Explore the intricate tapestry of leadership styles, from the command and control of yesteryears to the collaborative ethos shaping tomorrow’s leaders. Discover the delicate balance between luck and strategy, and uncover the transformative power of continuous learning in the pursuit of success!

Mark LaCour is a distinguished Oil and Gas Expert, Professional Speaker, and Podcaster with an illustrious career spanning over 25 years. With a profound passion for the intricacies of the sector, Mark has dedicated himself to understanding its people, technologies, and narratives. Also, as the editor-in-chief of the Oil and Gas Global Network, he is at the forefront of disseminating insights and fostering dialogue within the industry.

Posted by

Posted by

SDL Media Team


  1. What role does leadership play in fostering innovation in the oil and gas industry?
  2. How has the oil and gas sector evolved over time?
  3. What are the profits, challenges, and politics involved in the energy industry?
  4. What are some key leadership traits relevant to the oil and gas industry?
  5. What is leading with intellectual horsepower?

    There’s more weight in crude (oil) being mined in our world’s oceans than the weight of all fish combined.”

    Mark LaCour

    Editor In Chief, Oil and Gas Global Network


    [03:42] The Unlikely Journey of a Podcasting Pioneer

    [10:17] The Winds of Change: Transformations in the Oil and Gas Industry

    [20:00] Manmade Disasters and Industry Evolution in Oil and Gas

    [22:24] Forging a New Path: Leadership Dynamics in the Ever-Evolving Oil and Gas

    [27:38] Success through Luck and Leadership

    [30:50] Signature Segment: Mark’s LATTOYG Tactics of Choice: Leading with Intellectual Horsepower

    [33:53] Signature Segment: Mark’s entry into the LATTOYG Playbook:The Power of Continuous Learning

    [36:55] Signature Segment: Karan’s Take


    Having commenced his professional journey in sales, Mark LaCour has achieved remarkable success, having generated over $305 million in sales to various oil and gas companies. His extensive experience includes conducting over 2200 meetings with entities across the globe, from the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico to the UK, Middle East, and beyond.

    Transitioning into entrepreneurship, Mark founded his market research firm, where he earned acclaim as an industry “insider” and trusted third-party researcher. His expertise aids numerous companies in navigating the complex landscape of the oil and gas sector, helping them identify strategic positioning for their products and services.

    Mark’s influence extends into new media, where he hosts some of the most popular oil and gas podcasts globally. With over 3,000,000 downloads worldwide, his commitment to ethical and factual reporting ensures that compelling stories and insights reach a diverse audience. In addition to his media endeavors, Mark is a sought-after public speaker, delivering keynote addresses and conference presentations. He collaborates with companies to refine their sales and marketing strategies, leveraging his industry knowledge to validate approaches and drive success.

    Beyond his professional pursuits, Mark is an accomplished author, serves on several oil and gas boards, and maintains a prominent presence on social media platforms. Furthermore, he generously volunteers his time to educate and inspire future generations by teaching STEM subjects at local schools.




    Shockingly Different Leadership Logo

    Episode Sponsor

    This podcast episode is sponsored by Shockingly Different Leadership (SDL), the leader in on-demand People, Talent Development & Organizational Effectiveness professional services that up-level leader capability and optimize workforces to do their best work.

    SDL is the go-to firm companies trust when needing to:

    • supplement their in-house HR teams with contract or interim HR experts
    • implement leadership development programs that demonstrate an immediate ROI and impact on the business

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

    Episode 65 | A Unique Kind of Oil Titan with Mark LaCour

    Mark LaCour  00:00

    If you think about what we do as an industry, everything we touch has the potential to kill people and destroy the environment. Literally everything. If we make a mistake, people die. And you can have an environmental catastrophe, which can destroy a company overnight. So once you have a process in place, and that I don’t care what that process is, if that process is how you drill a well, how you pick a pipeline, how you build a refinery, how you hire, what documents you use in HR, how do you do payroll. And in this industry, if you have that process in place, and nothing’s ever leaked, nothing’s ever blown up, nobody’s ever died, you don’t want to change the process because it’s a risk.


