286: Luis Pedroza – How to Develop a Winning Brand

286: Luis Pedroza – How to Develop a Winning Brand

Luis Pedroza Show Notes Page

Luis Pedroza was in a foreign country facing challenges in growing a product from an established brand. The company he was working with was seeing the competitive environment in an outdated way and growth was not that easy anymore. By showing them a new future or having them look at a new lens, Luis was able to reframe the company’s perspective and eventually lead them to success.

Luis Pedroza was born in Taiwan but grew up living in Southern California.  He completed both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Luis comes from a mixed-race family.  His mother is Chinese, and his father is of Mexican descent. He has one sister.

Being mixed-race, Luis always had a strong interest in learning about foreign countries and their cultures. This curiosity fueled an interest in international marketing.  While earning his MBA at USC, Luis expanded his understanding of global business and took his first trip to China as a student consultant.  Seeing firsthand how global companies were adapting to meet the needs of local Chinese consumers changed the way Luis viewed global brand building and solidified his desire to eventually work in international marketing.

After graduation, Luis accepted a brand marketing job at General Mills in Minneapolis where he managed a portfolio of breakfast cereals. Because of his well-known passion for international marketing, General Mills soon asked Luis if he would move to China to work for a JV between General Mills and Nestle.  Of course, he accepted and ended up launching breakfast cereals into China for General Mills and Nestle and later moved to Russia for a similar role.

As a global marketer, Luis has had the privilege of working in many exciting markets around the world in places like Beijing, Shanghai, Manchester, Moscow, and Singapore.  He has become an expert at taking global brands and platforms and adapting them to meet the needs of local consumers.  A couple of years ago, Luis decided it was time capture what he had learned over the past two decades and share his unique experience with others in his book titled Lean Brands: Catch Customers, Drive Growth & Stand Out in All Markets.

Luis now lives in Silicon Valley and does consulting work and is personally involved in a new foodservice startup that leverages state-of-the-art technology to deliver an enhanced consumer experience.

Luis is married and has two kids.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @BrandNinja get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“Today is a unique time in our history, businesses and brands are going to have to adapt.” – Click to Tweet

“Even if you have an established brand, you’re going to have to relaunch it to meet the consumers now.” – Click to Tweet

“You can’t take for granted something that worked in the past is automatically going to work again in the future.” – Click to Tweet

“The best way to learn about what consumers want is to get out into the field and side-by-side with real consumers.” – Click to Tweet

“If you’re a new business coming to a new market you’re opportunity is to leverage emerging and disruptive technologies.” – Click to Tweet

“Consumers are expecting more and more customization. Brands must learn to understand them more.” – Click to Tweet

“A strong brand is rooted in strategy.” – Click to Tweet

“If you don’t understand the brand and the value it brings to customers, how do you expect your customers to understand and be happy?” – Click to Tweet

“Look at what the key drivers and needs are in your key markets and connect the dots between those markets.” – Click to Tweet

“It’s about finding balance between adaptation and standardization.” – Click to Tweet 

“The way to continue to grow is to find ways to sell your products and ideas to other markets around the world.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Luis Pedroza was in a foreign country facing challenges in growing a product from an established brand. The company he was working with was seeing the competitive environment in an outdated way and growth was not that easy anymore. By showing them a new future or having them look at a new lens, Luis was able to reframe the company’s perspective and eventually lead them to success.

Advice for others

Focus less on myself and build others around me.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Internal perceptions about who I am.

Best Leadership Advice

Leverage someone else’s experience and find mentors.

Secret to Success

I force myself to wear the hat of the competitor or the customer.

Best tools in business or life

 

Recommended Reading

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Lean Brands: Catch Customers, Drive Growth, and Stand Out in All Markets

Contacting Luis Pedroza

Luis’ Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrandNinja

Luis’ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandninja/

Luis’ website: https://luispedrozaauthor.com/

Resources

 

Show Transcript

Click to access unedited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today. Who’s going to give us some global perspectives on how the customer experience can be impacted to help create a brand that stands out and drives growth. Luiz Pedroza was born in Taiwan, but grew up living in Southern California. He completed both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the university of Southern California. In Los Angeles. Lewis comes from a mixed race family. His mother is Chinese and his father is of Mexican descent. He has one sister being mixed race Lewis always had a strong interest in learning about four countries and their cultures. This curiosity fueled an interest in international marketing while earning his MBA at USC Lewis expanded his understanding of global business and took his first trip to China. As a student consultant, seeing firsthand how global companies were adapting to meet the needs of local Chinese consumers change the way Louis viewed global brand building and solidified his desire to eventually work in international marketing.

Jim Rembach (01:05):

After graduation Lewis accepted a brand marketing job at general mills in Minneapolis, where he managed a portfolio of breakfast cereals because of his well-known passion for international marketing general mills soon asked if Louis would move to China to work a JV between general mills and Nestle. Of course, he accepted and ended up launching breakfast cereals into China for general mills and Nestle, and later moved to Russia for a similar role. As a global marketer, Louis has had the privilege of working in many exciting markets around the world in places like Beijing, Shanghai, Manchester, Moscow, and Singapore. He has become an expert at taking global brands and platforms and adapting them to meet the needs of local consumers. Uh, a couple of years ago, Louis decided it was time to capture what he had learned over the past two decades and share his unique experience with others and his book titled lean brands, Katz customers drive growth and stand out in all markets. Louis now lives in Silicon Silicon Valley and does consulting work and is personally involved in a new food service startup that leverages state of the art technology to deliver an enhanced consumer experience. Louis is married and has two kids. His wife has Amy and his kids are Michael and Emily Louis Pedroza. Are you ready to help us get over the hump? I’m ready. I’m glad you’re here now. I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Luis Pedroza (02:34):

You know, my, uh, I have a real passion for what you might call mashups. So taking, um, you know, whether it’s it’s music, our fashion, or right now I’m involved in food, um, taking two different cuisines and combining those perspectives and creating something new. Um, so right now I’m working on a food service concept that is inspired by design influences from Japan and Scandinavia.

Jim Rembach (03:10):

Well, that’s really interesting though, but when, when I start thinking about your book, lean brands and you’d have so many, um, experiences and examples and case studies about, you know, major global brands, I start thinking about the, the limitations that may be for, you know, really those that aren’t in those very, very large organizations to find value and all of these experiences you’re sharing, but I know that’s not true. So how can everybody benefit from what you have written in what you have experienced over the past couple of decades?

Luis Pedroza (03:44):

So, you know, what I love doing as a marketer is taking new concepts, new ideas, and adapting them to meet the needs of local consumers are our new markets. And I think today, um, is a unique time in our, in our, in our history. Typically we don’t like to change humans, don’t like to change. Um, so it takes a lot for us to change our behavior, but right now, because the pandemic we’ve all sort of been forced to change. And what we’re going to find is is that, um, businesses and brands are going to have to adapt. So it’s almost like we’re launching, even if you have an established brand, you’re going to have to relaunch it to meet the needs of, of consumers. Now you can’t take for granted that something that worked in the past is going to automatically work again in the future. So we’re all gonna have to, re-examine our assumptions about how we think our businesses run and, uh, throw those assumptions to the side and look at consumer needs all over again from a fresh perspective and kind of relaunch our products to consumers. So I find one of the best ways to do that. And most efficient ways to do that is to use a lean methodology, uh, to quickly get at, at what consumers want and quickly and efficiently develop products to meet those needs.

Jim Rembach (05:19):

Well, then for me, I can understand what you said as far as the passion is concerned, where that mashup comes into play, because I mean, to me, that’s what you were just talking about is the mashup and doing the quick release, doing some testing, seeing what works and what doesn’t work and making some adjustments,

Luis Pedroza (05:36):

Right? Um, you, I find the best way, uh, to, to learn about what consumers want is to get out into the field and side by side with real consumers and distributors and key influencers and on coming up a solution. So sure a lot of us have done ideations before, but the way a lot of companies would do ideations in the past is you might’ve recruit, um, some consumers to come into a central location and, and do an ideation session. What I would propose and what I find works really well is inviting potential customers, inviting people that are high potential customers to come to a central location, invites your, your R and D guys invite some key influencers and all get together and come up with solutions to real problems that those customers are facing. And when you do that, there’s a lot of benefits to that one. You’re, you’re, you know, you’re getting all this rich input from your potential customers and those potential customers actually now have skin in the game. They’ve helped you develop some new ideas and solutions. And when it comes time to finding, uh, customers who want to buy this product, and you can influence others to buy this product, you’ve got built in customer base now because you know, you’ve, they’ve got skin in the game and you’ve worked with them on these solutions.

Jim Rembach (07:16):

Okay. So then looking at the book to me, what I hear you saying is, is that what you define as the Ninja? Yeah, so it’s a Ninja. I found as I

Luis Pedroza (07:27):

Ended up launching brands and working on, on platforms around the world, typically I was under resourced compared to the large companies that I was going up against, even if I worked for a big company, um, when a, when a large Western company launches in a, in a foreign country, a developing country, they treat that business. Um, it typically is not as important as the domestic business. So you’re usually not as well funded. There really, isn’t a lot of research available that you can buy there. Aren’t a lot of places to like, you know, to go and, and get assistance on helping you launch. So that requires being scrappy and agile and, um, you know, being like a Ninja. I mean, that’s the way ninjas fight. Uh, they’re able to fight against, you know, the ancient ninjas were able to fight against these large Royal armies, um, by exploiting their weaknesses.

Luis Pedroza (08:31):

And you know, what I find when you’re dealing with really big companies is, uh, often our established brands is they’ve invested a lot of money into the status quo. So when a, when a company like Starbucks has 3000 stores in China, they don’t want to change. Um, there’s a lot of financial reasons, uh, to, to not want to change quickly. You just think about all the money that’s invested in a one store, as far as equipment and systems and, and legacy, uh, systems and multiply that times 3000. And that’s a huge investment. So if you’re a new, say a new coffee shop, uh, that’s coming into China, your opportunity is to, to not be anchored down by all of those existing, um, systems and infrastructure. Now you can look at emerging technology and disruptive technology, and you can leverage that and create something new because you’re small, but take advantage of those opportunities. And when you want to learn about consumers, get out, you can go and visit stores, get out on the street, talk to potential consumers and pick their brains and, um, and do intercept interviews and one on one interviews. And that’s a lot of rich information that’s available to almost anyone. If you decide that you want to do that

Jim Rembach (10:03):

Well. And one of the things that you and I talked about before we actually started in, um, started the recording is how the context center is a wealth of a lot of, you know, interaction and insight on products that have the already been created. Maybe some of those lugs, the products that could meet and meet, you know, using some uplifting changes, then all new product offerings and competitive insights. So to me, when you start talking about going out on the field, sometimes the field is in a contact center.

Luis Pedroza (10:33):

I totally agree. I I’ve seen too many times in my career where companies are set up functionally and you ended up having these silos. So, you know, I hate to say it, but even my first marketing job after getting my MBA. And when I, when I went to go work on brands at general mills, we very much operated in silos. So I don’t think I actually ever had the opportunity to go and spend much time with real sales guys are talk to real consumers about the products that I was designing and making for them. It wasn’t, it wasn’t until I got to overseas that out of necessity, I had to become more Ninja like and get out and, and, and get my hands dirty and spend time with consumers on the ground and distributors and understand what they want. But I, I have spent time in organizations where I think the call center is not fully utilized.

Luis Pedroza (11:33):

Uh, and I would say from, from two perspectives, one, um, the call center is, you know, the guys in marketing, aren’t necessarily thinking of the call center as an opportunity to, to, to get those rich insights on products. Like, like you said, um, that’s like, um, that’s like a focus group that happens every day. So you can, you can solicit information from your customers. These are real customers, not even hypothetical ones who are using your products, and they can tell you what’s working and what’s not working and what it would take for them to change their behavior. Um, so that’s the thing about humans. And I always tell the teams that I work with is that I can speak for myself. I like to have my coffee at the same time every day at the same store. So, uh, I’m a creature of habit, like so many consumers.

Luis Pedroza (12:33):

So to get me to change my behavior, to try a new drink, or to try a new coffee shop, it’s going to take a lot, you’re going to have to, to wow, me. You’re going to have to understand what I’m not satisfied about. Where’s that opening, um, that you can take advantage of. And so, yeah, you can talk to real customers and find that out. And then I think the other area that’s often missed is that is a contact point where you can reinforce your brand. So the way you answer the call, the way you explain your product benefits, uh, the features and benefits should be consistent with the brand positioning that you have created for your brand. Um, you know, it should be reinforcing that positioning in the mind of the consumer. So when a customer walks away from a call, they have a, uh, a better understanding of what the brand brings, what the value of their brand is. And then hopefully you’ve created a, an advocate for your brand because you did a really good job of explaining why the brand exists and how that brand brings value to the customer. So for me, I see

Jim Rembach (13:48):

You actually have a manual and I’m going to go through the different parts of the manual. And I see a whole lot of opportunity in here for the things that you were just talking about and having that congruence with the context center and really impacting the experience all or all the way around and using it to do, you know, some of the disruptive things that I think we’re just, we don’t realize that we already have those things in our toolbox. So you talk about the Ninja, see the battleground, know yourself, know your enemy, get lean and mean, choose your stamps, adapt to win, set up and disrupt, make it happen and get creative. Now, you say this particular manual came out of going into those, you know, foreign markets that weren’t necessarily core. However, I see that this is something that could be leveraged, especially when you start talking about, you know, in the words of today for everyone,

Luis Pedroza (14:47):

I think that’s right. And I, I think, um, you know, even domestically, we’re not a homogeneous consumers anymore. So I think consumers more and more expecting some kind of customization. They want brands to feel like they really understand them that they’re not just one of a million consumers, but the brand kind of gets me. They understand what I like, what I’m about, what I care about. And so the fact that our country is pretty big and there are regional preferences, um, it to reside in different States, see the world and in different ways. So, uh, it makes sense to, to be able to have a structure, to have tools that help you understand those differences and then be able to, to leverage those differences to your advantage.

Jim Rembach (15:48):

Well, and you talk about having a brand canvas and the brand canvas. I mean, to me, when I reviewed it, I mean, it has a really good, you know, holistic approach and way of looking at the whole product development process. But when I started looking at it at CA I came back to that context center and feeding that information in. So if you could though give people a little bit of understanding of what that brand canvas is all about

Luis Pedroza (16:14):

Grand cam, the brand canvas to me is a blueprint of your brand. So, um, I think the, the term brand, um, gets thrown around a lot and folks think they might have an understanding of what a brand is. It’s a logo, it’s a brand name. Um, but there’s a lot more to building a strong brand and just the logo or the name. In fact, it’s all rooted initially in strategy. Um, so what is the, you know, the positioning of your brand, how does your brand differ from other brands? What are those key equities that tell the story of your brand? What are those core benefits that deliver on that positioning? And one of the problems is, uh, that a lot of companies face is finding a way to communicate the definition of the brand easily to stakeholders like the folks who are working in the call center.

Luis Pedroza (17:24):

And it’s a real problem. If you don’t understand the brand and the value that it brings to, to the folks that you’re talking to that are calling in, how would do, how do you expect your customers to walk away from that understanding the brand or being happy? In fact, I really believe you can have the best product in the world with the best features and the best benefits at the best price. But if your stakeholders at the folks in the call center don’t understand the product, if they don’t understand how to talk about it, and they don’t understand the value that it brings, you’re not going to be successful. There’s no way that you’re going to be successful. So the brand canvas provides a tool for crystallizing what the brand strategy is on one single piece of paper, so that anyone in the organization can, can easily look at that and get a snapshot of what the brand stands for. And it’s not complicated. And in fact, I would argue that the process of putting that down on paper into that one pager helps a brand manager or a leader distill the, his understanding or her understanding of the brand. So going through that process solidifies, you know, helps you make sure that your brand is on strategy. And then, then you’re ready to share it with everyone in the organization.

Jim Rembach (18:53):

Well, and, and for me, when I start thinking about the whole brand canvas, um, I started thinking about that’s part of what creates the overall customer experience. So customer experience for me, and for many years, Eliza at a higher level, and how do we actually execute and create the experience that’s desired, that’s congruent, that’s lean, that’s, you know, has a greater impact that drives growth and the brand canvas is a critical component. And so then we also talk about the whole customer relationship management element of it. And you talk about a four S CRM framework, um, if C speak, sell and service, uh, if you could break those down for us.

Luis Pedroza (19:32):

Yeah. So I think, um, you know, this model came out of, um, putting together a CRM system for a brand that I worked on. And part of, um, you know, developing a CRM system is getting the buy in from other folks in the organization to invest the money that it takes in the resources to develop the system. And, you know, it’s, everyone has heard of CRM. Um, and they kind of understand Salesforce, or it’s a way of keeping track of, um, you know, when my sales guys are talking to customers, but what does that really mean? And what’s the value that, that can provide to an organization. And so the way I broke it out in the way it makes sense for me and the, the organizations that I’ve worked with that I’ve led is a CRM CRM, the forest framework. Um, if you break it down into, see one, you can identify, uh, and connect with end users.

Luis Pedroza (20:40):

So it’s a great opportunity to, to just see your customers and to, to understand what they need. It also provides a platform for speaking to them. So to deliver your targeted content and product information, then it’s also a great opportunity to sell. So once you’ve developed that relationship, you can then, uh, update customers with the newest things that you’ve developed, the newest products that you developed, and you can specifically target customers who have the need that you’re targeting. So you’re not wasting your communication or talking to customers about things that they don’t really need. And then it provides, I find this is a really a valuable piece. It’s an opportunity to, to service your customer, um, provide virtual training and demonstrations. And that, um, I think is becoming more and more important now, especially in this, in this environment where it might not be practical to get in with a customer and demonstrate something with them face to face for, for all the reasons that we’re facing now. Um, but to be able to do it virtually can be very powerful if you’ve developed that system and a way of operating

Jim Rembach (22:07):

Well, when I start thinking about all of this, um, you know, and going through the, the different parts of the manual, going through the brand canvas, talking about the contact center and it’s that the opportunity and leveraging that value and all that, I still come back to one of the things that’s being that is most important is connecting, you know, with, with the human being and, and you have a very important, uh, I would say guiding principle called glocal, tell us what glocal is.

Luis Pedroza (22:38):

Well, I, you know, I, I think a lot of companies initially when they started approaching international marketing, struggled with the idea of, do I create individual products for individual markets, or do I create a global product, a one size fits all product that I can sell everywhere in the world. And I think where most companies have and netted out now is that it’s not practical to develop, uh, individual products for each country, but it’s also not very satisfying for individual consumers to develop one product and try to sell it everywhere where I think companies are finding success. And what I recommend to the companies I work with is to look at what the, the key drivers and needs are in your key markets that you’re trying to sell to, and see if you can connect the dots between those markets and try to develop a global platform, or at least a regional platform that can speak to many of your key markets, but a platform that allows you to make adaptation to meet those specific needs.

Luis Pedroza (24:11):

And a lot of times the adaptation comes around communication. So you develop a product that can satisfy, uh, various regional needs from a product benefit perspective. And then you are able to talk about it, um, in a way that makes sense for, for local consumers. But you have to have that framework. I don’t think you can walk into international marketing anymore and think that you can sell one product to everyone. You have to be aware that local markets have, they have different ways of seeing things. Um, even if you think about something like, I know Asia gets lumped, all the countries in Asia get lumped together often, but if you take a closer look at just some of the large markets in Asia, like China and Japan and India and Indonesia, um, all those countries I just mentioned right now have different primary religions, different, um, primary languages, um, and obviously different, uh, different cultural lenses that they look through. So it’s not realistic to think that you could have really one, one product that satisfies everyone. So not just knowing that and understanding that ahead of time is very helpful because you know, that you have to make some adaptations. And so really it’s finding that balance between adaptation and standardization, and that’s where, that’s where the art comes in. And that’s where I help. You know, if you’re going through my book gives you some tools to help you to find that balance.

Jim Rembach (25:54):

Well, when I start thinking about you talking about many people are referring to the systems and the ideals and the thinking and the frameworks and all that that we have had in the, in the past, meaning we’re sitting here recording this and we’re finally starting to see some relief from this whole lockdown from COVID-19. And a lot of people talk about trashing the model, what you were doing before the systems, you know, need to be broken. Um, so when you start thinking about really what’s going to be different, and what are you doing differently than you have done working with organizations just, you know, a few months ago, where do you see that being different?

Luis Pedroza (26:36):

I think, um, that’s a great question. I think we have to be careful not to have a knee jerk reaction to what’s happening now, what’s happening is, is terrible. Um, and you know, I think it requires it’s going to require change, but I don’t think that it means we have to back off or that we would want to back off from global or international marketing. I just don’t think it’s feasible. Um, I’ll tell you why, if you think about it, um, companies, brands are our government. Our population is going to demand economic growth. We want, we want to grow, but where are we going to get the growth from? Uh, is it going to be a population growth? Um, probably not. Do I don’t think Americans are having more children, uh, and significantly more children and cheer, um, immigration we’re moving in the opposite direction.

Luis Pedroza (27:40):

I don’t see that as being huge lever for, for growth, um, efficiencies. Um, you know, I don’t see any of those levers delivering the kind of growth that America has become used to. So really the way that we’re gonna grow, the way that we’re going to continue to grow is to find ways to sell our products, our ideas to other markets around the world. Um, so that is the way that we’re going to be able to sell to more consumers, to have more people buy American products. And so we have to get our heads around that and accept that and find ways to take advantage of that reality and, uh, you know, knock it out of the park. Um, and we can do that. Um, but I, yeah, I don’t think this, I don’t see us walking away from global business or international business. I just don’t see that happening well, I mean this whole issue and everything that we’re going through and going into international markets and creating new products and all that stuff is just loaded with a lot of emotion. And one of the things that we do to help us focus is we look at quotes on the show. Is there a favorite quote or two that you’d like to share?

Luis Pedroza (29:02):

Wow. Um, I don’t know about a quote, but I, I find a lot of inspiration in, um, Steve jobs now. Um, you know, I live in Silicon Valley and I was drawn to come here because of all the disruptive innovation that happens here. And this is kind of where, you know, all the, all the excitement is as far as new product development and technology. Um, but what, I’m, what I’m sad about sometimes when I, when I look at all of the new startups and new companies that come out of this area is too often, I think they’re focused almost entirely on the technology, on, um, the technical benefits of what they’re working on. And then they come out and build a company around a particular technology. And as an afterthought, they’ll think about, well, okay, my investors or my board has told me now I need to, I need to bring marketing it and I need to develop a brand.

Luis Pedroza (30:16):

And it’s really backward because, um, you know, to me, that’s like putting your foundation in after you’ve built the house and really the best way for them to build a brand would be to try to understand what consumers want, not what consumers are telling you they want, but to do that legwork and talk to consumers and spend time with them and figure out what the gap is or what the unmet needs are and develop a technology, you know, then use your technology to help bring that solution to life. And I think jobs was just fantastic at that, whether it was, you know, attentional or intuitive, the guy was incredible at identifying or seeing those consumer needs and then building the technology to deliver on those needs. Um, yeah.

Jim Rembach (31:08):

Oh, and one of the things that when you start talking about jobs and, um, a lot of the things that he’s had to overcome, um, talking about you doing the lean marketing work and being in those, uh, particular markets where you didn’t have, you know, a lot of sourcing you had to be scrappy is a lot of times you run into situations where you have learnings, we call those getting over the hump. Um, and so is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share?

Luis Pedroza (31:37):

Well, I think every time you go into a new market, there is, um, there’s that element of, of getting over the hump. Um, so the last time, uh, I was in a foreign country, uh, our foreign region, uh, developing a new product was I was working for, uh, Kerry foods and we were relaunching a brand called DaVinci gourmet. And, um, really the, the company, um, they had been, um, you know, operating this brand for, you know, over a decade and saw success within the food service community. It’s a food service brand, but, and I find this as true with a lot of companies that become successful. They get to a certain point where, um, growth is not as easy anymore, but they’re unable to break through that barrier and get over the hump because they are seeing the competitive, competitive environment and, um, sort of an outdated way they become complacent.

Luis Pedroza (32:56):

They, um, are looking at, um, the competitive environment through that, that older lens. And so this particular brand that I was working on, um, made average syrups, and they saw themselves primarily as a coffee syrup brand. So they made syrups that you would put into coffee at coffee shops and like the vanilla syrup or hazelnut syrup or chocolate syrup. What they weren’t seeing was that there was tremendous drink, growth, beverage growth happening outside of coffee as well. So whether that was a mixed drinks and, um, you know, non soda beverages, um, all over the world, as people moved away from, from sodas into, into other ready to drink, um, beverages. And, uh, it was hard to, uh, for me as a marketer to get stakeholders excited about growth without having to using that old paradigm. So the way I was able to get them excited about investing in the future was by showing them a new future or having them look through a new lens that said, Hey, uh, we’re not just a, we can be more than just a coffee syrup company. We can be, uh, a beverage syrup company that adds flavor and helps drink makers create their own masterpieces. And so sometimes it’s as simple as that just reframing the reality for the folks that you’re working with so they can see what your vision is. Um, that’s one of the things I talk about in the book as well, uh, trying to reframe your perspective and helping those around you, uh, see your vision.

Jim Rembach (34:59):

Oh, and I started talking about vision and thinking about vision. Um, I started thinking about this book and the goals that you have for it. Again, initially when I looked at it, I’m like, well, this is only for a very, very large brands, but through this dialogue and discussion, um, we could learn we’ve learned otherwise, but what are some of your goals with it?

Luis Pedroza (35:17):

Well, you know, um, I started writing the book a couple of years ago and my goal was really to distill what I had managed to learn over a couple of decades and create a handbook that could be this go to handbook for anybody who’s interested in entering a new market or launching new brand. Um, I think all of us intuitively know that global marketing global brand building international business is important and we see it on TV. We read about it, but I found that, uh, when I enter a company and as I reach out to folks that I know in my network, there, aren’t a lot of people who actually have real on the ground experience, launching new brands and new markets. Um, just those opportunities don’t come around a lot. So it’s natural that a lot of people don’t have that experience. And it’s helpful.

Luis Pedroza (36:22):

It’s helpful when you’re in that position of launching a new product or entering in a new market, what should you be thinking? You know, you want to know, it’s be nice to tap someone’s shoulder and say, Hey, please tell me what I should be thinking about right now. What is really important? What are some of those pitfalls that folks fall into? Um, help me out be my, you know, virtual mentor, if you will give me some great advice, because it’s kind of scary going into a new market and launching a new product. And if you can’t find or a person, then I hope I’m taking out my book helps it. Um, I tried to distill all that knowledge into, into one book for folks to be able to, to learn from

Jim Rembach (37:11):

Fast leader, Legion wishes you the very best. Now, before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor. And even better place to work is an easy solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic and employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone using this award winning solutions guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers to learn more about an even better place to work visit [inaudible] dot com forward slash better. Alright, here we go. Fastly Allegion. It’s time for the home. Okay. Louis, the hold on is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are gonna help us move onward and upward faster Louis Pedroza. Are you ready to hone down? Yes, no. Right. What is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

Luis Pedroza (38:06):

I think I’m like everyone, we all have these internal, uh, perceptions about who we are. There’s that voice inside of you that, um, tells you what you think, what you personally think you can do and can’t do. And I think, um, it’s powerful to be able to talk back to the voice and say, Hey, I hear you. But, um, and this, in this instance, I don’t agree. I think I can do what you’re telling me. I might have problems doing. Um, but that doesn’t sound too schizophrenia, but, uh, yes, you have the power

Jim Rembach (38:47):

And what is the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?

Luis Pedroza (38:51):

I think it’s really important to go out there and find, um, mentors or force yourself. It’s, it’s uncomfortable. Um, we’re not used to going out and asking folks to, to help us, but when you can leverage someone else’s experience, um, it becomes very powerful and it’s especially important, you know, being a mixed race. Uh, I want to say it’s especially important for poor folks in minority communities where we don’t often have, um, that available to us. You know, um, the community that we’re in, doesn’t always have a large number of highly, you know, visible, successful folks that we can lean on to be mentors. Um, but it’s important. I mean, that’s a, a big advantage, um, and it’s a great way to change the trajectory of your development

Jim Rembach (39:52):

And what would be one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Luis Pedroza (39:58):

I forced myself to too often wear the hat of the competitor are, uh, the customer. See it’s, um, that helps you change your perspective. Um, and when you’re sitting in the customer’s, uh, you know, in their shoes, in their hat and really looking at the environment through, through their eyes, it changes, um, the way you see the world, it changes the way you look at problems, and then you can go back as a brand builder as a business leader and really, um, develop solutions for those, for those problems.

Jim Rembach (40:40):

And what would be one book you’d recommend to our Legion? It could be from any genre, of course, we’re going to put a link to lean brands on your show notes page as well.

Luis Pedroza (40:48):

Yeah. Um, I think, uh, it’s a classic, um, B the 22 immutable laws of branding of marketing it’s um, I think it’s the 22 beautiful laws. Yeah, it’s a great, I read the book, uh, maybe 20 years ago. I probably reread it every, uh, every few years. It’s a great book. Um, a lot of real common sense, um, advice, but really great advice when you’re going out and building a brand

Jim Rembach (41:20):

Okay. Faster leads. And you can find links to that in other bonus information mation from today’s show, if I, to fast leader.net/lewis for Georgia. Okay. Lewis, this is my last hump day hoedown question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the of 25 and you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Luis Pedroza (41:42):

Wow. You know, I think I would focus less on, on me focus less on, um, person, my personal, uh, accomplishments and more on building those around me. So understanding, um, the folks on my team, understanding what success looks like for them and being a facilitator and helping them be successful. Knowing that when I do that as a leader, I am making the organization that I’m working in and my project even stronger and even more successful. And, um, I think that knowledge came with age and experience. And, um, so yeah, if you can manage to develop that skill earlier in your career, it’ll take you far and really help you.

Jim Rembach (42:45):

Louis. I had fun with you today. Can you please share with the fast leader Legion, how they can connect with you?

Luis Pedroza (42:50):

Sure. It’s really simple. Um, you, I have a website, LuisPedrozaauthor.com. You can also find me on LinkedIn. You can find my book on amazon.com as well.

Jim Rembach (43:03):

Luis Pedroza. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader, Legion honors you, and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

285: Amy Posey – Why Weirdness Works in Leadership

285: Amy Posey – Why Weirdness Works in Leadership

Amy Posey Show Notes Page

Amy Posey had an opportunity to talk and meet with a tech startup team. In order to spark them up and make them think, Amy experimented working with weird cutouts and novel items that left the people stunned and confused. Coming in with these weird and ridiculous items, the items became memory triggers and anchor points for the listeners. Because of how different and weird it was, it made her more memorable than anyone else and her talk stuck into her listener’s minds.

Amy Posey was born and raised in Oak Lawn, Illinois, six blocks from the south side of Chicago’s city limits.  Her most vivid memories include stuffing the family into a very tiny hatchback and taking road trips east of the Mississippi, which inspired her love of travel and adventure.

The youngest of four children, she has an older brother and sister, and her oldest sister died due to complications from Leukemia when Amy was 17, one month after she started college. It had an undeniable impact on her outlook on life and realization to live life to its fullest.

She was the first in her family to attend college at Purdue University, where she started out as an aviation technology major with hopes of entering an aviation career but shifted gears during her first year to eventually graduate as an English major with a focus on poetry.

While at Purdue, she met her husband of 22 years, Bob, who happens to be a pilot, peripherally fulfilling her interest in aviation and giving her the chance to travel to over 70 countries.

After university, Amy pursued work in teaching high school English, and after 3 years of teaching, transitioned to management consulting for public sector clients, which sparked her interest in business.

After September 11, 2001, a downturn in the aviation market sent her and Bob packing for the middle east, where she spent three years living and working in the Kingdom of Bahrain while pursuing her MBA, making her also the first in her family to attend graduate school.

When she returned from the middle east, she resumed her consulting career, but based in Silicon Valley and focused on technology companies, which has been her focus for the last 15 years of her career.

A decade ago, she transitioned from a large management consulting firm to working for a boutique firm called The AIP Group (adventures inspiring performance), where she facilitated adventure-based leadership sessions and earned her Executive Masters in the Neuroscience of Leadership.

Her last year with AIP was spent leading the company as CEO before she left to launch her own neuroscience-based manager development startup called SUPER*MEGA*BOSS in 2019 and co-wrote Wild Success: 7 Key Lessons Business Leaders Can Learn from Extreme Adventurers with Kevin Vallely.

Amy lives in San Jose, California, with her husband, Bob, and their 22-year-old cat.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @BrainyLeaders get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“Innovation is all about being uncomfortable.” – Click to Tweet

“The brain loves novelty. We love looking at new stuff.” – Click to Tweet

“When you apply weirdness in different domains, it gives it a fresh light and makes people pay attention to it more.” – Click to Tweet

“If you’re serving up content that’s boring and not memorable, then there’s no way someone’s going to remember how to apply what they’ve been taught.” – Click to Tweet

“Humans like to see something different. Novelty works to get people’s attention.” – Click to Tweet

“Real, intentional development takes time.” – Click to Tweet

“Exposing yourself to things that are different from what you normally do gives opportunity for reflection and innovation.” – Click to Tweet

“It takes time to come up with good ideas and you have to give yourself that time and reflection space to do it.” – Click to Tweet

“A good leader will continuously learn through life.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Amy Posey had an opportunity to talk and meet with a tech startup team. In order to spark them up and make them think, Amy experimented working with weird cutouts and novel items that left the people stunned and confused. Coming in with these weird and ridiculous items, the items became memory triggers and anchor points for the listeners. Because of how different and weird it was, it made her more memorable than anyone else and her talk stuck into her listener’s minds.

Advice for others

Be very interested in science.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

The negative voice in my head.

Best Leadership Advice

Be more emotionally intelligent.

Secret to Success

I’m a weirdo.

Best tools in business or life

Microsoft To Do

Recommended Reading

Song of Myself Poem by Walt Whitman‎

Contacting Amy Posey

Amy’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/brainyleaders

Amy’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amyposey/

SUPER MEGA BOSS website: https://supermegaboss.com/

SUPER MEGA BOSS LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/supermegaboss/

SUPER MEGA BOSS Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/super.mega.boss/

Resources

Kevin Vallely episode: https://www.fastleader.net/kevin-vallely/

Show Transcript

Click to access unedited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today. Who’s going to tap into your weirdness and get you something we’re going to help you to be more innovative, creative, and a better leader. Amy Posey was born and raised in Oaklawn, Illinois, six blocks from the South side of Chicago city limits her most vivid memories include stuffing the family into a very tiny hatchback back and taking tiny and taking road trips East of the Mississippi, which inspired her love of travel and adventure. The youngest of four children. She has an older brother and sister and her oldest sister died due to complications from leukemia. When Amy was 17, one month after starting college, it had an undeniable impact on her outlook on life and realization to live life to its fullest. She was the first in her family to attend college at Purdue university, where she started out as an aviation technology major with hopes of entering an aviation career, but shifted gears after her first year to eventually graduate as an English major with a focus on poetry while it produced.

Jim Rembach (01:08):

She met her husband of 22 years. Bob who happens to be a pilot peripherally, fulfilling her interest in aviation and giving her the chance to travel to over 70 countries after university Amy pursued work in teaching high school English, and after three years of teaching transition to management consulting for public sector clients, which sparked her interest in business after September 11th, 2001, the downturn in the aviation market sent her and Bob packing for the middle East, where she spent three years living and working in the kingdom of Bahrain while pursuing her MBA, making her also the first in her family to attend graduate school. When she returned from the middle East, she resumed her consulting career, but based in Silicon Valley and focused on technology companies, which has been her focus for the last 15 years of her career, a decade ago, she transitioned from a large management consulting firm to working for a boutique firm called AIP group adventures, inspiring performance, where she facilitated and venture based leadership sessions and earn her executive masters in the neuroscience of leadership.

Jim Rembach (02:16):

Her last year with a VIP was spent leading the company as CEO, before she left launch her own neuroscience based management management development startup called super mega boss in 2019. And co-wrote wild success, seven key business leaders, seven key lessons, business leaders can learn from extreme adventures with Kevin validly. Who’s been on the fast leader show and who’s an episode two 79. And we’ll talk about that here in a moment. Amy currently lives in San Jose, California with her husband, Bob and their 22 year old cat, Amy Posey. Are you ready to help us get over the hump? I’m ready. I am ready. Let’s do this. Oh, I’m glad you’re here. And I’ve my Legion a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Amy Posey (03:04):

Yeah, I, that, that last piece around manager training. So just dealing with and thinking about how leaders learn, develop, and grow has been. I I’ve been working in it and with leaders for a long time. And so I noticed a space where particularly new leaders and managers, um, they’re not learning in the way that you and I may have learned who to lead other humans. And I feel like there’s a shift in what they’re consuming outside of work. And so what I’m doing is kind of this grand experiment. So super mega boss, which is the company I’m running now essentially looks at the weirdness of learning to lead others because that in and of itself is really weird sometimes. And so I’m taking a lot of the science that I’ve thought about and developed a way to have people learn in kind of more interesting and weird ways.

Amy Posey (04:01):

Cause we remember it better when it’s weird. We remember things that spark our emotions, um, and weirdness and novelty is one of those things that can miss sticks in her brain. And so I’m developing a new way for people to think about how do they manage others? How do they manage themselves as a boss and a leader? So I’m spending a lot of time creating a really fun content, doing different experiments based in the science then based in frankly, I’m a bit of a weirdo myself. And so I’m combining those things and it’s a, it’s a cool experiment that seems to be sticking. So, um, I’ve been doing that for the last, uh, 18 months, almost two years now, which is, which has been a lot of fun.

Jim Rembach (04:38):

Well, I know it’s listening to you talk about that. I start thinking about the book wild success that you co-wrote with Kevin Valley. And I think it’s really important to talk in regards to foundational elements and the awareness foundational elements, and then where you’re going with all of this in regards to the neuroscience. So in the book you talk about seven key lessons that leaders can learn from extreme adventurers and they are cognitive reappraisal, grit, growth, mindset, purpose, innovation, resilience, and personal sustainability. So once we understand those foundational elements and again, Kevin does an excellent job of explaining that on his episode of the fascinator show. Again, it was episode two 79 and we’ll put a link to that on your show notes page, but what we’re talking about is, okay, now how do we take all of these foundational components and elements, these ingredients, and then now really using it for that, you know, big, bad, you know, you know, that hyper extraordinary, you know, type of scenario so that we can separate ourselves from everyone else. Cause that’s really what’s required today. Uh, well, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Go ahead.

Amy Posey (05:46):

Oh, no. Well, and it’s interesting cause I think about, uh, you know, those fundamental elements that came out in the book, um, the, the science is there behind all of them too. So it’s a cool adventure story. The it’s the science behind it, and this is just kind of taking the science and double clicking on it in a more tactical way. So wild success. I mean, I’m passionate about travel and adventure and the stories that come from that. Um, I want it to even go a little bit deeper and further in, you know, thinking about those are, those are sort of the emotional components of being a leader. I wanted to look at. Okay. There’s also tactics around being a manager and those tactics are things that also require, um, some understanding some of the science and how we operate and how to build habits around all of those sort of tactics.

Amy Posey (06:32):

Cause they’re sort of the highfalutin, like how do I approach leadership in that big sort of capital L um, space and that’s where wild success, I think excels, cause it kinda gets you thinking above your day to day. I also wanted to look at what’s what is the day to day and for a manager and how are they learning and growing. And so, um, particularly around the space of innovation cause, um, you know, you’re supposed to listen to not play favorites, but I gotta say like that part of the book is my favorite. Cause innovation is like my baby. And I’ve been thinking about it for so long. And, and part of it was double clicking and seeing like, how do I, how do I take these leadership and management concepts and boil them down even further to the tactics and make those tactics stickier for people because you just, unless you build those good habits in the foundation, all the research shows that that most managers in the first two years, like 60% of them are so don’t don’t do well because they don’t develop those habits.

Amy Posey (07:28):

And so it’s like, how do you, how do you get into that? How do you unlock the potential to develop those habits? One is talking about it. But number two, I think is talking about it, not in sort of the capital L leaders sort of way, but talking about it in a real tactical habit, forming, um, scientific experiment sort of way to make it a little bit more accessible. Cause that I always remember the new manager, I was sort of terrified like, Oh, kind of a leader now. Oh yikes. So part of it is thinking about it in a more practical way,

Jim Rembach (07:56):

You know, and as you were say that, I start thinking about the differentiation between as a manager, what I have to do, tactically, you know, so Hey, we have to execute, we have to do these things. We have to follow these processes and procedures and workflows and you know, that’s one component, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. What we’re talking about is, you know, how do we now apply the finesse to all of that and figure out maybe better ways of doing it, uh, better ways of, you know, leading the people in the process, not just managing all of the resources and all of that. And so you actually talk about, um, in a, in a previous, um, presentation that I saw of yours, five ingredients that we need to implement. And in order to engineer, better days, part of this goes into being a better leader. It goes into serving the customers better and providing a better customer experience employee experience that men are several different ways that you can do it. And you talk about pausing and revisiting quiet, reframing positivity, and then an extended revisit kind of walk us through what that means.

Amy Posey (08:58):

Yeah. I mean, I, I spent a lot of time with tech companies. I live in Silicon Valley. I, I just, um, I’m a geek. I love to think about how to new ideas happen and you know, what’s, what’s the secret sauce? How are people learning to create these new ideas? Like why are we all coming to this one place and looking at Silicon Valley news, like the heart of it. And I started to uncover like, there’s some elements here that are working, but are they working in the way that were sort of designed to come up with these ideas? So I went deep on research around the space and that’s where I came up with these ingredients because what the science is saying that in order to really come up with these ideas, you’ve got to be deliberate and intentional on how you work. If you expect to come up with these new ideas and there’s tons of good, there’s, there’s more and more good literature out than there was probably five years ago when I started studying it.

Amy Posey (09:52):

But you know, part of it is thinking about the, those elements and how do you infuse every day with more of them because we get into the sort of the control network in the brain. And we’re always just sort of what’s next the tactics of our day getting managed by calendars. And this is an effort to get back into our default network, which is really where the brewery network, where we do more of our innovative thinking. It’s the daydreamy sort of floaty space. And I always ask people like how much time do you actually schedule the daydream during the day? And people are like zero to negative. I’m like, yeah, I know. And part of it is you actually need that. And so the insight ingredients were things that I came up with to just remind people, you actually have to engineer your day a little bit better if you expect to come up with the aha moments because your brain needs that time and space.

Amy Posey (10:40):

So pause, being able to walk away from things and I’ve used these experiments, even in writing wild success, I had to walk away to come up with like, how do I tie all these different ideas together from science, from business, from adventure? Like that’s a weird combination. How do you, how do you do that? And I, it required me to take pause. And so I’d go out and I’d take a walk in the Hills, I’d go out and, you know, even do a run around the block, but taking that pause and stepping away from the challenge that you have. I know so many people were trying to force fit it, get in a room, brainstorm for an hour, come up with the best idea like spoiler, very rarely will that accomplish the best idea. And the next item was quite,

Jim Rembach (11:20):

I’d actually like to add on that to a second, because what I have started implementing when I am having discussion and dialogue with somebody and we do have to figure out, you know, something different, um, what’s, what’s, we’re doing right now, isn’t working. People automatically want to go to start, you know, actually solving the problem right away. So we talk about, um, the different types of thinking that are needed, right? So we have the congruent, you know, type of thinking, you know, and then we have, you know, the creative type of thinking. And so I have been more intentional to say, I don’t want your answer right now. I just want you to think about it and come back to me tomorrow or whatever the case may be, because I want them to, I want them to do what you’re referring to, but you have to, you can’t, it’s not just doing it for yourself. You now have to do it for others, for you to get there better perspectives and ideas.

Amy Posey (12:16):

And, and that’s a really key bit of it is to, to recognize that because people have been very, very habituated into like, Oh, we need a solution immediately. We’re going so fast. And innovation doesn’t have to happen in that speed. And often the best innovations take time and failure. And I’ll be like any, anything you look at in terms of the most innovative things that are out there, it wasn’t, it wasn’t an immediacy. And so I love the idea of just sending someone away, say think about it. And I do that so often, um, and, and have trained myself to, because it’s, it’s, you want to sell people problems. You want to be helpful. You like, there’s a deep desire and the most helpful thing you can do, it’d be like, okay, I’ve got my information. I’m going to take a day or two to think about this.

