The Leadership Podcast

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We interview great leaders, review the books they read, and speak with highly influential authors who study them.

Jan Rutherford and Jim Vaselopulos, experts on leadership development


    • Feb 1, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 43m AVG DURATION
    • 350 EPISODES

    4.9 from 81 ratings Listeners of The Leadership Podcast that love the show mention: leadership podcast, better leader, world class, applied, development, compelling, discussing, walk, discussion, variety, great guests, powerful, future, inspiration, perspectives, experiences, overall, provide, business, knowledgeable.



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    Latest episodes from The Leadership Podcast

    TLP344: It Starts With Authenticity

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 1, 2023 35:24


    Jamie Ryder is the founder of Stoic Athenaeum. He's on a mission to make philosophy sexy and down to earth. He's focused on breaking stigmas about mental health and leadership. He says that everyone has a philosophy they live by every day and the more they understand their philosophy, the more they will know how to communicate with others. Listen in for wisdom on stepping back for a wider view to move forward. https://bit.ly/TLP-344   Key Takeaways [1:57] When Jamie was young, he wanted to be either a wrestler or a writer; two different types of storytelling. He always liked the larger-than-life characters of wrestling. When he was 16, he trained as a wrestler in Manchester. But while wrestling was fascinating, he had more aspirations to write stories. [4:32] Jamie believes philosophy needs to be lived. He has never been trained in philosophy academically. He describes the attraction Stoic philosophy holds for him, including the mental health aspect of it. Everybody has a philosophy or values they show up in the world with, that makes them who they are. It's something that you live and breathe. [5:54] Jamie believes there are therapeutic mental health benefits to philosophy. [6:44] Philosophy permits you to be vulnerable with yourself. There is always an amount of uncertainty you will have to deal with. Stoicism helps Jamie identify the things he can or can't control and navigate uncertain situations, such as the pandemic. [7:17] Jamie recommends two practical exercises: “The Premeditation of Adversity,” attributed to Seneca, and “The View from Above,” by Marcus Aurelius. The Premeditation of Adversity builds resilience. Imagine the worst-case scenario and prepare for it. It helps Jamie calm down any anxiety he has about upcoming events. The View from Above is to take a high-level perspective of a situation. [10:01] Give yourself permission to carve out time to practice The Premeditation of Adversity before events and The View from Above after events. [12:00] By studying philosophy, Jamie learned that values are intrinsic in us and we have the power to make experiences make sense to us. By looking at different philosophers and schools of thought, Jamie instilled their activities and lessons into his life. Philosophy is a lot of small acts you do again and again. It becomes accessible and habit-forming as you repeat the exercises. [13:43] Jamie would recommend that you start exploring philosophy with Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius. You don't need to know philosophy or Stoicism to understand Meditations. Marcus Aurelius was journaling for himself, 2,000 years ago. You can see he was trying to be an honorable person. If he had a bad day, he tried something different. On the second reading, it took on new meaning for Jamie. [15:09] Jamie also recommends Letters from a Stoic, by Seneca. Seneca was writing to his friend, distilling lessons he'd learned over a lifetime. You can pick one letter to read a day, and you will find something that resonates with you today from 2,000 years ago. [15:36] Stoicism was Jamie's gateway into philosophy. He has also studied Skepticism, Existentialism, and Epicureanism. Another book recommendation Jamie gives is The Essays, by Michel de Montaigne. What de Montaigne wrote about a few hundred years ago are the same issues people face day in and day out. [18:09] Jamie explains the symbiotic relationship between creativity and curiosity. [20:10] Stoic philosophy involves stepping back and slowing down, which is different from typical business goals. At its crux, it's about trying to focus on what you can control and what you can't control. It means taking a break from things. [21:45] Jamie shares tips for creative writing for business: have a tone-of-voice guide beforehand and then you can push the message across social media, emails, and wherever you need to be to communicate that message. Create it in a voice that makes sense to you and has a connection to the audience you are trying to build community with. [23:30] Michel de Montaigne created the genre of philosophical writings known as essays. He created boundaries around himself where he could be alone, take a moment to breathe, and be himself. [26:36] Writing tips: Start with writing a stream of consciousness. This goes back to de Montaigne. Create an environment where you feel comfortable, such as going for a walk or an activity that you are happy to do. Take a step back, then go back to it. Read as much as possible and pick out ideas you might not have thought about before. Distill it down into what you are trying to create on the page. [28:05] To learn storytelling, start with authenticity. “This is my story. I've been through this and it makes sense to me. It communicates to the audience, as well.” It needs to have substance and reflect your values and principles. If there is a cause you support, you need to have the substance behind it, as well. Use ethical rhetoric to support a cause that has substance. [29:13] Cicero used rhetoric to great effect. Aristotle introduced the three proofs: Logos, Pathos, and Ethos. [30:28] Leaders need to be concerned about their people; they need to learn to lead themselves so they can lead others. Logos is for persuasion. Ethos is your character. Pathos is connecting with people and empowering them to share their emotions or connect with their customers. Others have different views. [32:18] Jamie's storytelling advice to leaders: Ask questions and learn from the stories of people around you but “You need your personal values that work into that to create your unique and authentic story, as well. … I would just always remember that it's always a learning experience.” [34:49] Closing quote: Remember, “A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.” — Michel de Montaigne   Quotable Quotes “When I was young, I either chose to be a wrestler or a writer; [they're] different types of storytelling. … I chose to be a writer but I will always appreciate what [wrestling] taught me.” “There is a tendency to say that philosophy can seem quite high-minded or academic, … where it's not, because it is something that you live and breathe.” “Prior to the pandemic, I felt quite burnt out about a few things, but then, while discovering the subject of philosophy, it clicked, in the sense that it's something that you can control within the Stoic aspect. … From a mental health aspect, it made a lot of sense for me.” “I would always recommend Marcus Aurelius's Meditations, because that, to me, is a book that you don't even need to know what philosophy is, or Stoicism is, to really get to it. In context, Marcus was literally just writing to himself 2,000 years ago.” “It's about balance, as well. … Sometimes you do need to take that step back and just reassess.” “[To write effectively,] create an environment for yourself where you feel comfortable. … Read as much as possible, … picking ideas from things that are outside your comfort zone, … and then just distilling it down.” “It starts with authenticity. … Creating that sense that ‘This is my story,' or “I've been through this.'”   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Jamie Ryder Stoic Athenaeum WWE The Premeditation of Adversity Seneca Marcus Aurelius Limitless with Chris Hemsworth Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius Letters from a Stoic, by Lucius Annaeus Seneca Skepticism Existentialism Epicureanism The Essays, by Michel de Montaigne Mike Lerario Donald Robertson Schopenhauer Cicero Aristotle and the three proofs

    TLP343: Just Start

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 25, 2023 48:36


    Patrick Bryant is a serial entrepreneur, professional speaker, and co-founder and CEO of software product agency CODE/+/TRUST. After co-founding Go To Team, Patrick launched six multi-million-dollar companies, in media, and software. Patrick shares wisdom gained from his experience in start-ups, his origin as a journalist, what he accomplished in video, and the CODE/+/TRUST “BHAG” for powering startups around the U.S. He discusses culture, scaling, storytelling, and how the first thing for an entrepreneur to do is to start.https://bit.ly/TLP-343   Key Takeaways [1:15] If you have listened to every episode of The Leadership Podcast, please contact Jan and Jim to let them know. They would love to hear it and there might be something in it for you! [2:27] Most people don't know that Patrick owns a rolling paper company that he started after investing in a cigar company. Most people know him from software, media, and other things, like speaking. [3:40] Patrick's always getting into unexpected situations. He just keeps showing up for work and looking for interesting things. He's curious and asks questions. His original profession was journalism and he learned to study industries and areas of interest to him. Many times, it results in a business idea. When he sees an opportunity, he strikes it. [6:07] Patrick believes entrepreneurship is the number one change agent in the world. It is amazingly helpful to society to do something new and do it right. [7:19] There are businesses that are built to scale and others that are not. In a field, you may have grass, bushes, and a large oak tree. The large oak tree did not start as a blade of grass! It takes time to know the “species” of businesses. Patrick started the video company, Go To Team, 25 years ago. It has 16 offices around the U.S. It hit a $1 million valuation when it was 10 years old. That felt great to Patrick! [8:43] Another company that started the same week as Go To Team is Google. In 10 years, Google had been publicly traded and people were using its name as a verb! Patrick wondered what he was doing wrong. He started to study innovation scale — how to build companies and products that are built to move quickly in a big way and be sold around the world. That pushed Patrick toward software. [9:58] Scaling is different between software and service companies. A service company can go a long time with continued operation, but not a lot of growth. A software product requires investments and a certain level of sales. If the sales don't come, it's over. The money's gone and the investors aren't going to pour more money into the company. There is risk involved in software. [12:43] Journalism, television, and all media have changed greatly since the start of the internet. There is confusion and fragmentation. Patrick foresees us slowly getting back to moderation and looking for experts and gatekeepers we can trust to provide us with the content we want in the way we want it. We don't yet have the new Walter Cronkite or Tom Brokaw. [15:39] Patrick's company, CODE/+/TRUST, sells code and trust. They help people start software companies. Their “BHAG” is to power 500 software startups in every state in the U.S. and be an official software development firm for entrepreneurs. They want to connect with good ideas, spend a lot of time on them, grow them, feel good about what they produce, and help entrepreneurs make money. [18:41] First and foremost, get one thing right. You can have multiple ways to attack a problem but you can only have one mission. The mission and values cannot change. [19:15] Patrick is working on a TEDx speech for March on the schizophrenic nature of advice to entrepreneurs. For instance, Winston Churchill's message of never giving up contrasts with the advice to fail fast. All leaders need to understand this: mission and values do not move. We are not giving up on our mission. Tactics and goals that don't get us there need to be stopped. [21:51] Patrick's big “Aha” moment is that not all advice is equal. Advice from your Grandma on how to live a good life might be great, but her advice on how to run your business might not be great. Where does the advice come from? How does it work with your core values? [23:14] Advice can be great for one individual that's not great for the next one. Patrick is a value investor. He likes to buy stocks that are low, for the long term. That's what he reads about. Blogs about day trade opportunities are not useful advice for him. Patrick says that if every CEO learned the right way to take advice, they would be the last 10% of “amazing.” It's one of the hardest things. [25:34] Patrick separates User Experience from Customer Experience or navigating the software from working the sales funnel. Patrick focuses on providing customers with what they need, not what they want. Henry Ford said that if he asked his customers what they wanted, they would have said, “a faster horse.” We have to have the view that we know some things about where the customer wants to go. [27:05] Patrick's business partner, CTO at CODE/+/TRUST, does software design. He's opinionated and will stand his ground in a positive way with customers because he believes he knows where the customer is trying to go. Designers must come to the discussion with views on what they believe for the customer. Patrick shares the surprising results of a Lay's Potato Chip survey and taste test. [28:59] The Lay's experience illustrates the way that we have to come to the process, which is customer first, but educated on how to make it as simple and clean and smooth an experience for them as possible, almost regardless of what they think. [30:38] Event.gives is a company of Patrick's in the non-profit space. Attendees fill out their profiles and can then move from event to event without re-entering their data. Nonprofits argued that it is their data, but Patrick points out that individuals own their data, and they are the ones with the right to release it to the non-profit. Always go back to the individual and what their rights and choices are. [33:20] Software and media for kids have the added responsibility of providing them with reasonable opportunities for learning. Patrick always tries to start at the core mission, protecting people's privacy, and allowing them the right to control their data. [34:53] As a journalist, Patrick learned that it's all about telling stories. Master storytellers influence in positive ways. The slogan for Go To Team for years was Passionate Storytellers. Storytelling is a helpful skill that allows you to communicate the data that you want and to emotionally connect with people. The goal is to be ordinarily extraordinary in your storytelling so people connect with your message. [36:29] Patrick explains how to use storytelling to make products socially contagious by connecting the brand to the customer's lifestyle. [37:32] Do not put your story in an email! How you tell your story depends on who the audience is. Patrick has run a video company for 25 years. He recommends using video to tell your story. It connects to people in a much more important way than the written word. Engaging with people in person and telling your story on stage is incredibly emotional and powerful. Connect with people in person. [39:30] Making people laugh and tugging at their heartstrings brings them along with the story. Use emotion to motivate people, educate them, and make them get excited. [41:59] Patrick refers to himself as a made entrepreneur. He doesn't have to go to work tomorrow and his basic life needs will be taken care of. Like many of his peers and friends, Patrick enjoys the fight. He enjoys being in the company. He enjoys starting new things. He enjoys the idea stage and helping others and finding connections with the product-market fit. He keeps coming back for that super joy. [42:55] When a company gets to have between 10 and 20 employees and people start asking Patrick about policies, that's his sign to go and start a new company. He doesn't want to write policies and procedures around when you get off of work and what days are holidays. He doesn't think that way. Starting another company re-energizes him to go attack the next idea. [43:51] As Patrick grows a company, and adds people, he's thrilled by it. He loves it. The mission still stands and the values are great. He can't wait to see the team execute on the goal. But it's no longer energizing for him. Starting the rollercoaster over is what he loves. [45:27] Patrick's closing thoughts, to anyone in a transition stage, just get started. Look for something that you can develop expertise in. What one thing can you do to sell that expertise and move forward an idea in that particular industry, right now, today? “That's my core advice, just get started.” [47:59] Closing quote: Remember, “Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” — Steven Covey   Quotable Quotes “Well, I don't know how you could follow my path. I had the interesting time of being on the Mall two years ago, here in Washington D.C., where I am today, for January 6. I think of myself as a little bit of a Forrest Gump. I don't know how I get into some of these situations!” “I'm just curious. I ask people questions. As a journalist for many years of my life, … I just learned to study and get my head around industries and areas of interest of mine. And many times, that results in a business idea. And when I see opportunity, I strike it.” “Just start something, just talk to someone, just learn what someone needs. … I just don't understand why entrepreneurs … can't just take an opportunity and run with it. … So that's my number one piece of advice … find something you're interested in and get started.” “I believe entrepreneurship is the number one change agent in the world. I say it on stages around the United States. I just believe that as entrepreneurs, we are doing something profound and exciting when we are developing a new product … or bringing out a new process.” “The best way to make money is to make somebody else more money. That, to me, is where relationships come in and you're helping someone move forward as an entrepreneur.” “If you show up to help other people and do the good, right thing, you will have business for as long as you can see it because people will acknowledge and trust you and want to work with you on what they need.” “You can have multiple goals; … multiple tactics; … multiple ways that you're attacking a problem but you can only have one mission. You can have core values that support how you're going to move forward with that mission. The mission and the values can't change.” “Advice can be great for one individual that's not great for the next one.” “The way that we have to come at the process … is, customer first, but educated on how to make it as simple and clean and smooth an experience for them as possible, almost regardless of what they think.” “With storytelling and laughter, camaraderie, and building a culture that people really want to be there; they really want to help move the mission forward, you can get people going 60, 70 miles per hour without a lot of effort.” “Every time I get to a place of success, I immediately start thinking, ‘Man, it would be cool to go back to the beginning. How can we do this again?' It's just so much fun to start the rollercoaster over!”   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Patrick Bryant CODE/+/TRUST Go To Team Shine Rolling Papers Monica Lewinski Liberty Fellowship The Aspen Institute Walter Cronkite Tom Brokaw BHAG Colin Gray at Purdue The Experience Economy, by Joe Pine II and James H. Gilmore Joe Pine Jim Gilmore Lay's Potato Chips Event.gives Seth Godin EBITDA

    TLP342: Fight the Default Energy of ‘No'

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2023 55:48


    Jay Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author of “The Decoded Company.” He is also the CEO and Co-founder of Sensei Labs - focused on technology, design, and the art of leadership. The conversation in this episode covers decision-making, connections, the six values of Sensei culture, and putting customers first. Jay urges leaders to have regular conversations with employees and use data to understand them better. Jay considers empathy to be the most important trait of a leader and he elaborates on its importance.https://bit.ly/TLP-342   Key Takeaways [2:34] Jay has a 13-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son. For Jay, parenting and leadership are very close; he uses some of the same principles with his children and in his one-on-one work discussions. [3:39] The book, The Decoded Company, was published in 2014. In the years since then, the world has changed a lot. Much of the book is still relevant, but in hindsight, Jay says they should have put more emphasis on culture. It should be a headline item. That has become more true as Jay continues to grow Sensei Labs, which was spun out of Klick to capitalize on the technology they talk about in the book. [5:34] Jay compares a company's culture to a garden. The leader makes sure the garden gets enough sunlight, water, and nutrients, weeds the garden and protects it from pests. Leaders can't directly make the garden grow. They can create all the right conditions for it to grow. If you want certain behaviors, create an environment that encourages those behaviors. It's dangerous to try to fix people. [8:16] There are more small decisions than big decisions. Your physical space in an office has a big impact on culture. It's hard to radically change your office space. Day-to-day moments can have just as big an impact. There are many times more of them than there are of the big decisions. Big decisions need to be followed up with lots of small decisions. [10:52] When COVID-19 hit, Sensei Labs was still within the offices of their parent company, Klick. Klick allowed them to stop paying rent, which was very helpful for a small business. In the summer of 2021, as COVID-19 was letting up, Sensei Labs discussed as a team if they needed to take an office. The Toronto group was missing the moments of connectivity, collaboration, and having lunch together. [12:13] After funding, Sensei Labs had almost doubled in size. International associates had never worked in an office together but they wanted the connection shared by the Toronto group. Sensei Group built an office with collaboration rooms but no private offices, desks for everyone there on a day, and multi-use spaces for large meetings and holiday parties. They are not mandating people back to the office. [15:04] Sensei Labs doesn't say “remote” for people outside the office. Teams pick a day to come in together. They use Teams calls for those who cannot attend that day. They also use Teams calls on cross-team meetings or customer meetings. All meeting rooms are set up for Teams, with good microphones, audio, cameras, and video. Sensei Labs is all hybrid, rather than divided into tiers. [16:21] All “hoteling” desks have a proper monitor and Logitech webcam. There is an events space with a screen that rolls down from the ceiling, a webcam, a projector, and an audio system, so people not present can have the full experience of partaking in the event. There are multiple presenters, some in the building, and some participating by video. All these things help integrate the teams. [17:30] All of that said, you can't replace the in-person experience, or going out for a coffee or lunch together. Jay loves to see a cross-functional group who have carried in lunch and are eating together. Those are collisions, as Steve Jobs called them, where you get an exchange of ideas and connections between different teams that wouldn't otherwise form. Those are hard to recreate on Teams or Slack. [18:50] At Sensei Labs, there is a big emphasis on helping each other in a culture where that's rewarded and recognized. The founders were intentional when they carved Sensei Labs out of Klick to build a culture that was unique to Sensei Labs, built around Enterprise SaaS, customers, and partners. [20:28] As they started, they came up with six values that represent Sensei culture: being Selfless, being Empathetic, being Nimble, being Skilled, being Entrepreneurial, and having Integrity. They built everything they do on the people side of the business around those Sensei values. They have a matrix of every role in the organization with the values, and observable behaviors expected from each role. [21:23] The matrix also shows how to get promoted in terms of what you should be thinking about in observable behaviors for each of the Sensei values for any role. When Sensei Labs does promotions, they evaluate on the Sensei values. The Sensei values are part of their open recognition channel in Teams. Everyone can post recognitions of others and tag them with Sensei values. It's all intentional. [22:32] Over the last year, Sensei Labs has strongly emphasized CARE requests. Sensei President Benji Nadler came up with the acronym CARE, for Customers Are Really Everything, to reorient everyone's thinking about customer requests to make them the highest priority. [24:08] An organization that does not give its people regular feedback about results is doing its people a disservice and will not get the results that it wants. In The Decoded Company, there is the Rule of Five Degrees. If you take a boat across a lake, and you're five degrees off course at the start, it's an easy correction then. But five degrees off course on the other side of the lake could be miles out of the way. [25:05] If an organization gives performance reviews annually, it's already crossed the lake. Regular five-degree course corrections throughout the year could prevent an employee from being miles off course at the performance review. Regular feedback corrects behaviors and bridges the gap between behaviors. [26:18] As a privately-held company, Sensei Labs is free to make long-term decisions. Jay picks values even over performance because, in the end, that will have the biggest impact on the business. Staying true to those values will affect whom they hire. [28:14] Sensei Labs operates as a separate organization from Klick and the Sensei teams do not work on Klick's projects. Sensei is proudly part of the Klick group of companies but there is no need for a tight alignment between the two. There is an overlap in how the two companies express and define their values. Klick has a pyramid of cultural values with the bottom level being their foundational values. [29:00] Jay describes how the layers of the Klick value pyramid match the key inflection points of career advancement. Sensei used the best parts of the Klick values in developing the Sensei Labs values acronym. Sensei looks at the key inflection points of the first time an individual contributor becomes a leader, and the first time a leader becomes a leader of leaders. Those points require different thinking. [30:54] Leadership has a science component. The science of leadership goes back to Taylorism measuring productivity with a stopwatch and optimizing the Ford assembly lines. There's the possible Hawthorne effect of performance rising because it is measured. The science is how you use the data within an organization to optimize it for talent, centricity, and engagement, the premise of Decoded. [31:48] Jay explains how leadership is an art, requiring a high degree of empathy. You need to be able to understand the individual members of your team and what drives them. Jay values empathy as the most important trait of leadership. Empathy requires engagement, conversations, and knowing each other. It requires some vulnerable moments that establish psychological safety between you and your team. [34:30] People learned hard skills in school and had to figure out the soft skills for themselves. It dodges the responsibility for teaching the part of leadership that is probably more impactful. Jay explores the mistake technology companies often make in promoting engineers into managerial roles with no EQ or managerial skills. That mistake removes a skilled individual contributor and installs an ineffectual leader. [36:54] Instead, create a pathway that allows skilled engineers to remain in their craft but to become leaders, take on more responsibility, and make more money. Both Sensei Labs and Klick have parallel tracks for people leadership and craft leadership. As individuals advance, their time is leveraged so that an hour of their time creates more than an hour of value for the organization. [39:54] The use of Big Data has changed immensely since Decoded was published. The principle is the same, but if they wrote the book today, their take would be very different. Data is more prevalent in business today. [40:20] Most businesses today spend huge amounts on data to understand their customers. They do not use any of the same resources to understand their people. Jay argues that you will have a higher leverage effect by engaging in your team, creating a virtuous cycle of having the best talent on your teams, more customer happiness, more revenue, and hiring even more skilled team members. [42:03] There is a difference between ambient data and self-reported data. Self-reported data is always biased. Teams constantly use tools and that creates a digital body language about what they are working on and who they're connected with and other factors. That data is available through analysis. Jay calls this data a sixth sense. Have guidelines about using the data, so it's not uncomfortable. [43:35] There has been good research on 16 indicators that somebody may be thinking about quitting their job. If you could look across those 16 relative attributes of an employee, “Jim”, you could see changes that indicate that something has changed in ”Jim's” life. Measuring a baseline and looking ad deviations can be telling. How do you react if you suspect “Jim” is thinking of leaving? [45:18] If “Jim,” is a valued member of your team, and you want to make sure that “Jim” is not a flight risk, this might be an indicator to have a conversation. “Just checking in and making sure that everything's OK. How are you feeling? Can we talk about a career progression or a new project for you to take on?” If you are happy that “Jim” is thinking of leaving, you might start looking at replacements! [46:13] You've got five senses. If you can use data as a sixth sense, to augment those five with an extra set of analytic abilities to help you make better decisions faster, that leads to a better outcome. [47:40] Can this ambient data be hacked? Jay would hope people worked in an environment where they didn't have to prompt the conversation by wearing an interview suit to work. Every organization is a collection of people. Anytime you have a collection of people, you end up with norms and values, whether by design or default. Sometimes you may find shortcuts to get to a desired conversation. [48:38] Mark Raheja taught Jay a management hack in the form of the question, “Is it safe to try?” In most organizations the default is safety. Proposing anything radical means a fight to get to the point of experimenting with it because you are triggering the organization's autoimmune system. But ask people to come up with a reason it's not safe to try it. If they cannot, then go ahead with the experiment. [51:19] After six months in his first job out of school at IBM, Jay asked about promotions. His manager told him everybody gets promoted on their first and second anniversary, and in the third year, promotions are earned by merit. Jay recalls, “I started looking for a job that day. And to me, that is the oldest-school thought pattern around what management looks like.” [55:19] Closing quote: Remember, “Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better.” — Bill Bradley   Quotable Quotes “Often in a parenting conversation with one of the kids, I'm repeating things that I might have recently said in a one-on-one to someone on my team, and probably more often, in one-on-ones, I find myself repeating things I've said in parenting moments.” “It starts to get difficult when you start to say, ‘I want behaviors that I don't see and my options are either to replace people or fix people,' and I think that's a dangerous path.” “Your physical space in an office environment has a big impact on culture. … It's harder to … radically change the configuration of it. … All those day-to-day moments can have just as big an impact and there are many times more of them than there are of the big decisions.” “In many ways, we are the trailblazers who are out ahead, thinking about culture, thinking about people, and thinking about leadership. And then, there are other places where we're happy to take a back seat and one of those places is mandating people back to the office.”  “We have a matrix of every role in the organization and all of the values … that everyone has access to. So you can look up any role, and any value, and see what the observable behaviors are that we expect out of that role as well as where you might get promoted to.” “We have an open recognition channel in Teams. Everyone can post recognitions of each other. They tag them with some of the values. … At our Town Hall a couple of weeks ago, we celebrated the people who've had the most recognition posts for each of the values.” “Being selfless is about being there for each other and helping each other out and helping our customers and partners as well. These are both internal and external.” “We have the luxury of being able to make long-term decisions when we can and so I would pick values even over performance because, in the end, that is what is going to have the biggest impact on the business. Staying true to those values will affect who you hire.” “We have always looked at the key inflection points of the first time an individual contributor becomes a leader and then the first time they become a leader of leaders. Those are two points at which you have to think very differently about … your success.” “Your best engineers are at least 10 times as good as your worst engineers.” “Anytime you have a collection of people, you end up with norms in that group. You end up with cultural values, whether by design or default.” “In most organizations, the default energy is toward ‘No” and toward safety. … If you propose something radical and new, in almost every organization, you are going to have to fight a fight to get to the point where you can even experiment with this. … Ask ‘Is it safe to try?'” “I do think the tech industry has lots of problems, but it also has lots of great things about it.”    Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Jay Goldman The Decoded Company: Know Your Talent Better Than You Know Your Customers, by Leerom Segal, Aaron Goldstein, Jay Goldman, and Rahaf Harfoush Forbes Technology Council Sensei Labs Klick Microsoft Teams Logitech Software as a Service (SaaS) Benji Nadler Mark Raheja Taylorism (Scientific management)  Hawthorne Effect Daniel Pink Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are, by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life, by Bill Dereseiwicz Chat GBT IBM  