    Voiceover  00:39

    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  01:14

    Hey there superstars. This is Karan and thanks for joining another episode designed to help you better leader the top of your game. Now as you know for season three each month we’re featuring leaders who have interesting roles and a particular industry and today’s episode is part of our special series featuring the perspectives of journalists and editors in the media. And also on today’s show, we’re gonna give you a taste of an expert who covers the oil and gas industry, which is probably largely a mystery to most of us. We’re so proud to feature Mark LaCour editor in chief of the oil and gas global network. Mark has lived and worked in the oil and gas industry for over 25 years and has earned a much deserved title as an industry insider. He runs the world’s largest oil and gas podcast network with over 3 million listeners and sits on several oil and gas boards. So I want you to listen as Mark shares how he pivoted his career from an initial interest in wildlife management to what it is today. And also be sure to listen for his current thoughts about the state of leadership in the oil and gas industry. And then lastly, remember to stay tuned for just two minutes after the episode to listen to my closing segment called Karan’s taKe, where I share tips on how to use insights from today’s episode to further sharpen your leadership acumen. And now enjoy the show. Hello, superstars. Welcome to another episode of the leader at the top of your game podcast. And as you all know, we’re doing a special series featuring the perspectives of journalists and editors of different areas of specialty in the world of media. And this is a part of that series. And so we’re so pleased to have on today’s show, Mark LaCour, who is the Editor and Chief of the Oil and Gas Global Network, he has worked in this industry, the oil and gas industry for over 25 years. He’s a thought leader and speaker on it. And we’re gonna go deep into both the industry and what he has seen and observed for individuals leading at the top of their game in the industry. So welcome to the podcast, Mark.


    Mark LaCour  03:27

    I appreciate the invite Karan by the way, your audience I started when I was 12. That’s why I have 25 years experience.


    Karan Rhodes  03:32

    I know! You do not look like you’ve been in it for 25 years! You probably started when you were six this image.


    Mark LaCour  03:39

    I’ll take that one. Yes, I’ll take it.


    Karan Rhodes  03:42

    We’re very honored to have you on the show today, Mark, you have a lot to share. So without wasting time, we’ll just jump right into it. But before we get started on the Great tip, I know you’re gonna provide for as much as you feel comfortable. We’d love to learn just a tad bit about you on a personal level, anything that you might want to share. Yeah, so


    Mark LaCour  04:05

    You would not think that somebody that runs a podcast network in the oil and gas industry is also an environmentalist, but I am. So my degrees in wildlife management. When I got out of the Marine Corps and I went to college, I wanted to save the planet. haven’t quite got there yet still working on it. And then the other thing is, both myself personally have been woven into my company. We believe in giving back regardless of what your ethical or religious views are, you know, the ability to help another human being on this planet is something we should all strive to do. And sometimes we do a little bit sometimes we do a lot, but we always do what we can.


    Karan Rhodes  04:38

    That’s right. And I totally have five with you on that that is part of my own personal values as well. So it’s, it’s great that we share that and I know a lot of our listeners do as well. So thanks for sharing them. Well, let’s jump right in. Mark. Can you share a little bit about how you got started in the industry? And why oil and gas?


    Mark LaCour  05:03

    Yes, so oil and gas because I needed a job. So quite frankly, I got out of college with my degree in wildlife management. And this was in the 80s, late 80s. And at that time, the only jobs you could really get was with the state and federal wildlife and fisheries for like 14,000 a year. So unfortunately, reality kind of slapped me in the face. And so I started applying for anything and everything. And the phone company in the east part of the US Bell South, called me and said, hey, we’d love to hire you. And I said, okay, because I’d love to have a job. And they hired me, which is one of the best experiences of my entire life to go work for a company that old that has process and procedure and training down pat, that type of thing, recognition, and caring, they gave me the oil and gas book of business because no other salesperson in that entire company wanted to deal with Exxon and Chevron, and me being naive and just needed a job. I said, Yeah, I’ll take it. That was my introduction. That’s probably one of the best things that ever happened to me. So because I didn’t know the industry, I went to my clients, the big oil, super majors and service companies and said, Look, I don’t know this industry at all. I do know Telecom, and I promise you, I will be a really good account rep for you, I will never rip you off. I’ll always tell you the truth, even if you don’t want to hear it. And I’ll do good business. And they the only guests and she kind of took me under their wing. And they go Come here. And they showed me everything because they want it to teach me it’s still like it’s one of the things I love about this industry. It’s still an industry of people doing business with people. So it’s very fortunate that you know, the ship, maybe I’m not gonna mention names that will give me trouble.


    Karan Rhodes  06:34

    No, that’s ok.


    Mark LaCour  06:34

    But there’s a refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and the refinery manager drove me around, showed me how to refinery work. The first time we went offshore with a major service company, I just jumped in a helicopter in Lafayette, Louisiana, we flew offshore, you can’t do that now. But it was just a wonderful learning experience. And then you fast forward to where I am now. And all that experience. And all those connections have only helped me build this podcasting network that we’re talking about.


    Karan Rhodes  06:59

    And it’s just amazing. And I’ll just say that, that’s an example of just industry leadership right there with you and your clients. Because for them to take the time, that’s a true partnership for them to take the time to help you do a deep dive into their industry, so you can better help you know them, and then they can better help you and vice versa, is truly something that’s rare in this day and age, unless you’re seeing it, I’m not seeing it out there.