Amy Posey (13:01):

And then I’m going to get back to you with some ideas so that I can properly give this the attention it deserves. And, and I think the more people can do that and make the time and space to do that. It requires planning, which, you know, I know a lot of people are not great at. And so it requires like you’ve got to build that time back in, if you really do need to do that. And so pause, I think is a really key piece of it. You’ve got to slow down if you really want those answers to come. Um, another kind of interesting it space in these ingredients is the idea of quiet, which is tough for a lot of people. You know, the idea that your brain actually needs to not have as many sensory inputs when you’re in the default sort of thinking time.

Amy Posey (13:46):

And so, um, the open floor plan that most people work in, in a lot of the corporations, especially here in Silicon Valley, people always come to me after I tell them they need quiet or like, but I work here and how am I supposed to do that? I’m like, well, you can’t do all of your work in the same space and that’s kind of a shocker for folks, but it’s like you, these workplaces that we’ve designed and right now it’s all our homes. So it’s actually really difficult if you’re a homeschool parent and you’re trying to get work done. And the leaf blowers are out there. Like it’s hard to innovate unless you can turn off some of those sensory input. And one of the biggest sensory inputs is sound. And so in order to think deeply and do that deep work, you actually need quiet, but the tricky pieces, you can actually also listen to nature sounds and trick your brain by, you know, getting a pastoral like birds chirping, maybe strainful ocean, your brain works better outside sort of in motion thinking about complicated things.

Amy Posey (14:45):

But our workplaces are noisy. You’re thinking about a thousand things at once. Um, you’re usually stationary. And so part of it is that quiet space, like going off for a walk in nature, exposing yourself to greens and blues, that’s, that’s where the magic is. That’s where your brain is going to do its best because that’s sort of the natural soundtrack that your brain can kind of deal with. Um, the mechanical soundtrack of always sort of having a playlist going, or it’s, it’s really tough, um, for your brain to come up with great ideas, so quiet and that, that reflection time to give yourself and, and just like stop some of that sensory input, um, is also really important for your brain to start to combine all these ideas into the aha moments, um, really reframing. So w the book actually talks about cognitive reappraisal, which is a kind of reframing, and that kind of talks about it from more emotional standpoint.

Amy Posey (15:41):

This is more from a, how do I look at my challenge or problem differently? And what I tell people is you have to expose yourself to information and things that aren’t in your domain in order to reframe. And that’s hard for people. So when I tell people, okay, if you are a software engineer, go to an art museum, they could go, wait, what? Like, that’s not my thing. Like, I don’t, I’m like, that’s why you need to go do something, read things that are not in your domain, exposure yourself, and have conversations even. And this is the smallest space that I think people can just sort of step out, go talk to somebody in another business function and ask them how they would solve your problem, make friends across the organization. And you’ll actually get way more innovative responses and approaches to your challenges. But we get stuck in our silos.

Amy Posey (16:29):

We wait to see what’s comfortable innovations all about getting uncomfortable. So like reaching out, talking to people who are not in your domain, talking to them about your challenge in a way that they can understand it and get like brainstorm with them. Um, that’s, I think a really important piece and trying to apply different solutions and different approaches to how you want to think about that challenge. Um, and I’m, I’m trying to do that myself in bringing in, um, the people that I’m working with and super mega boss. I’m, you know, I’m talking to people who create music, videos for artists and, and tick tock videos to infuse into very, what would traditionally be considered dry business learning. Like I’ve got to think about it in a different way. I’ve got artists, I’ve got people who aren’t educators, it’s a different lens. And so they can help you solve your problem in a very different way.

Amy Posey (17:20):

So reframing it, getting different input and insight, I think is huge. Um, positivity. So we naturally are negatively, uh, wired. We, we, and that’s a survival mechanism of our sort of four key emotions. Three are negative. And so you’ve got to bring a spirit of positivity of challenges can be solved and, and be optimistic, realistic, but optimistic when you face the challenge that you can, that you can find an interesting, innovative solution. And that sort of hope, um, kind of outweighs the immediacy of shutting down that voice in her head. But before we even say what our crazy new idea is, like, shuts it down. Like, no, that’s not good enough. That’s never gonna work. You gotta shut that voice down. Um, and I, I think a lot of people don’t do that when they’re trying to be truly innovative, but they’re like, Oh, it’s not going to work.

Amy Posey (18:10):

I’m not even gonna say it. I feel stupid. Like, no, no, no, shut that guy down. Like, get it down on paper, get it out on the whiteboard. Um, that’s huge. And then lastly, uh, revisiting, so stepping away for a while, not just sort of like a pause and reconnect, but a longer term revisit of your challenge and the solution that you’ve come up with because you’ve got a lot of cognitive bias. Once you come up with that great idea, you think it is the best idea in the history of humanity. And it’s really important to come back and say, how might this fail? How, how else could I look at this? Like, is this the best solution possible and trying to be objective and not biased and revisiting it again, um, I think is a great way to kind of relocate your ideas and it’s hard to put in practice.

Amy Posey (19:00):

Cause sometimes you have to get reminded like, Hey, that was a great idea for point in time X, like how have things changed materially that makes me need to look at this differently. And, and even if it just is an exercise and reaffirming your great idea, great, but it’s always good to poke holes at it and continue to enhance, right? Like everything’s always in beta, that’s a real geeky way to look at it, but like everything can be improved ourselves, our products, our ideas, and, and part of it is taking that as a growth growth opportunity to take a look at it. So those are the ingredients I feel like from a science standpoint, help us realize, Oh, okay, I can, I can take the process of coming up with new ways of doing things and apply a little bit of science and probably come up with a better idea than going at it and sort of my automatic, like getting a room, brainstorm it with some people off, we go with an idea.

Jim Rembach (19:50):

Okay. So then we have to do a better job of separating out our divergent and convergent thinking. We have to make sure that we don’t fall victim to biases of ourselves and other hers. Um, and, and there’s, so there’s a whole cacophony of things that are just flying at us. Right. But then you throw in this element with some of the work that you’re doing in regards to weirdness and leadership development and why weirdness works. And I think that’s why you talked about the tick tock, you know, people and all this coming to where you’re going.

Amy Posey (20:22):

Yeah. So, so when I thought about, and I’ve been thinking about innovation for awhile and, and about a year and a half ago, when I was sort of like, okay, I need to pivot like time for me to take a fresh approach on something. I started to dig into the, the land of the manager development space. And I just got really, I mean, personally bored, I kind of empathized. And I put myself in the shoes of if I’m a emerging leader and I’ve never been a boss before, what, what, how do I learn how to do this? And so that sort of design thinking approach to let me, let me empathize with these, this group of humans in the world that we’re in and whatever, whatever space they might be in, I might be as software engineer, new, fresh market here, and someone in manufacturing, like, doesn’t matter, like, let me just put myself and I’ve got to lead a small team and I got to figure out how I’m going to do that.

Amy Posey (21:10):

You know, are the things that are out there right now are going to help me and help me in a way that I’m going to take my very limited attention span and it shrinking. Um, is it as exciting and fun and interesting and useful as the stuff I’m looking at outside of work? And my answer was no, I’m going to go Google how to do my job because the stuff I’m seeing just wasn’t there. And so I started to think about, okay, I’ve been talking to leaders and humans for a long time about some of these things like, well, how does learning need to change and adapt? Like our, our media consumption is changing and adapting and the way people are creating content and doing sort of honestly like weird, ridiculous things of humanity, which I think is it’s fun to scroll through Instagram and find all the weirdness, but then it’s like, Oh, there’s something here.

Amy Posey (21:58):

Like, if this is so compelling, why can’t the way we learn how to do our jobs, have an element of this to make it more engaging and new and different because the brain loves novelty. We love looking at new stuff, it’s it sparks our dopamine receptors. It gets us kind of like, Oh, what is this? And this is weird. And, and so I’m in the process of really establishing, like why does weirdness work and how does it work? And so, um, Superman your boss, if you go on the website, I mean, it’s funny. Cause I, I, I bring it into people and I’m like, here’s what I’m doing. And I, the looks on people’s faces. They’re like, what the heck is this? I’m like, perfect. But that’s the response I want. So I have those going in hypothesis that some weirdness is going to work is going to stand out, is going to be people go, Oh, okay, I’m going to pay attention to this.

Amy Posey (22:47):

I’m going to figure out we’re still having those deep leadership conversations and manage our conversations around what I like to call power skills, not soft skills, but power skills. Like how do I communicate? How do I be emotionally intelligent situations? How do I help people grow and develop? But we’re doing it with this layer on top of it. That makes it much more memorable. And so I’m, I’m essentially going off and doing an experiment, just like I would tell people from an innovation standpoint, like I’ve, I’ve given it some time to marinate to think about it. And it’s, it’s in beta, like it’s in a permanent set of beta and I’m getting feedback from people like, Oh, I like this piece of it. This piece is a little too weird for me. Cause I tell people like, it’s not for everybody if you’re not ready for it.

Amy Posey (23:30):

That’s okay. And I know from cultural, like some of the different corporate cultures I work with, like, it’s not going to be where you want to go. Like, it’s just not your vibe. And that’s cool. But part of me is like, where might this work? Because I think weirdness is sticky. And when you can apply weirdness in different domains, it just gives it a fresh light and makes people pay attention to it more. And so I’m, I’m basically experimenting with ways to create content that is based in science, based in creating great manager habits, but is something that’s stickier for people to pay more attention to because we’ve got, I mean, at this point we’ve got maybe five to 10 minutes of people’s attention. Like eight minutes is the sweet spot. You can’t put somebody in a one day training session and just be hammer content at them anymore. It just isn’t gonna work. And then how to have a long tail behind it. It’s, it’s something that I think has to shift and, and people are not, I mean, that’s why micro learning works. Like people want to customize and personalize. And so I’m going to add that layer of weirdness and see how it goes from a, from a disrupting the space, um, perspective.

Jim Rembach (24:38):

Well, as you’re talking, as I start thinking about, uh, the differences that we need to point out, we’re not talking about T people learning how to, you know, better use, you know, um, uh, you know, an application. That’s not what we’re talking about. What we’re talking about here is developing a competency. That’s a foundational component to them being able to have a skill. Okay. So that’s a journey. I mean, that is something that requires what, what you’re referring to, which is more of that neuroscience habit, forming, you know, bias, re re dejecting separating of the whole, the Virgin convergent, thinking that this is more complex to something that is going to be transformational in nature, not a practice or a T or a tactical activity.

Amy Posey (25:28):

Absolutely. And that’s, that was a conscious choice, um, on my effort, because I do feel like these are the competencies, um, that people need for the longterm and those that you can, you can develop a competency better over time with habit formation, reminders, um, triggers that allow you to respond in certain ways and identifying the process and trigger it’s, it’s a nuanced art and science versus how to learn application, right? Like the brain learns differently. It’s remembering how to behave in certain ways. And those behavior based learnings are much harder to do. And so if you’re serving up content that’s boring and not memorable, there’s no way someone’s going to remember how to do those behaviors. Like they haven’t even caught it the first time because it’s, you know, same old, same old. And, and I see people sort of wanting this, this change in this different way of thinking.

Amy Posey (26:23):

Um, and, and it’s, and it’s sticking in certain places. I mean, I, it was funny because I served up something very different and contrary to one of my customers. And it was, it was very much not there. They’re pretty buttoned up even for a tech company they’re reasonably buttoned up. And then I created kind of this funny sound in class that had a pink with it. And it was, it was kind of goofy, but it definitely drew their attention. It was, uh, the course basically filled up in less than 20 minutes. It had a 50 person waiting list and it was like the fastest they’d ever seen people sign up for things. So I think like if you build it, they’ll come. And if you make it weird, they’re like, what is this? I’ve got to check this out and it’s that, you know, but some of the weird stuff rubs off and then you can still have really deep conversations.

Amy Posey (27:11):

And, and just remember, and, and it’s funny, cause even though I thought like, okay, this is where the emerging manager and leader, and they might be, you know, a millennial, whatever. Maybe they’re in this age bracket, they’ve never managed others before I had someone who was a very experienced leader, say like, Hey, will you come talk to my team of, you know, very much experienced, you know, they each had 25 and above years of service and a tech company. And they’re like, we’re having a meeting and we need some stuff to sort of spark us and to make us think. And I went in with the cardboard, cutouts and weird stuff that I bring to all my sessions. And these guys looked at me like, and it was just, it was a room full of like tech guys who had, I think had seen it all and were looking in and all of them just sort of turned and looked at me.

Amy Posey (27:59):

They’re like, what is going on here? And I’m like, we’re going to get weird. But I explained why I’m like, we’re going to get weird. Cause you’re going to remember this. And like, uh, me coming in with like this, these cardboard cutouts of like lips in business suits and giant pineapple heads, like real weird stuff, but it’s, they were memory triggers. And we walk in, I put all this stuff up. They’re like, God, what is happening? But then I explained, like, here’s the thing, you’re going to remember this. And we’re going to have some good conversations today and I’m going to anchor it with these wacky visuals and sure enough, they’re like at first we thought you were nuts. And then we’re like, okay, no, we’ll give her a chance. And so part of it is then also bringing, like it’s not weirdness for weirdness thing.

Amy Posey (28:40):

It’s weirdness with a purpose to make you remember and to grow and develop. And so, um, it was, it was a funny experiment. Cause one of the people I was with my team, we were just laughing to each other like, all right, well, let’s see how this goes. Like this is, this is a big bet. And we just sort of snickered afterward for like, that was better than expected. They got it. Like we even had like this funny head and one of the guys put the head on and I was like, this is amazing because people, I mean, humans just like to see something different and, and novelty works to kind of get people’s attention. So it was, it was pretty entertaining. And if nothing else, I’m having a good time with this experiment, which I think is, um, where I want to be right now.

Jim Rembach (29:19):

Yeah. Well, I mean, to me, the anchoring that you’re creating as a result of that, it’s pretty powerful and that’s what you and I were chatting off Mike. And I said, that’s why on the call center, coach virtual leadership Academy that we have to develop those frontline leaders. I started mentioning something about senior leaders coming in and how it’s kind of transformed and changed. And that’s what we try to do is do we try to switch it up, try to do things, although I think we need to get a little bit more wacky, so we’re going to have some thoughts. All right. So

Amy Posey (29:51):

Love him. I love those anchors and that’s a, it makes a big difference.

Jim Rembach (29:55):

Yeah, sure does. And I think one of the things, when you start talking about neuroscience, that’s critically important and you kind of have to think about it is what I’m trying to grow. Right. So I think, I think about of it as, you know, plant, um, you know, uh, you know, turning up the soil, you know, I’m planting a seed, you know, the whole cultivation and then the whole nurturing piece. And that you kind of have to think about that from a neuroscience perspective. You can’t just get right into it and say, Hey, this is the fully grown thing. I mean, you have to actually bake things

Amy Posey (30:26):

You do. And I think realizing that this full takes time and a time investment and taking the time and space to do this, and whether you’re developing yourself, developing a team of people who are going to lead others, whether it’s, you know, it’s, it takes time. And, and I think that we’re all in a rush all the time. And I, myself included like, I’m, I’m a fast mover. I’m kind of hyper. I, I like to get things done. I’m accomplished or admin oriented, like a lot of people, you know, but part of it is that real intentional taking a step back and giving things time to marinate, to think about things, your brain needs it. And I feel like right now I’ve been trying to encourage a lot of people with COVID and we’ve got some extra time here and there to like, just take that time to reflect and to do things that like hobbies, you know, like even if it’s a hobby that you have never tried before, like I’m doing a lot of drama lately, but exposing yourself and doing things that are creative, that are tactical with your hands that are different from what you normally do, stepping away from screens, doing puzzles, like just stuff to kind of get the juices, flowing, to get yourself thinking and more reflective and innovative.

Amy Posey (31:45):

Um, it’s, it’s a great time to do that. And, and to make that space to do that. I know, um, I’ve been working at home. I’m either in front of clients or I’m at home. And so I’ve been working at home for a decade plus, and I noticed in that shift, people were literally filling their entire day with work and feeling more tired and more exhausted. And I’m like, Oh, you haven’t figured this out yet. You know, those of us who’ve been working from home, don’t actually work all day. Like we go for a walk, we run an errand, we mix it up during the day we exercise. Like I am unabashed. And I tell anybody like, I’m going out for a hike two hours a day. I have since, since COBIT for sure. But like, I used to sort of hide that like ongoing for a hike from noon to two.

Amy Posey (32:28):

And people were like, what? I’m like, I know it’s terrible. It’s just, wow. How am I not lock to a desk and a computer all day? And I don’t know, like to be really innovative, that balance is absolutely necessary. So I’ve been telling people like, please don’t work from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM straight in front of your computer. You’re going to Wilton die. Part of that to be innovative is to realize that we have all tradie and rhythms and you’ve got to follow those and be really realistic in the fact that it takes time to come up with these good ideas and you have to give yourself that time and that reflection space to do it.

Jim Rembach (33:01):

You know, as we spend time together, I started thinking about something I probably should have done when we first started chatting when we approached, you know, the topic of neuroscience and that is, you know, a lot of people may have misunderstandings about what neuroscience is or isn’t. And so I would love to get your definition and perspective on what is neuroscience.

Amy Posey (33:24):

I mean, it’s, it’s fundamental, right? It’s the study of the nervous system. And at the central part of it is your brain. And so I see a lot of people throw it around like neuroscience, Hey, we all know neuroscience, it’s getting real popular, which is great. Um, but also dangerous. Cause there’s a lot of BS out there too. And so I aren’t like somebody made the mistake of saying I was a neuroscientist the other day. And I’m like, Whoa, Whoa, no, no, no, no, no, no. I like the scientific community. I think like wood poopoo deck. I’m not, I read articles. I curate, I understand the science behind it. And I look at neuroscience research in the context of leadership and I think it’s really helpful, but I also believe that it’s, it’s not, everything can be solved through it. And so it’s essentially looking at it not to get scared by it.

Amy Posey (34:16):

It’s, I’m reading articles about rat brains. Like it’s not like there’s no mystery behind it. It’s experiments. It’s looking at the scientific method. It’s looking for things that we can learn from replicated experiments, whether it’s human, human brains, rat brains, behavioral experiments, and like trying to pull that, that science and to say, what does this mean for us? What does this mean for a leader in their behaviors and how they operate? And that’s really it. And like the, the razzle dazzle, the twinkle, the neuroscience word is all over the place, which kind of cracked me up. And I’m excited that people are learning about their brains and all these fun facts. Like I could go for days and read fun facts about books and fun things about our brains because the science sciences improved the machinery to actually measure what’s happening in our brains is improved.

Amy Posey (35:00):

Drastically. Scientists are asking much more interesting questions. They’re using different contexts. Cause it used to just be like for health and for disease prevention. And now it’s like, Oh, how can we use the science to apply it to different contexts? Whether it’s learning, whether it’s business, whether it’s education, those are wonderful things in my book, but I also don’t want people to get like either super turned off cause I’ve had people go like, Oh, you’re a science chick. Like I don’t want to talk to you. Like that sounds, um, I like, I didn’t grow up thinking like, Oh, I’m going to really be, science-minded like, I’m a nerd. And I took a path and now this stuff really interesting. And it sounds really interesting in the context of work. And so if you can take some additional information from a space that you know is not your usual and apply it in a new way that it’s innovation.

Amy Posey (35:48):

So I’m really interested in it and wanted to go deep because I was like, okay, how is this useful for us day to day? Um, so I want to caution people like learning how to read science is actually super helpful because you can debunk stuff that doesn’t doesn’t work. Doesn’t it mean things or like a sample size and that’s 12 people or 12 rat brains that people are then using to say, Oh, this is, you know, the new awesome thing. And this is how we should all react. And it’s like, no, it’s actually not. It’s a small study. It doesn’t matter. But I also hate the fact that scientists all just slice each other down. And like, if you can’t replicate their studies, like they build a fight each other. It’s kind of a weird space, but I’m glad I’m not in. Um, because as they kind of eat their young and it’s weird, it’s like, no, no, no, no, I get it.

Amy Posey (36:33):

Like we need to have high standards, but like we don’t need to be inhuman about it. And so I’ve just really enjoyed sort of the opportunity to look and learn. Um, and, and a good leader will kind of continuously learn through your life and I’ve just been passionate about it. Cause I think w and I can go deep in it. And it’s funny cause Kevin, when we’re writing the book, he’s like, I think you need to pull it up a layer two. Cause I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. Like you got full geek on that. And I was like, okay, alright, that’s cool. He’s like, people are not going to understand your, you know, superior gyrus and all that. I’m like, okay, maybe I will kind of raise it up a level. So we don’t have to get too technical, but like it’s, it’s useful. It’s useful to know how we operate and how we work because brain’s most complicated thing in our universe. We all have one lucky us, like why not figure out how it works and how to use it better?

Jim Rembach (37:25):

Well, as, as you know, the talking about debunking, a lot of this stuff is, um, you know, the whole social perspective of, uh, rocket science being extremely complicated. And I always tell this story about a colleague that was actually having a conversation with a rocket scientist and said, um, you know, Mack, my job is significantly more difficult than yours. And he was like, what do you mean I’m a rocket scientist. And then she says, well, let me ask you this. Um, if I know the wind and I know my thrust, if I know the gravitational pole, if I know all these things I know within an inch or two, where that rocket’s going to land, he goes, that’s exactly right. And she looks at him and says, try to do that with people.

Amy Posey (38:15):

That’s true. That’s totally true. Um, yeah. And people are weird and hard to figure out and do unexpected things. So you a hundred percent correct. It is, it is much harder. I think that rocket science and I, I think that’s, um, profound, cause it’s realizing that we can then always get better and always get better in how we work with people, communicate, uh, innovate and that’s, to me that’s exciting and the whole world of neuroplasticity and knowing that our brains can kind of grow and grow and grow and we can make new connections like that. That was one of the most exciting things that I had ever heard in my life. And then I tested it. I was like, okay, all right, brain, if you’re so smart, I’m a Japanese, one of the Japanese alphabets and then learn enough. They’re one like, it’s like now I’m like, all right, I’m going to just learn stuff to test it, to see if I can remember this stuff. And it’s, it’s, I mean, I can entertain myself with that, uh, until the cows come home. So that’s, I mean, and I think that’s kind of a core competency of a nerd, like, Oh, I’m going to go deep on this and see if it really works. So, uh, yeah, it’s fun and complicated.

Jim Rembach (39:20):

Well, and talk about that fun and complication piece in order to help us to persevere through that. We need some inspiration. And one of the things that we look at on the show or quotes to help us do that. So is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?

Amy Posey (39:34):

Um, so, so it’s really funny cause I, I think about, um, when we were finishing the book, uh, Kevin and I, I, I thought it was really important and, and we both get to end with sort of a good quote that would talk about sort of the fact that, you know, life. So really creative venture. I mean, when you’re thinking about science, whether you’re thinking about your, your leadership it’s, you should make it into it and venture and just tired of having adventures mindset. And, and one of the, to go back to my, my roots in, um, learning how to teach English and poetry, um, I, and, and my love of nature and transcendental sort of being out in the wilderness, which kind of comes full circle for me, like studying the transcendentals in universities and undergrad. Like I got, I got real hippy and just wanted to be outside all day and just nature was art teacher.

Amy Posey (40:28):

And then coming back to it and realizing from a scientific lens, like yes, nature is our teacher and they were all onto something. So I kind of love the throw quote around, you know, going to going into the woods. And so, um, I’m gonna read it from the book cause we finished with it. I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. So that’s, that’s one that, that sticks here. Kevin, I argued which one and I went out on that one cause I was like, this is, this is the quote that I think defines both of us, for sure. Like going out into the woods to learn and to grow into develop whether that’s from a scientific standpoint or what nature has to offer us and learning through tough, um, tough, extreme adventures or even not so extreme adventures.

Jim Rembach (41:22):

Thanks for sharing that. And you also, we oftentimes ask about a time where you’ve gotten over the hump, but in order to learn something, and I think you’ve already shared that when you talked about going and doing that training session with those tech executives, so you for doing that well, so what I want to know now is when you start looking at, you know, your own expectations, you know, experimentation and where you’re going and, you know, having this book with Kevin and is that you probably have a lot of goals that are sitting in front of you, but could you share one of them with us?

Amy Posey (41:52):

I, um, it was interesting cause I, I just sort of made a decision somewhat recently about super Megabus. Cause it, it, not that it was a hobby, but it was, it was something that I wasn’t sure where I wanted to take it. Like how, how big do I want it to be? And I think that’s a foundational question and understanding purpose for any leader. And I, I sort of had to revisit that and say like, okay, here’s where I’m at right now. Here’s the stage of life that I’m at? Um, what do I want to do here? Like, do I, do I want to just sort of agreement into something that’s lifestyle and niche and interesting, or do I want to grow it? And I made a decision to grow it, which, you know, comes with all kinds of scary entrepreneurial, like, Oh, okay, I’ve made that decision and you have to sort of make that anchor, um, and understand, okay that I need that purpose.

Amy Posey (42:39):

I need that vision to be able to execute against that and, and track my goals on it. And so it was, it was kind of a funny conversation, cause I actually had talked to a couple of people and I said, um, you know, I’m kind of in the midst of making this decision and they’re like, Hmm, no, I think we know what you’re going to do. I was like, yeah, pro probably, but I still need to like explore the potential and the possibility of like, I can go many different directions here. What do I want to do? It’s like, no, I think, I think that there’s a lot to offer here. And I think that it’s a fun experiment to run. Let’s see how it goes. And so I was like, all right, let’s blow it up. Let’s make it, let’s make it cool and big and see where we can take it. So that’s, that’s one of the things that, you know, you have to check in with yourself and what you want. And I think it’s an important thing, um, for, for everyone to think about their purpose. And so I was like, okay, I think right now in my, in my face of life, in my career, like my purpose is to help people who are growing and developing in the world, weird world and managing others.

Jim Rembach (43:36):

And the fast leader, Legion wishes you the very best. Now, before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

Speaker 3 (43:42):

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Amy Posey (44:32):

The negative voice in our head. We got to shut that person up. Cause they’re not really our friend. We wouldn’t say the things that come out of our head to other people, but when we say it to ourselves and that’s a bad thing. So you gotta turn that voice. And as corny as it sounds like you got to start being positive with yourself first. Um, cause naturally that bad thing wants to keep you alive. It’s well-intended but you don’t have to listen to it all the time.

Jim Rembach (44:54):

What is the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?

Amy Posey (44:59):

Um, be more emotionally intelligent and, and I think that’s a, that’s a good one. And it’s, if you can capture and harness your emotions for positive outcome, you’re going to be a better leader.

Jim Rembach (45:12):

And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Amy Posey (45:17):

I’m a weirdo. Um, and that’s it like I I’ve been a weirdo and I’ve been, I have worked really hard to be my authentic self. After many years ago, being told I shouldn’t be my authentic self and I threw that advice out the window and it seems to serve me well and I’m having a good time.

Jim Rembach (45:34):

And what is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business online

Amy Posey (45:40):

As tools? Um, I keep a very detailed to do list and checklist and I use, uh, Microsoft to do believe it or not. And it’s, it’s one of the things that just keeps me on track day to day. Cause that’s the thing that I think I need the most help then. So just tracking, tracking, but to do.

Jim Rembach (46:00):

And what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? It could be from any genre.

Amy Posey (46:10):

Uh, I’m gonna, I’m gonna say, uh, get back to get back to looking at, I mean, other than my book, uh, outside,

Speaker 4 (46:19):

Hi,

Amy Posey (46:21):

Read some poetry, read yourself to Walt Whitman, get yourself into nature, kind of expose yourself to something you maybe haven’t read since high school. Give it another try because there’s some good stuff in, uh, in song of myself. That’s a good one.

Jim Rembach (46:37):

Okay. Fast leader, Legion. You’ll find links to that. And other bonus information and a link to Amy’s book that she co authored with Kevin validly called wild success. Seven key lessons, a business leaders can learn from extreme adventures on her show notes pages as well as well, which you can find@fastleader.net slash Amy Posey. Okay, Amy, this is my last hump. They hold on question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age 25. You can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only choose one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Speaker 4 (47:10):

Yeah.

Amy Posey (47:11):

Um, honestly it’d be the inner science. I mean, I learned it a little later in life and I wish I had it in the beginning of my career to be able to work with people even more effectively and be able to give them reasons why they behave the way they they do. Um, versus just saying like do it this way. Cause I told you so, and that’s what that’s, what a good habit is. It gives people and a reason to try something and experiment with how they operate. So I think that’s, I would definitely put that in my tool kit as a 25 year old.

Jim Rembach (47:37):

Hey Amy, I had fun with you today. Can you, can you please share it the fast leader leads and how they can connect with you?

Amy Posey (47:43):

Um, absolutely. So, uh, super mega boss.com is where I’m doing fun and weird stuff today. Uh, and Amy posey.com. They can also follow me on Instagram at super mega boss. There’s some good stuff there or hit me up on LinkedIn and we can connect

Jim Rembach (47:59):

Amy Posey. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, the passing of the Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

284: David Dye – Taking Action in Creating a Courageous Culture

284: David Dye – Taking Action in Creating a Courageous Culture

David Dye Show Notes Page

David Dye experienced the lowest moments of his leadership during one particular team lunch. The things he was communicating to his team did not feel relevant to them. David realized that he was executing his own vision and did not ask the team what their vision was. Realizing his mistake, David learned that it’s not just about his own vision, but about their vision together as a team. It helped him get over the hump of needing to engage his people. Today, David is sharing his experiences to help other leaders become better versions of themselves and teaching them that together they are able to build something much stronger and much more cohesive.

David grew up in Denver, Colorado and was the oldest of six children in a single parent family. Which, not coincidentally, is where he learned many of his earliest leadership lessons.

He studied political science, education, and has a masters in nonprofit management. He served as a city planning commissioner and then ran for city council at the age of 21 – and was elected.

At the same time, he started his career as a high school teacher, eventually working in human services where he served in every leadership role from volunteer team leader to CEO and Board Member. Those early lessons in influence and leadership were vital preparation for parenthood.

David believes everyone can master the principles of leadership and influence and lead without sacrificing their humanity in the process. One of his greatest joys is helping a leader master a practical strategy they can use right away to help their team be more successful.

Today, David and his wife Karin Hurt own Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership and management training and development firm located north of Washington DC. He’s written several books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem-Solvers, and Customer Advocates, Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results without Losing Your Soul, and The Seven Things Your Team Needs to Hear You Say.

David and Karin are committed to building clean water Winning Wells to help the people of Cambodia. When he’s not writing or helping leaders, David relaxes by reading, hiking, and a good cup of tea.

Perhaps the accomplishment of which he’s most proud is that one time, he successfully matched every pair of socks in three consecutive loads of laundry.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @davidmdye get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“If you want your idea to gain a listening ear, make it relevant to whoever you’re sharing it.” – Click to Tweet

“If you want your idea to be embraced and get moving, make sure that it’s doable.” – Click to Tweet

“One of the most important things a leader can do is practically ask questions that create vulnerability for you as a leader.” – Click to Tweet

“Pay great attention to how you’re responding to the ideas you’re hearing.” – Click to Tweet

“We hear ideas everyday, but we’re not always paying attention to them.” – Click to Tweet

“Always start with gratitude for all kinds of ideas.” – Click to Tweet

“If you can respond with regard even to ideas that are out there, you are on your way to building a truly courageous culture.” – Click to Tweet

“We’re going to have good days, we’re going to have bad days, are we moving forward?” – Click to Tweet

“It’s not about being invulnerable to criticism, it’s not about never making a mistake, it’s about taking the best action you can.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

David Dye experienced the lowest moments of his leadership during one particular team lunch. The things he was communicating to his team did not feel relevant to them. David realized that he was executing his own vision and did not ask the team what their vision was. Realizing his mistake, David learned that it’s not just about his own vision, but about their vision together as a team. It helped him get over the hump of needing to engage his people. Today, David is sharing his experiences to help other leaders become better versions of themselves and teaching them that together they are able to build something much stronger and much more cohesive.

Advice for others

Be more confident in your leadership.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Self-criticism

Best Leadership Advice

Have the confidence to lead

Secret to Success

Patience

Best tools in business or life

Listening and understanding people

Recommended Reading

Courageous Cultures

To Kill a Mockingbird

Contacting David Dye

Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidmdye

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidmdye/

Let’s Grow Leaders Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/letsgrowleaders

Let’s Grow Leaders Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/letsgrowleaders/

Let’s Grow Leaders YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA76vROsneNZDsHGnasov7A

Resources

Karin Hurt episode: https://www.fastleader.net/karin-hurt-2

Courageous Cultures book website: https://letsgrowleaders.com/courageous-cultures-2/

Show Transcript

Click to access unedited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today. Who’s going to help us put some very important things into practice in order for us to build backbone and greater organizational courage. David dye grew up in Denver, Colorado, and was the oldest of six children in a single parent family, which not coincidentally is where he learned many of his earliest leadership lessons. He studied political science education and has a master’s in nonprofit management. He served as a city planning commissioner and then ran for city council at the age of 21 and was elected at the same time. He started his career as a high school teacher, eventually working in human services, where he served in every leadership role from volunteer team leader to CEO and board member. Those early lessons and influence and leadership were vital preparation for Parenthood. David believes everyone can master the principles of leadership and influence and lead without sacrificing their humanity.

Jim Rembach (01:02):

In the process. One of his greatest joys is helping a leader, master a practical strategy they can use right away to help their team be more successful today. David and his wife, Karen hurt own let’s grow leaders and international leadership and management training and development firm located North of Washington, DC. He’s written several books, including courageous cultures, how to build teams of micro innovators, problem solvers and customer advocates winning well, a manager’s guide to getting results without losing your soul and seven things. Your team needs to hear you say, David and Karen are committed to building clean water, winning Wells to help the people of Cambodia when he’s not writing or helping leaders. David relaxes by reading hiking and a good cup of tea. Perhaps the accomplishment of which he’s most proud is that one time he successfully matched every pair of socks in three consecutive loads of laundry David dye, are you ready to help us go from home?

Jim Rembach (02:05):

Let’s do it. That’s a true story, by the way. Hey, we have to take those many accomplishments because they lead into big ones. Right. That’s all right. Okay. So now I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better current passion outside of leadership and management development? Right now, I am very focused on bread. I love cooking in general. And so I’ve been expanding my breadwinner repertoire over the last several months. And my favorite right now is a, uh, a seven seated whole wheat loaf. That is just spectacular. And I love that you shared that, uh, in a lot of ways. Uh, first of all, that we, we all need to have, you know, other passions to focus in on in order to give us purpose and value and all of those things.

Jim Rembach (02:52):

So also if you start talking about that activity, you’re being very courageous by experimenting and trying to find that perfect recipe. So it’s so apropos now, today, what I want to do is expand upon a conversation that was started with your wife and business partner and coauthor Karen hurt, uh, that was started, uh, on episode two 78 of the fast leader show. Uh, that is all about, um, building occur, courageous culture. Now Karen focused in on the entire elements associated with awareness and understanding behaviors, identifying behaviors. And for your episode, what I wanted to do is focus in on, okay, now we’re aware and we know, but we have to start doing. And so what ends up happening is that knowing doesn’t necessarily translate to doing so we have to close the gap. All right. So now we know Karen shared with us the knowing part.

Jim Rembach (03:48):

And so you’re going to help with the doing part and which really in the book kind of separates out the difference between prior to chapter 10 and then post or chapter 10 all the way through the end. So thank you for doing that. Uh, so when you start looking at creating that courageous culture, I have some identifications, um, you say that there’s several things that you need. We need to talk about, uh, in order to be able to start implementing practices, uh, and focusing in on new behaviors, right? We’re transforming is that you say, okay, we need to identify how to scale, what works, scaling micro innovations and backer best practices, and then how to find the principles in best practices, localizing the principle, and then refining an idea that just might work. So kind of give us some insight into what we’re talking about here.

David Dye (04:41):

Absolutely. Jim, thanks for having me on the show. Really appreciate it. And I want to capitalize on something you said just a second ago, about the knowing and the doing. I had a soccer coach when I was in second grade, who was trying to get me to perform. And, uh, and I was lousy athlete as a second grader, but, uh, one time he sat me down after a game, he said, David, look, you just gotta run her. And I said, Hey, coach, I know, I know. And he stopped. And he looked at me and he said, David, I don’t care what, you know, I care what you do with what, you know, so let’s dive into some of that, that doing. So when you’re talking about, uh, the scaling and of best practices and everything you were talking about there in terms of principles, uh, it might help to talk about it with some real examples.

David Dye (05:22):

So, um, I remember one time working with a guy who would do these operation rallies, and we tell this story and courageous cultures, but he’d do these operation rallies where he would, uh, you know, have the agenda that every other director would have, but he would, he was a cook. And I mean, when I say cook, he would go hunt his own venison, make his own sausage, grow the herbs in his garden, homemade pasta, I mean Italian heritage. And he just threw down and he would cater self cater. These meals for his operation rallies and his team loved it. They just adored the human touch, the connection and what that meant for, for his team. I was talking with another director in the same organization who just threw up her hands. She said, look, I can’t boil water. I’d rather be a part of his team.

David Dye (06:11):

His teams, our operation rallies are better than mine. And she was making a mistake that many, many leaders make when it comes to innovation and scaling practices and principles and so forth is that she was focused on the practice. His practice was, he was cooking this, this self-made meal for, for his team. That’s the practice. That’s the specific action he was taking. That may not be the action you need to take. You could do the exact same thing. And even if you’re a good cook, it falls flat because it’s not coming from the same heart. It’s not got the same connection and so on. So when we’re talking about practicing the principle here, what we’re, what we’re talking about is figuring out, okay, this is working on a particular team or, or for a leader or whoever it is, what is underneath that? What’s the principle that is scalable, that will translate into different contexts.

David Dye (07:04):

And so for this example, what she wants to do is not figure out how to cook a meal. What she wants to do is figure out, okay, how do I show up personal and connected and invested in my team in a way that’s authentic and real for me, that’s the principle. So in your organization, if you’re looking at your team or if you’re an executive and you’re looking at the entire organization and you see this team is doing something very well and it’s working and they’re getting great results, a mistake that people will often do is they’ll say, wow. So you know, that team is, they’re asking every customer, this question, or they’re having this interaction and they’ll take that practice and immediately say, everyone’s doing this starting today. Everyone’s doing this well, the mistake is you’ve just taken a practice that worked in one context and tried to apply it everywhere.

David Dye (07:52):

And it may not grow there. The soil is different. The people are different. The customers are different. So better is to ask to identify the bet, the principle that’s within that best practice and then replicate and scale that, you know, as you’re talking, I start thinking about this, creating that courageous culture element, you know, and, and what we talked about. And I think it’s appropriate to say on Karen’s episode is, is that, you know, what, what we’re, what we’re trying to do is address this situation where executives are sitting there and saying, Hey, nobody’s talking and giving us ideas. And then the people on the frontline are saying, Hey, nobody listens to my ideas. There’s a huge disconnect now. And both of them are saying things that are about the other groups. And so essentially they both have worked to do executives, have to do a better job of creating the environment and the frontline people. And when I say frontline people, let’s just talk about people who aren’t on the executive level. Sure. They get, as you get closer to the frontline, you’re closer to the customer. And what we’re talking about is the benefactor of all, this is the

Jim Rembach (08:56):

Customer are, should be. Absolutely. Absolutely. Uh, so when, when we start thinking about that is at the executive level, creating the culture, allowing the experimentation to occur, like making these different bread recipes, right? So sometimes it’s like, you know what? That didn’t work so well, but an executive also has to be able to take these multiple perspectives, kind of like what you were talking about, not make the mistake of, Hey, everybody does it. Um, and the reason that we do that is because we often haven’t created, created the environment where all of these people were getting all this feedback. We’re gaining perspectives that as an executive, we can say, okay, well, given all these factors and all these perspectives, you know, what is going to essentially be the things that we start doing our testing to see if we can roll it out to everyone.

David Dye (09:42):

Absolutely. Absolutely. And so it’s that that process of scaling is, is when you think you’ve identified a principal, something that will work in a variety of contexts, test it, get it in three or four different situations and see if it works the way you anticipated, if it does great, if it doesn’t, uh, is have you revealed that, you know what, this is really only specific to this segment or such situation, or is there another level you need to go a little bit deeper and figure out what that looks like?

Jim Rembach (10:11):

Well, and I, Steven start thinking about that, the frontline level, I could be doing the same thing at that micro you’re talking about that micro innovation component. So if I’m talking about the front line, right? So it’s the people who are interacting with the customer. It’s the people who now have to take, you know, all of that insight and information and feed it up to the executive level. What are some of the things that they can do in that area?

David Dye (10:31):

Sure. So if you are a, a, and as you said, anywhere in the organization, it could be a frontline employee. You could be in a middle level management position, and this still works. Uh, the concept of having an idea, that’s going to get legs and that you’ll be able to run with. Um, we’ve actually created an acronym for that. And it’s one of the more popular tools as courageous culture has been rolling out, but we call it the idea model. And this is a way to vet and think through your ideas to make them as relevant and give them the best chance to get traction and get support and get implemented, which if you’re suggesting an idea is ultimately what you want. So if you are a leader, I invite you to share this model with your teams. And if you are a team leader or frontline person, you know, you can invest in this model yourself and think through your ideas this way.

David Dye (11:19):

So idea is an acronym. Uh, I stands for interesting. And what we mean by interesting is, is it relevant to a current strategic objective? Uh, if you want your idea to gain it, listening ear, make it relevant to whoever you’re sharing with and what’s on their mind. So a quick example, one time I was doing some work with a, uh, uh, senior controller, vice president and, um, an insurance organization. And she was frustrated because her team of accountants, uh, had a morale problem. And she came to talk to me and get some coaching and so forth because she had to the CEO and said, you know, listen, my, my accounting team has a morale problem and we’re frustrated and so forth. And well, what do you think the CEO told her, fix it? Do you have a morale problem? Go fix it. Right. So she said, listen, this is an important issue.

David Dye (12:08):

I gotta figure out how to present myself better. So it took all of 20 minutes to have the conversation and she was able to make her idea interesting. Her next conversation started like this. Um, you know, mrs. CEO, my team has uncovered a way we believe we can save the company $3 million a year, and it’s gonna take just a five or ten second change in the way that we, uh, in process our customers. Would you be interested in hearing more about that? And what do you think the CEO said, then she said, absolutely, come in, let’s grab a cup of coffee. Let me hear all about it. Right. Same exact idea. But the idea was interesting because it was relevant to a strategic objective that mattered to the person she was talking to. So that’s I, is it interesting? Is it relevant? It may be a great idea, but if it’s not on the radar of things that need to happen, now you have less chance of it being embraced D doable.

David Dye (13:02):

This means, do you have agency, are the, the group that you were proposing this idea to, is it within your ability to do something, to take action and frequently we don’t know. So you might have to do a little bit of homework here and find out is this something that the organization can actually take action on? Or is there a, a regulation and at your state or Washington level that, you know, prohibits that, or, or influences it in a particular way. And maybe the doable is that you need to write a brief to somebody to help get that that changed. But can you take action if you want your idea to be embraced and get moving, make sure that it’s doable. It’s something you can, you can do next is so ID he, that he is engaging. And this means is it engaging to other people?

David Dye (13:49):

And this is again about doing your homework about thinking through the other stakeholders. So your idea, if you represent the customer service team might be great for customer service. How’s finance going to think about it, what will happen with it? Have you thought about their concerns, how they would approach it, um, and is there a way to shape it and to craft it in a way to get all of those people on board and address their issues and their concerns upfront, if you do that thinking and do that homework, and you’ve got other people saying, yeah, this is a good idea. And everybody’s nodding a lot more likely you’re going to get traction. And then finally, the, a stands for action. And this is what are the next steps. So when you propose an idea, it may be relevant. It may be something you can do, and it may be engaging to other people close that loop. I say, can, if you like, I do believe this is a good idea. Here are the next two or three specific things we need to do to take action on this. We’ve got to call this person, we’ve got to put this data together and then we’ve got to send it here. And if we’ll do those things, we’ll be, we’ll be on our way. So that’s the idea model. That’s a way to vet and present your ideas. That’s going to help them get traction no matter where you are in the org.

Jim Rembach (15:01):

And I think that is a great framework. And I start thinking about something that from my very young age, we get conditioned to doing, which is a trap of your idea model that I needed to really have some clarity in and is when we start thinking about possibilities. Okay. Um, you know, that gets into the whole divergent thinking process. And I talk a lot about this because it’s something that, unfortunately, like I said, talking about the practice, the practice and the conditioning that we’ve been put to put into a unfortunately causes an issue between divergent, convergent thinking and meaning that we’re conditioned to do it all at one time. And that’s a problem when it started, when you start thinking about creative thinking and innovation, we need to, we need to be very aware, very intentional and separate the two. So if I’m thinking about the idea model, I have to be able to come up with possibilities and separate that out from actually doing the idea analysis. Absolutely. Absolutely. Tell us a little bit about that.

