Unpacking with ‘Small Giant’ Joe Motz

People pack for their fears. Unpacking means unburdening yourself.

Joe Motz is the President and CEO at The Motz Corporation and was awarded the Small Giants award by Forbes. Joe’s journey has been an interesting one: he found amazing success but learned it would cost him his life. So Joe learned the importance of ‘unpacking.’ Today, he and Mike discuss how strong leaders can also be strong and healthy people.

Joe’s Beginning as an Entrepreneur

Joe got into the lawn business because he wanted to do what he was good at, and that was growing grass and creating really cool environments for people to play on. He was surprised to find, however, that being good at the thing he loved to do ended up moving him further away from it. So Joe had to learn an entirely new skillset: managing a team.

Greatness over Growth

One thing that sets Joe’s business apart on the product side is that his vision is sustainability. Not only are his materials high-performance for sports, they’re also environmentally sound. As a result of his bigger picture thinking, Joe’s company was awarded the Small Giants title by Forbes, for those organizations who honor greatness over growth. He shares the story of how that came to pass, and what his company did to receive the honor.

Being a Type A Leader

Type A leaders will often drive themselves into the ground when it comes to professional success, especially those who are moved to greatness. Joe felt the effects of this first-hand. From being gone from home a lot to dealing with health issues, he learned over time that he had to adjust his lifestyle after his doctor told him he wouldn’t live past his 50s if he kept on going as he was. He shares how he changed his life while still being a great leader.

People Pack for Their Fears

The more we get into a position of leadership, the more we tend to carry more armor. Carrying it around with us all the time can be truly detrimental. Joe talks about what it means to pack for your fears and how vulnerability is the anathema to an armored lifestyle. Vulnerability is, according to Joe, enriching. He shares a few tools and tips on how to pack less and enjoy more.

Leadership Can Be Lonely

Do you have a friend you can call at 3 am if you’re having a crisis? If not, then you need to find one. Mike shares his own experience of reading a book that ‘hit him right between the eyes.’  The problem is, it’s lonely at the top when you have problems because everyone is looking to you for answers. It’s also difficult to build a support network of friends when all your time is spent in the business. How do you find the balance? Joe shares his thoughts on where it lies.

The Joy of Unpacking

Balancing work, life, and your own support system, the next thing to do is honor the thing you are put on this earth to do and the gifts you’ve been given. Joe talks about how taking care of yourself is imperative to being your best and the steps he took to turn his life around. It’s never too late to start caring for yourself and being young at heart. One of the best ways he’s found is to go ‘off the grid.’ For Joe, that means going backpacking or cycling for a week or so at a time and remaining completely disconnected from everything else.

Lead Well

When you lead a team or an organization and have countless responsibilities to attend to, it’s easy to forget about taking care of yourself. There are three pillars of personal care that will make YOU a better leader. Find out what they are, and how to work them into your busy schedule.


Finding the Joy in Unpacking | Joe Motz

Summit 2018: Finding the Joy in Unpacking

Summit 2018: A Panel on Transition and Ownership Structure

Other Resources


Small Giants

Forbes 2018 Small Giants – Joe Motz

The Motz Group

Center for Creative Leadership

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