    TLP341: The Interplay Between Finance, Data and Decision-Making

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2023 48:03


    Jeremy Foster is the Chief Financial Officer of Austin-based Talroo.com, the data-driven job and hiring advertising platform that helps businesses reach the candidates they need to build their essential workforce. Jeremy shares insights into the key indicators of business valuation: 1) The necessity of leaders knowing the language of finance; and 2) The differences between startups, growth companies, and mature companies. He covers why alignment of the stakeholders is important for a company's successful scaling, and when to use blitzscaling, if at all. He explains analytics and shares examples from his past and present work, in an educational overview of the interplay between finance, data and decision-making.   https://bit.ly/TLP-341   Key Takeaways [2:14] Jeremy started in marketing and then ended up leading operations and retail banking for a 15-branch community bank in New Mexico and West Texas. His background was not in accounting or finance. That changes how Jeremy tends to approach the numbers. [2:41] Jeremy explains how he evaluates a business by looking at three numbers: the lifetime value of the customers, the customer acquisition cost, and the total addressable market. Marketing is a key component of each of those numbers. [4:36] Jeremy has worked with startups and scaling businesses. He's seen a broad spread of financial knowledge within company leadership. Sometimes an executive team has problems because of their different levels of understanding. Do you understand GAAP and income statements? What are revenue, gross profit, and EBITDA; the basic terminology. Some executive teams don't know these terms. [5:33] The next big question is which financial statement is the most important to look at, the cash flow or the P&L statement? It depends on whether you are a startup or an established company. There's a transition the executive team needs to make from a stage of perpetually raising capital to a stage of starting to generate capital and focus on unit economics, and understanding sound investments. [7:51] Super-mature businesses are balance-sheet-driven. These are companies like banks, oil, and gas, that have balance sheet sensitivities they need to pay attention to. [8:06] Get an executive team all on the same page with a basic background in finances and then focus that alignment in education first on whichever financial statement is the most important to the business, according to what stage your business is in. [9:27] There's an element of leadership that's getting people to follow you and there's an element of knowing what the right direction to go is. The math of business is useful in helping you figure out what the right direction is. [9:45] The first step in identifying the right direction can be self-study. Sometimes it's about understanding the terminology. Sometimes, it's about looking at your business and thinking about what's most important for your business. The easiest way to do that is to rely on the ability to identify a bottleneck. What's the most immediate limitation on the business? Is it sales, product, or capital? [10:58] The first thing is to recognize the most immediate pain point in your business. Decompose it. Understand what the most important numbers are in that pain point. You don't have to understand all the numbers in the business at once. You can learn over time. Start by figuring out what's most important. [11:59] Jeremy explains scaling and growth. A scaling business differs from a startup in that as the business gets bigger, it juggles an increasing number of variables. Part of becoming a scaling business is looking in advance. If you want 100 new customers how much staff do you need to onboard new and maintain existing customers? Look for limitations and plan to remove them before you hit them. [14:06] Past guest Margaret Heffernan identified planning for limitations as adaptability. Jeremy notes that the amount of flexibility you have is contingent upon your availability of capital. Blitzscaling has its drawbacks. If you hire too much staff, then when the capital is drained, you will have massive layoffs and you may lay off the wrong people if you don't know the metrics. That puts you in a death cycle. [15:44] Growth can be self-financed or it can come at the cost of additional capital. Blitzscaling is valid in winner-take-all markets. An example of this is Netflix. Their model is streaming video, so they had to grab as many customers as possible before others captured the market. They had to raise capital through growth and figure out how to make customers sticky. They enabled streaming through Xbox. [16:54] Often, blitzscaling is not the right approach, especially if you raise too much capital at too low of a valuation, which may hurt your investors. Prove profitability first and then raise capital at a higher multiple a little bit later. [18:56] Marketing analytics is used by companies like Facebook to choose what ad to show. Talroo uses analytics to identify the right job candidates for employers that are looking to hire essential workers. The analytics calculate the likelihoods that a job seeker will: apply for a job, be a good fit for the job, and be selected by the employer. With the right characteristics, you can start to reach the right people. [19:37] There's a space for analytics in most businesses. With analytics, you will gain a level of additional insight into what your team needs, what your customers need, and what your shareholders need. Understanding where those numbers that matter to you are is where analytics starts. Jeremy gives an example of how his former employer, Kasasa, used analytics and rewards to drive consumer behavior. [22:45] Analytics work best if you know what factors drive your business. It can also help you figure out specifics of what drives your business. Jeremy cites the problems with having too many dashboards or too few dashboards and the benefits of having an appropriate number of dashboards. Analytics will tell you where to go next if you pay attention, but you have to be thoughtful about what you're building. [26:28] When you talk about pricing, ask yourself if you are reaching the combination of the right targets that are willing and able to pay that price and if that is price sufficient for you to make money after you've acquired those customers. And are there enough of them to grow the business well? Jeremy shares some facts about the cost of acquiring customers, their lifetime value, and marketing cycles. [28:20] A business is considered investable or backable by private equity or venture capital if it is going to make three times as much as it cost to pick up that customer. … What sometimes VCs and PE groups don't pay attention to is how fast that cycles. Having multiple cycles in a year multiplies the profit. [29:14] More about pricing: Sometimes getting extra traction on the sales front isn't about charging less, sometimes you can deliver more value. Sometimes all you have to do is take risk away. Jeremy relates a Kasasa case study. When you de-risk a transaction, sales friction goes away. [33:16] As companies scale, they have to broaden their understanding of their stakeholders. What do the customers want? How do you deliver value? It is easier to work with private equity and venture capital if they've seen the metrics. To be a partner, they can't operate blindly; they need transparency. If you skip wage increases, consider the customer churn that will follow as employees leave. [35:53] Jeremy shares some aspects of conversations that were held at Kasasa, post-acquisition. They were discussing how to balance their white-label segment against their branded segment. They needed to understand the concerns of customers moving from one to the other as they navigated early conversations with the private equity group. [37:00] The PE group was focused on long-term growth. They were the right partners. It's important to have the right partners with the same objectives as the company leadership and previous owners who are investing. You want that alignment. If the idea is revenue growth at any cost, everybody better agree on that. If the alignment is to grow profitability x% year over year, everybody needs to be aligned. [39:01] Talroo sees a very high level of demand for essential workers. That's a strong vertical for Talroo. Jeremy doesn't foresee a full-fledged labor recession. There is softening in tech sectors in terms of need for workers, which Jeremy attributes to earlier overhiring of workers by a lot of large businesses. Most of the pressures in the labor economy are still present. There are a lot of people retiring or recently retired. [40:19] One of the biggest problems the U.S. faces over the next decade is a shortage of labor because we've been below our replacement rate. We don't have enough workers. It's important to retain your talent, or partner with Talroo to find new talent! One of the places where analytics gets overlooked a lot is in understanding who your best performers are. Which people is it most important that you retain? [41:41] It's still going to be important to lead well the people that you have. [42:34] Jeremy has been a key part of three major restructurings in the last 13 years. It's awful for everybody involved and it should be awful. If it's not awful, something's wrong with your culture. Restructuring should be a last resort. You can sometimes avoid them by staffing the right people in the right places. Sometimes you get it wrong. [43:45] Part of leading is looking at the metrics to know when to make those decisions. Part of leading is looking at people first when you're making those decisions so that you're making the right choices. Part of leading is knowing that your team members are vital, too. You have to do what you can to provide a soft landing for the people you have to lose. Provide as much transparency as you can upfront. [46:34] Jeremy's last message for listeners: “People look at numbers and people as exclusive and they're not. They should both provide you with insight into the other. So, when you talk about the hard side of leadership and the soft side of leadership, they're both sides. There's a lot to be said for figuring out how to use them to work together, to make you stronger on both sides of that equation.” [47:26] Closing quote: Remember, “Academic qualifications are important and so is financial education. They're both important and schools are forgetting one of them.” — Robert Kiyosaki   Quotable Quotes “When you think about what drives the value of a business, … it boils down to three things: What's the lifetime value of your customers? What's your customer acquisition cost? … and … What's the total addressable market? … [Pay attention to] those three numbers.”  “You want to figure out how you can build a business that's going to continue to grow without perpetual capital-raising and the perpetual dilution that comes along with it. Sometimes it can take some time for the executive team to make that transition.”  “If you raise too much capital at too low of a valuation, you might have hurt your investors. You might have to get really big to get the same return for your investors that you would have if you'd proven profitability and then raised at a much higher multiple a little bit later.”  “When you talk about pricing, … are you reaching … the right targets that are willing and able to pay that price, and is that price sufficient for you to make money after you've acquired those customers? … Are there enough of them to grow the business well?”  “A business is considered investable or backable by private equity or venture capital if you're going to make three times as much as it cost you to pick up that customer off of that business. … What sometimes VCs and PE groups don't pay attention to is how fast that cycles.”  “It is way easier to work with private equity and venture capital if they've seen the metrics. … For the most part, venture capitalists and private equity managers are there to make money for their investors but they want to do it in partnership.” “One of the biggest problems that the U.S. faces over the next decade is a shortage of labor because we've been below our replacement rate. We don't have enough workers. … It's really important to retain your talent.”  “You do have to balance the needs of the company against the needs of the employee. But if you can do that, then a lot of times, just operating with compassion, and some transparency and some honesty, can go a long way.”    Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Jeremy Foster Talroo.com E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southwest Margaret Heffernan Reid Hoffman Kasasa  

    TLP340: An Entrepreneurial Journey from Hangry to Social Change

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2023 45:56


    Mike Evans is the Founder of GrubHub, and the author of “Hangry: A Startup Journey.” Mike founded GrubHub in his spare bedroom and grew it into a multi-billion dollar food delivery business that's a household name. After leaving GrubHub, he founded Fixer.com, an on-demand handyperson service focused on social impact, and providing full-time work for well-trained tradespeople. Mike shares what he learned from raising a startup to IPO, biking across America, and writing “Hangry.” He believes it is necessary to create a business not just to make a profit, but to be powerful levers for social change.   https://bit.ly/TLP-340   Key Takeaways [2:27] Mike loves cycling and getting around places by bike, but not quickly. After the GrubHub experience, he rode his bike across the country. Later, Mike and his wife rode across Austria. They hope to ride across another country soon with their daughter. Mike tells what he likes about electric bikes. [4:41] As GrubHub grew from a few employees to 2,500 employees over 12 years, there were two things that increased his anxiety and made it challenging to live. [5:14] The first challenge was the fact that there are a lot of competing interests: shareholders, employees, diners, and restaurants and it was hard to balance them all. There's no scenario where everybody wins 100%. There are tradeoffs. It was a tightrope walk to do. Mike started seeing the company making different choices as it grew beyond him. That was challenging to see. [6:09] The second challenge was hiring. As a business leader, you either hire your friends, or the people you hire become your friends. Sometimes you have to make decisions that are not the best outcomes for your employee-friends. When you have to let people go that you like, you cannot recover those friendships. They're gone. You can't fire somebody and then go hang out with them. [6:37] It should be hard to fire someone. You can't be good at firing people and be a good leader. It should never get easier. You should care a lot about the people you work with. The competing interests, and having to fire friends took a toll on Mike over the course of a decade. [7:53] Contentment is fleeting, especially for entrepreneurs who start from a place where “something is broken in the world and I'm really annoyed by it.” Mike doesn't think contentment was ever in the cards for him. An entrepreneur has to see the world with an expectation that it could be better than it currently is, which is not a good recipe for contentment. [9:45] Mike believes it's important to have a personal definition of success that other people or factors don't define. Other people won't necessarily agree with it. Mike tells how he defined success all the way up through GrubHub's IPO. Other people told him the IPO was his success, but that wasn't Mike's definition. Your definition of success gives you a North Star for one aspect of your life, business. [11:11] You also need personal definitions of success for your relationships, family, faith community, and civic community. Then you need to do the hard step of making tradeoffs between them. Work/life balance is elusive because it's impossible to achieve. You have to make tradeoffs. The best you can do is say “I have a clear-eyed picture of what I want from a family perspective,” and make choices explicitly. [12:03] If you don't choose explicitly, things happen to you instead of you making choices. That's what causes imbalance, frustration, anger, and disappointment. Your definitions of success change during your journey. As you approach your goals, the goalposts move. It's a destination and a journey. It's not one or the other. As we do hard things, we change, and therefore our goals change. [12:54] Sometimes we fail. If you're not going to be able to accomplish a goal, continuing to have it as a goal is only an exercise in frustration. Be able to say “This isn't working; I'm going to go try doing something else.” Whether you succeed or fail, your goals change. Success is a larger concept; it's the accumulation of goals over decades. [13:54] Mike compares how he feels about goals today with what he might have felt at age 24. One of the themes in his book is Think Bigger. Don't set your goals low. When Mike launched GrubHub, he just wanted to pay off his student debt. He missed the opportunity to embed the value of “Do right by restaurants, no matter what,” in the DNA of the company. At 24, he only wanted to make money. [14:37] If Mike had struggled at age 24 with the decision about doing right by the restaurants, there might have been a better outcome over the decades. [16:17] Starting GrubHub and taking it through the IPO involved thousands of decisions of Mike letting go. On Day 1, Mike owned 100% of GrubHub with 100% of the responsibility for it. On the day Mike kicked off on his bike ride across the country, he had 0% of the responsibility. He had a few shares in GrubHub for six more months. His hack was to give up first the thing he hated most — scanning menus! [18:14] Mike's first hire, a graphic designer to scan menus, went on to create the brand which ended up in two Super Bowl ads. He started scanning menus but had an opportunity from being in a high-growth startup. He ended up having to delegate. Once you hire your first employee, you get your first investor. Lean in on that and enjoy it! [19:31] Accepting reality is a paradox for an entrepreneur. You have to have enough arrogance to say “The world is broken, it needs to be fixed, and I'm the only person who can do it,” and you have to have the humility to listen to your customers and employees about what you're doing right and wrong, and how to adjust. Arrogance and humility do not “play nice” together. Mike doesn't always get it right. [20:28] If you put a document in front of five people, they're all going to start editing it. Don't put a press release in front of anybody but the people who have the responsibility of doing the press release. One way to keep micromanagement from happening, to allow people to delegate, is don't put the work product in front of them before it's done. Don't give people editing access. [20:54] Not micromanaging starts with not being in there to edit things. Trust people to do their work. Tactical things like that help you to let go of the small decisions. [21:33] Mike's book has a humble tone, but the exclamation point at the end is, “I had a fricking IPO, folks!” Mike captures in the book the paradox of arrogance and humility needed to run a startup well. [23:18] Mike had done week-long backpacking trips and liked being out in nature. On one of those trips with his wife, he went to Grand Tetons National Park and camped. He saw people riding in on bikes and setting up tents. It was the TransAmerican Trail cross-country bike tour going through the park. Mike thought biking and carrying a pack on a rack was a way better idea than hiking with a backpack! [24:14] The bike tour sounded like a very accessible adventure. It was accessible because he did it in 90 fifty-mile bike rides, not one 4,500-mile bike ride. His first day was just 25 miles. One thing Mike learned is that it starts with the first mile. The best training for Week Two is Week One. The best training for Week One is to go slow. Don't try to eat up the miles in your first week. [24:54] Anyone physically able can ride 10 miles on a bike. You can do that and you can take lunch and you can do that again. And that can be your whole first day. You build up until you're riding 100 miles in a day. The decision for Mike was just following something he was interested in doing. He quit his job to ride his bike across the country. It was a very clear decision for his life. [26:18] Mike kept a journal of his bike ride, on MikeEvans.com. He used those notes in Hangry to write about his bike trip. The trip reinforced something for Mike: the idea that you don't do it all at once. When he looks back, yes he did a 4,500-mile bike ride. Day to day, he woke up every morning and made the decision to start pedaling a mile. [26:51] Long-haul hikers say, “Don't quit at the end of a long day. Wait till the morning, when you're fresh.” A lot of people feel like quitting when they're tired. When you wake up in the morning you see you can do another day. That was true for Mike in business, as well. He kept at it because he had a bigger mission he was trying to accomplish. [28:14] Mike's purposes for his bike trip were to reflect on what he had accomplished, how he did it, and how he felt about it, and to consider what he was going to do next. That led to the creation of Fixer, the on-demand handyperson business. The handypersons are full-time employees, trained from scratch. He wanted to create a business with social benefits built-in: great employment with a path into the trades. [29:11] Mike's first decision for the bike trip was to buy a recumbent bike because he wanted to look at the horizon instead of the ground. He already had a tent. He rented a van and drove it down to Virginia Beach. One thing that helped is that the Adventure Cycling Association publishes TransAmerica Trail bike route maps so he ordered a set of maps and joined their online community to talk about the ride. [31:51] Starting a business is ugly and hard. It's filled with self-doubt and recriminations. To succeed, you have to make tough choices and a lot of people judge you for those choices. Mike also judges GrubHub and where it went after he left from the IPO and how it became a poster child for the gig economy and not great for restaurants. That is frustrating to Mike. [32:21] It felt to Mike that it was important to tell the whole story and how businesses are huge levers for social change, whether you want them to be or not. When Mike was intentional about that at GrubHub, it was beneficial for restaurants. When that intentionality left the business, it was not as good for restaurants. [32:40] Mike's goal with Hangry is to show the idea of changing the world by creating a business. He wanted to make it accessible and he wanted to elevate the importance of being intentional about creating the change you want to see in the world through the business. It's not a thing you can do after the business is done, through charity work. You have to create the business as a lever for social change. [33:21] Hangry is mostly about trying to take what Mike learned and letting other people learn from it and live their lives, whether as an entrepreneur, a business leader, or an executive in a company and do their work in such a way that the communities in which they operate benefit from what they're doing. [34:11] The book is called Hangry, so Mike isn't happy and pleasant the whole time. He's snarky about exclusionism. Silicon Valley is great at drawing circles and saying “You can't come in.” Cyclists do it, too! There are lots of groups that draw a circle and say, “You're not allowed inside this circle.” Mike says that Silicon Valley is particularly good at excluding anybody who's not a white male. There's a better way. [34:52] Democratizing the startup culture, democratizing the process, and demystifying the hero narrative that people use sometimes, make it more accessible to people. There's an urgency to making our world a better place for our children and grandchildren that sort of raises the bar for what success looks like at a business. It can't just be making money anymore. [36:27] The catalyst for creating Fixer.com was trying to get a handyperson and having to use “the phone app” on his phone. He wondered who uses that anymore! He started looking into it. The work that tradespeople do in the economy right now is typically great. Scheduling, communication, and billing are not done well. They're inaccessible. [37:23] It's hard for people to enter the trades unless they have an uncle or father who shows them how to do things. It continues the bias against women entering the trades. Entry-level handyperson jobs are good-paying jobs. They're also stepping stones to becoming an electrician, a plumber, a roofer, or a mason. It was the same problem he saw with food. You can't order things online and it's annoying. [37:54] He wanted to make handypersons more accessible, but he found there just aren't enough tradespeople. So he figured that by training people from scratch, they would get quality and wrap it in modern packaging. You schedule online and ask for someone to be there at 11:00 a.m. and the handyperson shows up by 11:00 a.m. They're highly trained, and they clean up after the job. [38:45] Mike uses the service himself, even though he's pretty handy. [40:00] Fixer.com has hundreds of applicants for every job position that they open. They target people who are working in food service, grocery, and retail and invite them to have a career instead of a job. Fixer.com pays people while training them. It's easy to get people on board. People in the service field don't have the flexibility to set their hours and schedule, which is hard in this job climate. [40:48] The adoption of working from home as a norm is damaging to people who don't have that flexibility and it creates a two-class society. Seventy-five percent of the people at Fixer.com are tradespeople, not office workers. At some point, they will have 10,000 tradespeople as full-time employees. Mike is concerned about issues of equity and expectations around time. [42:34] Mike explains why he picked a business model that's hard and hard to copy. It is intentional and it makes his company the competition that everyone else worries about. He's building a multi-billion dollar business that will be hard to compete with. [43:51] Mike's listener challenge: “I would love it if everybody would buy the book. … If you want the summary line, it's this idea that businesses affect the communities in which they work, and being intentional about what that impact is, is really, really important.” You're going to be juggling competing priorities, but it's still useful even if you're considering a socially beneficial impact for every decision. [45:19] Closing quote: Remember, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work.” — Daniel Burnham   Quotable Quotes “I'm not like one of these fast people who are always racing along the Lake Path in Chicago. Seeing the country; getting places at 10 mph is great. … After the GrubHub experience, I rode my bike across the country.” — Mike “Electric bikes are great. They really create access for people who might not otherwise physically be able to do it. And so I think they sort of democratize our bike trails. I'm a big fan of electric bikes.” — Mike “It should be hard to fire people, anyway. … You can't be good at firing people and be a good leader. I think those two things are totally mutually exclusive. It should always be hard. It should never get easier. You should care a lot about the people you work with.” — Mike “The difference between an entrepreneur and a miserable grump is that the entrepreneur actually does something about it. So, I'm not sure it was ever in the cards for me to be content.” — Mike “[An entrepreneur] has to see the world with an expectation that it could be better than it currently is, which is not a good recipe for contentment.” — Mike “I think it's really important to have an internal, personal definition of success that's not defined by some external factor.” — Mike “Sometimes we fail. If you're not going to be able to accomplish a goal, continuing to have it as a goal is only an exercise in frustration and self-punishment. So being able to say, ‘This isn't working, I'm going to go try something else,' is also important.” — Mike “People often ask me ‘What's the most strategic hire that you can do first?' … Forget that! Hire somebody to do something that's the most annoying thing to you. And then you start to get the benefit of ‘I don't have to do every little thing.'” — Mike “Don't put a press release in front of anybody but the people who have the responsibility of doing the press release. One way to keep micromanagement from happening, to allow people to delegate, is don't put the work product in front of them before it's done.” — Mike “The tone of the book is humble. I tried to be self-reflective in the book, but the exclamation point at the end is, ‘I had a fricking IPO, folks!' which is not a humble thing. I'm kind of bragging.” — Mike “Anyone physically able can ride 10 miles on a bike. You can do that and then you take lunch and you can do that again. And that can be your whole first day. And then by the time you hit the Rockies, a 100-mile day is like, ‘Oh, yeah, I've been doing this for weeks!'” — Mike “There's an urgency to making our world a better place for our children and grandchildren that sort of raises the bar for what success looks like at a business. It's not just making money anymore. It can't just be that.” — Mike “Picking hard business models, that are necessarily hard, to create value for customers is a really good defense against competition. What we're doing is hard and so it's hard to copy. And that's very intentional.” — Mike “The thing that really sucks about competition is it's not in your control. But … you can choose to pick a business model where you have to have some grit and some hard work and some thoughtfulness and some talent to make it work. … And then you are the competition.” — Mike “Businesses affect the communities in which they work, and being intentional about what that impact is, is really, really important. … it's still useful even if you can't make every decision toward a socially beneficial impact if you're considering it for every decision.” — Mike   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Mike Evans MikeEvans.com GrubHub Fixer.com Hangry: A Startup Journey, by Mike Evans Race Across America (RAAM) The Appalachian Trail The Pacific Coast Trail Grand Tetons National Park TransAmerica Trail cross-country bike tour Adventure Cycling Association Blue Ocean Strategy  

