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Bill ORourke: and you're you're gonna get paid for that. But the expectations are pretty high. So I think with Paul did was articulate. This is what I expect in the company, the this is my vision. These are my values. This is where we're going. And he had to do that, as I reflect on it. But he did it, and he did it well.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): That's great, and your the energy with which you speak suggests. You know you buying in and leaning forward and feeling some of that empowerment yourself and

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): and sort of trying to help leave the charge. So

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): it's great.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Kevin, what about you? You shared a powerful story very early in Paul's tenure, and you were a young leader. Give us give us a little bit of the continuum of what it was like.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): going forward and and

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): going further and

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): beginning to lead with the ideas yourself.

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kevinmcknight: Yeah, it's it's it's fun to hear Bill's stories and Bill's perspective. Because Bill and I were at different stages of our career at that point time. So I'm a 5 year employee. I'm a young lawyer working in the alcoa legal department.

00:19:52.230 --> 00:20:03.549
kevinmcknight: and my recollection of when Paul came in. So Bill talked about the 100 leaders who were invited to a meeting with Paul. I wasn't there, but I heard about it

00:20:03.770 --> 00:20:06.750
kevinmcknight: right, and and as a young lawyer.

00:20:06.850 --> 00:20:34.070
kevinmcknight: I used to have to go to the twenty-ninth and thirtieth floors of the Alcoa building that was hollowed ground at the time, because you didn't go up there uninvited. You had to be granted an audience by one of the senior executives to kind of come to the floor, and so I used to be up there a lot for matters that I was managing as a young lawyer. Things like executives, expense accounts, and things like that right?

00:20:34.120 --> 00:20:52.090
kevinmcknight: And I got to know the secretaries really well, and they liked me, and and they used to send me messages from time to time, and I remember the first meeting that Paul ever had with the executive team. So he had been announced as the CEO.

00:20:52.090 --> 00:21:09.099
kevinmcknight: He came to the building, and it was 2 or 3 days later he had the first meeting with the executive team, and I got a call from one of the secretaries on the 20 ninth floor, and she said, you'll never believe what happened. And I said, What do you mean? What happened? And she said, well.

00:21:09.490 --> 00:21:19.479
kevinmcknight: she said, Paul called a meeting of the executives, and he got in the room, and everyone was there, and there were donuts on the table.

00:21:19.710 --> 00:21:21.260
kevinmcknight: and Paul said.

00:21:21.550 --> 00:21:38.430
kevinmcknight: Who brought the donuts? And everybody looked at him like, what do you mean? Who brought the donuts, you know, like we always have donuts. And he said, but who brought them? They said, Well, the secretaries get them? He said. Well, well, who pays for so we don't know who pays for them, you know. So

00:21:38.670 --> 00:21:57.829
kevinmcknight: Paul excused himself from the meeting. He went away for about 5 min he came back, and they had like a 2 or 3 h meeting, and the secretary said to me, You'll never believe what happened. Every one of the executives got back to their desk, and they each had a bill for their share of the donuts on their desk, and

00:21:58.020 --> 00:22:02.201
kevinmcknight: she said. That's what he did. Can you believe that

00:22:02.910 --> 00:22:08.759
kevinmcknight: that to me was such an incredible story? I mean, that was Paul through and through.

00:22:08.960 --> 00:22:20.918
kevinmcknight: and and the other the other story that I will tell you that that happened very early on. And, Bill, you probably remember this. Maybe you were even a part of this. But

00:22:21.790 --> 00:22:47.489
kevinmcknight: Paul went to the Tennessee plant probably in the first 2 or 3 weeks that he was CEO, and after he had kind of, provided the manifesto and laid out the plan, and he said he wanted a meeting with 25 of the salaried employees and 25 Union employees, and so they had this big meeting in the room, and

00:22:47.570 --> 00:23:01.120
kevinmcknight: Paul talked about safety, and he said, You know I want everything that is unsafe in this plant fixed, and you know, and I think one thing that folks ought to realize is

00:23:01.140 --> 00:23:13.920
kevinmcknight: tennis or Tennessee was one of our strongest Union plans. We had 2 Union plans, Tennessee and work that the unions were ferocious. Most people believe the unions ran the facilities.

00:23:14.090 --> 00:23:20.720
kevinmcknight: and so when Paul got to Tennessee he made sure he had 25 Union guys in the room.

00:23:20.800 --> 00:23:21.870
kevinmcknight: and

00:23:22.120 --> 00:23:43.717
kevinmcknight: they had the meeting, and he talked about wanting to change everything that was unsafe in the plant. And then he gave the Union people his home phone number and he said, I'm serious. And if there's anything at all that you believe isn't being done to make this plant safer. I want you to call me directly

00:23:44.190 --> 00:24:09.730
kevinmcknight: and and again I wasn't there. But the story of that got back so quickly, I mean, I suspect, before Paul got back to Pittsburgh the story about the meeting in Tennessee got back to Pittsburgh, and and that was the kind of bold and challenging leadership that he provided right from the outset that he never wavered on. I mean, it was so consistent.

00:24:09.760 --> 00:24:10.804
kevinmcknight: so

00:24:13.235 --> 00:24:31.959
kevinmcknight: so different than the hierarchical, non transparent environment that we had lived in before, that it almost caused your head to spin. And and I think that was the intent at the time was, I gotta spin some heads before I get people's attention.

00:24:32.250 --> 00:24:33.060
kevinmcknight: The end of.

00:24:33.060 --> 00:24:40.149
Bill ORourke: The the follow up the follow up to that story is incredible. The number that he gave out to the Union was his home number.

00:24:40.150 --> 00:24:40.670
kevinmcknight: Oh, yeah.

00:24:40.670 --> 00:25:09.810
Bill ORourke: And if they're not doing anything, call me at home. And one night at 11 o'clock, about a week later, he gets a call from a Union person, he said. You said to call you at home. Something's wrong. Well, we got a a conveyor that's broken, and about 10 of us have to pick up this metal and and pick it up and lift it over the broken conveyor. Are you gonna do anything about it? So Paul called the plant manager, who was at home, of course, and said, I want you to go to the plant right now. Get it fixed when it's fixed, call me and tell me it's fixed.

00:25:10.070 --> 00:25:14.910
Bill ORourke: And you can imagine that message got all over the world. Yeah, everybody knew about that

00:25:15.210 --> 00:25:16.020
Bill ORourke: amazing.

00:25:16.401 --> 00:25:20.220
Paul ONeill: We're 126-83-6867.

00:25:21.100 --> 00:25:23.457
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): That was the number, Paul, amazing

00:25:23.860 --> 00:25:31.060
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): and incredible story, and illustrates so much. And for those of you thinking about the donuts the Paul is just cheap.

