U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin of eastern Long Island has support from nearly all local Republican leaders to run for governor of New York. Governor Hochul is the frontrunner, though, for next year's election. How some Yale students are working to help discharged veterans, and lawmakers say TCI needs public pressure to pass.
Cecilia Calabrese joins Howie to discuss the TCI tax Charlie Parker and the rest on 'Bacon' Hill are trying to push through that would give Massachusetts one of the highest tax rates on gas in the country. STOPTCITAX.COM - MASSVOTERID.COM
Many Connecticut public schools have poor air quality. Conservatives in Connecticut oppose extending the governor's emergency powers, advocates are disappointed the state won't move forward with TCI, and New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker is out.
Cecilia Calabrese joins us to talk about the just TCI tax Charlie Parker and 'Pay to Play' Polito are trying to push on the commonwealth. Visit StopTCITax.com to sign the petition.
Former U.S. Congressman Steve Israel says the U.S. needs to learn from its mistakes. Our region will feel the effects of Ida for a long time, Governor Lamont pushes for TCI, and thousands of 9/11 survivors might not know they're eligible for benefits.
02:14 Gibson, ESP, And Musicman Are Selling Their Prototypes And One OffsGibson Demo Shop on Reverb?https://reverb.grsm.io/GibsonDemoShopMusic Man Demo Store on Reverb https://reverb.grsm.io/MusicmanshopESP Demo Store on Reverb https://reverb.grsm.io/esp301405:12 My amp rig set up for You Tube11:38 Getting a Humbucker - Single Single - Humbucker sounds with 3 way switch14:49 Is it ok to mix different pickups from different companies?19:50 More and more Reverb sellers are selling Local Pickup only?24:59 What happened with the Panama amp experience29:50 The difference between a demo and a review35:19 Why I bought a guitar someone dropped.39:38 Why Halo made me a crazy custom guitarhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieMgtGFHdDI57:12 Can you daisy chain a bunch of boost pedals to get your amp louder?1:00:30 My Favorite single coil sized humbuckers?1:07:27 How to tell if you have the new Nitro finish on a PRS of the old one?1:09:00 My screws in my Trem claw are uneven, is that an issue?1:10:40 Regretting your guitar purchase and embarrassed to return it?1:16:05 My theory of the three techniques when negotiating1:18:13 Do I get proper grumpy and lose the pot?1:23:22 At least guitar center is consistant1:25:30 Want a PRS 594 but not the TCI pickups1:27:29 Paying someone to take finish off your Les Paul?1:30:39 Guitars and gear is still selling like crazy. 1:32:20 Low cost import guitars having to make guitars out of the different woods during the hight of the shortages last year1:37:35 The Pedal Pal pedals1:41:10 New Headrush pedal thoughts1:42:45 Why Fender FSR amps and guitars are not in the catalogs1:51:11 Gibson PCB vs handwired electronics in the guitars 1:56:58 Fix or buy? Brian Moore guitar with 1k in repairs?2:07:12 Does the Spark amp have too much bass?Want to support this channel? Here are few waysNOTE: T Spring will be raising prices in September KYG Merch ( Get 15% with promo code THANKYOU )https://teespring.com/stores/know-your-gear-shop-2You can become a Patreon and support more videos like this, Plus see videos before they come out and typically a longer version of that video as wellhttps://www.patreon.com/homeIf you want to support the channel and not sign up with Patreon you can make a one time pledge here. https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=DQ3TQZGFGWVHUCheck out my Hand-wound Blackstock pickups. https://blackstockpickups.com/Products I use on this showD addario tool kitshttps://imp.i114863.net/3P7WdnSnark tunerhttps://imp.i114863.net/N1e5OThe mic I use for this and my podcast https://imp.i114863.net/yRrAmGHere is a affiliate link to products from a dealer I trust and buy from online https://imp.i114863.net/c/2224555/791999/11319Send photos of you in your shirt here. firstname.lastname@example.orgSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/phillipmcknightKYG)
I am super excited today to bring onto Unstoppable someone who I've actually been friends with for over 10 years, Remi (Sharon) Pearson. Remi is the CEO of The Coaching Institute (TCI), Australia's most awarded and largest life coaching school. She's an international bestselling author of Ultimate You which she released in 2019, and after launching the Ultimate You Quest program through TCI her influence has now expanded into 81 countries across the world. In this episode we talk about what it takes to be a good coach, how Remi revolutionised NLP and the coaching industry, and how to live a life of conscious choices. TIMESTAMPS 0:00 Introduction to Remi & how we became friends 2:53 Remi's life story 6:27 Where did you develop such a strong resistance to failure? 9:30 The moment that changed everything 14:14 Did you ever punish yourself for failing? 15:05 How to live a life of conscious choices 22:55 Transition into coaching & what coaching really is 32:41 The million dollar business mindset 35:00 3 keys to scaling your coaching business 39:48 Good coach vs good leader 42:15 Creating a unique culture in your business 53:43 How Remi revolutionised NLP & coaching 59:30 Remi's #1 piece of advice Find out more about Remi at: https://www.thecoachinginstitute.com.au/
Todd opens the first hour reflecting on one of the summer songs we listed yesterday “4 Dead in Ohio” and it got him thinking about those individuals and the polarization of the anti-war protests prominent at the time. Then, in the second half of the hour, Todd is joined by Bob Stefanowski to speak on the latest issues in CT, including crime, TCI bill, and the new “Social Equity Group” for Cannabis legalization.. Tune in weekdays 2-6 PM EST on WTIC Newstalk 1080 ;or on the new Audacy app! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Todd opens the hour speaking with callers on Cuomo and the NYC passes now being implemented in the city. Todd then dives into the rant line, with calls on the TCI tax, Biden, Lamont, and the inconsistency of CT politicians. Then, in the second half of the hour, Todd is joined by Tom Scott to speak on his perspective on Cuomo and the overlapping issues that are tied into this for the democratic party nationally. Tune in weekdays 2-6 PM EST on WTIC Newstalk 1080 ;or on the new Audacy app! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Todd opens the rant line hour with a few live calls, before diving into it fully. Today has rants on many topics, with an emphasis on Nancy Pelosi, masking kids, and more. Then, in the second half of the hour, Todd is joined by Len Suzio to speak on the latest on Ned Lamont and his administration, and they zone in on the TCI bill as CT politicians try to bring it back to life.. Tune in weekdays 2-6 PM EST on WTIC Newstalk 1080 ;or on the new Audacy app! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In the third hour, Todd starts out joined by callers speaking on multiple topics, from Jolly Ned weighing his options when it comes to state mandates and shutdowns as pressure from the CDC and the democratic party continues to loom. Todd then is joined by Ken Girardin of the Yankee Institute to speak on the latest in CT politics, and his perspective on the recent headlines in the area including TCI. Tune in weekdays 2-6 PM EST on WTIC Newstalk 1080 ;or on the new Audacy app! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Guest: Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD Dr. Fred R. Hirsch, Executive Director at the Center for Thoracic Oncology in the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai and Associate Director of Biomarker Discovery for TCI discusses key studies presented at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting surrounding updates in lung cancer research.
