Hello and thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to listen to Random Ramblings, the official Leadership Arts Associates podcast. My name is Samm Smeltzer. I am the CEO and founder of Leadership Arts Associates and your host for this podcast. It’s kind of bittersweet because that will be the last time that I do that intro. Why? Because this unscheduled episode, typically episodes of Random Ramblings launch on Mondays at noon, and you haven’t seen any for the month of May, yet. You saw a couple in April. I want to say August. I’m wishing away the summer. We don’t want to do that. Summer is coming, but I serve as, basically, the initial teaser for something huge that is coming next week for Leadership Arts Associates and I’m so excited. I’m so excited to share this with you.
I’ve been so excited to share this with you for maybe a month, month and a half now, I don’t know, the time is all a big blur to me. I have been working very hard to prep everything for next week’s launch to make this happen for you. Really, what I’m talking about is that, Leadership Arts Associates, we have grown. We’re coming to the end of year three in October. We will officially turn four and enter our fourth year of business. We have been incredibly blessed to work with some amazing people. I never anticipated being able to grow the organization, to be around this long, to have a business partner that is my best friend.
Because of all those things, we were able, this year to work with a local marketing firm that has been incredible, that asked us some tough questions about the future. We wanted to make sure that we were providing the best service out there. We wanted to make sure that we were sharing Leadership Arts Associates with the world in the best way possible. At the conclusion of these conversations, we got to talk a lot about who we are, where we’re moving into the future, what I see as the vision, what MaryRose sees as the vision, and then really bringing that all together. The result, you’re going to start seeing peeks of it next week.
But one of the things that came through very clearly for me, as I was going through my own self-reflection to figure out exactly what do I love about what I do in this organization. As an entrepreneur, you love it all, but there are things that you have to do just because it’s for good business. It’s what’s going to keep the business alive and thriving and successful. So if you think that if you leave the corporate world to start your own business that you’ll only get to do what you love, that’s not true. There’s always stuff that you’re not going to love.
But I really wanted to get clear with myself about things that I really enjoyed, so that when we are growing and if we are hiring or staffing, or I’m looking at projects to delegate or hire outside vendors for, what am I giving away versus what am I keeping. Where am I putting my time and energy to grow myself, to grow the business? As we did that, the podcast kept coming up for me. The podcast has been something interesting. It started as what I would label a necessity. I assumed that it was mandated that every business had to have a blog, a podcast or a vlog and because of laziness, of not wanting to do the videos, my unbelievable ability to procrastinate and want to make something perfect which is impossible for a blog post, I mean my gosh they sat there with a six month turn-around. I couldn’t get them out.
You were seeing things that were still passionate to me, but they were not as passionate or on trend or live as what was maybe six months before that. So playing to my strengths, playing to the fact that I knew that I could get on an audio track and just talk to all of you, I went with a podcast. I spent a good solid year, once it launched, looking for ways to get other people to do things on the podcast. Something changed. I was letting other people do the podcasts, letting people fill up the marketing calendar with their shows and started to realize that I really enjoyed this podcast.
When they would take it, yes, it was nice to have a break every now and then. I felt like I was losing opportunities to share stuff that I had to say. I realized that this really is my baby. It’s something I really enjoy doing. I absolutely love and appreciate the listeners that listen to the podcast who cannot wait for the episodes to come out, who hold me accountable when they don’t come out on time. You just think about it differently.
When Random Ramblings came out, the concept was that I could ramble about anything that I wanted to and I would be really random. There were lessons that were embedded in there. That’s why people listened to the episodes. There was some good stuff. But when I started to look at the topics I was covering, no matter how random they may be, there was something particular about them. There’s something that they represent that is passionate to the core of who I am, to how I’ve gotten to where I am today. They truly are representative of my heart.
With that, I have made the decision to rebrand this podcast, rename it. This new podcast is now called The HRart of it. Really, I want it to serve as a constant reminder for why I started Leadership Arts Associates, what we do at Leadership Arts Associates, who I am when I formed this organization and who I am today and who I don’t want to go back to. I think maybe it was two weeks ago, I was having lunch with one of my really great friends and one of our creative partners, Tony Hernandez, who has his own organization, Reflective Wisdom, in Lancaster.
