Step into a world where innovation knows no bounds, where boundaries between the tangible and the virtual are blurred, and where one individual’s journey encapsulates the spirit of progress. Today, we embark on a fascinating voyage into the realm of retail transformation, guided by the visionary promise of Cobalt.

Gabriel Theis is the COO at Cobalt, where he plays a pivotal role in the company’s mission to revolutionize the world of luxury fashion and retail. Under Gabriel’s leadership, Cobalt is at the forefront of pioneering innovative solutions that seamlessly merge the physical and digital shopping experiences through the ingenious application of blockchain and NFC technology. Throughout today’s episode, we discuss how Cobalt is revolutionizing the world of shopping, paving the way for a future where commerce seamlessly integrates both worlds (and many more).

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    1. What is Cobalt?
    2. How does Cobalt bridge the gap between physical and digital shopping?
    3. How does Cobalt ensure the protection of authenticity and privacy?
    4. How are a company’s culture, leadership, and motivation interconnected?
    5. What is leading with intrapreneurship?
    6. What innovations and leadership efforts has Nike demonstrated in the digital space?

    Speak up about problems, clean the air, and start fresh the next day.”

    Gabriel Theis

    COO, Cobalt


      [03:31] Gabriel’s Journey: Exploring Passions, Embracing Technology

      [06:53] Cobalt: Bridging the Gap Between Physical and Digital Shopping

      [09:03] How Cobalt Ensures Authenticity and Protects Privacy

      [12:14] Unlocking the Potential: Cobalt Across Industries

      [15:23] Cobalt’s Diverse Audience

      [17:11] Gabriel’s Leadership Philosophy

      [21:25] Fostering the Next Generation of Strong Leaders

      [23:20] Signature Segment:  Gabriel’s LATTOYG Tactic of Choice: Leading with Intrapreneurship

      [27:11] Nike: The Beacon of Leadership in the World of Innovation

      [29:41] Gabriel’s entry into the LATTOYG Playbook The Art of Thriving

      [33:50] Signature Segment: Karan’s Take


      Gabriel Theis, the COO at Cobalt, is a key player in the luxury fashion and retail industry revolution. Leading the charge in this transformative journey, Gabriel and his team are at the forefront of innovative “phygital shopping.” Cobalt’s groundbreaking solution seamlessly merges physical and digital shopping experiences, setting the stage for a unique and immersive customer journey.

      Cobalt’s adept use of cutting-edge blockchain and NFC technology sets it apart. By harnessing these powerful tools, they provide a secure, personalized, and interactive shopping experience. Customers are empowered to verify the authenticity and ownership of their purchases, effectively countering counterfeit products. Moreover, Cobalt’s technology enables precision-targeted marketing and offers valuable data insights to retailers, making it a win-win for both consumers and businesses.

      Gabriel and his team have crafted a shopping environment that is not just functional but also engaging and visually stunning. With high-quality graphics, interactivity, and an immersive approach, Cobalt is redefining the future of shopping, delighting customers at every touchpoint. Under Gabriel’s leadership, Cobalt is paving the way for a more secure, transparent, and captivating shopping experience in the fashion and retail world.



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        Click the plus button on the tab to access the written transcript:

        Episode 53 | Using Tech to Authenticate Luxury Brands with Gabriel Theis

        Gabriel Theis  00:00

        Actually, that’s a big pain point of luxury brands because nowadays, around 55 percentage of luxury products are traded on the secondary market. And brands miss out on a lot of profits. And actually, it’s not their interest that people buy it from the secondary market.


        Voiceover  00:19

        Welcome to the “Lead at the Top of Your Game” podcast, where we equip you to more effectively lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. Each week, we help you sharpen your leadership acumen by cracking open the playbooks of dynamic leaders who are doing big things in their professional endeavors. And now, your host, leadership tactics, and organizational development expert, Karan Ferrell-Rhodes.