    Mark LaCour  07:26

    It’s not as much as it used to be because everybody is so busy, that people’s intentions are still there. People still want to help. But with this always on world, it’s hard to find the time to do that hand holding like, like used to do in the 80s in the 90s.


    Karan Rhodes  07:38

    Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So you had a very successful career, you know, partnering with them through the business or when you were working that and was it bill? I don’t want those bills out. Okay. So what was that transition? Like when you decided to start your podcast network?


    Mark LaCour  07:58

    Okay, I will tell your audience the truth, some of my audience have always heard or heard this. So my last corporate gig was with a company called Forrester Research, I had the oil and gas key accounts, about 15 years ago, they kept my commission, and it just pissed me off, quite frankly, like, really, I’m making an extra $20 million. And you can’t give me 5000 of it. So I started my first company, Modal Point, which is still around, basically kind of out of anger and in the process. And that was a market research company focused on the oil and gas industry. In the process of growing that business about nine years, almost 10 years ago now, my marketing guy came to me said we should start a podcast to promote the business. And I looked at him and said, That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard come out of your mouth. Nobody listens to podcast. Because Karan back then there was no app. So you had to understand how to download an mp3 file. Apple had introduced a new piece of hardware called an iPod and they targeted a new genre, which is podcasting. But everybody that bought an iPod just used it for music, not for podcasting. There was no broadband. So it was hard to do remote interviews, like we’re doing now the software to edit audio is expensive and hard to use. And so my marketing guy just everyday would ask me and I don’t know if you have children, but if you ever had a four year old ask you same question eventually you say yes, so they’ll just shut up. So that’s what my marketing guy did. He wore me down and I said yes, just so he would leave me alone. And what I didn’t know is we started the first oil and gas podcast in the world. Three months into it Red Wing boots calls me and said hey, we want to sponsor your podcast and I almost said Why let the old sales guy me kicked in said shut up, let them talk and that was the beginning of this empire that I sit on now.


    Karan Rhodes  09:34

    Amazing, all because someone pissed you off. I think you could solve world hunger, Mark, if someone pisses you off enough. But that is amazing. But you know, I don’t want to downplay it either. Because sometimes it says life changing events that affect your core, your emotions, your values, that yes, you might have a gut reaction to but you never know when you take action, what’s right around the corner, and it sounds like it was beneficial.


    Mark LaCour  09:59

    100 percent you never know where you’re gonna end up.


    Karan Rhodes  10:01

    That’s true. Fantastic. Well, let’s move into some of your thoughts on on leadership. And you know, one of the questions like I love to highlight or spotlight is, you know, if there are any either individuals or companies either famous or not, that are doing big things in the oil and gas industry. Let’s start there. And then we’ll talk about some of your theories in in leadership overall. But is there someone that you can either name or not name but give kudos to that are doing big things in the oil and gas industry,


    Mark LaCour  10:36

    There’s been so much change in… there’s been more change in the last five years than their previous 20. So that is, it’s a combination of things. One is for the, for the first time in almost its history, the oil and gas industry is facing a lot of negative public perception. Right. You know, 20 years ago, people were excited if you got a job offered by Exxon Now people think Exxon Mobil’s destroying the planet, that limits our ability to hire and retain talent, at the same time the world’s energy needs are going up. And right now I’m telling you right now, I’m a big fan of renewables, but renewables have their place in hydrocarbon energy is the easiest way for the Earth to provide cheap, reliable energy to the world that changes things like culture, and education. And all of that wrapped together means that the only gas industry for as long as I’ve been in for the first time are doing things differently, which is wonderful to see. You’re seeing technology companies come in, I mean, you know, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle. And it really helped make a difference. You see an artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, analytics, all stuff that other industries had adopted a while ago. And this industry, quite frankly, didn’t have to. And now, in a lot of ways we have to, and it’s just it’s a beautiful thing, that we have a new younger workforce. One of my pet peeves last 25 years in this industry, and I have a passion for oil and gas. And she but you hear this all the time? Well, we’ve never done that before. And to me, that is not an excuse. Well, just because you’ve never done it before doesn’t mean there’s not a better way. And this new younger workforce is coming in, doesn’t say that they go show me let’s try something different. And so you bring all that together. And it’s just the perfect storm for innovation, and even things like startups, there were no startups in this industry forever. Chevron wouldn’t do business with a startup because it was a risk because they’re a small company. Right now, Chevron has a Venture Capital Group to do what go find startups, because Chevron knows that what it needs to compete in the future is not going to come from some huge conglomerates who come from to me and shop in Chile, or in South Beach or in Oklahoma, you know, it’s just a wonderful time to be in the industry.