David Dye (16:03):

You know, it’s a lot like any kind of creative endeavor. So I also write, I read a lot and there is an every writing guide book you’ll ever come across. We’ll tell you separate creation from editing. There are two different acts and they use your brain in a different way. And so what we invite leaders to do is to ask the, how can we question? It’s one of the magic questions, and if you’ve got constraints, you have to work within, it’s a beautiful way. And you know, there’s the book called the beautiful constraint, but the idea of, if you’ve got an objective you want to achieve, and you’ve got a constraint that you’ve got to deal with a budget limitation or a personnel issue, or a customer preference, whatever it might be to ask, how can we do this and work within this limitation? And when you combine those and just let your brain start going and thinking it through, that’s where you’re going to get what you’re talking about in terms of the divergent, getting all of the different ideas to come up, then as you start filtering through them, now you shift over to the editing process, the analysis process and thinking through, okay, so that’s a great idea, but to do that, ah, you know, we’d have to change laws in Washington.

David Dye (17:14):

That’s at least five years out. Alright, let’s table that one for a little bit. Let’s see, what do we, you know, we could do that. That would not cost much money. That’s something we could handle. Let me put that on the maybe list. And you know, you’d go, you work through it that way until you’ve got some, some really good pot potential solutions to whatever challenge, problem, or, or obstacle you’re trying to,

Jim Rembach (17:34):

You know, and he’s, even as you say that listening to the, the terminology and the potential framing that could take places, I almost want to stop myself and say, don’t call anything a great idea. You just call it an idea. You know? So therefore we just want all your ideas and no idea is great until we’ve gone through the filtering process. That’s what makes it a great idea is that we now have addressed, you know, the, the doable we’ve addressed, the engaging and they, we had, we Indra, we addressed the whole action component. And of course, um, I don’t think we would even go through this process if it wasn’t interesting. Right,

David Dye (18:11):

Right. You know, and there are different, we talk about in the book too, that in building an infrastructure for courage, that there are different kinds of personalities. There are different kinds of people. And some people are just idea machines. And if you’ve ever had somebody like that in your team or your organization, you know, w they can be like idea. Grenadiers where they’re just coming in and lob and ideas at you that are just 10 a day. And, and they just kind of drop them on, on you and expect you to do something with them. And this can be a helpful framework to get them doing a little bit more thinking, but then you also have people who are the, the silent ponderous types. And these are the folks who tend to do all the analysis in their head, and they will not present an idea until they are convinced that they’ve done the spreadsheet and everything else.

David Dye (18:56):

And that sometimes limits their contributions. It’s self limiting, but it limits their contributions because they don’t share until they’ve got it all thought through. And by the time they’ve got it thought through the team has moved on to 15 other subjects. And so as a leader to help invite those people, you know what, we don’t need to fully bake it out. What we do is to tell you is how can we X, Y, or Z, we have another model that we share called the own, the ugly model, which is a way to help uncover and cultivate these kinds of ideas. So, um, in the context of asking courageous questions, one of the most important things a leader can do is practically ask questions that create vulnerability for you as a leader, you don’t have all the answers. You recognize, things could be better, and you’re confident enough.

David Dye (19:38):

And humble enough to ask the question so own the ugly questions are like that ugly as another acronym, you is, what are we underestimating? Or, you know, are we underestimating our customer? We underestimating our staff. Are we underestimating, uh, the environment? What are we underestimating? A G is what’s got to go, you know, we, as leaders, we spend a lot of time adding, what are we, what do we need to take away? Uh, L where are we losing? Where are we slipping from the performance that we are accustomed to, whereas a competitor, um, getting the better of us, uh, or whatever that, wherever that applies. And then why is one of my favorite questions? Where are we missing? The yes. And where are we missing? The yes. Is looking for those opportunities that are hiding in plain sight. They’re right there in front of us.

David Dye (20:23):

If we can, if we can take a minute to look for them. Um, one of my favorite examples of that was, uh, that was a HBR case study a couple of years back. Uh, it was, uh, a company that made the motors, the replacement motors for like dirt bikes. Um, and they noticed a spike in sales for their motors in India, while they weren’t distributing their bikes in India at that time, what on earth is going on? They want investigated. And they discovered that farmers were buying these replacement motors because they had the right power and set up to power, their localized irrigation. Well, there’s a tremendous yes. Available to them. Right. And so they were able to invest in that. And another more recent example, uh, Kareem, before they were purchased by Uber, um, most of the Uber and like Saudi Arabia and middle East, and they noticed a drop off in passenger ridership.

David Dye (21:18):

Um, and you know, people would ride for a couple of years and then stop riding. I said, well, what’s going on there? They investigated, found out they were missing the yes, because what was happening is that these were younger people who were getting married and having kids well, once they had kids, they weren’t putting their kids and, uh, a creamer and Uber anymore because there’s no car seats it’s not safe. So they started Kareem kids, guaranteed car seat. If you order that car, it’s going to be safe. And they were able to recapture that ridership and serve their customer more effectively because they asked, where are we missing the yes. So those are kinds of questions you can ask specifically to help people generate some of these ideas. And then you follow as you address all this, then you follow up with how can we start addressing this? All of those are ways to engage your people who may be shut down for being a very analytical. And I can be one of those by the way. So I’m talking about things I know help me, like, we’re not solving all of it. We’re just generating right now.

Jim Rembach (22:15):

So as you’re talking, uh, and what was happening when we started this conversation, we talked about the five things that we needed to do. And so we’ve been hitting those as far as, you know, how to scale what works and all of those types of things and refining an ideas. And, and so just to kind of hone it down a little bit, we have the idea model. We have the own, the ugly, we have all of these different tools that we can leverage and utilize, but how, how do we start really making the impact and difference and changing the behavior and creating that more courageous culture. And so we close the gap between the head and the feet, the people at the top that are saying, Hey, people are giving their ideas, you know, and then the people down at the front are saying, Hey, they’re listening to me.

David Dye (22:52):

Yeah. So the, Hey they’re listening to me is so critical. I, and if I had to focus anywhere and I, you know, from coaching a leader and you really want to create a courageous culture, um, after doing the work in yourself, that Karen talked about, the next thing I recommend you do is as you start asking, these questions is pay great attention to how you’re responding to the ideas you’re hearing, because you’re going to hear ideas. We hear them every day, but we’re not always paying attention to them. And we’re definitely not always paying attention to how we respond to them. And so we talk about responding with regard. This is where you reinforce and create the momentum for a courageous culture. Somebody shares an idea. Well, there’s one of four things. That’s typically the case with that idea. Uh, either you can do something with it right away. Um, or it’s already implemented, which in our research, we found out like one organism, big organization, like 50% of the ideas that they were receiving through their suggestion system were already implemented. And we said, are you circling back and ask and telling people that that was a great idea. In fact, it was so great. We implemented it six months ago before you even came up, suggested it.

David Dye (24:03):

They said, no, I guess that would be a good idea. Yes, it would. Because what’s happening to all those people, they’re feeling ignored. They just reinforce that whole idea of doesn’t matter what I say, they’re not going to listen. No, they were listening, but they weren’t closing the loop. So this idea of closing the loop, um, then you’ve got ideas that you can’t implement because they’re, half-baked, they’re off target. They need more. And then you’ve got some ideas that you’re just not going to implement. It’s just not going to happen. So you’ve got those four types of ideas. How do you respond to them? Well, I would recommend you always start with gratitude for all four kinds. Somebody brings you an idea, first words out of your mouth. Thank you for thinking about that with us. Really appreciate you investing some, some energy in thinking about the future of the company, how we’re serving our customers, trying to solve problems.

David Dye (24:51):

Really appreciate that. Now let’s talk about this idea of option one. Yeah. We can do something with this. Um, in fact, here’s how we might go about trialing it. And we talked earlier about a small trial. How can you do that? And if at all possible, how can you involve the person who had the idea in that maybe, maybe you can’t, but if you can, it’s a really great way to get connection and ownership. If the idea was already implemented, tell them, Hey, that was such a good idea. We’ve done that. Here’s where here’s where you can learn more and see how it’s being used.

David Dye (25:22):

If the idea was missing information, it wasn’t as strategically relevant. It was a good idea, except they were missing this whole component or, you know, a classic one. Oh, you know what? We tried that last year and it didn’t work well, tell them why didn’t it work? You know, we did try that last year. Really appreciate you thinking about that with us. And here’s what we ran into. We ran into a budget constraint because, um, your colleagues in this department have this goal and that has to be met. But man, if you’ve got some ideas about how we can, this is the final part, invite them back. So add that information and then invite them to further conversation to keep thinking. And if you can come up with some ways that we can solve that constraint and do what you’re talking about, I would love to hear that.

David Dye (26:04):

And if you get enough people doing that, you got all this parallel processing power that’s out there. And then the fourth possibility is that you’re not going to implement the idea. You’re just not going to, it’s not relevant. It’s not right for your strategy, whatever the case might be. Again, close that loop. Thanks so much for thinking about this with us. So on this idea, here’s the deal. Our strategy is this and our values are this, and this is what we do to serve our customer in this idea, doesn’t really align with at least the way I’m seeing it. It doesn’t because of X, Y, and Z. Um, I love to get more of your ideas that do align with those, that strategy that do help us achieve those outcomes. Thank you again so much. And if you have any more thoughts on this, let me know.

David Dye (26:48):

You know, when you can respond in that kind of a way, even when an idea is kind of out there, they’re, they’re trying, they cared enough. They had courage enough to try. So if you can reinforce that and respond with regard, you’re on your way to building a truly courageous culture, all of the systems, we create, all the questions we ask, all the everything else that we do. If we don’t respond with regard, doesn’t matter. So even as you’re talking, I’m starting to think about the whole responding with regard component and that there’s a whole lot of practices and behaviors that are wrapped around it. I mean, I even think about the whole nonverbal communication thing, right. Um, whether or not we’re on zoom or we’re face to face and there’s proximity. I mean, if somebody starts giving you ideas and then you be paid, non-verbally in a certain way that can cause some issues.

David Dye (27:35):

So, I mean, do you even address that? Absolutely. You know, it’s, uh, I’m, you’re making me think back to one of my worst. It’s easy for me to talk about this, right? It’s like, Hey, this is all this stuff I’ve been thinking about it for forever. But, um, one time my daughter, uh, when she was in middle school, she had done a school project and it was a three dimensional thing she had built and it should put a lot of work into it. And, um, she brought it home and she had it there as I got home from work. And she said, Hey, look, I, I got an a on this project. I said, Oh, that’s fantastic. And I was looking at, I said, wow, you know, what would make this even better? What if we did this? And what if we did this? And she looked at me and she said, why is nothing I do ever good enough?

David Dye (28:25):

Now I have shared that story with her permission a couple of times in different contexts. And she laughed. She’s like, I don’t remember saying that, but yeah, that’s probably right. I probably could have said that, you know, I promise she said it, cause I will never forget that to the day I die. It was heartbreaking. And it was a great wake up call for me that I needed to be paying attention to how I was responding. And so yes, that includes our non-verbals. That includes, you know, like any kind of conversation. Are we on our phone the whole time when somebody is talking with us or do we put the phone down when we’re on a zoom call? Are we making that we were talking to eye tracking earlier today? Are we looking at the camera? We connected with who we’re talking to? Are we paying attention?

David Dye (29:04):

Um, I had, if they were to freeze the camera, you know, and this happens on these zoom calls sometimes if they were to freeze the camera at any given moment is the image of you, a person that looks engaged and interested, and yes, that takes energy, but that’s the energy of leadership you don’t want to lead. And that’s, that’s, you’ve signed up for a different game. And I think that’s a really important point is that, um, you know, that that is a self discovery component and element that I think a lot of people really never don’t really ask themselves that question cause of the answer is not, you know, into the affirmative for everyone yet they end up assuming those,

Jim Rembach (29:42):

Those roles for, you know, other types of reasons that they believe are, are important. You just can’t do that. Okay. So when I start thinking about all this work, that’s your, your, your wife and coauthor and business partner, aren’t doing Karen hurt. And again, we’re going to Lake her episode, which was episode two 78 for the fast leader show to this one, because these two together are critically important. Now, David, I have to tell ya, um, as far as if I, if it was me, you know, approaching those two episodes ladies first, so he has to go first because she built the cow, the foundation for the awareness and all that. And then you have really galvanized it for us in order to be able to put it into practice, but regardless, and all of this, it takes a whole lot of, you know, inspiration and, and energy and focus, uh, with your wife, uh, Karen hurt. We talked about no clarity and curiosity being critically important. Um, and so we need energy for that. And one of the things that we look into the show and did to get that, um, our quotes. So is there a favorite quote that you like that you can share?

David Dye (30:45):

Oh, can I do too? Absolutely. Okay. So these two have been anchor string since childhood really, uh, first as Longfellow, uh, not enjoyment and not sorrow is our destined end or way, but to act that each tomorrow finds us farther than today. And so we’re gonna have good days. We’re gonna have bad days and am I moving forward? Uh, and moving forward takes a lot of different ways of, of being, but am I moving forward? And then, uh, my other is from Abraham Lincoln. Um, he said in response to receiving criticism and so forth, and I think this is really pertinent to, uh, courageous cultures and having confidence in sharing our ideas or in leading an organization. He said that if I were to answer every attack that’s made upon me, um, if I were to take that time that this shop, this shop might as well be closed for any other business, I do the very best.

David Dye (31:38):

I know how, and I mean to keep on doing the very best, uh, until the end. And if the end brings me out great, you know, all right, like I did the right thing. Um, all the attacks aren’t gonna amount to anything. And if the end brings me out wrong, 10 angels in heaven, swearing, I was right and going to make a difference. And so his point there is that, you know, you, it’s not about being in vulnerable to criticism. It’s not about never making a mistake, but it’s about taking the best action you can and having the confidence and the humility, um, and moving forward together. So those two go together for me to kind of two sides of the same coin.

Jim Rembach (32:18):

Thanks for sharing another thing that’s important for us as you know, going through this life’s journey and the work that you’re doing, um, cannot do it in isolation of self. And what I mean by that is you learn from your own mistakes. Like you were explaining your daughter and about bringing home the project and all that stuff, Hey, we, we, we’re human. We falter, um, we’ve hopefully learned by those lessons. And one, the ways that we can also learn

David Dye (32:40):

Is by hearing those situations where others have done that. So we call it a getting over the hump. So it was a time where you’ve gotten a little hump that you can share, Oh man. So many, um, the, the one that comes up right now is where, when I first took I, it was my first middle level management leadership position and I was a director. Uh, I was younger than every single person I was supervising. Um, and I believed that I warranted the promotion. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having the position, but, um, and the organization, it was a tough place to be. And I remember a meeting where I took the team to lunch and we, and then we’re having, maybe everybody was exhausted. I didn’t think about these things. I was, I was in my twenties. I was, you know, late twenties.

David Dye (33:32):

I was young and I didn’t know everything I was doing. And I don’t think I’ve had a worst team meeting in my career like ever in my life, everybody was exhausted. The things I was asking didn’t seem or feel relevant to them. I made, and it was near mutiny and it was one of my lowest leadership. What what’s, where, what am I doing? And, you know, I took some time to regather and realize that among the many mistakes, one of them was that I had prepared a vision because as a leader, you got to have vision, right? I had prepared a vision. I’d given it a lot of thought about what the team was capable of, what we could do, amazing results we could achieve.

David Dye (34:14):

And it fell on deaf exhausted ears, because I had not asked a single person on the team about their vision, about what they thought we were capable of achieving what we could do together. And from that point forward, for me, it was one of those wake up calls. And it helped me get over the hump of, I need to engage the people. It’s not about my vision. It’s about our vision together. And I’ve got some components of that and believe me, mine are important. And I was able to take that organization and Doosan, and we did some incredible things together. So my perspective was important. And so was theirs. And together we built something much stronger and much more cohesive and that achieved much more than would have been if it was just mine. And so that was helping get over. The hump for me was in that moment, learning that I couldn’t just come in with my own ideas without talking to everybody and getting there as, and, you know, it’s kind of leadership connection one-on-one, but that was a vital moment for me in a really bad day.

David Dye (35:10):

That’s a great lesson. One that I still learn. I mean, I don’t think some of those things never really changed because you’re also dealing with different team dynamics and kind of like you explained, you have somebody who likes to analyze and here’s a little bit more introverted and all that, and they want to be so competent and their idea. I mean, you have all these different dynamics that changes all the time, and then you have this whole proximity issue that we’re going through right now. And I think that’s a con that’s also part of being courageous and understanding is that this isn’t perfect. Right? Absolutely. And we’re all in process. We’re all in process answered the question just the other day from a leader who said, you know, I, I want to be getting better as a leader and I want to take this course and do this thing and get in all the different activities, but I don’t want my team to think I’m not a good leader.

David Dye (35:57):

And apparently they would interpret the fact that she was working on her own leadership as an admission. I’m not a good leader. And I said, no, you’ve got to own that. Right. Every single person on this team should be growing and improving and moving forward. And, uh, and I’m going to model that and I would never want to be on a team with a leader who thought they had arrived and had nothing to learn. So, absolutely. Uh, I love that. Okay. So now when I start thinking about, uh, the work that you’re doing in Cambodia of building Wells, when I start thinking about, you know, the, the speaking, now that may shift a little bit, but you know, we would talked about building a studio up there and you’re in your office in order to continue to try to make impact absolutely. The writing of the book.

David Dye (36:37):

Um, more books I’m sure to come in the future. But when I think about all of these things that you’re doing, including the bread baking, but I know you have a goal and you have several of them, but is there one that you can share with us in terms of, in terms of the immediate goals? I think one of the things that we want to do is, you know, with this social distancing and everything that’s going on, um, one of our goals is to be able to be as relevant and, and add as much value to every single organization we work with as we can. And so that’s the, you know, that’s the motivation and the meaning behind what we’re doing here. I mean, my, what drives me every morning is helping somebody become the best version of themselves they can be. And, you know, that’s why I do this work.

David Dye (37:20):

That’s why I get up in the morning. It’s why I’m on with you right now is it’s all about helping unlock and help people tap into that best version of themselves. And if we get everybody who wants to leading in a, in a human centered results oriented way, I mean, I don’t think we have an idea yet of what we can achieve together. So that’s part of my goal is I want to, you know, and if you want to go bigger, so that’s the short term you want to go bigger? I always talk about, um, uh, you’re familiar with Dilbert, right? The Dilbert cartoons, uh, Dilbert was one of my earliest textbooks on leadership. I remember in my early twenties, my first management role, I got ahold of a Dilbert, uh, book of Dilbert cartoons. And I started reading it. They’re hysterical on laughing, Scott Adams.

David Dye (38:02):

And I am reading about Scott Adams and he says, you know what? I don’t even have to write these anymore. All the scenarios people send me, it’s easy to get material. And I thought, how sad is that? So one of the things that fuels me as a leadership and development, uh, leadership development management, um, person is someday. I want to create a world where Dilbert, isn’t funny where our grandkids are reading it and go, I don’t get it because the workplace has been so transformed that it’s just not funny. It doesn’t make sense them it’s like who would do

Jim Rembach (38:36):

That? And we’re a long way away from that. We got a lot of human nature to work through and courageous cultures to build, but that’s one of my ultimate goals and the best leader, Legion wishes you the very best. Now, before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor and even better places.

Speaker 3 (38:50):

The work is an easy to use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic and employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award winning solutions, guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers to learn more about an even better place to work visit [inaudible] dot com forward slash better. Alright,

Jim Rembach (39:11):

You go Fastly Legion. It’s time for the home.

Speaker 3 (39:15):

Oh, down.

Jim Rembach (39:17):

Okay. David, the hump, they hold on to the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m gonna ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet Reverend responses that are going to help us with onward and upward faster

Speaker 3 (39:27):

For David Dyer. You ready to go down? Ready? Alright. So what is holding you back from being an even better leader today? Self criticism, what is the best

Jim Rembach (39:39):

Leadership advice you have ever received have the confidence to lead? And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success? Patients, patients that came from a lot of tough situations and suffering in different relationships and things and seeing how the world actually works. And what do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life, listening, understanding people and what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? It can be from any genre course. We’re going to put a link to courageous cultures on your show notes page as well. Gosh, if you go any genre at all, I still think to kill a Mockingbird is one of the best books out there. Um, so much going on there from a leadership perspective and from a making life better, for everybody perspective and the work that leaders do okay. Fast, literally each. And you can find links to that. And other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/david dye. Okay, David, this is my last hope they hold on question. Imagine you’ve been given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all and only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Jim Rembach (40:57):

Oh, I like that question.

Jim Rembach (41:03):

You know, earlier I said the best piece of advice I got was have the confidence to lead. If I could go back and tell my 25 year old self, basically you’re better than you think you are, you know, more than you think you do. And get that confidence earlier. If I could just impart that confidence, uh, I think that would have helped me and a lot of the people I was working with David, I’ve had fun with you. Can you just share with the fast leader Legion? Oh, they can connect with you. Absolutely. You can find me on, uh, at our website is number one. Let’s grow leaders.com.

David Dye (41:34):

I can connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter, a search for David M dye, middle initial M. There are a couple of David dies out there. So use that middle initial M and you will find me there.

Jim Rembach (41:44):

David dye. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader, Legion honors you, and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

283: David Finkel – Learning to Manage More Intelligently

283: David Finkel – Learning to Manage More Intelligently

David Finkel Show Notes Page

The arrival of David Finkel’s children was a complete shock to him. He never changed a diaper, never fed a child, and totally had no idea what to do. He was very busy being a father. At the same time, he was still owning a business. Not wanting to miss those precious moments with his children, David realized that he needed to make a change in the way he ran his business. He needed to run the business more intelligently. This led to the creation of the freedom formula. Applying what he has learned from this experience, David is now able to successfully manage his time and energy. As a result, David is able to achieve better business success and at the same time have a better life.

David Finkel is author of The Freedom Formula and co-author of, SCALE: 7 Proven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back (written with Priceline.com co-founder Jeff Hoffman), and one of the nation’s most respected business thinkers. A Wall Street Journal and Business Week bestselling author of 12 business books, David’s a regular columnist for Inc.com, FastCompany.com, and Forbes.com reaching over 1M readers each year.

Over the past 20 years, David and the Maui coaching and advisor team have scaled and sold over $62 billion of businesses.

Maui Mastermind helps business owners build companies they love owning again–for the value they create, the lives they touch, the profits they earn, the team they employ, and the freedom they enjoy. Their clients have enjoyed an average annual growth rate five time higher than the average privately held company, while at the same time reducing their companies’ reliance on them as the owners by an average of 191% percent.

An ex-Olympic-level athlete turned business multi-millionaire, David and his wife Heather, and their three sons live a very simple life in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @DavidFinkel get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“If you are trying to make bigger contributions then it’s going to be spotted and it’s going to be rewarded.” – Click to Tweet

“If you can be more intelligent about how you work, where you invest your hour and effort for maximum effect, then it’s going to be noticed.” – Click to Tweet

“The hardest thing to find is people who do great work and are open to grow.” – Click to Tweet

“When everything is urgent, nothing is prioritized.” – Click to Tweet

“All the stakeholders are benefited when you build strategic depth into an area of the company.” – Click to Tweet

“Building systems is a never-ending process.” – Click to Tweet

“Things change all the time. What matters is a culture that adapts, builds, and creates systems.” – Click to Tweet

“Part of your job as a manager of the frontline is to grow your people.” – Click to Tweet

“Can’t do. Won’t do. Don’t know how.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

The arrival of David Finkel’s children was a complete shock to him. He never changed a diaper, never fed a child, and totally had no idea what to do. He was very busy being a father. At the same time, he was still owning a business. Not wanting to miss those precious moments with his children, David realized that he needed to make a change in the way he ran his business. He needed to run the business more intelligently. This led to the creation of the freedom formula. Applying what he has learned from this experience, David is now able to successfully manage his time and energy. As a result, David is able to achieve better business success and at the same time have a better life.

Advice for others

Savor a lot more, a lot deeper.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Trying to finesse too many conversations I should just have directly.

Best Leadership Advice

Keep asking yourself, “I don’t know. What do you think we should do?”

Secret to Success

Not taking myself too seriously.

Best tools in business or life

Big Rock Report.

Recommended Reading

The Freedom Formula: How to Succeed in Business Without Sacrificing Your Family, Health, or Life

The Alchemist

Contacting David Finkel

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DavidFinkel

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/company/maui-mastermind/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/buildmybusiness

Website:  https://mauimastermind.com/

Resources

 

Show Transcript

Click to access edited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today who is going to be somewhat deceptive, but give you the depth of understanding that you need in order to make some money.

Jim Rembach (00:09):

Real impact. David Finkel was born and raised in Southern California with his two sisters and one brother. He grew up in a household watching grandfather, a pharmacist who owned a pharmacy, worked seven days a week, 12 to 16 hours a day. And also his father who was a physician running a small private practice. He would be on call every other weekend and worked 70 to 80 hour work weeks. That was what David knew about running a business that a small business owner had to put everything behind them and run their business. When David built his first company, he fell into that same trap. He controlled everything work long hours, nights, and weekends, and didn’t take any time away to be successful. He subsequently came to learn that having built scaled and sold companies and worked with thousands of other business owners by coaching them to scale that hard work only takes you so far successfully.

Jim Rembach (01:08):

It’s how you direct those hours so that you can successfully scale a business without sacrificing your family life health to do it. David’s early career started as a former Olympic level athlete and he got injured and was not able to play in the 1996 Olympics. He took that energy and drive and put it into the world of business. He started off investing in real estate and built a successful real estate investment company that invested in a couple of hundred single family houses a year and had a coaching business that taught people how to build investing companies themselves intelligently. He sold that company in 2005 and since then has been working with several thousand business owners around North America on how they can scale their company while increasing the company’s owner independence. David Finkel is the author of the freedom formula and coauthor of scale seven proven principles to grow your business and get your life back written with priceline.com.

Jim Rembach (02:03):

Co-founder Jeff Hoffman, and one of the nation’s most respected business thinkers, a wall street journal and Businessweek bestselling author of 12 business books. David’s a regular columnist for inc com fast company.com and forbes.com reaching over 1 million readers each year. Beyond that with the work that he does with Maui mastermind, his mission is about how he can help a business owner build a company that they love owning again for the lives. It impacts the profit. It earns the people they employ and the freedom they enjoy. David lives in Jackson hole, Wyoming with his wife of 23 years, Heather and their three sons, Adam Matthew, and Joshua David Finkel. Are you ready to help us get over the hump? I sure. And Jim, thanks for having me on here. I’m glad you’re here too. Now, given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Jim Rembach (02:56):

Absolutely. So it’s a strange thing to hear someone say those nice things about you. It’s a

David Finkel (03:00):

Different introduction to yourself. Yeah. Two passions. I really do enjoy building companies. That for me, it’s a game. It’s a puzzle. It’s always been fun. I think probably the most engrossing part of life right now, for me, it’s just raising my kids. You know, my wife and I know our kids are young 11, 11, and seven. And that, that really is the passion. So I love the work that I do, but I would not in any way want it to take away or interfere with the time with kids. That to me is, you know, a very brief window, a friend of mine, Stephanie said, you know, David, there’s gonna be a time in your life. You’re going to miss the mess. And right now with everyone at home, I don’t know if I miss the mess, but I will miss the mess. I’m sure someday

Jim Rembach (03:36):

I believe that too. But I, you know, it’s interesting that you say that even with your bio talking about the role models, right? I mean, you had a father and grandfather, uh, which that particular generation, it was all about some of the things that, you know, this younger generation looks at and says, are you crazy? Right? But then you also want to say, Hey, some of that work ethic, um, we want, we want to have instilled in our kids. That’s right. But the effort in,

David Finkel (04:02):

Yeah, I took my kids to, they sent her home being homeschooled right now with all this going on last week, my kids came with me, two of the three, one didn’t have an interest, but two of them came with me to work and they were just kind of sitting. There’s a couch behind me and seeing the office here. And they were just sitting there doing their work for school and they’d go next door to the conference room and play around a little bit. But it was fun for them too, to see what their dad actually does each day, whether it be a phone conversation or an interview like this, or, you know, working for a period of time on, on another book in some sort, I want my kids to have good values around that. We consciously chose the neighborhood. We lived in to be a very normal neighborhood. I don’t want my kids having strange warped views of what the world is or a sense of entitlement. The entitlement is that if they serve the world, they do good things in the world. You know what the world’s a good place, but I want them to feel like they’re going to contribute. They’re going to serve. And I think that’s really valuable.

Jim Rembach (04:52):

Well, and I am talking about that valuable component and really, you know, making sure that we’re focusing in on the right things is how the freedom formula book came about. But when you originally looked at the cover and like you say, you can’t judge a book by its cover. You may look at other books that could be similar, but yet in fact are not when you open up the book. So like, um, you know, everything from the four hour workweek and some of these other types of, you know, manifestos and all of that, I’m sure your book is quite different. And you talk about, um, it being well, first of all, the books broken into two parts. And the first part you talk about, um, embracing the value economy, uh, you talk about reclaiming your best time, uh, investing in fewer or better, and then developing strategic depth. And that’s the first part. But when I look at that, I’m like, Oh, what is this book just for entrepreneurs? Or is it for executives? I mean, who is it really for? Yeah. Yeah.

David Finkel (05:47):

It’s a great question. So, you know, I’ve written a number of books. I had a lot of clients who say, David, your books are great for owners. Could you write a book that we could actually give to our staff that would be for them? And that’s why I wrote the freedom formula. Original was sparked from that request. And so the first half of the book is all about, you know, how do you actually work smarter? Everyone says, Jim, you should work smarter. But what does that functionally and practically mean? So the book, I’m a little bit of anal retentive. I’m one of those people that doesn’t want to know what to do. I want to know how to do the what to do. So this is 24 years in the making of my best take on how to operationalize individually, working smarter for the first half.

David Finkel (06:26):

And in the second half is how a manager, how she, or he can help her staff or his staff actually do the same thing to work smarter through a staff. Whether that staff has a team of four people or a team of 400 people, it doesn’t matter. That’s the, the crux, that’s what the book was written for. And the freedom we’re talking about here is a sense that, that I can create value for the company I work for. I can do great, challenging, fulfilling work that matters, and I can actually have a life at the same time. It’s not one or the other that if I do it right, I get both. And I think that’s important. I really think that’s an important point. I wouldn’t want to build a business. For example, one of the stories we shared in the book, and there was a woman by the name of Elizabeth, her company had her working 110 hours a week.

David Finkel (07:12):

It was ridiculous. She was the main point of contact for their largest customer. She let a small little group, she was the only one who knew how to do what she did. And they’re burning her out by not letting her take vacation. You settle pressure. Oh, you can’t go during this time it’s renewal period. Or it was ridiculous. It was bad business and just bad humanity. And you don’t need to run a business that way. I don’t need to lead a team that way. I don’t need to be an individual worker that way. So that’s where the title came from the sense that you could have more and still do great work

Jim Rembach (07:45):

Well. And I think, you know, what you’re talking about in this book is breaking some of these, um, unfortunate social norms that have been taken out of context. And you, and you read that and I want to read those that you list in the book. Uh, if that work hard access comes from our working your, um, you know, your competition, you can have anything you want. If you just work hard enough for it. Uh, the early bird catches the worm, sweat equity, if you want something done, right. Do it yourself. Oh yes. And if you’re committed to succeed, then you have to put in the hours. But I have to think that there is some good,

David Finkel (08:21):

Sure. It’s like any cliche. It has, uh, it has, uh, a kernel of truth to all these things. I need to work smart and I need to put energy in, I can’t just sit back and say, well, cause my brain, I’ve got it off. Now I do need the energy. And I do need some hours and effort, but hours and effort undirected don’t get me anywhere other than tired. Um, that they’ll let me do a functional job. But if I, I mean, think about it. I, if I’m managing six people on a frontline team, I do want their hands and I want they’re there. They’re doing the work, but I want their heads in their heart too. I want them to actually think about what they’re doing. You know, I want them to solve a customer’s problem. I want them to, to figure out a way to, to solve a challenge on an operating line.

David Finkel (09:05):

And if all I have is putting in hours and efforts, that’s just not the right way. I want them to be able to take a step back and say, should I even really be doing this? Is there a more elegant solution to this? Could I preempt this from happening? And those are where we come into play, where we’re by knowing what to focus on with our discretionary time and energy, it makes the hours and efforts pay off a magnitude better. Well, and so, you know, we talked about this a little bit off, um, off my, um, but to bring it into this conversation, which is so important is to talk about how having some structure and frameworks and plans around that and intentional effort, you know, in, you know, thinking about those types of things in of itself may seem, I don’t have the time for that, but pay significant dividends on the backend.

David Finkel (09:53):

Yeah. I mean, I I’ll describe it for, like, for example, the woman who runs our company now, Teresa, she started off years ago as my assistant. One thing I noticed from her was she was always looking for ways that she could make a bigger contribution. And I think that if we can make a bigger contribution, if you’re in a reasonably intelligent company, it’s going to be spotted, it’s going to be rewarded. And part of the reward is going to be opportunities for you to try and learn new new things and have new responsibilities. Theresa’s now our company’s COO. She started off as my assistant over a decade ago. Right? So the idea behind it is if I can, first of all, be more intelligent about how I work, where I invest my hours and effort to, for maximum effect, it’s going to be noticed. Uh, I mean, I talk with so many different business executives and leaders who say the hardest thing is to find people who do great work and are open to grow.

David Finkel (10:48):

But it’s obvious when you see it, it’s the people who are looking to say, where can I make my point of maximum contribution? Yes. Maybe 35 of my hours are spoken for each week. I’ve got to do this specific thing. But somewhere in the week, I’m going to be able to create two, three, five hours to do more valuable things. And just that the rudimentary of what I’ve been technically tasked with doing. And when I do that, my career just can blossom. Well, and I think it’s important to know it is because you give this more tangible reference. When you start talking about those things that I had mentioned, you know, the work hard, you know, all that is that you start, you call that the time and effort economy. Uh, and then you had taught you talk about five chains that are associated with this.

David Finkel (11:34):

Um, you say that we have a faulty model. Um, we chase after control. We have a lack of clarity, lack of depth and an outdated time habits. Give us some insight into those. Yeah. So first of all, it’s go to control. So inflammation, if your control Grande, that that’s what causes most frontline managers to work harder than everyone else they manage, but still underperformed what they should be doing. Why? Cause we grip on so tightly and what is control itis? It’s, it’s the fear of being out of control. I’m a control freak. I hate being out of control. So what it drives me is to two behaviors. It drives me to either grab on and make everything come back through me or to just advocate and not look. Because if I look I’m scared of what I’ll see one or the other, both of which are horrible models, you say, well, David, I, I hand it off to Shirley the other day and she didn’t do it right?

David Finkel (12:22):

You can’t trust other people. Well, let’s look at the mechanics of how you help you hand it off. That’s why in the second half of the freedom formula, we talked in there about how to actually do things like delegation correctly. So it’s not necessarily the fact that you let go. It was how you let go was the problem with that part of it. Another one out data, time habits, for example, um, a lot of companies make a proxy for, are my staff working? How responsive are they? How fast do they get back to my email? Well, that’s ridiculous. If I’ve got someone who’s on the phone with one of our most important customers solving their problem, do I really want them to have some of their attention going to monitoring their inbox, to be able to respond and multitask? No. I want them to be present doing what their most valuable task would be, which is solving that customer’s issue or challenge or delighting them.

David Finkel (13:12):

So our push for responsiveness and making responsiveness a proxy for is this person actually working. That’s an outdated time habit. You know how we use email on outdated time habit. We talk in the book about some best practices around email. So the way we schedule, we have a, to do list that’s about 75 items long. Well, no, a better way of doing it. Like we talk about is to pull out, we call it our big rock report. What are the one or two things this week that create the most value? In my role, I put those on a sheet of paper. And then at the end of the week, I report on how did I do, what were my victories challenges, what other updates? And then I decide, what are my next week’s one or two big rocks I needed to do as sure, but I also need to pull off that to do list the things that matter. So that visually I see the things that will make a bigger difference. And those are a few of several dozen other ones from the book.

Jim Rembach (14:04):

Well, and as you’re talking though, I start thinking about the reality of the friction associated with the fact of, okay, so based on whatever, you know, model and factor and importance model that I have, these are the things that I need to be doing. Um, you know, over the next week, like you’re saying, then you have some, you know, superior pressure that says, Oh no, no, you need to do these things too. I mean, so at what point, and then I think that’s where a lot of people who are in a junior role or a subordinate role will just fold. And then that’s where the extra hours come in. Well, I’ve got to do this too. So what do they do?

David Finkel (14:41):

Yeah. So that’s why in chapter three, we’re talking this idea of focusing on your fewer better. And so the way we do that is I negotiate with my direct manager. What say her name, Valerie. I say, Valerie, what do you see this quarter is the most important one, two or three contributions that my team can make this quarter. And I, I create a one page plan of action. It’s one of the things we talk about in there, but I negotiate it with my manager. Here’s the one or two, possibly three, no more than that focus areas with a very clean, clear criteria of success. And then I put it into a one page plan. I go back to Valerie, Valerie. Here’s my understanding of what you’re wanting from me this quarter over the next 90 day sprint. In addition to the core tasks that I’m responsible for, this is where our team can contribute the most value.

David Finkel (15:28):

Can you take a look at this and make sure if you want to make any tweaks or adjustments, but this is where my discretionary time and my team’s small, but important discretionary time will go. And I’ll tell you, Jim, if I ever had a team member who did that, which Teresa was one of those team members who would do that? You just stand out. This person is exceptional. I’ve had hundreds of people work for me in companies that I’ve run. And I will tell you that fewer than 10% of them, without me training them, how to do that, have ever even had somewhat of that conversation. And we were scared like, Oh, Valerie is going to be upset that I’m taking up her time or why she’s wondering, why am I asking no, Valerie is going to be delighted impressed. And she’s going to want to clone you about a thousand times throughout the company, if she can’t.

Jim Rembach (16:19):

Well, I, you know, as you say that, I’m like, ah, I’m going to have to have him. I’m going to push back on you on that, David, because, and because the thing is, I mean, I’ve been in environments where, you know, you get that dead, stare looking at you and say, I don’t care. You need to do it. Right. And so I think if that happens now, of course having some age on me, you know, cause back then I did do that. It was like, I have to all these other things, do they have to, you have to just do two. No, but I can’t do which one you want. Nope. You have to do it all. I mean, it’s, you know, you get in that environment is I didn’t last long.

David Finkel (16:49):

Yeah. Yeah. And let’s face it in corporate America. There are plenty of poor managers. Absolutely. I will tell you that your career is going to be hampered by having a, let me just be blunt, a crap manager. Your career will be hampered by that. So my suggestion is that whenever I’m working somewhere and it’s been many years since I haven’t been the boss, I will acknowledge that. But early on, I’m always looking for not just the direct compensation, but who am I working with? And for, because that person’s going to have a big impact on where I go next. And so is there a lateral transfer if you really have someone who’s not interested, but if I can negotiate that upfront, that is the best defense I have later on and the best offer fence. I have to be able to make my contribution to get clear every 90 days. Here’s what the next sprint looks like. The next sprint. Yes. Things will change. And yes, there will still be people in the world who will say, Nope, you got to do it all. And you can make decisions about who a you work for. And B you get to be the manager you want to be. I think that’s important,

Jim Rembach (17:56):

Such important advice. Cause I remember my earlier career that somebody made, made me work, who was two levels above me, made me work 35 days straight to problem that existed. And you know what? I was young, you know, and I did it. Um, and, but that should have been a telltale sign for me right there. Uh, that, that, that, that was a culture issue. And what I found is that that culture was permeated throughout the entire organization, which had several thousands of people. Um, now unfortunately it took me four and a half more years to figure it out before I finally left. But you know, hopefully, you know, people learning and being part of this conversation and then also maybe not being, you know, creating that culture, you know, will help people to say, you know, what, if that happens, I just need to go.

David Finkel (18:41):

Yeah. And it’s interesting, even like emails, a big hint for this one. Um, so one of the things we talked about in chapter two is this idea of, we call it the one, two, three method with email. So we do this internally at our company. We tell our coaching clients to the same. So when we do an email internally, not to external customers, but to internal people, we put at a preface before we put the subject line a one, two or three, a one means this is urgent important. You have to take action on it right away, drop everything. A two means you have some action to take, but you have a reasonable period of time to do that. If you get it in the morning, by end of day, if you get it in the afternoon, by the next morning, a three is FYI on here’s how this works.

David Finkel (19:17):

So if I get an email from you, Jim, that says two, and then it has, you know, Parsons project update needed. I know that I need to do something with that, but I don’t have to drop everything and do it at this exact moment. Here’s the big clue whether you use the one, two or three internally or not, but if everything in your company is a one or treated like a one that is a danger sign that you have a value of con, pardon me? You have a time and effort, economy, culture, no question about it. Cause you’re when everything is that urgent, what happens is nothing really is prioritized. And so it’s random chance or whatever seems to be least painful that I do or don’t do is what I end up getting done. And that tells you you’re in the wrong place. And it’s just so obvious. You can see it from people’s email habits within half an hour. You can tell what the company’s like.

Jim Rembach (20:05):

Well, and ultimately what we’re talking about is talking about that system and that framework and all that stuff is as you in the first part, you know what we’re building is our UBS. What is a UBS?

David Finkel (20:15):

Yeah. So years ago a partner and I, we used to love acronyms, but we said, what’s build the business system for how we do what we do. But the acronym for business system is not very appropriate. So we added the word you in front of it for ultimate business system. And now for 20 plus years, when I build companies or have my staff working in different departments, the idea is how can you systematize your area of the business? And so it’s a framework in organized mythology, a methodology of how to systematize an area of the business. And here’s where that impacts what say my team is responsible for, for, for customer support. Okay. If we don’t have really good sound procedures, scripting policies, procedures, et cetera, in place the right, the right workflows designed linkages of who hands off, what and how. And then it’s all in people’s head and you have these informal systems.

David Finkel (21:06):

What say my number one person, Sally, she gets ill and she’s out for six weeks. Now, going back to the model, me as the manager of that team, likely what’s going to happen is I’m going to step in and have to cover all that. So I’ll be working 16 hours a day. My staff will be doing subpar work because we missed the knowledge that Sally left with. But if I can start to build strategic depth, if I can start to make sure that other people are cross trained and we have standardized ways, we do things and follow a methodology to actually create this system of how we create our systems, store systems, access our systems. So that we’re all on the same page. Sally goes off, we can support her and cover for her. And at the same time when she comes back, she comes back to a place that’s not in chaos. It’s good for everybody. Customers, team members, managers, company, as a whole, all the stakeholders are benefited when I build strategic depth into an area of the company.

Jim Rembach (22:03):

Well, and as you’re talking to, I even start thinking about the whole dreaded fear of what all you have to do before you go out and miss a couple days or go on holiday. And then what you’re facing when you come.

David Finkel (22:15):

Yeah. I mean, I tell my staff members, I say, I insist, I push them. Like for example, an email today, I just sent off to funny enough, it was Teresa. I said, when are you going to be looking for your, your, your planning for the summertime to take some time away. I want her to take some kind of way. Number one, I want her to recharge, but number two, a business that doesn’t have people regularly go away. We can’t see where the redundant we’re, where the dependencies are. We can’t make it better. And so if I’ve got a 12 person team that I’m managing, I should encourage them at different times. I want them to be gone for a week or two to recharge. I want them to have a life and it lets perversely. It lets the business, my team see where we still have reliances that we need to strengthen so that we can become more able to cover and support for each other. And that’s important as well.

Jim Rembach (23:01):

Most definitely. Now you talk about, um, four steps that are needed in order to be able to create the UVS. You say, create your organizational file folder hierarchy. Yeah. Pick one area to start with and break that down into five to seven sub areas, populate this with one, populate this one area with five to seven sub areas with any of your existing systems and then pick one or two systems to build on this quarter for this area of your business. And so you’re, you’re teaching everybody how to chunk

David Finkel (23:32):

That’s right. And so generally someone who’s listening right now to the fast leader podcast, they’re, they’re managing a small area of the company, so they could start just with that and say, okay, in our area, what are the three to seven subdivisions and then ask what system do we already have? Well, Sheila created this and it’s pretty good. Okay. Let’s put that in there. I know that the company has already given us these 15 different scripts and spreadsheets and standardized documents. We’ll put those in there. Where are the holes? Where’s the one system. If we had that one system would be the most helpful or the most expensive system, the lack of which causes us the most issues. And what’s take the next 90 days and make sure we build that in. And every 90 days, I just add one or two more things, making sure that I don’t just keep adding.

