Seven C’s Lightening Round with Mark Fernandes


A tradition on The Stories of Creative Leadership Podcast is to ask our guests for a pithy quote about each of the Seven C’s of Creative Leadership. Mark Fernandes of Luck Companies recently joined us to talk about Values Based Leadership and how his company embraced creativity as one of its core values. We really enjoyed his lightening round!

Communication: “Remember, the biggest fallacy of communication is when we think it happens. So the pep talk is this: keep going back, and just because they don’t hear you, or they’re not getting on board, it doesn’t mean you’re not saying it. It just means you might want to say it a little bit differently.”

Curiosity: “That’s one of the big three for me when I think about young leaders. We know that curiosity killed the cat, not sure where that came from, but I think in the future world of work, those of us who aren’t curious, I think that’s going to be a very short story. And I think the big idea here is don’t be afraid of what you might find, be open to it.”

Creativity: “One of our company values. We are creative creatures. I think each of us should look inside of our own souls and look at the video of our own life, for creative inspiration, it’s in there if you just open your eyes to it.”

Connecting: “I would say the idea here is that we’re using it a lot in the context of the digital world, the high-tech world. And I think the magic is: the future is not just about high-tech, it’s also about high-touch. Let’s make sure that when we think about connecting, that we’re looking at it both through the lens of high-tech and high-touch.”

Culture: “How things get done around here. Our biggest message on this is: it will happen. And left unattended to, my question would be, let me know how that works out for you. So be very purposeful and intentional about your culture. Think of it as a brand. Have an aspiration for it, and then make sure you’re doing the things that move you in the direction of that aspiration.”

Change: “How much has been written about change management? I think we process it to death. I think the magic around change really lives on the human side. And our biggest insight here is that human beings are going to go through steps of learning. And for a lot of type-A leaders, it’s like, “Well, I gave it to them why aren’t they doing it right now?” That’s not the way this works. I think the best word to associate with change management is patience, and then persistence. People are going to go through the cycle of change, and we all know part of that is despair. Our role as leaders is to inspire, breathe life into people, not take it personal, not get defensive about it. Just understand that that’s part of the cycle of despair. And it is our job to lead them through that and back up to the performance part. Don’t judge them for that.”

Courage: “I don’t think you can lead without it. If you lack it, you’re going to walk the earth needing from others versus being able to give to others.”

We invite you to listen to the entire conversation with Mark.

Don’t forget to join us on The Stories of Creative Leadership–a podcast series devoted to uncovering the leadership attributes and behaviors required to lead innovation and change. You can follow the series HERE.


The Stories of Creative Leadership: Mark Fernandes

By Tony Vengrove


Welcome to the Season Two premiere of The Stories of Creative Leadership on the IntrepidNow network! We’re coming out of the gate strong with our first guest of 2015: Mark Fernandes, Chief Leadership Officer at Luck Companies.

In the discussion, we discuss their framework for Values Based Leadership and the journey Luck Companies took to embrace and demonstrate their core values. Some highlights from the conversation include:

  • Why Values Based Leadership requires vigilance, intention, and purpose.
  • How Luck Companies unearthed creativity as a value and how they fostered creative thinking in an aggregates business. If they can do it, why can’t everyone do it?
  • Companies need both a business plan and a culture plan. At Luck Companies, their culture plan is larger than their business plan!
  • The day their engagement survey results come in is treated as the biggest day of the year.
  • On culture and leaders modeling the way: “People are professional boss watchers; the culture will be the shadows of leaders.”
  • Mark’s advice about caring for employees: 1) Love your associates to death, 2) give them something to believe in, and 3) Obsess about them becoming everything they can be.
  • On courage: “If you lack it you’re going to walk the earth needing from others versus giving to others.”

Mark is an inspiring leader and speaker. I’m sure you’ll love this interview–be sure to have a pad and paper at your ready.

We have a lot more exciting guests coming down the pike. Our next episode will feature Lt. Col. Raphael Hernandes, the CMO of your United States Marine Corps.  You won’t want to miss it!

Be sure to bookmark our new series landing page so that you never miss an episode!

Founder, Miles Finch Innovation LLCMiles Finch Innovation helps companies navigate the messy territory of corporate innovation. We’re strategic thinking partners who can help you get unstuck and identify creative solutions to your toughest challenges. We also love to train and speak on the subject of Creative Leadership. Email us or call us at 860-799-7505 to learn how we can help you you unlock the creative potential of your employees.