    Karan Rhodes  12:43

    Well, I must admit, it sounds like quite an evolution, because I had mentioned to you that one of my past clients is British Petroleum. And this was a while back before those five years, and one of the things that they were trying to tackle as nothing’s, I’m not giving away any secrets, they talked about it a lot, is that they were trying to become more agile. And you know, they had so many different departments that were operating wonderfully, but in their own silos. And they were trying to, you know, promote a lot more cross department collaboration, awareness and what have you. And it was kind of ingrained in the culture that you kind of come and do what you do and do it well and keep it rolling. And they wanted to be more agile because they saw where the future is going. So it’s so great to hear that that starting to break through and the entire industry now. That’s amazing.


    Mark LaCour  13:35

    So you got to see behind the curtain you saw at BP, historically, BP has been a bunch of individually siloed business units, each with their own budget, their own president, their own CIO, don’t talk to each other. So from the outside you think BP let me tell you inside up until recently, BP pipeline didn’t even talk to the people that worked in BP exploration and production. Those people did not talk to the people that worked at BP refining. So you have all these multibillion dollar lines of business, that literally they would just talk to each other would drive millions of dollars. But because they’ve never did it before, they would tell you we’ve never done that before. And they just kept on doing it their merry way. And now you’re seeing that change. And it’s wonderful.


    Karan Rhodes  14:19

    It is wonderful. You’re absolutely spot on. Michael now and that was exactly what we saw. What other evolutions are going on in the oil and gas industry right now. Anything else that comes to mind?


    Mark LaCour  14:32

    Some really cool stuff. So speaking of BP and beyond petroleum when they changed their name, yeah, about 15 years ago, a lot of big companies this industry jumped on the renewable bandwagon and quite honestly, it was greenwashing. They did it for PR and marketing reasons. Not really wanting to understand the renewable industry. And in my book energy is just energy. Not that long ago we thought killing whales was a great way to light our homes. That was not a good idea. We start off with biofuels burning wood, which unfortunately still a lot of the world still does that burns wood, cattle dung for fuel. And so what’s happened recently is the industry has stopped, turned around and went back and looked at renewables, not from a greenwashing point of view or not from a marketing point of view. But can we make money at it? That sounds selfish, but it’s not. If you want solar, or wind or geothermal or hydro, to stand on its own, it needs to be profitably cannot be propped up by subsidies forever, right? So when you look at things like large commercial wind farms, Lord, commercial solar installs around the world, you want a company that has done enormous global projects successfully, both from an engineering project management and finance point of view, who’s better net than Exxon or Chevron or BP or shell, right. So it’s a natural fit for them to look at renewables and see if they can make money at it. And there’s, there’s that pendulum swings back and forth. Unfortunately, we have politics involved in our energy mix. And I’m not gonna pick one side over the other. But I will say this much here in the US. One side hates us oil and gas industry. So that doesn’t help anything that has no idea what we’re doing. Well, that doesn’t help anything either, right? We need to disconnect politics from energy. Because unfortunately, there’s still babies being born in Africa by candlelight, that should not happen at 2020 30. Right? There should not be a shortage of fresh water, or food or medical supplies, we have the resources in the western world here. And in Europe, we just haven’t figured out a way to share it with the rest of the world. We got to get our politics out the way so that we can help everybody. And then we figure out what energy mix works, wherever you are, and whatever point in time that you’re in. No, no, you’re right. Let me talk about the big profits for a sec. Because that’s that’s something that a lot of people don’t quite understand.


    Karan Rhodes  16:34

    And I must say, Mark, so yes. And I must say that it doesn’t help him from Karan’s opinion. It doesn’t help that you know, you we keep hearing record profits from big players in the oil and gas industry. And we’re not able to tackle that, you know, the renewables, especially when you think I have let me go back to another thing you said earlier, so that we can’t subsidize it forever. We can’t. But there’s an argument about that for food, too. We subsidize our food and farmers and have done it for years. And I don’t see that ending either. I just think we’re gonna need to continue for a while until to your point, some of the big players can figure out the business model. That makes sense, right? Or am thinking about this wrong? Sure.