Todd starts the rant hour with the latest from callers, including the hypocrisy of the Biden administration, legal marjuana, and comments on cutting open a Thomas English Muffin. Caller Charles then brings light to the Fab 4 Music Festival which is a Beatles themed festival with cover bands, records, food, and more - for information go to fab4musicfestival.com. Todd is then joined by Len Suzio for the second straight day after the session at the Capital is officially closed. He sheds light on the hypocrisy of the TCI bill, and the threat of that being brought to the helm for the special session later this month. Tune weekdays 3-6 PM EST on WTIC Newstalk 1080 ;or on the new Audacy app! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Todd starts this hour taking more reactions from callers from the Fiorello interview and Lamont comments. Todd then is joined by Alan Mathes of LifeBridgeCT.org to promote the resources they offer for all citizens of CT. In the second part of the hour Todd has on Bob Stefanowski for his perspective on the special session for recreational mamajuana, and how they could include the TCI bill as Lamont mentioned today. Tune weekdays 3-6 PM EST on WTIC Newstalk 1080 ;or on the new Audacy app! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Rant Hour starts with Todd reacting to the latest from listeners, beginning with comments on Fauci, prices of red meat, and more vaccine incentives across the country, with Washington promoting “Joints for Jabs” Other callers comment on TCI and the framing of the bill from the politicians on the left. Last but not least, a special edition of “Jolly Ned's Comedy Club” from Steve NBC Haddam. Tune weekdays 3-6 PM EST on WTIC Newstalk 1080 ;or on the new Audacy app! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Todd starts the 5 PM hour with rants and calls, with plenty of comments ranging from Fauci to the more local CT issues. Tom Scott joins Todd to speak on the special session at the Capital as they rush to meet deadlines and pass bills such as TCI and others this evening, the CT politicians are on a race to midnight! Then, they break down the toxic nature of both sides as CT residents make sense of the recent news in CT politics. Tune in weekdays 3-6 PM EST on WTIC Newstalk 1080 ;or on the new Audacy app! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Todd kicks off hour 2 with Senator Henri Martin to discuss the state of CT politics and what is on his docket as they continue to debate Ritter, Lamont, and the CT Dems. Todd asks him about the budget and TCI as they continue to debate these issues at the Capital. Todd is then joined by Alphonso McGriff for his weekly perspective on race relations and the black community, including the trauma of the history in the African American community. Todd and Alphonso dive into culture identity and the history and significance of knowing where you come from and the history of culture. Tune in weekdays 3-6 PM EST on WTIC Newstalk 1080 ;or on the new Audacy app! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Todd starts the show joined by Sam Sorbo, author of "Words For Warriors - Fight Back Against Crazy Socialists and the Toxic Liberal Left." Sam will be in Hartford at "Rally 4 Your Rights" on Wednesday at the capitol, and she asks CT citizens to show out and show their support. Todd then reacts to audio clips from Jolly Ned as he corrects reporters on the TCI “fee” rather than calling it a “tax”. Not only did Lamont do this, but Ritter also had a similar rebuttal as they present TCI in the most appealing way. Tune in to WTIC Newstalk 1080 3-6 PM EST weekdays, or on the Audacy app! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Todd jumps into the 5 PM hour with some rants, then he is quickly joined by guest Eva Bermudez Zimmerman to debate the structure of unions and specifically the teachers union and the Democrats in power that pull strings for these organizations. Todd also has on Bob Stefanowski to shed his perspective on the drinking scandal at the Capital with national news attention, as well as his opinion on TCI. Todd then plays and reacts to the latest rants from the rant line, as well as re-plays the finale of Jolly Ned's Comedy Club for any listeners who missed it earlier this week. Tune in to WTIC Newstalk 1080 3-6 PM EST weekdays, or on the Audacy app! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Tim Kovar is a Master Tree Climbing Instructor with 30 years of teaching experience. His love and respect of nature, coupled with his wanderlust spirit, led him to metaphorically and literally take the vertical path less traveled. A path that has led him into the remote jungles of the world in pursuit of his vision to help connect others to our natural world. In 1993, Tim began his career at Tree Climbers International in Atlanta, Ga., where he helped develop the standardized curriculum being taught around the world. Today, he continues to work closely with TCI, serving as their international instructor and ambassador, ensuring the integrity of the organization's high standards. In 2005, the old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest lured him to Oregon where he co-founded Tree Climbing Northwest, which was operated by New Tribe. In 2010, he branched out on his own and founded Tree Climbing Planet. In pursuing his vision, Tim has had the opportunity to work with many passionate people. He has worked extensively with canopy researchers stationed around the world, including ornithologists in Indonesia, primatologists in Uganda, entomologists in Ethiopia, and herpetologists in India, and students in Central America. A true believer in sharing his knowledge, Tim consults with eco-tour operators and budding entrepreneurs wishing to plant their own schools. In this episode you will hear about what it means to be a professional tree climber, the values in tree climbing, the does and don'ts, and much more. Some notes... More about 1treellion & Tim Kovar. To support planting all over the world, please check out this link. The great music is credited to Pixabay.
Speaker 1: So one of the greatest predictors of success is goal orientation. In fact, only 3% of Americans write down their goals. Speaker 2: Amazing the water level of leadership in the Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington in the Tri-Cities influencer podcast. Welcome to the TCI podcast where local leadership and self-leadership expert Paul Casey interviews, local CEOs, entrepreneurs, and non-profit executives to hear how they lead themselves and their teams. So we can all benefit from their wisdom and experience. Here's your host, Paul Casey of growing forward services, and it could be individuals and teams to spark breakthrough success. Speaker 3: It's a great day to grow forward. Thanks for joining me for today's episode with Eric Pearson. Eric is the CEO of community first bank and HFG trust, and they are my financial partners for life. See, I got it in there and I got to know Eric, I got to meet you for the first-time boy, way back. I did a team building for your team, man. It must've been 10 years ago. And so it was great to reconnect with you recently and do an offsite with your leadership team and you guys are killing it, flipping winning, right? Well, we'll dive in after checking in with our Tri-City influencer sponsor, it's easy to delay answering uncomfortable questions. Like what happens to my assets and my loved ones when I die. So it's no surprise that nearly 50% of Americans don't have a will and even fewer have an estate plan, many disabled clients worry that they don't have enough assets to set up an estate plan, but there are important options available to ensure that you have a voice in your medical and financial decision-making. Even if your health takes a turn for the worst estate planning gives you a voice when your health deteriorates or after you're gone. Marin Miller bam attorney at law is currently providing free consultations to find out more about estate planning or to book an appointment. Call Marin at (206) 485-4066 or visit Salem that's S a L U s-law.com today. Thank you for your support of leadership development in the Tri-Cities. I asked for something funny about Eric today and say it again, Eric. So when a song comes on the radio, Speaker 4: I have an uncontrollable urge to like, as quickly as possible name, the song or the artist as though it's a trivia contest. It drives my family crazy. Speaker 3: We all have our quirky thing, but you'd be great to have an, a trivia contest as long as with classic rock. Yeah. Well, welcome. Welcome. Well, so that our Tracey influencers can get to know you, Eric, tell us about what your does, maybe a little bit about how it's joined together and what do you spend 80% of your day doing? Speaker 4: Sure. Yeah, well, you know, community first bank and ACFE trust joined forces about five years ago. So a little bit of history from, you know, both organizations before they became one can, we, first bank was founded in late 1997. Really first day of business was the last day of 97. So we're what 22 years old. Now, something like that 23 years old and just a hometown community bank focused primarily on small businesses, you know, commercial banking and then supporting the, you