    TLP339: The Beauty of the Game

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2022 41:54


    Mano Watsa is the President and Owner of PGC Basketball, the largest educational basketball camp in the world. PGC Basketball has taught over 125,000 players and coaches how to be leaders on and off the court. Mano brings his sports and business experiences to the podcast with stories and advice on thinking like a coach, communicating, and making a difference in people's lives. Listen to learn how to focus on the thing you can do best.    “Part of the beauty of the game is your individual contributions combined with working together as a team … where five players become like a fist, not five individual fingers … and they play together as one.”  - Mano Watsa   https://bit.ly/TLP-339   Key Takeaways [2:51] Mano's journey has been a joy, but anytime you're pursuing a vision, there are all sorts of challenges along the way, as well as opportunities. It's often the challenges that don't surface publicly. Mano has never seen a successful team or individual that has not had to overcome adversity, and he is no different. [4:20] PGC Basketball's founder, Dick DeVenzio, who played college basketball at Duke University and went on to play and teach the game across the world, created the Point Guard College with the point guard in mind. The point guard has to be the coach on the floor. They have to be able to run the show for their team and get their team to work together and play together. They have to “think the game.” [5:01] PGC teaches players to be the smartest player on the floor by equipping them with how to think like a coach, how to make good decisions that lead to winning basketball, and how to lead their team. Jan and Jim recall guest Sam Walker's book, The Captain Class, on how the greatest sports teams in history have one thing in common, captains who were the coach on the floor. [6:13] Mano says PGC teaches players not only how to lead by example but to be effective communicators, inspire their teammates, hold teammates accountable, challenge them, and raise the standard for their teammates. Anyone leading a company, team, or family, is the point guard for that company, team, or family. [8:23] Jeremy Lin came to the NY Knicks and started the Linsanity era. Overnight Jeremy Lin was on the cover of nearly every magazine and was a household name as the first Asian-American in the NBA. Suddenly he's scoring 38 points against Kobe Bryant at Madison Square Garden. He had a successful 10-year NBA career. [9:08] Toward the end of Jeremy Lin's NBA career, Mano had the privilege and opportunity to support him in the realm of mindset and his approach. Mano has been inspired by Jeremy Lin's story, his passion, and his commitment to the game, giving back to the game and making a difference in the world. Jeremy Lin is now playing professionally in China. [10:18] John Wooden won 10 national championships at UCLA and was named Coach of the Century. John Wooden epitomized what it means to be a coach and make a difference in the lives of young players. Mano and his business partner at the time, Dena Evans, had the privilege once of spending a remarkable morning with Coach Wooden. They immediately wrote down all they had learned from him. [12:30] Jason Sudeikis revealed that having John Wooden's Pyramid of Success on the wall of Ted Lasso's office is purposeful. [13:30] Five players that work together can be more effective than five talented individuals who don't work together. Individual performers can significantly influence the outcome of the game, but they also depend on the performance of their teammates to determine the outcome of the game. It's a beautiful thing to see players willing to pass up a good shot for themselves for a great shot for a teammate. [15:38] Michael Jordan was the best player in the world. His teammates said they found it difficult to play with him because his standards were so high. He had competitive greatness. He was at his best when it was needed the most. It's helpful on a team to have a player that drives everyone toward winning. You need others who complement that person's nature to make sure everyone gets along. [19:30] Mano helped the Mully Children's Family organization in Kenya build a sports gymnasium. There are over 2,000 children under their care. Mano has been over there with them multiple times and loves their work. When he sees where these kids have come from and their optimism, even with what they lack, it gives Mano a perspective of gratitude and wanting to make a difference in the lives of others. [21:05] Denny Crum, former coach of the University of Louisville, was honored recently. One of his players stated that they never saw him get upset. He never yelled at his players. They called him Cool Hand Luke. He was always encouraging and supportive. He was a teacher to his team. [22:01] PGC founder Dick DeVenzio taught to use a six-to-one ratio of encouragement to constructive criticism. It's a lofty standard. As a coach or leader, it's so easy to see where others may be falling short but people thrive off encouragement. Connect with team members before correcting them. Always make deposits before you make withdrawals. As leaders and parents, think about the “bank account.” [24:15] Great coaches don't try to make everything a priority. If you try to make everything a priority, nothing is a priority. You can't be great at everything, on the court or in business. But you can be great and world-class in something. You have to let some things go and focus on others. [25:02] Great coaches don't single players out unnecessarily. This goes for leaders and parents, too. Praise publicly and criticize privately. Good coaches and business leaders do a good job of not embarrassing and humiliating their people. They praise publicly and if they have to give criticism, they do so quietly and privately. [25:43] Great coaches don't hold back when they're wrong. They're willing to admit mistakes. That takes humility and vulnerability, in practice and games. Get beyond your ego. Be willing to admit you don't have it all together. [26:56] At PGC, they follow a commitment-based culture. Part of Mano's commitment statement is that he's a joyful work in progress. Accepting himself as a joyful work in progress allows Mano to admit mistakes and admit that he will always be a work in progress. [27:38] Past guest, Michael Bungay Stanier, told of a Legos bridge-building problem. Most people added pieces to solve the problem but the most expedient solution was to remove a piece. What's on your plate? What are you going to take off your plate? Mano notes that when we say “yes” to something, we say “no” to every other alternative. That helps him to be discerning about what he says “Yes” to. [29:18] Mano decided recently that if it's not a “Hell, yeah!” it's a “No.” One of the mistakes Mano made in the early years of growing PGC was wanting to pursue every opportunity. In attempting to pursue every opportunity, they didn't maximize any given opportunity. Mano learned as he grew as a leader to stop good things to focus on a great thing. [31:54] As coaches or business leaders, you can't give all the encouragement that your players or staff need. To fill the gap, PGC introduced celebrations. Every staff meeting, no matter how many meetings are in a day, starts with 60 to 90 seconds of gratitude. It's an opportunity for somebody to acknowledge a thing or project that the team or an individual has done well. People encourage each other. [34:50] Mano frequently tells his staff, “If you're winning at work but losing at home, you're losing.” Mano and PGC care about the staff as human beings and want them to win at home. If someone is not winning at home, their work will be compromised because everything bleeds over. When you're at home, shut off work, slow down, and be present with family. [36:04] After reading In Praise of Slowness, Mano stopped college coaching to focus on PGC. He wanted to be present for his family. Another decision he made with his family was to limit the participation of their children in sports and activities. Their highest value was in spending dinner time together as a family and playing together. They prioritized family time over competitive sports. [39:02] Mano's listener challenge: As business leaders, we must ensure that we're doing everything possible to support our employees and teams. One of the ways we can do that is by helping to ensure that they're able to bring their best possible selves to work each day. [39:24] For employees to bring the best version of themselves, they need to feel cared for, supported, and encouraged, and they need to be given space because if we're just driving them hard all the time, we're going to wear them down, especially in this world where many people just don't feel settled. We can create a good environment while pursuing goals and lofty objectives and still helping our people. [41:21] Closing quote: Remember, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” — John Wooden   Quotable Quotes “I've never come across a winning team, or anyone who's been highly successful in anything,  that hasn't had to overcome significant adversity. And I'm certainly no different than that, in terms of adversities.” — Mano “We like to think that a point guard isn't just a position on a basketball court. Somebody leading a company is the point guard of their team. A quarterback is the point guard of their football team. … If you're leading a family, you are the point guard of your family.” — Mano “The point guard has to be able to influence behavior in order to get desired outcomes. They have to be able to lead and communicate effectively.” — Mano “The beauty of the game [of basketball] is that five players who work together can be more effective and more successful than five talented individuals who don't work together.” — Mano “In basketball, it's a small enough team that you can significantly impact the outcome of the game by your individual performance but you can't entirely impact the outcome because you have to be dependent on your teammates.” — Mano “Part of the beauty of the game is your individual contributions combined with working together as a team … where five players become like a fist, not five individual fingers … and they play together as one.” — Mano “There are so many life lessons that come out of the game when players are willing to put aside their individual agendas for the betterment of the team.” — Mano “You need a range of diverse personalities to really make a team as effective as it can be. But to have somebody that drives winning and drives outcomes is really, really valuable.” — Mano “People thrive off encouragement. No one has ever received too much appreciation or too much encouragement. And one of the principles that we teach to coaches … is connect before you correct.” — Mano “Every good leader … looks for opportunities to celebrate, to acknowledge, to praise, to encourage, and appreciate far more often than they do providing any constructive criticism.” — Mano “It actually builds trust when we're willing to be vulnerable when we're willing to demonstrate that level of humility. It's hard because it requires getting beyond ourselves and it requires getting beyond our ego.” — Mano “One of the things I've realized, both in business and in my personal life: I just don't have it all together.” — Mano “When we say ‘yes' to something, we're actually saying ‘no' to every other possible alternative.” — Mano “If it's not a ‘Hell, yeah!' it's a ‘no.'” — Mano “What gets scheduled gets done.” — Mano   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Mano Watsa PGC Basketball Dick DeVenzio The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World's Greatest Teams, by Sam Walker Jeremy Lin NY Knicks John Wooden VIP's Cafe John Wooden's Pyramid of Success Ted Lasso Michael Jordan Documentary The Last Dance on Netflix Michael Jordan Phil Jackson Look: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Observational Skills, by James H. Gilmore The Mully Children's Family Denny Crum and Louisville Basketball Michael Bungay Stanier In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed, by Carl Honore  

    TLP338: Trust and the Virtual Team

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2022 36:51


    Leigh Ann Rodgers is the CEO and Founder of Better Teams, and is driven to positively impact corporate culture and cultivate happy, high-performing teams. She is also the host of Leading Better Teams podcast. In this episode, Leigh Ann shares thoughts on accountability, bonding/connection, and why virtual teams require extra work to build connections. Listen in for how to build strong virtual connections!   https://bit.ly/TLP-338   Key Takeaways [1:58] Leigh Ann volunteers three days a week at a local animal sanctuary for farm animals. There are pigs, horses, donkeys, goats, and cats. It's a beautiful little farm tucked into a forest. Leigh Ann feeds them and puts the hay out. It's a peaceful place. Leigh Ann does the afternoon shift. The early morning shift scoops the poop, so Leigh Ann is happy to go in the afternoon. [4:06] If members of a team are not being accountable to each other, the first thing to find out is why they are not. Leigh Ann says most of the time there is fear. It's a risky thing to hold a peer accountable. It may lead to them not liking you, retaliation, or conflict. [4:57] How do we create a culture and create trust where people want to hold each other accountable and want to be held accountable? It would be a culture where team members don't see accountability as a threat but as a way of teaming together to help everyone be the best that they can be. [6:04] One person can influence a team to a degree, depending on their status within the team. [7:17] The leader establishes the culture. The leader can tell the team that it is expected for them to have difficult conversations with each other instead of coming to the leader. It starts with the leader setting the tone and the expectation for open, candid conversation, with good intention, to help each other be their best. That requires real feedback. The leader also needs to reward that behavior. [9:55] If team members are unwilling to hold each other accountable, Leigh Ann loves the ADKAR model for changing behavior. Leigh Ann focuses on the first three aspects: Is the person Aware of their behavior? Do they Desire to change? Do they Know how to change? That's where Leigh Ann starts to figure out why a person is not willing to engage in difficult conversations. [11:50] One of the principles in Leigh Ann's Better Teams training is Readiness. The first element of Readiness is having the right equipment, tools, and resources. If you don't have those, advocate for yourself. The second element is competence and skill sets. Advocate for the competencies you need. It may involve getting a mentor. The third element is being adaptive, flexible, and agile. Can you pivot? [12:59] Leigh Ann relates being adaptive to stress levels. People are fairly adaptive but when stress levels get high, we begin to get less adaptive and flexible. When there's a lot of uncertainty, we start to crave certainty, which makes any new change feel bigger than it even may be. Recognize when your stress levels are high and advocate for ways to increase certainty so you can be flexible. [14:18] Instead of advocating for the organization to provide something for you, it is better for you to provide the tools, training, skills, and more to better yourself for the job you have or future roles. Advocating for yourself may become a barrier to doing something for yourself that is well within your capability. [15:09] Leigh Ann clarifies the difference between you managing your self-improvement and advocating for yourself to have the company provide an important solution that will benefit the company while benefiting you. What you can do without guidance or leadership, do independently. [16:38] Jan notes that past guest Kim Cameron, spoke a lot about abundance versus scarcity. As we come out of a pandemic, we hear more from our guests about abundance than scarcity. Maybe people are more open-minded than they were. Jan invites you, the listener, to connect on social media about trends you are seeing. And Jan is proposing a prize if somebody listens to all past episodes of the show! [18:11] Jan cites an HBR 1998 article on trust in the virtual team. Trust in virtual teams has been a topic for a while. [18:34] Leigh Ann says some teams are getting human connection right, and some are not doing as well. People need to feel bonded to the people they are working with. Many people miss being in the office with other people. It takes so much more effort to build a meaningful connection on a group call. When you disconnect from the call, you disconnect from the people. [19:56] Before the podcast started recording, Jan, Jim, and Leigh Ann were connected, talking about themselves. They were connecting and building rapport before starting the podcast. When meeting virtually, ask about each other. [21:30] Some individuals and teams want deeper connections and some do not. It has to be managed case by case. Leigh Ann is reading about oxytocin in the book Habits of a Happy Brain. Oxytocin makes us feel connected and bonded. It is released when you come together and start to feel that you know who people are a little bit more and you feel safe with each other. [22:43] When teams get together and do some sort of meaningful team exercise where they're really getting to know each other in a safe way and as they want to, it creates that sense of bonding that may not be there if you're just coming together running down a spreadsheet. We need to create spaces for teams to actually share what they want to about themselves and create that sense of connection. [23:13] Leigh Ann suggests building, even virtually, times for teams to come together with a little structure for teams to share and learn about each other. A simple example is to ask team members to bring with them an object that symbolizes something that they value highly. [23:50] Leigh Ann remembers someone bringing in a medal from running in a triathlon, and how running was part of her health journey. Another person brought in something that symbolized a medical challenge they had and a conversation that helped people on the team understand the person better. The team suddenly saw each other in a new dimension which made them more human to each other. [24:51] Another exercise is a DiSC® communication workshop. What are the different ways in which we like to communicate? Are you direct? Do you like to ask questions? [25:19] Doing some really meaningful team exercises like this allows people to get to know each other. Not necessarily sharing all their deep, dark family secrets, but it's a way to learn about each other and what makes people tick, and create that sense of bonding and closeness we don't get from typical business meetings. [26:18] You can get people together for celebrations. We tend to celebrate success and meeting goals. We celebrate outcomes. Dr. Carol Dweck focuses on growth mindset. How do we celebrate the effort, even if we fall short of the goal? We should celebrate growth, effort, and learning in addition to outcomes. It's also important to celebrate individual contributions and specialties each person brings. [29:04] On the farm where Leigh Ann volunteers, each of the 25 volunteers brings something unique. One volunteer loves to paint. She painted sayings all over the farm and created the farm calendar. One volunteer is meticulous with order and structure. It's important to celebrate the unique contributions of each person on your team. That makes them feel special and increases their serotonin, by the way. [30:32] Leigh Ann tells how she beat the doldrums. Although she loves what she does, she noticed last year she was getting “the blahs.” She had to do some soul-searching to figure it out. She had stopped learning and growing and needed some new things to play into her strengths. She did a lot of learning and coaching with people, reading, and writing that helped her energize again. She got curious! [32:40] Jan and Jim noticed that at the beginning of the pandemic, leaders were energized by the crisis. After 18 months, the same leaders were fired. They couldn't react anymore, they had to step back and think. They had to be proactive. We're still in that stage, where people are planning and budgeting and projecting what will happen. Jan directs people to what they value. [33:33] Leigh Ann often asks people to ask themselves “What do you want?” and “What do you need?” That's the beginning to find out how you get to that. [34:23] Leigh Ann's listener challenge: Put pen to paper, think about, and first ask yourself, what do you want and what do you need? If you're not sure, grab a coach to help you think that through. Do some self-reflection and figure it out. Second, ask how you get out of your way. Third, ask how you prioritize and plan to get there. Leigh Ann has sessions starting in January that can help you through this. [36:13] Closing quote: Remember, “Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” — Vince Lombardi   Quotable Quotes “How do we create a culture and create trust where people want to hold each other accountable and want to be held accountable? And they don't see it as a threat. They see it as a way of teaming together to help everyone be the best that they can be.” — Leigh Ann “In general, people are fairly adaptive but when stress levels get really high, we begin to get less adaptive and flexible. When there's a lot of uncertainty, we start to crave certainty, which makes any new change feel bigger than it even may be.” — Leigh Ann “We've got to figure out ways to create spaces for teams to actually share what they want to about themselves and create that sense of connection and bonding and I think we've got to build that in, even more than just, ‘How are you doing?'” — Leigh Ann “Doing some really meaningful team exercises … allows people to get to know each other. And not necessarily for sharing all their deep, dark family secrets, but it's a way to learn about each other and what makes people tick, and create that sense of bonding.” — Leigh Ann “Take time to put pen to paper and think about what you want and what you need. … And if you're really not sure, grab a coach. A coach can help you think that through, as well, but do some self-reflection and figure that out.” — Leigh Ann   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Leigh Ann Rodgers Better Teams Team Consultant Academy Leading Better Teams podcast Change management (including ADKAR) Kim Cameron Organization — Trust in Virtual Teams, HBR Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, & Endorphin Levels, by Loretta Graziano Breuning DiSC® Carol Dweck, Ph.D.

    TLP337: When A Leader Is Willing To Pick Up A Broom Or Pick Up Trash

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2022 44:46


    Jason Field is an Executive Coach, Outdoor Professional, Expedition Leader, and Past President and CEO of W.L. Gore & Associates. He's a board member, an entrepreneur, and a veterinarian. His focus is to develop great leaders to be force multipliers for their teams. The discussion covers a team's responsibility, decision-making, the principles of problem-solving, and the role of process to obtain and maintain focus on the customer. The discussion also includes insights from Jason on his role as a guide for hikes into the Grand Canyon. Jason encourages you to work hard, follow your interests, and chase experiences.   https://bit.ly/TLP-337   Key Takeaways [2:43] Jason has been married for 16 years. His son just turned 14 and is starting to surpass Jason in capability in just about everything they do together.   [5:05] Adaptability and creative thinking are desirable attributes in many organizations but may be in tension with process and structure. Adaptability and creative thinking are behavioral expressions of a culture. These traits are not desirable in every case, such as when making suture needles, for example, that need a lot of process rigor to come out exactly the same way every time. [5:56] If adaptability and creative thinking are desired outputs, you need leadership levers like the Galbraith Star Model™. You design adaptability and creative thinking into the organization. You look at strategy, structure, processes, rewards, and people to get the behaviors of adaptability and creative thinking as outputs. [6:22] Adaptability and creative thinking go with belief systems and values. You start with the people you bring into the organization. If you bring people in who are highly rule-oriented, it's going to be hard to pull adaptability and creative thinking out. [7:30] The Gore company emphasized the power of small teams with the most knowledgeable associate taking responsibility for decision-making. Decision rights don't come from being a leader. A leader in a small team has the responsibility of facilitating a decision-making process and pointing to the most knowledgeable associates. This all requires the team to have organizational strategic clarity. [8:22] You complement small teams with process. If the idea is to be adaptable and draw upon the creative thinkers on the team, you need processes that will move relevant information to the teams in a timely manner so they can act according to the best information. [8:39] Processes should do two things: enable and expedite decision-making and mitigate risks. In the case of teams, it's mainly about expediting decision-making. [8:51] Rewards make sure you are celebrating business wins when you see teams operating in that adaptable mindset and drawing upon their creativity. [9:20] The Pairin Survey identifies people with high objective and analytical scores versus people with high intuitive and conceptual scores. Most teams are strong in objective and analytical scores for solving problems. Intuitive and conceptual scores relate to being good at understanding the root causes and seeing trends and patterns.   [10:14] Having the right leader at the right time means being able to draw upon both individuals with strong analytical skills and individuals with strong intuitive skills, that can draw out insights from others, depending on the problem or opportunity that's being presented. [10:58] Jim points out how Jason had clarified an assumption in the first topic of adaptability and creative thinking: Are they desirable in every scenario? Then Jason talked about when they are not helpful and when you need them. How do we encourage people to ask the right questions and clarify their assumptions? [11:53] Jason tells how active listening works for him. He suggests that it's a powerful thing for leaders to step back and ask themselves what an individual is trying to get across to them and ask the right questions and get the right assumptions on the table as they engage in problem-solving. [13:07] When Jason has an employee engagement, he is trying to inspire them while deriving information for himself. It's a two-way street. For engaging people, first, demonstrate an interest in what that individual or team is doing. Draw people to the higher purpose of the strategy of the organization. Demonstrate that you care about them. [14:20] Jason and Jim role-play a conversation. Jim is an engineer working on a product development team and Jason is an executive who pops into the office and asks what Jim's working on. As they talk, Jason shows interest, asks follow-up questions, points to organizational strategy and tying to the customer, uses active listening, adds personal encouragement, and offers help for resources. [17:28] Deconstructing the role-play, the leader makes sure the person knows the leader is listening by repeating and validating what the person says, taps into the personal impact of how the person feels, and how the leader can help. These things are attributes of an energizing discussion. The leader asks how the person knows they are being successful, looking at their place in the organization. [19:20] The best way to inculcate the core values into the organization is to demonstrate them. You've got to walk the talk. Jason says that it's a competitive advantage to being a purpose-driven organization that's incorporated its values into the fabric of its operation. Jason leans pretty hard on that type of work. This assumes you've done the hard work to identify values that are true to the organization. [20:37] When you have your organizational values, incorporate them into your mission, vision, and strategy. Those are the pillars upon which your organization's direction is built. Then draw on those components and demonstrate the values in your products, services, and decision-making frameworks in the organization. At the end of the day, those values characterize your brand. [21:59] Integrity is one value Jason sees a lot. Integrity may be subject to interpretation. Integrity has a dependence upon the values that sit behind it. Make sure you know how your key stakeholders are interpreting integrity. Military veterans often say integrity is choosing the hard right vs. the easy wrong. [23:55] When the board and leadership align with the core values and demonstrate them, that brings alignment around the value of integrity. Brand strategist Tom Storey told Jason that value is “A promise made and kept by the entire organization and experienced by our customers.” [24:39] Keep those values front and center in your decisions so you create experiences that reinforce them. Celebrate the individuals, teams, and products that demonstrate the values you hold dear. That's how you start to embed those values into organizations. [26:25] Jason shared his thoughts about personal responsibility. Can it be taught? There is a “nurture” component in surrounding people with others that demonstrate accountability and commitment to an outcome. The peer environment might be the strongest driver of personal accountability. The Special Forces environment creates a very high expectation of dependency on one another. [27:30] Leaders can draw out that discretionary effort in a way that's rewarding to the individual. Use a rewards system that addresses various levels in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The financial component can elevate people to a limited degree to rise to challenges. The personal recognition of catching people doing things right is energizing. Help people understand their place on the team and in the organization. [28:43] Be purpose-oriented. Show how products and services contribute to a greater good and make a difference in the world. Jason's favorite rewards system is giving people the freedom to operate individually, drawing on their strengths to make a difference in the organization. [30:23] There are individual incentives and team incentives that can be used to encourage performance. Jason leans toward understanding what you are trying to create and whether you are relying heavily on team-based outcomes or you need individuals to get into the lab and grind away toward solutions and outcomes. Jason's bias is to revert to the power of teams. But Bob Gore invented Gore-Tex individually. [31:07] You can't look past individual accomplishments and assume the team will come together and deliver a better outcome because it's a team. There are different environments and different problems that call for different solutions. To the extent you can see that, as a leader, is how you should build your incentive structure [32:08] What derails leaders? Jason says it's losing sight of the market and getting disconnected from sales. It's easy to become internally focused and pull internal levers to optimize an organization, moving away from the market and the customer. You might drive value creation in the near term but miss market signals for long-term opportunities. Optimize for the near term and Invest for the long term. [34:08] One of the most important lessons Jason learned, mid-career, as he was transitioning into product leadership was clarity of purpose and the role process plays. Jason was working in medical devices and the stakes are high in that product category and a lot of risk. The division leader went to all meetings when there was a product issue that could have a patient impact. [35:45] The division leader always brought clarity by asking what is the process telling us, and is the process benefitting us? If the process isn't giving us clarity as to what the answer might be, we probably don't have a good process in place. Jason's takeaway was the role process plays in helping to understand the root cause of what's going on. If the process isn't giving the answer, make some changes. [36:28] The final answer never comes from the product. What is all the data telling you, and how does that translate into the impact on the customer? In medical devices, of course, patients are the most important. Keep what is most important to your organization front and center in decisions when things don't go as planned. [37:30] Jason has been an outdoor enthusiast his entire life. In the past year, he started guiding in the Grand Canyon. It has been absolutely fascinating. When you're a guide in that setting, people are out of their element and hold guides in high regard. Jason hosts a picnic lunch and insists on doing all the cleaning. It sends the message that he's there to serve and a reminder of the power of service. [39:09] People hiking into the Grand Canyon have varying levels of physical fitness. The two things to be most concerned about on the hike are dehydration and heat exhaustion. You need people to be on point and listening, from the very start of the trailhead. It is very hard to keep people focused and get to where you want them to go. Pace matters. There are no easy hikes into the canyon and out. [40:18] You have to get the right feedback mechanisms in place. Verbal communication can be one of the worst ways to get feedback on a hike. You have to set up mechanisms to get guest feedback. Are they stumbling? How much water are they drinking? Jason counts water bottles. Organization leaders also have to be aware that much is non-verbal. Set up feedback mechanisms. Pay attention. [43:16] Jason offers three core elements that come together to create a high likelihood of success: Work hard, follow your interests, and chase experiences. If Jason hadn't chased the experience of a crucible with Jan, he probably wouldn't be doing outdoor leadership experiences and executive coaching now. He thanks Jan for that. It was walking the talk. [44:40] Closing quote: Remember, “There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.” — Howard Thurman   Quotable Quotes “What Gore has really done well, historically, is emphasize the power of small teams. Not only small teams but, in addition, … emphasis on the most knowledgeable employee … taking responsibility for decision-making. … Decision rights don't come with being a leader.” — Jason “If the idea is to be adaptable and really draw upon the creative thinkers on the team, you have to think about processes that are going to move information to those teams in a timely manner so they've got relevant information.” — Jason “Depending on the problem or the opportunity that's presented, you want to be able to draw upon those individuals that have the deep analytical skills or those that can kind of characterize the problem and draw out the insights from others to orient the team.” — Jason “Integrity has a dependency on all the other values that sit behind it.” — Jason “Celebrate those individuals, those teams, and those products that are demonstrative of the values that you hold dear. And that's how you start to embed this into organizations.” — Jason “When a leader is willing to pick up a broom or pick up trash, the message that sends to the organization is pretty cool.” — Jason “A lot of times when you ask those questions, you don't always get honest answers, so you've gotta have those other cues that are feeding you information.” — Jason “The hard work comes easy when the interest level is high.” — Jason   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Jason Field W.L. Gore & Associates Bob Gore Gore-Tex Chris Warner Crucible Expeditions The Galbraith Star ModelTM Pairin.com Michael Simpson Tom Storey Maslow's hierarchy of needs  