    Mark LaCour  17:26

    So this industry is site cyclic. It’s also very expensive. If you today in 2023, wanted to go drill a well, in the Gulf Coast in deepwater, you could pay about a billion, not a million a B. dollars to the federal government to get that lease, you have 10 years to make money off that before gets thrown back in a pot and auctioned off again. Now you gotta go rent an oil rig. That’s a million dollars a day. And you got to staff that $600,000 a day. So you got for one well, in the Gulf of Mexico, you have 1 billion out the door 1.6 million a day, and only 70% of the oil wells in the world are profitable, which means you have a 30% chance you just wasted all that money. No other company in the world, except maybe Apple has enough cash to get in this industry. Right? It’s a capital intensive, which means for some time, like from 2017 to 2022. We are 2020. Let’s say we lost money, hundreds of billions of dollars, right? But we’re okay with that. Because when the pendulum swings, we’ll make that money back. However, the public never pat’s us on the back when we lose billions. They only talk to us when we make billions, right? And if you look at the actual margins, McDonald’s makes more margin year over year better profit margin than any oil and gas company, right? McDonald’s makes a steady 26, 27% profit margin makes 10 or 11%. Right. So you have to understand it’s very capital intensive, that we lose billions and that sometimes we make billions. And the reason that we’ve made so much money lately is the world has an energy shortage, that we’re in an energy shortage because our worlds politicians try to push renewables too fast. Very clear. Here, renewables have their place. I love them. But you can’t push them too fast, right? And so because of that, and there’s a lack of energy, the only gap that could be the only thing could fill that gap was hydrocarbons. Right? And so yes, we were making record profits, but we also lost record profits. And nobody talks about that part of it.


    Karan Rhodes  19:21

    Fascinating. Oh, my Gosh. So I’m learning so much additional about the industry. How did the natural disasters like Deepwater Horizon and Exxon what is Exxon Valdez? How did those incidents impact the industry? Is it does it cause it to have to recover? I know they got it hit a PR head? Definitely. But how does that impact when major stories like that are out there in the world?


    Mark LaCour  19:50

    So, let me back you up. Those are not natural disasters? Those are manmade disasters. There’s a cause and effect for every for both those that you just mentioned a couple of things for get into it. Number one, Have you ever heard of a Chinese or Russian oil spill? And the answer that is probably no.


    Karan Rhodes  20:05



    Mark LaCour  20:05

    That means one of two things. That means they’re better at it than us and the Europeans or when they make a mistake, they don’t tell and tell. Here in Europe if we make a mistake we tell. So please Publix remember that? the Exxon Valdez totally changed the health, safety and environmental outlook and culture in the oil and gas industry. Quite frankly, up until that point, a move in large quantities of crude to the ocean was accepted as a standard that people got complacent. And just like anything else, when you get complacent accidents happen. And so that’s what happened with that. And it totally changed the way we deal with large quantities of crude around the world, which, by the way, if to your audience, any one point in time, in the last decade, there’s more weight in crude being moved in a world’s oceans than all the weight of all the fish combined. Think about, think about. That puts it in perspective, right? Yes, yeah. And so we never want a crude spill. And we never want a crude spill of magnitude. And so everything has changed the way we construct the ships, all the sensors they use to the process of how many pilots copilots. Cap and gentlemen, which is good. The BT Macondo incident, once again, was a human problem literally caused by greed. Speaking of BP, BP paid Halliburton to hurry up and plug in a banner that well, which means Halliburton had a financial incentive to do it as fast as possible. And when you’re dealing with a well, you don’t want to do anything as fast as possible. You want to do it. Right. Right. So that that was a massive disaster that almost cost BP its company, they this close to being bought because of that disaster, they had to sell a lot of their side business to keep their stock price up. But what was cool, and it’s gonna bring tears in my eyes. So gotta be careful, don’t cry,


    Karan Rhodes  21:47

    Oh, you can cry. This isn’t safe space.


    Mark LaCour  21:50

    When that happened, Karen, every oil company in the world that could help volunteered? no contracts, no. Arranging pricing. It’s like, what do you need? The entire world showed up and did anything and everything they could do to take control of that well, and they did. And then once they took control, they will have that, well, they cleaned it up. And now we’ve learned what not to do both from a process point of view, from a technology point of view, from a cultural point of view. And the culture was the driving force of that incident, in that the contractor was driven to do quick work, not called the work.


    Karan Rhodes  22:24

    Amazing, that is heartwarming and necessary at the time, you know, definitely. So because the oil and gas industry is so complex. What types of traits have you seen that the most successful leaders had to have? Because it is very dynamic, fraught with, like you said, political challenges up down and across public perception, you name it, what types of individuals seem to work best as top leaders in the industry?


