I had the pleasure of interviewing Ed Brzychcy, the President of Blue Cord Management. Ed is a former U.S. Army infantry Staff-Sergeant, with service across three deployments to Iraq. Since his time in the military, Ed has earned his MBA from Babson College and founded his consultancy, Blue Cord Management, where he provides training, coaching, and consulting services on leadership development to businesses.

Thank you so much for joining me! Can you tell me a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was finishing my MBA and knew I wanted to go into the consulting industry. After a few informational interviews, I found that the larger consulting practices did not quite meet what I was looking for. I wanted to create something, Babson has ‘entrepreneurship’ written everywhere, and I think it was just the push that I needed to plant my flag in the sand and start Blue Cord.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started Blue Cord Management?
I call my first year my “learning cliff.” It is incredible how you can come out of something, think you’re entirely prepared, and then realize how much more you have to learn. Looking back, this has become influential to me in developing my core programming. There is a significant difference between crafting strategy and executing on it. Organizational leaders have to know how to do both.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I was building the first run of my company website and had to enter in a few DNS entries to make sure the domain host bridged over to the website host. Well, I messed it up. My website, email, everything was shut down for a day or so while I frantically Googled and reached out to my more tech-savvy friends for advice on how to fix it. This situation is just one of those tactics/strategy gaps I mentioned earlier. If you’re in the weeds, you have to know the nuts and bolts of what you’re doing, if you’re in a strategic role you have to know how to ask the right questions towards what you’re trying to accomplish.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
My history provides a unique perspective in the leadership development space. All of us have our views, visions, and rhetoric. I have a very bottom-up perspective and work hard to make sure that my clients have the teams they need to execute on their businesses’ strategic ventures.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Take baby steps. It is the small, aggregate victories that add up to overall success. Don’t be afraid of setback, make sure that pick yourself up, learn from them, and continue moving forward.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I have had an amazing host of mentors along the way. One of the most significant groups I become involved with was the National Speaker’s Association. Their organization has provided me with more insights and ideas in building my practice from any number of professional who have walked similar roads.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I am proud to continue to support many vet’s organizations. My podcast reaches out and discusses change and transition in business from those who have walked the walk and come out the other side. A portion of the proceeds from my upcoming book will be going back to support some of the great veteran’s origins here in Massachusetts that have had a profound impact on veteran’s and families’ lives.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
I have many favorites, follow my twitter, @bluecordmgmt to see a new one every day.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
There is only one. I wish someone were more forthcoming about the difference between knowing all the pieces to build a business and employing and implementing them all. Being an entrepreneur means having an incredibly broad and deep skillset. Don’t ever think that you have to know everything about everything, but you have to know a little of everything and be very deep in a few specific pieces. Don’t be afraid to outsource everything else.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I want to be the person that people think of when they think “I want the greatest leaders in my company, people who can adapt and execute on a variety of tasks while making sure that none of my employees feels that they have a bad or uninvolved boss.”
I think I’m beginning to make some headway there.

How can our readers follow you on social media?
Follow me on Twitter or Facebook, @bluecordmgmt, and on my company’s LinkedIn page, search for Blue Cord Management, LLC. We post every weekday, so there is a ton of great content for everyone’s professional development towards their leadership skills.

Thank you so much for joining us, Ed, you are always inspiring!