    TLP336: Balance Is Not About Things Being Equal

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2022 44:41


    Mike is the author of “Leadership in Balance and Management in Balance,” the founder of Crispian Consulting, and a retired Army officer. Mike shares his thoughts on balance and equilibrium, and what that means for management versus leadership. Contained in this episode is essential advice for newly-minted leaders, and a discussion on learning tools. At the end of the episode is a great “both/and” challenge!   https://bit.ly/TLP-336   Key Takeaways [3:05] Mike played rugby as a Military Academy cadet. He had a lot of fun with his teammates. Rugby helped him develop into the person he is. [4:05] Jim met Mike as a keynote speaker, speaking about balance and being a fulcrum. Jim took a lot of notes. Mike defines balance for leaders and managers. It's not things being equal, it's the equilibrium of a work/life balance. Mike talks about managers spending up to 80 hours a week at work. That doesn't leave equal hours to spend with your family. When you're home, give them your undivided attention. [6:23] Mike teaches “both/and” as an alternative to the “either/or” way of looking at problems. The vast majority of things in life are not dilemmas where you must make one or the other choice. Most questions involve equilibrium or equipoise. Apply the right amount of each choice to where it balances. Mike says to be the fulcrum. Be the point on which balance is achieved. [7:49] Mike writes about four central domains in leadership: Communication, Adaptability, Focus, and Influence. You can find an equilibrium but the environment is constantly changing so your equilibrium will also change. Mike works with people to be ready for change. A key part of the model is situational awareness. What's going on in the environment that's different from your natural tendency? [10:11] Mike admits there were times as an Army officer when he should have given more direct orders. Instead of telling people why something was important to do, he needed to tell them how to do it. He didn't always recognize what the situation demanded of him so he couldn't be the fulcrum. [12:14] While doing the Audible version of his first book. Leadership in Balance, Mike realized that the four central domains have descriptive names. Communication is the Foundational Domain, upon which leadership is built. The other three domains rely on effective communication. Focus is the Purpose Domain. Adaptability is the Action Domain. Influence is the Mission Domain. [14:27] Mike's second book, Management in Balance, is out now. It covers four domains, Time, Material, Risk, and Change. [15:08] Mike addresses the mindsets of abundance and scarcity. What is your attitude about an abundance of risk, versus a scarcity of risk, or an abundance of material, versus a scarcity of material? Mike quotes former Green Beret Kevin Owens: “The most innovative people I know are poor.” The conditions are the conditions, so we have to deal with the condition, whether abundance or scarcity. [16:50] Are you seeing risks that are not there? Are you not seeing risks that are present and are you becoming reckless? The balance comes into play in that as a manager you have to deal with the current condition honestly and as it exists but you have to prepare yourself and your team for that shift that is going to come. Supply chain issues are examples of shifts. Adjust to conditions as they change. [19:39] Using an Army metaphor, you need to position yourself where you can best influence the action. You might need to stand back a bit to have a wider view and receive news from outside organizations. Or you might go to the front lines to direct people who don't know what to do. That's one of the ultimate leadership calls. The same principle applies in a business context. [20:29] Being the fulcrum is creating the ability for equilibrium by managing resources and assigning tasks. Mike says ultimately, time management is task management; how you prioritize and assign tasks. That's the nexus of leadership and management. Position yourself as a leader/manager where you can do the most to create equilibrium in these areas. Be open to signals coming from the environment. [21:33] Empowerment and subordinate development consist of pushing decisions down as far as you can send them. Stan McChrystal taught MIke to get the authority down to where decisions can be made most effectively. Mike notes that Ukraine is using that model now, based on U.S. assistance from 2014. Mike asks, are you doing it well, are you doing it right, and are you doing it in a way that makes sense? [23:04] The fulcrum creates balance based on where it's positioned along the lever. You, the leader/manager create balance by how you influence, position yourself, lead, and manage in these domains access your organization. [24:28] Mike discusses newly promoted “player-coaches.” Both of Mike's books are intended for new managers and also senior leaders who are responsible to promote new managers and leaders and he invites leaders to make these decisions thoughtfully and intentionally.[26:07] The first thing anyone entering into a new position needs to decide is whether they want a job or a career. Get it wrong and you will be miserable to be on the wrong path. And senior management needs to be able to look at you and see if you have leadership potential and the desire for a career. Are you willing to make the physical, emotional, and mental sacrifices that leadership requires? [29:20] Sometimes we get frustrating answers from asking the wrong questions. Sometimes our ego stands in the way of asking the better question because we don't want to know the answer. Or we overlook that we might have been wrong previously. Surround yourself with smart people. Put together a smart team with at least one person who asks, “What are we missing? What is another possibility?” [30:29] Always look for the third option. Don't let decisions be either X or Not-X. Having one more option forces you to think more deeply about the problem and how that plays out as a solution. Most of us quickly make decisions based on experience. Step back and ask some other smart people what they're seeing. Reframe the problem. Mike tells how he addressed an IED problem to improve mobility. [34:03] Remember that everything you do as a team or an individual is a performance cycle. A performance cycle has four steps: Plan, Prepare, Execute, and Review. Don't skip the Review step, especially if you succeed, because it will help you plan better for the next performance cycle. [37:21] Mike's next book focuses on management and leadership as a “both/and” proposition and will speak to executives. Mike discusses the risk to mission, the risk to people, and the risk to reputation. You have to know where those three types of risks are lurking. Manage to mitigate that risk to your people, your mission, and your reputation. Look for opportunities to find acceptable risk and grab market share. [40:43] Mike wrote the second book to define management, setting the stage for his next book, covering leadership and management. New managers always ask Mike whether management or leadership is more important. The better question is, how are they different and when do you do each? The domains for the Management/Leadership equipoise are: What, How, When, and Why? [42:45] Mike's challenge for listeners: Find the “both/and.” When you think you're on the horns of a dilemma, step back for a minute and ask, “Is this really an either/or proposition, or is there some question of equilibrium that needs to be found between these competing demands?” If you do that, you may find that you are more effective and a lot happier in your role. [44:07] Closing quote: “There is no decision that we can make that doesn't come with some sort of balance or sacrifice.” — Simon Sinek   Quotable Quotes “A lot of people, their thoughts immediately go to things being equal; … a balanced scale. … Balance is not about things being equal. Balance is about finding equilibrium; a work/life balance.” — Mike “The equilibrium comes in when you're home, giving them your undivided attention, putting your work aside, and getting involved in the things they're involved in.” — Mike “The vast majority of things are a question of balance, equilibrium, equipoise: to take these things that are in contention with each other and apply the right amount of each to where it balances.” — Mike “That's why the ‘be the fulcrum' thing comes into play. That's my reminder to everybody that you've got to be the point on which balance, equilibrium, is achieved.” — Mike “As an Army officer, … I wanted to be more indirect in how I influenced people. I was very much, ‘This is what you've got to do and this is why it's important,' not, ‘this is how you're going to do it.' … There were situations where I should have been more like that.” — Mike “I've been asking a lot of clients lately, ‘What's the most important thing that you do, and are you getting better at it every day?' And almost invariably, it boils down to their ability to communicate.” — Jan “Limiting resources can make people very resilient. The most innovative people I know are poor.” — Former Green Beret Kevin Owens, quoted by Mike Lerario “If you're in the retail business now, you've seen this roller coaster. You had a lot and all of a sudden, maybe people didn't have money, and then people got money and they're buying all your stuff and the supply chain gets impacted because there are 50 ships backed up.” — Mike “[Speaking] as an Army guy, one of the most important lessons is that you need to position yourself where you can best influence the action. In some cases that might mean that you're standing back and you have a wider view of the battlefield.” — Mike “The fulcrum creates balance based on where it's positioned along the lever. You, the leader/manager create balance by how you influence, position yourself, lead, and manage in these domains access your organization.” — Mike “I'm a firm believer that, especially with decision making, you have to find a third option, always. If you're looking at the decisions as, ‘I've got to do A or I've got to do B,' or ‘I've got to do X or Not-X,' you're going to fail. … You have a higher probability of failure.” — Mike   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Mike Lerario Crispian Consulting General Stanley McChrystal Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, by Stanley McChrystal et. al. Leadership in Balance: THE FULCRUM-CENTRIC PLAN for Emerging and High Potential Leaders, by Mike Lerario Management in Balance: THE FULCRUM-CENTRIC PLAN for New and Reluctant Managers, by Mike Lerario Rand Corporation Audible Kevin Owens Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders, by L. David Marquet

    TLP335: The Curse of the Bias to Action

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 33:53


    This episode is about the importance of finding the underlying causes for today's common leadership challenges. It's about not making the mistake of treating symptoms versus the underlying root cause. Learn how curiosity can inspire and provide insight. Often, the objective, analytic thinking that propelled you to the C-suite now needs to be paired with intuition and conceptualization for you to see the trends and patterns of issues. If you're not a CEO, you can learn to think like one and increase your value to the organization. Listen to the end for the listener challenge!   https://bit.ly/TLP-335   Key Takeaways [1:26] This week's topic: focusing on the problem. Jim recently talked to a client who had set a goal. The goal was a solution to a problem, for example, buying a new system that would run the company and fix everything. While talking about the solution, the client was not talking enough about the problem. Solving the problem is the goal. Does this solution, or another solution, solve the problem? [3:01] Jim thinks this is important because as consultants and coaches, Jan and Jim's job is to dig into the problem, not just provide a solution. Jim worked with Bard Press on a book, and his contact, Todd, kept reminding him to focus on the problem. Jan and Jim recently interviewed Dre Baldwin who also said to focus on the problem! So this is a timely topic. [3:47] Jan quotes guest Brian Caulfield saying, “Sell the problem, not the solution,” as the most quotable quote of the podcast. When people look at problems, they often neglect to look for the root cause. They come up with an “either this or that” solution; the best solution might be “this and that.” Jan refers to Peter Senge and the Fifth Discipline, using systems thinking to figure out the problem. [4:45] The Pairin Behavioral Surveys that Jan has run find that 95% of the time, people score very high in Objective-Analytical and very low in Intuitive-Conceptual. Intuitive-Conceptual is about understanding the root causes of things and being open-minded. [6:18] When Jim does sales training, he goes back to Sandler for the Dummy Curve. When you get a new salesperson, who doesn't know a lot about the product, but they're successful right away, for two reasons: They don't know enough about the product to talk about the product, so they ask a lot of questions centered around the problem. That creates an affinity with the customer. [7:48] Does the product solve the problem? No one cares how the product works if it solves the problem. Focus on the problem. When you don't know how the product works, you have no choice but to focus on the problem. You ask questions that define the problem better. If the sales force knows too much, they want to show their mastery and talk more. That ruins the sale. [8:25] The Dummy Curve is that you come in, you have success, and then you lose it the more you learn. Jim coaches leaders not to train new salespeople too much on the product. Talk to them about the problem that their product solves. Coach them on the business problems people have that invite your product and solution. Have them be more curious about those. [9:25] Jan sees this episode as emphasizing the power of the question. Jan has been coaching about coaching and asking difficult questions. A better approach to a difficult conversation is “Hey, Jim, how do you think that meeting went?” rather than “Hey, Jim, you know what you did in that meeting?” The higher up we go, we need to be better about the questions. [10:16] Jan coached someone about presenting to a high level in the organization. The presenter was rehearsing what to say to influence a decision. Jan asked, “What objections and resistances do you expect?” They discussed how answers to objections could be questions and they considered sample questions. Questions don't have power unless you're curious about the problem and the root cause. [11:40] Talk about task conflict and not personal conflict. Depersonalize the difficult conversation. Focus on the issues. What is the problem that we need to solve together? Jan brings up an example of heating service people who got to the root cause of his problem. If you understand the root cause, you can at least put a bandage on it. Without knowing the root cause, that's about all you can do. [14:47] Some reasons people are content with a bandage instead of getting to the root of the problem are that they don't have time, they don't care, competing priorities, or having so many problems crossing their desks that they don't notice how big one specific problem is. They don't have curiosity, or they have a bias toward quick action. Jan compares it to being seen by a dismissive doctor. [18:01] Jim refers to his upcoming book. The first part of the book is about diagnosing business symptoms. We sometimes mistake the symptom for the problem. Jim shares a story from the book about his father, having abdominal pain in his 60s. The doctor refused to look at the pain as the problem but recognized it as a symptom of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. She saved his life with surgery. [22:08] Jan explains the levers of change: people, incentives, structure, and process. Leaders are rewarded for being problem solvers so the incentive is to solve problems fast. At a certain point, when they start taking on high levels of responsibility, the job shifts from doing to thinking. Jan tells people to think like a designer. Look at each lever. It's not always an issue for coaching to solve. [24:25] If you're not the CEO but you want to be a valuable employee, think like a CEO. Help the CEO see what they might not be seeing. CEOs need to look at the broad performance of the organization and see the patterns, then dig and understand what's behind those patterns. Past guest, Jim Gilmore, author of Look, wrote about seeing through binoculars, field glass, and microscope. CEOs need a field glass. [26:35] People are worried about budgeting for the next year and they're all worried about low sales numbers. They're looking for things to cut from the budget instead of asking what it would take to increase their sales for the next year. Jan always asks where the assumptions behind the budget are coming from.  [28:07] Jan notes that scaling means doing more with less by getting more productive and becoming more efficient. Jim asserts that the companies that don't panic during downtimes but invest wisely can grow at great paces compared to those who batten the hatches and shrink. Always seek to understand the problem before solving it. [29:30] Look at the number of companies that were created and grew prodigiously in the Great Depression. The Great Depression was awful. The tech giants of today did not panic during the dot.com bust. They doubled down and grew. There are opportunities all the time but if you're fixated on a solution, you will not see the opportunities that surround you. [30:39] Jim offers an audience challenge: Pay close attention over the week. Listen twice as much as you talk and listen for where you hear either yourself or other people so enamored with a solution that they are missing the real point of understanding the problem. If you recognize that moment, redirect the conversation; ask a question to understand. You will find a more productive outcome on the other side. [32:03] Jan reflects that Jim's audience challenge will take temperance, self-discipline, and self-awareness to understand your effect on other people. Jim and Jan invite you to get in touch with your feedback on these Jim and Jan episodes and suggestions for what subjects you would like Jim and Jan to talk about next. [33:18] Closing quote: Remember, “It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton   Quotable Quotes “When we spend too much time talking about the solution, the trap we fall into is that we limit the possibilities for what the real solution could be because we're not spending enough time talking about the problem.” — Jim “What course of action is going to be the best path toward the future?” — Jim “It goes back to the Fifth Discipline — what Peter Senge wrote about systems thinking.” — Jan “I say to leaders, ‘What got you here is your ability to see patterns … and make quick decisions. … But those quick decisions are based on paradigms and biases. As a high-level leader, you need to suspend that, have … an open mind, and figure out what's causing this.'” — Jan “Talk to [new salespeople] about the problem that your product solves. Coach them on the business problems people have with regard to your product and solution.” “We need to talk about process and task conflict and not personal conflict.” — Jim “Too many times, we look at a symptom and we don't realize — we think it's the problem but it's just the symptom and … the real business problems are masked by those symptoms.” — Jim “Everybody's got blinders on.” — Peter Drucker, quoted by Jan “If you're not the CEO but you want to be a really valuable employee, think like a CEO.” — Jan “We all know that scaling means you're doing more with less. Not because we're working people harder but because we're getting smarter, we're getting more productive, and we're getting more efficient. Not because we're driving people like machines.” — Jan “Look at the number of companies that were created and grew prodigiously in the Great Depression. … You could say times were different, but they're not.” — Jim   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Interact with Jan and Jim on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram Bard Press Brian Caulfield The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization, by Peter M. Senge Systems Thinking PAIRIN Survey Michael Simpson Sandler Training Peter Drucker Look: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Observational Skills, by James H. Gilmore Harry Chapin  

    TLP334: Values and Virtues

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2022 46:23


    Jan Rutherford and Jim Vaselopulos, the hosts of The Leadership Podcast, explore core values based on the six cardinal virtues. Follow the discussion in this important episode to be reminded how the cardinal virtues apply in life and at work, and how you and your organization can move forward by going back to the fundamentals of leadership. https://bit.ly/TLP-333   Key Takeaways [1:25] Jan and Jim have both received a lot of very positive texts about Episode 332, featuring Richie Norton, who talked about the brevity of life. Jan sees that people are planning frantically for next year. [3:05] Leaders are making sure they don't get caught up in emotions but look at the facts. Jim refers to past guest Alan Beaulieu and ITR Economics. The slowdown we're feeling is a slowdown in the rate of growth, not a recession. Slowing from 25% growth to 9% growth feels like the airbags just came on. Don't overreact. [5:20] The numbers come from our words, deeds, and our ability to work through other people. Leaders get people to do things willingly that they would not do otherwise. How we lead depends on our values. Ask what is the most important thing, the second-most important, the third-most important, and so forth. We need to prioritize what we value and translate those values into behaviors we can observe. [6:47] If we say we value integrity, what is the observable behavior that comes from that value? Is hitting the number that top priority, or are people a priority? [7:42] It doesn't matter what you say, it matters what you do. Your culture is a product of your daily decisions and how you treat people. [8:53] Jim recalls an experience from his first college internship at Glenview Tool Company. The owner, Mike Sciortino told him that a security device can't prevent all theft but it can help keep honest people honest. Jim says, as leaders, let's help people do the right thing. Let's encourage them. [11:04] Jan shares a recent airline experience where “the system” wouldn't allow the airline to fix a problem. The system should be for people! [11:40] Jan explains the six cardinal virtues: Wisdom, Courage, Humanity, Justice, Temperance, and Transcendence. Wisdom is built upon curiosity. We have to reward curiosity if we want people to be able to identify problems. Daily, use the statement, “That's a great question!” Reward questions! It's important to catch people doing right. [17:15] Take the focus of questions away from yourself and put it on the other person. Instead of saying, “I don't understand this, can you explain it to me?” say, “That's fascinating. Help me understand why you're going about it that way.” [18:12] Courage gets a lot of talk these days. The best business translation of courage is honesty. Sometimes we say authentic. Jan coached a client who had been honest to their boss, but their boss just got quiet, as though wounded. If we want the truth, we need to hear it. Jim cites Choosing Courage, by Jim Detert. Courage is related to timing. Sometimes, wait for the right moment instead of blurting it out. [21:45] Jan's client recently told him that part of being courageous is not being complicit. Don't keep quiet about stuff. [22:39] Employees always have three choices about their workplace: Suck it up and deal with a toxic culture, try to change it, or leave. What do you stand for? What are you willing to compromise on, or not? It's not like there's much greener grass in different places, but there is different grass in all the organizations. You don't have to be complicit in a toxic culture or abusive leadership. [24:40] Humanity is simple kindness or the Golden Rule. This can be hard because there's a lot of competition. There's tunnel vision. Some niceties go by the wayside. But research shows that human kindness works. Humans respond best to positive reinforcement. Humanity is a decision that doesn't depend on anyone else. Just be kind, even if people are mean to you. It's doing the right thing. [28:01] Jan tells of going from being a sergeant to being an officer. He was told, “You don't have to speak like the soldiers; you can be above that.” It's a matter of respect. If you try to fit in by speaking the cool lingo, it is inauthentic. [28:58] Justice is fairness. Organizations are asking people to be fair to one another. But, in personalized leadership, you can't treat everybody the same, because of their individuality and the work function they have. People want one-on-one time with their leader. In all that, we have to be sure we're being perceived as being fair. Encourage others in the organization to be fair and equitable. [33:19] Temperance is self-discipline. Without self-discipline and sacrifice, we can't tackle big goals. John Wooden taught players how to put on socks and shoes so they wouldn't get blisters. In business, we are missing so many fundamentals, such as starting and ending meetings on time and being predictable. [35:00] Jim says discipline is respect. Showing up to meetings on time is respectful of everybody's time. Discipline with personal and business goals is respect for how important those goals are. If you don't have self-discipline, you probably don't have self-respect. Discipline thrives when you have respect. If you don't have self-respect, discipline falters. [36:29] Transcendence is spirituality. In work, Jan sees it as being gracious and operating with gratitude. Jim reminds us that in the grand scheme of things, our role is small. How do you relate to the universe and other people and creatures? Barry Schwartz, in Practical Wisdom, told of janitors in a cancer care unit operating with graciousness because the patients were in great need and having a hard time. [38:19] The transcendent behavior of the janitors improved the condition of the patients, who were at their most humiliating moments. The janitors were looking at the bigger picture than cleaning up a mess. In high-performing organizations, people operate with that level of transcendence. People who win the Medal of Honor are operating with transcendence, also known as Mission, Vision, and Values. [39:20] Companies are not started for the sake of creating a great culture. A company starts because there is a market need, and they think they can help people. More people get involved and then they think about having a good company, which means having a good culture. People are tribal. The cardinal virtues are the rules to get along with our tribe and be of service to other humans in other tribes. [40:50] Things feel out of hand because we've gotten so far from the fundamentals. As you look at planning, go back and say, “Are we making this too complicated?” [42:24] Closing quote: Remember, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” — Maya Angelou   Quotable Quotes “As [Richie Norton] reminded us, ‘Life is short' isn't a cliché, it's true. and ‘Don't defer your dreams.' Boy, that show resonated!” — Jan “We had some sectors that were growing at 25% and now they're only going to grow at 9%, so it feels like the airbags just came on because we're slowing down from 25 to 9. … The slowdown is huge but it's still a rate of growth. … Let's not overreact.” — Jim “[As a leader,] you're basically saying, ‘Let's change the trajectory, let's improve performance, let's do something different that you wouldn't have done if I didn't intercede.'” — Jan “Your culture isn't what you want it to be. Your culture is a product of the decisions you make on a daily basis. … Do [you] respect people? Do [you] listen to them when they have a concern?” — Jim “If people aren't asking questions around you, you might be the emperor without clothes.” — Jim “There is a way to ask a question so that it will never be perceived as stupid. … [Instead of ‘I don't understand this,' say], ‘That's really fascinating. What made you think to do it that way?' or ‘Help me understand why you're going about it that way.'” — Jim “We see what's going on in big tech right now; it's all fear. It's awful. People are afraid to speak up.” — Jan “It's not like there's much greener grass in different places, but there is different grass in all the organizations. They're different. There might be a place where the values line up better with what you're all about. You don't have to be complicit in a toxic culture.” — Jan “Humanity is a decision that doesn't depend on anyone else. If you're going to be kind, just be kind, even if people are mean to you.” — Jim “As leaders, we've got to encourage others in the organization to be fair and equitable.” — Jan “We know this: Without a certain amount of self-discipline and sacrifice, you can't tackle big goals and defer short-term pleasures. It's really hard. And any organization has really long-term goals.” — Jan “No company that I know of was started to create a great culture. … Every company starts because there's a market need and they think they can help other human beings. And then they get more people involved. And then they say, … ``We should have a good company!” — Jan “We are tribal. To me, these cardinal virtues are the rules for us to behave in a certain way to get along with our tribe and to deliver services, offerings, and products to other humans in other tribes. That's what we're doing.” — Jan “Everything feels like it's out of hand because we've gotten so far from the fundamentals.” — Jan   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Interact with Jan and Jim on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram Richie Norton Alan Beaulieu ITR Economics Choosing Courage: The Everyday Guide to Being Brave at Work, by Jim Detert Jim Detert Kim Cameron The Positive Coaching Alliance Jim Thompson All I Really Need to Know, I learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things, by Robert Fulghum Discipline is Destiny: The Power of Self-Control, by Ryan Holiday John Wooden Kareem Abdul-Jabaar Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing, by Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe Medal of Honor The Marshmallow Test

