46 episodes

Sharing experiences, insights, and the drivers behind why my guests have built what they have built and how this applies to what drives you.

Driven By with Sam Coates Sam Coates

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 207 Ratings

Sharing experiences, insights, and the drivers behind why my guests have built what they have built and how this applies to what drives you.

    UPDATE: Launching Exclusive Podcasts For Companies

    UPDATE: Launching Exclusive Podcasts For Companies

    Over the last several weeks, my team and I have had the pleasure of taking my podcast and using it to come alongside and help organizations tell their story to their own people through their own private podcast channel. By creating an exclusive podcast channel for the organization and all of its associates, we help them build further engagement.
    This work has been a ton where I prepare by understanding the following:
    What makes the company unique?  What's their position in the market they are in? What's made them successful? What are the challenges they face? What are the ups and downs the organization has overcome along the way? Where are they headed? What changes are they making? I interview their own associates and uncover what makes them successful and why they are committed to the organization, and these are produced into weekly episodes.  
    This work informs and brings together the entire organization to make it more informed and connected to continue to meet their customer's needs and improve buy-in. Our content is engaging and authentic to make it worthwhile for people to listen to it in an already busy week.
    One thing that is very clear right now that everyone is running lean. Even the organizations that have only accelerated because of Covid-19 are understaffed, and hiring new talent is challenging. The companies we work with want their people to know they are valued, and they want effective ways of distributing important information.
    Consistency matters to me with this podcast, and I have new interviews starting at the beginning of May. I have taken a few weeks off my personal podcast due to a heavy travel schedule recording all of this work.
    Be on the lookout soon for new episodes. If you'd like more information on what my team and I are doing above, then go to www.drivenbyproductions.com.
    Have a great week,

    • 1 min
    [RE-AIR] "What Would It Be Like To Get A Do Over" with Kat Gordon

    [RE-AIR] "What Would It Be Like To Get A Do Over" with Kat Gordon

    My guest this week is Kat Gordon. In her mid 20’s, Kat opened Muddy’s Bake Shop thinking it likely wouldn’t make it. Thirteen years later, Muddy’s is one of the top bakeries in the United States.
    This pandemic has been incredibly difficult for businesses across the country, and Muddy’s is no exception. Muddy’s completely shut its doors for several weeks before reopening one of its locations, but things are not as bad as they may sound for Kat. This episode may take a different turn than you expect!
    Download this episode if you want to learn more about: 
    Taking advantage of a do-over What’s something I care so much about that I’m willing to be bad to be good at it Thinking about selling What it’s like when you start to break down How to make significant changes Feeling alive again How the pandemic can jumpstart change Taking advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity And more!  
    I had a great time recording this episode with Kat. Happy New Year to you and yours!
    4:27 Making people feel special and loved
    6:28 After the pandemic
    6:57 What happens when water isn’t flowing in?
    7:15 Starting to break down
    10:28 Should I sell the bakery?
    11:50 How to think about making major changes
    13:00 How to do visioning
    14:25 We all have great advice for ourselves that we don’t take
    15:49 Low stakes way of me playing with the future
    19:20 The fact that I didn’t want to pick up that vision again
    24:13 How the pandemic can jumpstart change
    24:00 What’s most important
    25:00 When the world shifted I knew what we needed to do
    27:00 I wanted people to feel that they were at my house
    34:10 Game over if your burned out in first month
    39:35 The difference between receiving a compliment and someone telling me how to live my life
    41:00 Doing stuff for the sake of others
    50:00 Creativity thrives with boundaries
    56:45 Take this once in a lifetime opportunity 
    https://www.muddysbakeshop.com/ https://abjets.com/

    • 1 hr 5 min
    “A Relentless Drive To Make Things Better For Others” with Pat Lawler