know, the consumer banking needs of the, usually the business owners and employees that the bank with them. And then, you know, as we've grown, we've expanded out and, you know, really provide the full breadth of banking services that, you know, most financial institutions do. I was still at that, you know, exclusively local community bank feel. But one thing we, we didn't do was providing any sort of investment management to, or advice service. Speaker 4: And so one of our board members timetabling, we've been along a long time, financial advisor, Haberman financial group. And so as we talked about trying to add that business line, you know, we looked at various ways to do it. It just always felt like a, we wouldn't be doing it the right way because you know, it's not our business. We'd be learning it from scratch B would be competing with one of our, one of our primary shareholders and directors. And so I always thought it would be a great idea if the two companies could come together, you know, Ty was fiercely independent. And as much as that he built his business and one of them wanted to stay, keep it that way. But one day he recognized because he had something happened with one of his clients that, you know, they would pass away and becoming incapacitated. Speaker 4: And he would have to part ways with that relationship at that point and, and hand them off to a trust company because he didn't provide those services. He wasn't licensed to do so. And he felt Jesus at the most important time, sometimes in someone's life. And that you've been taking care of their financial needs, giving them advice. And all of a sudden, you you're, you need to hand them off and you, you could re retain them and have someone do the trust work. And he maintained the investment advisory work, but it really wouldn't be in the client's best interest to have that split and pay kind of double fees. And so he felt, well, gosh, I'm going to have to continue to hear these off. And that's just not the service I want to provide. I'd like to look into becoming a trust company. And so he enlisted my help just because the trust companies are regulated and overseen by the same state department as banks, our department of financial institutions. Speaker 4: And so I went with them, we visited with the department of financial institutions and we quickly realized that it would probably be in his best interest to partner with the bank to form the trust company because of our experience in dealing with regulatory matters, the, the, the depth of capital that the bank had and just the size that, that the bank had become added. Some, some stability to what would become trust company would make it much more viable. So they decided to do a, we merged HFG or humbling venture group into the bank, or as a subsidiary of the bank. And we named HFG trust, added trust services to, to the product mix for them, and then began to go about implementing the, you know, the, the combination of the businesses and they're really two different industries. And so we recognized a lot of financial institutions had embarked on providing investment services, typically in a limited way, and not in a full fiduciary manner that that hyperlink financial group had. Speaker 4: And so we were careful not to impose go bank tradition on an investment firm. And conversely, you know, we weren't looking to have investment industry influence the way banking was done. And so we ran them fairly separately and just tried to find ways to synergize backroom operations and those kinds of things. And we went about it very slowly. And I think that was wise, you know, we learned a lot through that process about, about the new industry that we were now in as a collective organization, how to manage it, how to work them together. We've been together now five years, and we're really beginning to see the fruits of how we can take care of a client's financial needs across the board. And so, you know, we, we, we call that being their financial partner for life is when we're there for anything and everything that they need. Speaker 4: You know, we take it, it's when it's in their best interest, we're there to provide it. You know, we're not, we're not salespeople and as much as we're trying to push product or, or, or our business on folks, but when they need our service and our advice for our products, you know, we're there for them and we don't have to send them somewhere else. That's really what we aimed to do, and we've pretty much accomplished it. And so now it's a matter of getting the word out and growing the business and doing a great job taking care of clients. And so that's what we've been up to. Fantastic. Speaker 3: So does your role change throughout that and, and what do you spend a lot of your time doing right now? Speaker 5: Yeah, you know, my role didn't really change. Speaker 4: I was the CEO of community first bank at the time of the merger. And, you know, because it was technically an acquisition and as much as the bank acquired HFG and there were some particular arrangements, you know, I was the CEO for the combined entity. I didn't have a, and, and still don't have a lot to do daily inside the wealth management and trust business, other than, you know, I have responsibility for the financial performance of the organization. And so, but I rely on the talent and management, that's there to produce that. And so, you know, I have oversight and know audit kind of responsibilities to make sure things are being done the right way. Obviously, the results are coming in. And if, if, if, if they vary from expectations to inquire as to why, but really most of my time on that side of things is spent trying to make sure that we're providing that business with the resources they need to be successful. Speaker 4: And as the organization grew, that really became what I started doing for the bank to, you know, in fact, one of our directors and the strategic planning said, you know, I'm that, I'm the resource allocator. I, I needed to determine there's limited resources in an organization, all of our business units, and even, you know, departments within business units are clamoring for support and resource. And so there's a need to go through and prioritize who gets what, when, and you know, that that's not always easy. Every, every need is a real need. And, and from the perspective of the person who needs it, it's the most important need. And so, you know, that's probably in, in a broad sense, what I spend most of my time doing is working to bring the business lines together, make sure they have what they want, make sure they're working well together and making sure that they're pushing forward on the financial partner for life, you know, mantra that we're living by and, and that, and, and that, and that we're advancing towards our strategic objectives. Speaker 4: And then making sure we have good people to, to lead that effort. And that's probably been the biggest transition is letting go of management duties and really becoming a CEO, you know, while I had that title for a long time, we were a small enough organization. As most small businesses would know, you're really holding about eight different jobs and you're the ultimate manager and I'm not anymore. We've got a great leadership team at multilevel of our organization at this point that take most of that work off of my plate. And so it's really more directing, you know, the orchestra than it is playing the instruments. Speaker 3: Yes. So why do you love to do it? Speaker 4: Well, you know, I, I love taking care of clients. It's probably, you know, the greatest satisfaction is when we have a win. When we see we did something that made their life better, and whether I did it, you know, whether it was part of the interaction or not just hearing those stories, I think is really what drives us. I like building things, you know, just more selfishly I think, you know, it's been fun to be part of an organization that, you know, had 30 employees when I started, and it has 130 now. Wow. And, you know, has grown, you know, five, 600%. And, you know, the wealth management firm was 350 million in assets, under management when we combined, and there are a billion or a little over a billion dollars in assets under management now. And so that's five years, you know, that kind of growth is just remarkable. Speaker 4: We've added mortgage. We, we always did mortgages, but we've, we've developed and recruited a great manager, Jamie Clark, who has taken us to new Heights on the mortgage side too. So we really feel like we have three distinct business lines, all of which are winning and growing, and it's just fun to be a part of it. And probably what I've learned, you know, in the last five years, especially, is that it almost works better when I'm not doing it. You know, and I did a lot in the early years and not that I wasn't capable of doing some of those things, but I'm only one person. And, and not that other people weren't contributing obviously then too, but I was so much more involved in the weeds, you know, seven, eight years ago I have now and the less involved I am, the better it goes. Yeah. Speaker 3: And you talked about having these great leaders in these key areas on your team. How did you decide