David Finkel (24:17):

Here’s the most important part. I’ve gotta be pruning and erasing as I’ve go, because systems are not about something that you create a manual. And then you’re done policies and procedures. Manuals are universally ignored. I see this with companies that 50 people, companies of 5,000 people, I see universally past the first 30 days of hire, no one will ever look at it again. What matters is a culture of saying in our company, we build and create systems. We cross train on systems and over time we delete or archive systems as we find that they need to mature because it’s a nonstop, never ending process because things will change. Technology changes, internal needs, change, customer needs, change, market conditions, change. And we have to adapt with that as we go through.

Jim Rembach (25:05):

Well, as you’re talking, I’m thinking about, you know, experiences that I’ve had and probably ones I’m creating now is where I created that a year and a half ago. It needs updating. Um, but you’re, you’re, uh, I’m certain, you’re not saying that that’s what we need to be doing.

David Finkel (25:21):

Yeah. So rather than saying, I need to be updating this part. I want to be updating as we go. So I believe in a distributed model where all the competent people who are using the system, if they see something that’s not working, that they feel empowered to, if not make the change themselves, because in some documents that might not be appropriate, but to at least regularly have a voice to say, Hey, here’s two or three changes. And here’s a great way of doing feedback. We talk about this in the second half of the book or the book is most people do feedback wrong. Here’s a much better way of doing that. The next time you’re going to do feedback, ask what’s working well, we call these liked best. And what are one or two things you would suggest that we do different going forward. We call these next times.

David Finkel (26:01):

It’s a really useful way of grabbing feedback from team. And if it were me and I were running a team of nine people and, and doing our client experience or our receivables department, what I would do is I’d say, okay, once every, probably 30 days or 60 days for a while, then once a quarter what’s working well and what do we need to improve? Or Justin, what would you recommend we do? So that next time we do it better. And that, that process of just doing that regularly, it changes the whole feel so that we’re no longer fixing blame. We’re just fixing the problem. People are much more open to that.

Jim Rembach (26:38):

I’m talking about the second and a half of the book and getting to those, what you call accelerators. Uh, you mentioned five, uh, that’s engaged your team, become a better coach, grow your leaders, cultivate your culture and leverage better design. And when I’m looking at that, you know, I start thinking of magnitude and factor of, right. So if I would say of those five, which one of those is going to really give me the biggest bang for my buck?

David Finkel (27:02):

Yeah. For the people that are listening to the fast leader podcast, without question, it’s be a better coach because part of my job as a manager of the frontline is I’ve got to grow my people. I’ve got to help them learn skills, learn attitude and imbibe culture and just get some basic experiences to be a better producer in an area. So with that, I’ll give an example from that section, when I’m coaching somebody, there are two different types of coaching conversations to happen. I know this cause for 20 plus years, I’ve built coaching companies. I’ve literally have coached thousands of people. Our coaching staff has coached tens of thousands of people. So here’s one simple distinction. I asked myself the question, if I’m working with Sheila is Sheila someone who is a grow player or a Sheila, a role player, a grow player, someone who wants to develop mature, grain, new skills, they want new experiences, a role player.

David Finkel (27:58):

You know, David, I just want to do a good job. Let me just do my job. Don’t put me in new situations. Just let me do what I know how to do and stat on my way, by the way, a good role players worth his or her weight in gold. They’re wonderful. I don’t have a problem with that. The problem comes is when I try to grow a role player, when I try to grow a role player, they’re uncomfortable, they’re resistant and they end up quitting or wanting to work somewhere else internally. I drive my best people away that way. And I, and I’ve had so many managers who are, who are a little bit immature in experience, they’ll say, well, why wouldn’t they want to grow? Well, people get to make that decision. We cannot ascribe ambition to somebody else. So if I know which they are, when I’m coaching a grow, grow player, the way I coach, uh, grow players, I ask questions.

David Finkel (28:45):

I help them come to their own conclusions. Um, if I wasn’t here, what would you do? Hmm. Tell me why you would do that. If you couldn’t do that, what else might you do? Hmm. What could go wrong with that? That you would need to anticipate in advance? Hm. Hearing all that. That sounds great. Do it that way. A role player though. I don’t coach that way. They’d find it frustrating. I coached them for results. I say, I want you to do this by this time in this manner. And then close the loop by telling me when it’s done. Can I count on you to do that? I’m much more directive. It’s easier once I know the distinction. Now I can grow the people who want to be grown. And by the way, how do you know if someone’s a grow player or a role player?

David Finkel (29:23):

It’s not by what they say. Cause most people will say, Oh, of course I’m a grow player. It’s two things. Number one, I watch how they respond to feedback. A role player almost always is defensive or will rationalize a way the feedback or dismiss it in one ear, out the other, right? The doc, it just goes right off their back or grow player hungers for feedback. They, they value it. They care into it and they use it. They might not be perfect with it, but they really do try to use it. Um, the second clue is how they deal with novel situations. Um, when I put a grow player in novel situations, they’re happy. They’re, they’re challenged. They just, they find it in livens them and engages them. When I put a role player in new situations, they shut down, they’re scared, they’re intimidated, they’re uncomfortable, they’re anxious. And they just want out. They avoided.

Jim Rembach (30:16):

I think that’s a great way of really looking at the different players that you have, because sometimes you may find that you have all of one and none of the other and having that diversity and mix is really what’s gonna make the difference. So now when I think about all of this, Oh my gosh. Um, a whole lot of things come flying through my head. But one of the things that we look out on the show to help us focus our quotes. Is there a quote or two that you’d like that you can share?

David Finkel (30:41):

Yeah. So my friend, Karen, who, um, successful business owner, he started off in, in, um, managing restaurants of all things. That was his, his thing. He, he worked opening up new restaurants, training frontline staff. Uh, today he runs and own several groupings of convenience stores, but he said something and it’s in the book. He calls it. Can’t do, won’t do don’t know how and for a young leader or a young manager, this is a really wonderful way to think about how to handle someone’s behavior that you don’t like, that you’re managing. Is it because they don’t know how to do it? They can’t do it, or they won’t do it. And that tells us how to treat it. If they don’t know how it’s a training issue, if they can’t do it, it’s a, they’re in the wrong seat in the bus, or they might be in the wrong bus altogether. If they won’t do it, you have a culture of cancer. You have a direct, honest adult conversation. If that doesn’t cure it, they’re out of there. And that really was so helpful for me as a, as a, a way of thinking a frame of reference to, to be a better manager.

Jim Rembach (31:38):

Well, and I would dare to say that when you start talking about all the navigation that you have gone through and throughout your career and having those role models and how that initially impacted you and, and all of that, and even working with all these clients is that you’ve had a lot of opportunities to experience humps and you have learned from that others can learn from as well. So is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share?

David Finkel (32:03):

Yeah, so I think probably one of the hardest ones for me, believe it or not was when my kids were born. Um, I was totally unprepared. I mean, my wife and I you’ll laugh. We took three different rounds of birthing classes. Cause I was so scared of the birth. So it was my wife, my wife’s pregnant with twins. And then she ends up having literally a 62nd C-section and then I’m holding my kids. And the next three days later, we go home and I’m shocked. I I’ve never changed a diaper. I’ve never fed a child. I have no idea what to do. And my wife’s just had major abdominal surgery and she even lift her children for a whole week. So at the same time, I’m still owning a business. And that was a real challenge. And what the eyeopener for me was this idea that it was no longer okay for me to do the business the way I used to do it.

David Finkel (32:54):

I mean, I, I did get to a point where I was taking, you know, vacations and other stuff. But when push came to shove, if something needed to get done in the business, I would just go, I worked out of the house. I would walk across to my home office and I would just do it. You know, if it’s nine, 10, 11 o’clock at night and needed to be done, I would just do it. It was no longer an option. Number one, I was so sleep deprived that I think I slept maybe four hours. My wife probably had two hours of sleep for a night for the first six months. The second piece was, I didn’t want to miss this stuff. And so I made a decision to run the business differently, which actually ultimately became this idea of a formula for how do you work much more intelligently in the business?

David Finkel (33:31):

I, I said, I’m going to put a hard stop. I said, I I’m willing to work 40 hours a week. That’s my hard stop. And I owned at that time two different businesses. That was my hard stop. And I said, I’m going to treat this like an astronaut treats, his or her supply of oxygen or any other consumable. That’s all I have. That’s my inventory. So how I invest or spend that inventory becomes incredibly precious. And when I started spending that time differently, what happened was I started having what goods, business successes. Yes. But I started having a better life at the same time. I didn’t let it get out of whack as much. And I realized for me that the things that really were the hardest hurdles to get over where my fear of being out of control, control, itis, like we talked about and some behaviors and patterns around time and effort and work that just didn’t serve me anymore. They were outdated. They fit 20 years prior when I started working as an employee in the workforce. But 20 years later, technology culture, all these things that change and I needed to update them as well. And that’s why, you know, over the last 10 years I’ve worked to do what I’ve done

Jim Rembach (34:41):

And the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now, before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

Ad (34:48):

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Jim Rembach (35:07):

Four slash better. Alright, here we go. Fastly Legion. It’s time for the home. Oh, okay. David, the Humpday hold on is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust, get revenue responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. David Finkel. Are you ready to go down? I sure am. All right. So what is holding you back from being an even better leader today? I’ll try to finesse too many conversations I should just have directly. And

David Finkel (35:38):

What is the best leadership advice you have ever received? Three questions? Well, actually, no, I’ll go with this one. It’s Stephanie Harkin is one of my mentors, a coauthor for earlier book that I wrote. Um, she gave me this thing. She said, I want you to write it on an index card and I did. And so the next time one of my staff came to me with a question. She had me read this index card for about a year and a half the index card read. I don’t know, what do you think we should do? And I just forced myself to keep asking that and it made me a much better leader. And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success? I’d say a little bit of perspective. I’d not taking myself too seriously. I’m a pretty serious person by nature.

David Finkel (36:15):

And I have to keep reminding myself, you know what, at the end of the day, a lot of what I’m worried about, scared about anxious about it really doesn’t matter. It won’t matter in a month. It won’t matter in a year and won’t matter in a decade. So don’t take myself too seriously. No one else does. And what is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life? And I call it my big rock report every single week. At the beginning of the week, I get a one page report that says here’s what my most important to do’s are for the week. My one or two big rocks and the victories challenges and updates from the prior week. And each of my direct reports does that. And I do it as well. It takes them about five to 10 minutes. It takes me about 20 minutes to read through and I get a really good understanding of what they think is important and what their victories were to remind me to go back and acknowledge them for the victories and support them through their challenges.

David Finkel (37:02):

And what would be one book you’d recommend to our Legion. It could be from any genre, of course, we’re going to pull it, put a link to the freedom floor as well. Yeah. So I think one of my favorites would be the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, a beautiful book, the Alchemist, it’s just a lovely fable and it has a lot of insight for how to manage and lead other people. Okay. Fast leader Legion. You can find links to that. And other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/david Finkel. Okay, David, this is my last hope they hold on question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

David Finkel (37:42):

Yeah, I would want to save her a lot more, a lot deeper look, I’m going to be moderately successful in business, regardless of which, right. I’ve done it the first time. And if I come back there, I’m going to have enough for my family. But the thing that I look back was all the times I took moments for granted that are gone. People in my life, I thought would be there forever aren’t relationships that ended, um, experiences that I thought I would be able to go back and do again. That really, we all recognize I’m about to turn 50. You just don’t get to do that. I wish I’d taken more pictures. I wish I had just, just enjoy that moment a lot more. That’s what I would take back with me, David. I had fun with you today. How can the fast leader Legion connect with you?

David Finkel (38:22):

Yeah, they can take a look at our website, connect with us there. Maui mastermind.com. If you want to put that in your show notes, it’d be wonderful. And if we can help in any way, we’d love to do that. And I just think it’s a, it’s a real gift that you’re doing for people, Jim, to give them clear insights about how they can be a better leader and grow in their career. I think that’s a pretty darn good way of serving the world. So kudos to you for doing that. David Finkel, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and the fast leader Legion honors you. And thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

282: Peter Economy – Being a Good Boss

282: Peter Economy – Being a Good Boss

Peter Economy Show Notes Page

Peter Economy previously managed a small group of around 12 people. After being placed to a new position, he was suddenly required to manage around 400-500 people. The task was very daunting at first, but after realizing that he had key people working for him to help manage the other people, he realized he was able to delegate most of the tasks and not have to micromanage everything. His job was easier because of it and he was able to get over the hump.

Peter Economy is a bestselling business writer who has helped create more than 100 books. The son of an Air Force officer, Peter, was born at Hamilton Air Force Base — across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco — and he moved with his family back and forth across the country every four or five years. As a result, he was raised in Northern California, Southern California, Pennsylvania, and Virginia — graduating from high school dead center in the middle of Georgia. His father was project manager for the U-2 and SR-71 spy planes for many years.

His mother’s family roots in the United States go back to the Mayflower, and one of his ancestors is Richard Warren — one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact.

While uncertain why he fell into the vocation of writing, it may have had something to do with his father’s example — and perhaps his DNA. He was a 7-time winner of the Freedom’s Foundation George Washington Honor Medal for essays he wrote about freedom and the American spirit. He was also a great speaker, which Peter is not.

After graduating from college in Northern California, He was hired by the Department of Navy as a purchasing agent at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington D.C. There he mostly bought office supplies. He also bought SCUBA gear for the Naval Diving School, orthodontic supplies for the Naval Academy, a swimming pool cover for Camp David, china dishes and crystal glassware for the Vice President’s home at the Naval Observatory.

After a couple of years there, he left for a position negotiating contracts for the Defense Nuclear Agency in Alexandria, Virginia. His orientation for that job involved traveling to the Nevada Test Site to tour (still radioactive) nuclear bomb testing areas and crawling through a tunnel to within a hundred-or-so feet from where a nuclear bomb had been detonated the week before. Eventually, he left government service to work for a software developer, which is where he became a manager. He worked as a manager in charge of administration and facilities for several years before becoming a full-time writer 20 years ago — founding my own company in the process.

Peter’s current release is Wait, I’m the Boss?!?: The Essential Guide for New Managers to Succeed from Day One.

Peter currently live in the San Diego area with Jan, my wife of 32 years, and we have three children — Peter, Skylar, and Jackson — all grown up and on their own.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @bizzwriter get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“When you’re working in a company you’re going to encounter bad bosses.” – Click to Tweet

“Managers have to manage, and at the same time, be a good leader. You have to do it all.” – Click to Tweet

“Leadership training is usually the first thing set aside when there are any fiscal problems.” – Click to Tweet

“People can tell when there’s someone on the line with them who’s happy, who’s satisfied.” – Click to Tweet

“When you’ve got a bad boss, that bleeds over to the customer real quick.” – Click to Tweet

“What any new managers should do is find a good mentor.” – Click to Tweet

“New managers learn on the job by just watching other managers how they work.” – Click to Tweet

“You have to take it a bite at a time. You can’t be great at everything all at once.” – Click to Tweet

“Managers need to communicate more, communicate better, and communicate in as many different ways as possible.” – Click to Tweet

“The number one reason why people leave an organization is because of a bad boss.” – Click to Tweet

“The number one reason that frustrates people with their managers is having expectations that aren’t clear.” – Click to Tweet

“Many people become managers only because it pays more.” – Click to Tweet

“You create your own future.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Peter Economy previously managed a small group of around 12 people. After being placed to a new position, he was suddenly required to manage around 400-500 people. The task was very daunting at first, but after realizing that he had key people working for him to help manage the other people, he realized he was able to delegate most of the tasks and not have to micromanage everything. His job was easier because of it and he was able to get over the hump.

Advice for others

Everything is going to be okay. It’s all going to work out.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Time.

Best Leadership Advice

Empower your people. Trust your people. Let them do what they know how to do best.

Secret to Success

I work really hard. I work all the time. Vacation, what’s that?

Best tools in business or life

Being empathetic to people. Being a human.

Recommended Reading

Wait, I’m the Boss?!?: The Essential Guide for New Managers to Succeed from Day One

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

Contacting Peter Economy

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bizzwriter

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/petereconomy/

Website: https://petereconomy.com/

Resources

 

Show Transcript

Click to access edited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who takes something that is extremely complex and has a whole lot of insight around it and makes it hopefully easier to navigate, especially for those new and emerging leaders, Peter economy, as a best selling business writer who has helped create more than 100 books. The son of an air force officer Peter was born at Hamilton air force base across the golden gate bridge from San Francisco. And he moved with his family back and forth across the country, every four or five years as a result, he was raised in Northern California, Southern California, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, graduating from high school dead center in the middle of Georgia. His father was a project manager for the YouTube and [inaudible] spy planes for many years. His mother’s family roots in the United States go back to the Mayflower.

Jim Rembach (00:54):

And one of his ancestors is Richard Warren. One of the signers of the Mayflower compact while uncertain, why he fell into the vocation of writing. It may have had something to do with his father’s example and perhaps his DNA. He was a seven time winner of the freedoms foundation. George Washington honor metal for essays. He wrote about freedom and the American spirit. He was also a great speaker, which Peter is not after graduating from college in Northern California. He was hired by the department of Navy as a purchasing agent at the Washington Navy yard in Washington, D C there, he mostly bought office supplies and he also bought scuba gear for the Naval Naval diving school, uh, orthodontics supplies for the Naval Academy, a swimming pool cover for camp David, China dishes and crystal glassware for the vice president’s home at the Naval observatory. After a couple of years there, he left for a position negotiating contracts for the defense nuclear agency in Alexandria, Virginia.

Jim Rembach (01:54):

His orientation for that job involve traveling to the Nevada test site to tour still radioactive nuclear bomb testing areas and crawling through a tunnel to within a hundred or so feet from where a nuclear bomb had been detonated the week before eventually he left government service to work for a software developer, which is where he became a manager. He worked as a manager in charge of administration and facilities for several years before becoming a full time writer 20 years ago, founding his own company. And the process Peter’s current release is wait, I’m the boss, the essential guide for new managers to succeed from day one. Peter currently lives in the San Diego area with his wife, Jan of 32 years, and they have three children, Peter Skylar and Jackson, all grown up and on their own Peter economy. Are you ready to help us get over the hump? I sure am. Jim, thanks so much great to be here today. Well, I’m glad you’re here now, given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better? It really is writing. I mean, loved to

Peter Economy (03:00):

write and I love collaborating with other people. I mean, that’s what I typically do is I I’m, I’m mostly a ghost writer and I just love meeting new people, getting to know what they know and getting to know them. They’re just amazing people. They see, you know, C level executives, consultants, technology, gurus, all these different

Jim Rembach (03:19):

well. And when I think about that, I mean the stories and the insights and the information that you’ve come across as quite extensive. I also I’m aware that a lot of people who write, uh, are even more so well-read. Um, and so when I start thinking about this particular topic and literally the hundreds of thousands of volumes that are associated with it, um, I find it very intriguing that you would choose and go and write this particular book and go through that path. Really what drove that?

Peter Economy (03:50):

Well, it’s just a personal passion of mine that I want managers to be good managers. I mean, I personally, when I was back in the business world myself, I had my share of bad managers and it’s something that I think everyone has experienced. Um, when you’re in business, when you’re working in a company or even a nonprofit, any other kind of organization, you’re going to encounter bad bosses. And I just thought, it’d be great to have a book that could help people be great bosses instead of bad bosses, because so few people actually get trained in how to lead, how to manage people.

Jim Rembach (04:23):

Well, I will talk about that, but in the book you had mentioned that this book is about how to be a good boss, uh, and, and potentially an effective and perhaps even great manager and leader. And so when you start thinking about that and all the experiences that you have, I start understanding and thinking about perspectives, because here’s what I mean by that. When people say boss, something comes to their mind when people say manager, something comes to their mind when people say leader something yet different comes to their mind. So give us your perspectives on those.

Peter Economy (04:56):

Yeah, well, I think in a lot of people’s minds, boss has a negative connotation. I mean, you talk about your boss and it’s sort of a negative thing, but, um, manager is kind of a neutral thing. Leader is a great thing. I mean, it’s interesting, there’s this kind of this, this, um, um, you know, spectrum from boss to manager to leader and leader is supposed to be the top thing. It’s supposed to be the top thing to aspire to. Um, but most people typically, you know, that are managers you’ve got to manage. I mean, you’ve got to learn how to manage. You’ve got to operate an organization, you’ve got to make things happen and you’ve got to be a good leader at the same time. I mean, you can’t just say I’m going to be a manager, not a leader. I’m going to be a leader, not a manager. You really have to do it all. And that’s what this book talks about. I mean, we talk about being a great leader. We also talk about how to be a manager and get things done, a great manager as well.

Jim Rembach (05:45):

Well, and I also, you know, for me when we’re talking about that whole developmental piece and, and I think it’s easy or easier to be a manager because I have systems around me that I now need to follow, but being a leader, oftentimes, you know, that complexity of humanity makes it quite difficult. But you talk about, um, after a couple of studies you referenced is that when managers receive leadership development, if received at all, um, you know, that it can come quite later after they’ve been put into the position of the role, you know, a DDI has a study that says it’s a few years after they placed. And there one study shows it’s like 10 years after they get on the role. But why do you think there is such a neglect associated with leadership development?

Peter Economy (06:29):

Yeah, it’s interesting. Cause I, I believe that the largest companies, you know, you look at your fortune 500 companies. Most of those companies have real great leadership programs in place. I mean, they know the importance of cultivating leaders, of growing leaders, um, identifying people in the organization who will become leaders potentially in their organization. And they have leadership tracks, these big companies, but it’s a smaller companies. These ones, the small businesses that really neglected the small to medium sized businesses. And I think it’s just because there’s other priorities for mostly smaller and medium sized businesses are fighting fires all the time. They’re just trying to stay afloat. They’re trying to gain new customers. They’re trying to grow the revenue. They’re trying to make, you know, get some profit out of here. So leadership training and a lot of training just overall gets set aside. And the training is often the first thing they go when there’s any kind of fiscal problem. I mean, I’ve got friends who are professional speakers and they were the first thing to be cut when there was financial trouble. Um, back in 2008, when we went through that big recession. And then now I’m in the current situation where the economy is kind of getting it in the chin. Um, all this training is getting cut. It’s the first thing to be cut. So a lot of companies just ignore it or they just have other, other priorities and then they just don’t get around to it.

Jim Rembach (07:45):

Well, and when I start thinking about it in the world that I, uh, am, I guess, responsible for, you know, um, and what I, we’re working, talking about customer experience and contact center, I started thinking about the potential impact that this neglect actually has on the customers. How do you see that coming out?

Peter Economy (08:02):

Yeah, ultimately, um, you know, when, when people aren’t happy when your people aren’t happy when your employees are, are, are not satisfied when they feel they don’t have a voice when they don’t, they don’t think their, their, their managers care about what they do, um, that bleeds over to your customers. I mean, they’re going to be on the, you know, talk about a call center. I mean, people can tell when there is someone on the line with them, who’s happy, who’s satisfied. Who’s excited about being at work. Who’s enthusiastic about their job. I mean, I I’ve, I’ve hung up on people and on call center, people who just, I could tell they were a downer. I didn’t want to talk to them. So I hung up and try it again. Cause I knew I’d get somebody else. So hopefully someone with a better attitude. Um, so when you’ve got a bad boss, when, when someone’s working for a manager, who’s not doing the job well, that bleeds over into the customer real, real quick.

Jim Rembach (08:59):

Well, you mentioned, um, one of the key downfalls is in becoming a new boss is the communication component, setting expectations and all of that. And many of us have different, well, either a default model that obviously isn’t working because the studies that you reveal shows that, um, but you introduce a new model, uh, which I really liked. And that is the model that Adam Creek, who is a Canadian, a rowing gold medal champion and the 2008 Beijing games. And he has a model that he calls clear to help set goals. So those, the clear goals are collaborative, limited emotional appreciable, and refinable. So how does this model really affect and impact and benefit the leader of today?

Peter Economy (09:49):

Well, what it, what it speaks to is that we’re in a new world today of business. Um, you know, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, it was much more of a top down kind of a atmosphere. Um, you know, leaders, managers told people what to do for the most part. You know, you sort of said, um, I want you to go here. Here’s how I want you to do it. Now go, uh, I think, you know, today it’s much more of a collaborative process, which is what the C and that, that clear goals talks about a collaborative process, where you really work together. Um, employees, managers, you’re part of a team and, and, and you work together to achieve your goals. You don’t just boss people around. You don’t just say, do this. Here’s how high you want you to jump in. Here’s how I want you to jump. Um, you actually say it, you set the goal and then you, you allow people, you enable them, you provide them with what they need to find their way there themselves find the best path. And often your frontline employees know exactly what needs to be done. Probably a better than a lot of managers do because they’re there with their they’re in the trenches with the customers all the time. And, and that’s what this clear goal speaks to us. I think, a new way of doing business in a new way of working with your people.

Jim Rembach (11:01):

Well, and so the other one, just to kind of give the comparison, because many have heard of smart goals, it has been around for a long while, and that’s the specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. But the clear goals when I started looking at being, especially for a brand new leader, um, I start seeing also this, addressing some of the barriers that you talk about, um, and challenges that they often face, uh, when they come to being a new leader. And I’m going to read some of these that you actually list. So you talk about recruiting and retaining the best employees, dealing with employee problems, working through discipline and termination, tearing down organizational roadblocks, encouraging employees to experiment and take risks, managing a diverse workforce, and then handling, uh, office politics. But I have to ask myself, especially if I’m thinking about a new leader, they really can’t be doing well at all of those things. I mean, so how do they move forward? How do they prevent failure? Because man, look at all these things I have to contend with.

Peter Economy (12:03):

Right? Well, I think, you know, you do the best you can and you educate yourself in each of these areas. Um, you know, obviously when you are in a situation where you have to fire an employee, for example, um, you may have never done that before. Um, you know, I think one of the best things I can suggest for any, any new manager is to find a mentor, find a good mentor. So for example, most managers, I believe new managers just learn on the job just by watching other managers, how they, how they, how they work. And you’re lucky if you’ve got a good manager to model after you’re unlucky, if you’ve got a bad manager to model after, and we’ve all had good and bad, I’ve had good and bad, I’m sure you have too. And I was fortunate to have a good manager to model myself after.

Peter Economy (12:51):

So I think I learned some good habits, but I think the first thing that any new managers should do is find a good mentor. And then, and then, so when you, when you do have to do something like fire an employee, I mean, obviously you can read a book like mine and, and, and I, I lay out exactly what you should do, but also, you know, talk to your mentor and walk through it with them and get that more personal. Here’s what I did. Here’s how I handle that. When I have to fire someone, I go through these steps, I try to help them. You know, I provide them with more training if I need to, I try to, you know, support them if I can. Um, but eventually if I do have to fire them, here’s what I do. So I think you have to just kind of take it up a bite at a time. You can’t, you can’t be great at everything all at once. It’s just not possible. He can’t read a book. Even my book become great all at once. It’s not going to happen. You have to do it at a bite at a time and kind of, you know, do the best. You can find a mentor and learn lessons along the way and just learn, get better.

Jim Rembach (13:48):

Well, I mean, for me, I even found myself, um, you know, having the opportunity to go through the book and kind of, you know, even learning new things. Cause you ha you, I mean, being a writer you’re referencing and sourcing, you know, a lot of, uh, facts that often times don’t come out, you know, and, and become, you know, generalized and socialized and all of that. Uh, so I think that was very immensely valuable and I appreciate that. Um, but when I start thinking about, you know, all of this in the book, when I start thinking about those barriers that we mentioned, I also start thinking about the conditions and, you know, we had talked about the whole COVID-19 and lockdown and I mean, how has that changed? What you would have, or let me ask you this, how, what would you put in the book now, because of all this that isn’t in there.

Peter Economy (14:39):

Right. I think the most important thing, you know, when you’re in a situation where you’re in a crisis and we talked about how, and we’re talking about how more employees are working remotely now. So that’s something I didn’t really cover. I don’t think in any particular detail, which I wish I had now, because it would be a really critical part of the book, you know, here more and more people. My wife, um, you know, she works at a local university and they sent everybody home. Uh, they said, you’re going to work from home now. And they’re doing meetings on zoom. As we’re doing this call, we’re doing it on zoom. Uh, they’re working remotely. So how does her manager manage her now? How does her manager manage the team remotely? And that’s something that I think, um, if I could put that in the book, I would have put more of that in the book.

Peter Economy (15:25):

And I think the answer is, is you’ve got to communicate more. I think ma many managers don’t communicate enough as it is. And that’s something I’ve hammered on for years is that managers need to communicate and communicate more, communicate better, communicate in as many different ways as possible. So in a situation where you’re working remotely, you’ve got more employees working remotely, you should be finding all kinds of way to communicate with them, keeping everybody up to date, keeping the team together, keeping it feeling like you’re all still working together. I mean, at least a weekly, uh, zoom meeting, uh, you know, video conference weekly with the team. They sure everybody, everybody knows everybody’s still out there. What, what is everybody doing? What, you know, just keeping that team spirit alive. It’s so critical

Jim Rembach (16:11):

today. So when you’re talking and you’re saying that I started also thinking about, um, how, how would I, it’s not just the communication component, but I start thinking about all of these other elements. So when I start thinking about, you know, the dealing with the employee problems, right. Um, you know, do I have a different approach than I would have not given this scenario?

Peter Economy (16:39):

I think that everything’s changed. So yeah, I think that the fundamentals are still the same. I mean, the rules are still the same. You still like it. If you’ve got a problem employee, you still deal with that in much the same way, but it’s, it is more difficult. There is a barrier now when you don’t have that employee in the office with you, when that employee is kind of could be hiding out, you know, behind, you know, in their, in their home, you don’t know what they’re doing day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute, you don’t see them. And, and the simple truth is even when they’re in your office, you don’t necessarily see them either. You may be squirreled away in your office most of the time. And yeah, you see that they’re there, you see that their cars in the parking lot, you don’t really know what they’re doing minute to minute, but I think the fundamentals are still the same, but you have to be more proactive. You have to really be more on the ball as a manager to keep tabs with your people and what they’re doing, you have to set more, um, you know, check-ins more goals, more, more milestones that they’ve got to achieve. And, and you’ve got, they’ve gotta be more visible, I think even more visible than they were before, um, when you’re working together in an office.

Jim Rembach (17:47):

So when I started looking, um, the, the, the book, the book and the results that you have, and the studies that are associated with this particular topic, you know, you, like I said, you you’re a writer, so you resource better, you know, your reference better than someone who doesn’t write as often as you. And when I think about all these different studies that are associated with, you know, leadership and management and all those things that you cited, is there a particular study that kind of stands out to you as the most impactful?

Peter Economy (18:21):

Well, there’s one that LinkedIn did, LinkedIn learning dead. Um, I think it was a couple of years ago, 2018, where they surveyed a bunch of managers to find out, you know, what is the, they asked this question, what’s the single most frustrating trait that’s that your manager has basically asked that question. So what frustrates you most? And this is, you know, a particular interest because, um, you know, Gallup has found that the number one reason why people leave an organization is because of a bad boss. If they’ve got a bad boss, that’s the number one reason why people leave. So, you know, you want to know, you know, what is frustrating people with their managers? And the number one item that they found was that managers having expectations that aren’t clear. So we talked about that way. We had a hit on that a little bit earlier, but you know, when, when you’re mad, when you don’t know what your manager is really expecting of you, when, when, when you think, you know what they want of you, when you’ve got goals, when you got standards, you know, you’ve got a performance appraisal, and then the manager is doing something else they’re, they’re telling you that you didn’t achieve what they wanted you to achieve, or they’re not happy with what you’re doing.

Peter Economy (19:30):

Well, what do you mean? You’re not happy I’m doing what you told me I should be doing well, no, I really meant this. I really meant you should be doing something else. Well, you didn’t tell me that. So that’s the number one thing that LinkedIn learning found out is, is the, is, is, is the most frustrating thing for, for employees. So that’s one study. I found there’s other things that they found to their, uh, other traits to, um, you know, for example, micromanaging being aloof and not involved and not fostering, uh, uh, employee professional development. But, um, but number one was that unclear expectations.

Jim Rembach (20:06):

So when I start thinking about, you know, the things that you have in this book in regards to those, you know, barriers, things that I need to learn, um, it’s not a job for the faint of heart, Bonnie. And I think a lot of times people will want to have a position of power and authority for reasons that are not, you know, internally, you know, gratifying, important, you know, and won’t, you know, keep them engaged with it. How can someone look at this body of work and the research that you’re saying and say, you know what, I really that’s, I don’t really want to do that. It’s not, for me.

Peter Economy (20:44):

I think that’s a great point because you’re many people become managers only because a, it pays more, you know, it’s, it’s it, it’s, it’s the, it’s the career progression in most organizations to get paid more. You eventually have to become a manager. So most people sign on to becoming a manager, whether they really think they would like it or not. And many people end up becoming managers and they really shouldn’t be managers. I mean, they either, they’re not suited to it. They’re not interested in it. Um, they’re just not, it’s not what they should be doing. They should be a specialist, you know, instead of pulling us, you’re your best sales person and turning them into the sales manager, which may not be what they want to do. They may just enjoy being a sales manager or a sales person out on the floor, you know, selling that may be what turns them on and what they’re best at.

Peter Economy (21:31):

So I think that, you know, anyone who’s, who’s potentially getting thrown into a new management position needs to look hard and long it relevant. If that’s something they really want to do, would they be better suited to not being a manager? And, and that’s a great, a great point. You know, when I became a manager, I may really should have just stuck with not being a manager. And I knew that when I was a manager, many times, I didn’t really particularly care for the job. I mean, I, all of a sudden I felt I was responsible for the performance of all my people. And at one point I had almost 500 people working for me and I was personally responsible for the results. And that was a lot of pressure. And I couldn’t particularly, I mean, I had people all across the country and about 40 different locations and I didn’t know what they were doing minute to minute, there was just no way I could tell. So it’s a, it’s a tough position to be in and a lot of responsibility and sure. You may get paid more, but think long and hard about whether that’s really the thing that you’re most suited to.

Jim Rembach (22:26):

Well, and you had talked about cause you, and I think share this similar passion of wanting to develop these young, young people. Actually, I shouldn’t even say that because even when you’re starting to talk about development, looking at the studies on some people actually get a leadership development they’re in her forties. Right?

Peter Economy (22:43):

Exactly. Yeah. They don’t get it until they’re in their forties.

Jim Rembach (22:45):

Exactly. It’s amazing. Um, but so when I start thinking about, you know, all of that, we have a passion for that development. Um, and I know for me, because I study it and I interview, um, amazing folks like yourself as I get exposed to a lot of insights and information. And one of the things that I like to share, and I like to learn about are the favorite quotes that people have, those are quote or two that you like, that you can share?

Peter Economy (23:07):

Well, I think my favorite quote is probably, you know, um, you know, you basically just, you, you create your own future and I’m not sure what the quote is. It’s I used to love this thing though. Basically, you know, you create what the future is for you. And this is so true that, um, you know, we create our own future. It’s not somebody else. You can always look, you know, blame, blame your future on somebody else, your present circumstances on someone else. But it’s something we create. We have the power, we, you know, we have the ability to change our future. And every minute we can, we change the track trajectory of our lives. So I mean, that quote, that embodies that. And I can’t remember the exact quote right now, but that’s basically it. I mean, you create your own future, so, so create it, do it, you know, make your future and know that you have the power to change the future.

Jim Rembach (24:02):

Yeah. I think the action based element is critically important. So talking about action there’s some times when we take actions and we learn and, you know, we have humps that we have to get over that hopefully put us in a better direction and we like to share those stories so that others can learn from them. Is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share?

Peter Economy (24:20):

Yeah, well, certainly, um, there was, there was that position that I had when I did become a manager of, of 400 plus people, almost 500 people. And it was, it was pretty daunting at first. It was pretty, pretty hard to get my arms around it first because I had previously managed a group of maybe 12 people. And, and that was pretty smooth. That was fine. I mean, I had regular staff meetings. I knew what everybody was doing. They were all in my building. They’re all in one, you know, one office area. So that was pretty easy to take, you know, to, to do as far as being a manager. But all of a sudden when I had, you know, over 400 people, almost 500 people scattered across the country, that was really daunting. And that was a big hump for me to get over. But what I realized was that I had key managers, um, that were in between me and those four or 500 people.

Peter Economy (25:11):

I had these key people that were working for me that could really, I could rely on, I could trust to take care of those details. I didn’t need to know to know what every single person was doing. And those 400 plus people, as long as my key people, you know, three or four people who are my deputies, essentially, as long as I, as long as they were taking care of business, I could rely on them to get the job done. So it was a matter of trust. It was delegation, which I think a lot of managers are not so good at doing delegating. A lot of managers want to do it all themselves. And that was that second thing in the LinkedIn learning survey from 2018 was micromanagement, a lot of managers micromanage and still a debt instead of delegating. And once I learned to delegate and that I could trust these deputies who are working for me, that made my job so much easier, because then I knew that we were going to be okay, that I got over that hump. And, and, and my job as a, as a manager became much easier then.

Jim Rembach (26:14):

Well, I think for me what you said that a lot of that has to do with, you know, building of the confidence, you know, as well in the role to be able to say, and release and relinquish, uh, you know, that, that type of decision making to other people, uh, that delicate gate, you know, to like the whole delegating piece is something when you’re, when you’re new, that is just one of the most difficult things to do,

Peter Economy (26:35):

right? Yeah. I mean, you’ve been an expert, you know, before you become a manager, you’re an expert in something. So again, you could be an expert in the sales, you know, call centers. You can be an expert in whatever it is you do. I was an expert in negotiating contracts. That’s what my background was. Um, but all of a sudden you’re put into a different position and, and you’re in charge of other people. So it’s, it’s a really kind of a scary thing. For many people you’re feel like you’re on, on thin ice because all of a sudden, you’re not in charge. You’re not just doing what you’re an expert in doing anymore. You’re doing more and being put in a different role and entirely different role.

Jim Rembach (27:12):

Most definitely. Okay. So over a hundred books, you know, some of those have your own name on them. Some have other people’s names on them. Uh, I, when I think about all of that, uh, I start thinking about some, you know, goals that you may have. Is there a goal or two that you can share?

Peter Economy (27:28):

Well, my personal goals are to just continue to do really fun projects with really interesting people. I mean, that’s my personal goal and that’s what I’m constantly seeking out and looking for. And, and they, they typically find me. I’ve just, I’ve done so many books and I’ve, I’ve, I’ve worked with so many different people and editors and publishers and literary agents. And then just my clients that they keep sending me their, their colleagues, their friends are, you know, people that they work with. And, and, and it’s just that. So that’s my personal goal is to continue to do these kinds of projects, where I get to meet super interesting people and work with them and learn what they do and learn from them. And it just makes my life such a joy to do these, these kinds of projects and these kinds of books

Jim Rembach (28:19):

and the fast leader, Legion wishes you the very best. Now, before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

Ad (28:26):

An even better place to work is an easy to use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement, along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award winning solutions, guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers to learn more about an even better place to work visit [inaudible] dot com four slash better. Alright, here we go. Fastly to Legion. It’s time for the home. Okay. Peter, the Humpty hold on is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robot yet rapid responses are going to help us move onward and upward, faster Peter economy. Are you ready to hold down? Yes. All right. So what is holding you back from being an even better leader today? Time? I, I just, uh, you know, you’ve got to have time more time.

Jim Rembach (29:16):

What is the best leadership advice you have ever received,

Peter Economy (29:20):

empower your people, trust your people, let them do what they know how to do best.

Jim Rembach (29:25):

What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Peter Economy (29:30):

I work really hard. I work all the time. What’s a vacation. What’s that.

Jim Rembach (29:35):

And what do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

Peter Economy (29:40):

Just knowing what people, you know, being, being empathetic to people, um, being a human

Jim Rembach (29:46):

and what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion and it could be from any genre. Of course, we’re going to put a link to wait on the boss on your show notes page as well.

Peter Economy (29:55):

Good to great Jim Collins. That was a great book and it still is.

Jim Rembach (29:59):

Okay. Fast leader Legion. You can find links to that. And other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/peter economy. Okay. Peter, this is my last Humpty. Hold on question. Imagine you’ve begin. Been given the opportunity to go back to the age 25, and you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You don’t take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why

Peter Economy (30:23):

everything is going to be okay? Um, I think, you know, when you’re at that age 25, you don’t know what the future is going to bring, but it’s, it’s all gonna work out.

Jim Rembach (30:31):

Peter. I had funds with you today can continue please share at the fast leader Legion, how they can connect with you.

Peter Economy (30:36):

Uh, my website, Peter economy.com. That’s the best place to find me in what I’m doing.

Jim Rembach (30:41):

Peter economy. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader, Legion honors you, and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

281: Tim Clark – The Importance of Psychological Safety in the Workplace

281: Tim Clark – The Importance of Psychological Safety in the Workplace

Tim Clark Show Notes Page

Going through this current pandemic, Tim Clark learned that a crisis has the unique ability to liquify the status quo. There is always an opportunity in the calamity. Take advantage of the current state we’re in and shift the culture now while it’s in a fluid state.

Tim was born in Utah and raised in Colorado, California, and Utah. He is the oldest of five children with two brothers and two sisters. His birth order thrust him into leadership development by age two when his next youngest sibling was born. Changing diapers and trying to keep the peace with his rowdy siblings cemented that career choice.

Tim grew up in a variety of diverse environments. He spent his early years in Durango, Colorado among the Navajo, the second largest Native American tribe next to the Cherokee, where his father worked as a teacher. He then moved to Los Angeles and lived on a street with incredible ethnic diversity. These formative experiences inspired him to seek out and appreciate human differences and culture and think about leadership in a global context. He has since spent time living in both Asia and Europe.

Tim took a football scholarship out of high school to Brigham Young University where he became a first-team Academic All-American football player. He learned two important statistics while attending college and playing football: First, there was a 100% chance that you would be injured if you play major college football. Second, you had less than a 1% chance of having a fruitful professional football career in the NFL. Both statistics proved accurate. He did get hurt and his NFL dreams went up in smoke. Fortunately, he decided to go to class and do his homework.

His study habits paid off as he eventually completed a Ph.D. at Oxford University in Social Science. But instead of pursuing an academic career, Tim took the business route, worked several years in manufacturing and then as the CEO of two consulting organizations before starting his own firm, LeaderFactor, 13 years ago. He is grateful to have the opportunity to work with leaders and teams from all over the world. He greatest source of satisfaction is to help others discover and act on their full potential. As he frequently admonishes the CEOs he works with, “Act as if you have no power.” He believes that organizations begin to gain a glimpse of their potential when they become culturally flat and their leaders become truly humble.

Tim lives in the Salt Lake City area with his wife Tracey and their children.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @timothyrclark get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“The patterns of psychological safety are universal. They cut across cultural boundaries.” – Click to Tweet

“Psychological safety means it’s not expensive to be yourself in a social setting.” – Click to Tweet

“You need the highest level of psychological safety in order to innovate.” – Click to Tweet

“Innovation by its nature is disruptive of the status quo.” – Click to Tweet

“We can’t afford to miss or not acknowledge the humanity and the personal human connection that is vital.” – Click to Tweet

“If people feel the organization doesn’t value them then it’s the beginning of the end.” – Click to Tweet

“EX drives CX. Your employee experience drives your customer experience.” – Click to Tweet

“A fear-stricken team will give you their hands, they’ll give you some of their head, and they’ll give you none of their heart.” – Click to Tweet

“The number one things that gets in the way in organizations is the insecurity of the leaders themselves.” – Click to Tweet

“You can’t gimmick your way to good leadership.” – Click to Tweet

“Psychological safety is a function of the fusion of the respect and the permission that the environment is giving you.” – Click to Tweet

“The most important learning pattern that you can demonstrate in an organization is to be an aggressive, self-directed learner.” – Click to Tweet

“A lack of psychological safety is the number one biggest social and interpersonal barrier to innovation.” – Click to Tweet

“Psychological safety is the great enabler for innovation.” – Click to Tweet

“Lead as if you have no power.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Going through this current pandemic, Tim Clark learned that a crisis has the unique ability to liquify the status quo. There is always an opportunity in the calamity. Take advantage of the current state we’re in and shift the culture now while it’s in a fluid state.

Advice for others

Learn to coach people one-on-one.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Taking my mindfulness to a higher level.

Best Leadership Advice

Leadership is about influence. Influence is the single best synonym for leadership in the English language.

Secret to Success

Aggressive, self-directed learning.

Best tools in business or life

Being able to ask questions in an effective way with other people.

