Today I spoke with Zack Knight. Zack is the founder and CEO of Knight Protection Service and host of Be a Tactical Leader Podcast. He also owns FOUR other companies including a non-profit, a real estate holding firm, a dance company, and a content creation and social media management company. However, Zack has not always been an entrepreneur. His first job is in law enforcement and he also went on to work for the military as an Infantry Lieutenant and platoon leader in the United States Army Georgia National Guard. His passion is to share tactical knowledge to help others become a better leader and create a more effective, safe environment for their team.
Let’s dive into Zack’s story of his pursuit of success as an entrepreneur by first being a great leader AND follower.
[00:01 – 09:29] Opening Segment
Zack currently own six companies. The first one which started his journey into serial entrepreneurship is the Knight Protection Services. Knight Protection Services is a security consulting firm where Zack and his team helps ensures that organizations have safe workspaces, not just physically, but also psychologically.
Because Zack is very passionate about sharing tactical knowledge to help others become better leaders and create a more effective and safe environment for their teams, he also went on to start his own podcast– Be a Tactical Leader. This was followed by their non-profit, Surviving and Thriving, where they aim to support women and teach them self-defense to protect themselves against domestic violence. Next, Zack founded their real estate holding firm where one of their main goals is to acquire multi-family complexes where they can house women undergoing their program in their non-profit.
By now, you’re probably thinking that all of Zack’s businesses are related to protection services and security systems. However, he also co-founded a dance company (Yes, you read that right!) as well as a social media management company. What motivated Zack to leave the military and be an entrepreneur? Keep on listening as he details his journey.
[09:30- 22:32] Proactive Leader and Protector
One of Zack’s motivations for founding Knight Protection Services is he wants to have a proactive approach to keeping people safe in their workplaces. He believes that for people to perform well, they must first feel safe and that this should be the priority of every good leader.
Working with Knight Protection Services means that they will analyze your organization’s security system. They will then tell you what its strengths are, what its weaknesses are that can be an opportunity for crimes to happen, what the potential threats are, and what do they propose to help you strengthen these systems. What’s very interesting about their process is that they do not only consider threats to physical safety. They also audit potential threats to the psychological and mental safety of an organization’s employees. With this, their recommendations may sometimes also include replacing toxic leaders, if there are any.
From our conversation, you can probably tell that good leadership is one of the things that Zack is most passionate about. He also shares that anyone can be a good leader but all good leaders are also first good followers. In addition, often times, being a good leader also includes surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and having the humility to step back a little and be a good follower to them.
Listen also to Zack’s story about what it means to be a “strong number 2.” He also tells us about a realization he had from watching a Dale Carnegie video– without a first follower, there can also be no leader.
[22:33 – 27:32] Mindset Shift to Entrepreneurship
Zack looks at his career and mindset shift to entrepreneurship as taking courage to go into the unknown. When he left his job at the military, he had to go back to school to get an MBA. In addition, Zack also tells us that he became a student of everything. He learned not just from books, he also listened to the experiences of a lot of great leaders.
One of his most memorable learnings is that the word FAIL can actually be just an acronym for “First Attempt in Learning.” According to Zack, people working in the military are not really accustomed to failing so he considers being able to think about the word fail this way as one of his biggest mindset shifts. Since entrepreneurs experience different types of ‘fails’ every single day, this mindset shift allowed him to think of failing as learning something new and just getting better with what you do each day.
[27:33 – 35:24] Finding Your Superpower
With this mindset, Zack was able to found and manage his dance challenge talent management company. It may be a bit far from what he is accustomed to doing but he was still able to succeed in it. How? It’s because he has a visionary for a business partner, Zack shares.
When Zack and his business partner, Jesse, came together, they were able to make their business work. While Jesse is a dancer himself and knows a lot of other dancers, Zack, on the other hand, knows the structure of a business. With Zack’s experience in entrepreneurship, he likens himself to being Jesse’s strong number 2. Jesse and Zack work together with Jesse being the host of the show and Zack working behind the cameras, being in charge of determining their next 5-meter targets. This arrangement helped them to grow their business successfully to 85 countries in just 4 months!
Lastly, Zack shares one of his favorite learnings from Dean Graziosi and Tony Robbins mastermind program—finding your strength is a super power. If you triple down on that, you’ll be able to find success anywhere.
[35:25 – 39:39] The FOCUS FIVE Segment
The FOCUS FIVE are five questions I ask every guest on my show. Keep on listening to find out what book Zack gifts most often; who would he talk to if he can get an hour of any person living or dead, from the past or the present, and why; that one thing he believes but most people will disagree with; his morning routine; and lastly, where are the best places we can connect with him online. (See the links below for Zack’s social media links!)
“there’s really no limit to the success that you can see as long as you have that courage to fight it.” – Zack Knight
“Take courage into the unknown, where you have to become a student of everything.” – Zack Knight
“Ready, Fire and Aim: take a shot and let’s adjust course along the way.” – Zack Knight
Resources mentioned in the episode:
- Dale Carnegie
- Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win. Book by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
- Knowledge Broker Blue Print by Dean Graziosi and Tony Robbins
- Schedule a call with Hans
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