We had lunch. We were chitchatting and he had mentioned about how he had gotten this incredible offer from another organization to come work for them. I found myself instantly wanting to tell him that he needs to make sure he remembers exactly why he left all those other organizations and was very clear why he wanted to do what he’s doing now, which is building something for himself and being the one that describes the vision and articulates that vision. When I was telling him this and reminding him this, I realized that I need that for myself. That is what Random Ramblings had morphed into. When you go back through the episodes, there are a series of things that remind me, remind me of what makes me passionate and what I love about this.
If you look at the title, I did change the spelling of heart a little bit. I spelled it H-R-A-R-T, so I embedded the art and then I also highlighted the word HR. I am a leadership development coach and a leadership development trainer. That is where my passion lies. However, I will always at the core be HR. That’s where I started and that is the field and the industry that I play in. HR to me represents people, represents the people management aspect. It represents the people as assets, the best, greatest asset that you have in your organization.
When I started in HR and even when I went out on my own, the whole intention was to provide better solutions to organizations in regards to managing their people and getting those workplaces, and this is gonna sound like I’m pouring on the cheese sauce, but getting the workplaces of your dreams. I think that that is something that too many of us don’t strive for, whether it’s because we don’t believe that it’s possible or we’re just tired. There’s battles that you have to choose. There’s politics that are involved. But I truly believe that an organization, and I’ve seen it with my clients, if an organization is committed and that is truly what they want, we are that solution to help you get there. We’ll stick it out. We have no problem dealing with the politics, having those conversations, fighting those uphill battles, as long as we know that everybody’s on the same page and they want to get there.
I believe that those dream workplaces, they don’t just live at Google. They don’t just live at Disney. They just don’t live at the Ritz Carlton. They can live anywhere. I think that is something that we just have not been very good, as an organization, at sharing the need that we actually fill, sharing how we can make those things happen. Very early on, I was very lucky to have clients who took a chance on me. They will even articulate “I had no idea how this was going to happen but I just was intrigued and took a chance on Samm.” Then they were just blown away.
Now, soon to enter year four and finishing out year three, I feel very confident that I know who Leadership Arts Associates is, what we can achieve, and what we can do. We’re only going up from here. So Random Ramblings has now grown up. It is now The HRart of It with Samm Smeltzer. We’re going to talk, basically, every week about people and possibilities. You’ll see that manifest in several different ways.
Now next week we are going to blast you with five new episodes with The HRart of It, so you get a feel for what this new show feels like. We’re still going to have a challenge at the end of every episode. I think it’s really important to have a call of action. I want you to have that while you’re listening to this. But next week, the episodes that we will be blasting to you, once every single day starting on Monday, is directly linked to this sneak peek with this grand reveal on Friday of what’s really truly happening as we’re getting clear at Leadership Arts Associates and all of this goodness that we finally get to share with you that I have been holding onto.
One of the main things that has been a struggle for us since we launched is that the word arts in Leadership Arts has thrown people for a loop. When I picked it, it was strictly because when I defined leadership I defined it as an art. There’s always been a big debate whether it’s an art or it’s a science. I believe true leaders, even those that are born with those natural, raw, very lucky leadership skills, they have to tweak it. They have to develop it. They have to train it. They have to treat it like an art. They are an artist. They are a leadership artist. I have decided, because everyone routinely for the last two years has allowed the word art to overpower our organization and really decide and define what it means, I’m going to take that back.
So our first five episodes next week are going to be the five reasons why leadership is an art. Starting on Monday, we will have lesson number one or reason number one as to why leadership is an art. But like I said, the main goal here is to get crystal clear about who Leadership Arts Associates is, who we are that’s behind Leadership Arts Associates, because I wanted to know exactly who I was and who I want to be so I can serve my clients best. I also want to make sure that this podcast feeds and serves the clients the way that it should and it all aligns up.
I think The HRart of It’s gonna be that for you. I look forward to discussing people and possibilities, starting next week as we cover the five reasons leadership is an art, starting with reason number one that will be released Monday at 8 a.m. and every day at 8 a.m. so that you can get little hints as to the grand reveal on Friday.
Thank you so much for listening to this very random first episode, but I wanted to explain a little bit about the why of the new title, the new name, the new direction for the podcast. We’re still gonna have some great topics, great inspiration and I’m sure we’re just gonna have a great time. It’s gonna be awesome. All right, well have a great weekend and I will talk to you nice and early on Monday if you choose to join me. Thanks, bye.