Recommended Reading

The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety: Defining the Path to Inclusion and Innovation

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

Contacting Tim Clark

Twitter: https://twitter.com/timothyrclark

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothyrclark/

Website: https://www.leaderfactor.com/

Resources

LeaderFactor LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/leaderfactor/

LeaderFactor Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leaderfactor/

Show Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, fast leader Legion. I’m excited because today I have somebody on the show. Who’s going to take something that could be perceived as very practical and simple, and really peel it back to reveal the complexities so that you can move onward and upward, faster. Timothy R. Clark was born in Utah and raised in Colorado, California, and Utah. He is the oldest of five children with two brothers and two sisters. His birth order thrust him into leadership development by age two, when his next youngest sibling was born, changing diapers and trying to keep the pace with his rowdy sibling siblings cemented that career choice. Tim grew up in a variety of diverse environments. He spent his early years in Durango, Colorado among the Navajo, the second largest native American tribe. Next to the Cherokee where his father worked as a teacher, he then moved to Los Angeles, Los Angeles, and lived on a street with incredible ethnic diversity.

Jim Rembach (00:54):

These formative experiences inspired him to seek out and appreciate human differences and culture. And think about leadership in a global context. He has since spent time living in both Asia and Europe. Tim took a football scholarship out of high school to Brigham young university, where he became a first team, academic, all American football player. He learned two important statistics while attending college and playing football. First, there was a hundred percent chance that you’d be injured. If you play major college football, second, you had less than 1% chance of having a fruitful professional NFL career. Both statistics proved accurate and he did get hurt. And his NFL dreams went up in smoke. Fortunately, he decided to go to class and do his homework. His study habits paid off as he eventually completed a PhD at Oxford university in social science, but instead of pursuing an academic career, Tim took the business route working as a research director, VP of operations and CEO before starting his own firm leader factor 13 years ago, Tim is the author of several books, including the four stages of psychological safety, defining the path to inclusion and innovation. Tim currently lives in the salt Lake city area with his wife, Tracy and their children. Tim Clark, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Tim Clark (02:11):

Ready? Thanks Jim.

Jim Rembach (02:13):

Oh, you’re welcome. And I’m glad you’re here now. I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Tim Clark (02:22):

Well, my current passion is, is the book, right, which we just released and the most fascinating thing Jim about this is that I’m getting messages from I’m getting emails from all parts of the world. And I had no idea this would resonate. For example, this week I’ve gotten messages from Australia, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan. And what that’s doing is it’s telling me it’s confirming that these patterns of psychological safety and the needs that we have as humans and organizations, they really universal. They cut across cultural boundaries and all demographic boundaries. And so I’m, I’m pretty excited about that right now.

Jim Rembach (03:09):

Well, and to kind of clarify, and I talk about this being what is perceived to be somewhat practical and simple. I mean, a lot of us have heard in the news things associated with psychological safety, even in my area of the country, I’m in North Carolina, they talk in my area about food safety. You know, that’s a psychological safety element, but the four, um, particular psychological safety elements, uh, stages that you talk about are inclusion, safety, learners, safety, contributors, safety, and challenger safety. So, but from your perspective, um, help us understand what these, these four areas really are.

Tim Clark (03:48):

Sure. Well, let’s let me just step back a little bit general. Let’s talk about the basic concept. So psychological safety means that it’s not expensive to be yourself in a social setting, in, in an organization on a team, whatever the social collective is that you feel free and able to be yourself. When you, when you feel that way, then you will be yourself. If you don’t feel safe, psychologically safe, then that fear will change your behavior. And that’s what we know from the research. And so let’s just think about this through a customer experience, a CX lens. If you’re in an environment and someone has pushed the fear button, what that does is it triggers what we call the self censoring instinct. And so rather than, uh, rather than perform at our best, what do we do? We recoil, we withdraw and we manage personal risk, which is a completely normal thing to do because we’re adaptable creatures.

Tim Clark (04:58):

When we go into a social environment, we engage even subconsciously in what we call threat detection. So we’re looking around and we’re feeling what? So what’s the vibe here? Is it safe? Can I be myself? Right? So that’s why stage one is what we call inclusion safety. The first thing that people are concerned about when they, when they move into a new team or they’re in a new social environment or organization, the first thing is do I fit in? Am I included? How have I been accepted? So that’s stage one. And the reason it’s stage one is because it follows the pattern of basic human need. It’s satisfies that basic human need. If you don’t satisfy that you don’t pass go. You don’t move on. So inclusion safety is always the foundation. It’s always stage one. You only go to stage two. Stage two is learner safety.

Tim Clark (05:56):

Learner safety means that I can learn. I can engage in the discovery process. I can ask questions. I can give and receive feedback. I can experiment. I can even make mistakes again, without fear that I’ll be embarrassed or marginalized or punished in some way. So that’s stage two. Then we’re going to stage three. Stage three is contributor safety, contributor. Safety means I’ve learned. So now I want to apply what I’ve learned, my skills, my experience, my knowledge, to make a difference and to contribute into the value creation process. I want to be able to make a difference. Humans have that inherent, that innate need. They want to make a difference at state street and then stage four. And this is where it becomes very interesting. Stage four, as you said, has challenged your safety, which means I feel I feel free. I feel safe to challenge the status quo again, without jeopardizing my standing or my reputation. Now that puts me at the very highest level of vulnerability. So I need the highest level of psychological safety to protect me because I’m taking on the status quo, but that’s exactly what we need to be able to do if we’re going to innovate because innovation by its very nature is disruptive of the status quo. So in a nutshell, those are the four stages.

Jim Rembach (07:22):

Well, and as I said, you, you, you made, you made, you put depth to those, to what seems to be, you know, somewhat simple, uh, and a greater context so that we can hopefully change some of our behavior behaviors. And we’ll get into that in a second, but as you were talking, and I start even thinking about the first stage where you’re talking about inclusion and going down the path, I started even thinking about the way that we measure people’s performance, especially in a contact center environment. You know, it it’s, it’s very much, you know, statistic based. It’s very much, you know, hitting KPIs. It’s very much about what you did wrong. It’s fair. And so therefore it becomes a situation where, you know, we take that inclusiveness out. I can’t be myself cause I always have to now start quoting policy. Um, Oh, when you start looking at how we go about putting in, you know, some of those quality improvement initiatives, how we go about, you know, setting an expectation and delivering the expectation, and then you have another issue which deals about the person now it’s that while I’m not a real secure person, you know, I’m always on shaky ground and I have problems feeling like I’m included.

Jim Rembach (08:30):

How do you make all that work?

Tim Clark (08:32):

Well, you make a really good point, Jim, for example, in, if you’re in a highly metrics driven environment, then the way that we manage those environments normally is by looking for negative variance. So we look at all of our KPIs, we look at all of our metrics and we say, where are we off? And so we do a negative variance analysis. And then we hone in on that. When we say what’s going on, what happened? You need to go fix that. Now that’s the quantitative side and that’s very important and we have to do that, but we’re often missing the qualitative side, which is where we really provide the extra value that distinguishes us in our service and in the customer experience that we’re creating. And so we can’t, we can’t afford to miss or not acknowledge the humanity and the personal human connection. That is so vital. So I just think it’s a matter of balancing that you have to do that because if you don’t have time, what happens is people say, you know what, I’m just a number I don’t really matter. And I don’t really count. And if they start to feel that way, because the organization may feel that the organization doesn’t really value them that way, then that’s the beginning of the end. It’s always the beginning of the end. Right.

Jim Rembach (10:02):

But that’s kind of funny to say that. I always mentioned that when you start talking about the whole concept of employee engagement and I’m like, well, did you hire them that way? Did you hire up disengaged? No, you didn’t. Right. They were all excited, you know, starting something new they wanted to perform well. So then what happens over time that caused them to say some of the things that you’re talking about, like the beginning of the end,

Tim Clark (10:25):

right? And then it goes back to the research that says, E X drive CX, your employee experience drives your customer experience. You don’t have a unhappy employees that are delivering phenomenal customer experiences. It doesn’t work that way. Right? So it, at the end of the day, we realized that you can’t fake it gimmicks. Aren’t going to get it done. They’re not going to retain your people. And they’re not going to enable the organization to consistently deliver an outstanding customer experience. It doesn’t work that way.

Jim Rembach (11:02):

Well, and even when you’re talking about this, I start thinking about it as an organizational level, at an organizational level, we have some of these important strategic KPIs. And then by the time they get filtered down to the frontline, you know, and, and the way that they get interpreted as far as how you apply them in order to get to those numbers is quite different than what was expected. And I talk about this connection of the head and the feet, right? And that the more, the further away, you know, the more disconnection. And so then you have the whole lot of metrics driven type of management, you know, of people. And I always talk about managing metrics and leading people. And there are two very different things. But when you start looking at the whole metric component and the people component, it’s the front line leader, that is the critical linchpin in all of that.

Tim Clark (11:48):

It is, it is let let, let me, uh, I’m glad you said that Jen, let me state a principle that comes the book, but I think a lot of your viewers and listeners will resonate with, so this is the principle in the book, and it says that a fear stricken team. So I want you to think about the teams that we work on. An end of fear stricken team will give you their hands. They’ll give you some of their head and they’ll give you none of their heart. That’s what you get. So when the employees start to disengage and if they don’t feel, if they don’t feel a psychological safety, then that’s the exchange. That’s, that’s what you’re going to get. You’re going to get their hands. You’re going to get some of their head and none of their heart, what kind of customer experience can you deliver with that combination? It’s not going to be what you want.

Jim Rembach (12:44):

It’s definitely not going to be what they expected to happen when they’re making those decisions at the top level of the organization and why we see those statistics associated with, you know, the people at the top, think we’re delivering an excellent customer experience. And then the customer saying, Oh, no, you’re not

Tim Clark (12:57):

right. That’s right. That’s exactly right.

Jim Rembach (13:01):

Okay. So I think a really key element in all this is in the book, you talk about cracking yourself open. What does that mean?

Tim Clark (13:11):

So what I mean by that is that we take the, we conduct a, a very penetrating unsparing inventory of ourselves, particularly as leaders, because after all we set the tone, right? If you’re in any kind of leadership or managerial position, you set the tone, you’re responsible more than anybody else to establish the prevailing norms on your team. And so you have to ask yourself these very candid questions that we talked about related to the stages. So do your team members feel included? Do they feel safe to learn? Do they feel safe to contribute at full capacity? And do they feel safe to challenge the status quo, which is the hardest one, but those four questions, those are diagnostic questions that any leader can ask himself or herself. And so that’s what I mean by crack yourself open, Oh, those answering those questions really reveals how you’re doing as a leader.

Jim Rembach (14:17):

Well, and I’d like to run through those questions real quick. So you say, do you believe that all men and women are created equal and there’s, hold on, let me do that again. I heard you on that one. Hold on. So let me go ahead and ask a reveal. Those questions are, because I think it’s important to put those in context. So, uh, first question is, do you believe that all men and women are created equal and do you accept others and welcome them into your safety simply because they possess a flesh and blood, even if their values are different from your that’s question, one question two is without bias or discrimination, do you encourage others to learn and grow? And do you support them in that process, even when they lack confidence and make mistakes, number three, do you grant others maximum autonomy to contribute in their own way as they demonstrate their ability to deliver results? And number four, do you consistently invite others to challenge the status quo in order to make things better? And are you personally prepared to be wrong based on the humility and learning mindset you have developed? And of course those are mapped to the four stages.

Jim Rembach (15:28):

And so what we have to be able to do is ask those questions and then therefore create some type of action and behavior modification of that goes into that. And that’s so when y’all got to start thinking about that, and you have a lot of stories in the book where, you know, these things have occurred, um, I start thinking of humps and roadblocks associated with those. Uh, so if I start thinking about these stages, where do people often have the greatest level of pause and time spent to move to the next stage?

Tim Clark (15:57):

Well, I think the biggest, the biggest barrier, the biggest hump initially Jim, is when we go, we move right into stage one inclusion safety, because we have to, this is where we really have to crack ourselves open because we were all dripping with bias and we’ve got to become more self aware of what our biases are. And so the number one thing that gets in the way in organizations is the insecurity of the leaders themselves. That’s number one. So we, the leaders get in their own way because of their bias, which is attached to their insecurity. And so what we do is we, we govern ourselves with, as I say, in the book with junk theories of superiority, we tell ourselves soothing stories. So for example, how many leaders do you know that hide behind title, position and authority? Well, that’s ridiculous. As soon as you’re doing that, you’ve abdicated leadership.

Tim Clark (16:56):

You’re not leading anymore. You’re hiding behind the artifacts that the organization gave you. Your real job is to support people and encourage them and guide them and direct them to influence them in legitimate ways. So we can see that we are ego needs get in the way or insecurity gets in the way our bias gets in the way. So that’s the first big roadblock. That’s the first big barrier that we’ve got to eliminate so that I come to my team and I don’t need to hear myself talk. I can lead more through questions than answers. I don’t need to be the repository of answers. I’ve shed the old industrial mindset that it’s leader as Oracle, you know, this Imperial model of leadership that absolutely is not going to work in the new decade. So these are the first obstacles that I see Jim.

Jim Rembach (17:55):

Well, and as you’re saying that, I start thinking about not just me being aware of that. I also have to be overt, you know, and, and tell people that these are biases, that everybody needs to be aware of.

Tim Clark (18:06):

That’s right. That’s right.

Jim Rembach (18:09):

Cause oftentimes when you start talking about the whole word inclusion, so to me, I see a lot of ironies in that because I see people who are talking about inclusion in themselves are not creating it.

Tim Clark (18:21):

That’s exactly right. They are, they are not modeling inclusive behavior and they are still really afflicted with bias. And a lot of it’s hidden. Some of it’s not hidden. They’re just, they’re still hanging onto it. But until they really shed that, it’s going to be an obstacle because you can’t gimmick your way to good leadership. People can smell your intent, they can smell it. And so we, we, we tend to elevate ourselves to subordinate others and, and we do that, right. Uh, because we’re insecure. And so when you find a leader that reaches this point of overcoming that it’s incredibly refreshing, and what you’ll find is the team will go to the wall for that person, because the intent is correct. The ego needs have been subordinated, and now we can get to work. We can do incredible things together. And so when you find leaders that can do that, it’s, it’s absolutely amazing.

Jim Rembach (19:30):

Well, you know, you say fine leaders that can do that. Um, to me, there’s an old, there’s a story that I heard something associated with. Uh, it was like many times in business. We talk about an athletics scenario, right. Um, and they talk about sustainable organizations that can be champions and that you can’t buy your way, unless you’re the New York Yankees and to having a world series. Right. Um, don’t have, don’t have the big media market thing. So how do you actually, you know, create a team that has that kind of bench strength, uh, when you can’t buy it, I mean, it’s not like it’s not finding to me developing

Tim Clark (20:10):

no you’re and you’re right. And you’re absolutely right. So I go back to what are the two primary levers that any leader has because they’re always the same number one you’re modeling behavior. And we know this based on the entire body of social psychology research, the biggest influence that you have is based on your modeling behavior. That’s number one, number two are your coaching skills in one-on-one interactions. Those are your two levers. Everything else is secondary. Everything else is what we call scaffolding, your metrics, your, your, your training, your resources, everything else is secondary to those two things. And so you have to, you have to get those two things, right? If you don’t get those two things, right, you cannot compensate for what you lack in your own modeling behavior and your coaching skills. Nothing else will compensate for that. It doesn’t matter what else you have.

Jim Rembach (21:13):

Well, and throughout the book, you’re helping to address those issues, where you have keys and concepts and questions that are just riddled throughout. And one of my favorites, key concepts that you reveal in the book is something that you talk about a leader’s task being to simultaneously increase intellectual friction and decrease social friction. What does that really mean?

Tim Clark (21:38):

So that’s the way that I framed the leader’s job, Jim, because if you think about it, we’re trying to get all the way to stage four challenger safety, where we can challenge the status quo and where we can innovate. That’s really the realm where you innovate. That’s where you create an incubator of innovation. Well, how does innovation happen? Innovation is primarily a social process and it happens through creative abrasion and constructive dissent. That means ideas are colliding. They’re rubbing against each other. And we’re engaged in hard hitting debate. We have to discuss issues on their merits. We have to be able to have marvelous disagreements. So we, we need that. How do you do that? So that means the leader’s job is to simultaneously increase intellectual friction. That’s what I’m talking about. We need the intellectual friction, but at the same time, reduce the social friction because of the social friction rises with the intellectual friction.

Tim Clark (22:38):

Eventually the social friction will shut off and block the intellectual friction. We won’t be able to improve or innovate anymore. So the very skilled leader learns to reduce the social friction and increase the intellectual friction at the same time. How do you do that? Well, first you got to model the right behaviors. You’ve got to instill the right values in the organization. You have to forbidden personal attacks. So there are behavioral boundaries in terms of engagement that you establish and you reinforce every day because that psychological safety is dynamic and it’s delicate, right? You can violate that. And then you can start to destroy that psychological safety very, very quickly. So that’s the leader’s job increase intellectual friction, decreased social friction.

Jim Rembach (23:33):

Okay. So then when we talk about this being a path, um, I start thinking, do I have to go in the order as you lay it out, you talk about the inclusion, safety being the most important, but then I have learner safety, contributors, safety, you know, and the whole challenge is safety. I mean, it, is it one, two, three, four, yeah. Focus on, on, on that way.

Tim Clark (23:54):

So I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you what is absolutely sequential. Number one is inclusion safety. It’s your foundation. That’s your basic human need and challenge. Your safety is definitely the culminating stage because it’s the hardest thing to do to challenge the status quo. So it does, it always is the culminating stage, the most, the most difficult stage you do initially you do have to learn before you can contribute, but after you do initial learning those two in the middle, um, they are mutually reinforcing. You learn, and then you contribute, you contribute. And then you learn because we’re in a dynamic environment, the fundamental sequence is true and it’s empirically validated over and over again. But those two stages in the middle, you can see kind of the, the, uh, the reciprocal nature of those two.

Jim Rembach (24:56):

Well, at each stage, you talk about respect, permission, and social exchange. What does that really mean?

Tim Clark (25:04):

So psychological safety is a function of the fusion of the respect and the permission that the environment that the organization is giving you. Right? So if you think about, if I feel psychologically safe, I have to feel a level of respect, and I have to feel a level of permission to be able to behave and do and participate and learn. So it’s those two things coming together. And so by the time you get to challenge your safety, your respect, and your permission have come to the highest levels, which also corresponds to your highest level of vulnerability. Now, you, you mentioned social exchange in each stage, the, the social exchange between the individual and the organization is a little bit different. So for example, let’s take inclusion, safety stage one, the exchange is there’s actually no performance requirement of me in stage one. I just have to be human and I have to be harmless.

Tim Clark (26:09):

So that’s what I contribute. And in exchange for that, I am accepted. I’m included. I, I gained a sense of belonging. So that’s the social exchange. If you go to stage two learner safety, the exchange is different. Now there’s a performance requirement for me. I have to engage in the learning process in exchange for encouragement in the learning process. Now, this is quite interesting, and you’ve probably experienced this yourself, Jim, in your career, where you, people that you’re managing you’re leading and they need to learn. They need to develop, but they don’t have the confidence to do it. So they’re very reluctant. They bring a lot of inhibition and anxiety to the learning process. And so what that tells us is that as a leader, you need to be the first mover. You need to encourage the learning. Before you expect people to engage in the learning. You may have to hold their confidence for them until they can gain it themselves because they don’t come with that confidence. That makes sense.

Jim Rembach (27:17):

I mean, as you’re saying it, it does cause you’re saying it, but I mean, for me, I can’t, I can’t think that way for me, it’s, I’ve always been trying to, you know, focus on things to learn. I mean, that’s why I’ve been podcasting for sure. That’s why, I mean, so for me, it’s conceptual and like, that’s just too way odd for me,

Tim Clark (27:34):

but that, but you’re, but you’re not like most people in that respect because, because if you think about it, there are many people that come into an organization or they come onto a team and they are, uh, they’re not confident, right? They’re reluctant, they’re inhibited. They are, they’re shy. They’re not, they’re passive. And so they need a little bit of help. And one of the case studies in the book, Jim, you may remember is that when we talk about learner safety, I cite this statistic that every 26 seconds in America, the student drops out of high school. Well, why are they dropping out? That’s a tragedy. Most of these students don’t have some learning disability. They drop out because what we know is that the learning process is both intellectual and emotional. Those two things are interwoven. And so if a student becomes emotionally bruised, emotionally hurt, they can’t learn at full capacity. And so they lose hope and eventually they call it quits. That’s no different in the workplace. There are people that feel the same way. And so they need, they need to experience small wins, small gains to gain their confidence, and then they can engage a little bit more in a little bit more. Okay.

Jim Rembach (29:04):

Okay. So as you’re talking about that, I can see the one side of it. Um, but then you, but you also to me and put that in context of, um, the whole, the learn, the learning aspect. And so for me, when are you saying that those people in that situation, if they were given the opportunity and the expectation set, you know, to learn certain things that they would actually choose not to?

Tim Clark (29:29):

Yes. Sometimes they choose not to. And so, so think about that. And this goes back to some, some, some research that I’ve done in the past, which is think about the learning and habits that people have. So here’s what we know about learning in 2020 in this decade, the most important, the most important learning pattern that you can demonstrate in an organization is to be an aggressive self-directed learner. Well, unfortunately, a lot of people are not like that in organizations, a lot of people are on what we call education, welfare, where they are waiting and relying on the machinery of the organization to carry them along. That is incredibly dangerous in 2020, because you’re relying on the institution to give you your curriculum, to tell you what skills you need to develop to identify your gaps and help you close the gaps. That’s wonderful if they’ll do that. But an organization always has the secondary role. The individual always has the primary role for professional development. So, but not everyone has that aggressive self directed learning, disposition and mindset.

Jim Rembach (30:52):

Well, thanks for sharing that perspective. I mean, so for me, that, that opened up a lot of things, both professionally and personally, quite frankly. Um, so when I start thinking about, um, what you call a blue zone and red red zone disruptors, I think part of this absolutely fits into that. But if you can please explain what those are.

Tim Clark (31:12):

Sure. So there’s the disposition of the, of the individual to learn and perform, but then there’s the environment. So blue on red zone. These are, these are terms that we use to describe what’s happening in the environment as it relates to psychological safety. So in a red zone, that means that there are fear indicators. Okay. So we’re, we’re, we’re looking around and we’re doing threat detection and someone’s pushing a fear button in some way. And so what that creates it restarts to reduce the psychological safety. If it reduces far enough, we actually enter a toxic zone, which is red. And that means, so what’s that, what’s that going to induce in? People’s going to induce behaviors of withdrawal. Uh, and so what they’re going to manage personal risk, uh, self-preservation loss prevention. That’s, that’s the mode that they’re going to go into because they’re in a red zone and it’s not safe.

Tim Clark (32:24):

And there really is the threat of personal loss or punishment or embarrassment or marginalization. If those, if those threats are perceived to be real, then in a red zone, people are going to behave way. So the behavioral consequences are incredible. Now it even goes beyond that. Let’s talk about customer experience. So Harvard did a 12 year study to understand the ramifications of low psychological safety. They did a survey of employees, 25% of employees in a red zone. They admitted that they would take out their frustrations on customers. So that’s, so now we see the unintended consequences of a lack of psychological safety. [inaudible] the unintended consequences are profound. So that’s what happens in red zone.

Jim Rembach (33:18):

Okay. So even when you’re talking and I start thinking about these other studies, that I’ve, that I’ve come across my desk and there was this one study that started talking about IQ levels. Um, and if you think about IQ, a lot of it has to do with focus, right. And it also has to do with the red zone stuff. So if I feel that, can I really do the thinking? And I think this is why you talk about it leading up to the whole innovation innovative components. Because I can’t, I can’t think because I’m too worried about something, right. Where they’re even talking about your IQ will drop like 10 points when you have to go to the bathroom, because you’re thinking about, I gotta go, I gotta go. I gotta go. Not I’m in

Tim Clark (33:59):

that’s. Right. And that shows you again, the interplay between the head and the heart, the intellectual track and the emotional track. So if the emotional track of your inner state of, of self preservation, if you’re in a safe state of personal risk management, are you focusing the way that you could not, not, not remotely. So you cannot perform, you are impaired in your ability to perform.

Jim Rembach (34:29):

Okay. Um, and I mentioned this before we started recording. And, uh, I think it’s, it’s a good place that we can, we should talk about, um, because we’ve been spattering it throughout our conversation, but ultimately going down this path removes the human constraints that are associated with innovation, but to what degree,

Tim Clark (34:50):

well, what we do know based on research is that the number one barrier to innovation is culture. And then if we deconstruct that and we ask ourselves, what is it about culture that gets in the way, it’s the lack of psychological safety? Now we can’t put a hard number on it, but we do believe based on all of the research that we’re doing, that a lack of psychological safety is the number one biggest barrier, social and interpersonal barrier to innovation on any team. Now, there are other things that we need to have. We need direction, we need vision, we need a strategy. We need, we need resources. We need all of those things. But if culture is broken, if people can’t work together, if they don’t have kind of the lubricating oil of collaboration to work together, to solve problems and to come up with solutions, it’s not going to happen. So the psychological safety becomes the great enabler of innovation or its absence becomes the great inhibitor of innovation. And I don’t know any other way around that.

Jim Rembach (36:05):

It’s a definitely a cornerstone, uh, element in all of this. Okay. So when I start thinking about all this and all this human dynamic element and all these elements, uh, you, you have to have some of that focus and inspiration and vision. You talked about all that. One of the ways that we try to find those things is through quotes on the show. Is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?

Tim Clark (36:28):

Well, I’ll, I’ll share a, I’ll share a statement that I’ve kind of synthesized as I’ve been, um, in the research literature now for many, many years, and your listeners and viewers may find this valuable to some degree. And, and it’s, it’s, it’s a very, it’s a very short statement lead as if you have no power. And so I would leave that with your listeners, because what it means is it starts to help you understand that, forget about let’s clear the decks of title, position, and authority, and all that, all of the accessories that we gained from the organization, and let’s focus on pure, positive influence and where that comes from. So we’re going to be agnostic to all those other things. So if you think that way, it, it helps you, it helps you understand the power of psychological safety in creating this enabling environment. How do I foster that? How do I cultivate that? How do I reinforce it? And then, and then I real, and then here’s the companion concept. The companion concept is that I, as a leader, or you as a leader, every leader out there, you cannot be a neutral actor. You’re going to lead the way or you’re going to get in the way. So what are you going to do? It’s that this, this, ultimately, this is a decision that we have to, to face and own every day.

Jim Rembach (38:04):

No, as you say that, I start thinking about some of those folks where you almost need to say that to them, but I now worry, you know, is that something that I should even say, meaning that I need you to lead, or you need to get out of the way? I mean, right. You know, sometimes you just have, I mean, do you have to be, you know, that clear or you’re saying avoid that?

Tim Clark (38:24):

No, I think you have to be pretty explicit, but it’s not it’s because it’s something that it shouldn’t be, uh, it shouldn’t be something that causes people to become defensive. It’s universal to all of us, we all share this it’s, this is the human condition. If you’re in any kind of leadership role, then by virtue of your role, you are going to lead the way and be a net positive, or you’re going to get in the way and be a net negative one. One of those two things is going to happen because you cannot be neutral. And so I think just acknowledging that in our conversations and in our coaching discussions is extremely helpful. It’s, it’s the reality that we all have to work with.

Jim Rembach (39:13):

It is, it definitely is our reality. And I would dare to say, a lot of people have been forced into a new reality because all this COVID stuff and then have found themselves where they haven’t been part of the development. Haven’t been part of that, right. Culture hadn’t been, and now they find themselves affected or infected in a way that they never suspected that’s right. So when I start thinking about all this and these learnings and your experiences and all that stuff, I’m sure, you know, you’ve had in some cities where you’ve had to get over the hump and a great lesson was learned that could be shared and learned by others. Is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share?

Tim Clark (39:51):

Wow, I’m one of those I think is happening right now, Jim, during this pandemic, and this is, uh, this is a lesson that I learned. Well, it was, it was a research finding that we learned a long time ago in school, but I’m learning it at a deep human level today. And that is that a crisis has the ability has this unique ability to liquefy the status quo. So, so let’s think about the status quo in every organization. What happens in organizations is that the status quo the way we do things. It becomes fossilized over time. It gets hard, right? It calcifies. And then we know we need to change it because we need to be adaptable. We, you can’t be competitive and you can’t, you can’t be successful unless you’re adapting, but we go back and we try and adapt. And we find that we have this fossilized status quo.

Tim Clark (40:51):

And so we try to change it, but it changes incrementally. It’s very difficult to change. We’ve all been there. We’ve all, we’ve all, we all understand this challenge. But today what I’m realizing is that this research finding that we learned a long time ago in school and college, that, uh, a crisis has the ability to liquefy the status quo, make it fluid, presents us with this unique opportunity to choose to shift or transform the culture. And we have it right now. And so there’s a, what I would call an opportunity in the calamity and we have to recognize it, what it is. We all have assets and liabilities in our cultures. And so I would encourage everyone to take a hard look at the culture right now and shift it. Now, while it’s in a, it’s in a fluid state, you have a once in a lifetime opportunity. That’s what I’ve been learning at a deeper level.

Jim Rembach (41:54):

Well, thanks for sharing that. And that’s a very good point. Um, so when I start looking at this work that you’ve done here, you’ve authored several books, um, you know, getting a, getting to know you a little bit more by looking at your social profile. And then all of that. Um, I started thinking about, you know, what, what would be potentially a goal that you would have? And I was wondering if you can share one of those with us.

Tim Clark (42:18):

Sure. So a professional goal that I have Jim, and I’ve actually written this down is to it’s, it’s kinda my deep why. Right? And it is to help others discover and act on true principles. And if I can do that, then I have, then, then I think I’ll have some scalable impact because for me, that’s where, that’s where my deep sense of satisfaction. That’s where my compensation really comes from is to help guide people, escort people through the discovery process to discover the truth about what’s going on with them, right? So greater levels of self-awareness greater levels of, of perception outside of themselves, and then be able to make some, some significant improvements. I think that’s why I do what I do.

Jim Rembach (43:15):

And the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now, before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

Ad (43:21):

An even better place to work is an easy to use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement, along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award winning solutions, guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers to learn more about an even better place to work visit [inaudible] dot com board slash better. Alright, here we go. Fast leader Legion. It’s time for the home. Oh, okay. Tim, the hump, hold on us. The part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust, you rapid responses that are gonna help us move onward and upward faster. Timothy R. Clark, are you ready to hone down? I’m ready. Alright. So what is holding you back from being an even better leader today? But for me, it’s taking my mind

Tim Clark (44:10):

fullness to a higher level. I’ve got to increase, I better improve my mindfulness.

Jim Rembach (44:15):

And what is the best leadership advice you have ever received

Tim Clark (44:18):

that leadership is about influence influences the single best synonym for leadership in the English language. So pay attention to the way you’re influencing others.

Jim Rembach (44:29):

And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Tim Clark (44:34):

Aggressive self directed learning hallways, being in a learning disposition of mindset.

Jim Rembach (44:42):

And what is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

Tim Clark (44:46):

Being able to ask questions in an effective way with other people, the, the, what the why and the, how those are the three most effective questions

Jim Rembach (44:58):

and what would be one book you’d recommend to our Legion. And it could be from any genre. Of course, we’re going to put a link to the four stages of psychological safety on your show notes page as well.

Tim Clark (45:08):

You know, on this one, Jim, I’m going to go back to an, uh, an old classic, the effective executive it’s it’s it’s several years old, but it’s, it’s by Peter Drucker and it’s filled with very sound advice and counsel,

Jim Rembach (45:23):

okay. Fast leader Legion. You can find links to that. And other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/tim Clark. Okay. 10. This is my last Humpday. Hold on question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age 25, and you could take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only choose one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Tim Clark (45:46):

I would take back the knowledge and skill that I have to coach people one-on-one, uh, and the, kind of the, the intellectual bravery and the social bravery that goes with that. I wasn’t very good at that in the beginning. I wish I could take that back,

Jim Rembach (46:02):

Tim. I had a fun time with you today. Can you please share with the fast leader Legion, how they can connect with you?

Tim Clark (46:07):

Sure. Yeah, you can reach out to me. I’m on Twitter, Timothy R. Clark, LinkedIn, Timothy R. Clark, or leader factor.com. Our website. We’d be happy to hear from you,

Jim Rembach (46:18):

Timothy R. Clark. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader, Legion honors you, and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

 

280: Vince Molinaro – Helping Leaders Be the Best They Can Be

280: Vince Molinaro – Helping Leaders Be the Best They Can Be

Vince Molinaro Show Notes Page

Vince Molinaro experienced a defining moment early in his career when he saw a respected colleague and mentor succumb to cancer that she believed was the byproduct of a stressful, toxic work environment. That was a defining moment for him, and as a result, he has made it his life’s work to boldly confront mediocre and unaccountable leadership.

Vince Molinaro grew up in an immigrant household in Hamilton, Ontario – a working-class steel city, located outside of Toronto.

His family instilled the values of hard work, humility, and doing what is right in any circumstance.

At the age of 27, Vince also realized he was an entrepreneur at heart and launched his first consulting business focused on helping leaders be the best they can be and step up when it matters most. While running his business, Vince completed his graduate degrees and conducting pioneering research on holistic leadership.

Today, Vince is a global leadership adviser, speaker, and researcher on leadership accountability. As the founder and CEO of Leadership Contract Inc., Dr. Molinaro travels the world, helping organizations build vibrant leadership cultures with truly accountable leaders at every level.

He has traveled and worked in 25 countries and 80 cities, and he and his team continue to call out the global leadership crisis today and thoughtfully lays out the strategy to address it head-on. His unique combination of provocative storytelling, evidence-based principles, and grounded practicality has leaders at all levels stepping up to fulfill their obligations to drive the success of their organizations.

His research and writing on leadership accountability are featured in some of the world’s leading business publications. He is a New York Times best-selling author and has published several books, including Accountable Leaders (Wiley, 2020), The Leadership Contract (3rd ed., Wiley, 2018), and The Leadership Contract Field Guide (Wiley, 2018). He has also co-authored two other books:  Leadership Solutions (Jossey-Bass, 2007) and The Leadership Gap (Wiley, 2005). He also shares his insights in his Gut Check for Leaders blog and through the Accountable Leaders App available from the Apple and Google App Stores.

Vince, his wife Elizabeth and three children live near Toronto, Canada.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @VinceMolinaro get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“Accountability is personal ownership, your ability to step up, your ability to own your role, and your ability to have the courage to do the difficult things.”  – Click to Tweet

“The new game begins before the old one ends.”  – Click to Tweet

“Transformative technologies is leading to the reinvention of work.”  – Click to Tweet

“Sometimes you need a crisis to move you quicker.”  – Click to Tweet

“The learning never stops. You need to be prepared to go back to the basics.” – Click to Tweet

“Resilience is important, but resilience is not enough. We also need a real deep sense of resolve.”  – Click to Tweet

“We need to set the bar high for ourselves and for our teams.”  – Click to Tweet

“Have the courage to have tough conversations and make difficult decisions.”  – Click to Tweet

“When leaders wimp out they become mediocre.”  – Click to Tweet

“Mediocrity is a slippery slope. Even if you allow just a little bit to seep in in how you lead, you’ll wake up one day completely mediocre.”  – Click to Tweet

“How you see the problem is the problem.”  – Click to Tweet

“Be gentle with the people you deal with everyday because everyone has a burden that they’re carrying that you don’t know about.”  – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Vince Molinaro experienced a defining moment early in his career when he saw a respected colleague and mentor succumb to cancer that she believed was the byproduct of a stressful, toxic work environment. That was a defining moment for him, and as a result, he has made it his life’s work to boldly confront mediocre and unaccountable leadership.

Advice for others

Speak the truth as you see it without holding back.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

A part of me that tries to overcomplicate things.

Best Leadership Advice

Have the courage to go after the issues that other leaders are afraid of going after.

Secret to Success

Have the courage to go after the issues that other leaders are afraid of going after.

Best tools in business or life

Humility around the fact that leadership is a tough role.

Recommended Reading

Accountable Leaders: Inspire a Culture Where Everyone Steps Up, Takes Ownership, and Delivers Results

Man’s Search for Meaning

Contacting Vince Molinaro

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VinceMolinaro

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrVinceMolinaro

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vincemolinaro/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuEBVsDuYUSlFPjc7yQmbrA

Website: https://theleadershipcontract.com/

Resources

 

Show Transcript

Click to access edited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay. Fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today who’s going to help hopefully me clarify an important point, uh, on something that I, I just have an issue with. Vince Molinaro grew up in an immigrant household in Hamilton, Ontario. We’re working class steel city outside of Toronto. His family instilled the values of hard work, humility and doing what is right in any circumstance. Vince experienced a defining moment early in his career when he saw a respected colleague and mentor succumb to cancer that she believed was the byproduct of a stressful, toxic work environment. That was a defining moment for him and as a result, he has made it his life’s work to boldly confront mediocre and unaccountable leadership. At the age of 27 Vince also realized he was an entrepreneur at heart and launched his first consulting business focused on helping leaders be the best that they can be and step up when it matters most.

Jim Rembach (01:00):

While running his business, Vince completed his graduate degrees and conducting pioneering research on holistic leadership. Today, Vince is a global leadership advisor, speaker and researcher on leadership accountability. As the founder and the CEO of leadership contract inc. Dr Molinaro travels the world helping organizations build vibrant leadership cultures with truly accountable leaders at every level. He has traveled and worked in 25 countries and 80 cities and his he and his team continue to call out the global leadership crisis today and thoughtfully lays out the strategy to address it head on his unique combination of provocative storytelling, evidence-based principles and grounded practicality. Has leaders at all levels stepping up to fulfill their organizations to drive the success of their organization. Well, his research and writing on leadership accountability are featured in some of the world’s leading business publications. He is a New York times bestselling author and has published several books including accountable leaders, the leadership contract and the leadership contract field guide. He is also a coauthor of two other books, leadership solutions, and the leadership gap. He also shares his insights in his gut check for the leaders blog and through the accountable leaders app available from Apple and Google app stores. Vince and his wife Elizabeth live near Toronto with three lovely children. Vince Molinaro, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Vince Molinaro (02:31):

Yes, I am. Thanks for having me.

Jim Rembach (02:33):

Thanks for being here, fans. Now I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Vince Molinaro (02:41):

Well, you know, it’s a given the world we’re in right now. Uh, the passion that I’ve always had on helping leaders be the best they can be is what drives me. Because given the experiences I had early in my career, uh, I learned that leaders can have a tremendous impact on the lives of their, which in turn influences the lives of customers that companies and organizations serve. And I’ve led, I’ve been fortunate to be led by great leaders who I really admired and found how I just intrinsically stepped up to want to please them, want to have them feel proud about my contribution and want the really drive our success. And I had the flip side. I worked with leaders who weren’t as great, mediocre, sometimes downright awful. And I can, you know, I knew what that felt like at a very deeply personal level and the impact it had on my performance and my morale. And so to me it’s really simple. It matters more now. It matters even more given how our world has been offended. And that’s what drives me every single day.

Jim Rembach (03:45):

You know? And as you’re talking, there’s so many things that kind of, uh, you know, taking little notes down that I want to chat about. Uh, but before we get down into that, for me, I had mentioned something about something that I struggle with that I’ve been, it’s just been an issue for me for, for quite a while is that concept of the word accountability and accountable. Because oftentimes when I hear that word, I’ve, I have come to create this bias associated with it. And the bias for me has vivid imagery about somebody’s hands being in a choke position around somebody’s neck. Sometimes it’s mine. You know, sometimes it’s me doing it. Right. Cause you talked about how it influences an impact of my own behavior because for me, I do get immersed in the environment. I, I am in, and I know I’ve been in some of those environments where it’s like, gosh, I’m, I’m one of those people now. Um, so help us understand what is accountability.

Vince Molinaro (04:40):

It’s such a great, uh, you know, it’s a great point that you make during, because I think there’s, um, you know, a lot of confusion about what it means. And we have developed kind of this implied definition that I don’t think works for us. Um, you know, and before I kind of give you the definition, I’ll kind of give you a story that I didn’t realize it at the moment, but my very first, uh, part time job was at a men’s clothing store. I bought it when I was 16 at a time when the industry was very traditional. And a manager, Gary of that store, took a bet on me. You know, I, he said, you’re too young. Uh, I can’t see at work, but I convinced them somehow and he gave me a shot. And what I found about his style is he led through example.

Vince Molinaro (05:22):

Um, and he didn’t dictate what we needed to do. He just kinda, you just saw him and you wanted to rally around him. So he had a sense of personal accountability that he didn’t have to demand it from us. He inspired it, right? He got promoted to our flagship store, the largest store that this company had. And in came Steve, his replacement and one of Steve’s famous sayings was, don’t do as I do. Do what I say. And that was so contrary, you know, so different than how led, and I found myself, even though my job hadn’t changed, feeling completely different, he tried to really communicate that there was a different standard for him than there was for everyone else. He didn’t need to be accountable, but he expected everyone else to do to do so. So you can imagine how successful he was. It didn’t work.

Vince Molinaro (06:15):

Now I didn’t realize that lesson, but as I did this work over on, you know, over the years I look back and kind of go, Oh my goodness, the seeds of leadership accountability were there in those early experiences. So I use the term leadership accountability because it has to start with leaders and it has to start with a sense of personal ownership for your role to really understand what it means to be a leader and to embrace that it is to set the tone for others so you can inspire that in other than you don’t ask someone to do something, you wouldn’t be prepared to do yourself. Right. And it’s to have that courage and that resolve to do some of the difficult things that leaders need to do. Now, here’s what I’ve also learned through my global travels is for example, I’ve spent time in Spain and Latin America where Spanish is the primary language and I’m in those countries and the people sort of realized, you know, Vince, we don’t have a word for accountability in our language, but yet we have it as a problem in our organization.

Vince Molinaro (07:13):

So how do we build it when we don’t have, we’ve been way of thinking about it and describing it. For example, I spent time in Italy where, where they said their term, they accountability for them is really about who’s to blame when something screws up. Right? And there’s an element of that, right? There’s an element of that to accountability. So for me it just comes down to personal ownership, your ability to step up, your ability to own your role, your ability to have the courage to do the difficult things we have to do as leaders.

Jim Rembach (07:44):

So you, you mentioned, and this is an important point and you already brought it out, um, the difference between the, the leadership, uh, accountability from an organizational perspective and that self-leadership responsible, and you call it a dual response. Um, so when you start talking about that dual response, you start getting into, you know, the, the new game, you talking about the new game and then it begins before the old one ends. What, what does that really mean?

Vince Molinaro (08:10):

Well, you know, um, we’ve always, uh, my teams and I have always worked with organizations that were at some kind of an inflection point. And, and that means there was a shift in their industry. Uh, they were launching a new strategy. Uh, they needed to come together after a major M and a event. And they really need to figure out that the kind of leadership that they had was not going to be the leadership they needed in the future. And in the, in the book accountable leaders, I really as looking at the future that that was coming, this was all pre COBIT of course, but looking at the future that leaders were going to be, uh, having to lead. The one quote that really jumped out at me was, you know, Clayton Christianson’s quote around the new game begins the old before the old one ends.

Vince Molinaro (08:54):

And to that’s so, so nicely captures the real dilemma that leaders have in a world that’s being disrupted, that’s being changed at a rapid pace where your own success maybe creates a sense of complacency and you stop seeing how things are evolving and changing and shifting and not responding quickly enough. And you can see story after story of great companies who no longer exist because they missed how the game changed. And so it really means for us as leaders to be perpetually focused on understanding the change being on top of things and changing before you actually need to change.

Jim Rembach (09:35):

Okay. So now you bring up a really important concept. So you know, a lot of leaders talk about situational type of leadership, right? And that you can’t do the same thing when you have moments of crisis as you would when you are not in crisis. Well, arguably you can say we’re always in crisis now. Uh, however, you know, we have forced transformation that has occurred and there’s not going back. I mean, there is no going back. Um, it’s not going to be the, you know, what normal used to be. It’s now permanent, you know, new, normal. Some things may have the opportunity, if you think about it in a continuum perspective, to go back other things, it’s not going to happen. So when I start thinking about accountability and context and I now have a different situation, when you start referring to that, what does, what does that mean from a leader perspective? Because now you talk about Mo, you talk about modeling. There ain’t no modeling this new stuff. I mean, so what do I need to do?

Vince Molinaro (10:31):

Well, the first thing is really understanding how the context has changed, right? Is, is to really try, you know, you know, we’re using the term new normal. Um, I kinda like using the term new reality because I don’t know what’s normal yet but there, but we need to understand what are the new realities where we’re grappling with in terms of, you know, industries that have been upended in terms of new rules and how employees are going to work, whether it’s going to be completely virtual or a combination. Uh, how do you lead in that environment? So there are new, new emerging realities we have to understand. So that that notion of the context is what defines leadership as something I’ve always believed in. Then you’ve got to really think about, okay, so what does this mean in terms of how the expectations of me as a leader have changed?