00:25:31.130 --> 00:25:44.240
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): The fact was, he was about eliminating privilege. Right? Leadership was a privilege itself, and not about holding it over other people and obligation to serve others, and about creating a set of values.

00:25:44.672 --> 00:25:53.327
kevinmcknight: Can. Every employee was treated exactly the same. There was no, there was no hierarchy, there was no, you know.

00:25:53.780 --> 00:25:57.189
kevinmcknight: haves and have nots. Everybody was the same.

00:25:57.330 --> 00:26:05.409
kevinmcknight: and and Paul also made it a point to know people's names. I don't know Paul, Jr. If you knew this, but your father

00:26:05.460 --> 00:26:21.980
kevinmcknight: knew so many people by their first name, and he would always talk to it would come up to anybody, and he almost surprised them that he knew their names, but he made it such a point to know people's names, and it was such a great sign of respect for people.

00:26:22.950 --> 00:26:27.199
Paul ONeill: Yeah, that's great story. And I would say this, I never saw him studying

00:26:27.460 --> 00:26:34.930
Paul ONeill: that right. He just did it like it wasn't like he had a list, or like with pictures, or Oh, I need to make sure I remember this, or

00:26:35.010 --> 00:26:37.240
Paul ONeill: he just had it down. We still we had a cold.

00:26:37.300 --> 00:26:39.479
Paul ONeill: That was how we operated.

00:26:39.480 --> 00:26:43.930
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): I'll Bill and Kevin, we're gonna get back to you a little bit, and I'm gonna bore in on

00:26:44.060 --> 00:26:50.270
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): sort of what if you had to summarize the framework, how you how you would, and sort of what it did for you as a leader.

00:26:50.280 --> 00:27:00.480
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): But, Paul, you know in your first story. You talked about your dad at an earlier, very influential part of his career in government where he was living, the

00:27:00.620 --> 00:27:06.609
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): the values of being a contributing member of the community in all ways, and just one person equal.

00:27:08.080 --> 00:27:15.700
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): you know. One wonders where the power of this framework and the will to carry it out, especially given the accomplishments across scale came from.

00:27:15.820 --> 00:27:25.780
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): And I wonder, you know, can you give us some insight into maybe an early experience? Or how did this form for your father? You know.

00:27:25.780 --> 00:27:26.400
Paul ONeill: Sure.

00:27:26.580 --> 00:27:28.590
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Obviously had it in his head.

00:27:28.810 --> 00:27:34.439
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): And yeah, give us some insight into the formation of this set of ideas of a leader.

00:27:34.970 --> 00:27:37.948
Paul ONeill: Appreciate that ken I I would say it's

00:27:39.050 --> 00:27:43.300
Paul ONeill: he was, and he was an observant person, right, and he was a gatherer of facts

00:27:43.480 --> 00:27:44.340
Paul ONeill: and

00:27:44.500 --> 00:27:47.219
Paul ONeill: life experience mattered a lot to him.

00:27:47.350 --> 00:27:57.350
Paul ONeill: and he had a chance to work for a bunch of different people in his early development as a young person, and he would say in

00:27:58.006 --> 00:28:00.150
Paul ONeill: and it's well documented.

00:28:00.220 --> 00:28:02.970
Paul ONeill: Some of the people he worked for were.

00:28:03.530 --> 00:28:05.739
Paul ONeill: you know, we learned something from all of them.

00:28:05.920 --> 00:28:08.390
Paul ONeill: but you wouldn't necessarily want to work for all of them

00:28:08.720 --> 00:28:14.880
Paul ONeill: after some of the experiences he had, but he took from everybody he ever worked for I believe

00:28:15.000 --> 00:28:16.810
Paul ONeill: the best parts of him.

00:28:16.830 --> 00:28:20.999
Paul ONeill: and learned from the challenges that they threw him where he would say.

00:28:21.030 --> 00:28:27.440
Paul ONeill: Boy, I wouldn't have done it that way right? I'm being very careful with my word selection here. But he was.

00:28:27.670 --> 00:28:30.749
Paul ONeill: He was a student of that, and so, in his own

00:28:30.800 --> 00:28:35.069
Paul ONeill: application as a leader of ideals.

00:28:35.480 --> 00:28:43.630
Paul ONeill: He was really careful, like. I think Bill's already used the word incident right instead of accident. That's a huge.

00:28:43.640 --> 00:28:51.889
Paul ONeill: huge step for him to have made in his teaching and action oriented leadership style.

00:28:52.040 --> 00:28:55.279
Paul ONeill: so that there were no excuses for people

00:28:55.360 --> 00:29:01.519
Paul ONeill: other than he would famously say, like, unless it's scientifically impossible, or God won't let it happen.

00:29:01.560 --> 00:29:06.240
Paul ONeill: You know it can happen, and that means the good stuff. And

00:29:07.640 --> 00:29:09.420
Paul ONeill: he lived it. And so.

00:29:09.440 --> 00:29:12.969
Paul ONeill: you know, there was an experience. I know he had to be talked about famously

00:29:13.000 --> 00:29:15.809
Paul ONeill: when he was a youth in Alaska, or younger person.

00:29:15.880 --> 00:29:19.639
Paul ONeill: where he was working on a crew, and they were pouring

00:29:19.790 --> 00:29:20.890
Paul ONeill: concrete

00:29:21.190 --> 00:29:26.490
Paul ONeill: forms for for some construction work that was being done.

00:29:26.570 --> 00:29:29.839
Paul ONeill: and a pour was made, and it was made

00:29:29.850 --> 00:29:34.170
Paul ONeill: improperly release them in the wrong location by a by a small amount.

00:29:34.300 --> 00:29:39.900
Paul ONeill: But instead of the leader taking him apart and playing a playing game.

00:29:39.950 --> 00:29:41.450
Paul ONeill: the person said.

00:29:41.510 --> 00:29:47.920
Paul ONeill: Okay, appreciate what happened. Let's make sure we've learned from what happened. And let's not do it again.

00:29:48.400 --> 00:29:53.990
Paul ONeill: That was a huge moment, I think, and this was like a 20 year old, Dad, right? This is not a

00:29:54.060 --> 00:29:57.080
Paul ONeill: an older version of Dad, where he really

00:29:57.540 --> 00:30:00.160
Paul ONeill: blurred a fundamental thing. And was.

00:30:00.540 --> 00:30:03.029
Paul ONeill: it was understood? Huh!

00:30:03.190 --> 00:30:05.760
Paul ONeill: But the learning part of it, and how you then

00:30:06.261 --> 00:30:13.290
Paul ONeill: build a better. Next step is the is the lesson he definitely took from it, and not I'll see this.