        Karan Rhodes  00:54

        Hey, they’re superstars. Welcome to the Lead at the Top of Your Game podcast. And thanks for joining another episode designed to help you better lead at the top of your game. You know, one of the cities that I always love to visit is New York. And although I can’t say that I love to shop, but it seems like the people that I’m usually traveling with seem to absolutely love it. And I typically go along just for the companionship and fun. Now the running joke is checking out if the luxury items that they’re trying to buy are the real deal or knockoffs. You know, the ones sold on the street are obvious knockoffs, right? But I must admit there are some elite shops in New York where the merchandise is Dead Ringers for the real thing. However, from my perspective, even great knockoffs feel cheap, and I’d rather pay for the real thing if that is what I truly happen to want. But that’s just me and to each his own. On today’s show, we beat your leader, his company ensures that you get what you pay for. Gabriel Theis is the Chief Operating Officer at Cobalt, which is a French startup that has created a technology ecosystem to allow customers of high end brands to prove the authenticity and ownership of their products. Their technology protects the interests of brands and creators, as well as the buyers and patrons of the product concerned with us as leaders in authentication technology. The expansion of use cases in this area is targeted to touch almost every industry in existence in the future. Your mind is definitely going to be opened by the thought leadership that Gabriel and his team at cold water bringing to the market. And in addition, our truly love how authentic Gabriele is about the challenges of being in the C-suite in a very complex organization. Now be sure to stay tuned for just two minutes after the episode to listen to my closing segment called Karan’s Take, where I share a tip on how to use insights from today’s episode to further sharpen your leadership acumen. And now enjoy the show. Hello superstars. This is Karan and welcome to another episode of the leader the top of your game podcast. We are so pleased that you joined us again and we have a fantastic guest on our show today, who is going to kind of tell his experience on being a very young leader in a high growth company and industry. And he has a ton of tips to share with us. So we’re so pleased to have on today’s show Gabriel Theis I was about to say Theese, but it’s not, it’s Theis, who is the Chief Operating Officer at Cobalt. And Cobalt is a French startup that created an ecosystem to allow customers of high end brands to prove the authenticity and ownership of those products, which you and I know are very important to us. So welcome to the podcast, Gabriel.


        Gabriel Theis  03:58

        Thank you for having me. Yes. And thanks for tuning in guys my name to give you some background about myself. My name is Gabriel. I’m originally from Germany, I grew up in a small but beautiful village in the city between the city of Frankfurt and Cologne. And I was raised with five siblings, which is quite unusual for a German family and I was raised around entrepreneurs. So to give you some background, where I really come from and how I ended up here. So I was always like a very curious child. I always tried out different things. And when it came to my career During high school, I didn’t really know which direction I’m going to go because I was interested in so many things. I like maths, physics, but also business because my uncle, my grandfather, also my aunts, they all have their own business. And I was like always curious about how to do these things. And then I came to the conclusion Hey, Industrial engineering is the right thing for me to study to combine engineering and business. And after that, I was like, okay, hey, what am I going to do, I don’t want to be like a full time engineer and sit in front of my screen, and drafting some engines or whatever. I’m a people person. And I like to communicate with people. So I was like, hey, consulting must be the right thing. So I somehow ended up in consulting and technology consulting, again, combining technology with the business side. And I started my career at HSO as a, as a functional consulting, doing some Microsoft integrations and so on. And then I was like, hey, there is something better out there. In 2017, I dipped into cryptocurrencies. And I was like, literally not sleeping overnight, I was digging so much into it. And as I had an elbow surgery, I was at home all the time, I was on sick leave, unfortunately, also, fortunately, nowadays, saying, I was digging so badly into it, that I got aware of all the technology blockchain technology. And I was fortunate enough to invest early on and then take a break and just go on some kind of like vacation leave to say this way, and to travel around. And then I was like, hey, I really want to dig into more on these innovative technologies. And I ended up at Ernst and Young in the blockchain Competence Center in UI, which is somehow already like a startup environment is super amazing environment, where we work on the forefront of technology. And at some point, I got aware of this NFT project like cobalt where I am today. And I started engaging in their community, I was super active. At some point, I just gave them free advice, because I really love what they’re doing. I mean, I still do. And I was super passionate about this. And through the community, I build up the relationship with the founding team. And nowadays, I’m CEO at a startup with Around 50


        Karan Rhodes  06:53

        Nice. Well, congratulations on a fantastic success you’ve had thus far, you’re still so young, I can’t wait to see what you’re gonna continue to do. But for our listeners, can you tell a little bit more about what cobalt actually does? And how do you prove the authenticity of you know, products and ownership?