    TLP333: Values and Virtues

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2022 43:05


    Jan Rutherford and Jim Vaselopulos, the hosts of The Leadership Podcast, explore core values based on the six cardinal virtues. Follow the discussion in this important episode to be reminded how the cardinal virtues apply in life and at work, and how you and your organization can move forward by going back to the fundamentals of leadership. https://bit.ly/TLP-333   Key Takeaways [1:25] Jan and Jim have both received a lot of very positive texts about Episode 332, featuring Richie Norton, who talked about the brevity of life. Jan sees that people are planning frantically for next year. [3:05] Leaders are making sure they don't get caught up in emotions but look at the facts. Jim refers to past guest Alan Beaulieu and ITR Economics. The slowdown we're feeling is a slowdown in the rate of growth, not a recession. Slowing from 25% growth to 9% growth feels like the airbags just came on. Don't overreact. [5:20] The numbers come from our words, deeds, and our ability to work through other people. Leaders get people to do things willingly that they would not do otherwise. How we lead depends on our values. Ask what is the most important thing, the second-most important, the third-most important, and so forth. We need to prioritize what we value and translate those values into behaviors we can observe. [6:47] If we say we value integrity, what is the observable behavior that comes from that value? Is hitting the number that top priority, or are people a priority? [7:42] It doesn't matter what you say, it matters what you do. Your culture is a product of your daily decisions and how you treat people. [8:53] Jim recalls an experience from his first college internship at Glenview Tool Company. The owner, Mike Sciortino told him that a security device can't prevent all theft but it can help keep honest people honest. Jim says, as leaders, let's help people do the right thing. Let's encourage them. [11:04] Jan shares a recent airline experience where “the system” wouldn't allow the airline to fix a problem. The system should be for people! [11:40] Jan explains the six cardinal virtues: Wisdom, Courage, Humanity, Justice, Temperance, and Transcendence. Wisdom is built upon curiosity. We have to reward curiosity if we want people to be able to identify problems. Daily, use the statement, “That's a great question!” Reward questions! It's important to catch people doing right. [17:15] Take the focus of questions away from yourself and put it on the other person. Instead of saying, “I don't understand this, can you explain it to me?” say, “That's fascinating. Help me understand why you're going about it that way.” [18:12] Courage gets a lot of talk these days. The best business translation of courage is honesty. Sometimes we say authentic. Jan coached a client who had been honest to their boss, but their boss just got quiet, as though wounded. If we want the truth, we need to hear it. Jim cites Choosing Courage, by Jim Detert. Courage is related to timing. Sometimes, wait for the right moment instead of blurting it out. [21:45] Jan's client recently told him that part of being courageous is not being complicit. Don't keep quiet about stuff. [22:39] Employees always have three choices about their workplace: Suck it up and deal with a toxic culture, try to change it, or leave. What do you stand for? What are you willing to compromise on, or not? It's not like there's much greener grass in different places, but there is different grass in all the organizations. You don't have to be complicit in a toxic culture or abusive leadership. [24:40] Humanity is simple kindness or the Golden Rule. This can be hard because there's a lot of competition. There's tunnel vision. Some niceties go by the wayside. But research shows that human kindness works. Humans respond best to positive reinforcement. Humanity is a decision that doesn't depend on anyone else. Just be kind, even if people are mean to you. It's doing the right thing. [28:01] Jan tells of going from being a sergeant to being an officer. He was told, “You don't have to speak like the soldiers; you can be above that.” It's a matter of respect. If you try to fit in by speaking the cool lingo, it is inauthentic. [28:58] Justice is fairness. Organizations are asking people to be fair to one another. But, in personalized leadership, you can't treat everybody the same, because of their individuality and the work function they have. People want one-on-one time with their leader. In all that, we have to be sure we're being perceived as being fair. Encourage others in the organization to be fair and equitable. [33:19] Temperance is self-discipline. Without self-discipline and sacrifice, we can't tackle big goals. John Wooden taught players how to put on socks and shoes so they wouldn't get blisters. In business, we are missing so many fundamentals, such as starting and ending meetings on time and being predictable. [35:00] Jim says discipline is respect. Showing up to meetings on time is respectful for everybody's time. Discipline with personal and business goals is respect for how important those goals are. If you don't have self-discipline, you probably don't have self-respect. Discipline thrives when you have respect. If you don't have self-respect, discipline falters. [36:29] Transcendence is spirituality. In work, Jan sees it as being gracious and operating with gratitude. Jim reminds us that in the grand scheme of things, our role is small. How do you relate to the universe and other people and creatures? Barry Schwartz, in Practical Wisdom, told of janitors in a cancer care unit operating with graciousness because the patients were in great need and having a hard time. [38:19] The transcendent behavior of the janitors improved the condition of the patients, who were at their most humiliating moments. The janitors were looking at the bigger picture than cleaning up a mess. In high-performing organizations, people operate with that level of transcendence. People who win the Medal of Honor are operating with transcendence, also known as Mission, Vision, and Values. [39:20] Companies are not started for the sake of creating a great culture. A company starts because there is a market need, and they think they can help people. More people get involved and then they think about having a good company, which means having a good culture. People are tribal. The cardinal virtues are the rules to get along with our tribe and be of service to other humans in other tribes. [40:50] Things feel out of hand because we've gotten so far from the fundamentals. As you look at planning, go back and say, “Are we making this too complicated?” [42:24] Closing quote: Remember, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” — Maya Angelou   Quotable Quotes “As [Richie Norton] reminded us, ‘Life is short' isn't a cliché, it's true. and ‘Don't defer your dreams.' Boy, that show resonated!” — Jan “We had some sectors that were growing at 25% and now they're only going to grow at 9%, so it feels like the airbags just came on because we're slowing down from 25 to 9. … The slowdown is huge but it's still a rate of growth. … Let's not overreact.” — Jim “[As a leader,] you're basically saying, ‘Let's change the trajectory, let's improve performance, let's do something different that you wouldn't have done if I didn't intercede.'” — Jan “Your culture isn't what you want it to be. Your culture is a product of the decisions you make on a daily basis. … Do [you] respect people? Do [you] listen to them when they have a concern?” — Jim “If people aren't asking questions around you, you might be the emperor without clothes.” — Jim “There is a way to ask a question so that it will never be perceived as stupid. … [Instead of ‘I don't understand this,' say], ‘That's really fascinating. What made you think to do it that way?' or ‘Help me understand why you're going about it that way.'” — Jim “We see what's going on in big tech right now; it's all fear. It's awful. People are afraid to speak up.” — Jan “It's not like there's much greener grass in different places, but there is different grass in all the organizations. They're different. There might be a place where the values line up better with what you're all about. You don't have to be complicit in a toxic culture.” — Jan “Humanity is a decision that doesn't depend on anyone else. If you're going to be kind, just be kind, if people are mean to you.” — Jim “As leaders, we've got to encourage others in the organization to be fair and equitable.” — Jan “We know this: Without a certain amount of self-discipline and sacrifice, you can't tackle big goals and defer short-term pleasures. It's really hard. And any organization has really long-term goals.” — Jan “No company that I know of was started to create a great culture. … Every company starts because there's a market need and they think they can help other human beings. And then they get more people involved. And then they say, … ``We should have a good company!” — Jan “We are tribal. To me, these cardinal virtues are the rules for us to behave in a certain way to get along with our tribe and to deliver services, offerings, and products to other humans in other tribes. That's what we're doing.” — Jan “Everything feels like it's out of hand because we've gotten so far from the fundamentals.” — Jan   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Interact with Jan and Jim on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram Richie Norton Alan Beaulieu ITR Economics Mike Sciortino Choosing Courage: The Everyday Guide to Being Brave at Work, by Jim Detert Jim Detert Kim Cameron The Positive Coaching Alliance Jim Thompson All I Really Need to Know, I learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things, by Robert Fulghum Discipline is Destiny: The Power of Self-Control, by Ryan Holiday John Wooden Kareem Abdul-Jabaar Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing, by Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe Medal of Honor The Marshmallow Test

    TLP332: Anti-Time Management

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2022 46:38


    Richie Norton is the author of “Anti-Time Management,” and a Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coach. He is the CEO of Prouduct, an INC. 5000 company.  In this episode, Richie opens up about tragedies that changed the way he lives, works, and spends time with his family. Richie describes work-life flexibility in three parts: Ability, Availability, and Autonomy. His message: Don't defer your dreams.     https://bit.ly/TLP-332   Key Takeaways [2:15] Richie Norton walks his dog on the beach every day. He travels the world and works from his phone. [2:29] The name of his company, Prouduct, means products you're proud of. At any given time, they make over 100 products. Besides being an entrepreneur, Richie coaches and consults. He is happily married and has seven children including three fosters. His youngest passed away but would have just turned 13. [3:50] Years ago, Richie was in Nashville working with the Zig Ziglar team on a project. He got a text from the State of Hawaii that a missile was about to hit his house on Oahu. Then a text that said it was not a test. He called home and finally, his son answered the phone crying, “I love you, Dad.” He thought these were his last moments. It was all a mistake. It shook Richie into thinking about other events. [5:02] Richie's brother-in-law, Gavin, his wife's only brother, had been living with their family. He passed away in his sleep at age 21. Life is short. They started living their lives differently and thinking about time differently. Richie's fourth son, Gavin, named after his uncle, was born. He had a cough. Doctors said he was fine, but it turned out he had pertussis. In the hospital, he slipped away in his mother's arms. [6:25] In thinking of these two tragedies, Richie came up with Gavin's Law: “Live to Start, Start to Live.” Take the ideas that press on your mind, and start living them. Too many people push ideas aside claiming they don't have the education, time, or money to make them happen. [7:11] Richie worked with Stephen M.R. Covey while in his twenties, training executives. Richie thought he was too young for the job but it wasn't about his experience, it was about continuous improvement and learning. [8:05] Richie speaks of some life events. His foster children returned to their biological mother. His wife had a stroke and lost her memory. The business deal that took him to Hawaii fell through. His son got hit crossing the road and was badly injured. He is OK now. His wife got her memory back. Richie was shouldering a lot when he changed his life's trajectory by putting meaning behind these events. [9:52] With meaning, Richie was able to keep his faith and continue moving forward. His meaning was in asking himself, “How can I live better, not bitter?” When you get stuck on what happened, ask yourself how to assign positive meaning. Approach your work from the dream, not toward the dream. [10:57] Covey would say, begin with the end in mind. He didn't say, to begin with, the means in mind. You can change goals, habits, and strengths, which are all just means to an end. The approach of working from the dream and not endlessly toward it is powerful. You can collapse time. It's a different way of thinking, living, and working. It's anti-time management. [12:54] Richie learned that grief is a tunnel, not a cave. Things happen that impact us and the way we see where we're going and what we have to look forward to. Richie's purpose is his family. He wants to create the ability to have availability. Purpose is having character, creating relationships of trust, and being available for his family, and those for whom he needs to be available when they need him most. [15:48] Richie describes work-life flexibility in three parts: ability, availability, and agility or autonomy. When you look at the world through autonomy, availability, and ability, you can see how free you are to make the choices that you do, including the consequences. [18:28] You have to value your time, not time your values. You can't sacrifice what you love for success. When you sacrifice what you love for success, you get neither. Infuse your work with your values or you will get a hollow life with hollow hopes. You can have money and meaning. You've got to bake it in from the start. [21:17] The second industrial revolution in the late 1800s came from the concept of time-motion studies. It is now known as Taylorism or time management. It was designed to control and master every aspect of workers. It takes and squeezes everything out of the worker for as long as possible to the point of breaking. Time management is about who controls how you use your time. [22:32] Anti-Time Management gives you control over your time. In Time Management, others tell you what to do. In Anti-Time Management, you decide. There is a balance between the two approaches. A full calendar is an empty life. An empty calendar means you're a leader; it's been handled. [25:18] The recent pandemic was the first time in history that everyone was experiencing the same thing at the same time. Technology advanced. Companies and talent started learning what was possible. People started seeing the world in a new way. People started distrusting companies and news outlets more than ever before. Of course, the corporations want everyone to come back in! [26:38] Can productivity increase working from home? It depends on the situation. [26:47] The leadership quality of the future that will be the most important leadership quality is discernment. When you have these gaps in data and interpretation, we need leaders and talent who can use discernment to fill them in to decide the direction we're going to go. [27:50] Never have the switching costs of moving from one company to another been lower. People change jobs every 4.6 years. The company that supports talent in working for their role in the home is going to be the winner. [29:02] As soon as flexibility becomes a corporate benefit to the employee, it's not a benefit to the employee anymore, it's a longer leash. [29:56] Discernment comes in asking better questions for better answers. Problems are multi-dimensional. With discernment, you can make decisions that no one else saw. Ask open-ended questions. You can develop discernment. Richie has great mentors and surrounds himself with good people that think differently. It helps to listen to great podcasts like The Leadership Podcast. [33:23] If a chick doesn't break out of its egg, it dies. Fear, negative pride, and procrastination are like an eggshell that we must break through to be our authentic selves. If you had no fear, pride, or procrastination, what would you be capable of? How would you feel? What would you do? You would be you. We go around trying to avoid past traumas through our decisions. [36:10] Richie sees that people have fear at work. In corporations, there is 99% work signaling and 1% working. Jan cites Joel Peterson, former Chairman of JetBlue: “24 hours is more than enough time per day.” Richie talks about having a purpose or reason bigger than your fear. At the end of the day, you get what you want, tragedies aside. You've got to be willing to do the work. [40:17] Richie does not like the retirement mentality. It has destroyed generations of people. He wants people to talk about it, as he does in Anti-Time Management. The retirement mentality is to put off what you want to do until you retire. You can do what you want now and find a way to responsibly support yourself your whole life. [42:06] Richie talks about the marshmallow test. The original study indicated that a child willing to wait 15 minutes for a larger reward rather than accepting a smaller reward now, would do better in life. But later studies showed that was not true. Richie compares the patient child to the obedient employee, willing to wait for rewards. Waiting is great for some things, but not for everything. [44:36] Your lifestyle is changed by how you get paid. The way you operate, the way you work, and the way you do things in order to earn, dictate your life. If you can work in a way where more gets done in less time, it will expand your ability to live, create, and be hyper-productive. Consider your purpose, priority, projects, and payments: If your payments can align with your purpose, you're set. [45:59] Closing quote: Remember, “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” — Carl Sandburg   Quotable Quotes “I don't think people work for work's sake; I think we work for something else, and so I love to help people create that something else and find work to support it.” “I held him for a second and handed him to my wife; she was in a rocking chair and I had my hand on his heart and we sang lullabies. He slipped away. There's nothing like having a human being die in your arms. There's just nothing like that.” “I came up with what I call Gavin's Law, which is ‘Live to start, start to live.'”  “People say they have 20 years' experience when in reality they only have one year's experience, repeated 20 times. … Let's go to work.” — Stephen M.R. Covey, per Richie Norton “A lot of times [people] get stuck on what happened. … Ask, … ‘How can I assign positive meaning to this?' Because … if you can, then you can figure out your approach. When you approach something from the dream and not endlessly toward it, you work entirely differently.” “Goals, habits, and strengths have become means, that have become ends unto themselves. They're just means to an end. You can change the goals, habits, and strengths.” “The way time tippers in Anti-Time Management treat time is the way Marie Kondo treats clothes and closet space. We look at it with, ‘What brings us joy? What doesn't? What served us? What hasn't?'”  “You have to value your time, not time your values.”  “I believe that the leadership quality of the future that will be the most important leadership quality is discernment. … When you have these gaps, we need leaders and talent who can use discernment to fill them in to decide the direction we're going to go.” “There are more opportunities than ever. … People are saying to me, ‘How do we get the talent back?' … Just hold on. … Never in the history of the world have the switching costs of working in one job or another been lower.” “If you want to be … the leader that brings in other leaders, … now we have an opportunity to show love, to be egoless, to look for talent where we are supporting them in the role that they're working for … the role in the home; those are the companies that are going to win.” “Any fear that happens, if you don't have a bigger purpose or a bigger reason, why would you do something about it? People are scared of losing their jobs and they stay.” “Change the way you get paid — change your life.”   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Richie Norton Anti-Time Management: Reclaim Your Time and Revolutionize Your Results with the Power of Time Tipping, by Richie Norton Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches Prouduct INC. 5000 Zig Ziglar Stephen M.R. Covey Marie Kondo Second Industrial Revolution Taylorism Harry Potter “10 Ways to Crush Life (in 2 minutes by Richie Norton)" Joel Peterson JetBlue The Marshmallow Test

    TLP331: Giving Grace to Yourself

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2022 51:55


    Warwick Fairfax is the Founder of Crucible Leadership, a philosophical and practical approach for turning business and personal failures into the fuel for living life on purpose, in service to others. In this interview, Warwick shares the wisdom gained from losing his 150 year-old family business worth two-billion-dollars. He talks about how he became a person of intention and reflection. He discusses how we need to delve into our values and beliefs and live in alignment with them. He shares why character means more than credentials. Listen in for the ultimate lesson on working through adversity and the importance of resilience. https://bit.ly/TLP-331   Key Takeaways [1:51] Warwick is a big cricket fan. He looks forward to watching a big upcoming Australian cricket tournament on an obscure cable channel in the U.S. [3:24] Warwick grew up in Australia in his family's 150-year-old media business. It felt like it was his duty to go into the company. He went to Oxford, as his father had done. He worked on Wall Street, then got his MBA at Harvard Business School. He was seen by his parents as the heir apparent. He could not choose not to go into it. [5:38] Warwick believed the company wasn't being well-run. In his youthful idealism, he launched a $2.25 billion takeover in August 1987. Things went wrong from the start. Other family members sold out and didn't believe in Warwick or his vision. The company had an unsustainable level of debt. Warwick tried everything to keep it going. In 1990 they filed for bankruptcy. The company was sold. [7:20] Warwick's wife is American and the couple moved to America in the early '90s; they have been here ever since. Warwick's crucible was devastating. In Crucible Leadership, a crucible is defined as a devastating setback or failure that fundamentally transforms your life. It was excruciating. How could he have been so dumb with a Harvard MBA? Warwick was in a bad pit of despair. He was at rock bottom. [9:40] Warwick was 26 years old when he launched the takeover. Blue-chip merchant bankers advised him not to do it. So he found less reputable bankers who told him, sure they can do it. They just didn't tell him that it wouldn't be sustainable. Warwick ignored the good advice and listened to the bad advice. [12:38] Warwick credits his stability with his Christian faith which has always been the center of his life. His crucible brought him closer to his beliefs. Warwick believes God loves us all unconditionally. He doesn't need our stuff or our successes; we're not our rank or position, we're valued as human beings, beautifully and wonderfully made. Warwick's faith is a cornerstone. [13:32] Warwick's wife loves him unconditionally. Losing a couple of billion did not change that. In the '90s, Warwick and his wife started having children. Warwick found meaningful work, such as doing finance at a local aviation services company and business analysis. The love of his family strengthened him. As he says on the podcast, Beyond the Crucible®, you're not defined by your worst day. [14:40] You have to dig deeply into your fundamental beliefs and values; are you going to be defined by your biggest mistake or this biggest thing that's happened to you? When something bad happens to you, you can either be angry and bitter at others or yourself for years, or you can say, “This is awful; this is unconscionable; what I did was stupid; OK, but I have a choice how I move on from here, how I live.” [15:51] Warwick's essential problem was that he was living somebody else's life. You've got to live your life and do what you were called to do, regardless of what laudable professions your parents have followed. You love your parents, but you don't need to do what they did. You've got to be you.  [16:52] Failure can be helpful if it leads you to examine yourself. Often, vision comes out of the ashes of your crucible. The key is you've got to live your own life. You can't inherit a vision. You've got to own it. You've got to feel like it's your vision. That's at the core of leading with uncompromised authenticity. [19:57] When you grow up in wealth, the crucibles are different but they're there. Warwick always felt extremely stressed by the sense of obligation to go into the family business. Growing up, if Warwick got in legal trouble, he knew it would be front-page news. He could not afford to fail and embarrass his family. Life won't always be perfect. You don't need to look for failure or crucibles. [21:57] Crucible Leadership surveyed around 5,000 people asking how many of them had experienced crucibles of life-changing circumstances over their lives. It was 71%. There's a 70% chance that people you know have gone through crucibles. Be forewarned before the battle. Have a game plan. [23:23] Over the years, Warwick has asked executives what their values and beliefs are and to what degree they are living in alignment with their values and beliefs. If they are out of alignment, he asks, would they rather change their values and beliefs, or change how they live? They always want to get in alignment with their values and beliefs. Ask the question. People often miss that they are not aligned. [25:35] If coaches don't ask their executive clients about values and beliefs, nobody may ask and the clients may never think about it. They may go through life asking “Why is life so difficult? Why am I having all these crucibles?” Well, it may be self-inflicted. Maybe living out of alignment with their values and beliefs is part of the reason. [26:23] Warwick offers “must-dos” to lead through a crisis. First, your team must feel heard. That doesn't mean you do everything they say. Show empathy, appreciate their concern, and explain why you are going in a different direction. If they feel heard, they are OK with a different decision, as long as it is not a moral difference. Your team should know you care about them as people. [28:47] If you listen to a team, and you've never taken input from any of them in 10 years, just saying “I hear you,” is not going to fly. At some point, you've got to take some input from your team, or listening is artificial. You need to know your blind spots. If you've got bright people on your team, you've got to trust them. If they all agree on something else, there's a good chance that they're right. Be humble. [30:34] Ego stops us from doing things that every business book advises. Every Executive coach will say, “Trust your team.” Because of ego, we don't do it, and it leads to business failure or suboptimal performance. [31:39] It's not just about getting to know people but about caring. You can't teach people to care. If you don't feel that people are worthwhile and deserve to be cared for, Warwick advises you to step away; resign. Let some other man or woman step into your job who can do a better job. If you have people on your team who demonstrate they don't care for others, let them go and do damage somewhere else. [35:20] Warwick states that hiring people that don't care is bad for long-term company performance. If you don't provide a caring, nurturing environment, you will not hire good people. It's as hard to hire good people as it has been in the last hundred years. If you believe in your company's long-term performance, you'll hire people who care. [36:33] Warwick would rather hire someone who cares than someone with the highest academic credentials. Their team will stick with that leader who cares. Hire for character. It's the right economic choice and business choice. It's the right ethical and values choice. [38:44] Warwick reflects on what he as an executive coach might have told his 26-year-old self, but he says it wouldn't have helped. He would not have been moved from his plan at 26. Sometimes things happen and you have to go through them to learn the lesson. [39:56] In general, with young people, Warwick would coach them to make sure they understand their values, ethics, and beliefs. He would ask how what they are doing serves their values, ethics, and beliefs. People following a calling in line with their values and beliefs don't stop at roadblocks. If they need help, they ask for it. [40:45] Warwick will sometimes ask his team to reassure him before a presentation because he knows the material, but his emotions tell him he might fail. A strong, confident person is willing to admit their vulnerabilities and ask for help, at an appropriate level of sharing. It doesn't make you less of a leader, admitting you're a little bit nervous. [42:33] When you go through a crucible, don't waste it. Learn the lessons. Have After-Action Reports. Learn to do what fits your values, beliefs, and wiring better. [45:39] Warwick shares his views on business valuation. Executives often wrap their identity in what they do. They wonder if they sell low if that makes them worth less as a person. After they sell, at any price, what are they, since they are not Joe Business-owner? Don't let your business identity stop you from making a rational business decision. [47:48] Don't just have an exit strategy; have a life strategy after selling the business. There are many worthwhile options, such as heading a non-profit, donating your time, creating a new start-up, or becoming a mentor, advisor, or angel investor. Close one chapter and start another chapter. Know your why. You've sold your company, not your identity. [50:24] It's hard not to see your identity wrapped up in what you do. It's easy to say; it's really hard. It's normal to feel pain when you sell a business. Jan cites Clayton Christensen, “How will you measure your life?” [51:26] Closing quote: Remember, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” — Frederick Douglass   Quotable Quotes “It was my sacred duty to go into the family business because we didn't just produce widgets, we produced something that was of service to the nation of Australia. … This sense of duty was so hard-wired in me, I could not not go into it.” — Warwick “I'm pretty good at giving grace to others; pretty bad at giving grace to myself. … I have a tendency to think if there's a problem in the world, it's my fault. I tend not to blame others.”  “They said, ‘Warwick, the numbers don't add up, don't do it.' Well, that wasn't what I wanted to hear.”  “When you go through a crucible, it either draws you closer to your verities and beliefs or further away.” “We say this all the time; we have our own podcast, Beyond the Crucible®, ‘You're not defined by your worst day.'”  “You don't always have a choice about what happened to you but you can choose how you look at your life, moving forward. That's the essence of beginning to get out of the pit of despair and beyond your crucible.”  “My dad was sort of the intellectual guy that would have been a better philosophy professor. He was not a business guy at all. I mean, John Fairfax, my great-great-grandfather was a business guy but those genes had long since faded by the time it got to me, fifth generation.”  “The key is you've got to live your own life. … It's great to love your parents but you can't inherit a vision. You've got to own it. You've got to feel like it's your vision. So that's probably at the core of leading with uncompromised authenticity.”  “Unless you ask the question, they don't even realize they're living out of alignment with their values and beliefs because they don't know what [they are]. We, as coaches, can really help our clients by just asking those questions. If we don't ask, nobody may ask.”  “Typically founders are not very good general managers. They're good entrepreneurs but they're just different skills, so be humble enough to trust your team. It sounds so simple and so easy but ego gets in the way and that's the problem.” “Every executive coach will say, ‘Trust your team.' This is not new, what I'm saying. But because of ego, people don't do it. It's so sad; frankly, it's stupid. It will lead to business failure or suboptimal performance.”  “I believe that hiring people that don't care is bad for profitability and bad for long-term performance of the company. Maybe not short-term earnings per share, but long-term, because people like to work for people who care.”  “Young people increasingly have choices and if you don't provide a caring, nurturing environment, you won't hire them. It's as hard today to find good people as it's ever been in the last maybe 100 years. … If you believe in … your company, hire people who care.”  “If you're following a calling that you're passionate about that's in line with your values and beliefs when you hit those roadblocks, you won't stop. And when you do hit them, … a brave man or woman asks for help.”  “You're more than just your title. You're more than just a nameplate on your door. If that's who you think you are, then that's very tragic because you're set up for misery and a bit of a fall. So, there's some soul work, in the broad sense of the word, that you've got to do.”    Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Warwick Fairfax Crucible Leadership Beyond the Crucible® Podcast Crucible Leadership: Embrace Your Trials to Lead a Life of Significance, by Warwick Fairfax Cricket Tournaments in Australia Fairfax Media Oxford Harvard Business School Douglas MacArthur West Point Drexel Burnham John Fairfax The MacKay 66 Harvey MacKay Clayton Christensen  