00:30:15.070 --> 00:30:20.579
Paul ONeill: There were a bunch of people that had huge influence on him, and I would say his 4 years.

00:30:20.660 --> 00:30:22.590
Paul ONeill: you know, that was somebody

00:30:22.670 --> 00:30:25.270
Paul ONeill: of all the leaders he worked for.

00:30:25.770 --> 00:30:27.200
Paul ONeill: I would say.

00:30:27.380 --> 00:30:28.340
Paul ONeill: lived

00:30:28.520 --> 00:30:35.679
Paul ONeill: very similar set of values and principle-based life, and let Dad really

00:30:35.850 --> 00:30:37.930
Paul ONeill: grow as a

00:30:37.990 --> 00:30:42.980
Paul ONeill: as a thinker about how to do the right thing.

00:30:43.020 --> 00:30:44.740
Paul ONeill: and he really took the.

00:30:44.990 --> 00:30:45.930
Paul ONeill: The.

00:30:46.840 --> 00:30:49.500
Paul ONeill: The idea that you're a leader

00:30:49.570 --> 00:30:51.670
Paul ONeill: is of domestic policy.

00:30:51.810 --> 00:30:58.489
Paul ONeill: absolutely, seriously like it wasn't, you know he he really wanted to get it right all the time

00:30:58.600 --> 00:30:59.799
Paul ONeill: for everyone

00:31:01.660 --> 00:31:06.780
Paul ONeill: And respected a lot of people for what they could do. But Ford was clearly one of the

00:31:06.830 --> 00:31:17.270
Paul ONeill: highlight something in his career, and then, I think Edgy and I, IP gave him bandwidth to then start building the safety message, and his say is.

00:31:17.490 --> 00:31:19.869
Paul ONeill: develop his learnings around safety.

00:31:19.890 --> 00:31:21.780
Paul ONeill: and how they would be applied at IP.

00:31:22.280 --> 00:31:28.170
Paul ONeill: I know dinner table conversations I had with him where he toss a cap on the table from where he'd been.

00:31:28.180 --> 00:31:32.992
Paul ONeill: adds to your collection, I'm not wearing a hat right now for those we're we're on audio, not

00:31:33.440 --> 00:31:39.189
Paul ONeill: They're not video. But you know, a lot of times I'd have a hat on. But as a kid, a lot of them had IP logos on them

00:31:39.320 --> 00:31:53.740
Paul ONeill: at from different plants he visit, and he loved those plant visits because he's learning all the time, and he would challenge leaders of different places. I know there was a there's an Alabama story having to tell where there was a facility where they were

00:31:53.820 --> 00:32:04.139
Paul ONeill: doing pretty well with their safety hours, and someone challenged them in the crew. You know, a a line worker said, you know, these hats are okay. But like

00:32:04.670 --> 00:32:13.180
Paul ONeill: we want, I want like a jacket that says like, you know Alabama on it, or Alabama pro whatever you know, roll tide, whatever this was like at Alabama.

00:32:13.630 --> 00:32:29.299
Paul ONeill: local or whatever, and Dad was like. Jeez I gotta come up with something for this guy the next time we reach a milestone. And so he was. He was flying down there like I don't know. 6 months or year later, to this facility, and he had some jackets made for people.

00:32:29.300 --> 00:32:50.340
Paul ONeill: And of course you know what happens like a week before he goes. There's an injury, and someone has to be, you know, is is a recordable injury. Unfortunately, it wasn't a death, but it was an injury, and it didn't that an incident occurred right? And so he shows up, and he's got the jackets, and he said he had a conversation with a gentleman, he said, and I know he was safe with the guy, but he said

00:32:50.360 --> 00:32:59.330
Paul ONeill: he handed him a coat. He said, you guys are doing an amazing job. You know, you owe me a half a million man hours of safety. So you know, he had his way of playing with people

00:32:59.340 --> 00:33:06.269
Paul ONeill: that was real. He heard people, you know. He could have blown that guy off and not, you know, and then

00:33:06.530 --> 00:33:20.309
Paul ONeill: not as thoughtful about it but he really did care, and he really and I would say edgy make gave him the bandwidth to really think about it, so that when he got to those time between IP and Alcoa

00:33:20.740 --> 00:33:37.849
Paul ONeill: he wrote safety as the first thing on his list of things he was gonna accomplish at Alcoa, and being the boss, he knew, and I think Ed gave him a lot of bandwidth to do it. But he still wasn't in the first chair. So, being in the first chair when you're only answering to the board and your shareholders.

00:33:38.300 --> 00:33:42.609
Paul ONeill: He finally had his shot to say, This is going to happen.

00:33:42.700 --> 00:33:46.410
Paul ONeill: And then he built the team to do it, including the folks around this call. So it's great.

00:33:47.120 --> 00:33:52.370
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): All incredible set of stories linked where the ideas come from. And

00:33:53.525 --> 00:34:01.040
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): you're referring to President Ford to the former CEO of international paper, where Paul was immediately before alcoa.

00:34:01.140 --> 00:34:11.499
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): And but you started us at a moment where he's a 20 year old and a you know, and this, you know, something that's less than ideal happens. And instead of being blamed, it's learning.

00:34:11.659 --> 00:34:22.530
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): And the light bulb goes off. And then, you know, and it get together with the becoming the leader at the top. And what you can do if you set up a whole organization around that idea

00:34:22.600 --> 00:34:26.830
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): of rapid learning to be the best in the world, as Alcoa said to do.

00:34:26.960 --> 00:34:28.570
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): It's kind of incredible

00:34:29.273 --> 00:34:30.119
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): and so.

00:34:30.120 --> 00:34:30.920
Paul ONeill: Yeah, one.

00:34:30.920 --> 00:34:31.827
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): For that insight.

00:34:32.130 --> 00:34:39.399
Paul ONeill: I wanted to one application at home, and this one is to me. So so it's a snowy day.

00:34:39.620 --> 00:34:42.140
Paul ONeill: It's whatever 19

00:34:42.330 --> 00:34:48.920
Paul ONeill: 82. I'm home schools off, and for whatever reason Dad's home

00:34:49.219 --> 00:34:52.869
Paul ONeill: he'd been on a trip, and he was going to pick my sister up

00:34:52.920 --> 00:34:54.300
Paul ONeill: at the airport.

00:34:54.987 --> 00:35:00.759
Paul ONeill: He was even he wasn't going to download. He was like going in Norwalk to pick her up from a

00:35:00.930 --> 00:35:09.770
Paul ONeill: from a limousine service, and here I have, like the beater car in the family, and I'm off to see my girlfriend and hang out because we have a snow day.