    Mark LaCour  22:57

    So we have two answers to that. Okay. Too recently, it was command and control. It was like a military organization. If you spent time at BP, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Right? It’s top down. Don’t you even think about questioning why, right? Now that sounds old fashioned. And it’s really not. It’s really what it is, it’s risk aversion. If you think about what we do as an industry. Everything we touch has the potential to kill people and destroy the environment, literally everything. If we make a mistake, people die. And you can have environmental catastrophe, which can destroy a company overnight. So once you have a process in place, and that I don’t care what that process is, that process is how you drill a well, how you pick a pipeline, how you build a refinery, how you hire, what documents you use in HR, how do you do payroll. And in this industry, if you have that process in place, and nothing’s ever leaked, nothing’s ever blown up, nobody’s ever died, you don’t want to change the process because it’s a risk, right? And that has served us well from the Rockefellers all the way up until say, 2015 2017. Right. Now that the industry is changing, and it’s a different industry than it always has been before because of the factors you just mentioned. Now we need true collaboration. And so what I’m seeing the old leaders where a lot of had a military background, top down command, command and control didn’t waver, you know, the old leaders, were there no matter what, no matter, I don’t care what caught on fire, what blew up where they were there, the new leaders learning how to work, not just internally, but externally. You know, automotive has figured out just in time supply chain probably 40 years ago, as an industry, we still haven’t figured that out. And finally, our new leadership is going why do we need to reinvent the wheel. Let’s go talk to our buddies in automotive and copy what they’re doing. So you’re seeing a lot more female leadership. And I think that because I think women naturally by nature are more collaborative than men tend to be. You’re seeing a lot more younger leadership. And the leaders today they’re being successful are much more collaborative, both internally and building teams and crossing those functional boundaries, like he talked about BP, but also externally having to deal with negative public perception. The worst way to deal with it is ignore it. Right, the best way to deal with it is just go talk to them, which you’re starting to see happen, which I think is great.


    Karan Rhodes  25:15

    I think that’s great, too. But you know, culture doesn’t change overnight. So I’m sure that there’s some and forget the phrase kind of old school leaders that are still there that kind of remember the industry evolve, right? And now have also now having to make space for this new breed of leader that has to lead in this new environment. So I’m just curious how, and you may not have the answer to the question, but I’m just curious how it sounds like the culture is transitioning now. But I’m still wondering what additional roadblocks do they have to tackle? Is it time and reinforcement of…


    Mark LaCour  25:52

    as a couple of weeks. So you’re right, in that the old guard is still around, although they’re not in complete power, like they used to be. Karan…like I sit on the board of API. I’m 58 years old, they call me the kid. Can you imagine how old these guys are? If they call me the kid, and I’m thinking, unfortunately, yours, not just me. But I’ve seen other people I’ve seen, like a lot of organizational psychologists get hired as coaches to try to tackle this problem. Unfortunately, for these guys that have done it the same way for so long, these men and women, mostly men, unfortunately, I don’t think you can change them. I think you have to wait. And I hate to say this, but the reality is they get away from them retire, leave industry. So new, younger, fresher thinking blood can come in, and it’s happen, it’s actually happening at a record pace right now. Now, don’t get me wrong, these, this older guard has forgotten more about the industry than I’ll ever know. Right? They started when they were 17 year old West Texas out on a rig somewhere and they move they’re up to executive management. And then type of experience is invaluable. The person that’s replacing them probably came from an MBA background. super intelligent collaborative understands modern businesses practices, but they didn’t start on a rig. They’ve never picked up a torque wrench. So let’s see what happened. So first thing you can’t change where it’s going. It’s already headed that direction. All right. Let’s see if that lack of frontline experience makes a difference? I don’t know. Yeah, I think it’s still too early to tell.


    Karan Rhodes  27:13

    too early to tell. Interesting. Well, let me turn the tables and talk about you just a tad. Because you have, you know, been in the industry so long, and you have a lot of connections. It can’t be easy to run a podcast network and this industry. So I’m curious, your leadership style, and how have you able to be so be so successful thus far?


    Mark LaCour  27:36

    Part of its luck. Like I said, we accidentally started the first oil and gas podcast in the world. That show had listeners in every country on the planet except one South African country. And in April, we picked up four listeners. Yeah, I was get ready to pay somebody to listen to me. This is that show. So I could say April picked up for listeners that that podcast, every single country on the planet. So the key to growing is, part of it was luck. Part of it is I came from an enterprise sales background. So unlike a lot of entrepreneurs who have a great idea that didn’t go try to execute, we have no idea how to sell it, the first thing I thought of was how to sell it, how do you generate cash flow. And any business especially in the beginning, cash flow is more important than almost anything, right? Your people pay your bills, but I had already had that figured out. And then the next thing is just hiring good people. And I struggle with that even to this day, I have a tendency to want to hire people I like which is the wrong way to hire people, I need to hire people that can do the job. And so what we figured out as a team is that Mark is not good at hiring people by himself. And so I am now no longer allowed to hire people. They also took the keys of the bank away from me also can’t change logo. And when we hire now it’s a it’s a panel discussion and we have an executive team. There’s a three of us that make the final decision. And that works really well so part of me building this is learning my own shortcomings. And I’d like to say being okay, I’m still not okay with it. I still struggle with it, but accepting the fact that I am not good at everything. Yeah, bringing people in that are better at than I am.