to surround yourself with those folks and who else do you surround yourself with? Maybe even outside of HFG and community first? Speaker 4: Yeah. Well, you know, two good questions there. I mean, I've been really fortunate throughout my career to have a lot of great mentors. And in fact, we've talked a lot about building mentors for our young talent. It's a challenge, you know, we're finding, we have to be very deliberate about being mentors. I don't recall that as a young person coming up in the industry, I found the mentors and I don't even know sometimes if they knew they were being a mentor, I was just sucking information from them. And I was lucky to know them, you know, was really how it turned out. And, and so I had a lot of that, you know, my immediate predecessor, rich Emory, you know, was a fantastic long time bank CEO who, you know, left the bank. When he, when he retired and handed the keys to me in just pristine shape, you know, it was, it was set up to be successful. Speaker 4: He laid the groundwork and made my first few years really easy and and taught me so much about really what was important in the banking business. And so, and again, we were small enough that I probably took all those lessons to heart and try to do it all myself, or, you know, again, not all myself, but be involved in all of it myself. And, and then I had to, it took me a while to learn that I, I really needed to let go of a lot of those functions and, and let people experiment and try things without necessarily trying to make oversee their decision-making. And, and, and that's when we really began to, to blossom and grow. But as far as, you know, how we pick the people, you know, some of them have been with us since before I got there and, or very early on when I got there. Speaker 4: And they, we were just fortunate to have him on board and they're super talented and they've evolved with us and changed in their, in their roles dramatically in some cases. And, you know, and, and it's been fantastic to see people who are willing to do that, to give up on what they thought was their job, and really start doing another job altogether, applying, you know, their knowledge and experience in a new way to the organization. And we've got a large number of those folks that have been with us for a while. We've lost a few along the way, you know, because of change and really good people too, but for one reason or another, you know, the, the growth stressed, you know, what they thought they were a part of to begin with. And so we've really added some new talent, you know, and we've, we've been lucky, and we've been more successful than not in bringing in new leaders to the organization, but we've, we have had some cases where, you know, it just wasn't the right fit. Speaker 4: But for the most part, the, the folks that we brought in, at least after some working and maybe making sure that they're focused on the right thing, you know, we've been able to develop a team that, you know, as you were with us at our leadership event in Spokane here last week or two weeks ago, and, you know, I, I feel more confident today than I've ever felt with the cohesiveness and the chemistry of the team that we have working together. So, and then beyond that for me, you know, as I said, mentors, but I've really been fortunate the entire time that I've been with the organization to have the board of directors that I have. It was a local group of business leaders who all run significant businesses in this community have tons of experience dealing with all the problems that all businesses deal with, not necessarily banking, although they got a, a crash course in banking early on running our business. Speaker 4: And of course, Tai is the foremost expert in our company on wealth management. And so, you know, the, the knowledge base and the, and the business management leadership experience that, that our board of directors brings, it has been probably the single biggest resource that I've had through this time, because, you know, they've helped me make all the big decisions and keep me pointed in the right directions to me when I'm maybe going the wrong way and, and, you know, share their own experiences if I'm struggling with something, you know, as well as this kind of happened to me. And, and this is what we did. And, and, you know, I think they would all agree that they like being part of the board because it's a little bit of a, a lonely job sometimes being the owner or the CEO. And so you're going to get a group of us together, and we can kind of finally admit what what's hard and what you struggle with, and what's emotionally taxing and, and you see someone else struggling with it, or someone being successful, something you struggled with, and we all learn from each other. So it really kind of turns into a bit of a support group. Sometimes we've instructed our board meetings that way we spend a fair amount of time, or it's just the board and it's pretty freeform. And we, and we talk openly. And so that's been successful, also involved in lots of other organizations in the community and trade organizations and w deal with other bank CEOs around the state and around the country. And, and so, you know, having a big network of people that can, that can provide input is definitely Speaker 3: How are you constantly evolving as a leader? You've been in the business a while you're around these great, this great capacity of leaders around you, what's in your own professional development plan. How do you keep, you know, and just not checking in, you know, every day, but like I got to keep growing as, as the top leader. Well, that's Speaker 4: A great question. You know, I think as I said before, you know, I don't know that I set out in life to be a CEO or to be a bank CEO for that matter when you're a little Navy, never did you, my dad was a banker, so you might think that, but, but it really all happened sort of by accident, you know, that I ended up on this path and then the path just led me where it led me. And, and so, you know, I pursued the things in the short-term that led me to the next thing. And as I got closer, I started to have the vision of what I wanted to do. And when I came to community first in particular, I, I knew that's what I was trying to accomplish. That was the game plan. And, but I didn't know what I didn't know, you know, and, and I probably still don't, you know, 10 years from now, I look back and go, gosh, I didn't know anything. Speaker 4: I think that that's the reality of it is just knowing that that's a fact that there's, so you don't know what you don't know, and it seems like a cliche thing, but you really don't. And until you learn it, you didn't even know you didn't know it. And so many times, you know, and I think that's probably what keeps me going is our business is one where it's just a different day. Every day. It's not a routine thing. We don't execute the same task two days in a row ever. And all of our customers and our employees throw us new challenges. And so, you know, I think it, it forces you to be continually learning. It's what keeps it fresh and interesting and not monotonous. And, and so I think it forces you to continually go seek skills that you haven't previously acquired to deal with this new challenge that's in front of you. And so at least that's that's, I guess that's how I would summarize it. And Suzanne learning, I wish I could say I was way out in front of a lot of these issues, you know, maybe business strategy. Sometimes I can do that, but in terms of the skills that I need to develop, no, I think you recognize I've got a short book coming and I need to go work on this. It pops up in real time, and then you identify it and, you know, sometimes I'm better at addressing it than others. Sure, Speaker 3: Sure. So how do you go about getting things done? You said your day is pretty varied, you know, but you've got to do lists. The CEO has a to-do list, just like everybody else. So how do you organize yourself? Just curious, Speaker 4: Another skill set that I think I could be a lot better at in fact, I was just joking with someone about my paper to do lists. I've tried to put them into electronic format. And so really what I do is I take lots of notes that only I could probably translate. And they're very brief. They just, there for me, it's a matter, it's kind of like the music thing. It's like, I just need a little snippet of the song. I need a little snippet of the information. Then it comes rushing back to me. Oh yeah, yeah. There's this whole topic of information that I need, need to do. And so I make these notes and then about once a week, I transcribed them on a paper with a pen, into a list that has a little more detail as to what I was thinking. And then the next week I'll go back, and I'll see how many of these did I cross off? Speaker 4: And how many did I not? And, and then look at my new notes and add those new ones to the list. And that's really the process. I mean, it's, it's, it's pretty informal, I guess, in that regard, I get pulled directionally off of a game plan for a day, most days, you know, I think, I think this is how it's going to go, that how it goes. And so, you know, I just have to react with that. And, and so probably the