        Gabriel Theis  07:16

        Yes, so to expand on this, we not only have a tool or like a software to prove the authenticity and ownership of products, the build, let’s put it this way in immersive 3d, virtual 3d immersive, Shopify basically a marketplace where people can go and experience shopping in a whole new way, with VR mixed reality, excessive from their phone, but also from the laptop. So Cobalt is not only about proving the authenticity of products, or the ownership of products, actually, at cobalt, we building a whole 3d immersive virtual shopping experience, basically, like a Shopify that you can walk into with your avatar, dress yourself up with digital clothing, try them on, see how the outfits look like. And we building this to onboard luxury brands. And we basically bridge the gap between the digital and the physical vert, giving physical items, basically a digital identity and therefore opportunities to authenticate and prove ownership of products. So let’s imagine you have like a little bit Hornback, we can now use our sealing technology or our NFC technology, put an NFC chip in there. And this NFC chip will have a digital identity, like a certificate where you can prove with for example, your phone, you take your back, and you scan it, and then you can prove okay, this is an authentic product. And we use battery technology, blockchain technology and NF T’s for this, which opens up many, many features for brands to enhance the whole customer journey, and, and make it very engaging. So that’s in a nutshell, what we’re doing at Cobalt.


        Karan Rhodes  09:03

        Gosh that’s fascinating. And I come from the Tech where I worked at Microsoft for almost 14 years. It is different technology and focus. But I know that enough to be dangerous, but that is absolutely fascinating. And does that require any chips or hardware or anything from these luxury brands so that consumers can authenticate it? How will it read if it’s real or fake? I guess that’s my question.


        Gabriel Theis  09:35

        Yes. So basically, we building like, let’s say, white label solutions for this. We have three EPS for the NFC technology. One app is an app for the manufacturer who puts the chip into the shoe, for example, and then links it directly to an NFT. And it’s the NFC chip is designed in a way that you can’t override it. And then there is an app for the brands like a back end While they can have all the data access, see which NFC chip is linked to which identity to which product, with all the product information on the web was introduced when was produced, which materials were used. Many, many, many data set can be put up on there. And also, there’s gonna be an end consumer app, which you can download on the App Store or Google Play Store. And then take the phone and scan the NFC chip. And we basically provide all these three apps and with the with the third app, which the end user can then scan the NFC chip, and it will be verified to like the cloud or to internet connection, if it’s a real authentic product, because you can’t override these chips. And you can, you also can’t copy these chips. And that’s how all this works. And so basically, we building this for the brands, and they can just use it and we can expand on many features within the supply chain features. For example, let’s say you have you buy like a luxury watch from from the secondary market, you can then see who are all the owners before me, let’s say you buy a watch 20 years ago, I mean, that’s big Evolver in 2030. And we have to tech enabled now you can then see, okay, it was owned by Denzel Washington, then it was owned by Conor McGregor. I don’t know. When you can see who was it on buying, it’s exciting for the end customer to also see this right. Product and having a real statistic certificate of it. It’s super interesting.


        Karan Rhodes  11:30

        I wonder, do you all run into any privacy concerns? You know, there’s so much going on in Europe in the US around privacy? How do you manage those kind of edicts and laws?


        Gabriel Theis  11:44

        So yeah, for for this, for example, for like the history of version logging, you can for sure, as consumers decide on your own, whether you want to let anyone else know that you own this product before or not. Right. And of course, from a legal side, we have our legal team or lawyers, we hire externally to double check everything with us to not face any problems as our company is based in Paris in Europe, which is known to be super strict on loss, right?


        Karan Rhodes  12:14

        Wow, that’s amazing. I don’t know if you have used this application. But I can imagine how valuable it would be for like in the art world, especially for rare and expensive art. If there’s a way to use your technologies to authenticate, you know, those pieces, especially those extremely valuable pieces. So I do use it for more of physical tangible products and clothing in the apparel area, or are there other industries that you use your technology for as well?