    TLP330: Having The Right People In Your Corner

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 53:09


    Lieutenant General Mark Schwartz retired from the U.S. Army after 33 years. A career Special Forces Officer, Mark served in a multitude of command and staff assignments, including the United States Security Coordinator of the Israel-Palestinian Authority. In this interview, Mark reveals the importance of having the right advocates in your corner. Mark shares his advice for young leaders, women leaders, and others on being intentional and deliberate with how they approach their careers.   https://bit.ly/TLP-330   Key Takeaways [3:10] Mark is pleased to be back in his home state of Colorado. Now that he is retired and has the opportunity to speak to civil society, he is focused on advocacy for women in leadership. [4:28] Strategic influence and influence at the local level come from having the right advocates in your corner. Mark talks about the effects that suspending diplomatic relations between the Trump administration and the Palestinian Authority had in 2019. President Abbas had lost his most important ally and his influence waned, while Netanyahu's influence increased. [10:12] Mark learned from his time in Israel that everyone wants a leader who is ethically sound and has the character they want to emulate. It's all about the people you have the privilege to represent and lead. If you're not an example they're proud of, people leave the organization and move on to find other leaders they want to work for and work with. [13:38] Politics has entered the business conversation. In the military, it is necessary to support the administration, even though the oath is to the U.S. Constitution, not to an administration. In the military, you can voice your opposition at every election. Mark recommends following thbusiness practice: use your voice at the ballot box, not at work, to avoid some real challenges in the workplace. [17:58] Loosely-bonded political alliances are essential. Mark illustrates that point with his first joint task at NATO leading the ground planning for a NATO mission expansion in Afghanistan. It was a very educational experience to learn the importance of inclusion. It applies also to businesses. Not everybody is going to get what they want but the voice of the collective body is powerful. [22:33] Empathy at the staff and HQ levels for your coalition partners is an important aspect of success. You are representing your nation's interests, but you respect the caveats and interests of others. [26:18] In speaking of developing leadership, Mark describes an event along the Pakistani border that turned a situation from tactical to strategic quickly, for over six months. Mark was on mid-tour leave, but he called his commander to see if he was needed. He was told that someone he had helped develop had the situation in hand. The young operations officer managed a report to generals remarkably well. [29:27] Mark shares a model for advocacy for women in the military and business. The talent between men and women is similar. Merit is the most important factor. If you aren't consciously creating opportunities for fair and equal competition for promotion or strategic-level leadership, you let some of your best folks go. Consider the propensity to serve. Keep the standards consistent. [33:51] People appreciate candid and honest feedback. All candidates are not equal. If someone is not qualified, you owe them that feedback to let them know why. Some preconceptions still exist. On one occasion, Mark explained to a female staff member that he was going to a well-qualified female executive officer to make an important statement to the command. [36:38]  When the Berlin wall came down in 1989, Mark thought that peace was almost here. There are still conflicts. Success against conflict comes through will and resolve, as Ukraine is showing the world. Mark talks about the Taliban taking over Afghanistan. As a nation, we need to understand the psyche of a country and determine what is achievable. [40:10] Mark discusses negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, and why the Palestinians' determination not to participate in any normalization dialog didn't help them. Mark sees opportunities to work privately to create a better environment for the civil society of both Israelis and Palestinians. Mark offers suggestions of steps to take to get on track to reduce the levels of violence and tensions. [45:23] Mark's advice for young businesspeople with leadership aspirations is to focus on doing the best you can on the job you have. Build your core competencies. After three to five years, make your desire to take on an entry-level leadership responsibility known to your next-level leadership. That could lead to getting a mentor or sponsor. Management should be on the lookout for bright women and men. [47:03] After you get your first leadership position, you will run into a lot of firsts. You will want a mentor or advocate because you don't always go to your boss for help in dealing with things. [47:53] If you desire to be a leader and develop talent in your organization, you've got to identify early those individuals that have the potential to mentor you. The higher in the organization you are, the more important it is to be mentored. As you move up to mid-management, that is when most women stop rising in the organization. The C-Suite needs to watch for women with merit to mentor. [50:22] Mark is very grateful not only to have had the opportunity to serve as an American soldier but also to have had the support of the American people throughout his career. That support is highly appreciated by everybody who has served and who continues to serve. [52:37] Closing quote: “We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” — George Orwell   Quotable Quotes “If you don't have the right advocates in your corner, it's very hard to have any influence.” — Mark “It's unfortunate when situations play out where the military is viewed as being politicized. As a senior leader in the military, it certainly disturbed me to see.” — Mark “If you're truly doing your job in terms of talent and leader development, your responsibility is to advocate for those that you see potential in and create opportunities and provide advice, counsel, and sponsorship for those that deserve it.” — Mark “There's no other way [besides DEI that] we're going to balance equality across the workforce at every level.” — Mark “If you desire to be a leader and you desire to develop talent in your organization, you've got to identify early those individuals that have that potential. And as you get more senior, it becomes all the more important.” — Mark   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Mark C. Schwartz LTG(Ret) Special Operators Transition Foundation Event in Chicago, Summer 2022 Christian Anschuetz Project RELO Israel President Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian National Authority President Benjamin Netanyahu Iran Tip O'Neill NATO McKinsey Research The Taliban IEDs ISIS  

    TLP329: You Don't Rise to Expectations, You Fall to Your Level of Preparation

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2022 42:38


    Hasard Lee is an F-35 pilot in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and has flown 82 combat missions. He has the distinction of being the only fighter pilot to employ two different types of jets in combat on the same day. Hasard is a content creator with one of the largest defense channels on YouTube - with over 54 million views and a reach of 290 million people. Hasard has a book coming out in May 2023, The Art of Clear Thinking: A Stealth Fighter Pilot's Timeless Rules for Making Tough Decisions. In this conversation, Hasard shares the rules for making tough decisions.   https://bit.ly/TLP-329   Key Takeaways [2:44] Hasard joined the Reserves in 2020. He still flies once in a while. Most of his time is devoted to writing his upcoming book. Hasard's father was a physicist in the Department of Energy so they moved from Livermore, CA, to Los Alamos, NM, and Washington D.C. for his job. Hasard went to his first air show when he was five. He has pictures of himself in an F-15 with a helmet on. [3:59] Hasard got the flying bug when he was five. He memorized all the jets and was passionate about them. When he was 12, a friend of a friend of his father's took him up in a Cessna 152 and Hasard got a little bit of yoke time. After that, he was hooked and he knew he wanted to fly in the Air Force. He started taking steps in high school to make it happen. [6:11] The happy place for fighter pilots is in the cockpit, flying. But developing systems for training fighter pilots on the F-35 is one of the best things Hasard has ever done. The F-35 is the most expensive weapons system in history and will probably fly into the 2070s. The training tech included simulators on laptops, VR goggles, and high-end simulators, all setting pilots on the right path for the next decades. [9:03] Joining pilots of different jets into one program is like a merger. And most mergers fail! Hasard contrasts the competencies of A-10 pilots for close air support for troops on the ground with the F-16 pilots that do much of what the F-35 pilots do, and the F-22 and F-15C pilots. Part of Hasard's job was to create the syllabus, building from the lowest common denominator of what the pilots knew. [11:54] Hasard planned his book to be entertaining and to incorporate some of the principles he learned as a fighter pilot. Most chapters have a story from Hasard's time flying and a story from history or the business world. He breaks it down through ACE: Assess, Choose, and Execute. That's how fighter pilots make decisions. It's developed from John Boyd's OODA loop: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. [12:44] Hasard explains assessing and prioritizing the information that comes before you using laws of power: exponential growth, diminishing returns, and knees in the curve; how to make decisions based on expected values; and execution. The number one thing is being prepared. Start with visualization, or “chair flying” from the beginning to the end in your mind, and plan how to handle contingencies. [18:07] How do you learn to evaluate the odds? With debriefs. A pilot will go fly for an hour and then debrief that flight for two to six hours and pick through everything that has gone right and wrong to sharpen their mental model and make it more in line with reality. Check your ego at the door. Call everything out. [19:55] This needs to be done better in the civilian world. Spend time with your team and write down lessons learned after every project in some sort of document that everybody can reference. After every flight, Hasard writes down in a little notebook three things he could have done better. Then, the next time he has a similar flight, he reads those notes to prepare. Leaders: are you doing this enough? [22:43] We're all leaders. When it comes down to being a good leader, you need four things: Competence in your job and a level of competence in jobs that report to you, Caring, Conviction in the vision of what you do, and in the boundaries you will not cross, and Clarity for solving problems. With these four characteristics, you can get a team to move quickly in a certain direction. [25:21] Everything is predicated on how well you sleep. You perform better and make better decisions. It's hard for fighter pilots to get enough sleep because they fly at all hours. A noise machine in the bedroom helps. Sleep is an exponential benefit to what you do. It will help every aspect of your life from your relationships to how well you see the world to solve problems. At least eight hours is optimal. [28:25] Self-care, such as nutrition, sleep, hydration, physical therapy, and psychology are being emphasized now in pilot training. The evidence is getting out there. It just needs to be a priority. Generation Z is prepared for it by not smoking. [31:30] Being a fighter pilot is not a one v. one cage match or Top Gun with four aircraft. Pilots work with hundreds of aircraft operating together. They deal with the space domain, the cyberspace domain, people on the ground, and aircraft ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance). It's a force package of 100-plus assets working to create the best team possible. And the enemy is just as smart. [33:06] Advice for younger people who want to be fighter pilots: You don't need to have perfect vision anymore! You can have Lasik or fly with contact lenses or glasses. If you want to be a fighter pilot, apply! [33:44] Hasard has noticed that in the military, everyone has similar values, along a range. The business world is more of an open ocean and you have to be discerning to figure out where a person is coming from and their intentions, and how well they execute. When you hire someone, they haven't been through OCS or the Academy and pilot training. They don't think like the military. Hiring is a challenge. [36:35] Hasard has a “Never Again story.” When he was a lieutenant learning to fly an F-16 he was doing high-aspect BFM with a colonel with 25 years of experience. Hasard wanted to impress the colonel. He pulled up to vertical at 245 knots — six knots too slow! He fell out of control. He was able to get the jet under control at 2,000 feet. He learned small changes in input can make very large changes in output. [42:06] Closing quote: Remember, “Clarity affords focus.” — Thomas Leonard   Quotable Quotes “There are three important power laws you have to know: Exponential Growth, … Diminishing Return, … and Knees in the Curve.” — Hasard “If you can slow down to less than about 250 knots [before ejecting], you drastically increase your chance of survival because speed behaves exponentially.” — Hasard “As soon as you put on your helmet, you lose 20 I.Q. points. And what that means is you don't rise to the level of your expectations, you fall to the level of your preparation. … You have to be prepared … in a training environment even more difficult than combat.” — Hasard “If I could talk about all the benefits of sleep without saying it was sleep and just saying it was a pill, I think I'd probably be a billionaire. Because everything is predicated on how well you sleep. You perform better …  you make better decisions.” — Hasard “[Falling in an out-of-control jet] was a big eye-opening story for me that small changes in input can have exponentially large changes in the output.” — Hasard   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Hasard Lee Hasard Lee's YouTube channel Hasard X F-35 F-16 High-aspect BFM The Art of Clear Thinking: A Stealth Fighter Pilot's Timeless Rules for Making Tough Decisions (Coming in May 2023) Cessna 152 King Air A-10 F-22 F-15 The Power of Clarity: Unleash the True Potential of Workplace Productivity, Confidence, and Empowerment, by Ann Latham Malcolm Gladwell The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, by Atul Gawande John Boyd's OODA Loop LASIK OCS

    TLP328: The Magic Happens Between Busy

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2022 44:10


    Whitney Johnson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Disruption Advisors, a talent development company. Whitney is a globally-recognized thought leader. author, keynote speaker, executive coach, consultant, and a popular LinkedIn Learning instructor. In this conversation, Whitney discusses how musicality has lessons for the business world, and the wide applications of the S-Curve. https://bit.ly/TLP-328   Key Takeaways [2:35] At her daughter's prompting during the pandemic, Whitney and her family started watching Korean dramas. The family became obsessed with them. Whitney now studies Korean for two minutes a day on Duolingo. Whitney describes the characteristics of Korean dramas. [5:22] Whitney majored in music, studying classical piano and jazz. Because of her musical background, when she structures a keynote, a book, or a podcast, she looks for musicality and a musical structure to it. Musical structure and musicality inform the work she does. Also, as an experienced accompanist, she knows how to be second, allowing her to be a good interviewer, and as a coach, to listen well. [7:04] Brett Mitchell, the former conductor of the Colorado Symphony, said that music is what happens between the notes. Whitney discusses pauses relating to leadership and cites Clayton Christiansen, saying that partway through his career, Clayton Christiansen started a practice of praying before teaching a class. Once he started that practice, he started to have a significant impact on his students. [8:42] Whitney suggests that before you speak, have a meeting, or a coaching session, you pause and think about the person you're about to speak to, and how to convey to the person that they matter to you, that is an element of leadership. [10:33] Wayne Muller, author of Sabbath, pointed out the pauses in Martin Luther King's exclamation, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” [11:41] Gino Wickman, in The EOS Life, recommends entrepreneurs take sabbaticals. One of Jim's clients just took a sabbatical and reported that stepping back and taking a break allowed them to reflect and then grow. [12:20] Whitney has a LinkedIn Learning class, Grow Yourself, Grow Your Leaders, and a book, Smart Growth. Whitney's view is that we are wired to grow. Virtuous growth is growing in such a way that everyone around you grows as well. She believes that human growth is unbounded. [13:23] Sociologist Everett Rogers applied the S-Curve to the study of how quickly innovation is adopted. Working with Clayton Christiansen, Whitney realized she could apply the S-Curve to individual change and growth. Growth comes in three stages: slow (launch), fast (sweet spot), and slow (master place). Every time you start a new role or a new job, you go through the curve. This is covered in Smart Growth. [14:45] Whitney's LinkedIn course focuses on how to create the conditions where people around you can grow, with the resources they need, and how they can feel connected to what they're doing and the people they're working with. Whitney also talks about building resilience and nurturing people. If you can do all those things, you're creating conditions wherein the people around you can grow. [16:59] Whitney makes the underlying assumption that if you will grow yourself then, by the contagion effect, the people around you will grow. Then, by default, your business will grow. [17:49] You can manage your organization as a portfolio of curves. The people at the curve's launch point will need the most support. They will also have a fresh perspective, opening the door to innovation. You want about 20% of the people in your organization to be new, 60% to be in the sweet spot, and 20% in master, ready for a new challenge. This is a good distribution for innovation. [20:10] De-prioritize the things you do really well that somebody else could do. Whitney gives an example from a client. If you stop doing the things you should delegate to others, you will have time to do the things only you can do, and you get out of the way for them to work on the steep part of the S-Curve. [23:06] Every organization needs to have, as part of their vision, growing human beings and helping them reach their potential. The vision starts with the founders, and as people join the organization, they begin to co-create the vision with the founders. Everyone helps each other grow. In the most fluid, powerful organizations, everyone contributes to the creation of the vision. [26:56] Whitney addresses growth pre-pandemic, in-pandemic, and post-pandemic. A lot of adaptation and resilience have been required. When people are under stress, they go to default stress behaviors. You need to make sure people work together and not against each other. People want to grow but are not always sure how to do it. This goes back to Whitney's course, Grow Yourself, Grow Your Leaders. [28:39] Whitney asks Jan and Jim for their thoughts on getting people to work together under stress. Jim states that when people are stressed they need time and space to solve their problems. People are pausing to figure out how to work together. People need time and space to get up to game speed. Executives are not paid to be busy. Pausing is a good way to grow by asking yourself tough questions. [31:35] Whitney has an assessment that she administers to clients. It includes seven accelerants of growth. The one that ranks the lowest is frequently “Step back to grow.” People are not taking time to pause and reflect. Whitney quotes Tiffany Shlain who asks, “What if we thought of ‘rest' as technology because the promise of technology is to make you more productive?” [34:17] Egon Zehnder surveyed 1,000 executives whether they strongly agreed that to transform your organization you need to transform yourself. Before the pandemic, 18% of executives agreed. After the pandemic, 805 of the executives agreed. The only way you have the moral authority to ask people to change is if you, yourself, are changing. The fundamental unit of change is the individual at every level. [37:52] Whitney lists some people that inspire her, and why: Rashika Tolshan, who wrote about the Queen of England passing away, Brené Brown, Musician Jacob Collier, author Richie Norton, and NFL QB Steve Young. Each of them inspired Whitney with their visions of growth. [41:35] When Whitney was making her list of influential people, her default was to go to all men. She had to make sure she included some women. She had to be very mindful and deliberate to determine who is actually influencing her and she wanted a diversity of perspectives. Jim highlights the leadership lesson of intentionality. [42:49] Whitney's audience homework: On the topic of pausing and resting, listen to these two episodes of Whitney's Step Back to Grow podcast: Episode 139 with filmmaker Tiffany Schlain and Episode 180. Don't avoid taking a pause to rest. [43:57] Closing quote: Remember, “It's all to do with the training: you can do a lot if you're properly trained.” — Queen Elizabeth II   Quotable Quotes “Because of being a musician, I think of things in a musical sort of way. When I'm structuring a keynote; … a book; … a podcast, there's always a sense of, ‘Is there a musicality to it; is there a musical structure to it?'” — Whitney “I wrote a piece about the importance of taking a break, that you needed to rest because the ability to rest was going to allow you to recharge so that you could then move forward.” — Whitney “For me, growth is our default setting. We're wired to grow.” — Whitney “Every time we start something new, we're on a new S-Curve. There are three stages. There's the launch point that feels slow, there's the sweet spot, … where growth is fast, … and … the master place, where growth is … slow.” — Whitney “People who are successful are intentional. It doesn't just fall in your lap. … Successful people are intentional people and [a high] level intentionality is something to be admired and something for people listening to this podcast to take away.” — Jim   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Whitney Johnson Disruption Advisors Korean Dramas Duolingo Tiffany Shlain on Step Back to Grow, Episode 139 with Whitney Johnson Step Back to Grow, Episode 180 with Whitney Johnson Brett Mitchell Clayton Christiansen Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives, by Wayne Muller I Have a Dream Gino Wickman The EOS Life: How to Live Your Ideal Entrepreneurial Life Grow Yourself, Grow Your Leaders, with Whitney Johnson on LinkedIn Learning Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company, by Whitney Johnson Everett Rogers 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week, by Tiffany Shlain Egon Zehnder Ruchika Tulshyan Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience, by Brené Brown Jacob Collier Anti-Time Management: Reclaim Your Time and Revolutionize Your Results with the Power of Time Tipping, by Richie Norton Steve Young  

    TLP327: Never Sacrifice Form for Speed

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2022 43:10


    Audrey Darley Welch heads up the partner program for Darley Defense, W.S. Darley & Company's military distribution business and its largest division. Her team manages the company's partnerships with key suppliers of tactical and fire-fighting products and services. In this episode, Audrey shares lessons she learned from working in various industries and now at Darley. She tells how she adapts to working in a male-oriented field, how she applies sports metaphors to her team, and what she learned from bad assumptions.  https://bit.ly/TLP-327   Key Takeaways [2:09] Audrey originally had intended to become a high school math teacher and volleyball coach. But she didn't realize you had to be a calculus whiz to teach algebra! She decided to go into finance, instead. She is still passionate about sports and coaching. [3:01] Darley, a family-owned business of four generations, has a family employment policy that requires family members to work outside the business for a period before joining Darley. Audrey had not planned to work at Darley. She started a banking career after college. After three years, she considered joining Darley. For a year she went to board meetings and shareholder meetings and researched Darley. [3:53] When Audrey decided she wanted to join Darley, she wrote an application essay. The open position was a dealer development person for Darley's legacy pump division. She got the job and spent a year working in that area but it was not the ideal position for her background in finance and relationship management. [4:28] Audrey was interested in getting exposure to different areas of the business. She found a position in supplier relationship management in the Defense Division. It was a job she was weel-qualified for and she has been working in the supplier relationship function for the last seven years. [5:40] Working at a large bank before coming to Darley allowed Audrey to see how big companies do things, their policies, and their structure. She was able to see what her strengths were at work. The largest thing she learned was the discipline and accountability of being part of a professional organization. [7:03] Audrey feared before joining Darley that she would have to follow her father's leadership style. He is an extrovert and Audrey is introverted. Audrey's advice to the next generation would be to be natural. She also advises the next generation to find out what fresh ideas the business needs to set it up for success, respecting the secret sauce, the family. Darley has had 300% growth in the last five years. [10:01] Audrey doesn't have a problem with being an offspring, the fourth generation, or being a woman in a male-dominated field. She works well with her male cousins and men in the industry. She goes on pheasant hunts, fishing, and to the Wisconsin supper clubs with the men, so being a woman didn't make a difference to her career. Audrey describes a Wisconsin supper club, for those unfamiliar. [12:34] Audrey talks about one's personal responsibility to pursue professional development. Especially in the family business environment, it's all about initiative. She doesn't expect her generation to be nurtured in the business. Each person needs to pave their own way. Audrey recommends a career map with a “From-To” statement and figuring out what kind of experiences you need to get there. [15:26] Does Audrey want to be President? At Darley, there is no job description for President; currently, the CEO, President, and Chairman are all the same person. So Audrey went ahead and developed a job description for the President as she sees it and as she thinks she would do well in that role, and where they can split off CEO responsibilities. She finds those types of exercises to be very refreshing. [17:25] Soon, the fourth generation will get together to talk about all the positions and get clarity on succession planning. Everybody at Darley has worn a lot of different hats, and it's time to separate their roles, especially of the senior leadership team. [18:51] In a mid-level role like Audrey's, leadership is tough. She has five direct reports and will soon have six. The company is trying to scale, with top-level goals, and every team is checking that their goals align with the company goals, but managers may not realize they do not align with cross-functional team goals. Audrey shares a misstep she had made with goals that impacted the Sales Team's goals. [22:11] Audrey presented to senior management in a virtual meeting the initiative she had developed. When she heard “crickets,” she knew something was wrong. She started getting pushback from sales and business development. Her incorrect assumptions had damaged her trust level across departments. Sales reps started having friction with account managers. Get feedback! Silence is not compliance! [24:46] Audrey ties a lot of her leadership to sports and the volleyball she played in school. She was the setter in volleyball, setting her teammates up for success. The setter is usually named the captain of the team because they're running the plays. At work, she considers herself the captain of her team, and the coach. Audrey is concerned about perfecting the fundamentals. [25:46] Audrey's volleyball coach had her do 1,000 repetitions against the wall before coming out for a game to start setting people up in the warm-up. She uses repetition at Darley, focusing on strategies and core competencies. [27:30] Sports metaphors may not work for everybody. Audrey says something that applies to almost all sports is never to sacrifice form for speed. That's how you get injured. Slow down to speed up. [28:45] Government contract bids need to be submitted within 72 hours. Audrey says that cutting corners on supplier due diligence can cause problems. Darley's core value is integrity, and speed is not integrity. Never bypass your core values. [31:54] Audrey tells how she achieves work-life balance. She has her priorities straight. Even so, when she chooses personal over business or business over personal, sometimes there is some guilt felt. Her husband helps. Figure out work patterns with your partner or whoever is helping you with all this and get into a routine. [34:38] Audrey does not think remote work will go away. Audrey prefers hybrid to all-remote. About 60% of companies are offering remote work. It's not a fad. Audrey values in-person collaboration. She values in-person collaboration time in the office. That can be managed in two-to-three days. Remote doesn't work for every position. Audrey's quality of life has drastically improved through hybrid work. [37:08] Audrey comments on what veterans can do to have a successful transition to business life. Veterans at Darley are very aligned with and connected to the mission, which catapults their careers forward. The biggest challenge is understanding the business world. You need to be flexible and wear different hats. You may be uncomfortable. Getting an MBA before coming to Darley helps a lot. [40:21] Three points that will help anyone transitioning into the business world: 1. Be curious, 2. Be adaptable, and 3. Figure out ways to be confident without knowing everything about everything. [41:04] Audrey's closing thought for listeners: Build your sounding board early. Besides joining forums, having mentors, and tapping the knowledge of the board of directors, it is most important to participate in a peer group to help you get where you want to go. [42:37] Closing quote: Remember, “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that is your own self.” —Aldous Huxley   Quotable Quotes “I found out that I'm very detail-oriented and I do like relationship management on the customer side.” — Audrey “Are we setting up the future of the business for success with the way that we have it? Right now, we've had 300% growth over the last five years.” — Audrey “When it comes to building trust and relationships, I'm out there doing the pheasant hunts, and the fishing, and the beer-drinking, and the supper clubs in Wisconsin up near our plant, and all that. So I don't think [being a woman] really did play a role.” — Audrey “I ran through, ‘This is what it means for the division, this is what it means for sales.' I was trying to highlight all the good things that would come from an initiative like this. … It was like ‘crickets.' … Sometimes not hearing anything at all can be a message.” — Audrey “[Sports] is where it all started. And I still do, I tie a lot of it back to sports, or even just fitness, in general. I was a setter in volleyball, very much the quarterback or the point guard equivalent. You're setting people up for success.” — Audrey “You won't hear me say I don't value that in-person collaboration time.” — Audrey “We're a distributor and we sell a lot of different types of products, we call on a lot of different types of customers. … They may not feel as comfortable. … Everybody's bought into the importance of the equipment we sell.” — Audrey   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Audrey Darley Welch Pareto Principle  