biggest challenge I have sometimes is if I find myself with time, I wasn't expecting, and now I also have a list of things to do, and I have to sit down and say, okay, I wasn't expecting to be working on anything right now, what should I knock off that list? You know, that tends to be the challenge in COVID has made that even more difficult because, you know, it used to be a much more, you know, get out and just, you know, manage by walking around kind of leader, I guess. And I've gotten away from that. And, and I'm trying to get back to it because we're, you know, we're, we're free to do it a little bit more now and, and, but the bad habits set him so fast. And so it's something I'm still struggling with managing wandering Speaker 3: Around. I love that it has been harder in COVID well, before we head into our next question on how Eric looks at the bigger picture, a shout out to our sponsor, located in the Parkway, you'll find motivation, new friends and your new co-working space at fuse. Whether you're a student just starting out or a seasoned professional, come discover all the reasons to love coworking at fuse come co-work at fuse for free on Fridays in February, enjoy free coffee or tea, Wi-Fi printing conference rooms, and more, and bring a friend. If you use this, where individuals and small teams come together in a thoughtfully designed resource, rich environment to get work done and grow their ideas. Comprised of professionals from varying disciplines and backgrounds. Fuse is built for hardworking, fun, loving humans. Learn more about email@example.com or stop by seven to three, the Parkway in Richland Washington. So Eric, it's easy to get trapped in reacting to crises and leadership. So how do you specifically step back and take a look at the bigger picture? I know that offsite retreat that we were able to do together, that's probably one of those elements, but you know, how do you stay in front of stuff? Speaker 4: Yeah, it's interesting. It's a good question. It depends. I suppose, you know, when it's, when you get stuck in the morass or the, the, the whirlwind, the whirlwind of day-to-day business, I think I, I, self-talk a lot on reminding myself that whatever it is that I'm obsessed with is pretty small potatoes generally. And really, even to some pretty big things, that's kind of always been a technique for stress dealing with stress that I've, I've always used this for whatever reason. It's very reassuring to me to, to, to tell myself, or to give myself the perspective that what am I complaining about? There are people who have a whole lot bigger problems than I'm wrestling with right now. And you don't have to look very far to find them. And, and they're literally millions or billions of people on the planet who are dealing with far, far more difficult things. Speaker 4: And that always just sort of reassures me. It doesn't take away the problem, but it, it takes away the, the level of anxiety that maybe starts to creep in sometimes. And so I do that, self-talk myself that way a lot, but strategically maybe if that's the point of the question is how you really step back and look the bigger picture and what we're trying to accomplish and keep other people focused on that. Yeah, that's a, that's you have to be deliberate. You know that that's one where, you know, we do things like we did in Spokane with you where, you know, we remind ourselves, okay, what are the three or four most important things? And how do we make sure we're reminding everybody that that's the case. So we don't get so hung up on details that are important but get so hung up on missing a detail that we forget what we're really trying to accomplish. Speaker 4: And what we're trying to accomplish is easy. We're really just trying to take great care of clients and, and, you know, again, cliche things, but if we take really good care of clients, they'll continue to do business with us. They'll refer people to us, it's worked it, it continues to work. The more we do it, the more clients come. It, it just is beautiful cycle. It's super easy. You know, from that perspective, you know, actually taking care of them takes work and technical skills and things like that. And managers and leadership and training, and, you know, all the things that we struggle with from time to time. But at the end of the day, the big picture, it's pretty straightforward. And we, we sometimes get hung up, but what should we do? Should we go, laughter, should we go extra far left? Well, as long as we're going left, I think we're doing fine. Speaker 4: You know, we can of course, correct a little bit, but we went right. That'd be a problem. I think that's the, I think that's the, you know, the, the, the method and all of our leaders are a little different. So I think it's interesting. I have conversations with my leadership team and they're, they're each different in terms, I think of how they approach things. And the real secret is learning how to deal with each of them, you know, making sure that they're getting what they want. We just had a conversation last night about you actually with you too. We said, how come, how come we look around? And we're winning, but it's, sometimes it doesn't feel like we're winning. I came up with the, your recognition was something that's lacking. And we've heard that feedback from, from employees before. And, you know, we try things that are kind of formulated recognition and it just sort of dawned on me sometimes that is really this just conversational recognition, you know, really appreciate you helped me out with that. Speaker 4: You know, you know, those kinds of things, you know, that for whatever reason you just don't do, if you can be a little bit deliberate about it and being sincere that, you know, I recognize that you're particularly good at this. It's honest, you know, it's not brown nosing. It's, it's just saying things you knew, and you assume the other person already knew, but it's good for the other person to hear you say it. And I think that at the end of the day, that's, that's the, the, you know, one of the biggest things we, we could do a better job of, but it sure helps keep us focused. Yes, Speaker 3: We all need more air affirmation, inspiration recognition gotta have that. It's gotta be deliberate because you just onto the next thing. So that was, that was a cool recognition there at the retreat of, we got to celebrate our wins because we're winning. What key moves did you make for the organization in the year of COVID up till now to be responsive and strategic in a very uncertain time? Speaker 4: Well, you know, it was interesting because, you know, when COVID first hit, I was B I was one of those who thought all this won't last week and it's all being over-hyped and, you know, it'll be, you know, by Memorial Day we'll be back to normal. You know, it was my instant, you know, early March 2020 mindset. So I had that wrong. And, but once it became apparent that the, that I was wrong and that it was going to be, you know, a significant event that was going to impact us. You know, I think we, we, we tried not to be on the bleeding edge of adjustments because nobody knew what to do. And so to the extent that we can sit back and watch what other people did and what worked and what didn't, you know, made a lot of sense, but we didn't come up with anything novel in terms of, you know, dealing with it from a space or safety perspective. Speaker 4: You know, we were fortunate slash unfortunate, very look at it to be an essential business. And so we were never shut down and we had to have people in there, their offices too, not all of our people, but many of the jobs must be onsite. And so that took some of the decision-making out of it, you know, should they stay home or not, but we quickly spun up. And our, our, our it team and facilities group, and whole leadership team did a great job of quickly adapting technology and getting it out the door so that people could work from home. And that we could free up space in places where people were in crowded quarters and or people who could work from home, or if they had symptoms or, you know, they had that they were preexisting health conditions. You know, all the things that were obviously everyone was dealing with, we were able to quickly, you know, take care of those, those, those employees, you know, get people spaced out and get people home who needed to be home and, and deal with it. Speaker 4: You know, we were slow to reluctant to close our lobbies and, you know, we were, we, but we kind of waited until, I don't know, sometime in early April, maybe that it was, became apparent that you would be conspicuously dangerous if you were open that way. And we went drive through only, and then we opened it back up in August. And then we had to, we've had to shut them down a couple of times, both over the holidays with that spike. And then also in a couple of cases where individual offices, you know, had people out. And so we went back to, drive-through only when that occurred, but by and large, I think, you know, our employee's kind of direct that, how they feel about their safety and comfort with working with one another. And, you know, to our knowledge, we've not had one transmission in our buildings, you know, very