Vince Molinaro (11:21):

And then am I up for it? You know, and, and my, the book that’s kind of a foundation to this new book, accountable leaders called the leadership contract is we’ve signed up for something really important as leaders. But when something in your context changes dramatically as it is now, you have to really think about it. I just had a conversation this week with it, with a colleague in an organization where a CEO had been in place for about three months, started earlier in the year and this was sort of going to be his last hurrah, you know, a illustrious career. And then this happened and within three weeks of covert he resigned. And his reason was I didn’t sign up for this. He just didn’t, he realized in himself he didn’t have what it was going to take to lead through this period of time. So one could say, well, why would he do that? In many ways he was honest. He realized what his organization was needed and he wasn’t the person, he didn’t have the emotional fortitude. And I think all of us as leaders need to pause and reflect on how has the leadership contract changed for me. What are going to be the new expectations of leadership? I think there’s gonna be more complexity. There’s more challenge, there’s more opportunity. Uh, but we can’t assume everyone’s going to, everyone in a leadership role is going to be up for that.

Jim Rembach (12:38):

And so what do you say that, you know, you talk about in the book that there’s five elements, uh, being part of the emerging context for leaders. And you talk about transformative technologies, geopolitical instabilities, revolutionizing work on delivering diversity and repurpose, uh, in corporations. So when, when, when you start talking about that, I, I, I think about this particular a speech that was given by Teddy Roosevelt back in 1903 and back then he was talking about one of the biggest issues in the U S being immigration

Vince Molinaro (13:17):

[inaudible]

Jim Rembach (13:17):

still a hundred plus years later dealing with the same issue. And when I think about these five elements, I’m like, well, heck, they, you could arguably say that those issues were being dealt with by leaders a hundred years ago. So how has the context really changed since?

Vince Molinaro (13:31):

Well, I th I think it’s, it’s, I think those, those broad categories have always existed. I think what’s in those categories is what’s changed. So, so if you think about, you know, like it’s fascinating, all the conversation and, and these are not five distinct categories. They, they really do intermingle, right? Transformative technologies is leading, you know, to the reinvention of work, right? Uh, which is causing employees to think about, well, what’s the purpose of a corporation? Um, you know, even, you know, as, as Cobin broke out, the first thing I did is think about, Oh, how does, how does this global pandemic play out against these five categories? And I kind of go, well, luckily we’ve got this kind of technology that’s allowing us even to be able to do remote work. The transformative technologies now that have been in place are now being accelerated.

Vince Molinaro (14:21):

Look at healthcare. Virtual visits now are becoming more of a commonplace. Well, we always have the technology to do it. Why didn’t we implement it sooner? There was a lot of talk about that, but sometimes you need a crisis to move you quicker. Um, geopolitical, uh, instability, I mean covert is a completely geopolitical issue with what’s been happening in China and other parts of Europe and countries that are helping each other out or not helping each other out. And, and even within countries how you have things very regionalized, you know, the whole what work is being redefined as we speak. Uh, covert is impacting the inequities that exist in our society around those who are less fortunate will suffer, unfortunately greater than those who are privileged. And we’re asking ourselves, what’s the purpose of a corporation and how can corporations be a big part of the solution moving forward?

Vince Molinaro (15:15):

So you’re absolutely right. Those five broad categories have always been the big things leaders have had to deal with in their context. I think what’s changed is what it means now and how they’re all kind of coming together at the same time at this pivotal moment. And we’ve got to be aware of it as leaders sometimes and I write about in the book is there’s even research that reflects it reflects it. Too many leaders are just kind of with blinders on, heads down, just focusing on execution and not being aware of some of these broader issues that they’re dealing with within their industries, within their countries. Uh, within the places they do business.

Jim Rembach (15:52):

Yeah. Well you ask, I think talking about that geopolitical and universal type of know issue and focus, a question that you hear all the time is, you know, so why do we not have better leaders?

Vince Molinaro (16:07):

Well, I think, I think it’s a couple of reason, right? Um, a couple of reasons. The first is that context keeps shifting and it keeps raising the expectations, right? So that’s one. One is about context. Um, the, the, the second, um, is that how we’ve, how we’ve really approached, uh, putting people in leadership roles has been a very consistent story. And it’s really about, we’ve had this history of putting great technical performers into leadership roles. And I’ve heard this over and over again in all my conversations and all my speeches where I asked people around the world, uh, so tell me how you first got into a manager or leadership role. And you know, the first answer is, well, if I’m going to be honest, I got in by accident. My manager came to me one day and said, Hey, I got this job. I need you to do it.

Vince Molinaro (16:59):

Go ahead and there’s no development, no support, and you kind of figure it out on your own. And now all of a sudden you’re, you’re responsible for a team. Uh, you’ve, you’ve spent your whole career driving your success individually being measured on your individual performance. Now you’re being measured on team performance. How does that work? I’m not sure how to do it. So you figure it out. Some are able to succeed, some struggle and some don’t, don’t succeed at all. Uh, the other, the other one is, um, the people that we pick, we’re the best sales person, the best engineer, the best analyst, the best teacher. It doesn’t matter what the, you know, what the area of technical expertise is. When you Excel in your performance, we go to those people and say, you’re so good at this job. Now we’re going to give you this job that’s completely different.

Vince Molinaro (17:43):

And by the way, it involves managing people and we going to pay you more and we’re going to give you the cooler titles. And so you feel entice, obviously, and you want to, you know, make your boss happy and you say yes. So those roles without really appreciating what it is, and that’s not to say there aren’t people motivated to be leaders, uh, that, that’s great. But the story is pretty consistent, right? That that’s sort of the game plan, you know, that that happens time and time again. And then the third part is how we’ve gone about developing leaders has been really, really traditional and, and it’s, you know, I remember working with a client once and it was the first, uh, conversation and this senior executive said, you know, we, we need a core leadership program. You know, that, that’s a, I call it the carwash model where you just had this vision of just putting leaders through this program, like a carwash at that, at the end they would all come out, you know, shiny and new and, and, and, and impeccably clean. Uh, these brand new leaders. Well, it’s, it’s a little bit naive that that is how we do it. But yet that’s how it’s done. Even even to today, I think we’ve gotten more sophisticated. But now the challenge we’re going to have is how do you develop leaders in a virtual world? How do you develop them as they’re dealing with increased pressure and scrutiny? And those are questions we still got to figure out.

Jim Rembach (19:01):

You know, you bring up, I mean, as you were talking, I’m like, Oh my gosh, that, that, that storyline is played out at all levels too. Cause I mean, you see even at the frontline level, so I, I mean when I call center coach, we have a virtual leadership Academy that’s a blended learning program where there’s, you know, defined pathways of development. There’s micro courses, there’s live, uh, interactive courses, there’s community and it’s, you know, it’s broad based because everybody does learn differently. But one of the things that I do find that’s, that’s quite interesting is oftentimes, and the studies show this, and you mentioned it yourself, is that somebody is put into a leadership role then. And if they do receive any type of development whatsoever, on average it comes three to four years after they were placed in the role. That’s the problem.

Vince Molinaro (19:53):

Well you know, and what’s fascinating is when we’ve got in, you know, we’ve had, we have programs for frontline leaders that really give them a core skills they need to be successful as a frontline leader. Well often the people making the decisions for those programs are the senior executives, right? So we’re in there, you know, in a, in a sales meeting or a conversation. And I can’t tell you how many times the senior executives kind of, you know, sheepish sheepishly kind of say, is there any way I can get this program cause I never got these skills. And there they are as senior executives, really smart, smart people, leading massive companies. Without those basic skills of giving feedback, coaching, really listening to people. And you kind of go, well, why isn’t leadership stronger than it needs to be? Well that’s kind of what we’ve inherited. You’re absolutely right.

Jim Rembach (20:40):

Oh, that’s too funny because when I first started the Academy, it was all about emerging. And that frontline leader and I started having people enroll that had these senior level titles like what’s going on. Right. I didn’t, I did not target you people. Right. I did not even consider that. And so I started asking questions and I got three responses. One is, uh, well I was never on the front line. I don’t even know what these people are really supposed to be doing. Um, another is, well, it’s been a long time since I’ve been on the frontline and I need to, you know, refresh and uplift my skills. Yeah. And then the other one is, well, if I’m expecting you know, these folks to go through this and to learn and develop, then I need to, I need to know what that’s all about so that I can inspect their performance answers. But I just never considered it.

Vince Molinaro (21:26):

Well, and I love, I love just that, that perspective, right. Because the, the other perspective that you see a lot of is, you know, people in senior leadership roles thinking that all of that is beyond them. It’s like, well, that’s for everyone else, but for me. So the fact that you saw that, I would admire and applaud those individuals to kind of say, yeah, there are reasons why I need to go through it that are personal but also important for the business. So that I think is really healthy when someone can, you know, can kind of say that, you know, I even worked with a hospital, a chief of staff, um, physician who decided that he was kind of gonna go back, um, to, to practice, um, kind of, you know, do surgeries and practice, uh, his, his skills as a physician that he has long been away from as an administrator because he wanted to set the tone to everybody, all the physicians in this large hospital. It’s a group of hospitals that the learning never stops and that you need to be prepared to go back to the basics. And that’s, you know, very few, very senior accomplished leaders, you know, have the humility that to do something like that. So I get charged by leaders like that, who, who want to set that kind of tone.

Jim Rembach (22:34):

Yeah. And that’s a great point. Uh, and, uh, Doug Conan who was on the show talks about one of his principles being, you know, learn or die. Yeah. I mean it’s, it has to be something that is gone going every day. So therefore, and you talk about this in your book, the resiliency component. So when you’re forced into a situation like we are as far as force transformation, you’re going to be more resilient if you have that foundational backup.

Vince Molinaro (22:59):

Yeah. And then on that one, I just released a new book this week on adversity and what I’ve also talked about, you know, resilience is important, right? Then it’s, and it’s defined as that ability to bounce back. So we, you know, we understand that that’s commonly understood, but I’ve always felt, certainly as I lived through my own leadership roles and the adversity that I faced, I quickly realized resilience isn’t enough. Um, you know, you keep bouncing back over and over again. I use the analogy of, I don’t know if you had this as a kid, that, that kind of bozo the clown punching bag toy that, you know, you kind of hit it and just keep coming back up and over a period of time that can wear on you. And what we need in addition to it is a real deep sense of resolve. And I think that’s what we’re going to need to draw on over the next little while as we’re coping. Uh, you know, the world that we’re in right now is that just that sheer determination, uh, to bring people together to lead them through this and come out the other end, hopefully in, in a, in a better place, uh, hard to see that now given, you know, a lot of the tragedy, tragedy that people are experiencing. But ultimately that’s what we have to do as leaders.

Jim Rembach (24:04):

Yeah. And we will persevere. I mean, it will happen. And in the book you, you really focus in on the first part of the book, uh, on that whole individual element and component. And we talked about that being one of the areas to focus in on. And then you start getting into, okay, well I, I, let’s just assume that I have, uh, the skills and the characteristics and all of that. And so then how do we create community? And so you talk about which I think we can all resonate with five characteristics of mediocre leaders. And I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time on that because we know those are, in other words, they blame, others are selfish and self serving on still in mean, you know, inept and incompetent and they not lack initiative but are willing and want to focus more on the five behaviors of truly. Um, and again, there’s that word I still have to get over advanced accountable leaders. Um, so run us through those five.

Vince Molinaro (24:54):

Well, the first, the first is it begins with holding yourself and other ones to high standards of performance. Right? Now one might say, well that’s obvious. Yeah, a lot of this stuff is obvious, but it’s not in practice. And I’ve got the research in the book that demonstrates that. No, that’s the foundation. Right? You know, a lot of people now are talking about, well how do you lead in a virtual world when you don’t see your workers? And I always like asking what’s really changed? You’ve got to drive results. Yeah. You’ve got a plan. You’ve got to drive. Yeah. Mmm. Okay. You may not see them every day, but they still got to drive those results. So what are your standards now? Have they changed? Have they have to be more because of the conditions, but nothing’s changed. It’s always about the, excuse me, it’s always about the high standards that we need to set the bar high for ourselves and for our teams.

Vince Molinaro (25:48):

That’s, that’s what we’ve learned where it starts. And this is all based on research that we’ve done, you know, globally. The second, and it ties directly to, um, uh, the research as well in my work with the leadership contract is having the courage, you know, to have tough conversations and make difficult decisions. And we see this over and over again. When leaders wimp out, this is where they become mediocre. We have a lot of people in leadership roles that avoid the hard work and a lot of the hard work is always around people, right? They’re not giving cabinetry back, they’re not managing poor performers aggressively. And now the complexity is how do you do that when people are working remotely and you don’t have as much line of sight to them that that’s the new challenge for leaders. The third is, and this is tied to the standards, but it’s about bringing clarity to people is, is their ability to communicate the strategy to everyone.

Vince Molinaro (26:43):

But it’s not just kind of, you know, reading a bunch of slides and saying, you know, here are our pillars. Here’s our strategic pillars and here’s our objectives. It’s really helping translate what the strategic comparatives are for the team and for every individual. So I know how I fit in contributing to the overall success of the company. Right? That becomes important. The next one is really interesting and really needed now is that they express optimism about the future and in the company. So that means that you are personally excited to be in the company, right? Um, that kind of excitement oozes out of your pores in a very genuine and authentic way. It’s not, you know, phony RA type of speeches is, is that this is the place and I think it’s really important that you’ve got to ask yourself if you’re not excited, if you look to the future and you’re not optimistic, you got to really question whether you need to be in that leadership role at that moment in time because you’re not doing yourself or your teams any favor around that.

Vince Molinaro (27:44):

And the, and the fifth one is really tied back to our earlier conversation around the context is that there, they certainly have their heads down executing on priorities, but they balanced that with kind of looking externally to see what’s coming so they can anticipate things and they can pivot when they need to. So those tend to be the five behaviors of truly accountable leaders that kind of really set themselves apart from the rest. And in the book I share research that really shows that these leaders really exist in industry leading industry, leading performing companies. And you can just see how different they are from the mediocre leaders in poor or even average performing.

Jim Rembach (28:27):

So as you’re talking about that, and I think about these statistics and I’m looking at those organizations that are not in that top tier, you know, how are, because nobody wants to self admit that, you know what, I’m just one of the mediocre ones, right? I mean, nobody’s going to do that. Yeah. So, you know, w what is, what is going to have to happen in order for that realization to her and changes start to happen so there, or I can get to the top tier.

Vince Molinaro (28:57):

Yeah. Well, you know, the, the, the, you’re, you’re absolutely right. Um, we don’t want to admit it publicly, but you know, I think, uh, my sense is most people know if they’re in a leadership role and they’re struggling and they’re mediocre, they kind of know it. I can tell you 100% with a hundred percent insurance, everyone else around you knows it. Right. And, and, and so there are no surprises, but, but you have to understand, it’s not necessarily about them. So this is where the organizational piece comes in. Because what I find is a lot of times when you confronted in, in sessions with leaders and they sort of admit it, have the courage to admit it. You know, they don’t, they’re not making excuses, but they’re kind of saying, well, the organization hasn’t really made it clear what it means to be a leader.

Vince Molinaro (29:39):

And so they have to set expectations. And I talk about how you do that through a, a leadership contract for the company that says, here are the four or five or six things we expect of our leaders. And you and I’ve seen a shift just by doing that because now leaders say, Oh, I get it now. Okay, I can work towards that. But without it, you know, some leaders can kind of pick it up, but a lot of leaders don’t. So, so, you know, they, that’s why I think a dual response is necessary then, then you have to find, do you really want this role? I, I share a story in a book where one person based out of, uh, just outside of Chicago, uh, attended a speech. I did really like the ideas. And then I met up with them about a year later by accident when I was back in Chicago and he’d said, you know, I took those ideas and I went to our CEO because he had a CFO who was his best friend and had worked in the company for a long time.

Vince Molinaro (30:30):

He was loyal to him, but he was absolutely mediocre in his role and, and he didn’t want to address it at all. And this, and this guy I talked to kept pushing the CEO. Finally they had a conversation with that, with the CEO, CFO, and he said, it’s the finances that drive my passion. I don’t want to manage at all people. And because of his loyalty to the CEO, he took the job, but he had no passion for the people side of it. So they rejigged his role and made him a pure financial guru. And that gave him, not that he didn’t like people, he wanted to mentor the whole finance. And accounting team, which they shifted his role, brought in a kind of a real CFO that managed the team and the other things. And it was a win win, right? So, so it doesn’t mean that it always has negative outcomes. We just have to have the courage to confront it when it surfaces. I think we need to have the self courage to identify when we, when we’re slipping, right? So go in and has a great line about mediocrities as it’s a slippery slope, right? If you, if you just start even allowing a little bit to seep into how you lead, you’ll wake up one day and be completely mediocre, not even know it. And that’s the problem.

Jim Rembach (31:43):

Well, and I also think too, that, um, when you start thinking about, you know, the younger generation and this whole sensitivity issue, um, I think some people think that you can do this, you know, in a purely blissful and encouraging manner. I mean, in order for change to happen, friction is required. It’s required. So, and we see it now. I mean, this is forced friction. So man, you know, it’s either, you know, change or, or go extinct. I mean, it’s, I mean, it’s okay.

Vince Molinaro (32:14):

Yeah, and it’s a great point because I think what people misunderstand sometimes is, is the, um, the notion of if you’re having a tough conversation with someone, right? Uh, you know, people are a little bit uneasy, you know, Steve jobs, whatever you want to say about him, you know, his brilliance coupled with his harsh leadership style, you know, someone once asked him, why are you so hard on people? And he goes, well, if I’m not, then I’m actually being, I’m kind of protecting myself and I’m not doing them any favors. But if you think about kind of being really tough with an individual, if I think about the people in my life who had the courage to come to me, to sit me down and say, Vince, we’ve got to have a talk in that moment. We hate that experience as humans, we’ve all had that.

Vince Molinaro (32:58):

But when I think about it, it’s like, wow, they cared for me enough, right? To say, I have to sit down with you because I care about your success and you’re on a path here that I don’t think will make you successful. Right? And yet, because it’s so much easier to say, well, I don’t give a crap about that person and not say anything. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it over and over again. We’re a leader just by surprise, gets fired, and then starts hearing about the reasons that nobody had the courage to come, you know, have full disclosure. And they realized, why didn’t anybody tell me? Right? I could have tried to work on something. Right? To me, that’s a real shame to do that. So I think we’ve got to shift our, our mindset around those standards and not have the fear and realize that, that, that real toughness comes from a place of caring about someone caring about their wellbeing, caring about their success. Because we all have blind spots. We don’t see it. All right? So that’s kind of my perspective on it that I think a lot of us need to reframe, um, and not be so hesitant or afraid about these conversations we need to have.

Jim Rembach (34:05):

And as he were even talking about that organizational, you know, expectation setting, envisioning to me that has to be in there.

Vince Molinaro (34:12):

You’re absolutely right.

Jim Rembach (34:14):

Okay. So when I start thinking about all of these factors and all, you know, let’s think about the outcome elements, I of course just because of what I do and where I am and how I feel, I start thinking about the employee and the customer experience. We talked about that translated property, right? So what does all this really mean for the customer?

Vince Molinaro (34:34):

Well, I think, I think it’s, it’s sort of, you know, there’s this research that I think Sears did years back, you know, that kind of, they were able to kind of track, uh, you know, the impact of engagement, employee engagement on the customer experience, right? And customer loyalty. And at the time afterwards, I think some of that research was criticized for being a bit faulty. But regardless of that, you know, there, there are some times just ideas that just make sense. Right? And that to me is one of them, right? Is, is, is that if you look at, and I share some of the research, I, I I didn’t do it. A large firm did that looked at the connection between the leadership experience and the employee experience. So if employees see there’s top level of leaders are working well together, their personal sense of engagement automatically goes to 72% though if they see their top leaders not working well together, lots of conflict, lots of dysfunction, their engagement drops down to 8% right?

Vince Molinaro (35:33):

So companies have been struggling trying to fix employee engagement per year. So you don’t need to bring in foosball tables and enhance, you know, it doesn’t matter now anyways cause it doesn’t look like we’re going to have offices anymore. So you don’t need to worry about that. So now the engagement challenges become even more pronounced. But the leadership experience drives the employee experience, which in turn drives the customer experience. And we all feel that as customers, right? You go, you go into a store, you order something online, you can tell what kind of state that employee is in. And I bet you if you ask, so how are you being managed? They’ll tell you and you, but you, but [inaudible] optional service, exceptional performance, I can tell you behind that are a great group of accountable leaders that are creating the conditions for that to happen.

Vince Molinaro (36:25):

So that, that to me is, is that the other benefit of course is, you know, you talked about the generations, you know, if you think about what has been the impact, what I have learned is, you know, I’m kind of the early lead gen X tail end, Bieber boomer. I don’t connect to both in some ways because I’m at that early stage. But you know, boomers put up with the worst leaders, they wore it as a badge of honor. Gen X aspired for more. Um, well couldn’t quite figure out. Millennials came in expecting to work for great leaders and if they didn’t get them, they left. I think they just walked out. Gen Z is coming in. I think they’re going to be the most interesting generation because they’ve had the most leadership development of any other generation coming in because leadership has become so prevalent as a topic in the last five to 10 years. So I look at my own kids who have had more formal leadership development. The concept of leadership has been ingrained in their head already. I think they’re just going to come in and just naturally lead because that’s what they’ve done. And their ability to work together is actually quite interesting. So we’ll see how it all plays out. But, but that’s the generational slant on all of that. But at the bottom line, it’s great leadership experiences translate to great employee experiences, which translate to a best customer experience. And that’s a winning formula for any company.

Jim Rembach (37:51):

Well, most definitely. And when I think about all of this, I mean there’s just so many factors and I mean it’s the, the, the, the, the, the circumstances, the risk levels. I mean it’s just totally heightened, but so you need a whole lot of inspiration behind you in order to really tackle, you know, the issues that we have today and really move things forward. And one of the things that we look out on the show to help us with that, our quotes, is there a quote or two that you liked that you can share?

Vince Molinaro (38:18):

Yeah, well, you know, I think, uh, I’ll, I’ll probably do three right now if that’s okay. You know, so the first one we talked about is that one around, you know, uh, the new game begins before the old one ends. And to your earlier point, we have been thrust into the new game right now, right? It, all, all of the things that have been happening have been happening pre coven. Now it’s just boom, we, we’ve kind of accelerated and now we need to respond. Um, I love a quote. Uh, you know, the seven habits book from Stephen Covey has a ton of them, but you know, he had this one quote that always stays with me because it’s about my accountability in any situation. And he says how you see the problem is the problem. And I love that line if you kind of think about it.

Vince Molinaro (39:01):

And then the final quote is, is I think sort of an old Yiddish term that says, you know, sort of be gentle with the people you deal with every day cause everyone has a burden that they’re carrying that you don’t know about. And, and, and I think in today’s world particularly, we need to find this balance of driving performance cause we have to but also bring a bit of compassion because people are dealing with a lot. Um, you know, whether it’s homeschooling or caring for elderly parents trying to drive performance, figuring out this whole virtual world. And so we need to know that. That’s, you know, that’s kind of the context we’re in right now.

Jim Rembach (39:40):

I most definitely now to get there. Um, and you and I have kind of talked about this off mic. Uh, we all have, you know, issues that we’ve had to address, learnings that we had. Uh, and we talk about getting over the hump. Is there a time where you had had to get over the hump that you can share with us?

Vince Molinaro (39:57):

Well, the two very quickly. The first one was very early in my career. I worked in a large public sector organization and you referenced it in my bio where, um, a woman named Zinta who wasn’t even my manager, she was two levels removed from my direct manager, but saw something in me, gave me an opportunity. Uh, we had an organization that did really, really important work. We helped some of the neediest people in our society get their lives back on track through financial assistance or retraining programs or going back to school. So the, the, the meaning and the purpose of the organization was compelling in someone coming just out of, you know, uh, my undergraduate program. I was excited to, to have a role like that. But then I was struck by just the feel of the place. You know, I remember entering the office the first time, all I see was, see all I saw was the sea of beige old desks.

Vince Molinaro (40:49):

Uh, you know, really tattered walls and the people kind of resembled the environment, nice people. But they showed up every day as zombies, just kind of going through the motions, committed, you know, to their customer after their clients that they serve. But there wasn’t a lot of energy. And, and she approached me one day saying, um, I think, I think you want to make, have an impact on this place beyond your job. And I said to her, I said, yeah, I do think that I see opportunity. And I didn’t even know how she knew that about me cause I’ve never shared that publicly with anyone. So we set up this small committee, we put some things in place and we started to see changes happening. You know, this doll app, you know, environment of apathy started having more vibrancy, more, more, you know, it was fun.

Vince Molinaro (41:30):

And I started to realize, wow, one manager have an impact. Well, a few months later, unfortunately Zinta was diagnosed with lung cancer, had to leave immediately to start her treatments and all of a sudden everything ground to a halt. The changes we put in place didn’t sustain themselves. Um, a few months went by, I heard she wasn’t doing well. I went to visit her and in that visit she shared with me her experience as a senior manager and kind of pulled back the curtain on a culture that I was unaware of as a frontline employee. This toxic management culture, the infighting, the bickering, the gamesmanship, the politics. And she said, you know, I’ve always taken care of my health. I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life. I have no history of lung cancer. My family, I am convinced that this disease that I’m fighting as a result of spending my career in this environment.

Vince Molinaro (42:23):

And that hit me like a ton of bricks. That two weeks after she actually sent me a letter. That was a time when people still used to write letters. And in that letter she challenged me. She said, what are you going to do bins with your life? Are you going to be a casino? Are you going to be a consequence of a victim of this environment? Are you going to do something different? And two weeks after I got that letter, she passed away. And that letter was a trigger for me to think, you know, what’s my life really going to be a lot about? And, and I, I began to see a world that most of us didn’t, weren’t even aware of as employees. And I decided to leave. And that’s kind of been my mission ever since, is to, I had the glimpse early in my career of what it was like to work with a great leader.

Vince Molinaro (43:03):

I felt what it did to me, how I wanted to really, you know, work hard to, to make her feel proud of me. Um, and then that was gone. And so I’ve been, and that’s on a personal level, why I try to strive to do that myself. Not easy to do, but that’s kind of, you know, the game plan as, as a leader. So the next big crisis, fundamental, uh, there were other ones of course, but the button, it was the last global financial crisis. And at that moment in time, you know, there I think was a reframing. You know, as soon as we started to realize what was going to happen. And I had a really, really great team and I remember in one meeting I said, now we’ll see how good we really are. Uh, because we were pretty successful. We were building a dominant brand, you know, in our, in our space, doing some great work for our customers.

Vince Molinaro (43:53):

But now in the face of adversity, that was the test. And we were fortunate to meet that test. But I think right now that’s the opportunity. We can kind of get overwhelmed by everything that’s coming at us. But I think we look to our leaders to give us a way forward, to maybe reframe the current challenge in a more inspirational way. And I think that’s, I think the opportunity that we have. How do we reframe the current situation, not denying the tragedy that’s around us. Cause that’s, that is hard stuff. But at the end, leaders have to lead. And that’s where we have to find a way to lead our people through inspiration, through optimism, through bringing them together and, and putting that challenge out there. You know, uh, how good are we really? This is the test.

Jim Rembach (44:36):

Well, I am so sorry that she experienced that fate, but so blessed that it was a trigger for you and the fast lead Allegion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

Ad (44:48):

And even better place to work is an easy to use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone using this award, winning solutions, guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work, visit [inaudible] dot com

Jim Rembach (45:07):

four slash better. Alright, here we go. Fastly deletion. It’s time for the home now. Okay, Vince, the hope they hold on as a part of our show where you give us good insights. Facts. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward, faster than small and narrow. Are you ready to hoedown I am ready, Jim. Let’s go. Alright. What is holding you back from being an even better leader to them? Right now

Vince Molinaro (45:38):

it’s the, the, the place where my business is, uh, now where I have to kind of build a lot of our solutions and do them as quickly as, as possible. What’s holding me back. It could be a knee, uh, uh, uh, uh, part of me that tries to overcomplicate things. So I have to really remind myself, keep it simple, keep the momentum going and get it done. Um, and when I find myself kind of embroiled in complexity, stop it.

Jim Rembach (46:09):

What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

Vince Molinaro (46:13):

Uh, the best leadership advice. Um, uh, I, I would, I would say it’s, um, it’s, it’s really around to have the courage to go after the issues that other leaders are afraid of going after. Uh, because if you do, you just create a team that’s open to confronting those issues as difficult as they may be. But having that courage and that resolve to go after things.

Jim Rembach (46:37):

And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Vince Molinaro (46:42):

Uh, well for me personally, it’s, it’s that, that conviction to strive to, uh, you know, given the work that I do, there could be a tendency to preach and not practice. And for me it’s, I think as I talk to my team is our special sauce, uh, is to practice what we preach cause our clients will feel it, will have more integrity in their presence. And that to me is a special element that differentiates us.

Jim Rembach (47:12):

And what is one of your tools that you believe contributes to your success?

Vince Molinaro (47:16):

Well, I think it’s, it’s a humility around leadership is a tough role that you never get there. Uh, you can’t be arrogant about it despite, or in spite of any success you’ve had in the past. So it’s really, uh, for me it’s the embracing the ideas of the leadership contract, making my decision being clear, my obligation, tackling the hard work and building the community. Uh, that’s what I write about it. But that’s what I do personally as well.

Jim Rembach (47:41):

And what would be one book you’d recommend to our Legion could be from any genre. Of course, we’re going to put a link to accountable leaders on your show notes page as well.

Vince Molinaro (47:50):

Uh, I’ve been, uh, rereading, um, uh, Viktor Frankl’s book in, in, in search of meaning.

Jim Rembach (47:57):

Okay. Fast leader Legion. You can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/vince-Molinaro. Okay. Vince is my last time. They hold on question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25. You can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Vince Molinaro (48:18):

I would say, um, I would say that to speak the truth as you see it. Um, and not hold back far more than I probably did and I’m pretty and I’m a pretty direct person, but I look back and go, I could have been even more direct and not be afraid of any re repercussions. And I think there’s a lot of employees that are held that whole back and they hold back insights and information that leaders need to drive success. And we need to unleash that.

Jim Rembach (48:52):

Vince, I had fun with you today. Can you please share with the fast leader Legion how they can connect with you

Vince Molinaro (48:56):

on LinkedIn? Uh, that that’s a, you know, where, where I can be found a happy to connect with, uh, uh, your, uh, your fans, uh, on that. And I’m certainly on, on Twitter. Uh, but LinkedIn is the primary as a source for folks.

Jim Rembach (49:12):

Vince Molinaro. Well, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader Legion honors you, and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

279: Kevin Vallely – Facing the Unknown

279: Kevin Vallely – Facing the Unknown

Kevin Vallely Show Notes Page

Kevin Vallely was travelling with his family at the McKenzie River, when a lone wolf suddenly approached their tent. Surprised and afraid, Kevin fired shots at the wolf to make it go away. After a few shots, the wolf did go away, leaving his family unscathed. The surprise encounter with the wolf left them a frightful impression, and they questioned whether to stop their adventure or not. They ultimately decided to continue on their journey. They recognized why that wolf acted the way it did, and through that process, brought experience and empowerment to their family. Because of that experience, they have learned the importance of pushing through and becoming stronger for it.

Kevin Vallely was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has two younger siblings – a brother and a sister. His parents emigrated to Canada from Limerick, Ireland when they were in their 20’s and started a family. All of Kevin’s extended family still live in Ireland.

When Kevin was 10 years old when he began his journey to become an explorer. He and his younger brother Michael, who was only 6 at the time, became separated from their parents in large department store in downtown Montreal late one winter night. It was closing time and an overzealous security guard decided to kick them out rather than help them find their parents.

Without money or any sense of where home was Kevin was forced to navigate himself and his terrified baby brother home through a raging winter storm. Through trial and error and the chance discovery of a street name he recognized, Kevin was able to lead himself and Michael home. It took them over 3 hours in freezing cold temperatures. It was the scariest moment of Kevin’s young life but also became the most empowering.

Shortly after he began to dream of skiing to the South Pole. It would take Kevin 35 years to achieve this dream, but January 7, 2009 he’d make it to the pole and proceeded to break the world record getting there.

Kevin studied architecture at McGill University and won the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Medal as top graduating student in 1989. He is a registered architect and still maintains a successful architectural practice while working as a leadership trainer and internationally recognized explorer.

The legacy he is most proud to leave behind is his two daughters. He wants them to feel empowered just like he was when he was a kid. He has undertaken numerous journeys with his family including a 1700-kilometer kayak journey down North America’s second longest river, the Mackenzie River, from Great Slave Lake, NWT to the Arctic Ocean in far northern Canada.

Kevin lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia Canada and is happily married with two teenage daughters.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @VallelyKevin get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“Cognitive reappraisal is the quick mental ability to switch and flip.” – Click to Tweet

“Every adventure has to have a sense of realistic optimism.” – Click to Tweet

“Either you quit or you keep going. Adventures keep going.” – Click to Tweet

“You can’t allow yourself to just dwell on the negative. You have to move forward into a positive mindset.” – Click to Tweet

“You have to take a crazy idea and break it down into a set of instructions that you can hand over to someone to do it for you.” – Click to Tweet

“No matter how you feel, you have to feel like you can get it done.” – Click to Tweet

“Even if you’re not whole-heartedly behind something and you’re feeling uncertain about it, put a smile on and be brave.” – Click to Tweet

“We feel at our best if we’re giving more and helping others.” – Click to Tweet

“Organizations that have a sense of purpose have been proven to be more successful.” – Click to Tweet

“The key to innovation is stepping away.” – Click to Tweet

“The magic of innovation is the stepping away moments – an adventure is a stepping away moment.” – Click to Tweet

“You have to be open-minded and willing to pivot on a dime to do things.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Kevin Vallely was travelling with his family at the McKenzie River, when a lone wolf suddenly approached their tent. Surprised and afraid, Kevin fired shots at the wolf to make it go away. After a few shots, the wolf did go away, leaving his family unscathed. The surprise encounter with the wolf left them a frightful impression, and they questioned whether to stop their adventure or not. They ultimately decided to continue on their journey. They recognized why that wolf acted the way it did, and through that process, brought experience and empowerment to their family. Because of that experience, they have learned the importance of pushing through and becoming stronger for it.

Advice for others

Believe in yourself. You are capable of so much more.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Not being confident and certain with myself.

Best Leadership Advice

Trust your gut.

Secret to Success

Perseverance.

Best tools in business or life

Positivity.

Recommended Reading

Wild Success: 7 Key Lessons Business Leaders Can Learn from Extreme Adventurers

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Contacting Kevin Vallely

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VallelyKevin

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-vallely-b0b7bb16/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kevinvallely/

Website: https://www.kevinvallely.com/

Resources

 

Show Transcript

Click to access edited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today who is going to take what we all perceive as you know, kind of like

Jim Rembach (00:08):

practical wisdoms, very simple, understandable, but yet have an immense depth that you would never have expected. Kevin Vallely was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has two younger siblings, a younger brother and a sister. His parents immigrated to Canada from Limerick Island when they were in their twenties and started a family. All of Kevin’s extended family still live in Ireland. When Kevin was 10 years old, he began his journey to become an Explorer. He and his younger brother, Michael, who was only six at the time, became separated from their parents in a large department store in downtown Montreal. Late one Lynn winter nights. It was closing time and an overzealous security guard decided to kick them out rather than to help them find their parents without money or any sense of where home was. Kevin was forced to navigate himself and his terrified baby brother home through a raging winter storm through trial and error and the chance discovery of a street nanny recognized Kevin was able to lead himself and Michael home.

Jim Rembach (01:10):

It took them over three hours in freezing cold temperatures. It was the scariest moment of Kevin’s young life, but also became the most empowering. Shortly after he began the dream of skiing to the South pole, it would take him 35 years to achieve this dream, but January 7th, 2009 he made it to the pole and proceeded to break the world record getting there. Kevin studied architecture at McGill university and won the Royal architecture Institute of Canada metal as a top graduating student in 89 he is a registered architect and still maintains a successful architectural practice while working as a leadership trainer and intentionally and internationally recognized, explore the legacy he is most proudly behind his his two daughters. He wants them to feel empowered just like he was when he was a kid. He has undertaken numerous journeys with his family, including a 1700 kilometer kayak journey down North America. Second largest river, the McKenzie river from the great slave Lake and the Northwest territories to the Arctic ocean in far Northern Canada. Kevin lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and is happily married with two teenage daughters. Kevin Vallely. Are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Kevin Vallely (02:24):

Oh, I am Jim. Very, very psyched too.

Jim Rembach (02:27):

Well, I am glad you’re here. Now I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Kevin Vallely (02:35):

Well, I’m, I’m, I’m passionate about inspiring others to be better. And I’ve been, this is really at the core of what I do. And I’ve, you know, I’ve had, uh, an opportunity to reflect on that and think about my fundamental purpose in many ways. And I recognize that my adventures when I undertake my adventures is that I come back with what skills will learning that then I want to share and an understanding that I can connect those, that wild wisdom garnered in the adventure world to the business world to everyday life, to people struggling with their own issues or overcoming their own challenges. Is that what I’ve learnt in that wild world, uh, has a direct application and I really feel like I’d love to share it.

Jim Rembach (03:18):

Well, and I’m glad that you do. I mean, and I have, I mean for me, I, I’ve had a real joy, uh, reading your book wild success. Um, and w I definitely want to get into that. Um, because for me it was one right after another of a story about some things that seem very practical. We’ll talk about those in a second. But it was like adventure story after adventure story. It was, you know, heroes falling in and having issues and getting some of them terribly, almost maimed in the process and then rising up again. And you know, finding all of these things that we often again seem very practical and simple. It’s like, Oh yeah, okay, whatever. Um, but then the depth to them, especially when you start looking at these group of people is just immensely enriching and priceless in many ways

Kevin Vallely (04:05):

and knowing the individuals themselves and what is intriguing about it is yes, it’s, it’s that classic arc of a narrative where, uh, the hero to a challenge and then back to being a hero again. But for myself and my coauthor Amy Posey, what was fascinating to us was, uh, to dig a little deeper on what got them out of that low point and what magic do they have, what super power do they have? And really what we recognized was that that’s what our assumption was in some ways going in that it’s a super power, you know, a Mark Matthew is one of the greatest big wave surfers in the world. How does he cognitive reframe and how does he come out of something like this? It’s like, well, he’s just different than the rest of us. He’s just this incredible guy who could do things.

Kevin Vallely (04:46):

But the really interesting thing about the book and what we, we studied these, these extreme athletes and fully began to understand what makes them tick is in fact that those special skills are something we all have. And it’s something we can all train and what has made them get out of it because they’ve exposed themselves as adventurous to these challenges all the time. That’s their skillset. They’re always pushing themselves to the limits, always facing adversity. So invariably they have to build these skills to get themselves out of a hole. So what are those skills? And we can, we can all learn them and we can actually all thrive because of them. So that was the real aha for us was recognizing that those special things. So super powers are accessible to us all.

Jim Rembach (05:31):

Well and going back to those super powers, they seem really simple. Although the first one I’m really interested to get your full depth and understanding of it cause it’s called, you call it cognitive reappraisal. And then we have grit growth, mindset, purpose, innovation, resilience, and then personal sustainability, sustainability. So if we can’t, if you can share with us what cognitive reappraisal is.

Kevin Vallely (05:56):

Yeah, it’s, and it’s funny, cognitive

Jim Rembach (05:58):

reappraisal, it sounds very technical term. It’s reframing. It’s reframing a situation. Really. That’s what it comes down to. How do you see a glass half full, half empty? I mean, it really comes down to that, but it’s, it’s training ourselves to do so. And it sounds so much easier than it really is because when you’re really confronted with a difficult situation, I mean, even looking, reflecting on what we’re going through now, how we recognize the environment we’re in with this COBIT 19 crisis is that, how do you see it? How do you frame it? You frame it, okay, Hey, everything’s going to hell. And it’s like we’re all, you know, the economy and, or it’s like, you know, this is an opportunity for us to rethink and refocus and, uh, we’ll be better for in the end. It’s that quick mental ability to switch and flip.

Jim Rembach (06:41):

And that’s something that Mark Matthews is a surfer, uh, has an incredible ability to do, but he’s trained himself to do that. And he was confronted with a horrible situation where he, he basically was told by doctors he’d likely moose his leg and he’d never surfing again. One of the greatest surfers in the world managed to flip his mindset when a young patient, the hospital came into his room who was even more hurt than him, was in fact became a quadriplegic and saying to just see his hero, Mark Matthews. And he said, right away he realized instead of feeling sorry for himself, he realized how lucky was he wants in this young guy. And he flipped and he did. And the amazing thing that Mark is not only has he come back, he’s out there surfing these giants again. So it’s this unique, amazing ability to just flip it.

Jim Rembach (07:23):

And we all, we all can do it, but it’s something we have to train out, train small, and to build up so that when it really is at a difficult moment, like he was faced on his hospital bed, your mind is prone to doing it rather than just going in this death spiral into a horrible place, which none of us wanted to go. Well, and even in the book when you start talking about these seven chat, seven key lessons and the chapters that leaders can, can learn from these extraordinary adventures is, um, you know, when you start talking about putting cognitive reappraisal into action, you say start small and practice, right? It’s muscle and there things you have to continue to do. You learn to recognize your emotions. You know, I’m lucky we’re talking about Kevin and realizing when the young kid came rolling in to his hospital room and then also make that cognitive reappraisal a habit. So, okay, we’re practicing, but then how do you make cognitive reappraisal a habit? Is, are we talking about, you know, shifting always to maybe an appreciative mode? Are we talking about, you know, um, moving outside of ourself and trying to get into other people’s shoes? I mean, what do you mean by doing that?

Kevin Vallely (08:36):

Well, it’s, yes, on all aspects and, or maybe no one other times, but it depends on the situation, the circumstance of course. But it just simple little things. And as much as uh, Oh geez, you know, I got a, I got a flat tire today and how am I going to deal with this? And instead of getting into a sort of really feeling upset with yourself, flipping and going, Oh, you know, jeez, I have at this moment to relax and Hey, my, my, my, my daughter’s with me. I’m going to teach her how to change a tire. I mean, it’s little things like that. It’s just micro moments and making changes. But if you, if you consciously think to yourself, Oh geez, this is not great. Okay, let’s see if I can flip this and just do, and you’re going to find the more you do it, it becomes habit.

Kevin Vallely (09:13):

And next thing you know, when something serious comes along where you’re inclined not to go that direction, your natural instinct will be to fall into habit and to look for the brighter side. We’re not like we’re talking Pollyanna here. This is just realistic. Optimism is so important. It’s critical. And it’s one aspect of every adventure that I’ve, I’ve learned from is that every adventure has to have a sense of realistic optimism. Because when you’re confronted but setback continuously, either you quit or you keep going and adventurous, keep going. That’s what makes them do what they do.

Jim Rembach (09:47):

Okay. As you’re talking, I even start thinking, so for me, I spent a lot of time in the customer experience in the contact center world and I start thinking about, you know, dealing with customers and having to constantly do that and not, I myself was picking up something in a grocery store at a deli counter and this, and the lady who was working there was complaining about them having multiple orders today and saying something to the effect that she wishes they just wouldn’t deliver them. And she continued to go on. And I’m like, and I’m just sitting there not, not necessarily judging her per se, but I’m like, gosh, we have 25% unemployment. Be happy.

Kevin Vallely (10:23):

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And that’s what it is, is recognizing it. And for her to maybe do the switch, that flip that switch as well. You know, salespeople are the ultimate in cognitive reappraisal because they always can see a situation and go, no, no, actually, and make it a really good salesperson. Naturally employees reframe it and they do it just, you can’t allow yourself to just dwell on the negative. You got to find a, you know, a bit of a twist to it, a spin to it where you believe it as well and it’s, it’s real and moving forward. And we go into a more positive mindset where naturally a little bit more creative, a little bit more accepting of things and moving forward and we’re healthier for it. So, uh, again, a small little, uh, uh, habit, but one that can have profound effects on itself.

Jim Rembach (11:11):

Well, and, and like I was saying, I saw I’m a customer, I’m sitting there and I’m hearing that, right? So it’s like, so then I’ll edit. It starts impacting and affecting my experience. It starts impacting and effecting, you know, other employees. I mean, I’ll, I mean, so I think for me the whole cognitive reappraisal and teaching and helping to teach everybody to do that and even setting it as an expectation would be an important thing.