    “A Relentless Drive To Make Things Better For Others” with Pat Lawler

    My guest this week is Pat Lawler. Pat is the CEO of Youth Villages. Founded in 1986 with the merger of two Memphis-based residential campuses, Youth Villages is now a nationally recognized leader in the field of children’s mental and behavioral health. From the early days of serving just 80 children a year, we’ve since grown to help tens of thousands of children, families and young people annually, with a complete continuum of programs and services across 24 states and 100 locations.
    3:00 My Father, where did this come from?
    4:56 What drew me in?
    6:39 You don’t want to sell tools do you?-- intro?
    7:35 Gone back to school
    8:13 Drawn to the kids with the biggest problems
    8:50 Driven to get to the root
    9:15 How to help people with the biggest problems
    9:49 What caused these conditions?
    13:37 Generational change. Always sticking up
    15:27 Learning to be a good parent. Ups and Downs
    19:07 Commitment to overcome what comes your way
    19:56 Persistent until we get your support
    20:50 Research, data, exhaust all options- no turning back
    21:20 Not be deterred 
    21:38 The hardest thing is to change the way people think
    22:25 Obsessive compulsive gene
    23:05 Thousands of kids and families
    24:18 The burden- the passion, the drive, the momentum, the enthusiasm, and the excitement
    25:00 Clearly defined and measurable goals, hold accountable, talk experts and data
    25:42 Relentless drive to make things better for other people
    27:09 Horrible abuse, neglect that scars young people
    28:20 Your passionate
    29:28 Not now, maybe later. Failure with young people, what did we learn and do it differently learning and experience
    31:30 We all need a support system- family is critical and data
    32:50 They asked me to quietly close it down-- intro? 33:06
    36:20 Pivot, change to support families
    39:30 Peer group is key creating change
    41:00 I couldn’t do other work
    41:20 For the bad there is a thousand more good. Balance work and personal life
    42:50 Be open to change, open to where other people are coming from, bring people along slowly, engaged in the process
    48:45 The courage to try it
    49:05 Committed and passionate- small steps impact their life
    50:41 I don’t want to hear about your successes, I want to hear about your failures
    57:29 Scaling that problem
    56:14 Memphis, TN Murder rate is a serious problem
    58:53 Data collecting around the country and scale. Meet needs and replicate it
    1:00:13 Make it a safe place for people to live
    1:00:55 Deaths across the country are overwhelming/ safe place for kids to grow up in
    1:01:43 If people don’t have the opportunity to earn money they turn to crime
    1:02:15 Very few cities have put together a comprehensive plan
    1:03:55 I know we can do it. We will learn lessons align the way
    1:04:51 Giving people hope and meaning into their life
    1:07:40 we had passion but no expertise. We needed advice and counsel. These supports could read a balance sheet, help organizational chart, forecast a budget, could help us solve that specific problem and raised money before
    1:10:14 Just excited today as I was 41 years ago and I still have that passion and commitment
    1:11:00 Moving the organization forward. We need to identify the people that need us
    1:12:18 We need to understand the capacity of the problem and scale it to meet the needs
    AB JETS Youth Villages  

    • 1 hr 16 min
    “Living Out The Dreams Of Others Before You” with Dr. Tracy D. Hall