confident we haven't, we've had a number of employees that had COVID, but they all contracted it elsewhere. Speaker 4: Fortunately didn't give it to anyone else. And so, you know, I think we had a pretty good experience with it, but the thing that hit us was PPP loans. You know that it's almost, when I think of COVID, I think of PPP for us, it was especially in the early days in April of last year, it was a bigger deal. It was for us, it was what's COVID, it's, it's all PPP all the time. And I'll admit now we, we through safety precautions by the wayside, you know, it was pre mass mandate when the, when the, when the PVP thing hit. So no one was wearing masks and we had big group meetings and we were, we were bringing food in to keep our employees who were working ridiculous amounts of overtime fed, you know, in engaged, because we had, you know, almost our entire staff work, you know, probably 40, 50 hours overtime, those first couple of weekends off of PPP. Speaker 4: And it was crazy. I mean, the, the, the hours that we put in and the number of people, we had HR people, it, people marketing people making or helping with the PPP loan origination process, because it was so manual and so new, it was changing every day, but we figured it out. And, you know, I think for us, it was a real, a real win, you know, really helped us stand out in the community because we were able to get loans out, actually funded within a few days of the program, opening up when most banks were like, all right, I'm sure if we want to do this program. And so just a lot of Goodwill in the coin the community. I know we helped out a lot of businesses, you know, helped a lot of employees retain jobs. You know, in that first phase, we put a hundred million dollars on the street. Speaker 4: It's a big deal in a community like this. And it was scary. I remember thinking, is the SBA really going to stand behind us on this? What if we make a mistake, are we going to lose money on these loans? And, you know, in the baking business, we can't lose money on loans very often, or we're not in the banking business. And so, you know, it's, it's one of those things we it's maybe the most solemn oath we take with deposit or money is we can't make those kinds of mistakes. And, you know, in those early days we felt like we were really sticking our neck out, as it turned out, the program worked like it's supposed to, and there really wasn't any risks that we took, but at the time we weren't sure about that. And so it was nerve wracking to think we're gonna, we're kind of betting the company that this program will work out. Speaker 4: And, but we decided to do it to trudge forward with it aggressively under the hospital. So, well, if this is what ends it, we went down and doing what we do and, you know, helping, helping our clients in this community. And so I, it comes back to that's the bigger perspective, you know, I literally had that conversation with my wife. I said, well, you know, I'll be the George Bailey or the tray cities, you know, for life, if this happens, I w it was well-intended, there was no, no bad wheel in this at all. If this ends up blowing up in my face and, you know, we'll survive one way or another, it was nowhere near that dire. But in the moment, it didn't feel that way. And so that, that, that was sort of our experience. Well, Speaker 3: You were the front runners in that. And I just kept hearing in the community in the community go to community first bank for PPP loan. And so it was a good reputation, you know, it's spread like wildfire, and I was fortunate to get one of those as well from you guys. Well, Eric, finally, what advice would you give to new leaders or anyone who wants to keep growing and gaining more influence? Speaker 4: Well, it should have prepared for that question. There's so many good pieces of advice to kind of boil it down into one singular thing. You know, I think it's, you know, treat people, right. You know, if, if you do, if you treat people well, I mean, recognize, I guess first and foremost, that you don't get anywhere without the people. And, you know, if you're a small business, you might just be, you know, one of your laborers or what have you that worked for you, but, but they're carrying all the weight and they have to know how much you appreciate that and care. And, and w because you do, you're, you're riding on their shoulders. And I think if you're honest with yourself about that, then you can genuinely show that to the people around you. And that probably extends out to, you know, your broader support group, whether it's a consultant that helps you with management or your CPA, your attorney, your banker, or your insurance person, you name it, you know, those people, if you're treating them right, they're going to go the extra mile for you. Speaker 4: And you need people to go the extra mile for you at certain times, like PVP, you know, as I was saying, you know, I was probably the thing I was the most proud of was I don't have, I think I had anybody who, or what do you mean I have to work this weekend? People were excited. They want, they knew it was there, that they, it was their time to rise up and do the right thing. And I believe a is because we just had great people that their parents had a good job or whatever it was that was most of it. But I think the other part was is that they knew the company cared and we were sincere. And that what we were trying to do with PPP loans was to help the community and they wanted to do their part. They wanted to be a part of it. Speaker 4: And so, you know, that's what drove people to not just be burned out by the process, you know, and struggle on a year and a half now. And I think we're all tired of BBB, but the, but we're when we see the light at the end of the tunnel, but, but it's that, you know, truly letting people know that they care and what they're, that they're contributing. And that's a big part of it, you know, just get extra, extra benefit out of them. And then that person could be anybody in your support. It could be your spouse or your kids that support you by, you know, being there for you when you had a hard day. All of those things are, are, are, is really, I think what fuels us, at least from my perspective. Speaker 3: So Tri-City influencers go the extra mile with people in your internal network, your external network, and will boomerang back on you. So Eric, how can our listeners best connect with you? Speaker 4: Oh, well, I mean, with me directly, I pretty accessible. So you can reach me via email is probably the best way I, I get a lot of emails that I can get back to them if I'm busy during the day later. So my email is E Pearson, P E a R S O firstname.lastname@example.org. And first is one St. So community one S t.com. Speaker 3: Thank you so much for all you do to make the Tri-Cities a great place and keep leading. Well, thank you. Let me wrap up our podcast today with a leadership resource to recommend, I run a program called leader launcher leader. Launcher is a leadership development program for emerging leaders and young professionals. We meet once a month and right now it's a virtual and we look forward to getting back together alive and do a two hour on leadership, could be on leading change or casting vision, or having that difficult conversation with a team member. And so the community gathers and do a seminar and they formulate an action plan to take back to their work and customize that. And then there's some peer networking that goes on as well. So they can meet leaders in other industries and talk about goals together. So just a little loose accountability. So if you'd like to sign up for the year, or if you've got employees that you'd like to sign up, it's a leader-launcher.com. Speaker 3: Again, this is Paul Casey. I want to thank my guest, Eric Pearson from community first bank and HFG trust for being here today on the Tri-City influencer podcast. We also want to thank our TCI sponsor and invite you to support them. We appreciate you making this possible so we can collaborate to help leaders and inspire them in our community. Finally, one more leadership tidbit for the road to help you make a difference in your circle of influence. Scott Adams says there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end until next time, keep growing forward. Speaker 2: Thank you to our listeners for tuning in to today's show hall. Casey is on a mission to add value to leaders by providing practical and strategies that reduce stress in their lives and on their teams so that they can enjoy life and leadership and experience their key desired results. If you'd like more help from Paul and your leadership development, connect with email@example.com for a consultation that can help you move past your current challenges and create a strategy for growing your life or your team forward. Paul would also like to help you restore your sanity to your crazy schedule and getting your priorities done every day by offering you is free. Control my calendar checklist, go to WW dot, take back my calendar.com for that productivity tool or open a text message 2 7 2 0 0 0, and type the word groan Speaker 3: Tri-Cities influencer podcast was recorded at fuse SPC by bill Wagner of safe strategies.
