Gair Maxwell: Inspiring Leaders to Create Legendary Brands
Have you ever wondered how certain people and companies achieve larger-than-life status? Well, today’s guest Gair Maxwell is an international brand consultant with some theories about what legends are made of, with empirical evidence to back them up!
Gair Maxwell has worked with some of the world’s most dynamic organizations, including Apple, Caterpillar, NAPA, and Virginia Tech. He has also shared conference stages with some of the world’s biggest business icons, such as Richard Branson and Gene Simmons, delivering almost 100 presentations every year with global representation from speaker bureaus in Canada and Mexico.
A former broadcaster, Gair racked up over 10,000 interviews and more than 30,000 broadcasts in an award-winning radio and television career in his native country of Canada. Today, he is a global authority for helping organizations create iconic brands that attract legions of customers and top talent.
“As the business world gets more focused on metrics and logic and that which is linear and analytical, that’s not, big picture, how you win over the long haul. I think it’s art. In the end, it comes down to the art that you create and, in many respects, your business or your nonprofit or whatever it is, think of it as a canvas. I know it sounds very metaphorical, but I see it that way. It’s a canvas, and then you paint it in the image that you feel good about.” — @GairMaxwell [1:06:55]
In this episode, Gair and Sourdough bond over their mural love for Van Halen, and Gair shares some stories about the people, companies, and communities that he has encountered who were determined to change the rules and compete on their terms. You’ll learn how they are creating raving fans, attracting top talent, enjoying substantial growth, and establishing themselves as what Gair defines as a Category of One.
Fundamentally, Gair believes that you can’t create a legend without a story. Deep down, you have to come to grips with your own story and truly live it! Tune in today for some poignant advice on how to do just that.
“Nike’s story, deep down, is summarized in three words. Whether you like the product or not, they nailed it in three words: just do it. They have been telling that story very, very successfully since 1988. Big Little Legends is my attempt at saying, ‘You don’t have to have the big pockets of Nike. You don’t have to be Starbucks. You don’t have to be anyone on the Fortune 100. You can be that small to medium-sized business, that big little legend, find your story, step into that, be that.’ If you can do that, you have basically made the competition irrelevant.” — @GairMaxwell [0:16:51]
Key Points From This Gair Maxwell Episode:
- Gair emphasizes the power of virtual technology like Zoom, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
- When Gair’s love for Van Halen started and why he calls them the “soundtrack of his life.”
- The importance of communicating through feeling in a data-driven, KPI-obsessed society.
- How to live up to your potential by understanding that everyone has a story to tell.
- Gair reflects on his career journey and his lifelong fascination with all things ‘legendary’.
- Why he believes that a story either happens to you or you have to make one happen.
- The origin of legends and how to decode their enduring appeal to create great brands.
- Find out how Gair got into TV and radio broadcasting in Canada in the first place.
- His transition from broadcasting to business; creating a story grounded in emotional truth.
- Why your story has to be about more than “making a buck” if you want to build a legacy.
- Gair highlights the value of embracing the wisdom of uncertainty.
- Scott explains to Gair where his pseudonym, Sourdough, comes from.
- Setting yourself apart as an essential component of success; the enduring value of curiosity.
- Why the human qualities and characteristics of someone legendary are so subjective.
- The importance of embracing a growth mindset; be unafraid to experiment!
- How Gair believes mortality intersects with legacy; how do you want to be remembered?
- The role that golf has played in Gair’s life and what it taught him, beyond the obvious.
- Learn about Gair’s upcoming book, Big Little Legends, being released in November 2021.
- How the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased consumers’ appetites for authenticity.
- Gair’s advice for big businesses struggling with authenticity: ask yourself, who are you beyond your goods and services?
- How Nike and Starbucks stood the test of time by being more than sneakers and coffee.
- Why Gair believes it isn’t metrics and logic that makes a business a success; it’s art.
- The importance and opportunity of “putting a human face in the digital space.”
- Gair reiterates the value of curiosity; how are legends created, why does it matter, and what does it mean to you?
“People will often, tragically, go their entire lifetime and never find what they are really supposed to do.” — @GairMaxwell [0:10:01]
“How can we communicate something metaphorically and symbolically to increase a deeper level of understanding so people feel it? As opposed to what I fear has become a very data-driven, analytically obsessed, KPI overdosed society, especially in the business world.” — @GairMaxwell [0:10:24]
“A story either happens to you or you [have] got to make one happen.” — @GairMaxwell [0:25:20]
“You can’t create a legend without a story and you can’t create a story unless it is grounded in emotional truth.” — @GairMaxwell [0:35:14]
“A growth mindset is not afraid to experiment, test things, try things out. Sure, you’re going to make mistakes! But the fixed mindset is the one [that is] very resistant, very hesitant.” — @GairMaxwell [0:50:15]
“You’d be shocked. You ask any business leader, any CEO that question: who are you beyond your products and services? They don’t have an answer.” — @GairMaxwell [1:03:43]
“Before you worry about platforms and mediums and social networking sites, do you have a story? Do you have something that people would actually care about, beyond your features, advantages, benefits, products, and services? Because everyone has done that to death.” — @GairMaxwell [1:10:34]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
- Gair Maxwell — https://www.gairmaxwell.com/
- Gair Maxwell on Twitter — https://twitter.com/GairMaxwell
- Gair Maxwell on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/gairmaxwell/
- Gair Maxwell on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/gairmaxwell/
- The Authentic Swing — https://www.amazon.com/Authentic-Swing-Notes-Writing-First/dp/1936891131
- Big Little Legends — https://www.gairmaxwell.com/biglittlelegends
- Touching Greatness — https://www.amazon.com/Touching-Greatness-Ted-Sobel/dp/1606795430
- Mindset — https://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology-Carol-S-Dweck/dp/0345472322
- Page Two Publishing — https://pagetwo.com/
- Not Real Art — https://www.notrealart.com/
- Scott “Sourdough” Power — https://www.notarealartist.com/
“If you want to create something truly legendary, especially with something as intangible as a brand, there are no guarantees, but you have got to be the one to basically [do what] we were talking about earlier, with Steven Pressfield and the legend of Bagger Vance. You are the golfer, metaphorically. You have got to step up to the tee, and you have got to put the ball in play.” — @GairMaxwell [0:40:02]