00:35:09.850 --> 00:35:16.269
Paul ONeill: and so he has to take his pride. Vehicle at that time was a 1,981

00:35:16.667 --> 00:35:33.019
Paul ONeill: Bmw. 3, 20 I and the car he had before. That was a pinto, a Ford pinto that was real can laugh about that. But his pride and joy vehicle he has to take out in the snow because I have the family's inexpensive vehicle off to

00:35:33.030 --> 00:35:36.230
Paul ONeill: see my girlfriend, whatever. So so

00:35:36.240 --> 00:35:41.119
Paul ONeill: he goes to pick up my sister. He gets in an accident. The car spins around.

00:35:41.260 --> 00:35:48.180
Paul ONeill: He ends up totally in his car. Right? He was fine safety wise. He was fine. It was okay. But I'd get home.

00:35:48.200 --> 00:35:50.640
Paul ONeill: and my Dad's not home yet. My mother says

00:35:50.650 --> 00:36:01.339
Paul ONeill: you are going to catch some hell when he gets home, because he should have been in the Monza, and you should have been at home, and she set me up for this hammering.

00:36:01.550 --> 00:36:08.669
Paul ONeill: And I'm like, I don't know. I don't think this is gonna happen, but we're gonna find out. And I was scared. I was because my mother was not

00:36:09.210 --> 00:36:19.910
Paul ONeill: my mother's strong woman, and she was gonna tell how she thought it was gonna go down, anyway. I braced myself. It was like an hour of agony, like waiting for him to come home, and I was gonna get it.

00:36:19.950 --> 00:36:23.529
Paul ONeill: And he got home, like, you know, I don't know how he got home. A neighbor brought him home.

00:36:24.114 --> 00:36:30.405
Paul ONeill: And he walks in, and he said, boy, those streets were something. I'm glad you didn't get an accident. And

00:36:30.780 --> 00:36:36.789
Paul ONeill: and he was like he totally made it. Okay. He's like that was not your problem. I shouldn't have gone.

00:36:36.860 --> 00:36:41.050
Paul ONeill: It wasn't, you know, and it was like unbelievable, like he could have

00:36:41.320 --> 00:36:42.770
Paul ONeill: had a hot moment

00:36:42.860 --> 00:37:00.170
Paul ONeill: and he didn't. He was like he couldn't have been cooler, and it really struck me, and I wanted to tell the story because, what he did in his professional life he did at home. So it wasn't an act. It wasn't a 9 to 5 thing with him it was a life lived.

00:37:00.230 --> 00:37:00.855
Paul ONeill: and

00:37:01.600 --> 00:37:07.506
Paul ONeill: That was a moment for me, where, as a parent, I've tried to live that

00:37:08.280 --> 00:37:13.360
Paul ONeill: that set of values and behaviors, to make it safe to be a kid

00:37:13.640 --> 00:37:19.109
Paul ONeill: and to make light decisions and not feel like you're gonna get blamed, anyway.

00:37:19.110 --> 00:37:19.720
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Thank you, appreciate.

00:37:19.720 --> 00:37:20.560
Paul ONeill: Sit down.

00:37:24.200 --> 00:37:30.900
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Kevin and Bill. If you had to sort of summarize the Paul O'neil leadership framework

00:37:30.910 --> 00:37:33.590
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): in a few sentences, what would you say?

00:37:33.810 --> 00:37:40.089
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): And then bring it back to Bill, gave us an example from Russia, but bring it back to you then, leading

00:37:40.440 --> 00:37:44.580
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): in the wake of that or underneath it, and what it did for you

00:37:44.650 --> 00:37:47.050
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): over the course of leading across your career.

00:37:49.650 --> 00:37:50.880
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): As you want to start.

00:37:51.940 --> 00:37:54.790
kevinmcknight: Yeah, I I'm you know, my sense

00:37:55.120 --> 00:37:56.550
kevinmcknight: of Paul.

00:37:56.860 --> 00:38:05.990
kevinmcknight: He was. He was an incredibly insightful man. He was very intelligent. No question. He asked incredibly insightful questions.

00:38:06.750 --> 00:38:09.379
kevinmcknight: But I think for Paul.

00:38:09.830 --> 00:38:11.380
kevinmcknight: integrity

00:38:11.590 --> 00:38:13.690
kevinmcknight: was the key to everything.

00:38:14.960 --> 00:38:18.849
kevinmcknight: his integrity and his credibility.

00:38:19.160 --> 00:38:21.210
kevinmcknight: We're absolutely

00:38:21.400 --> 00:38:22.960
kevinmcknight: paramount for him.

00:38:22.990 --> 00:38:29.420
kevinmcknight: Mean the thing he valued more than anything else, I believe, was his own integrity.

00:38:29.560 --> 00:38:31.610
kevinmcknight: and he demanded

00:38:31.620 --> 00:38:35.900
kevinmcknight: that from others. When when Paul, Jr. Was telling his stories

00:38:36.446 --> 00:38:45.880
kevinmcknight: earlier. I remembered that shortly after Paul O'neil came on board as CEO, the expression was going around Alcoa

00:38:45.910 --> 00:38:50.020
kevinmcknight: in God we trust all others bring facts.

00:38:50.614 --> 00:39:13.110
kevinmcknight: and and that was so so true about Paul, because because Paul absolutely demanded people to bring all of the facts, and no matter how hard you tried, you can never bring them all, so he would always share with you the facts you still needed in order for a good decision to be made, and then you had to go back and find those facts that you that you had left out.

00:39:13.660 --> 00:39:18.970
kevinmcknight: But but I I do believe integrity was the key for him.

00:39:19.140 --> 00:39:25.660
kevinmcknight: that he really did believe that people were the most important asset

00:39:25.710 --> 00:39:27.310
kevinmcknight: for any company.

00:39:27.370 --> 00:39:39.489
kevinmcknight: and that keeping people safe had to be the number one priority, the absolute, highest objective, because that was the only way that you made sure

00:39:39.510 --> 00:39:46.280
kevinmcknight: that people were your most important asset. If they really were, then your number one goal had to be keeping them safe.

00:39:46.860 --> 00:39:53.350
kevinmcknight: And the the other thing about Paul and and this kind of relates to this idea of bringing the facts.

00:39:53.740 --> 00:39:59.210
kevinmcknight: Paul set goals at theoretical limits, I mean, his entire

00:39:59.320 --> 00:40:01.280
kevinmcknight: philosophy was

00:40:01.420 --> 00:40:03.770
kevinmcknight: theoretical limit. Thinking

00:40:03.780 --> 00:40:05.430
kevinmcknight: should be at the heart

00:40:05.540 --> 00:40:28.330
kevinmcknight: of all goal setting that we do, no matter what the and I think that's where Paul got to 0. And yeah, Bill was theoretically thinking beyond that with better than 0. But but I mean, I really do think that in every area where Paul led strongly, it started with this idea of what is the theoretical limit?