    TLP326: Today is becoming tomorrow faster

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 40:07


    Dr. Marianne Lewis is renowned for her research on the paradoxes of leadership and is coauthor, with Wendy Smith, of Both/And Thinking: Embracing Creative Tensions to Solve Your Greatest Problems. The conversation covers how we can learn to think about paradoxes, and why tension is necessary for balance - and to achieve innovation.     https://bit.ly/TLP-326   Key Takeaways [2:14] Marianne grew up with a father in academia. She was determined not to be a professor in academia. In her rebellion, she came to the Midwest to find her space. And she loves Cincinnati and is absolutely in academia, studying leaders. [3:51] Marianne addresses why “both/and” thinking is essential for emotional balance and rational behavior. [5:25] Marianne refers to James March's teachings about the complexity and messiness of the world we live in and bounded rationality, meaning there's just so much one can take in. We do what we need to do to get by in a busy, complicated, messy world that pushes us toward looking at our tensions and dilemmas as “either/or” trade-offs. [7:08] A few years ago, Marianne and her team built a psychological “instrument” they call a paradox mindset. They've studied thousands of people in multiple languages. From their observations, it appears that the way we think is learned. Your ability to manage tensions appears to do with how often you deal with tensions and how much you try to embrace and work through them. More study is to come. [9:45] Paradox thinking and systems thinking are related. A “both/and” thinker tends to think more in systems, looking for interactions and feedback loops. Systems thinking involves looking at complexity in context and in new ways. “Both/and” thinking adds to looking for the value in tensions as you work through the complexity to find more creative and more lasting solutions to your problems. [11:18] There are tensions between things and between systems, but the important tensions are between individuals. Marianne has worked in this field for 25 years, 20 of them with Wendy. They found three factors that intensify the experience of tensions: Change. Today is becoming tomorrow faster. Scarcity. As soon as you feel that you're slicing the pie thinner, you feel tension. Plurality. A multiplicity of stakeholders with pressures that differ. [12:13] We're in the perfect storm of change, scarcity, and plurality. We are living in tensions in our lives, organizations, and society. The tensions are interwoven across levels and facets. [13:48] Vicious cycles reinforce errors in our thinking. Marianne talks about three vicious cycles: Going down the rabbit hole, or deep ruts of behavior. Overcorrecting in the opposite direction. Polarization. Shouting, diminishing each other, and doing anything but listening. [15:47] Get out of the trench by asking, “What are they thinking? What are they seeing? Can we learn?” [16:43] Virtuous cycles are reinforcing tendencies that help us navigate tensions. Marianne sees two patterns of virtuous cycles. One is Creative Integration, taking the best of two extremes, such as radical innovation and efficiency, and putting them together creatively. Marianne compares this to a mule, stronger than a horse and smarter than a donkey. Creative integration is rare. [18:13] The second pattern of virtuous cycles, Dynamic Balancing, is more common. Marianne compares this to tightrope walking; looking to the horizon while dealing with the present tensions. Don't panic in tense moments; keep moving forward. You'll learn as you do it. [21:01] Help people understand why embracing tensions and creative friction fosters opportunities for creativity, learning, and older innovations, moving forward. Marianne tells of Paul Polman when he was CEO of Unilever, who said Unilever would double its profits by reducing its environmental footprint. On every issue he discussed, he wanted to have tension on the team. He was provocative and purposeful. [24:22] “Either/or” and “both/and” thinking are both about decision-making. Uncertainty is potentially paralyzing for “either/or” thinkers. You don't know what the right solution is and the right solution tomorrow may be different. But the point is to keep making decisions, having the confidence and the humility to know you can move forward, whatever the results are. Keep in mind your higher purpose. [26:06] The boundary around the tensions is what holds the elements together. Marianne is seeing an existential crisis in academia and business that strikes her as a lack of meaning. We need to be pushing harder on finding that boundary. [26:43] Is work a transaction of time for money, or does it have meaning and legacy? You serve other people and make their lives better. Leaders need to create an environment where people want to come and bring their best. If a company has a bunch of people in transaction mode, Jan puts it on the leaders. Marianne says it's key for that leader to tap into why they are there. Make the transactions matter. [29:02] Marianne addresses the role of leaders to help us out of the malaise in our society, even in this wonderful world. First, ask why we feel that malaise. Richard Farson wrote of the paradox of rising expectations. At the lowest state, there's no hope. As people realize the potential, as hope grows, the bar raises and people see what could be! The frustrations and protests rise. [30:20] The frustration should be encouraging to leaders. If your people are silent, either they don't care or they are so far below the water that they don't have time or energy to complain. The complaining is because people see that we could be ever better. The world is so polarized because we have very different views of how we get there. You get turf warfare between different sides with different ideas. [31:09] If we could agree that we all want a better world. There are lots of paths to get there. How do we listen and learn from each other? We need leaders, ourselves included, to make sure that raised bar says it's about wanting a better world. It's not about the how, it's about what we want. Let's have good debates and get the friction in the room and think about how we get there. [31:54] Sam Walker, author of The Captain Class, told about a study he did of the most successful sports teams in history. They had captains with unique characteristics that helped build the teams. They dealt with task conflicts and process conflicts but avoided personal conflicts at all costs. When people focus on the task or process, it is productive, not a personal attack. [33:20] Marianne discusses two sides of conflict: the destructive and the empowering. The difference is your focus: the person, feeling the emotion, or the task, the higher purpose, what you want to get done. When you focus on the person, things escalate in a way that is not productive. Some of us are going to have to model the way with different leadership styles. [34:31] Marianne is grateful every day to have a colleague like Wendy Smith. One of the reasons their partnership has been so productive is that they are really different. They have all sorts of differences but they found a lot of similarities. They want a better world, they believe in learning and innovation. While they were writing their book, they found themselves in many late-night deep discussions on challenges. [38:37] Marianne's challenge to listeners: Start paying more attention to the questions you are asking. Are you asking “either/or” questions? Those questions immediately limit your options. Start asking more “both/and” questions, such as, “How do we make this world more sustainable and more productive?” [39:35] Closing quote: Remember, “How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress!” — Niels Bohr   Quotable Quotes “We tend to define things by what they're not. We think in terms of contrast. … You're either ‘A' or ‘Not-A.' So we think in terms of opposites, even if those opposites aren't actually direct contradictions. … The way we think … influences the way we feel.” — Marianne “We're wired to have these heuristic shortcuts, these cognitive biases. … What we feel is completely logical but it might not be.” — Jim “People who have a greater paradox mindset, especially when they're working or living in a world of tensions, … are more productive, more creative, and happier; more satisfied. … They see tensions as opportunities.” — Marianne “We use the analogy of a mule, which is stronger than a horse and smarter than a donkey.” — Marianne “I think about friction in two ways: 1. It can produce drag, or 2. It can produce traction.” — Jan “One way to think about how you hold together your tensions is [to ask] ‘What do you want this to be in the broader world?'” — Marianne “I'm sensing an existential crisis. I see it, whether in academia or business, and that strikes me as a sense of lack of meaning. We need to be pushing harder on ‘What is that boundary?'” — Marianne “For all the rising expectations going on around us and the frustration, the lack of listening and compassion is painful to me.” — Marianne “We wanted to write this book; we did not want this to be a purely business book. These same patterns and tools work at the individual level as a mother, as a friend, and we have seen powerful examples working at the societal level. ” — Marianne “I don't want you to think what I think but I'd love us to be aligned with what we want in the end goal.” — Marianne   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Marianne Lewis, Ph.D. Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati Both/And Thinking: Embracing Creative Tensions to Solve Your Greatest Problems HBR Press James March Systems Thinking Donnella Meadows Peter Senge Paul Polman Unilever Richard Farson Management of the Absurd: Paradoxes in Leadership, by Richard Farson The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World's Greatest Teams, by Sam Walker

    TLP325: The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2022 44:21


    Dr. Ciela Hartanov runs Humcollective, a boutique strategy and innovation firm that helps companies, executives, and teams make sense of the forces shaping our future and prepare strategically. In this episode, Ciela discusses the shift that will be needed to turn teaching leadership skills into teaching a leadership mindset. She discusses how and why sensitivity (not emotionalism) is needed more than ever at work. Listen in for an impressive view of the future of work and how that will shape our communities.   https://bit.ly/TLP-325   Key Takeaways [1:57] Ciela has a passion for the human experience inside of work. She believes it is important to put the human at the center of work. Ciela grew up with a father who was very interested in people and she traveled a lot with him. [3:29] The idea of work as a transaction comes from the Industrial Revolution and the assembly line. You work these hours, produce these widgets, and you get paid. Before the Industrial Revolution, you worked for yourself to build a life and had jobs inside the community, such as baker and candlestick maker, to build the community together. [5:37] Society is trying to break the transaction mindset. Because of the pandemic, there has been a reckoning and reconsideration of the employee/employer contract. Everyone's responsible and we are making agreements together about what that contract is. [6:52] Ciela says we've been sold the idea that purpose is an individual pursuit. We are social beings. Ciela has learned through sociology that we are ourselves because we are reflected through other people. An individual's purpose and meaning are within the context of society. Ciela is working to put us back within the context of our society. We don't operate as solo individuals. [8:01] Before the pandemic, Ciela was worried that loneliness was an epidemic. People were using work to relieve their loneliness. Employers encouraged employees to be more connected to their organization and to have a “best friend” at work. This idea was disrupted by remote work. Individuals need to have their social needs met outside the organization. It's not enough to just be on your own. [10:05] Ciela doesn't talk about transformation. She sees what is happening as a renewal of what it means to be alive as a human being. This is a new conversation in society. The Great Resignation is a philosophical conversation about what it means to be a human being and what it means to work. [11:54] Advances are happening that will impact human beings. But the human condition will always be evergreen. We are still discovering things about the human condition. Those things aren't new, we just didn't know them yet. The things that are new are technological advances and tools, like AI. [12:42] Ciela is studying Emergence and Emergent theory. It is a fundamental human condition that we don't like uncertainty. We will be experiencing more and more uncertainty. Ciela helps organizations figure out how to tie the thread between the growing uncertainty and our dislike of it. [15:12] People will learn that adapting to change is an essential skill. Companies can teach their employees how to adapt to new requirements of a job. It is essential to have emotional resilience for the triggers that come with change. When Ciela was at Google, they spent years teaching people how to meditate. Meditation is a tool to regulate emotion inside a complex and challenging environment. [17:15] Humans are naturally curious and interested. We have it as children. The industrial era has stripped that out of us because it's not efficient. You can't measure creativity in the same way as productivity. Celia is writing a book. In her book, she talks about moving from the idea of knowledge work to perceptual work. Perceptual work involves perceiving what is happening around us. [19:07] After perceiving comes interpreting. This is a human skill, not a machine skill. When we gain insight, our creative mind sees it and considers the way forward to make a move. In uncertainty, making a move is an experiment. This requires rethinking organizational practices and patterns. There's not a straight path from Point A to Point B anymore. [21:50] Ciela was on a team at Google that studied the future of leadership. She tells of the insight that led her to organize the study team. She held the position that we need to examine mindsets before we teach leadership skills. It's like our operating system. If you don't have the right operating system for the context, you're never going to be able to demonstrate the right behavior. [25:06] The team developed six mindsets that matter. Ciela shares three of them: 1.) I must know myself and get over myself to be in the service of other people., 2.) Believe that being in uncertain terrain is progress and progress needs tension., 3.) Know that power is responsibility, and take that seriously when you sit in a leadership seat. [27:30] Teaching leadership skills before teaching mindset worked in a time of more certainty. We are in a time of uncertainty that requires a shift, a different way of working with leadership. Now we need to teach mindsets. [28:11] To be an employer of choice, you could offer your employees the ability to gain transferable skills to be able to have a lattice career. Today's younger employees have more clarity about their values, purpose, and mindset. Ciela would like employers to bolster that and help them gain the skills that are not being taught in school. Organizations have to train skills that are lacking in the talent pool. [29:36] Ciela is writing a book, Reclaiming Sensitivity, due out in 2023. We generally misunderstand what sensitivity is. Sensitivity is the ability to perceive. Let's reclaim our innate human ability to perceive, both through our emotional attunement and our ability to plan and get curious — the original definition of sensitivity in its widest capacity. One chapter is devoted to making sense of uncertain terrain. [34:36] Jan asks if sensitivity will become the rule in Fortune 500 companies. Ciela replies “Yes, and,” because we haven't evolved to the new era of work. There is a place for execution, and that's when you are not in a complex domain. But the level of complexity will start pushing further into the organization and we need to shift our mindset to be ready. We're not there yet. [38:16] Growing up, Ciela traveled the world with her father. She shares how travel shaped her views on perceiving. Her father taught her to travel like a local. She learned to go inside other peoples' experiences, versus being on the periphery. Someone in the gig economy must be first understood from an anthropological view before you can have insight and work with them. [41:07] Ciela talks about a study she did at Google about what makes someone able to shift, adjust and be a transformative leader. She found two things: 1.) They were able to find their stable ground — such as a daily workout, and 2.) They were incredibly good at perspective-taking and perceiving. They could transform because they could perceive but also had stable ground from which to move. [42:14] Ciela's closing thought: Leaders feel tired and burnt out. They “don't have time for innovation; it's too hard!” Ciela acknowledges there's a real tension around the pressures of being a leader right now. Don't let that blindside you from focusing on what matters, which is paving a path for the future. Open your eyes and start perceiving and thinking about the innovative way out of the uncertainty. [43:43] Closing quote: Remember, “Each person does see the world in a different way. There is not a single, unifying, objective truth. We're all limited by our perspective.” — Siri Hustvedt   Quotable Quotes “Once people came off of the farms and working for themselves to build a life, and moved into the assembly line and the factory, then it was an exchange. You work these hours, you work on this timeline, you produce this number of widgets; … and then you get money.” — Ciela “If you look before the Industrial Revolution, a lot of what we understood about work was also related to community. So, we each had a job inside the community to build the community together.” — Ciela “We had the baker, we had the candlestick maker; we had all the different functions, but the idea inside those functions was that you were building a society and a community together.” — Ciela “We don't operate as solo individuals. Nothing gets done unless there's a collective effort and a collective meaning.” — Ciela “Fresh perspectives are required to thrive in an ever-changing context.” — Ciela “We are naturally wired to be curious and interested. We have this innate interest as human beings.” — Ciela “I actually think we need a fundamental restructuring so that that new perspective, that fresh insight, can be part of the strategy process; they can be part of the systems and so that it gets encouraged and then rewarded.” — Ciela “Unless you believe that tension is a good thing and is valuable, you're never going to be able to work with it.” — Ciela “[Skills] are expiring so quickly and if you want to be an employer of choice you do have to offer the ability for people to gain skills — transferable skills — and be able to shift and to have more of a lattice career versus a ladder career.” — Ciela “It's not a waste of time to bring people into a sense-making exercise because that is how you make progress. Because progress needs tension. And that is a whole different way of understanding how you interact and deal with a complex domain.” — Ciela “At the center of all of work are human beings and the experience that we are having.” — Ciela   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Ciela Hartanov, PsyD Humcollective Project Aristotle Reclaiming Sensitivity (scheduled to be published in 2023) Stephen Drotter Jack Welch  

    TLP324: Change Your Environment - Change Your Narrative

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2022 39:48


    Jim and Jan discuss the latest crucible expeditions to hopefully inspire and uplift you! Jan has led 21 crucible expeditions to date, and through the diversity of executives and military veterans, they keep providing new insights. Participants come by invitation (or application), and are selected for selflessness, an adventurous spirit, and possessing heroic aspirations to make a difference in the lives of others. Jan's process is to design the experience, select the participants, get them together, and step back to let them learn and grow as a team, as the magic happens. Participants learn they have more in common than they have differences and strong bonds are formed. Listen in to learn how some of these lessons can apply to your organization.   https://bit.ly/TLP-324   Key Takeaways [2:03] In this episode, Jan and Jim recap some learnings from two recent back-to-back crucible expeditions that Jan completed. A crucible expedition with Jan is a four-day, three-night wilderness expedition with executives who need a digital detox coupled with military veterans who are transitioning to the business world. The veterans are mostly from the Special Operations community. [3:02] Participants go rock-climbing and backpacking in the middle of nowhere. Really great people get together for some great conversations. Jan selects the executives and veterans on three criteria: they are people who are trying to be as selfless as possible for the greater good, are adventurous, and possess heroic aspirations to try and make the world a better place, in things beyond power and money. [3:57] By selecting those criteria, they get a bunch of strangers coming together as a team very quickly. Based on work Jan has done with surveys by PAIRIN, he believes that when people are out there with strangers, unlike with work colleagues, they have nothing to prove, protect, or promote. [4:24] Jim has been on the Patagonia and Moab crucibles and he attests that they are incredible experiences that move you in ways you would never expect. Jan has done 21 crucible expeditions so far. [5:34] Jan has found that his talent lies not in charismatic leadership but in designing the environment and culture for the team, stepping back, staying out of the way, and letting the magic happen. Jan shares his critique of an expedition Jim was on a few years ago. He says he should have stepped away more and guided things and discussions through questions. [7:30] Jan shares a crucible learning for your work. There is one person in charge, and the second person is the accountability partner. If the leader takes a wrong turn, the accountability partner lets them make the mistake and learn from it. We don't grow and develop without making and correcting mistakes. Let your people at work learn and develop from their mistakes. [10:09] On the crucibles, you've got executives that are making the time and space for their improvement. Jan just spoke to someone who loved the outdoor aspect of the crucible and feels like she needs more time off. Jan tells executives to find the sweet spot between sitting on the hill, figuring out what their team needs, and getting with the team, working with them, and coaching them, first-hand. [11:44] Executive coaches work to try to get people to move from being “here,” doing “these things,” to being “there,” doing “those things.” It takes self-discipline, sacrifice, focus, delegation, and trust to get there. That's where accountability partners come in, plus taking time to reflect. Jan tells about the three-hour solo challenge of silent alone-time, thinking for three hours, and reporting on it later. [13:30] The bedrock of the crucible is that people relate to each other as humans, that they're vulnerable. People are dealing with a lot on the homefront and the things they are struggling with come up in their first meeting. Often it is family stuff. The idea that it's OK not to be OK comes through. At work, senior leaders have to be strong and act in a certain way to get performance from other people. [14:49] On a crucible, people let their guard down. They might cry around the campfire or climbing a mountain, even though they never cry. In some ways, their crying and vulnerability bring the team together. It's a gift to show your real emotions. It's not a gift stoic people share at work. And everybody on the crucible is equal. [16:25] Jim summarizes that vulnerability is the resounding theme of a crucible. You are put in a situation where you are physically vulnerable. In the evening discussions, people became more mentally and emotionally vulnerable. Jan believes that whiskey helps. He has seen it. Jim is still close to people from both of his crucible trips in a different way than his golfing buddies. [18:09] When you go out there as a business executive, having little to no experience with veterans, or the elite operators who go on these expeditions, you might think you have nothing in common with them. You come away with respect that goes both ways. You see the military in a different light. The folks in the military now see civilians in a different light. [18:56] Only one percent of the population in America has anything to do with the military. It has become a family business. Most of those families are from the South. The military is very insular. You're around people that think, act, and talk like you. Your world is filled with military acronyms. The military spends money. You're not in the generate revenue, create demand business. [20:03] A lot of the leadership and people challenges are very similar between the military and business. In the past two years, twice, a special operations commando who has carried a flag under his body armor on multiple missions decided to give that flag to executive participants from the crucible — they were flags that could have draped a body if the operator had not survived a mission. [21:37] A crucible changes people's lives. After the Patagonia crucible, Jim took a fork in the road that he might not have taken before the crucible. Jim says when you spend the time and get to know other people, you're much more similar than you think. That kind of experience is something to keep in mind when you look at our divisive society. Take the time to listen to people and gain their perspectives. [22:51] On one trip, sitting around the fire at the end, a leader said it was interesting that “none of us talked about politics or religion. I'm guessing, politically, we go from left to right and in-between. Look how great we got along. This is what Americans should be about.” It was a powerful moment. Each participant was only in the category of human with heroic aspirations beyond power and money. [24:24] The crucible cannot scale. It cannot be done with big groups in wilderness areas and some people couldn't or wouldn't do it. So, Jan is writing a book about it with a co-author who is a past crucible participant and military veteran. [25:01] There was little diversity in the first expeditions. Jan credits Sheryl Tullis with helping him make the teams intentionally diverse and representative of the workforce. Jan believes that the men bring out the best in the women participants and vice versa. Jan marvels at the self-confidence of some of the recent diverse participants. They know who they are and what they bring to the table. [27:52] One reason a recent expedition was so good was that there was diversity of age, gender, geography, and company size. The veterans were thoughtful, deliberate, cerebral people, deeply curious about the business world they were going into. These trips are about what happens in the one-on-one discussions as you're walking down the trail, and in the evening discussions around the fire.  [29:35] U.S. Navy SEAL Master Chief Stephen Drum has been on the podcast. He is writing a book and Jim is reading the preliminary manuscript for him. Stephen writes that when SEALS wash out, it is never about physical fitness. It's always about lacking strength of character, conviction, or values. Some of the strongest people on a crucible are strongest in character. [31:17] Jan mentions Don Yaeger, a Sports Illustrated writer and author of many books about great athletes. Don says all great athletes hate to lose more than they like to win. The reason Jan became a Green Beret is that he did not quit. He was 18 years old. More than he wanted to win, he did not want to fail. [32:32] In the business world, at some point things are going to be hard. There's always something nagging at you that says, “Quit.” If what you are doing is aligned with your values, then you won't quit. If it's not aligned with your values, it doesn't serve you. [33:33] Steve Drotter, a previous guest of the podcast with old-school values, said, “A career is made from having hard jobs that suck and bosses that beat you up. That makes a career!” Today, it seems the job caters to the employee. There is a supply-and-demand issue. The workplace is not as tough as it used to be. [34:50] Jan is hearing from the Army and the Marines that young people entering the services have no outdoor experience; no woodcraft or fieldcraft. Jan wonders what's happening in the business world where people come in without knowing certain things! Jim observes that their writing is atrocious. But now we don't write long business reports, we write Powerpoints. Expectations have changed. [36:54] Job conditions wax and wane, and we may go back to a more tough work environment in a few years, where employers have the upper hand, instead of the employees. These are the leadership challenges we have. [37:38] Jan's last words: The crucibles are a passion and a privilege. The only way you're going to change your narrative is to step out of your comfort zone. Whether you go on a crucible or do something else, Jan and Jim encourage you to think about the things where you find purpose and meaning, where you can make a contribution to the greater good, and be bold and make things happen. [39:14] Closing quote: “Twice and thrice over, as they say, good is it to repeat and review what is good.” — Plato.   Quotable Quotes “We select the executives and the veterans based on three criteria: We're looking for people that are trying to be as selfless as possible, … We look for people that are adventurous, … and … people who possess heroic aspirations, trying to make the world a better place.” — Jan “Most of the time I come back from a trip and I beat myself up. … I evaluate my own leadership, and participation performance, and think, ‘Woulda, coulda, shoulda.' I do think one thing I've gotten better at is doing less.” — Jan “What I have found, at least for me, is my talent isn't necessarily at being the charismatic leader; it's really being a pretty darn good designer. By that I mean if I design the environment, the culture, for the team, and I step back and stay out of the way, magic happens.” — Jan “I will say, even at my advanced age, I'm still a work in progress.” — Jan “The lesson won't be learned the same if you go, ‘Wait, wait, I can fix this!'. I talked to somebody today that said, ‘I do way too many Powerpoints. I should be delegating those and I do way too many because it's just easier and faster for me to do it.'” — Jan “Delegation is usually at the top three of things that people can work on to improve. … People never have the time to delegate. They never have the time and space to do it right or to think they even have the opportunity to do it. And it just is a self-fulfilling prophecy.” — Jim “What we're very intentional about, and what always ends up being the big takeaway, is you've got to slow down to speed up. Especially for executives, you've got to figure out the sweet spot between going and sitting on the hill and figuring things out” — Jan “One of the things that we try to do on every crucible is give people three hours. We call it the solo challenge. In some ways, it's the hardest thing people do is go be by themselves, doing nothing for three hours except thinking.” — Jan “Out there, people just let their guard down. People sometimes will cry around the campfire. Sometimes they'll cry going up the mountain and they'll say, ‘I never cry. I — never — cry.' Did anybody care that you cried? No. … Crying and vulnerability brought the team together.” — Jan “You can really build some warm and strong relationships with people you might think are so different from you that you could never, ever have anything in common with them.” — Jim   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC PAIRIN U.S. Army Special Operations Sheryl Tullis Stephen Drum U.S. Navy Warrior Toughness Sports Illustrated Don Yaeger U.S. Army Special Forces — Green Beret Stephen Drotter Jan Rutherford, TEDx Corporate Competitor Podcast, with Don Yaeger  