        Gabriel Theis  12:51

        Yes, so there’s actually good at you mentioned that there’s actually many possibilities with this technology. And coming back to the example of art, which is super interesting. But we still develop like researching and developing on this. You can also depending on the NFC chip, and how you build everything, you can manage it in a way when a person sells a product on a secondary market. And it has the NFC chip in which is linked through like an NFT as like its digital identity, you can sell it with the app, the other person can prove the authenticity and the ownership of it. And you can then when you do the transaction through the app, the brand or the artists, whoever gave out the picture or the the secondary data item, he can then receive a royalty fee on the secondary market rate. So nowadays, we have the NF TS where you can have royalty fees, right? Right when users wanted to use the NFC technology within these products in the picture, for example, or in a luxury bag or watch when they sell it. That can be a process where the brand or the artists directly gets a share from the secondary market. So actually, that’s a big pain point of luxury brands, because nowadays, around 55 percentage of luxury products are traded on the secondary market. Yeah, and brands miss out on a lot of profits. And actually, it’s not their interest that people buy it from the secondary market secondary markets,


        Karan Rhodes  14:17

        Right, because you’re not getting any money in their pockets or revenue, I guess you’d say in their


        Gabriel Theis  14:21

        Right. And for artits, it’s also very sad because they make a super nice painting. And then after like 10 years, they become super famous. And then they almost don’t benefit from all the work back then. And would be amazing if there are some features like this also for the artists.


        Karan Rhodes  14:36

        I can definitely see the potential of this. I mean in so many different industries and uses that is amazing. Wow.


        Gabriel Theis  14:45

        Also the medicine or biotech sector. It’s very interesting for some medicine products to re authenticate if it’s a real product. It’s a big thing. And these NFC chips are super cheap depending on which ones you use. They can be Yes, cheapest, like three to five cents each. And to have this authentication is very, a lot way, way more. So the potential is super big. And that’s why we also with our sealing technology with NFC technology, we go in many directions, not only into the fashion direction, but also biotech, the whole retail aspects. So there’s many possibilities for sure. Yes.


        Karan Rhodes  15:23

        Wow, amazing. I’m just fascinated, I’m just my mind is spinning. So who is your target? Who is Cobalt’s target audience like who do you all try to network with and talk to, to introduce your offerings to their industry?


        Gabriel Theis  15:42

        So our target market obviously is like the brands in B2B, to onboard all the luxury fashion brands, who can then launch exclusive items, get over people off the brand, and use it as a marketing tool, but also at some point as a new way of E commerce or edits to the omni channel strategies. And, but our goal is obviously also to attract the customers, the end customers who then buy the item spend time in there. And those customers are generation set generation A, but also people who are very into like cryptocurrencies who are very aware of what’s happening, we’re super interested in like exclusive collections where you get an NFT, where you can prove, hey, I have this NFT, because nowadays, everything is also about not only your social status in real life, but also your status on digital. So it nowadays, it’s about digital identity with our ecosystem, you can basically build your own digital identity, you can buy luxury products, dress up your avatar, you can share it around social media, and you can flex around with it, you can show people hey, I own these items, not only as NFT also as a physical item, hey, here’s my certificate. And so it’s it’s about like young generations who are very digital native. And, and but also some older generations who are very much into to build off web three, I would say,


        Karan Rhodes  17:11

        I love that. Well, I’m going to switch to you now and your role as Chief Operating Officer Gabriel, I can only imagine even even if you know you all are kind of a smaller and midsize company, you have a ton of people looking to you for guidance on, you know how to continue to accelerate your success and growth. So tell me a little bit about kind of your leadership style. And you know, what are some of the the guidance and the challenges that you’re having to navigate to help your teams navigate right now, at Cobalt?