00:40:28.340 --> 00:40:32.120
kevinmcknight: And how do we set a course.

00:40:32.160 --> 00:40:34.339
kevinmcknight: to get to that theoretical limit.

00:40:35.260 --> 00:40:35.910
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Fossil

00:40:36.210 --> 00:40:41.510
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): bill. What would you add to that conception of the framework and and sort of how it helped you as a leader.

00:40:41.510 --> 00:40:59.249
Bill ORourke: Yeah. Fo, first, I agree completely. It was integrity that was the foundation of of what Paul did. That's what he was. He was a man of integrity, his openness and honesty, whether it was the open office, or the open meetings, or other things, just show that. And he he what he was a man of integrity and expected it of other people.

00:40:59.360 --> 00:41:17.919
Bill ORourke: The fact-based leadership was an example that other people, I think, followed in their life. I had a good story from 1 95. When climate change wasn't that important? Paul O'neil decided. I gotta learn about climate change. So what did he do? He hired the 5 best experts in the world

00:41:17.920 --> 00:41:40.909
Bill ORourke: in the world. He invited him to the Heinz Environmental center in Washington, DC. For a 16 h, meeting 8 HA day for 2 days, and Paul opened that meeting, and he's I was fortunate enough to be invited to that. So I'm sitting there. Paul opens a meeting, he said. You 5 are the experts of the world. I want you to share facts on climate change with me for the next 2 days.

00:41:40.910 --> 00:41:52.339
Bill ORourke: and I don't want opinion. I don't want any opinion from any of you. Just facts. Well, about 2 h into the presentation of the first expert, the expert says, and I think.

00:41:52.370 --> 00:42:13.450
Bill ORourke: and he didn't get any further pulse off, he said, stop! I don't care anything. Get back to the fax. Yeah. But he must have been waiting for him to say, I think, yeah. And he just set it up. But for 2 days, 16 h of facts on climate change in 1995 was that valuable to me? Think of the learning that you have then, for the rest of your life

00:42:14.138 --> 00:42:21.590
Bill ORourke: and the theoretical limits, was what Paul challenged everybody to, and and, as Paul said earlier, if it isn't prohibited by law

00:42:22.372 --> 00:42:47.540
Bill ORourke: or or God doesn't allow it, then it can be done. And oh, by the way, if it's prohibited by law, let me know, and I'll go get the law changed. And and Paul had done that a couple of times. Who could change? Yeah, the antitrust laws of the world. Yeah. And he went and took on that challenge in his life which was something, but what he taught me was your only limitation is your imagination. If you can think it, you could eventually do it.

00:42:47.570 --> 00:42:49.330
Bill ORourke: And he did. He taught me that.

00:42:49.750 --> 00:43:07.459
Bill ORourke: and and then that that you could take to other people, and you could challenge them. So I was put in roles in different areas like Kevin, where we don't know anything about this role. But we we could ask the questions. And who taught us to ask the best questions? Was Paul. So I get into the it area, and I don't know anything about it.

00:43:07.710 --> 00:43:13.019
Bill ORourke: In fact, there are people in the it area that had forgotten more than I'll ever know in my life.

00:43:14.210 --> 00:43:26.460
Bill ORourke: I could ask questions, though how many data centers do we have? And the answer is 108. I could ask, how many would the best company in the world have? And the answer is, too, you'd have one on one continent, one another continent that back each other up

00:43:26.610 --> 00:43:37.170
Bill ORourke: so you can launch a project. And Alcoa got to 4 data centers. It wasn't 2, but it wasn't 108, and imagine the kind of money you have, and that comes from

00:43:37.260 --> 00:43:38.480
Bill ORourke: fact-based

00:43:38.680 --> 00:43:52.059
Bill ORourke: and imagination and theoretical limits, and pursuing that over and over and over, to try to become the best which was Paul's vision. I want to be the best in everything, and that superlative just drove that company.

00:43:52.170 --> 00:43:54.570
Bill ORourke: and it's a good lesson for others to learn.

00:43:55.700 --> 00:43:56.330
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): That's great!

00:43:56.330 --> 00:44:02.709
kevinmcknight: Yeah, Bill Bill, the only other thing I would add that that I don't want folks to miss is.

00:44:03.180 --> 00:44:09.340
kevinmcknight: you know, integrity to me as doing what is right, no matter what.

00:44:09.420 --> 00:44:17.519
kevinmcknight: And and I think all of the examples of Paul, you know, through the years, really, you know, brought that home.

00:44:17.610 --> 00:44:22.340
kevinmcknight: but I do think there was some deeper thought in there as well. I mean.

00:44:22.870 --> 00:44:27.039
kevinmcknight: Paul believed that in order to build trust.

00:44:27.160 --> 00:44:34.630
kevinmcknight: you had to have integrity, and you had to be consistent as a leader, and I think he understood that

00:44:34.700 --> 00:44:37.850
kevinmcknight: people will follow people they trust.

00:44:37.910 --> 00:44:47.169
kevinmcknight: And and one thing that was so so important to Paul was that he exemplified that characteristic of leadership

00:44:47.220 --> 00:44:59.429
kevinmcknight: to build trust in the organization. So people would do what the organization needed to do to achieve greatness. I mean, I really think that was at the heart of what he all about.

00:45:00.300 --> 00:45:28.409
Bill ORourke: Yeah, that that's an excellent point, Kevin and I I remember when you would go to lunch with Paul. He would stop at the corner because he had to wait until the light turned green and cross the street, and if he didn't want to go with him, maybe he did that in the rain. He did it in the snow. He did it everywhere, but I remember I challenged him on that one day I said, Can't you cross the street. If nothing's coming it it's it's late at night you can see forever nothing's coming. It's a clear day. Can't you walk against the light? And that's when he gave me a lecture

00:45:28.430 --> 00:45:40.080
Bill ORourke: on the trust that you're talking about, he said. If I do that once, and one person sees me, how about all that trust and all the safety I'm talking about goes down the drain, and I won't get it back again. And he did it because it's right.

00:45:40.080 --> 00:45:58.709
Bill ORourke: I remember watching him on TV. Once when he was Secretary of Treasury, there were 4 individuals walking up to the Capitol Building, and I said to the person next to me, I said, What's the guy in the gray suit? He's gonna walk over and grab the handrail. Sure enough. Paul, New walks over, grabs the handrail and held it on the way up the Capitol steps. How about that?