Speaker 1: Everyone's favorite radio station is W I, I F M stands for what's in it for me. And so you're only going to pursue a goal probably that you really want Speaker 2: Raising the water levels of leadership in the Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington, the Tri-Cities influencer podcast. Welcome to the TC podcast. We're local leadership and self-leadership expert Paul Casey interviews, local CEOs, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit executives to hear how they lean themselves and their teams. So we can all benefit from your wisdom. Here's your host, Paul Casey growing forward services, individuals and teams, breakthrough success. Speaker 3: It's a great day to grow forward. Thanks for joining me for today's episode with Elizabeth Barnes. She is the executive director of the children's reading foundation of the mid-Columbia. And I asked her for something funny about herself, and she said the word avocado, tell us more about that, Elizabeth. Speaker 4: So I'm kind of embarrassed about this when my husband and I were actually like brainstorming about, what's a quirky thing about you that people can relate about. And I was like, you know what? You are, I am kind of obsessed with avocados. And I know it's such a millennial thing, but you know, like avocados, I eat one or two a day and I have to tell you, Costco has the best office. I like to create like small little paintings. My mom got me off a couple of socks for Christmas, and I might currently searching on Etsy for a giant avocado painting to hang over my dining room table, Speaker 3: A little bit of an obsession, a little bit. Speaker 4: My husband told me that people were going to probably start buying me all the condo, like figurines and stuff after this. And I'm just, oh gosh, Speaker 3: Probably. Yeah. I had, you know, bald Eagles when I used to be a school principal years ago, it was bald Eagles, and I got all those gifts. So that's, what's coming your way. It's coming. I can't wait, but we'll dive in. After checking in with our Tri-City influencer sponsor, it's easy to delay answering uncomfortable questions. Like what happens to my assets and my loved ones when I die. So it's no surprise that nearly 50% of Americans don't have a will and even fewer have an estate plan, many disabled clients worry that they don't have enough assets to set up an estate plan, but there are important options available to ensure that you have a voice in your medical and financial decision-making. Even if your health takes a turn for the worst estate planning gives you a voice when your health deteriorates or after you're gone. Marin Miller bam attorney at law is currently providing free consultations to find out more about estate planning or to book an appointment. Call Marin at (206) 485-4066 or visit Salem that's S a L U s-law.com today. Thank you for your support of leadership development in the Tri-Cities welcome Elizabeth. I was privileged to meet you. You reminded me early 2020. I was speaking for the Columbia basin Sherm, the HR organization here locally, and you were there. So Speaker 4: That was, yeah. And you and I ended up connecting because you were speaking about your international experience. And I just moved back to the trace of his, after being gone for 13 or 14 years, doing all international work. And so I came up and introduced myself, wanting to find out what happening internationally. And so, yeah, Speaker 3: It was good stuff. Very good. Okay. Good stuff. And then you've got like young professional of the year or something, right? Well, you got one of those tough things in the journal business. Yeah. And the connect magazine recently got Speaker 4: Like the young, well, it was executive spotlight. It was of, it was pretty exciting to get, they actually came in and did photographs at my house with me and my son doing, you know, school. Yeah. It was very Speaker 3: Cool. It was really cool. Thank you. Well, so that our tries to the influencers can get to know you tell us about what your organization does and what you spend 80% of your day doing. Speaker 4: Yeah. So the children's reading foundation of the mid-Columbia was actually founded right here in the Tri-Cities about 25 years ago. It was collection of teachers and principals and parents all got together and they really identified that education literacy education was the key to future success of our community. And so they started the children's reading foundation, which is now a national organization. The mid-Columbia is our local chapter right here in the Tri-City. So we serve Benton and Franklin county. Our mission is to encourage and educate families about their important role in raising a reader and preparing their child for kindergarten w also to support schools and ensuring the students read on grade level by the end of third grade, and to facilitate community involvement in helping young readers be successful. So this past year during COVID, we have really been working in the community and showing that we're getting as many educational resources and tools as we can. We I'm so proud of my team. We have actually distributed over 40,000 books to Ben or Franklin county to students, to children and families had been Franklin county. And yeah, I mean, if you've heard the saying read 20 minutes a day with a child, that's us, that's the children's reading foundation. So if you've heard that slogan, then you know who we are. And so, yeah, it's a, it's an incredible organization. I'm so proud to be the, you know, the head of this organization. It's, it's just wonderful, Speaker 3: Like literally in your email address, right? Yeah. 20 firstname.lastname@example.org. Yeah. It's just so Speaker 4: Important. How do I spend 80% of my day? So I spend 80% of my day making connections with the community to really spread our mission and raising funds for our programming. It's that's really, that is my job. So it's like, how can we, how can we grow? How can we develop? How can we ensure that we are meeting the community's needs? And how can we make sure that we have funding to support that support our mission. And then the other 20% is just managed my incredible team. We're a small little team, but they're awesome. I just, they're just so wonderful. Speaker 3: And why do you love to do what you do besides my incredible team, but I've just been ranked. Speaker 4: I really love what I do because I'm really friendly, do believe in our mission. Our non-profit is one of the few that actually provides preventative instead of reactionary measures to help ensure our community grows and thrives. Most nonprofits in our community are reactionary. Okay. We have students that are dropping out of high school. What do we do? And instead of that, we say early childhood education, access to books for children at birth through third grade, that's preventative. That actually changes an entire community. So that's why I'm so passionate about what we do is because we are so preventative, we are ensuring that we are saving our community before anything ever happens. It's just, that Speaker 3: Is so true. And it's good. You pointed that out. I was in leadership Tri-Cities and I remember the day, well, there's a couple of days where it talked about the community and most of the services and the Tri-Cities were reactionary. It's like, okay, so now that there's a problem, we're going to get funding to this. And you are one of the few organizations that's on the front end. Yeah. Speaker 4: You know, literacy really is the key to success. Children who are able to read on grade level by the end of third grade are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, be more financially stable and be healthy members of rewire of our community, you know? And so why not, you know, why not support that kind of organization Speaker 3: Prevention? Yeah. So Elizabeth, outside your organization who helps you be successful, do you have any mentors, other people in your network? Speaker 4: Yeah, so that's really, that's really tricky. So we moved here like six or eight months before COVID hit. And so it was such a tough time. Right. I had big plans. I attended a lot of networking events before COVID, but you know, it's, it's difficult to make those connections and those relationships. And so I don't, I don't really have outside of my board. I don't really have a lot of mentors or like a lot of connections here in the Tri-Cities yet outside of, you know, LinkedIn and maybe it's so hard, but yeah, it's yeah. So, but I have a lot of, I have some really incredible women who have guided and led me in the past. I've been in leadership for 15 years now and I have some incredible, really powerful women who have taken me under their wing and guided me and supported me. And so I've reached out to them or bills last year and just asked for guidance and support. And we're in different fields. Now I was in education in the past. So they're still, you know, they're still leading their schools and, and there, you know, they're gigantic, huge schools and I'm running the small little non-profit, so we're kind of indifferent different fields, but you know, they've still been very, very happy to support me. And it's been, it's been nice. Speaker 3: Yeah. You're an educator at me too. So leaders have growth mindsets. How are you constantly evolving as a leader what's in your own professional development plan? Speaker 4: So I had big plans for this last, for this year. Right. And of course, like everything had changed, but so my professional developed plan for this year for the 20, 20, 20, 21 has really been ensuring that our brand name gets out there when people hear read 20 minutes, or when they hear the children who need foundation of Maine Columbia, they understand like, oh, I know what that is like, oh, that started here. Oh, okay. They give us books; they provide educational resources. You know, they're here to support families and really ensure that that brand name is connected. We've been here for 25 years. And when I say the children, we need foundation of the children's Winnie foundation. I didn't have to say make Columbia. They're like, what's, that is that the child development center is that, that place over there off the highway. I literally had that last week. Speaker 4: And I was like, no, no, we support them. We provide ready for kindergarten with that. But now that that's not us. And so really trying to really trying to get our name out there. And the other thing is really to expand my grant writing because we don't have a lot of opportunities to be on the community to make those connections and to, you know, look for sponsors. I've really turned to grant writing this past year. I, I found that grant writing one is very cathartic, right? Like you sit behind a computer, you talk about your incredible organization and you ask people with lots of money Coca-Cola please give me $40,000 to be able to do ready for kindergarten for, you know, communities