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Episode 245

Building Leaders

With Phil Case

Phil Case is ​​the President of Max Connect Digital where he oversees agency growth, client relationship, strategy, and brand. Previously, he was the Managing Partner of Fluid Advertising where he grew the agency from four to 35+ full-time employees in a 6-year period. In 2018, Phil helped launch The Utah Outdoor Association to support the outdoor industry in Utah. He has worked in just about every industry and with hundreds of brands, and even took an international biotech company public on the NASDAQ in 2020. Phil is an outdoor and adventure travel enthusiast, passionate mountain biker, and backcountry skier.

Episode highlights:

  • Building a management team
  • Identifying leaders
  • Training and coaching leaders
  • Giving people the space to make mistakes
  • Establishing guardrails while giving the freedom to fail
  • Why you should allow your leaders autonomy
  • Difficult changes and transformations
  • Best advice: Slow down, don’t be so impatient. Make small improvements along the way.
  • Habit that contributes to success: Humility and introspection
  • Recommended tool: reMarkable 2
  • Recommended book: Green Lights by Matthew McConaughey



  • “It began with identifying in somebody, the leadership skills and quality, and willingness to not just complain but to say ‘I actually have some solutions’.”
  • “It’s clear and consistent coaching sessions. It’s sitting down with them and saying ‘you had a development goal of doing X, Y, and Z’ or ‘you’ve stood out amongst your peers because you’ve exhibited XYZ quality and now I want you to go help so and so who is new’.”
  • “It’s small tasks, checking in frequently, and giving them a little of some guidance along the way, but really letting them run with it. Knowing that they can stumble, knowing that they can make mistakes and you’re ok with that, and allowing them to fail quickly, learn from those and move forward.”
  • “It’s not just about extending trust but giving responsibility. Just like you would with a child in accordance to their maturation, their learning, as they kind of close that knowledge/experience gap.”
  • “People rise to the occasion. If they see that you don’t really trust them, and they’re a pseudo-leader and that you’re going to call the shots at the end of the day, I think that turns them off. I think it’s bestowing that confidence and level of autonomy and then getting out of the way.”
  • “Be humble enough that when a team member comes to you and says ‘hey, I’m struggling with this and with you specifically because you handled the situation this way and I didn’t like that’, and if you’re their boss it’s easy to say ‘that’s because you’re wrong’. I learned over time that if you’re the right leader, the response is to introspectively say, ‘did I handle that right?’.”
  • “It’s not our responsibility to be the Olympic athlete and to go out and kill it every day as leaders of organizations. It’s our role to be the Olympic coach, and if you can be the coach and be looking for and developing talent in your Olympic athletes and putting them in front, and having their success be of the utmost importance. That’s what I’ve found has allowed us to scale and grow in the right ways.”


  • Growth comes outside of the comfort zone.
  • Go big or go home. If something is not worth doing right, it’s not worth it.
  • Enjoy the small moments and keep a long-term perspective.

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