1. Ignore the 'Adults in the Room': Defying Conventional Leadership Wisdom with LaSean Smith Ken Schmitt 34:17

Ever thought, maybe I shouldn’t listen to this advice? Get ready to challenge conventional wisdom. LaSean Smith shares his journey from being a gifted teenage coder, finishing high school at 16, earning an associate degree by 18, and working at major corporations like Motorola, Amazon, Microsoft, and Deloitte. 

LaSean emphasizes the importance of encouraging open communication and trust. We challenge the notion of blindly following the advice of so-called “Adults in the Room” and underscore the importance of creating psychological safety in leadership.  LaSean explains why he passionately advocates for employees to explore the right kind of side hustle and promotes viewing career choices as a buffet.  

This conversation is so rich and enlightening that we had to split it into two parts. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on this bonus episode. 

About LaSean Smith 

LaSean is a seasoned tech executive with a diverse background. He began coding at the age of ten, kickstarting his tech journey. He’s held various roles in engineering, product management, and strategy, including work in the Navy, entrepreneurship, consulting at Deloitte, and stints at Microsoft and Amazon. He’s also the founder of CAGR Investments, a private equity firm. With multiple patents in AI and media, he’s an expert in behavioral economics and systems engineering. He’s produced indie films and has a wide skill set in content production and software development. He’s a UCLA screenwriting program graduate, holding degrees from SIU, Arizona State, and Georgetown. His book, “Values-Based Business Design,” focuses on high-growth product development in the modern global marketplace. 

Ken Schmitt Podcaster, Author, and CEO

Ken Schmitt has been recruiting for 26 years. A San Diego native, he grew up in an entrepreneurial household with a father who was a Jack in the Box franchisee for 25 years and a mother who left the accounting world to become a real estate agent.

In 1998, Ken answered an ad in the newspaper for a recruiting job and never looked back. After spending 9 years working for a local boutique firm, a large regional firm, and one of the world’s largest Executive Search firms, Heidrick & Struggles, he launched TurningPoint Executive Search in 2007 and now employs 7 professionals in a 100% remote work environment.

In 2023, Ken published “The Practical Optimist: An Entrepreneurial Journey Through Life’s TurningPoints” through Advantage Publishing. He also launched a new podcast of the same name, highlighting everyday people who are making an extraordinary impact on their families, their business, and their community.