00:45:59.200 --> 00:45:59.850
Paul ONeill: Yeah.

00:45:59.990 --> 00:46:06.619
Paul ONeill: that's a story. When you tell that one bill. I there were a bunch of times I sat with Dad where we'd be watching.

00:46:07.204 --> 00:46:13.680
Paul ONeill: You know, presidents on the the staircase going up to Air Force one or coming down?

00:46:13.730 --> 00:46:31.700
Paul ONeill: And he said, Look at these people, they! Why can't they hold on to the handrail. They think they're showing the world how how viral they are, because they can walk these staircases without holding the railing. Meanwhile they're likely to fall on their head, because that's a slippery service and not even surface. And it's not a normal step

00:46:31.720 --> 00:46:39.680
Paul ONeill: the size that. And so it would infuriate him when people would act in a way that he said a leader would hold the rail.

00:46:40.090 --> 00:46:47.709
Paul ONeill: Anyway, there were numerous presidents that famously went up and down those stairs, jogging and and whatever. But

00:46:47.960 --> 00:46:51.296
Paul ONeill: to to your point, that's a that's a really good one.

00:46:51.600 --> 00:47:14.729
Bill ORourke: Also taught me that our values are with us all the time. They're like breathing. They're with you forever. I was invited recently to talk to a CEO of Harsco Corporation in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, and he wanted to build a legacy like Paul O'neil, because he has a bad safety record. At the end of my discussion of what Alcoa did in safety. He says, Okay, based on everything you told me, what percent of my time should I spend on safety.

00:47:14.730 --> 00:47:33.170
Bill ORourke: So I told him 100%. He said, I can't spend a hundred percent of my time on safety. So I said, What percent of your time. Do you spend on integrity? Do you have an integrity meeting Monday morning at 9 o'clock? Then you forget about it the rest of the week, he said. No integrity is different. No, it's not. If it's a value, no matter what that value is. It's with you all the time. And Paul taught me that.

00:47:34.920 --> 00:47:36.249
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Amazing. And I

00:47:36.688 --> 00:47:40.631
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): you know the you're weaving a very powerful cloth of what?

00:47:41.070 --> 00:47:46.199
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): profoundly great leadership looks like and and what it can accomplish.

00:47:47.480 --> 00:47:59.019
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): And, Paul, let me let me turn it to you. You know, I don't know if there's other things you want to add about the framework, as you understand it, but one aspect, and we started to hint at it was

00:47:59.390 --> 00:48:02.660
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): the same ideas of leadership and

00:48:02.720 --> 00:48:11.609
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): rooted in values, and what was possible, and how to get it done with the depth of thought. Kevin, you made that point. There's a lot of thought behind this.

00:48:12.390 --> 00:48:15.190
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Don't apply just in the private sector

00:48:15.680 --> 00:48:26.490
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): they apply in the public sector as well. They apply in the arts they apply in healthcare, etc. And he lived it, and he showed it as have every all 3 of you on this call.

00:48:27.250 --> 00:48:31.359
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): What was that part of this message? And how would you comment on that.

00:48:31.640 --> 00:48:42.849
Paul ONeill: Hmm! I I'm gonna go. I'm this may or may not answer your question exactly as you're posing it. But I'll say this, there were a bunch of things that dads in his life that crossed over out of

00:48:42.910 --> 00:48:47.279
Paul ONeill: executive branch work. Right? So he was involved with Rand.

00:48:47.390 --> 00:48:53.349
Paul ONeill: So you know, a nonpartisan think Tank the largest one, I think, in the world. Still, to this day

00:48:53.662 --> 00:49:18.770
Paul ONeill: I'm honored to be on their social economic policy Board, which is the domestic policy version of that with 20 other folks, which is an incredible honor to be on that I'm not on the main board, which is fine. I believe the governance is not the fun part. The thinking is the fun part. But Dad ran. Dad ran the board. He was the board chair, I believe, and what at the in his alcoa time, and then he had to resign when he went to Treasury.

00:49:19.184 --> 00:49:26.490
Paul ONeill: But that but he really enjoyed being with those people because they were really smart, and you could ask

00:49:26.690 --> 00:49:38.249
Paul ONeill: any question, and it was fair game, and he felt, and he clearly he could play in that world of super smart people. But when it came to things like thinking about.

00:49:38.530 --> 00:49:41.740
Paul ONeill: he was offered the Secretary Defense job by Bush 41,

00:49:41.760 --> 00:49:57.559
Paul ONeill: and so he was just started at Alcoa, and so we declined. He'd only been in alcoa for a bit over a year. I remember reading about it. I'm in law school and a kid hands me the New York Times, he says. Is this your father? Is he gonna be the Secretary of defense because I wasn't publishing who I was. But

00:49:57.620 --> 00:50:16.620
Paul ONeill: it was the same name. And the Kid was right, you know. I don't think he's gonna do that. But Dad was the kind of person that could have done that job really well, because he would ask the question, which would be, How many carrier groups do we need around the world to protect the United States and their interest?

00:50:16.780 --> 00:50:32.240
Paul ONeill: For you know democracy and freedom, if you will. So he had the guts, and the knowledge to to to, and the and the ability to ask the right questions, to figure those kind of hard hardest questions out. And so I love that about him.

00:50:32.625 --> 00:50:34.699
Paul ONeill: You know, he he was asked.

00:50:34.920 --> 00:50:56.835
Paul ONeill: It's probably 8 years ago to be on a group that was led by Secretary of the Navy to help them think about their kind of 50 Year Plan. So so so over the years, not only did Dad have an ability to lead alcoa and treasury and and help with a bunch of other

00:50:57.670 --> 00:50:58.360
Paul ONeill: big.

00:50:58.500 --> 00:51:06.889
Paul ONeill: big, thoughtful questions that society needs to answer. But he was like a bellwether for a lot of that. So I I was glad to

00:51:07.415 --> 00:51:11.369
Paul ONeill: watch him do those things, and and it was

00:51:11.600 --> 00:51:22.488
Paul ONeill: he was not selfish. I would say he, he could have been more selfish. He was never a golfer, right? So his. His spare time was with his family. He loved the beach, and he

00:51:22.850 --> 00:51:25.269
Paul ONeill: and and and the family. But it was.

00:51:25.400 --> 00:51:36.830
Paul ONeill: That's what he spent his time with. It was not, you know. He felt like golf was a a pursuit that was fine for some, but not for him, because he, you know, he had other things he wanted to be doing so.

00:51:39.130 --> 00:51:50.469
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): That's great, Paul. Thanks in the sense that crossing sectors part of it where it comes from, and why the example rooted again, and the ideas of the framework and the principles which is, which is incredible.