    Karan Rhodes  29:15

    That’s a trait that you and I both share because I am not the best in the minutia. But I bring people along who are and so a lot of decisions are made or you know, in my firm as well, in a group discussion I do better and to then swirling like the Tasmanian devil in my own head so I get you on that one definitely.


    Mark LaCour  29:42

    So let me ask you this since since we both share this trait yes secretly, in your head, don’t you still think though that your ways the right way?


    Karan Rhodes  29:49

    Always! Always! But I look for justifications of why not? So I am a good listener I do embrace other perspective. This, and I may add on to mine, but many times I think, this idea, but I let it play out. Awesome. Um, Mark, you know, we’d love to ask our guests, which of the leadership tactics I write about in my book really resonated with you. And the one you had said Vincent kind of share with me was leading with intellectual horsepower. And listeners, as you remember, especially for my newbies out there, leading with intellectual horsepower is all about using your areas of expertise, to what I call peek around corners, and look for trends and opportunities that others may miss. And, you know, bring that to the table to try to make a difference in your workplace or in the world. So I’m just curious Mark, why would leading with intellectual horsepower really resonate with you?


    Mark LaCour  30:47

    Because it’s exactly what I do.


    Karan Rhodes  30:50

    I’m glad you said that.


    Mark LaCour  30:52

    So I’ve always been a strategic thinker, you can measure the ability to think strategically, just like you can measure mathematical skills, or reading comprehension or anything else. And over time, with more and more experience, I get better at it. And strategic thinking is just your ability to look at what’s going on now. And extrapolate in the future what those outcomes may be. In fact, every year I do my predictions for the next year. So that November of this year, I’ll do my predictions for the oil and gas industry for 2024. And I’ve been doing that for about nine years. And somebody crunched the numbers. And in the very early days of me doing the predictions, I was about 50% accurate. I’m now up to 77% accuracy. So the data shows that I am getting better at predicting what’s coming in the future. Right? Yeah, so that leadership style works really well with me. You know, like in the podcasting space, you’re seeing a lot of creators, young creators, confuse video with podcasting, which is audio only. And a lot of people think video is a better choice. And I humbly disagree with him. Because when you’re when this I realize you’re shooting video as well. But when people listen to the audio version of this character, they can consume your content when they’re doing something else. And they’re commuting, working out washing dishes, walking the dog, whatever, you can’t do that with video. So I’m watching all these creators spend money and time making sure they have a good video presence. And the strategic thinker means saying, You have a great article, that’s the best way to grow your audience. Take that same resources and do just audio only, and double or triple. Plus, if you’re a video creator, you’re probably on YouTube, and YouTube really controls who sees your videos, not you. Yes, right. So it’s little things like that. I think that type of leadership fits both my personality and my background. I wish I was one of those more charismatic leaders. I’ve had several those in my life. And literally, I would have walked through the gates of hell for them, right? They, they inspire so much loyalty, but I’m just not that right. I’m more of a strategic thinker. Let’s see what’s coming forward.


    Karan Rhodes  32:48

    Charisma, and you have a lot of charisma to me. So I think Don’t sell yourself short. But I do agree with you Mark. And I want the listeners to understand as well. You’re right podcasting expands your reach. And it makes it easier for your audience it consume information. And one of the only reasons why we also include video is because I’m also in leadership development. And I know adult learners. And sometimes people need to have alternative ways to assume consume information. And so we do provide that but you’re absolutely spot on that they should double down if you’re interested in podcasting on the audio side.


    Mark LaCour  33:28

    And we do video as well, yeah, video, if you’re trying to explain something that’s complex, it’s just easier to see it than to try to describe it.


    Karan Rhodes  33:35

    You’re so right. You’re sorry, what, gosh, we literally blanked Mark, and I cannot believe time is almost gone. But a couple of quick things. Is there one last piece of advice or tip or something that you’d love to mention that we had you hadn’t had a chance to do already?


    Mark LaCour  33:52

    Yeah. So for everybody that’s listening out there. Regardless of what you do professionally. Put some time in your calendar literally block out time in your calendar to just learn. I’m not talking about scrolling cat videos, right? I’m literally whatever you’re interested in, learn. It’s one of the best things I think any person can do. I think it helps you, the more information you have, that’s a good solid information, the better life decisions you will make both for yourself personally, your family and for your business. I have eight hours a month in my calendar, just to learn and it served me so well. And that was a tip. I’m actually I’ll steal that. I actually had a chance to meet Stephen Covey back before it was. It was just when he just started The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. And that was one of the tips on the side that he told me that I’ve taken to heart and it’s paid off over and over and over again. So put some time in your calendar to just learn.