    “Living Out The Dreams Of Others Before You” with Dr. Tracy D. Hall

    My guest this week is Dr. Tracy D. Hall. Tracy is the President of Southwest Tennessee Community College out of Memphis, TN. Regardless of whether you live in Memphis or not, this is an important conversation that applies all across the country. 
    We talk about education, changing the narrative, the importance of stem education, why community colleges matter, and more. When DR. Hall took over Southwest TN Community College, Southwest had a graduation rate of 5%. Under her leadership, Southwest TN was awarded the prestigious national bellwether award in the category with Redesign, Reinvent, and Reset.
    I wanted to have a conversation with Tracy because when I heard her speech when she was named the new President, she was very straightforward. She was honest about the reality but also hopeful about what her new community college could be. Additionally, we discuss:
    -          Why she hates the term at-risk students
    -          How she is living out the dreams of those before her
    -          How to do more than talk and get stuff done
    -          The future of community college education and how they are adapting to the marketplace
    -          And more!
    Please enjoy my conversation with Dr. Tracy Hall!
    1:52 First generation college student
    2:28 My mother told me the difficulty of navigating college
    3:45 Homecoming Queen
    4:35 Growing up in a home with a single parent teen mother
    5:30 A lot of my life she has lived vicariously through me
    6:14 Living out the dreams of others before me
    6:48 Grit and Grind that’s my mother
    7:09 How hard she worked
    7:19 Defying the odds and stereotypes 
    7:35 We’ve never lived our lives off of someone else’s standard
    10:05 My mentor and the path of teaching
    11:18 Moving up through the ranks
    11:33 Other people that shaped me
    12:35 They didn’t have fancy backgrounds but they were College Presidents
    13:16 Start preparing yourself
    14:55 Everything in my past prepared me for today
    16:14 Now I understand, I didn’t see it
    19:04 That’s what drives me when you count me out
    20:09 I don’t desire the limelight
    20:30 I’m used to being ignored
    21:43 Driven to find students marginalized
    22:21 Labeling people and their potential
    22:46 They don’t have to be A students
    23:23 People will limit you based on your zipcode
    28:14 They don’t realize their potential
    30:47 During those years, we’re supposed to tell them they do matter
    36:44 Owning our role in the problem
    38:38 What small tweaks can do
    41:26 Getting things done
    42:02 Politics play a role, we move slow
    43:19 When people are in need they don’t need help 6 months from now
    49:35 Systems thinking
    50:20 Taking a risk on something that may not work
    52:16 Strategic risks
    59:07 Battling covid
    1:01:23 Positioning southwest for the future
    1:03:23 We’re not going back to the way the world was before
    1:06:05 We can’t let you stay in your comfort zone
    1:06:51 High Skill, High Wage, Family sustaining
    AB Jets Southwest Wins Prestigious National Bellwether Award

    • 1 hr 12 min
    "I Have To Start Here?" with Geoff Calkins

    "I Have To Start Here?" with Geoff Calkins

    My guest this week is Geoff Calkins. 
    This episode is a fun and valuable conversation where we cover:
    Discovering his love for stories while battling leukemia as a kid What it took for a major career change: Leaving the law firm then ending up in Anniston, Alabama What sports can do for a city How he learned to write Finding your voice  And more!  
    After starting his career as a lawyer in Washington DC, Geoff made a major career change, attending Columbia's School of Journalism. Geoff's first job led him to Anniston, Alabama, then to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and finally, Geoff came to Memphis, TN, in 1996 as the sports Columnist for the Commercial Appeal. Geoff now is the lead columnist for the Daily Memphian and also hosts the Geoff Calkins Show. Geoff's been named the best sports columnist in the country five times by Associated Press sports editors, and he's also received many more awards.
    Please enjoy this week’s episode with Geoff Calkins!
    1:40 I had a much harder edge when younger
    2:18 You don’t have to wake up and destroy someone everyday
    2:36 I’m best suited to celebrate life where I can
    2:52 People in Memphis need more lifting up than crushing
    3:02 Mitch Albom- transcendent life lessons
    4:00 What you learn child 8 of 9 being flexible
    4:25 I pursue stories I write as aggressively as needed
    4:40 I have a chip on my shoulder about the city of Memphis
    5:00 Cities dismissed by people that live there
    6:00 Evolution of Memphis sports
    6:25 Why did you move to Memphis?
    7:15 Fred Smith
    7:57 I’ve been lucky to be around for so many things to write about
    9:30 What sports can do for a city
    10:53 Leukemia as a kid and everyone died at that time
    12:50 Poodle tails
    15:12 That was the expectation
    15:14 I never worried about money
    16:00 We were all trying to prove ourselves all the time
    16:40 It’s hard to figure out what you want to do with your life
    18:00 I didn’t know if it was going to work
    18:15 As it was unfolding it was messy
    18:57 Harvard builds a cushion
    22:39 You’re better at what you like
    23:09 I like people’s stories
    23:57 I like being in the spotlight
    28:15 Baseball players mooing
    29:53 The changes of journalism
    31:30 Everyone finds their own voice
    32:28 Some of it feels forced
    34:10 Stealing people’s ideas
    35:50 How data drives stories
    36:38 Stories changed with Covid
    39:04 The odds of daily memphian making it
    41:18 Raising the bar
    42:00 Consequences of a roll up
    47:15 The world is not waiting on me to get here
    50:10 at the end of the day your judged on your clips
    56:51 Before you have kids
    58:00 side hustles
    1:05:38 I have some insecurity of my work
    1:09:00 The stories I want to write
    https://dailymemphian.com/authors/gcalkins@dailymemphian.com http://www.afterthejumpbook.com/about-geoff/ https://www.radio.com/929espn/podcasts/the-geoff-calkins-show-20398 https://abjets.com/