00:51:50.600 --> 00:51:52.130
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Let me ask

00:51:52.820 --> 00:51:55.892
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): each or any of you that would like to respond.

00:51:57.900 --> 00:52:04.469
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): we're in a challenging time when leadership is needed more than ever in healthcare and across sectors, really.

00:52:04.770 --> 00:52:13.720
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): And what do you wish? Every executive leader with a huge challenge in front of them. And and everyone on this call knows the burden of that

00:52:14.490 --> 00:52:21.030
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): new from Paul's teaching, and the examples you all have helped create together.

00:52:21.570 --> 00:52:22.350
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): What?

00:52:22.610 --> 00:52:26.340
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): What council would you give? A leader facing a massive challenge, right?

00:52:30.250 --> 00:52:31.410
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Based on the framework.

00:52:35.270 --> 00:52:49.340
Bill ORourke: I I can start. I I think I'd start with identify. What is that vision that you have for yourself, and make sure you get that articulated for yourself and your organization? Test it, and make sure you're not on the wrong wavelength

00:52:49.680 --> 00:52:52.959
Bill ORourke: and then decide what are the values behind it that you're gonna live.

00:52:53.080 --> 00:53:06.760
Bill ORourke: What's the mission that you have for short term and long term, and then start looking your organization and make sure you have the right people in the right places to be able to attack where you're headed. So I think that would be the beginning for the leaders, for the future.

00:53:07.740 --> 00:53:28.869
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Bill, you're reminding me you recently spoke at an executive seminar for healthcare, Ceos, and responded at length, when one said, Well, what would you do if you were in our seats, and I'm surprised that you didn't get Snap back out of retirement to run a health system energy going in a great way, Kevin. What? What do you wish? A leader, you know, sitting in the seat right now.

00:53:29.220 --> 00:53:33.709
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): could really drive deep on here to accelerate sustainable greatness here.

00:53:35.880 --> 00:53:37.469
kevinmcknight: Yeah, I I

00:53:37.610 --> 00:53:54.980
kevinmcknight: I would say, figuring out the theoretical limit is really not that hard, no matter what you're looking at, I mean, at the end of the day. It's taking all the constraints away and figuring out what what the most efficient, absolute best you know, possibility could be.

00:53:55.270 --> 00:53:58.420
kevinmcknight: What's difficult, is having the courage

00:53:58.540 --> 00:53:59.440
kevinmcknight: to

00:53:59.610 --> 00:54:03.630
kevinmcknight: stand there and say, yes, this is what we're doing.

00:54:03.760 --> 00:54:15.840
kevinmcknight: And and I think you know, we've talked a lot about Paul's integrity, and you know him doing what's right, no matter what. But Paul also had a tremendous amount of courage.

00:54:16.276 --> 00:54:43.793
kevinmcknight: You know someone mentioned before, when Paul came into alcoa as the CEO, having no experience at all in the aluminum industry dealing with executives who had been 30, 35, 40 years in the industry born and bred, and everybody said, You know, what the hell does Paul know about aluminum? I mean, this is a very specific, very individualized area of the economy right?

00:54:44.210 --> 00:54:57.460
kevinmcknight: And Paul had tremendous courage, and I think it does take tremendous courage to lead toward a vision and an objective that you know is possible.

00:54:57.889 --> 00:55:01.950
kevinmcknight: Because a lot of people say your goals should be achievable.

00:55:02.090 --> 00:55:15.219
kevinmcknight: And Paul would say, Yeah, they are achievable. You just need to set them right. And and I think that would would be the right way to start in, especially in today's challenging environment.

00:55:16.310 --> 00:55:23.490
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): I mean, you bring up super important part of the formula to bear, and in our side conversations you've also used the the phrase.

00:55:23.560 --> 00:55:31.199
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): have the courage and the will to pound it in, you know, consistently, you know, every day week after we want that.

00:55:31.200 --> 00:55:31.800
Paul ONeill: Cool.

00:55:33.129 --> 00:55:41.990
Paul ONeill: I gotta I gotta. You know. I'm gonna get in a minute here in the agreement here. But I would say, you know, you start with that legacy question, what do you want your legacy to be?

00:55:42.494 --> 00:55:50.530
Paul ONeill: To me? It's unarguable goals, right? So it's unarguable goals. Let you open it up. I mean, it gets you to safety. Take these.

00:55:50.730 --> 00:56:17.029
Paul ONeill: Safety made makes it safety easy, but it's an unargable thing right to have you know, famously, I think, said many times, raise your hand if you want to get hurt to make us meet our target if we're not going to be at 0. Obviously no one's gonna raise our hand to get hurt at work. But he also made asking the questions. I think he gave us a simplicity that I think leaders should be comfortable with, it's not hard, right? So what are the facts? Tell you about the our engagement.

00:56:17.160 --> 00:56:19.569
Paul ONeill: which data points show a significant

00:56:19.660 --> 00:56:22.209
Paul ONeill: improvement which data points

00:56:22.320 --> 00:56:25.270
Paul ONeill: show no improvement or a diminishment.

00:56:25.340 --> 00:56:28.549
Paul ONeill: What did we do differently

00:56:28.650 --> 00:56:52.440
Paul ONeill: in these workplaces to produce these different results? And then what steps could you be taken to put the whole enterprise on track toward habitual excellence? And so to me he gave us that I'm holding up this his handwriting. I've read them off for you all, Bill and Kevin, or smile at me and ken seen these, but this was in his hand when I was asking him.

00:56:52.763 --> 00:57:00.949
Paul ONeill: you know. Probably I don't know. 12 years ago, and with one of our value capture partners. And we're talking to dad about how we should be

00:57:01.330 --> 00:57:04.820
Paul ONeill: talking to a leader about what their system is producing.

00:57:04.900 --> 00:57:07.039
Paul ONeill: and I think that framework

00:57:07.200 --> 00:57:28.728
Paul ONeill: to me is a gift, for you know anybody can use it right. So Dad gave us all these things, but they're free, like anybody who's in the seat that has authority can use them, or any kind of spot they're in where they're working in an environment you could be in, you could be an employee and ask these questions of your leader. Right? So,

00:57:30.090 --> 00:57:31.848
Paul ONeill: yeah, I I think it's

00:57:32.540 --> 00:57:39.570
Paul ONeill: It's it's in the application. And I think and I think that we're working on it. But I think that the academic setting

00:57:40.290 --> 00:57:47.999
Paul ONeill: settings around the country need to be embracing more and more O'neillian frameworks for

00:57:48.200 --> 00:57:52.709
Paul ONeill: what they're teaching their leaders, and I know that we're working on it at the Iu school

00:57:53.647 --> 00:58:10.509
Paul ONeill: the O'neill School at Iu, which is the public policy school there, where he attended University and the public policy schools named after now. But I they're even trying to get better or best that. How they apply these ideas in their teaching of young leaders.