Kevin Vallely (11:32):

Oh, and for a leader, right. And as you were saying it right away, you know, in a way she was almost a leader. We’re all leaders. This feeling that sometimes, well, I’m not a leader. Well, when you lead yourself, you lead your family, it doesn’t matter. But people also look to you and they see how you react to something. And frankly, if someone reacts well to something that’s really bad. I had a friend who went through cancer and I couldn’t believe how inspiring he was through the whole process and it was incredible. And now he’s healthy. But I have just been struck by that. His ability to say Nope, flipped it and became a leader to me in many ways is going, wow, if he can do that, I can, I can do that too.

Jim Rembach (12:11):

Most definitely. Okay. So for me though, when I look at you, I’m like, okay, career architecture, very calculated, very structured. And then you have this adventure, wild side. But I also start thinking how that could also be fed back into the work you do as an architect. And then just tell me because you have multiple disciplines that I think now enable you to have perspectives that are very unique. Um, and so I mean, and so I can see how all of this is coming about and you’re taking what like architecture seems pretty practical and simple, but it has so much depth to it.

Kevin Vallely (12:47):

Yeah. And well, you know what’s interesting there, Jim, is that in fact they’re so similar on some levels because true architecture is coming up with a crazy, wild idea. Like if you want, and I love the idea of designing architecture like something really kind of wow. And you have this crazy idea. It’s like, okay, now how am I going to get this built? And you have to take a crazy idea and break it down into ultimately a set of drawings and specifications that you can hand over to a construction team that can go onsite without you being there. And with nuts and bolts, they can build this crazy fantasy that you have in your head. Same goes at an adventure. You have this crazy idea, I’m going to ski to the South pole. Okay, wonderful. I’ve got this crazy idea. Now how do I start about going about this? And you ultimately have to get to a point where you’re taking one foot after step after another as safely as you can in the context of this completely wild environment and succeed at it. So in many ways, architecture and adventure are surprisingly similar. It’s coming up with this crazy idea that somehow you make a reality. And how do you make it reality there? There lies the magic potion I suppose.

Jim Rembach (13:53):

Well most definitely. Okay. So then you start talking about going to grit, right? And you say grit. You say you need to rewrite your positive story and we’ve been talking about that. Um, there’s one point here that I, that I want to reserve and I want to talk about a little bit more cause I’ve heard conflictions uh, in association with that. But you said troll what you can. Okay. It seems obvious, but you talk, the one thing, other things you talked about is fake it till you make it. Yeah. I’ve heard a lot of people say that that’s not something you want to do for altitude reasons. So I’d love to hear your perspective.

Kevin Vallely (14:25):

Well, you know, I, I, I disagree, uh, humbly so, and I’ve used this so often in the past and I can even, uh, I can reference from one of my clients, a huge organization here in the U S and the world. And, uh, I remember the chief legal officer was telling me about a story where the big massive organization just recently shared this story with me. Massive organization was, was, uh, breaking into two separate organizations. The CEO at the, it was a very difficult process and enough so that they didn’t know whether they were even gonna make it and they had to see Sweden and they had a conversation. And, uh, it was a heavy, difficult conversation. At the end of it. The suite, they were all leaving and all their faces were just feeling horrible. And then the CEO, she took them aside and said, team, put on a smile.

Kevin Vallely (15:11):

You’re going out. You are leaders. You’re going out to your team now is that if they see that they’re not going to feel like we can do this. So no matter how you feel, you have to feel like you can get this done and convey that. And I feel strongly about it because as a leader, we all look to that person no matter who, whoever is leading us forward through a difficult crisis, you look to your leader and you want to see how they act, no matter what’s actually happening. You want to see if they’re confident moving forward. You’ll be confident. It’s, it’s so critical at that moment and to my mind is that, uh, you know, you’re not, you’re not lying about something, but you put a positive spin. Again, cognitive reappraisal, but in that situation, what I mean by that is faking it until you make it. Even if you’re not wholeheartedly behind something and you’re feeling uncertain about it, put a smile on and be brave. If you’re going into thinking about it, are you going to, if you’re going into charging that in battle into the frontline and your leader is nervous and scared, you’re less likely to follow them. And if they’re like, we can do this, let’s go regardless whether they believe it or not fully. So I feel very strongly about faking it. So you make it, I’ve done it many times.

Jim Rembach (16:19):

So then we have, uh, that growth mindset and there’s been a lot of work associated with, you know, mindsets. I mean Carol Dweck, Seminole work area and others continued to expand upon that. Um, but you talk about looking for opportunities, uh, see, you know, learning from feedback. Yeah. And then as well as taking risks and working hard again. Okay. Okay. Seems pretty practical and simple. Um, but what’s the differentiator here?

Kevin Vallely (16:47):

Well, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s funny again and a lot of times these things you have to really think about them cause we tend to drift towards a fixed mindset. This feeling, well, they’re talented. They’ve got it. And that’s the fundamental thing with, with Dwecks theory is that no, actually, uh, we can work at it and we can get better. And recognizing that, you know, someone who has this mindset that if you’re, if, if, if it’s all based on talent, if you’re going to be coming up against a challenge, you’re going to see it as being an opportunity for other people to see or maybe not talented, rather than someone with a growth mindset, seeing a challenges. This is a way to make me stronger. So if I have a setback, it’s like, well, okay, I’m gonna learn from that gonna move forward. So it’s something that adventures invariably have to have in a very, very strong way.

Kevin Vallely (17:31):

We about [inaudible] with growth mindset in the book. And, and Matt has an amazing ability to just coming from very humble beginnings in Australia to wanting to be a, uh, an open ocean sailor, which he succeeded in doing and makes it to Antarctica and back nearly dies in an accident and then decides he wants to be a polar Explorer and becomes one of the first people ever to go to the North pole three times. So it’s fascinating to watch someone just embrace risk and embrace uncertainty, learn from that and grow from that rather than say, well, I just don’t, I can’t do that because I just can’t. I don’t have that. I just think it’s a, it’s a simple thing, but how profoundly important.

Jim Rembach (18:15):

Well, and even when you, when you start combining even this next one together, I think that it’s the growth mindset and this one that really ends up being something that enables that, that that internal motivation that will feed into the some resilience that you talk about. So it’s a combination of a lot of these things in their, in their interrelationships with one another. There are true differentiators. So I would dare to say if you were to take some type of st scoring model or matrix and look at all these adventures, you probably get multiple checks and a lot of these things. Oh yeah, absolutely. Definitely. So the next one being purpose, you know, find your spark, align your spark with your core values. I think that’s critically important so that you know where you stand and, and then also contributing to the greater good. So I think there’s been many examples of these things right here, but for, for you, when you start talking about the finding the purpose, who puts stands out?

Kevin Vallely (19:12):

Well, I have what sends out is giving for greater good. I mean that is the fundamental foundation of it is that why do you do what you do? I mean, really reflecting on it is that there’s all these different reasons your values aligned with it, but ultimately it’s, we feel at our best in terms of purpose. If we’re giving more and helping others in some way. And that is the critical thing. It’s your family members, your friends, your community at large, your country. But understanding that sense of purpose, that’s where purpose comes in on such a fundamental level. And it’s something we don’t tend to think about a lot. And I think we need time to reflect on it, to really recognize it. But, but organizations that have a sense of purpose that have been proven by every metric to be more successful because people feel they’re going to be there, they’re going to be there for the long haul because darn it, you know, this is, there’s real life. There’s meaning in what I’m doing.

Jim Rembach (20:02):

Well, I, even though when you start talking about that, I’m starting to think about these adventures and I started thinking about purpose, I’m like, no, what’s the purpose of going to the South pole there?

Kevin Vallely (20:12):

Well, you know, it actually, interestingly, uh, there was some deep purpose with that in all the different ones. And interestingly enough, it got me, it stimulated me when I was out there, I had a dream to ski to the South pole since, as we alluded to that as a start for 35 years. So I wanted to do this and it was such an empowering thing. But when I was out there, I had a young offender connect with me as a young guy from uh, uh, uh, a detention center in Chicago and he asked me, uh, how do you keep going? Why don’t you quit? I remember thinking I had all these other emails that we were, had a satellite technology. We had over 10,000 school kids following us, right? So all of them were like, are you cold? You have a cold? What are you eating?

Kevin Vallely (20:52):

Either eating butter. Like, I mean, it’s funny little questions then this, how are you going to keep going? Why don’t you quit? I was, I didn’t even know how to answer them at first because I knew that this kid was connected with us. He was engaged by what we were doing more so than he was a strike two offender. One more mistake. This kid was bumped up to adult court Al prison and here he was asking me, how do you keep going? Why don’t you quit? And I realized it’s there right now, that I had an ability as an adventurer to transcend the simple act of me getting to the South pole hall to actually inspire others, maybe inspire others to be too get him out of where he was or maybe recognizing. So I, there was a real aha for me, uh, in, through it all going, yeah, it’s great. I made it the South pole and in many ways completely meaningless. It’s a little spot like anywhere else in Antarctica, but it wasn’t meaningless to me in terms of my process of getting there. And it’s that process that that is the lesson and that is hopefully something that this young guy, Sammy heard, which he did in terms of an email, but also in terms of my actions and others moving forward ever since that day.

Jim Rembach (21:58):

So then you get into talking about innovation, which I think so many people are being forced into meeting to do. When you started about the copays thing. Yeah. Um, but it’s, it’s about dreaming big, embracing the struggle and, and adjusting, you know, your environment. Uh, now we talk about the whole survival thing. And Darwinism and adaptability, how important that is. But innovation, you know, really is deeply rooted in the whole creative thinking process. Yes. And so for me, when I started looking at that from the adventure perspective, that is immense. Um, when you start thinking about creative, you know, the creative process, you know, everything from the whole preparation to the adjustments to the, you know, the whole variability of weather to, I mean, all of these different factors and how the creativity starts coming into play. So let’s get some of your perspectives on, on that. And you even mentioned it before when you started talking about architecture.

Kevin Vallely (22:50):

Yeah. I mean, as an architect you’re hard to be creative. And innovation comes to me in a way, as somewhat naturally, I think because it’s, it’s what we’ve been trained to do and hired to do as an architect. And it’s interesting. It’s not like you can just log time and be creative. Uh, it’s when I’m out on my bike is what I’m walking in the trails. It’s when I’m walking my daughter to school. That’s when the aha has happened. You gotta put in the time, you got to, you know, turn away with it. But then you’ve got to step away from it. And that’s the key to innovation stepping away. And that’s where actually this whole crisis we’re going through now, this is a forced step away. Whether we know it or not, we’ve been doing something, something, something. Now we’ve been forced to step away.

Kevin Vallely (23:31):

And many of your listeners are probably recognizing that, wow, you know, we’re approaching things a little differently now and I’m getting all sorts of ideas around it moving forward. This is the magic of innovation. It’s these moments, these stepping away moments and in, in an adventure, an adventure is a stepping away of course, but you’re forced to innovate quick in that environment. And often times it’s, um, it can be life and death unless you do it right. So being open to it and there’s, it’s, it’s definitely very much, uh, there’s tactical ways about being more innovative and it’s not what we think. It’s not just sitting down for 12 hours at a desk and you’re going to come up with a creative solution. No, actually step up, move away, get away from your desk. And there’s something called an ultradian rhythm in fact, which connects to all that. We’ll talk about about that a little bit later, but uh, is, uh, is recognizing those break moments are where the inspiration happens.

Jim Rembach (24:25):

Uh, so for me, when you were talking, I started, I started thinking about the whole open-mindedness aspect of it. I don’t think he could be an adventurer and be closed minded.

Kevin Vallely (24:34):

No, he wouldn’t go out there. Absolutely not. You have to be open minded to new things. I mean, if you’ve never, when we tried to roll the Northwest passage in a 25 foot rowboat, it was, no one had ever done that before. So we were going to do something that no one has ever, ever done before. And it’s like, well, what are you going to be faced with? I don’t know. I mean, there was no research. We have to figure this out. So yeah, you have to be open minded and willing to pivot on a dime because, uh, you’re learning as you go. But boy, you come out at the other end of it failure or not as, I’m so much more knowledgeable and empowered to do incredible things, uh, frankly when it comes to it.

Jim Rembach (25:16):

Well and then you get into the whole resilience piece. And so we talked about preparing for worst case scenarios, sustaining strong relationships and then create stories with a sense of realistic optimism. And I think even going back to what we were just talking about a second ago, I find and come across so many people that will not consider worst case scenarios. They’re like, no, no, no, I don’t want to go over there because it might open up a door to this or people might start thinking this and I’m like, that’s close minded, right? You need to be open minded and you need to really consider, you know, other perspectives and then therefore address those if need be or plan for those if need be. And then sometimes if the answer is just don’t respond to it

Kevin Vallely (25:55):

or just put it to bed, I mean then it, yeah, that’s totally the wrong way. If by just putting your head, it’s like being an ostrich, putting your head in the sand. I mean it’s just not the way to be resilient and the fact is just come up with scenarios and right now frankly with what we’re going through is come up with scenarios. Maybe if someone says, well, what happens if I do lose my job? Well, what does that mean? And then you sort of plan it out. It’s not great. We’re not saying that these options will be great, but you at least have it tactically thought through. Then you put it to bed and you don’t think about it again. But at least it’s been thought through. And Lisa Blair in our book as open ocean sailor, young woman, credible sailing around Antarctica, she had done that before.

Kevin Vallely (26:32):

She left and looked at. Worst case scenario is what happens if I dismissed in the middle of the storm in the Southern ocean? It’s unthinkable. It’ll never happen. Well, it did happen and there she was just like, okay, this is what I do. A, B, C, D, and she survived it because of that. Otherwise, you’d be overwhelmed by the moment. And then actually you’re not going to think at your best. So do it. Think about it. Plan for it. Don’t be over melancholic about it, just being tactical and put it away. And you don’t even have to share it with people. But if you have it in the back of your head, uh, it’s not a bad thing. It makes you more resilient.

Jim Rembach (27:03):

So now we’re going to talk about the thing that you mentioned a moment ago when we get into having the opportunity to build your personal sustainability. And you mentioned setting boundaries, acknowledging your old trade-in rhythms and feeling your four energies. So I think we’re going to have some really good insights into this.

Kevin Vallely (27:20):

Yeah, well, and that, that chapter was all about me, uh, and balanced because I am a writer. I’m an architect. I happen to be an internationally recognized, uh, Explorer. I’m dead. Uh, and you know, uh, I’m an architect and like, it’s all these different things. It’s like, well, how do you do that? Well, there’s a score of other things that I’ve wanted to do as well, but I’ve put to bed and say, well, Nope, that’s not for me in terms of my world. But recognizing there is a balance and how to balance your time to be effective and the obsession and thought is that you, if you’re just work, work, work, you’re going to get the most done. And I feel so strongly against that and that’s what I was saying with the Altria and rhythm is that it’s based like a circadian rhythm, but all trade-in rhythm is during the day.

Kevin Vallely (28:02):

Circadian rhythm is at night and you know, REM sleep and deep sleep ultradian rhythm is all about how you function during the day and they’ve and scientists are now recognized that we have this all Tridion rhythm of about 110 minutes where we work really well for 90 and then we start to fade out and we start, we need some rest and it’s roughly 20 minutes. It doesn’t mean you have to take a nap, but it just means stepping away from what you’re doing. And then coming back to it could be just, you know, answering boring emails or something where you’re not thinking the same way, but you go in and out of a flow state throughout the course of the day. So for, for listeners recognizing that, is that just be more in tune with how you feel after about 90 minutes. Step up from your desk, walk around, do whatever you gotta do, go to the coffee machine if it means or just take a walk around, go outside, clear your head, take a call, do something different and then come back to your work. You’re going to find actually, uh, that is an incredibly powerful way to be more productive than high performance.

Jim Rembach (28:59):

Well I think the whole awareness component of what you’re talking about is really the key here. Cause there’s even been some other systems like the Pomodoro method where you, you know, sprint and work for a little while and take, yeah, I mean it’s just fun finding what works best for you. But when you start talking about going through these seven key lessons and all these adventurers who had the opportunity to interview and meet, and I’m sure you’re personally connected to several of them, I started looking at inspiration and there’s a whole slew and multiple sources of it. And one of the things that we looked at on the show in order to give us some of that, our quotes and I’m sure you have tons of them, but is there a one or two that you like and you can share?

Kevin Vallely (29:39):

Well, I, I probably have it verbatim, but TSL is, uh, you know, at the end of all of the exploration or end of every journey, uh, is to return where you started and know the place for the first time. And I found that one really, uh, it’s so profound for me and a lot of people have heard it, but I know what it means so strongly is that I go on one of these expeditions and I come back to where I am and it’s a reboot. I just see everything a little bit differently, a little bit better. I see what’s important in my life is what’s really important and what’s not. Because it’s no better way to know that than to be out in an environment where there’s nothing but you and, and survival moving forward and appeals away all those inconsequential issues. And you recognize what’s important. And that’s so important for all of us to get those moments reflecting on family and friends health and just of why I’m here and why I’m doing what I’m doing. So I find that quote for me, um, resonates very, very powerfully.

Jim Rembach (30:39):

Well, when I started thinking about this and going through the book and even your story telling in your adventures, the ventures that you have, even early one with your brother, which was unplanned for a, and even I saw that you have the opportunity to share that story. I watched it on video and you talked about a place where my wife and I stayed where we went to Montreal at the shepherd Champlain. I got a good chuckle out of that, so thanks. Um, but there’s times, you know, where, Hey, we, we take off on a particular adventure whether planned or, or otherwise. And, you know, there’s a lesson there to help. We have to get over and we come back on the other side with a different perspective. Um, is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share?

Kevin Vallely (31:22):

Yeah, there is. Interestingly, uh, I traveled as, as you mentioned, uh, down the Mackenzie river to the Arctic ocean for almost 1200 miles with my two daughters. And at the time I think there were nine, 11 little girls, my wife, wilderness expedition, we’re talking out there nothing and for safety sake, big grizzly bears, wolves, and everything else. I had taken a shock up, just has said an emergency item that I would never use. Well, I had to use it on one occasion with a big aggressive Wolf approached us one morning, woke me from camp and my little daughter woke me up and said this something outside of the tent. And I stepped out and there was this Wolf, I’m telling you, the size of a hyena. And it was angry at me and I tried to shoot away and it wouldn’t go away. And I remember finally I wasn’t going to kill the the thing, but I shot over his shoulder and scared it away, but it didn’t really go that far away.

Kevin Vallely (32:10):

And we finally packed up and left. And it was, it was just jarring moment for me with fear about taking care of my family and what am I doing and why am I here and all these questions. And we came into town and I spoke to one of the environment people there and they said, Oh, we call that the Phantom Wolf. He’s monster. And he’s, uh, we know that he’s out there dancing with his, with his female somewhere. And um, uh, you probably came upon his death, so he wasn’t down there to hunt you. He was down there protecting his pups and I was doing the thing and it was interesting telling this story to my pops and they got it, they understood it and we stepped away and gave him his space and we kept moving on. But I got to a point, do I continue or not continue? At this point? We’re about halfway through and as consensus as a family, we were going to continue. We recognize why that Wolf acted the way it did, and we did. And through the it, through that process, seeing that empowerment, my two little girls at the end of it, they’re different. They’re turning into strong young women. Now, having been an experienced, something like that, that, uh, uh, it’s important to push through, but speak as a group, as a family, and they wanted to continue. We continued and we’re all stronger for it.

Jim Rembach (33:20):

Well, thanks for sharing that. Now for me, when I started looking at the book, when I started looking at, you know, all these different things that you’re doing and talking about the architect you’re talking about, you know, the, the leadership work that you’re doing. I mean, you’ve the number of adventures that you’re still yet to do and want to do. Um, you know, with or without family. Um, I’m sure we’ll slew of choices, but I start thinking about a goal that you may have. And I know there’s several, but is there one that you can share?

Kevin Vallely (33:48):

Well, you know, my goal, uh, is, is a legacy really is to inspire and empower my girls to do whatever they darn well want. And that really is my overarching goal is as a proud father and by my actions, uh, you know, giving them and empowering them to feel whatever they want to do. And it sounds so cliche to say that, but it’s not, it’s really the way I feel is that, uh, critically and we all know it as, as a parent, you know what too is that you feel that way. You, you have kids, you just, you want them and the best for them. And I as, as young girls, I just want them to be empowered. So for me, that’s the critical one. Uh, many ways I, I don’t have to keep banging that nail in anymore in terms of recognizing the adventures I’ve done over the years. I love doing it. So I’ll keep doing it, but I need me to prove anything by any stretch that’s long gone. I’m in my fifties now. It’s, I’m way past that at this point in the game. It’s uh, it’s hopefully inspiring others to be their best. And uh, I find that just hugely inspiring for me

Jim Rembach (34:53):

and the fast near Legion wishes you the very best.

Kevin Vallely (34:56):

Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

Jim Rembach (35:00):

And even better place to work is an easy to use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone using this award, winning solutions, guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work, visit [inaudible] dot com forward slash better. Alright, here we go. Pass the Legion. It’s time for the home. Okay Kevin, there’s a pull down as a part of our show where you give us good insights. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust. You have rapid responses that are going to us move onward and upward faster. Kevin Valley, are you ready to go down? I guess I have. There we go. Alright. So what is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

Kevin Vallely (35:50):

Uh, maybe still being, uh, not hugely confident in certainly myself. It sounds as crazy as it is, but a is always questioning myself and recognizing that, uh, you know, I could always do better. So maybe a little bit uncertainty always.

Jim Rembach (36:05):

What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

Kevin Vallely (36:08):

Trust your gut. I really feel that strongly. Really trust your gut. I’ve learned that is that if something feels wrong, don’t do it. It feels right. Figure out why it’s right. But you kind of know what trust your gut.

Jim Rembach (36:20):

And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Kevin Vallely (36:24):

Perseverance. I just, when I stick my teeth into something I hold on tight and I don’t let go.

Jim Rembach (36:31):

And what is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

Kevin Vallely (36:35):

Uh, positivity. Uh, I have a positive frame of mind no matter what it is. I try to look on the positive side of things.

Jim Rembach (36:42):

And what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? It could be from any genre,

Kevin Vallely (36:46):

any genre. Oh, um, geez. I really enjoyed, uh, Simon cynics. Why? I think it’s fantastic. It’s really inspirational and I’ve always enjoyed it. So I mean fairly recently I would just read it year ago, so I’d suggest that.

Jim Rembach (37:00):

Okay. Pastor Legion, you can find links to that in other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/kevin-Vallely. Okay, Kevin, this is my last hump day. Hold on question. Imagine you been given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Kevin Vallely (37:24):

Whoa. Believe in yourself. That would be it. Just believe in yourself. And again, you asked me earlier why call me back, is that sometimes I don’t believe in yourself that we’re capable of so much more than we think we can do. You got to believe in yourself. You can’t, you just at least give yourself that leg up, believe in yourself, because if you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else believe them?

Jim Rembach (37:51):

Kevin, I had fun with you today. Can you please share with the fast leader Legion how they can connect with you?

Kevin Vallely (37:56):

They can connect with me on my website at, uh, just Kevinvallely.com and they can reach out. We’d love to chat. And, uh, and uh, please read our book if you can. Um, and again, that website is more wild success.com and yeah, I’d love to, I’d love to hear from you,

Jim Rembach (38:14):

Kevin Vallely. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leap Allegion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

278: Karin Hurt – Promoting a Courageous Culture in the Workplace

278: Karin Hurt – Promoting a Courageous Culture in the Workplace

Karin Hurt Show Notes Page

About 5 years ago, Karin Hurt had everything in her life crash all at the same time. Karin had just left her executive role at Verizon to start her own company. In trying to run her startup, Karin invested a lot of money into it but did not really get the clients or returns she needed. There was a massive learning curve and it required a lot of courage and energy to make everything work. In the midst of all that, her mother got extremely sick and died. Everything in her life seemed to be falling apart. Not willing to quit, she courageously moved forward one day at a time. Today, Karin and her husband are the founders of Let’s Grow Leaders, a leadership training and consulting firm in Maryland. Recently named on Inc’s list of Most Innovative Leadership Speakers and American Management Association’s 50 Leaders to Watch, Karin Hurt helps leaders from around the world achieve breakthrough results without losing their souls.

As Karin’s mom would tell it, Karin’s been playing with leadership principles from the time she was a toddler, organizing her stuffed animals and telling them what to do, and later directing her gaggle of younger cousins in family Christmas shows and other shenanigans.

But she could never have envisioned the whirlwind that has happened since her transitioned from an executive to entrepreneur over the last six years.

Since we last had Karin on the show, she fell in love with her co-author, David Dye (after writing the book 3000 miles apart), merged their businesses, and now they partner to help leaders all over the world get breakthrough results, without losing their souls through innovative approaches and highly practical tools. They’re also dedicated to their philanthropic initiative Winning Wells, building clean water wells in Cambodia.

Karin’s work experience is primarily based on 20 years at Verizon, where she held executive positions in HR, Leadership Development, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service, including a long track record of turnaround success with a 2200 person sales team and a 10,000 person outsourced contact center program.

Karin’s mission is to stamp out “the win at all costs” mentality so rampant in organizations and prove that the best way to get results that last is by being a decent human being.

Karin and David’s books include Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers and Customer Advocates, Winning Well, a Managers Guide to Getting Result- Without Losing Your Soul, and a children’s leadership book, Glowstone Peak: A Story of Courage, Influence, and Hope,  written in collaboration with their son Sebastian.

Karin lives near Washington, DC. She knows the stillness of a yogi, the reflective road of a marathoner, and the joy of being a mom raising emerging leaders.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @LetsGrowLeaders to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“Psychological safety is about leaders creating an environment where people feel safe to speak the truth.” – Click to Tweet

“Courage is about people feeling safe to speak the truth.” – Click to Tweet

“To have a courageous culture really means that it takes less daily courage to show up and contribute because it is a safe environment.” – Click to Tweet

“Anytime there is a disruption is an opportunity for real change.” – Click to Tweet

“Use this time of crisis to get to know your people at a more intimate level and build psychological safety.” – Click to Tweet

“People withhold their best thinking when they feel shamed, blamed, or intimidated.” – Click to Tweet

“You can get results and show up in a very human, engaging way.” – Click to Tweet

“When managers lead well and engage people and ask for their best ideas, it leads to breakthrough results.” – Click to Tweet

“It’s hard for people to come up with really good ideas if they don’t know what kind of ideas you need.” – Click to Tweet

“Curiosity is about being genuinely curious, asking people for their best thinking.” – Click to Tweet

“Do one thing everyday that scares you.” – Click to Tweet

“If you don’t feel like you’ve jumped out of an airplane recently, you’re probably not stretching yourself enough.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

About 5 years ago, Karin Hurt had everything in her life crash all at the same time. Karin had just left her executive role at Verizon to start her own company. In trying to run her startup, Karin invested a lot of money into it but did not really get the clients or returns she needed. There was a massive learning curve and it required a lot of courage and energy to make everything work. In the midst of all that, her mother got extremely sick and died, and her husband also faced an absolute midnight life crisis. Everything in her life seemed to be falling apart. Not willing to quit, she courageously moved forward one day at a time. Today, Karin and her husband are the founders of Let’s Grow Leaders, a leadership training and consulting firm in Maryland. Recently named on Inc’s list of Most Innovative Leadership Speakers and American Management Association’s 50 Leaders to Watch, Karin Hurt helps leaders from around the world achieve breakthrough results without losing their souls.

Advice for others

Don’t be so self-critical. See yourself as other people see you.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

The inability to get on an airplane.

Best Leadership Advice

Be yourself.

Secret to Success

Genuine human connection.

Best tools in business or life

Zoom.

Recommended Reading

Courageous Cultures

The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Contacting Karin Hurt

Twitter: https://twitter.com/letsgrowleaders

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karin-hurt-7ab25910/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/letsgrowleaders

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA76vROsneNZDsHGnasov7A

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/letsgrowleaders/

Website: https://letsgrowleaders.com/

Resources

Courageous Cultures book website: https://letsgrowleaders.com/courageous-cultures-2/

Show Transcript

Click to access edited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who I just really love her work. I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate her on several instances and when you get the chance to actually listen through this episode, you’ll see why to Karin Hurt as Karen’s mom would tell it. Karin’s been playing with leadership principles from the time she was a toddler, organizing her stuffed animals and telling them what to do and later directing her gaggle of younger cousins in family Christmas shows and other shenanigans, but she could never have envisioned the whirlwind that has happened since her transition from an executive to entrepreneur over the last six years since we last had Karen on the show. She fell in love with her coauthor David dye. After writing the book 3000 miles apart, merged their businesses and now partner and help leaders all over the world get breakthrough results without losing their souls.

Jim Rembach (00:56):

Through innovative approaches and highly practical tools, they’re also dedicated to their philanthropic initiative, winning Wells, building clean water Wells, and Cambodia. Karin’s work experience is primarily based on 20 years of Verizon where she held executive positions in HR, leadership development, sales marketing, customer service, including a long track record of turnaround success with a 2200 person sales team and a 10,000 person outsourced contact center program. Karen’s mission is to stamp out the win at all costs mentality, so rampant in organizations improve that. The best way to get results that lasts is by building a decent human being or being a decent human being. Karen and David’s books include courageous cultures, how to build teams of micro innovators, problem solvers, and customer advocates winning well, a manager’s guide to getting results without losing your soul and a children’s leadership book. Glo stone peak, a story of courage, influence and hope written in collaboration with their son Sebastian. Karen lives in Washington DC or near Washington DC. She knows the stillness of a Yogi, the reflective road of a marathoner and the joy of being a mom, raising emerging leaders. Karen hurt. Are you ready to tell us? Get over the hunt.

Karin Hurt (02:19):

Oh yes. Thanks so much for having me. It’s great to be with you again.

Jim Rembach (02:23):

Uh, no. I mean it’s been too long. We can’t let this gap go again. But I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Karin Hurt (02:33):

Oh, so, uh, we are really thinking a lot about courage these days. And it was interesting as we were working with clients over the last couple of years, we would go into work with the very senior levels and we would hear things like, why don’t people speak up? Why am I the only one who finds these best practices? What’s wrong with why my frontline managers, why can’t they discover these problems, fix them? And then we would be working at the supervisor level doing training and we would hear things like, nobody wants my ideas. The last time I spoke up, I got in trouble. We thought, are you working in the same company? So we’ve been out on a mission for the last couple two years to really dig in and do some research in collaboration with the university of North Colorado to study this phenomenon. And what is it about cultures where people do feel safe and they do feel invited and excited to contribute? And what are the behaviors that shut people down and what are the best practices for the companies that are doing that? Well, so that’s what we’ve been up to. We’ve been, uh, we’re, we’re about to release a book on the topic and we’ve been doing programs, uh, in several different countries, really focused on getting people to mind for and collaborate around. Great new micro innovation.

Jim Rembach (03:57):

Well, and let’s be quite clear. I mean, so the book is actually available in both of the link to it on your show notes page. It’s called courageous cultures. But in the book and the very beginning, you actually have the forward who’s written by dr Amy Edmondson, who is from Harvard. And she talks about this important distinction and understanding of psychological safety and courageous cultures. Because we hear a lot in the just society as a whole about psychological safety with the pandemic, with food safety. I mean, so people kind of get exposure to that. And then you’re talking about courage. So really what’s the difference here?

Karin Hurt (04:36):

Yeah, so dr Edmonson is really the leadership thinker who coined the term psychological safety and she wrote a book called the fearless organization. And she’s done a lot of, lot of research on this and you know, a psychological safety is, is there an environment where people feel safe to speak up, to speak the truth, and what is the impact on results when people do feel safe? Um, courage on the other hand is, so psychological safety is our people. Our executives are leaders throughout the organization creating that environment. So that’s, you know, top down courage is, do people feel like they can speak up or do they, do they have the courage to maybe feel it, do something that maybe even feels risky to speak up? And so they’re really two sides of the same coin. But the interesting part and the most ironic part is to have a courageous culture really means that it takes less daily courage to show up and contribute because it is a safe environment.

Karin Hurt (05:43):

And so our work really is focused on two sides of this. One is how do we help leaders ask more, create a safe environment, respond with regard, and then how do we also work at front line to teach them to tap into their moments of past courage. Because that is what really gives you confidence, past success and how do we teach them to position their ideas in a way that will be heard. And so really to build a courageous culture is really takes starting at the top and working at a grassroots level to build both safety and courage.

Jim Rembach (06:20):

That was extremely helpful. Uh, and really opened up my thinking to a lot of different things and made it more clear. Cause when I read it I was like, I’m still, I’m still a little fuzzy. It’s helped a lot because it also explains what you just talked about as far as that this is what we experienced at the top executive level. And this is what we’re experiencing at the front line. And I often talk about the head and the feet and that we need to move to have them to be moving together. And so, you know, is not doing what it’s supposed to. How can you ever expect the feet, you know, to be moving in the direction that they’re supposed to go. And so you have to have both. So this, this work and exactly enables that, you know, that that connection of the head and the feet so that we can really, uh, I don’t think you can ever plan for something, you know, like a global pandemic. However, maybe we can build some organizational resiliency, you know, as well as, uh, really not be disrupted but yet be a disruptor. Yeah.

Karin Hurt (07:20):

J J we are in such an unprecedented period of micro innovation right now. People are having to do what they can with what they have from where they are. And you’re seeing people where your processes that normally might take six months to get something approved. People are coming together and saying, we have a state of emergency here and we’re going to have to act fast and maybe we’re not going to have all go through all the bureaucratic steps that we used to. We don’t want to lose that after the pandemic. Right? So one of the things that we are really working with companies on is, you know, we’re calling them idea inspiration rallies, but how do you tap in to the thinking and what people are learning along the way? Because you might not even know how much people are, what people are doing to work around because everybody’s working at home, right? So how do you deliberately say, what have you learned? How do we apply this moving forward?

Jim Rembach (08:19):

Well, and as you’re talking, I start thinking about that particular issue from the perspective of, okay, so I have, you know, the, the top of the organization that has this issue. It hasn’t created the environment by which, you know, I can have a courageous culture. I have also the dysfunction, you know, of of the, the frontline and, and the people who are even at the middle level not having the, the, the wherewithal, uh, the ability, the skills, you know, to be able to speak up effectively. And so I have this overall organizational dysfunction happening. Then bam, I have a global pandemic hit. I mean really if I didn’t have a courageous culture

Karin Hurt (08:56):

prior to something like this happening, can I really expect to build it now? I actually think any time there is a disruption is an opportunity for real change. So it really depends on how you show up. But we had, it was interesting, we were working with a company on a really broad based leadership program and we asked them, do you want to continue this right now because everybody’s got so much else going on and they’ve got their businesses transforming. Do you want to do it now or do you want to hold? And they said there is no better time to change the behavior of our leaders than right now because everyone is having to do different things differently. They’re already looking for new ways of behaving. They’re experimenting. Let’s take advantage of this situation and there’s no better time. And I thought that was really interesting and as I think about this, you know, one of the things that is happening right now for leaders who are doing this well, and there’s a huge opportunity for any leader out there to think about this as you are connecting over zoom, you are now entering people’s homes, right?

Karin Hurt (10:05):

You have an opportunity to see their dog come in or their toddler climb up into their lap, right? You have a sense of intimacy ironically, that you may not have had before and you’re having to show more of your vulnerabilities because people are seeing you in your natural habitat. Use that opportunity to build trust and connection. We are also in a environment right now that people are dealing with so much personal stress that goes beyond, you know, it’s people keep saying, Oh, what about this transition to working from home? This is not just a transition to working from home. This is a transition to working from home when almost every one of us is dealing with some major life crisis. Either a, an ill parent, a, you know, worried about kids trying to homeschool, worried about their own safety. If you can use this time to really ask, get to know your people at a more intimate level and build that, begin to build that psychological safety that is the foundation for trust.

Karin Hurt (11:12):

It’s also a great time to deliberately ask people what are their, what are they doing? What do they think are the best ideas that could help transform and bring them in? So if you started to act like completely differently on a Wednesday after reading courageous cultures in a normal environment, people will be like, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, what’s going on here? But here you’re already acting differently. So this is a perfect time to show up. And even if you say, you know what, I know I may not have been acting this way in the past. I’m learning a lot and these are unprecedented times and here’s what I’m learning. I hope you can learn with me. Let’s do this together. Okay. So what you

Jim Rembach (11:53):

just explained right there for me is all about, you know, behavior awareness, behavior modification, and then practice in order to make it stick. And here’s what we’re going to do because you have a coauthor David hot David dye and her husband David dye. We’re actually going to have him on the fast leader show as well. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to focus in on you setting the groundwork and the foundation of courageous cultures. And then when we have David on, we’re going to talk about that, you know, actual behavior modification and practice component because that’s critically important where people, you know, it can’t, it’s not just me knowing, right? It’s me doing and I have to close the gap that it’s knowing and doing gap. So let’s really continue on this knowing part for it with you. Because for me, I think it’s, you know, if you have, we have to get the specifics in order for us to be able to self identify, organizationally identify, uh, we have to do that in order for us to be able to flip it in practice.

Jim Rembach (12:50):

So you talk about, uh, you know, five things that’s important for us to understand about how courage works in the book. Uh, um, and so they are, is that people, and you mentioned this, some of these already, but we’ll, we’re going to get a little bit specific on these so that people don’t think leadership wants their ideas. No one asks, they lacked confidence to share and they lack the skills to share more effectively and that people don’t think anything will happen so they don’t bother. Now when we start talking about the myth, I always talk about the myth of multitasking. I can’t focus on all five minutes. It’s just not possible. So for me, I need to get the biggest bang for my buck. So which one of those do I focus on first to start this transformation process?

Karin Hurt (13:35):

I would start, I would start absolutely a hundred percent on, no one asked. A 49% of the respondents in our research said they had ideas to share. But nobody is asking. They’re not regularly being asked for their ideas. And then when we said, well, if you were to share an idea, what would that idea do? And you know, it wasn’t things like, Oh, I want kombucha on tap in the break room. Right? It was really good business ideas that were being withheld. Um, how to improve a customer experience, how to improve a process, how to get employees more engaged in their work. So that’s the no one asked. And here’s what we found. People think they’re asking because a couple of things they say, well, I told my team I have an open door. The problem with an open door is that it still requires courage to come through it, right?

Karin Hurt (14:34):

So if you go out and ask people what, what we call courageous questions, which are a little vulnerable because you’re asking for something that you may get an uncomfortable answer and they’re very specific. So for example, what is one thing really ticking off our customers? See, now you have to that to that, you know, you can’t say, ah, it’s unlikely people are gonna say, Oh, nothing, right? You make it very safe to talk about something that you’re hearing from the frontline or what is one area that I really should focus on improving as a leader in the next 30 days? It, those kinds of, because it’s easy to think of one thing and then once people say one thing, then you could say, fantastic, you’re responding to regard. Thank you so much. What else? And now you’ve opened a safe conversation.

Jim Rembach (15:31):

I think the, I think for me, the part that you said right there is really how do you receive, how do you ingest Audi? I mean that that is the most important part. Cause I talk a lot about divergent convergent thinking. And so oftentimes we get into defense. Oftentimes we start evaluating, uh, what people are saying and we start doing that, which shuts down the well, right? It turns out the spicket and it turns it back off. Uh, so how that practice of how we go about doing that is, um, is really important. So some people were talking about one of the greatest interviewers of all time being Larry King and, and what makes Larry King so awesome is really just one question that he continues to ask is really tell me more. Yeah. It’s just tell me more. That’s what makes him a great interviewer.

Karin Hurt (16:18):

Yeah. You know, Krista Tippett is another person who I think is a great interviewer. Uh, she, uh, she does all the podcasts on being, and she has such a gentle way when when somebody says something, she says like, you know, she, you could just feel it like washing over her body. And it’s, so if I were being interviewed by her, I would find that so inviting to contribute more.

Jim Rembach (16:42):

It’s funny when you said that, it sounded like Curtis, your pitcher, right? I mean, we, we have to really think about how we’re engaging in those moments and not be defensive, not be judgmental, you know, even though that could potentially be our natural tendency. I mean, there’s people who are part of my life that I know. That’s the first thing that I’m going to get when I put out anything. Uh, and so for me, I have to be prepared for that and essentially stiffen my back, you know, because I’m like, okay, you know, I’m going to get knocked because they can’t change their behaviors. You know, they’re wired that way and they’re not doing it. And I think that’s that you talk about that vulnerability and that humility is that some of those leaders who are in that position that often do those things and there’s some folks and types of professions that are more inclined to that, you know, engineers and things like that where they are more critical is you’ve got to tone that down and stop it and hopefully will David, we’ll address that when we talk about the behavior modification.

Jim Rembach (17:41):

Uh, but, um, I, I want to go into these courageous, this courage crushers that you talk about in the book. And you mentioned of them and I know there’s more, uh, however these were, these were things that we can talk about, um, right here right now and give people some really good ideas to be aware of when these things are happening and we’re the ones doing it. Okay. So we have, it’s beyond me too, and other injustices, shaming, blaming and intimidation, chronic restructuring, leadership and decision, false competition, and then poor communication infrastructure. Okay. So now again, you talked about research with the group. Tell us about some of the research that you found in these six areas.

Karin Hurt (18:25):

Yeah, so I would focus really on shame, blame, and intimidation. You know, it’s interesting when people have interviewed us about the research, when we say, Oh, we’re talking about building psychological safety and courageous cultures, they say, Oh, you mean like me too? You know, being able to speak up that that is on such a far end of the spectrum. If you had any of that junk going on, there is no way people will have the energy left to contribute their ideas. They’re just in a survival mode. So take it one notch down. A lot of the behaviors that people told us were really destructive and the reason they withhold their best thinking was they felt shamed or they felt blamed or they felt intimidation. So an example of shaming that we talk about in the book. So a senior leader has a company offsite. Remember when we used to have company all sides, right?

Karin Hurt (19:18):

Company offsites brings everybody together, all their senior team into a room and broadcasts to stack rank of all the results and then pass the microphone to starting at the bottom and say in front of all their peers, why are you so bad? True story. Why are you so bad? And everyone else in the room is going, Oh my God, thank God I’m not at the bottom of this list, but Oh, what if I’m next? And I better just, it crushes innovation because when you are so afraid to fail, you’re, you’re, you’re more likely just to continue to do what has been working in the past. So that’s a, uh, an example of shaming.

Jim Rembach (20:01):

So for me, I know I’ve done it. Um, you know, when you start talking about growing up with three brothers in the Chicago area and you know, um, doing some shaming and blaming and all of that, uh, I’ve tried to grow as I’ve gotten older. However, I still fall into that trap. Um, and sometimes it just happens. And then when you get in a situation where everybody starts doing it, you know, you just get sucked into that culture. I mean, you just do. So if I am one of those people where I know this isn’t right and I’m doing it anyway, and I know we’re getting into some behavior things, but I think it’s so important because of what you’re talking about is how do I bust the cycle.

Karin Hurt (20:38):

Yeah. So we talk about creating a cultural Oasis. And we use an example of a Jamie Marsden in the book, which this was so fun for us because Jamie apparently had been reading my blogs since the very beginning. And uh, so he’s in England and he was working for a missile defense company. And what he said was in that industry where it’s not just his company, but in that industry, there’s just, uh, you know, it’s, it’s more of an old school culture. And what he was learning as he was reading our work and other people’s work is it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get results and show up in, you know, very human engaging way. And so one of the things that he did was he built a, uh, a community of likeminded people. So he went to his senior leaders and said, I want to do this.

Karin Hurt (21:33):

I want to bring together managers who want to lead this way. Do I have your permission to do so? And this started with a group of 40 people and now he’s, I think he’s got close to 400 managers that are in this. Uh, they flew us to, to Bristol, England to talk with the group. Uh, he’s been able to get some funding, uh, now because they are seeing that when managers are leading well and are engaging people and asking for their best ideas, that is what really leads to breakthrough results. And so I love that story because he was one guy and then he went out and found the others. And that that would be my best advice for someone who is feeling like they’re working in an environment that is not a courageous culture, but you want to build a courageous culture, start with your own team, concentrate on your own leadership, and then look sideways and find the others who you can collaborate and continue to learn with.

Jim Rembach (22:36):

So it’s that starting where you are right now, you talk about in order to try and make this easy for people to really focus in, cause you have to chunk down things. I mean it’s, you know, you can’t really the entire thing. Um, and that’s one way of starting to chunk it down. But you also talk about the two things being important, uh, for us to start with this transformation process. And you talk about curiosity and clarity. So why are these two things most important?