    Karan Rhodes  34:42

    Amazing. We’ll definitely do. Now we will have information about your background and where to find you mark in the show notes but I’d love to let you put a voice behind it. So people want to listen into your network or to find you what would be the best modes of kind of wait for them.


    Mark LaCour  34:59

    For the network it’s Oil and Gas global I think we have 16 separate podcasts as of today. Like I said earlier we look at everything is energy. So we have an energy transitions podcast, we have a renewables podcast comm we have hydrogen podcast COMM And everything else is kind of industry specific. We do have a geopolitical podcast, which is our fastest growing show ever. It’s one of my personal favorites. And I do know I’m biased because it’s all my network. But give that show a listen. My host that show has the ability to weave history and current events together in a story almost like a true crime drama, where you want to get to the end and it’s just a beautiful thing. You can hit me up on social look for Mark LaCour at LinkedIn is probably the best place. I’m also on Twitter, every place but tick tock, I’m just not quite there yet. But all the other social platforms, I’m there,


    Karan Rhodes  35:48

    I’m not on tick tock get at my daughter, and is that yeah, that’s the one I haven’t done. But I’m like you it’s the main ones where he will get five he says, well, thank you, again, Mark, so much for the gift of your time, tons of great information that you shared about your industry and where it’s going. We really appreciate you and appreciate even the tips that you’ve given our audience as well.


    Mark LaCour  36:12

    I appreciate you having me on. You know, I look at every other podcaster as family. Right. So I appreciate you having me on if there’s anything I can do to help you, your audience, people just reach out.


    Karan Rhodes  36:20

    Thank you so much. And thank you to listeners for tuning in on this episode. We can’t wait to see you back here same time, same town next week. Have a wonderful rest of your week. Take care. Well, I hope you enjoyed our conversation today with Mark LaCour, Editor in Chief of the Oil and Gas Network links to his bio his entry into our leadership playbook and additional resources can be found in the shownotes was on your favorite podcast platform of choice and on the web at lead your game And now for Karan’s Take on today’s topic of the oil and gas industry. So I thought it might be helpful to provide you information to better understand both opportunities and challenges that are faced by the oil and gas industry. In fact, did you know that 96% of everyday essentials like soap, clothing, electronics, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics are made from petroleum? You know, I didn’t realize that until I was doing research for this episode. It is absolutely Wow in my mind. And I know that many of us have an eye on reducing our negative energy footprint in a responsible way. But remember, knowledge is power. So I encourage you to get more curious about this industry that affects our daily lives. So in the show notes, I want you to be sure to check out three resources in particular. The first is an article on how the US oil and gas industry works by the Council on Foreign Relations. It’s an absolutely fascinating and quick read. The second is a research I’m sorry, it’s a resource it and a research guide on the oil and gas industry from the Library of Congress. And the third is Mark’s resources that he offers via the oil and gas global network on odg This is there’s just absolutely priceless information there. So be sure to subscribe to his newsletter and podcast to stay up to date on the twists and turns of the sometimes volatile industry. I have personally consulted with enterprise level companies in the oil and gas industry. And while I must admit that historically it has been a very rigid industry, I too am hopeful like Mark that innovation and fresh talent will be opening up new and exciting opportunities for those that are interested in making a mark in this particular industry and within their particular job function. It can be very lucrative for you all. So I encourage those that are interested to make sure that you explore opportunities that might be right for you. Well, that’s all for today. Remember to subscribe to the podcast and share the podcast with just one friend. Because by doing so you will empower them to also lead at the top of their game. Thanks a ton 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.

    Email:  podcast [at]

    Want to be a LATTOYG Podcast Guest?

    Want Karan to be Your Podcast Guest?

    Want to be a Podcast Sponsor/Advertiser?

    Like the Show? Please Leave a Review

    Need help with a People, Learning or OD initiative?

    Let SDL help provide your company strategic expertise, cost savings, flexibility and greater efficiency on your next organizational effectiveness project.

    Check out our picklist of services or click button below to schedule a complimentary Discovery call.

    via our podcast alerts


    Subscribe now to discover why thousands of monthly listeners who are passionate about doing their best work prioritize time each week to listen to the Lead at the Top of Your Game podcast.


    Shockingly Different Leadership is a human capital professional services consultancy that provides organizations access to the best consulting expertise in the areas of Talent Development, Organizational Development, and Human Resources – on an on-demand, project, or contract basis.


    4480-H South Cobb Drive
    PMB 219
    Smyrna, GA 30080


    2121 NewMarket Parkway
    Ste. 108
    Marietta, GA 30067


    Customer Service Email:

    Call or Text:

    #Office Hours

    8:30 AM – 6:30 PM
    Weekends By Appointment