00:58:10.760 --> 00:58:11.590
Paul ONeill: So

00:58:12.370 --> 00:58:13.030
Paul ONeill: hope.

00:58:13.030 --> 00:58:19.789
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Each of you. Thank you so much for that. And, Paul, you you reminded us that thinking hard as a leader

00:58:19.830 --> 00:58:25.070
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): when you're getting into the seat about what you want your legacy to be long after you leave that seat.

00:58:25.480 --> 00:58:34.440
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): and then the leadership framework to get there with simplicity and courage and rudeness, and systems, and thinking and

00:58:34.590 --> 00:58:51.240
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): aspirational views of what people could do and respect for people, and then the courage and the will to live it out, and you know something very powerful has come together for those that don't know. Paul O'neil, senior got to alcoa, having done deep reflection in a single yellow sheet of paper.

00:58:51.400 --> 00:58:53.339
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Sort of outlines

00:58:53.728 --> 00:59:03.259
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): you know that legacy piece, and then how to get there. And he kept that right in front of them for those 13 years, and kept it the rest of his life. So

00:59:04.380 --> 00:59:05.700
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): thank you so much.

00:59:06.545 --> 00:59:17.579
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): And, Paul, I love the clearing. Call to each of us to apply the ideas in our own, our own life. That general life of leadership, as as each of you have shared. Paul, was

00:59:17.710 --> 00:59:22.419
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): sort of allergic to any dependence on him, because he just wanted every leader, at every level.

00:59:22.650 --> 00:59:28.530
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): formal and otherwise, to take advantage of the ideas and the examples that have been set before.

00:59:28.910 --> 00:59:36.900
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): So I wanna, I wanna ask, as we reach the end here, are there any closing words, any thoughts you haven't shared that you think the audience could benefit from

00:59:37.370 --> 00:59:38.859
Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Bill. Why don't I start with you?

00:59:39.330 --> 00:59:48.304
Bill ORourke: I I really respected Paul. I consider him to be the most enlightened leader I've ever known. And I'm very fortunate to have known him.

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Bill ORourke: I've once had the opportunity of

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Bill ORourke: to let Paul know what high regard I held him in. He was invited to give a speech to the students at the Marriott School of business in Provo, Utah.

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Bill ORourke: I was invited to come out there and introduce him, which I did, and I talked about his accolades, etc. But then, at the end I let him know that

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Bill ORourke: for the last about 20 years I've held certain people as my heroes in life.

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Bill ORourke: And I've actually gotten pictures of these heroes and put them in my den. And as I look around my den, I can see these pictures, and it's people like that include Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Thomas Jefferson.

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Bill ORourke: Pope John Paul the second Martin Luther King, Neil Armstrong, and you're Gagarin my Dad.

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Bill ORourke: the upper left hand corner. There's a picture there of Paul O'neil.

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Bill ORourke: and that's the high regard that's the kind of company that I put him in in my life, and I've been so fortunate. Yeah.

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Bill ORourke: to have been exposed to him.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Thank you. Bill Kevin.

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kevinmcknight: Yeah, I I'd echo what Bill said. Obviously, I mean, in in my lifetime I've never

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kevinmcknight: had the privilege of working for a better leader than Paul, I mean somebody I had such deep respect for

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kevinmcknight: as an individual, as a person and as a leader.

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kevinmcknight: and and I think the the only thing I would say that we probably haven't covered as deeply is.

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kevinmcknight: Paul understood the power of observation and the power of asking questions, and if there was one thing that he did better than anyone else. It was. Observe

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kevinmcknight: and ask the right questions, and if if leaders could just take those 2 things from Paul and apply them honestly in their environment, they would achieve an amazing amount.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Thank you, both of you.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Paul will give you the last word of anything you'd like to add about the legacy. Your impact.

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Paul ONeill: Yeah, and the in in the, in the legacy side of things. I'll say this so, and I get some heat from my from my wife Celine for getting a New York Times and a Wall Street journal delivered to me every every day.

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Paul ONeill: and I get the paper version. I respect people that can digitally up consume information. But in our household those 2 papers, and then the local paper would be part of the mix, and so in Pittsburgh I get the pit that when the Pg. Is published I get it. So there's nothing like putting your hands on information.

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Paul ONeill: And the point I want to make broadly. And it's challenge for us in the world we live in today, right? Because everyone takes sides. So Dad was a believer in understanding what everybody was consuming.

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Paul ONeill: and then he was his own filter for what he acted on. But he wanted to know what people were talking about. So when you walked in his house, Cnn. Might be on Msnbc. Might be on. You might be watching Nbc one night on the news, or whatever. But he was a consumer of information.

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Paul ONeill: He wanted to know what people were hearing. He wanted to understand different varied points of view.

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Paul ONeill: and that was really important to him so I think his early career at Omb showed that because he was there for 11 years before he's an appointed official.

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Paul ONeill: he was the smartest person in the room by far, because he consume more information than anybody else. And so when someone asked him his opinion about something or or for the facts he knew, and so that was a cornerstone for him. But that's a that's a legacy. I live, and I did wash my hands before this the ink off my fingers today for my 2 newspapers. But that's

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Paul ONeill: I would say,

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Paul ONeill: the easy words are, be curious. I think that's what Dad was fundamentally we haven't said that, but all this underlies that. But

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Paul ONeill: be curious would be my takeaway from my giveaway from this session. Thank you ken for

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Paul ONeill: for running us through this through this wonderful time.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Well, thank thank you, Paul, and thank you, Kevin, and thank you, Bill, for laying down these really powerful layers of substrate behind. That that we all can access to to help be a part of creating greatness

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): with others can't thank you enough for doing it, and for listeners for tuning in.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): If you're a leader listening to this, and you have a reaction, please send us a note

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): and if you'd like more resources. Please head to our website, where you can access some of our

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): Ebooks, including a playbook for habitual excellence which is really Paul Senior, and his own words, and some of his most powerful condensations and examples. That he wrote about and spoke about

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): and also a volume called Lasting impact, which is, many leaders sharing lessons from Polynale senior that impacted them in their lives. So if you like this, you like, you'll like both of those as well. And and if you like, the podcast and you like hearing leaders talking about leading transformational impacts for people.

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Ken Segel - Value Capture (he/him/his): please, like it and subscribe to it. Habitual excellence, value capture on your favorite. Podcast thank you. All for being here, thanks for your time, listeners and thanks for your leadership more than anything else.

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