Karin Hurt (23:02):

Yeah. And so the clarity, when you think about clarity, that’s saying, first of all, you have to be clear about a couple of things. One, you have to be clear that you really want people’s ideas and you need to reinforce that five times, five different ways and asking lots of ways, be very clear. I really care about your ideas and best thinking. You also need to be clear about your strategy because it’s hard for people to come up with really good ideas if they don’t know what kinds of ideas that you need. So you know, so that’s another element is a lot of the times when people, uh, when managers complained to us that their people aren’t strategic, it’s that they have not given their teams enough information to actually think strategically. They’ve not had enough transparency. So that’s clarity. And then curiosity is showing up, genuinely curious, not thinking you have all the answers, but showing up, genuinely curious, asking people for their best thinking.

Karin Hurt (24:05):

And David will share with you some of our very specific tools on doing that. What you find in cultures is some cultures can be extremely clear but not have the curiosity. And that’s where you see a lack of innovation. But execution may be happening very fast. If you’ve got a culture that’s very curious at the expense of clarity, you might have a lot of lone Rangers running around and it may take longer to implement. So it’s we, we said start where you aren’t. If you are in a culture that’s really good at the clarity, you’ve got that down, then go and work on the curiosity part first. If you’ve got a very curious culture but you’re having trouble getting to a, an executable plan, then work on some of the clarity tools.

Jim Rembach (24:51):

Well that’s very helpful. And, and uh, and again, just to reiterate for those, uh, we are actually going to have your coauthor husband, business partner David hurt or die, David hot. That’s right. Sorry. And uh, he is actually going to get into how we are really going to put in new behaviors in order to make this transformation work. So, uh, we will connect also both of these episodes on your show notes pages, uh, in order for people to be able to see the foundation, the understanding, and then move into the transition that transformation. So needless to say when we start talking about the work that you’ve been doing and yet to do requires a whole lot of inspiration and you provide it, but then you also seek it and you amplify it. And that’s most appreciated. But one of the things that we look out on the shore quotes in order to help us, you know, to really have some of that inspiration. Is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?

Karin Hurt (25:46):

Uh, well, Eleanor Roosevelt do one thing every day that scares you is, uh, uh, is an important one for me, I would say. And I, it’s interesting, I gave that a little magnet with that quote on to someone on my team 20 years ago and every couple of years he writes to me and he said, I still have the magnet and here’s what I did today. That was scary. And I think that’s an important thing. You know, I always say, if you don’t feel like you’ve jumped out of an airplane recently, uh, you’re probably not stretching yourself enough. Um, so, um, of course this has been a, uh, an interesting seven weeks of, uh, doing one thing every day. That scares me a lot as we begin to pivot the, our, our organization and respond to a new normal here. So I think that’s an, uh, one that’s continues to be top of mind.

Jim Rembach (26:42):

Well, you know, I want to just, you say that I’m like, okay,

Karin Hurt (26:44):

maybe I need to jump more so I don’t feel like I’m pushed.

Jim Rembach (26:50):

Oh, well, needless to say, when we start talking about, uh, getting to the point of this clarity and curiosity, you know, there’s humps that we get over, you know, some of those humps are because we cause them cause we were being created just sometimes we are pushed. You put their learning lessons. Right. So can you tell, tell us about a time when you’ve gotten over the hump?

Karin Hurt (27:11):

Yeah, so interestingly, um, about five years ago, like everything just crash sort of all at the same time, I had just, uh, I had just left Verizon about a year before to build my, my company. And of course, you know, when you’re in a startup mode, you know you’re investing your money and it’s, you’re not getting the clients as fast as you want. And there’s this massive learning curve. And I think that was about the time that you and I met actually where, you know, I’m just trying to figure it all out. How do you do social media? How do you show your brand? And so in the middle of all that, which required a lot of courage and a lot of vendor energy, my mother got, um, extremely sick and died. My, um, us husband at the time had an absolute midnight life crisis.

Karin Hurt (28:01):

And one day I’m on a zoom call with people in another country trying to pitch what would have been the big, the biggest contract that I had to date in the middle of the call, completely out of the blue. He says, I’m leaving. I’m like, what? Like, totally blindsided by that. I’m like, can you wait until I finish the call? Uh, and then, and so then having to, you know, so I lose my health insurance and I’m just having to now scramble and think in of course you’re thinking is, Oh my gosh, why did I not stay in the safety of my executive role that I was really doing well? Like why did I do this? And you start to think, do I go back or do I go forward? And, um, I think that is, uh, ha looking back now. I mean, I think, you know, you just do the best you can one day at a time and you move forward and I can’t believe where we are now.

Karin Hurt (29:01):

Right. Who would’ve ever thought all these other things would have happened? And it has been quite a journey and needing to trust the process and focus on doing the right things and being a decent human being. Um, one of the things that really got me through all of that is all of the wonderful people that I’ve met, um, a lot of them online, interestingly, that became real genuine, wonderful relationships and friends. And we were able to go to Southeast Asia because of some, and I’ll call him a kid because he’s a lot younger than me, but he asked me to review his book and I thought, Oh, I’ll do him a favor. One thing led to another and we’re a month trip to Southeast Asia on a speaking tour. And part of it is a major executive thing with a hundred senior leaders that he’s put together and invited us to collaborate on. So that’s, I think that would be the biggest, uh, her hump as you say that I had to get over.

Jim Rembach (29:58):

That’s pretty significant when you talk about, uh, uh, really, uh, an activity, exercise, real life, you know, courage story. I went without a doubt. So thank you for sharing. Alright, so now we talk about you and I, you know, we, you know, we try to impact as many people as we possibly can. You know, doing the podcast and doing, you know, videos, doing all these other things. You have a, a large portion of your business that’s been public speaking at live events that’s been moved. So you’ve been trying to transition and all of that. And so there’s more lessons encouraged and continuing to be resilient as much as you possibly can. But when I start thinking about your work, you know, the winning well of the charitable side, the books, uh, the, the working with leaders, I mean you’ve got a lot of things going on. So if I think about one goal, what would that one goal,

Karin Hurt (30:49):

one goal for this year? Or I don’t want to frame you well, we are really looking forward to getting this message out with a book. Um, because I really, you know, winning well, we feel very, very good about that book with this. This one is a such a, um, an important and timely message for people right now. So I think our goal is to really serve as many people as we can with this message and open a conversation about how do we build more courageous cultures because the time, we need more courage now than we ever have before. And so, you know, I really think we have something to offer here. And I want to spread the word and the fast leader. Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

Ad (31:41):

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Karin Hurt (32:01):

better. Alright, here we go. Fastly religion.

Jim Rembach (32:04):

It’s time for the home. Okay Karen, the hope they hold on as the part of our show where you get us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to get us robust, yet rapid responses that are gonna help us move onward and upward faster. Karen hurt. Are you ready to go down? All right, let’s do it. Alright. So what is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

Karin Hurt (32:31):

The inability to get on an airplane.

Jim Rembach (32:35):

What is the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?

Karin Hurt (32:38):

Be yourself.

Jim Rembach (32:40):

What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success? Genuine human connection. And what would be one tool that you feel helps to lead you in business and life? And what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? It could be from any genre course. We’re going to put a link to courageous cultures on your show notes page as well.

Karin Hurt (33:01):

Uh, I would say anything by Seth Godin, particularly tribes.

Jim Rembach (33:06):

Okay. Fast leader Legion. You can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/karin-hurt-2 because Karin’s been on the show before. Okay. Excuse me, my last Humpday hold on question. Karin. Imagine you had the opportunity to go back to the age of 25. You have the knowledge and skills to take back with you, but you know what? You can’t take them all. You can only take one. So what piece of knowledge or skill would you take back with you and why?

Karin Hurt (33:35):

I would say don’t be so self critical and uh, because I think I had a lot more skills than I thought I did at that point. And so just to be able to see yourself as other people see you.

Jim Rembach (33:50):

Karin, I had fun with you today. Can you please share with the fast leader Legion how they can connect with you?

Karin Hurt (33:54):

Yes. We would love to connect on LinkedIn. Um, Karin with an I or a, our website is, let’s grow leaders.com and you can get to our book website, courageous cultures, book.com either directly or through that website.

Jim Rembach (34:11):

Karin hurt. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

277: Patrick Schwerdtfeger – Emerging Anarchy in a Decentralized World

277: Patrick Schwerdtfeger – Emerging Anarchy in a Decentralized World

Patrick Schwerdtfeger Show Notes Page

Patrick Schwerdtfeger has made plenty of mistakes in his life, and a majority of those mistakes happened because he tried plenty of different things in his life. Yet, despite his many failures, Patrick never stopped and continued coming back. Patrick learned that if you truly want to be successful in business and life then you must be willing to try new things and be willing to accept the risk of failure. You must be willing to be a bold leader and stand up for what you believe to be right, especially during these times.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, and is the youngest of 4 kids: 2 older sisters and 1 brother. Parents together throughout, but both have already passed away.

As a young child, Patrick can be found exploring and talking to as many different people as possible, always looking to find a new perspective and a new treasure he had found before okay.

Patrick was never very good at school in grade school and high school meanwhile his sisters and brother were very smart in winning lots of scholarships and awards Patrick always wanted to learn from the real world and real people operating within the real world he only did well in school during his college years and was very happy to be finished with that when it was over.

Patrick’s degree is in finance and spent his early career in that field ranging from banking to real estate. But he became self-employed in 2002 and learned about marketing, and it was that learning process that led him to start teaching others write books and eventually develop a career as a professional speaker.

Patrick is the author of Anarchy, Inc.: Profiting in a Decentralized World with Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain (2018, Authority Publishing) as well as the award-winning Keynote Mastery: The Personal Journey of a Professional Speaker (2016, Authority Publishing), Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, John Wiley & Sons), Webify Your Business: Internet Marketing Secrets for the Self-Employed (2009), and Make Yourself Useful: Marketing in the 21st Century (2008). He has been featured by the New York Times, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN Money, Reader’s Digest, Fortune, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Associated Press, MONEY Magazine, and Forbes, among others.

Patrick currently lives in Newport Beach, CA, with his girlfriend, Nadia, and her son Luke.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @schwerdtfeger to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“Technology is evolving along an exponential curve. It goes so fast you can’t keep up anymore.” – Click to Tweet

“Business leaders and executives are so focused on their goals they have institutional blindness.” – Click to Tweet

“Anarchy means people aren’t respecting a single authority. No is respecting a single hierarchy that everyone agrees on.” – Click to Tweet

“We’re increasingly living in a world with multiple realities and multiple versions of the truth.” – Click to Tweet

“You have to pick your truth and stand firm and defiantly in your truth.” – Click to Tweet

“Boldly proclaim your truth to your people and don’t worry about what everyone else says.” – Click to Tweet

“There is no one truth. The alternative facts are everywhere.” – Click to Tweet

“You can no longer win on the facts. What you have to win on is your confidence and conviction in your truth.” – Click to Tweet

“We’re going to change more in the next 12 months than we did in the last 12 years.” – Click to Tweet

“Failure to adapt is failure to exist. If you don’t, someone else is going to take your place.” – Click to Tweet

“Change is opportunity. The whole equation of the successful business is to find a problem and fix it.” – Click to Tweet

“We need to state our truth clearly and defiantly and pick the market we’re after and stick with it.” – Click to Tweet

“This is a time of bold leadership because there’s so much change.” – Click to Tweet

“The old world is dying, the new world struggles to be born. Now is the time of monsters.” – Click to Tweet

“The people who can step up and envision a better tomorrow will gain traction because people are desperate for guidance and leadership.” – Click to Tweet

“You have more opportunity the more you go out and provide value for people. – Click to Tweet

“The cost of any one capability goes down toward zero very quickly.” – Click to Tweet

“Anarchy is a function of decentralization. As decentralization grows, anarchy also grows.” – Click to Tweet

“Innovation is about budgeting failure.” – Click to Tweet

“Innovation implies that you’re trying something new – you haven’t done it before.” – Click to Tweet

“If you know it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment. Because you already know it’s going to work.” – Click to Tweet

“If you want to be innovative, you have to try new things.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Patrick Schwerdtfeger has made plenty of mistakes in his life, and a majority of those mistakes happened because he tried plenty of different things in his life. Yet, despite his many failures, Patrick never stopped and continued coming back. Patrick learned that if you truly want to be successful in business and life then you must be willing to try new things and be willing to accept the risk of failure. You must be willing to be a bold leader and stand up for what you believe to be right, especially during these times.

Advice for others

Learn to communicate effectively. Communication is the best-paying skill on earth.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Time.

Best Leadership Advice

Try something. Go out and do something. Take a step in the direction of your goals, step 2 will reveal itself when you’re finished with step 1.

Secret to Success

Persistence.

Best tools in business or life

Data.

Recommended Reading

Anarchy, Inc.: Profiting in a Decentralized World with Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Contacting Patrick Schwerdtfeger

Twitter: https://twitter.com/schwerdtfeger

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/speakerpatrick

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/g8patrick/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/tacticalexecution

Website: https://www.patrickschwerdtfeger.com/

Resources

Patrick’s other website: http://bookpatrick.com/

Show Transcript

Click to access edited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, fast leader leading today. I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today who is going to give us perspectives that are utmost important when we start talking about really not just the future but where we are today. Patrick Schwerdtfeger was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, and as the youngest of four kids, he has two older sisters and a brother. His parents were together throughout his entire lifetime, but now they’ve since passed. As a young child, Patrick can be found exploring and talking to as many different people as possible, always looking to find new perspectives and a new treasure he had not found before. Patrick was never very good at school and in grade school and high school. He had issues and his sisters and brothers were very smart in winning lots of scholarships and awards. Patrick always wanted to learn from the real world and real people operating within the real world and applying.

Jim Rembach (00:55):

That is something that he was able to do when he went into his college years, but he was very happy to finish that. Patrick’s degree is in finance and spent his early career in that field ranging from banking and real estate, but he became self employed in 2002 and learned about marketing and it was that learning process that led him to start teaching others, write books, and eventually develop a career as a professional speaker. Patrick is the author of anarchy inc property in a decentralized world with artificial intelligence blockchain. Also, he is the author of the award winning keynote mastery, the personal journey of a professional speaker as well as marketing shortcuts for the self-employed. Verify your business internet marketing secrets for the self-employed and make yourself useful marketing in the 21st century. He has been featured by the New York times, LA times, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN money, reader’s digest, fortune, Bloomberg business, and the associated press, money magazine, Forbes, and many others. Patrick currently lives in Newport beach, California with his girlfriend Nadia and her son, Luke Patrick Schwerdtfeger. Are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (02:05):

Yeah, I sure am. Jim, I’m thrilled to be with you.

Jim Rembach (02:09):

I’m glad you’re here. Now. I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (02:17):

Yeah, sure. I mean, boy, I think all of us, probably for the first time in history, we’ve got 7.6 billion people all focused on the same problem. Uh, God certainly has our attention. Uh, the entire world. Everyone is focusing on, on one, uh, one problem, which is the pandemic and the quarantine and the economic collapse. That’s, it’s incredible what they’ve done. Of course, I’m not saying it shouldn’t have been done, but there’s some pretty significant consequences. But, but that is my focus too. So I’ve written five books, but the sixth one is, is just a week and a half away. And it’s, it’s been, it’s about the pandemic and how businesses can survive. So, and, and I need to do this to Jim. It’s, you know, my, my revenue immediately went to zero as a professional speaker. All the events were canceled. So now in the meantime it’s, it’s a, it’s a process of content development and trying to figure out where we stand and how do we navigate the, these, these troubled, troubled times. And now the business is starting to come back. But we all have that responsibility, right? We all have as business people, it is up to us to make sure that we’re relevant and that we’re providing value. And that’s what I’m working on right now.

Jim Rembach (03:24):

Well, and you know, as you’re talking, I start thinking about one of the things that you mentioned in this book and I’m sure that it leaves and continues upon that pathway and journey is that you talk about this getting caught off guard, right? Yeah. All off guard component is really something that if we did take the opportunities to step back and look and review, we may, we can’t necessarily get all of the surprises, but we could be potentially better prepared than many. So many are today. And when you start talking about anarchy, and I think that’s also one of those things that’s going to be very surprising for a lot of organizations. Um, I think we really need to get some insight into what do you mean by anarchy?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (04:09):

Yeah. Well, you know, just to kind of respond to the first part of your question, you know, technology and so many things today are evolving along an exponential curve. And as human beings, we are that that is not, it is counterintuitive. We are hardwired as human beings to think in linear terms. Uh, you know, you see it, you imagine a football quarterback for example, you know, you’re throwing a ball to a guy who’s running, like you can anticipate where that guy is going to be in two or three seconds. Very hard to do that when you’re talking about exponential change, because at the beginning of the whole thing seems insignificant and like it’s, it’s, it’s not even worth paying attention to, but then all of a sudden it turns the corner and all of a sudden it’s going so fast, you can’t keep up anymore.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (04:52):

And that’s really what’s happening right now. And these, these, uh, you know, business leaders and executives, boy, they are smart people. They’ve got the best education in the world, but they’re, they have the, you know, what they call institutional blindness, right? They’re focused on their goals. And so you become blind to what’s happening outside of your field division. And then all of a sudden these exponential technologies come along and, and, and they sneak up on you. And before you know it, they’re going so fast, you can’t catch up anymore. And that, this, the whole that, you know, a lot of my work as a speaker really boils down to disruptive innovation and how do we anticipate it? How do we profit from disruptive innovation? And you really have to coach yourself. I do it. I mean literally every day, and this is my full time gig, is to think, no, what if it was 10 times as powerful as it is today?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (05:37):

Or what, what if it was a hundred times as powerful? Or maybe more importantly, what if this technology costs one 10th of what it costs today? Or 100th of how many of my competitors would use this technology if it would cost one, 100 of what it costs today? Right? And so then you, you can start to think this way a little bit more, but, but your, your, your actual question pointed to the title of the book, anarchy, anarchy, inc. And, and how do we, how do we deal with that? So a lot of the book is about decentralization. And in almost every field, things are decentralizing, right? Decoupling, becoming more tribal. Uh, our, so our, our, our social dynamics, you know, the social media world has created that. The influencer world and information marketers and gurus, everyone’s got their own opinion and it’s getting more and more fractured.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (06:27):

So anarchy to me, I mean, the actual definition of it, it doesn’t mean there’s fighting in the streets. It doesn’t mean we’ve got gun battles in our neighborhoods. But what it does mean is that people aren’t respecting a single authority, right? No one’s, no one’s respecting a single hierarchy that everyone agrees on. So, I mean, there may be the best. The best example today is the media environment. And you’re part of that gym. I mean, you’ve built a following and people follow you and they like your opinion, right? And, and there’s, there’s millions of these people, the influencers. And so we used to have maybe a dozen, uh, media platforms that, you know, 90% of the people got their news from one of these 12 or whatever it was. But today, you know, we literally have millions between blogs and podcasts and YouTube and TV channels and magazines.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (07:19):

My gosh, it’s endless, right? And everyone’s calling everyone else fake news. Like it’s not like there’s only one. It’s not like only the conservative people are calling liberal fake news, or the liberals are calling conservative fake news. Everyone’s calling everyone else fake news. That’s anarchy. Like, we’re already there. So I’ll, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll kind of finish my answer with, with the one thing that to me really defines the whole experience, which is the word. We’re increasingly living in a world with multiple realities and multiple versions of the truth. And that that is incredibly important to understand because it means that you have to pick your truth and stand firm and defiant and boldly proclaim your truth to your people. And don’t worry about what everyone else says. Uh, you know, the haters and the people who, cause inevitably there’s going to be, there is no one truth, right?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (08:15):

The alternative facts, they’re everywhere. So you, you can no longer win on the facts. What you have to win on is your confidence in your conviction, in your truth. And there’s, you know, some people love Trump, some people hate Trump. That’s fine. I have no, no dogs in that race. But, but he, but he does model this. He has his truth and he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. Uh, and so we can learn from that. Even if you hate as politics, it’s fine with me, but, but he, he’s modeling that every single day, you know, with his, you know, exaggerations or whatever you want to say about his facts. But the bottom line is he doubles down whenever he is challenged and he is in his truth and his followers are more loyal to him than any other politician I can think of. So that’s, that’s a model we can, we can, uh, we can know, we can follow that model in business.

Jim Rembach (09:08):

You know, as you’re talking, and you said a couple of words that I think are critically important here, you know, one is that tribe, you know, elements, you know, one is you know that you can’t, another isn’t, you just can’t please everyone. Uh, and, and so when I started thinking about that from a leadership perspective, when I say start thinking about that from a customer experience perspective, you know, I often see that, you know, people try to are, or they don’t know what their places, they don’t know what their tribe is and they can’t convey that. And so therefore they end up serving no one and providing, you know, a good, good experience to anyone. I mean, it sucks for everyone. So when I, when I start thinking though is that I’m already in this place, I’m already, you know, I have all these potential disruptors coming in.

Jim Rembach (09:58):

I have this, you know, customer and our key because now they want things to centralize. They want this, Hey, I got this over here and I didn’t have to pay for it. Like I was just talking to my neighbor who was a trader, you know, back back in the eighties and she said, we used to have to carry paper tickets for our orders and go take them to the trading desk. And I mean how, how many of those people back then ever thought that it would be free training? Right. I mean you just, I mean to think about that is just totally mind boggling.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (10:27):

Well, I mean the like the change is it, I mean you can, there’s a thousand examples where you compare, you know, what we’ve gone through in our lives. I mean it, I’m 49 years old and it is just stunning. Like how much has changed. But the bottom line is we’re going to change more in the next 12 months than we did in the last 12 years. I mean, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I mean we are just getting started and now with the pandemic and quarantine and the fear that’s, that’s really evolving with people. You know, we’re, we’re business leaders. Failure to adapt is failure to exist. I mean you, you need to adapt. Everyone needs to adapt. And if you don’t, someone else is going to come in and take your place. Now that’s also an enormous opportunity for, I mean, change is opportunity, right?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (11:16):

The, the, the whole equation of the successful business is to find a problem and fix it. We haven’t had this many problems in a long time. So, you know, finding a problem is, is easy to do. So, you know, going out there and, and fixing problems and being, being a, you know, a solution you can, heroes will be made as a result of this pandemic. But, but the bottom line is that, that, uh, you know, we, we need to state our truth clearly and defiantly and pick the market that we’re after and stick with it. And that’s, you know, this is a time of bold leadership. This is, there was an Italian economist who back in the 19 I wrote a quote that I forget his name. A very is a lot of people have cited the quote recently and it goes something like this, I probably have it a little bit wrong, but he said the old world is dying.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (12:03):

The new world struggles to be born now is the time of monsters. Uh, 1930s. So you can imagine back in those days, he was probably referring to people like Stalin or Mussolini or Hitler. But, but the bottom line is this is a time of bold leadership because there’s so much change. Like you can picture, for example, 95 blocks or a hundred blocks, right? That’s like your life is of the economy. Your world is a hotter blocks. Normally 95 of them are nailed down. They’re not moving, they’re stationary, and there’s five that are emotion today. It’s exactly the inverse of that. All right? There’s only five that are nailed down. Everything’s in motion. Everything’s changing, right? And it’s very scary. It’s, it causes a lot of anxiety within our population. And certainly people are feeling that I am, they’re not sleeping well. They’re freaking out, right?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (12:52):

The stock market’s plunging so that all these things are our realities. We’re digesting. Uh, but at the same time, it’s, uh, there’s huge opportunity and, and the bold leaders, the people who can step up and envision a better tomorrow, they will gain traction because people are desperate for guidance and desperate for leadership. So that’s why I wrote my next book. I’m like, I have to do it now because people want someone to follow. They want, they’re desperate for solutions and answers. And that’s what you’re doing too. So the more we go out and provide a value and help people, especially the time right now and so much is, is variable and changing, there’s a lot of opportunity.

Jim Rembach (13:32):

Well, and with that, for me, I’d like to take some of those complex, uh, type of concepts and all of that and try to make it something that we can actually, you know, make some movement on you and I, before we actually started recording, we talked about, Hey man, just move right? Don’t, don’t stay in space. Don’t nest. Don’t go onto the rock. You gotta move. I mean, that movement and the whole inertia associated with that is so critically important in the learning opportunity. You know, we talk about, um, uh, Doug Conant who was on the fast leader show, um, former CEO of Campbell soup, you know, talked about, you know, three different types of competency that we have to focus in on. And he actually has a little model that you can evaporate upon. It talks about intelligence. We all know IQ, you know, EEQ which is, I’m certified in emotional intelligence and that’s important.

Jim Rembach (14:19):

But then he also talks about functional intelligence. And so the functional intelligence is, Hey, Noel, do you know your market? How well do you know your business? How well do you know it’s all that, how all that, you know, really that tactical components and elements and all of those things. I need all of those things in order to have a tribe that wants to follow me in order to have, you know, commitment and connection and purpose and drive and survivability and adaptability, all that, all that is necessary. But if we talk about, you know, an environment such as this, where there, there’s a problem with the whole functional intelligence, we don’t know what we don’t know. I mean, how do, how do I keep people engaged?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (14:59):

Well, I mean, you know, you pivot every single day. I mean, you, you see, the more you you try, right? Look, I mean, I’ve made more mistakes than anyone I know, but why is that? It’s because I’ve tried more things. Right? And so you, and at the end of the day you’re going to have a batting average. Some things you’re going to try are going to work. Most are not. You know, just, okay. Just this morning, literally this morning I just came back from, from uh, I got a coffee, I was talking to a friend of mine on the phone. He started a pest control business, right? And he’s, he’s booming. He’s out. And he just started a year ago. So brand new is in Boise, Idaho. Anyway, he, and this is classic, this is the way I think, and this is the way all of the people that I, you know, in my close circle, we all really try to think this way.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (15:45):

So, you know, I think business plans are completely useless because you don’t know, like maybe you’re doing 20 steps. The only step you actually have any reliability on is step number one. And you don’t know step number two until you’re finished step number one. Right? And so you have to try, you have to take action. And it’s not about as what I said earlier before we started recording, it’s not like I’m saying, you know, work 18 hours a day like Elon Musk. I have huge respect for Elon Musk, but that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is try something. Anything, get out there and do something. And once you finish step one, step two will present itself to you at that point. So my buddy, uh, he tried like five different marketing strategies and he put money towards all five of them. Four of them failed, one of them worked.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (16:31):

And so then what did he do? He took the money from the other four that were failed and reallocated them to the one that was working and double down on it. He never would have known. Like if you did a best business plan and say, do you have to do this marketing or these five Mark, you don’t know which one’s going to work. And it’s not that some are better strategies than others. It’s that we all have different businesses, different voice, different personalities, different demographics, different markets that we’re serving. So different platforms are going to be, we just don’t know. You don’t know until you try it. And so he tried all five for them, basically failed. Uh, and then one of them really worked very well. So he reallocated funds, doubled down. He adjusted his website to accommodate for that marketing strategy. And he’s booming.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (17:12):

So anything like, yeah, let’s say I try something on, let’s say I do this all the time, right? I record, I have 700 videos on YouTube and six books and you know, so I’m constantly, you know, throwing stuff against the wall and have I, if I got a lot of, you know, like advice out there that turned out to be not true. Yeah, absolutely. You’re, you’ll find tons of it. But the people who, who have come across my content, I think if there is an appreciation that they have, it’s that I keep calibrating and I keep pivoting and I keep learning and I, I’m the first one to say, look, I suggested something you a year ago and I come, it’s wrong. I was wrong. And here’s, here’s why, and here’s what I suggest now. So we all need to do that. Um, but, but, but being willing to try things and being willing to be a bold leader, this is a time of bold.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (18:04):

We need bold leadership and, you know, passion sells, right? Know this, and this is not new. This is 2000 years ago, right? I mean, if you, you know, the passionate politicians are the ones that get votes. The passionate musicians are the ones that sell albums, right? They’re the passionate businesses. Look at Apple. They defiantly support the, the, you know, the rebels and the misfits, right? People love them for that. And so, you know, having conviction and passionate about your beliefs and being willing to go out and try things. Apples tried lots of things that failed. Uh, but they keep trying and they keep coming back. They keep coming back and just going after their goals. People have respect for that and more and more today than ever.

Jim Rembach (18:45):

So as you’re talking, I even started thinking about the book and the way that you’ve broken it down to me and you talk about that step, you know, and making that movement. Um, you know, there’s really six things that you talk about are trends that we need to be aware of, which I think can really assist or aid in that passion building area. Because even if I’m a middle manager, okay, I’m a frontline manager, I still have to, some people may say, well, I don’t, I don’t have to have all that. I don’t need to be bold. Heck no, I’ll get in trouble. Right? All of those things start running through people’s head and they’re very fear based. And then when you have situations that we’re in now, it just magnifies the problem. But I think getting some functional intelligence and understanding and these six core areas will get us a little bit better prepared. So you talk about, you know, costs when costs collapsed, that innovation prize, you talk about AI, artificial intelligence, and the different waves. You’re talking about jobs and job impact. Uh, you talk about blockchain and then you talk about anarchy and then you also talk about demographics and, and so when I start thinking about those, if you could just kind of run through those a little bit to help everybody understand what you’re meaning.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (20:00):

Yeah. Thank you, Jim, for going through my book. I truly appreciate that. So that the costs, you know, we, we, we just both spoke just a moment ago. Technology is evolving along an exponential curve. So we all kind of know that, you know, that that curve that we’ve all seen a million times where it goes up into the right. And of course that’s what it does. But it’s the inverse of that, which is so important, right? And this way, no one thinks about it. And that is that the cost of any one capability goes down towards zero very, very quickly. Right? More, more quickly than people think. So when I said earlier, I’m like, what if this technology costs one 100th of what it costs today? That happens, right? So the cost of, and in technology, there’s kind of the three big ones, which is data storage, data bandwidth and data processing.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (20:49):

Those are like the three pillars of technology. And the cost curve of those is, is really coming down very, very quickly. So, you know, I mean, there’s a thousand examples, right? I mean, the cost of storing one terabyte of data in the year 2000 was $17,000 today it costs three bucks. Uh, and Amazon web services, I mean there’s, you’ve all heard these, there’s a thousand examples, but the costs are coming down really, really quickly. So like solar panels, for example, uh, solar panels have come down in price 90% in the last five years. It’s come down 99%, 99.7 or something, 99.7% reduction since the 1970s. Like, it is astonishing what’s happening. And so, you know, that’s going to grow, it’s going to continue to grow. And another perfect example right now is this impending automobile revolution, which is going to involve two primary trends. One, one is autonomous driving, but the second is the transition from gas vehicles to electric vehicles and the cost of batteries, which is the, the the most, the most expensive part in an electric vehicle.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (21:59):

By the way, gas vehicles have on average 2000 moving parts. Electric vehicles have less than a hundred. That’s a 95% reduction in parts moving parts of an electric vehicle. So we’re talking about a complete disruption of the automotive supply chain and aftermarket service markets is completely going to change and servicing electric vehicles is much cheaper, but the most expensive part is the battery. And right now it’s coming down in price between 12 and 14% each year. And that’s being driven by the billions and billions and billions of dollars being invested in the technology by people like Tesla and their gigafactories right and Panasonic and so on. So that the cost curve is coming down predictably, like, like they all do everything that’s technology related so the costs come down. So you can map out when an electric vehicle will literally be cheaper. And by the way, this doesn’t even account for the fact that electricity is 90% cheaper than gas on a per mile basis.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (22:55):

So to charge up your electric vehicle costs one 10th what it costs to fill up your tank with gasoline. So a totally, totally different might. So gas vehicles are gone within five years and you can Mark, you can put my name on that because within three years it’s literally got to be cheaper to buy electric vehicles than gas. And by 2025, you know, it’s not like it’s going to be replaced by individuals buying cars. It’s going to be replaced by fleets buying a hundred thousand cars at a time because it’s going to be transport as a service. Um, so anyway, costs are coming down and data is exploding and that’s what’s driving artificial intelligence. We can talk about that. That’s a huge, I mean, that’s affecting one industry after another and it’s guaranteed to just like going back to the 1960s and seventies, people added to everything and you have a lawn mower with electricity, you have a toothbrush with electricity.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (23:49):

I mean, everything has electricity. All of a sudden today it’s, it’s AI. AI is being added to everything. Everything’s going to have AI, uh, you know, and that’s just, that’s, we’re in the middle of that right now. So that’s happening. Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. And that’s, believe me, this, you know, if the wheels come off of the economy, you know, with, with the monetary easing and, and, uh, you know, the central bank and the ECB just money printing a quantitative easing. If the, if the credit based monetary system breaks, I’m not saying it will, but it could. The risk is there and it’s growing. If that happens, the winner will be Bitcoin. Uh, and that’s a decentralized platform, right? But blockchain is, is, is ByDesign decentralized, very similar to the open source movement, by the way. Also a decentralized, very similar between looking at blockchain, uh, opportunities in the future.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (24:43):

You can compare it to open source maybe about 10 years, 15 years ahead. So you can model open source to see what’s going to happen with blockchain, but likely a lot of similar things. Uh, and then the anarchy is, is what we discussed earlier is anarchy is, is a function of decentralization. The two are synonyms to me almost. Uh, so as decentralization grows, this feeling of anarchy also grows. And, and, and this tribal nature where there’s multiple versions of the truth that that all is, is stemming from, uh, from decentralization, which is enabled by technology, including blockchain. And the last thing, demographics is kind of a different topic. If you want to dig into that, we certainly can, but, but the technology piece is, is really the driving force behind all of this. And leaders have to learn that you can’t, like what you said earlier, Jim, you hit the nail on the head. You can’t please all people. You have to pick your truth and, and, and stand defiantly in your truth. And that’s what’s going to the moderate voices get drowned out. They disappear in the noise a so and so that unfortunately it leads to a more polarized society. So there’s a lot of downsides and I absolutely see those downsides, but it’s a reality. And so leaders have to get used to that and understand that dynamic.

Jim Rembach (26:04):

So as you’re talking, I start even thinking about all these six different factors and for me and, and my, my heart has always been in that employee experience and that customer experience. And I, and I in my industry in the contact center space, customer experience space, they’ve talked so much about AI in the context center. Um, I’m actually working on a webinar series with the pace association on AI in the contact center and that customer perspective of AI. And so the whole adoption piece, um, what different verticals, you know, can get and receive the most benefit from using AI because it varies. We have all of these different types of emotional connection, you know, which is kind of what you’re talking about and try picking my Lang emotional connection, all of that. So how you even talked about the different perspectives and deployments can be quite different. But if, if I’m looking at these six elements in six items and I’m focusing specifically on the customer, where do you see really the biggest impact?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (27:03):

Well, I mean, w what you said a second ago struck me. It’s funny, I like when I’m speaking, you have ideas when you speak at the same goes in reverse. But you know, we’re, we’re all different. We’re all increasingly different. Uh, and even now, like we see, so let me, let me start with an example because I have a friend of mine who, uh, is, he has one of the leading platforms in the medicinal marijuana space, which is not my thing, but, but whatever. It’s growing space of course. And he’s the host of a, of a, like a video series which they’re selling. Uh, so, you know, they done series one and series two and now they’re series three. Anyway, he goes down to a studio here in Los Angeles area on a regular basis to record these videos. And he does literally hundreds of videos that catered to an audience at different levels of engagement.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (27:58):

So you do an initial campaign, people either engage with it or they don’t. So all of a sudden that one group is split into two. And so now you’re going to do, the second level of your marketing is going to go to two different groups, right? And each one of those is going to either respond to what you sent them or not. So they split into two and then they split it into two and they split into two. And before you know it, you literally have dozens and dozens of different markets, segmented groups, which are at different levels of your marketing and conversion funnel, right? So people talk about following the customer journey, this is what they’re talking about. Like, and I, it bothers me sometimes when people say following the customer your journey, because people listen to that. They don’t understand like what’s the implication?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (28:40):

The implication is market segmentation at the extreme and, and, and creating a marketing funnel that follows people through their level. So, and I see this in, in the, the, the thing that, you know, on Instagram or Facebook or, or, or, uh, I mean there’s tech talk, my gosh, they’re everywhere. These different things that are being marketed to me and, and I follow it because it’s so intuitive. Like I feel like in having like a one to one conversation with this company that I’m saying something to them, they’re saying it back to me and it makes perfect sense based on what I just said. So there’s this intuitive logic and the user experience, right? How logical does this progression seem to me? And that’s what we have to learn how to do it. You know, these exclusions. So you do one marketing campaign, it splits into two.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (29:33):

So now you’re going to exclude this group and only market to this one and have a custom message and then that’s going to get into two based on what happens. And so now you’re going to exclude one half of that and do the other. And so a good friend of mine does this sort of marketing for some really big brands, uh, really incredible campaigns that, like I said, that end up with dozens if not hundreds of different custom messages going to individuals. And it’s all about exclusions and data and following that data. Now artificial intelligence can, uh, look at the people who ended up in a particular spot in your funnel and going back to the original group and trying to understand what characteristics of those people have and then trying to extrapolate and testing, uh, with a broader audience. So you get these things like in, in, in Facebook or Google the, I do a lot of advertising with Google and you can target similar audiences, right?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (30:31):

So you have one group that you’re targeting, but you can target a similar audience. Well, that’s similar audience. That is machine learning right there because the platform will look for similar people, send the advertisement out to them, see if those people engage or not. And then it’s learning what people always say, what’s the difference between analytics and artificial intelligence? Because a lot of what we’re talking about is just good, good algorithms, right? That’s all it really is. So what’s the dividing line? Well, there’s generally two, two things that people look at. Number one is is that it’s replicating some sort of human level comprehension, right? Which is obvious, but the second is that it has the ability to learn. And so that’s what you always have to ask yourself, does this, does this part of the, the the, the technology learn from, it’s from it, from more data and these similar audiences, they absolutely do.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (31:24):

So they, they run it to people they think are similar. They see who engages and who doesn’t. And so that now they’ve learned something, Oh this, this, these groups that didn’t work here but it did work here. So they may refine it a little bit more. That’s why when you’re doing advertising campaigns, like you have to let it run for a few weeks, right? Two, three, four weeks, a month or two and let it learn and it’s going to cost you money. There’s no question it’s going to cost you money. But like with a Facebook pixel for example, you can put a Facebook pixel on your website, Facebook will track that and they will learn. That platform will learn about your audience. You have to spend a little bit of money to give it that ability to learn. And then you can, you know, part two, part three, part four are much more profitable than part one because it’s learning along the way.

Jim Rembach (32:10):

And as you’re talking, I started thinking about, you know, really the differentiating factor is being able to balance all of the human intelligence and the emotional intelligence, the functional intelligence, all of that. And you know what you’re learning about, you know, all of these possible technologies, so you can do things that only the extraordinary and exceptional do. Now you can sit back here and say, well, that’s just too darn, or I’m not smart enough for that. Or something along those lines and self-sabotage. But what would you tell people in order to take a step?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (32:49):

I mean, it’s those last two steps. Last two words or three words. Take the next step. I mean, you gotta you gotta throw something against the wall, right? That’s what I, that’s what I, what I meet mean in my mind. That’s what I’m thinking. What I’m saying. Let the advertising campaign run for awhile. Like the functional intelligence [inaudible] those are your tactics, right? Those are, those are your, is your specific how to, and I love that stuff, right? That’s like what I, I live on that either take action, try something, do something right. That’s your functional intelligence. But the bottom line is you don’t go in having that functional intelligence. You learn it as you go, right? And so you start a campaign and then, and then you have to learn from it, right? And you have to try it and keep going. And that’s why, you know, how many different things can you try?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (33:36):

So people talk about innovation and that’s a huge part of my work. Uh, and innovation can really be boiled down to one concept, or let’s say two words, which is budgeting failure. You have to budget failure. W w because innovation implies that you’re trying something new. No, you haven’t done it before. So if you’re Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, that guy is incredibly brilliant. Whether you like him or not, he’s brilliant. And he says, I mean, so many quotes from him. It’s endless, but one of them is so simple. If you know it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment because you already know what’s going to work. Like if you, if you’re going to try something, it means you’re trying something. You don’t know if it’s going to work or not, which means it might not, which means you’re going to lose money, right? The amount of money you spent on that experiment, you’re going to lose that money, right?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (34:26):

So if you’re, if you want to be innovative and you have to be right, remember, failure to adapt is failure to exist. So we have to, we have to try new things. We have to innovate, which means you need a budget for that. So let’s say you have a million bucks or a hundred thousand, right? It doesn’t matter what it is. Let’s say a hundred thousand, right? If do you want to blow all that money on one experiment and do a big huge experiment? Or do you want to take that money and split it up into 10 small experiments, right? Or is the, what’s the minimum viable product? What’s the easiest, simplest, cheapest way to test an idea, right? People think you have to develop a product to test it, but that’s not true. You can create specs and you can market a product that doesn’t even exist just to see if the marketing works, right?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (35:13):

And if it works, you can develop the product. If it doesn’t, you can forget the idea. So always think like, what’s this? What’s the cheapest, simplest, quickest way to try something new? You know, in Silicon Valley, I lived in the Bay area for 18 years and the venture capital world, they’re all in. You’ve heard this before, they’re all about fail. Fast forward, fail forward, and iterate towards success. Fail fast, fail, learn from it, and iterate towards success. You don’t know. Step two until you finished step one. So this is, I mean, you know, I don’t mean to be repetitive at all, Jen. I promise, but, but to me it always circles around to this one concept, which is go out and try something and learn and don’t have this, the arrogance to think that you know how it’s going to turn out. Like I’ve tried so many things that I find this is, this is going to work and I can’t tell you this. I’m like a professional failure. Like I, that’s what I do. I fail like repeatedly over and over and over again. And so I find these little things where it actually did work and then I iterate and I keep going built on that. But the amount of failures are

Jim Rembach (36:20):

staggering along the way. Well, I have to tell you, you did actually do a lot of things very successfully on this interview because we ask about an important quote you shared that you taught, we’d lock and ask about hump stories. You did that. I mean you led your way all the way to where we are right now. We have a couple of other books coming up and we want to make sure that we stay engaged with those. Uh, and as far as you making an impact on the world and helping us being more prepared so that we are not blindsided if something that all of the fast lead leader Legion wishes you the very best on. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

Ad (36:57):

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Patrick Schwerdtfeger (37:48):

Boils down to what we just discussed. What’s the easiest, simplest, fastest way to try something. Because if you don’t have a lot of time, we all have 24 hours in a day. You got to pack as many experiments into that time as possible.

Jim Rembach (37:59):

And what is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (38:02):

Try something. Go out and do something. Anything. Anything small. Take a step in the direction of your goals, even when it comes to manifesting and visualization and the law of attraction. What do they say? Take a step in the direction of your goals. Step two will reveal itself when you’re finished. Step one.

Jim Rembach (38:19):

And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (38:23):

Um, persistence. I mean versus again, I failed so much and most of the people who, who I know and who know me, if they went through the things I went through, they just give up. They can’t take the ego hit. I’ve slapped in the face more times than I can count, but I keep success is not about how many times you’re hit, it’s about how many times you get up afterwards.

Jim Rembach (38:43):

And what would be one of your, or what is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (38:48):

Uh, data. I always follow the data. I mean, and I know that’s not probably not the answer you’re looking for, but I find data in everything I do and I try to follow the data because I’ve, I have learned that I, my intuition, my gut feel is almost never right at the beginning.

Jim Rembach (39:05):

And what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? It could be for any genre course. We’re going to put a link to a anarchy on your shown up page as well.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (39:12):

Yeah. You know, I mean I’ll, I might, I’m just going to go with the tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell. 16% right? How do you get to 16% it’s not about 80% it’s not about a hundred it’s not about 50 how do you get to 16% that’s the tipping point. Once you get there, the rest takes care of itself.

Jim Rembach (39:30):

Okay. Fast leader Legion. You can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/patrick-schwerdtfeger. But here just do Patrick and your search bar and you’ll be able to find it. Okay, Patrick, this is my last question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (39:55):

and why? You know, boy, that’s actually a really good question. I think just communication, community learning to communicate as, as, as, as effectively as I can. That’s the one thing that, you know, I’ve had recurring nightmares my whole life that I lose my voice. Why? Because my voice and my ability to communicate is communication skills and more than ever with the young people who are spending so much time on their computers. If you can learn to communicate effectively with people one on one or one to many, uh, that is the best paying skill on earth, politicians, salespeople, it’s all the same. It all boils down to

Jim Rembach (40:29):

communication. Patrick, I had fun with you today. Can you please share with our fast leader Legion how they can connect with you?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (40:35):

Yeah, sure. So my last name is a doozy. Uh, but the easiest way to find my website is actually just go to http://bookpatrick.com/ http://bookpatrick.com/ and it will forward to my website. Uh, and it’s all about speaking and such, but it’ll give you an idea of the, of, of how I spend my time and how I earn my living.

Jim Rembach (40:53):

Patrick Schwerdtfeger. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom of fast leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.