        Gabriel Theis  17:48

        Great questions. So I think I was highly influenced by my grandfather, who built a company that my uncle owns nowadays with over 400 employees. And I think it’s a great success story. And what he always mentioned to me is to be honest, and I think it comes down to be honest with yourself and the firsthand. And being honest with the people around you in a like a positive way, while being empathic. I think integrity which withholds like honesty, and all that kind of stuff, is one of the most important things. So whenever we have some heated air to put it this way, in the company, between employees, or between me and the CEO, which just recently happened, actually, it really helps to speak honestly about these things. And it really strengthens our relationship, to not withhold this negative energy and hold it inside of you and let it grow and have like a toxic environment. I think, honestly, speaking in a constructive way about what’s not going good. And sometimes letting out your emotions can really help. And I think that’s, that’s super important. And I think that should be really empowered to really give people the feeling that they can be honest, they should share what they’re worried about, and what they don’t like, because otherwise there is no room for improvement. How can you improve something where you don’t really know what the problem is? Right, right. I see it so many times in my corporate career, but also, in other startups that people don’t speak up about what’s the problem. And I always encourage my colleagues to speak up about the problems and directly clean the air so we can start fresh the next day. And I think that’s one of the most important things. And so it’s honesty, communication, and then also to be visionary, to set a vision in the whole team to say, Hey, this is this is what we want to achieve together. And to not only give them a vision for where the company should be in the next few years, but also where I see them personally in the personal career to give to motivate them. And I think if you can establish this kind of culture, where you give people the feeling that they can and openly speak about things by you motivate them, and really help them to grow as a person as well. And set like a real big vision for the for the whole startup. It’s something amazing.


        Karan Rhodes  20:14

        It truly is, I wish we could bottle that ability and just putting it in every company out there. Because to your point, if you’re able to, to, you know, get everyone in the company, because everyone can be a leader in their individual roles, right leaders at all levels. But if they can, if you run an environment with integrity and honesty, and where people feel comfortable, and speaking up, that means that everybody’s feeling that they’re contributing to the greatness of what, you know, the teams are doing right. And, and I always tell folks, I have never met someone who woke up and said, they just didn’t want to be their best that day. Things happen during the day that might sour their mood. But usually, as humans, we want to show up as our best selves. And if you create an environment, these people will eagerly bite onto that. And it sounds like that’s what you and your team tried to do it cobalt. Yes, definitely wonderful. And for you, personally, I didn’t know you, you started leading others at a very young age. And as I mentioned, to the audience members, you’re still very young, what do you think is key to help encourage young leaders like yourself, to stay with the passion to be very successful? And how can we? What is the big myth that we’re doing that we’re not creating more and more stronger leaders in the workforce right now? In your opinion?


        Gabriel Theis  21:46

        Oh, that’s a really good question. So what I see a lot is that nowadays, people become increasingly egoistic, in some which which can create big barriers, really big barriers. And that’s also something I encourage to drop, your ego isn’t level to put it this way to be less selfish, more selfless. What really helped me to get also in the position I am in, is to start networking from early on, to get to know people to get to know how to deal with the people to quickly understand the needs to quickly understand what motivates them, what drives them, and to always be open to things. So sometimes I’m jumping on calls, for example, and I’m like, Why do I go on this call, and then 20 minutes later, oh, it was so much worth it. Spending this 20 minutes, he just laid me this and that contact, and I had like my mind set up already, this is gonna be a waste of time to stay open about things and look for opportunities. And I think that’s and to go the extra mile. So because sometimes I have calls late at night, and I’m like, why am I doing this? But then after the call, you’re like, wow, actually, it was amazing to have this call. And it gives you so much energy, and to also go with the flow and not to listen too much about like what the environment around you tells you the right to focus on what you feel is is right for you. And to not listen to the naysayers to say this way.


        Karan Rhodes  23:20

        That’s right. Wow, that’s amazing. So Gabriel, you know, one of the things we love to ask our guests on the podcast is which of the leadership tactics or behaviors that I wrote about in my book really jumped out or resonated with them. And, you know, in my listeners, you know, in full transparency, like came out of our research, and all seven are equally as important and you use them at different times, while you’re, you know, leading in your role. But it was fascinating that you shared that one of the ones that really jumped out with you is when leaders lead with what we call intrapreneurship. And for our listeners who may be new to the show, leading with intrapreneurship is all about being focused on improving products, services and processes in whatever organization or team that you’re working on. And within those compounds. So I’m just curious, Gabriele, why did Leading with Intrapreneurship really resonate with you?


        Gabriel Theis  24:23

        Wonderful question. So I think it’s not only about just leading with intrapreneurship, but also establishing this kind of like mindset and this attitude within my colleagues that are also very, in a way as intrapreneurs in to participate if that’s, if that’s the same as to really have the feeling that their contribution is to something bigger, and they highly profit from this self. So to give them a feeling that they’re not just working for the company, they’re working for themselves, and they’re part of something bigger and I think that’s Something really cool in startups, because you are really actually part of the whole movement. And in corporate, sometimes you’re just a number. As you can imagine, if you’re in the corporate, you’re like one out of like 2000, or sometimes one out of 100,000. And in, in a startup, you have this opportunity to really be an entrepreneur yourself.