    • 1 hr 14 min
    “Let It Be Known and Go All In” with Ryan Silverfield

    “Let It Be Known and Go All In” with Ryan Silverfield

    My guest this week is University of Memphis Head Football Coach Ryan Silverfield.
    For those who live in Memphis or follow U of M Football, do you remember when Ryan was named interim head coach and how he made it known he wanted the job? He didn’t hold back. He went all-in, letting everyone know. I have been looking forward to this conversation, and I am glad to release it to you this week.
    During this conversation, we cover:
    From sleeping on cots at Hampden-Sydney to being the head coach at Memphis. It hasn’t been easy How to have confidence in communicating what can be when you can’t guarantee the outcomes How to frame setbacks Why character matters  And more!  
    Ryan began his coaching career at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla, after an injury. He then coached at his alma mater Hampden-Sydney, then was the Head Coach of one High School, followed by 4 Universities and two NFL teams, where he then landed at the University of Memphis before being named Head Coach in 2019.
    Please enjoy my conversation with Ryan Silverfield.
    Have a great week!
    2:38 Unemployed is apart of the business
    2:47 It is okay to admit this is what I want
    2:51 Show your vision. How this can work and come together.
    3:12 I was their 7th interview
    3:26 You have to prove it every year
    4:11 People see your genuine enthusiasm for what you want
    4:40 why and how is this going to be successful
    5:02 The tomorrow diet
    5:34 How things work and how will we have success
    7:07 The path has been difficult
    7:41 It’s all about how I react
    7:53 There are times I have thought about quitting
    8:15 How can we continue to get better
    8:30 Attach it with mindset
    8:40 All in
    9:19 Couldn’t get a job
    10:30 What could make me different? I’ll die trying
    11:12 I want them to have success for everything they say they want
    14:44 Confidence for the plan in place. But I still fail
    15:33 No one will compete higher for the standard than I am
    16:00 Not everyday will be perfect
    17:10 How to read people
    17:30 High character
    17:53 Best opportunity to have success, high character. Judge character listen a lot. What are they telling me?
    19:35 What makes them tick?
    20:00 Not everyone has a perfect background
    20:30 Detailed, charismatic, caring, high energy, talk to others that worked with them.
    22:13 How to process setbacks
    23:25 How to handle the media
    24:07 What can I do better?
    24:22 How can I improve the culture/ not play calls
    25:00 Tune out the outside noise
    26:10 Are we making a difference in those guys lives?
    26:50 We will be judged on wins, but swing the axe
    https://www.matthaaga.com/ https://abjets.com/ https://gotigersgo.com/sports/football/roster/coaches/ryan-silverfield/1869

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
207 Ratings

207 Ratings

steve of the south ,


So impressed with Kat. Authentic, vulnerable and smart. So grateful to have listened

DeniseS77 ,

Highly recommend episode with Kat Gordon

Very thought provoking. Sam is so good at asking questions that get the people he’s interviewing to open up. His podcast with Kat Gordon would be beneficial for any of us in assessing our motivations in life. She is so honest about missteps and doubts she’s had along the way, yet was willing to adjust the course of her very successful business. Good lessons in life here!

@lsparks_flyin ,

In my top Five favorite podcast!

I really look forward every week to see what conversations Sam is going to bring on the show. Love how he has guest from all walks of life and fields. But all have the same thing they are driven.

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