    TLP323: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2022 52:43


    Joe McCormack is the author of “BRIEF: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less,” and “Noise: Living and Leading When Nobody Can Focus.” He founded the Brief Lab in 2013 after years dedicated to developing and delivering a unique curriculum for US Army Special Operations. He actively counsels military leaders and senior executives on effective, efficient communication, and produces the podcast, “Just Saying.” In this conversation, he shares the keys to thinking clearly to get to the root cause of a problem and explain the way forward, simply, concisely, and effectively.   https://bit.ly/TLP-323   Key Takeaways [2:45] Joe is the sixth of nine children in his Irish Catholic family. His early career includes a period of aerospace marketing in the aviation field before he started a marketing agency. [4:28] Joe's executive message about communication is “Less is more.” You don't need to say much but what you say needs to count. Leaders tend to overwhelm people with information. Be more careful and calculating to be concise. You want to say more but people can't hear it. [6:16] Joe explains why people say too much; a lack of time to prepare, the fear of not giving enough information, the fear of looking stupid, and the fear of failing to handle every contingency. It's never just one of these things; it's all of them. [6:45] People need to consider, “What does my audience need?” They don't need six paragraphs. They're craving brevity. They want two. Give the audience what they want: two well-written paragraphs. More paragraphs will dilute the message and diminish your impact. [7:54] When Joe wrote Brief he considered what was the most essential thing to say in the shortest time given. But don't be too brief. Say what is necessary. When you learn the skills, you can use brevity consistently. There's a payoff for people that have the skillset. [10:30] Joe asks people three questions about executive summaries: “Have you ever heard the term ‘executive summary'?” “Have you ever had a developer deliver one?” “Has anybody ever taught you how to build one?” People's answers are normally, Yes, Yes, and No. If they say Yes to the third, Joe asks them how to build one. They don't get it right. [11:33] Three questions to answer that will make a great executive summary: “What are you talking about?” “Why are we talking about this right now?” “So what now; what next?” [13:26] Joe teaches people the habit of briefly summarizing their message. It's different than just knowing it. It's a habitual way of thinking, speaking, and stopping from talking. [15:09] Fortune 500 corporations and Special Operations are alike in some ways. They both have high standards and expectations and they need to deliver, either for ROI or mission success. In the military, there is a lot of training. Corporations are starting to adopt more training. Since COVID-19 businesses are looking to attract talent. Communication and collaboration are how businesses work. [16:59] Collaboration works in moderation. Microsoft came out with a recent study that shows what people want most from their workplace is autonomy. They want to be left alone to think, and then when they collaborate, it's better. If you don't give people time to think about a problem, they come up with an answer on the fly. Deep problems don't get solved on the fly, but only after thinking and then talking. [22:18] When planning a meeting, take 10 minutes of quiet. Then sit down and create an agenda of what you want to talk about; think about it, write it, and edit it. Then send it and follow it. It works. [23:09] There's a time for collaboration, talking, and doing, and there's a time for thinking. You have to figure out in your role, and what that time allotment is. Once you get that, you're not doing too much or too little, you're doing your job. Joe heard of a CEO who said, “I don't think at work; I'm in meetings all the time.” The CEO needs time to think at work. [25:34] As leaders, you need to make a quiet appointment with yourselves for a set amount of time every day. During the appointment, write down things that you need to be thinking about; “How do I get feedback from my employees?” or “What's wrong with my current work situation?” Make the appointment and don't miss it. [28:42] Joe's 15-minute podcast, Just Saying, comes from the classes he teaches to Special Operations teams about concise communications that are effective. [30:15] Joe's book, Noise, is about the correlation between clear thinking and lowering noise levels. If you don't manage the noise, your thoughts are scattered. If your thoughts are scattered, your speech is scattered. Ineffective leaders are scattered because they haven't thought about what they are doing and why they are doing it. They start by talking. Clear thinking leads to concise communication. [31:56] When addressing a problem, ask yourself how much you think about it and how well you think about it. Do you dedicate enough time to thinking about your business? Are you constantly getting distracted in your thinking time? If you do 20 minutes of quiet every day, your thinking will be better. You won't excel at it at first, but make it a daily habit and you will get better at it and get focused. [34:49] Tips from Brief: You need Awareness: It's important to be clear and concise. Discipline: Talk and stop talking when needed. Decisiveness: Know when to act and then act. Jim calls these traits a virtuous circle and compares them to the skills of a running back in a football game. [39:37] People have different ways of thinking. Some people need to think about stuff more and some people are quick to answer. There are strengths and weaknesses to both types of people. Make sure the people around you know your processing style. [41:15] Joe shares a success story. A client was able to frame and reframe what he was doing, why he was doing it, what the value was to the organization, how he was doing it, and how he was measuring the impact in a presentation to the board. They didn't cut a dime from his budget. If you can't state your work in those clear terms, people will default to thinking it's not that important, and you will get cut. [44:05] Joe tells of a military client. The skill of being clear, concise, easy to understand, and easy to follow is valuable. In the middle of a briefing, a general asked Joe's client, who was presenting, “Where did you learn to brief like that?” If everyone else is terrible at it and you're good at it, all of a sudden, you're the tallest person in the room. It takes time to prepare for that. [46:21] When Joe presents to a group he focuses on the audience and how they are alike. The common denominator is they all want the shorter version! They may want to know more but they all crave a clear and concise answer. He provides a clear and concise answer. If they want more, he provides a clear and longer answer. Then, if they want more, he provides the clearest and longest explanation. [48:06] Jan and Jim spend a lot of time helping people to focus. A previous guest of the podcast, Brian Caulfield told them “Sell the problem, not the solution.” No one has time and everyone is selling a solution. Joe's Brief method is a recipe for managing time and figuring out the root cause of a problem. [49:25] Joe's challenge: Take time and quiet to think about it. Schedule it. Use quiet to your advantage, however much you need. Then talk. Think before you speak. And then do something. Those are separate things. You think about it quietly. You lower the noise. You start to get a root cause. Then you can say the most important thing (not the things). Then watch people say, “I got it! Now I know what to do.” [52:13] Closing quote: “Brevity is the soul of wit.” — William Shakespeare.   Quotable Quotes “To be an elite communicator is to embrace a different standard, which is ‘Less is more. I don't need to say so much but what I say needs to count.'” “It's hard because you want to say more but people can't hear it.” “There's a famous quote, which is, ‘I would have written you a shorter letter if I had more time.” “I wrote a 220-page book on brevity. That almost made me insane. Because you start to think about, what really is the most essential thing to say in the shortest amount of time given? That really takes some thought.” “If you're pitching an investor, that investor has this aperture or window of interest and what you say needs to sit inside that window. And that takes a lot of consideration. What does that person care about? What's the most important thing? Why am I doing this?” “What I teach people is the habit of doing [a summary]. It's different from just knowing it.” “There's quality collaboration and then there's terrible collaboration. [In a meeting] the collaboration is poor. They talk at each other, they don't prepare, it's disorganized, it's scattered, and people don't listen.” “You ask people when do you prepare for meetings and how do you prepare for meetings and often the answer is, ‘I can't because I'm in a meeting. I'm constantly collaborating, leaving me no time to prepare for the next meeting.'” “If you don't give people a chance to think about it, they're coming up with the answer on the fly. Deep problems don't get solved on the fly. They get solved when you actually have to slow down and think about it. And then you say something.” “Great leaders have the humility to say ‘I'm going to think about it. I'm going to have others think about it. I'm going to come up with a solution and then I'm going to explain it in the simplest terms possible and hope it works!'”   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Joe McCormack Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less Noise: Living and Leading When Nobody Can Focus The BRIEF Lab U.S. Army Special Operations Just Saying podcast Michael Dowling, Northwell Health® Steve Justice Skunk Works Brian Caulfield Corporate Competitor Podcast, with Don Yaeger  

    TLP322: Making Influence Your Superpower

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 56:31


    Dr. Zoe Chance is a professor at the Yale School of Management, and is the author of Influence Is Your Superpower: The Science of Winning Hearts, Sparking Change, and Making Good Things Happen. Her framework for behavior change is the foundation for Google's global food policy. In this conversation, Zoe describes forms of influence and discusses how good relationships lead to good work. She challenges the people to use influence for the greater good, not just for individual purposes.   https://bit.ly/TLP-322   Key Takeaways [2:11] Zoe, a sci-fi fan, named her daughter Ripley after Ellen Ripley from Aliens. [5:16] Almost all of us, even the most successful, have negative feelings about influence strategies or tactics, but almost all of us would also like to be more influential. Influence has a bad rap. We think of it as distasteful. With new science, Zoe is bringing back the idea of influence as a leadership trait. [7:06] People have different definitions of influence and manipulation. Zoe considers influence to be anything that shifts someone's thinking or behavior, including manipulation, persuasion, behavioral economics, coercion, military might, and incentives. Manipulation is someone trying to influence a person in an underhanded way with a motive that does not align with the well-being of the person. [8:13] Behavioral economics nudges are mostly imperceptible, but would not be upsetting to people being influenced for their best interest, such as attempts to get people to save more for retirement. [9:48] Over the past year, up to the rise of bad inflation, employees have had a lot of power, and companies were desperate to hire. There's been a crisis in the service industry. Now the power is shifting to employers. They want people to be there but, for the most part, they don't have good reasons for wanting people to be there. Humu's Laszlo Bock asks, “Why, to look over their shoulder?” [11:51] Jan, Zoe, and Jim discuss whether most companies need to have their employees in the office, and how the return to the office is being handled. [13:51] Jim finds that in-person meetings are much more effective than online meetings that are filled with side-text meetings within the meeting. Jim also observes the need to train new college graduates in the culture of the organization. A culture needs to be maintained and groomed like a garden and that happens better in person. [15:31] Zoe would like to see leaders be better able to create the culture that they want. Bringing people back to the office to experience a negative culture is a horrible plan. [17:19] Jim contrasts the freedom of travel and the restrictions of the cube farm he experienced early in his career. He didn't like working in a cube and it affected his career. Now, since the pandemic, everyone has enjoyed freedom, and once freedom has been enjoyed it's hard for it to be taken away. Zoe says taking freedoms and privileges away will cause a rebellion; she shares an example from a bank. [20:26] Zoe shares a story featuring the Magic Question “What would it take for that to never happen again?”, and how to use it. It acknowledges that the people you are trying to influence know much more about their life than you do. It's not perceived as pressure to follow your advice and it can lead to a commitment to the positive outcome you want. [26:05] Zoe gives a shoutout to the veterans who come through the Yale School of Management. The professors love to have veterans in their classes because they are good listeners, and pay attention to the professors, their colleagues, and their classmates. They amplify other people's ideas and ask follow-up questions; they only speak when they feel they have something important to share. [28:16] Zoe tells about her TEDx talk, “How to Make a Behavior Addictive.” She tells how a pedometer injured her body, her marriage, and her relationships. She is vulnerable to technology. Social media is addictive because it's designed carefully to keep your attention. There is evidence that social media does much more harm than good. Zoe has studied the psychology that makes people want to come back. [31:28] Zoe explains the manipulative and negative power of variable intermittent rewards. If someone is using variable intermittent rewards to manipulate you, it's an unhealthy relationship. Social media does that to us constantly. [35:38] Zoe shares advice for leaders on having difficult conversations involving challenging feedback. Have these conversations as soon as you realize that there's something amiss, ideally, that day. If you are giving criticism, the longer you wait, the more betrayed the person feels because you've been harboring resentment against them. Having the practice of bringing it up as soon as you can is life-changing. [39:35] How can you have more power within your organization? Internalize the idea that good work comes from good relationships. Reach out to get to know challenging people in other departments and ask questions. “How is this going for you? It's kind of been a struggle for me and I'd like to understand your perspective.” It's hard for people not to like you when you reach out and connect with them. [41:42] Research shows men's social and professional networks overlap a lot while women's social and professional networks do not. If you are a woman, Zoe advises you to reach out to women and men at work, especially if you're not already friends with lots of people at work. You will find a friendly rapport and reciprocity that leads to things happening more easily. Men usually have better networks. [43:41] As Zoe was writing Influence Is Your Superpower, she asked a group of people about negotiations. Only 40% of men and 17% of women said they like or love negotiating. When she asked another group to describe their most recent negotiation, their adjectives were overwhelmingly positive. About 80% of them had had a good result and felt empowered! [47:54] Zoe discusses power in an organization. Influence works the same in leadership and relationships. The idea that a leader should never apologize because apologizing gives up power is wrong to Zoe. You build a lot of social capital by apologizing at the right time, in the right way, and by taking responsibility. That's powerful! [49:44] Zoe provides an anecdote that listeners can copy about a leader raising his status by sharing the spotlight. Jess Cain VP of Customer Service at Eversource has a 96% employee engagement rating by sharing a short weekly voicemail including a spotlight on two different team members. She has 1,500 members on her team. Jan notes also that people support what they help create. [53:27] Zoe's challenge to listeners: Challenge the frame of consumerism. Thinking of ourselves as consumers has caused the climate crisis. Think about using your influence in the grand scheme and not just for your benefit. Be a role model. Zoe is donating half the profits from her book to 350.org. [56:00] Closing quote: “Think twice before you speak because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” — Napoleon Hill.   Quotable Quotes “Almost all of us, … have mixed feelings about influence. … If I ask people …  what are three adjectives that come to mind when you think of influence tactics, [it's] yucky, greedy, manipulative. … When I ask … ‘Would you like to be more influential?”, all of them say, yes.” “Employees have been more productive at home than they have been at work, … but it hasn't changed the fact that employers want employees to come back.” “Employers that offer more flexibility are going to do much better in the long run, because they'll be able to recruit the best talent.” “As most academics do, we collaborate with people that we never see and that's partly because we're introverted and so we're kind of happy to be in our little cave. But there's no problem with collaborating with people that you don't see.” “If you want to onboard new people and help them make friends; to have informal conversations and collaborations, OK, that's great. We just don't need to all be at the office every single day, or even every single week, right?” “Plenty of surveys have shown that leaders are actually out of touch about the real culture of their company. … the actual reality is kind of a crappy culture. It's horrible to bring people back to the office to experience the crappy culture.” “Bringing people back to the office or allowing people to work remotely has a differential impact on women and people of color and various groups. So there's more equality when we have more flexibility. That's another reason I'm generally in favor of giving people flexibility.” “Every freedom, every privilege, should be so carefully and thoughtfully doled out with the expectation that what you're giving an employee is going to be in perpetuity, or there's going to be a rebellion.” “When she's asking this {Magic Question], she's respectfully acknowledging ‘Listen, you know all kinds of things that I don't know,” which is always the case with the people we're trying to influence. They know all kinds of things about their life that we don't.” “The most addictive piece [of social media] … is called ‘variable intermittent rewards.'” “We also often don't really realize what our expectations are until they get violated.” “Just internalize the idea that good work comes from good relationships.” “There is a ‘liking' gap of 12%, where people like you 12% more than you think that they do. And this very much includes people who you have some bit of conflict or strife with.” “The majority … have this idea of negotiations that … comes from the movies. … We don't directly observe many negotiations and we're just not realizing that in our lives, most of the time when we're negotiating, it goes pretty well. … Negotiation is not as bad as we think."   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Dr. Zoe Chance Dr. Zoe Chance on LinkedIn Yale School of Management Influence Is Your Superpower: The Science of Winning Hearts, Sparking Change, and Making Good Things Happen, by Zoe Chance Google “How Google Optimized Healthy Office Snacks,” by Zoe Chance,  Ravi Dhar,  Michelle Hatzis,  and Michiel Bakker Aliens Resident Alien Robert Cialdini Daniel Kahneman Laszlo Bock from Humu Gloria Steinem “How to Make a Behavior Addictive,” Zoe Chance, TEDxMillRiver Jeffrey Pfeffer 7 Rules of Power: Surprising—but True—Advice on How to Get Things Done and Advance Your Career, by Jeffrey Pfeffer Eversource Energy Jessica Cain 350.org Corporate Competitor Podcast, with Don Yaeger  

    TLP321: You rent your title; you own your dignity

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2022 51:11


    Donato J. Tramuto is an American healthcare executive, global health activist, author and former CEO of Tivity Health. Donato's first book was released in 2016, “Life's Bulldozer Moments: How Adversity Can Lead to Success in Life and Business.” His latest book, “The Double Bottom Line,” is an Amazon Best Seller. Donato is a recipient of the prestigious RFK Ripple of Hope and the RFK Embracing His Legacy Award, for his endless dedication to improving the lives of others. In this episode, Donato discusses the nuances of hardship, developing compassion, being yourself, understanding your associates, and using tenderness to establish trust before relying on tenacity.      https://bit.ly/TLP-321   Key Takeaways [2:20] Donato lost most of his hearing at age eight, for ten years, and had a severe speech impediment until he was 17. The loss of his hearing created in him an enormous sense of compassion for people. [4:14] For his latest book, The Double Bottom Line, Donato, and his team interviewed 41 world leaders and surveyed 1,500 employees across the country. Their research revealed that compassionate leaders need to do more than understand others' pain. They need empathy in action to impact others.[6:24] The Double Bottom Line is not just a business book. Donato shares a life experience. In the book, he tells the reader, “Listen to understand, don't listen to react.” Donato suggests that if we practice compassionate leadership in our daily lives, we'll take it into our business lives. [8:04] Jan recalls recent guest Michael Bungay Stanier speaking about being compassionate, generous, and kind every day. Jan stresses the difference between being compassionate and being nice. Donato says, “If you want to be liked in a company, you're probably better to go out and get 100 golden retrievers! Compassionate leadership is not just about being nice.” [9:38] Donato advocates three Ts: approach your organization with Tenderness first, to get the Trust. Then you can use Tenacity. When making tough decisions, don't start with tenacity. You gain trust by taking the time to understand each person in your organization. [10:42] As the CEO of Healthways (Tivity), Donato avoided the CEO elevator to ride the regular elevator. He shares an event that unfolded from him asking an employee in the elevator how his day was going. Donato would not have known the employee needed help had he not asked the question. Ask questions to get answers beyond, “I'm OK.” [11:52] Form deep relationships with your associates. Generation Z and Millennials will form 60‒65% of the workforce and they require compassionate leadership or they will leave. People are reflecting on their lives in ways we have never seen in our lifetime. [13:07] In Donato's last year as CEO of Tivity Health, he took a hard line with an executive in front of nine other executives just before a flight. He felt miserable about it. When his plane landed, he got off and called the executive to apologize to her. Because of that apology, their relationship blossomed. With compassionate leadership, you feel better, you don't take problems home, and you gain credibility! [15:42] Jim quotes Dale Carnegie, who said, “Be interested, not interesting.” [16:36] Donato is thrilled to announce that the Boston University School of Public Health is going to convert The Double Bottom Line: How Compassionate Leaders Captivate Hearts and Deliver Results, into a curriculum to teach compassion. Many of the leaders Donato interviewed were not born with compassion. They learned it through someone in their family or a teacher. The book is a resource. [17:26] There is an opportunity to train our current and future leaders on how to lead from the heart. Donato's book has assignments at the end of each chapter to help individuals understand the key nuggets of using compassion. Donato's commitment for the next 20 years is to expand this movement beyond the book and to help leaders see the key ingredients to being compassionate. [20:22] Millennials and Generation Z are demanding a totally different approach to the work environment. Leaders will have to step up and embrace that change or they will be losing significant talent; they won't be as competitive or as effective. The success of The Double Bottom Line is a validation of compassionate leadership. Institutions are asking Donato for training. The time is right. [22:51] Donato proposes a Chief Compassionate Leader Officer for the C-Suite. Boards have got to be willing to ask these questions about culture and trust, to validate that the organization is moving in this direction, as opposed to always looking at a spreadsheet. [25:36] What is the right amount of empathy, vs. making hard decisions? Empathy overload means getting too deep into the situation, clouding your ability to make hard decisions. [27:06] When you ask to understand and have gotten to the issue, then you need to come to an agreement and consensus with “and,” not “but.” “I understand your issues, and how do we work together to make sure that your needs are met and the needs of the organization are met?” When Donato has taken that approach, they always got to an end result that worked for both parties. [30:24] Establishing trust comes before results. Donato asks permission to help. Once he had a board member, who was not behaving well, refuse to receive some constructive insight. She said, “No. You're not my coach.” Trust was not established. The board member did not have a favorable outcome; she was later asked to leave the board. Ask for permission to provide constructive insight and most will agree. [32:40] When is it appropriate to address spirituality in the workplace? Donato believes our connection to a spiritual force influences how we behave. If you are a spiritual person, it's not something to be embarrassed by. The world is increasingly secular. People who do not focus on spirituality may otherwise have positive values that guide their behavior for good. Be who you are. [34:40] Until 2014, when he received the RFK recognitions, Donato had not shared with anyone that he was gay and had a partner. In front of 2,000 people, 500 of whom were his employees, he thanked his loving partner of 23 years. The audience stood to applaud. The more you are who you are, the more you develop an understanding in the workforce that you're like the other person in many ways. [37:07] Do people look favorably upon expressions of faith? If you emphasize too much one facet of who you are, then you make it an issue. Donato shares many facets of himself in case someone has one of those facets in common with him. [41:20] Start to look at what you and your associates have in common. You will begin to realize that there is very little that is different about you. Take the time to understand the other person. [43:20] Age discrimination is real. The average CEO is 59 years old. They hire their executive team from the same age group. Until we are willing to diversify the executive team, we will not integrate the values of the different generations to build an incredible team. Donato has just hired a terrific 23-year-old manager and he has learned a lot from her. Ten years ago, he would not have hired one of her age. [46:55] The organization's values should not be decided only by the executive team. Donato tells of changing a company's 10 hard-to-remember values established by executive leadership into five carefully organized and prioritized values developed with the participation of the associates. [47:34] Don't choose when to be compassionate. Show compassion to everyone. Be compassionate all the time, just as a pilot flies a plane in a safe manner all the time. [48:35] Donato's challenge to listeners: There are many issues affecting us today. Start every single day by asking a friend or family member, “Tell me what you're experiencing today.” After you've listened and you've heard them, do something! Kindness and compassion are the new currency of the century. [50:40] Closing quote: “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” — Robert F. Kennedy.   Quotable Quotes “The fluency you're hearing today was not there when I was 17. … I share that with you because I think that part of leadership is being … comfortable with your story. Too many people … don't really understand the steps that led to the successful position you might have.” “You rent your title; you own your dignity.” “If you want to be a compassionate leader, you must have empathy in action to have impact.” “Listen to understand. Understand what the other person might be going through.” “Everyone that you meet most likely is having a more difficult time than you.” “You want deep relationships with your associates. And by the way, we are now faced with five generations in the workforce. Generation Z and the Millennials will soon dominate — 60‒65% of the workforce. If you're not changing as a leader, guess what, you're going to be losing out.” “Part of compassionate leadership is doing some self-reflection. You're not always going to be right and when you are wrong and you admit to it you will gain an enormous amount of credibility.” “My favorite philosopher Yogi Berra once said, ‘You don't want to make the wrong mistake.'” “With five generations now in the workforce, and Millennials and the Gen Z-ers demanding a totally different approach to the work environment, I think that we're going to have to step up and begin to embrace that change or we're going to be losing some significant talent.” “A significant portion of [the Great Resignation] is related to feeling good, and passionate, and putting a soul in your company. … If the leaders of today cannot embrace that, they're going to be gone.” “We have to be willing to understand that it's not one facet that attracts people to you, it's the entire person who you are, and the more willing you are to share those multiple facets, you begin to develop relationships in different venues.” “You have got to have the [company] values developed by everyone in the organization, otherwise, they are not going to stick. And that's what we did. We brought the 10 values down to five. And … we did prioritize them.” “You show compassion to everyone and you're compassionate all the time! You don't pick and choose when you're compassionate. It's like asking the pilot ‘When do you fly the plane in a safe manner?' You always fly the plane in a safe manner!”   Resources Mentioned Theleadershippodcast.com Sponsored by: Darley.com Rafti Advisors. LLC Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC Donato Tramuto on LinkedIn The Double Bottom Line: How Compassionate Leaders Captivate Hearts and Deliver Results, by Donato Tramuto Tramuto Porter Foundation Health eVillages® Life's Bulldozer Moments: How Adversity Leads to Success in Life and Business, by Donato Tramuto Michael Bungay Stanier Tivity Health (Formerly Healthways) Yogi Berra Dale Carnegie