        Karan Rhodes  25:23

        But I will say, even for our listeners out there that are in a corporate space, don’t think that you can’t lead with intrapreneurship. And because even within your department or small team, even if it’s a, like you said, 100,000 person organization. Most good team leaders will provide space for new ideas or have discussions with the team about ways that they can contribute, or the team should think about improving what they’re doing, you know, maybe it’s a new process, maybe it’s a new technology to bring in, you know, the options are limitless. But just to your point, having the mindset of always being better, but helping build the company you’re in, or the organization or team you’re on to be better, while also you benefiting as well, is a great win win. I would say for most most people, you know. So what I’ve always fascinated about Gabriele is because you know, as much as I do, it takes a lot to really probably impress you. And so I love asking our guests, you know, is there a person or brand or entity that earn the right to really impress you, you know, someone that you something, there’s something that is truly a leader in their space and your cut? So kind enough to share a company? I don’t know if you remember, but can you share that company and why they really earned the right to have you as a raving fan.


        Gabriel Theis  27:12

        So yes, one company and I think they’re also the leader within the sector I’m working in is Nike. They’re literally leading on top of the game. It’s actually insane that such a brands keeps reinventing themselves, and keeps the customer base growing and growing, like yes, on so much in the space of a three of NFTs. And they’ve really been proven that corporates can have success in this space and the beginning of what a lot of startups and there are actually one of the first corporates and still the best corporate in I would say in web three, to keep going the hype around NF T’s to keep building utility for the products for the people and engaging with this community to fully understand who the customer base is, what they want, and what their needs are. And that dude in such a perfect way. Actually, I’m amazed by what Nike is doing and all the code the collaboration stay doing around like wish Tiffany and Co they did a collaboration with their air force. So they’re doing so many things, they’re going into so many that direction. It amazes me to be honest, like seeing what’s happening in this space. There’s also some brands to blur established brands, but who don’t really understand what the three NF T’s and digital session is about. But Nike really nailed it. It’s still amazing what they’re doing. And they just keep reinventing, like to keep going just recently announced a cooperation with EA gaming. Yeah, games. It’s, they’re going in all the direction. But people have been saying like, hey, gaming can be the next thing within Web three. And they’re going this direction. So they’re they’re still staying at the forefront. It’s amazing to see what they’re doing.


        Karan Rhodes  28:56

        You’re so right, Gabriel, I know a few friends who work at the corporate office of Nike. And you know, no companies are like, perfect, perfect, but what I appreciate about them is they do keep their ear to the ground on trends, technology, all spaces that are like really hot, they’re part of the ecosystem that tries to be at the forefront and then also collaborate with others that are also in the forefront as well. And you sometimes don’t get that from a quote unquote, retail company, right? Or apparel company, what they’re doing over there is tremendously amazing. So you know, give you a virtual high five on that one. All right, Gabriel. But before we close out, I’d love for you to also share just for you personally, what does it take for you to lead at the top of your game? You know, how do you keep yourself going focused and centered and having that right mindset and I know it’s or something, everybody, but for as much as you feel comfortable, we’d love to hear what it takes for you to stay on top of your game.


        Gabriel Theis  30:06

        Really good question. And I think it’s something that I just faced recently because I mean, I’ve been with the startup for three months now. And the first two months were like, we were like, all in the in the executive team, close to like a burnout to say


        Karan Rhodes  30:19

        I bet!


        Gabriel Theis  30:21

        We were working so much. And just before this podcast, it’s sports, because it’s so much needed. And what I really can recommend, which I completely lacked the past months is having a healthy work life balance, to do sports, or mediate, mediating whatsoever, what helps you to get distance from work at some point, literally, sometimes I sit from like, eight to 12, midnight on the laptop, and you have no balance, and it’s so unhealthy. And I think besides that, to surround yourself with people to distract yourself from work a little bit, to talk about other things, what’s happening around, and to share your journey with people also to get them excited about what you’re doing, and maybe also grow your network around you to have supporters around you. And I think learning to say no, to say no to things that might be nice, but not beneficial to your current situation. So like, overwhelming you with too much work or overwhelming you with with too many networking events, or like whatever you want to call them. And I think, also to delegate to let things go and give people to trust people on their things and not to like, over control them. And just let go. And also, one thing that I found out recently is to, besides like all the ongoing daily operations to take a step back sometimes and really reflect what has been going good right now, what is not good? Where am I stuck with my overthinking maybe, and to get your head free to also like, get open about new ideas again, because sometimes you so much locked down in your work that you completely ignore all the things around you, which actually might help you to grow, to accelerate faster with what you’re doing right now. So there’s a lot of things and to maybe highlight one thing, I think it’s to have a really healthy work life balance to sports, meet great people, surround yourself with great people who are entrepreneurs, depending on whom do you want to become, I think the courts to say, show me who your friends are. And I’ll tell you who you are. It’s so much fitting. And I’ve always surrounded myself with like entrepreneurs with super smart people, people who are so much smarter than me. And you can learn always something from anyone. And there’s always something that you can improve and stay open.


        Karan Rhodes  32:59

        That’s a wonderful well, those words are priceless Gabriele and for the listeners she may not be aware Gabriele is calling in from Dubai. Right Dubai. So to help him with his work life balance, because it’s what 7:30pm I think it’s time we’re gonna let him go because he has given truly given his gift of time. But thank you so much, Gabriel for joining this episode. We appreciate it.


        Gabriel Theis  33:26

        Thank you for listening. Bye bye.


        Karan Rhodes  33:28

        Bye bye. Well, I hope you enjoyed our conversation today with Gabriel Tice, Chief Operating Officer at Cobalt links to his bio his entry into our leadership playbook. And additional resources can be found in the show notes, both on your favorite podcast platform, and at lead your game And now for Karan’s Take on today’s topic of the authentication of leaders. As you know our podcast exists for the sole purpose of advocating for and championing the capabilities of leaders all across the globe. However, today’s episode brought up a question in my mind, which is how do you really know if a leader is the real deal? Or if they are fraud? You know, for physical items like when we go shopping in New York, it’s easier to spot frauds. But when evaluating people themselves, it’s much, much harder. And while there are no clear cut ways of doing this, because if I had the answer to that I honestly would be a trillionaire I thought I’d share just a few clues that should raise some red flags if you come across a leader who appears to be questionable at best. So, first of all, look out for what I call talkers without clout. They talk far more than they deliver. They talk a good game and are nevertheless the words but their leadership and track record just to will seem to match up to their words. Look out for deceivers deceivers or, you know, fraudulent leaders. And they often have gaps between what they say and what they actually do. Be on the lookout for blamers fake leaders are notorious for shifting the blame to others when something fails, you know, they duck and dodge so that no blame sticks to them, and declares nothing is ever their fault. Look out or exaggerate errs. Questionable leaders are infamous for over inflating their accomplishments. Look out for hiders they often keep others who are smarter or better them at a distance. They hide behind the mediocre average, because it is hard to hide your fraud when sharp people are around. And then lastly, look out for deflectors they deflect your attention away from what they did not want you to see. And they skillfully use their words and actions to mesmerize those around them, while hiding the truth about their incompetence. So I hope these tips help you better use your leadership spidey senses. But once again, thanks again for joining this episode. Please remember to subscribe to the podcast and share the podcast with just one friend because by performing this one selfless act will empower you to also help others to lead at the top of their game. Thanks for listening and see you next week. And that’s our show for today. Thank you for listening to the lead at the top of your game podcast, where we help you lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. You can check out the show notes, additional episodes, and bonus resources, and also submit guest recommendations on our website at You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn by searching for the name Karan Rhodes with Karan being spelled K a r a n. And if you like the show, the greatest gift you can give would be to subscribe and leave a rating on your podcast platform of choice. This podcast has been a production of Shockingly Different Leadership, a global consultancy which helps organizations execute their people, talent development, and organizational effectiveness initiatives on an on-demand, project, or contract basis. Huge thanks to our production and editing team for a job well done. Goodbye for now.

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