and Prosser and it's, you know, like that kind of thing. And so you're like, okay, so they have the money, it's an incredible program. Speaker 4: And I get to share about this incredible program. And so to be able to, to do that, it feels very achievable, right? Like it's something that can be like, and I did this, this, and I did this. And at this moment in time where like, everything is so like, can I even leave my house today? Like as a grocery store, I'm going to be open, you know, still a year later, it's something that's actually very achievable that I can check off my to-do list. I've written 45 breaths this year. He's like, you know, that kind of thing. I'm like, yes, it has been a successful gear and, and it has been successful. You know, the people are very generous. Grant makers are very generous. And I think COVID, you know, has really highlighted the importance of our mission. You know, literacy is when schools closed and libraries closed and you know, so many, so many children and families stuck at home that our mission has become more important than ever. And so grant makers have seen that and it hadn't have given us a lot of money. It's been a very successful year for us. That's great. A lot of wins to celebrate. Speaker 3: So how do you avoid burnout and negativity? How do you feed your mental, emotional health and wellness on a regular basis? Being an executive director. Speaker 4: All right. So there's a couple of things. So I have my little COVID pod. Everybody has them, but I have my little, my little COVID pod. It's my family and my parents who live here and, and then like another little family and we all follow hand COVID guidelines, which we've been doing for like a year now. And surprisingly, we haven't killed each other. It's like, you know, it's just like, how are we still friends? But, you know, so we, we do, we do like large family dinners every week where we all get together every Friday evening and we just hang out and have fun. You know, I just, I really make sure that they're, that we have quality time, and we don't talk about work. And you know, like I don't, I, I choose in the past as an educator, you hang out with other teachers, you hang out with other educators and you spend most of least in my experience, you spend most of your time talking about work. Yeah. And so, which is so annoying, I'm like, come on, we're, we're intelligent, smart. Speaker 3: We're holistic. We have more people. We have more of a life. Yeah. Well, let's, let's Speaker 4: Just talk about other things. And so I really worked at not talking about work. And so, yeah. So there's that. And then I go on a lot of walks. I'm all about like, I just, I'm not a runner. I've never been a runner, but I really enjoy walking. And so I generally find like a loop that works. I'm like, okay, so this loop is like a mile long. Okay. So I'm going to go on three of these loops today and I've gotten in my steps and I feel good. And it really does help, like bring down the stress. And then I listened to a lot of audio books. Like I am a, I'm a poor sleeper. And so helps me, like, de-stress at night I can put an audio book and listen to a book and it just helps me like shut off the cool work brain and then last but not least a good top cocktail and how stance party helps ease the stress. That's you know, my husband and I are we really miss going out dancing. And so we have quite a few dance parties Speaker 3: In our house. A little tick talk for you. All right. No, no, no, no, no, no. It's not that we're not, we're not fancy dancers. No, none of it was choreographed. Yeah. How do you go about getting things done? My, my guess is you're an achiever because you were an educator. That's what I picked up on. Cause there's endorphins that, you know, go through you when you cross something off a list. So how do you organize yourself? Get a little granular with them. All right. Speaker 4: So I'm all about my to-do lists, but specifically Google calendar and task list. So I love the Google suite because everything is interconnected. So I have my email. So when you emailed me asking, if I could be on your show, I will add that to my task list. And then when I have time, I will get to it. I have I, and then I add a little due date onto my calendar by when I have to have it done. And then, you know, and then I, I have this, I have some of the questions that you sent me. I have an, an, a document, which I attached to my to-do list, which is also connected to my calendar. So I don't lose it and it's all there. And then when I'm done, when we're done here, I'm gonna check it off my list. And I'm going to feel great about myself today. I have achieved something, you know, and in, in, in an organization like this, where achievement is, it's not an everyday thing. You know, if you get a grant, like if you get an email about a grant and I got $5,000, right? Yes. That's an achievement for the day, but you don't get a lot of you don't get a lot of daily wins. And so having that task list of likes, yes, I accomplished that. I call it keeps you motivated. It keeps you going. Speaker 3: It does. Yeah. Does well before we head to our next question on looking at the bigger picture, a shout out to our sponsor, located in the Parkway, you'll find motivation, new friends and your new coworking space at fuse. Whether you're a student just starting out or a seasoned professional, come discover all the reasons to love co-working at fuse come co-work at fuse for free on Fridays in February, enjoy free coffee or tea, WIFI printing conference rooms, and more, and bring a friend. If you use this, where individuals and small teams come together in a thoughtfully designed resource, rich environment to get work done and grow their ideas. Comprised of professionals from varying disciplines and backgrounds. Fuse is built for hardworking, fun, loving humans. Learn more about email@example.com or stop by seven to three, the Parkway in Richland, Washington. So Elizabeth, easy to get trapped into simply reacting to crises and leadership. How do you specifically step back, take a look at the bigger picture of what the organization is doing and maybe even in your own life? Yeah. You Speaker 4: Know, it's a little hard, it's hard to, especially this past year where so much has had to be reactionary, as things are constantly changing day to day, right. It's, it's been really hard not to just be reactionary, reactionary, reactionary. And do you actually take that step back and say, okay, what are we actually trying to accomplish this year? And so for me, when COVID hit and we were like, okay, what are we doing? I took a, like a, I think it was even, it wasn't even a full day. I think it was just like, you know, a good six hours of freaked out and just like, no, I was like, okay, now let's get together as a team virtually because our office is at an elementary school in Kennewick. And so we had to shut down, like everything we should have. Like, I literally hauled by printer out under my arms and like, you know, Speaker 3: A little small desk at a home base. Cause I'd never seen it. So Speaker 4: Homebase has been my house for the last year, but we do, we have a, we have a couple of portables over at canyon elementary school in clinic. Yeah. So, which we've been solely caught getting back into, which has been nice, but yeah. So had a freak out and then said, okay, what can we, what can we still do? All right. We can, we can pit it, our programs that we have, there's the word of the year, by the way. Sorry. I used, I'm really not going to say, you know, like it's the, it's the, I know. So how can we transition from being in-person? So we ha we had in-person tutoring in elementary schools, and then we also have our early childhood education program ready for kindergarten, which was also in person. So I got with my program directors was about community outreach operations manager and said, okay, what can we actually do? Speaker 4: And so we, in my incredible team, again, we're able to take what we were doing, which everything was in person and say, we're going to do it virtually. And we did, like, it was, we closed down on Tuesday and we were doing the virtual program on Monday. I mean, it was like that. And so, yeah, actually phenomenal. And my operation like operations and community programs, cause it's the same position because we're small. What, how can we ensure that we're still getting books in the hands of families? If we can't be on the community, if our volunteers, a lot of our volunteers are seniors and it's like, they couldn't be on the community. How could we still get books out into the community? And so we said, okay, let's partner with organizations that are handing out food and clothing, like second harvest, for example, or communities in schools and other organizations like that. The boys, girls club, who were saying, you know what, we're still gonna, we can provide food and clothing to these families. So we said, books, literacy is just as important second to food. [inaudible] Thank you might as well. And so how can we, how can we ensure that, you know, we're saying that literacy is also an essential need and so partnering with them and saying, okay, you're already out there. Can we give you the books? Can you distribute them for us? Our, can we come up instead of a table and be behind you in passing, you know, books through windows and things like that. And so doing a lot of drive-through events, but really partnering with those community organizations that are already out there. And so that's, we really, Speaker 3: Did you have those partnerships prior? Or did you go after them? Once COVID hit? Speaker 4: It sounded like the boys and girls club and the way we've always provided books to them for like their afterschool program and Karen like that, but communities and schools and not really, and that's become a really big partner for us. We've also partnered with Cooper cupboard out of WSU. Who's providing like, they have a whole like food and food and clothing closet out there. And we said, okay, can we also get books out to your families? And so they partnered with us and second harvest as also like one of our big ones that were out there probably once a month or so partnering with them. And a lot of partnerships, it's a lot, it's a lot. I think we, we ended up having something like 23 different community partnerships this past year with new ones that we hadn't had in the past, but which was new for us, you know, which was, yeah. But our organization is so old. It's hard to tell like maybe in the past we had had those, those partnerships, but you know, transition happens a new leader come and go. And so, you know, it's good to, it's good to breathe new life. Speaker 3: Necessity's the mother of invention or, or connection, I guess. So it has a board that you have to change your strategic plan. Cause you probably have a strategic plan every one or two years. Did you have to go, all right, this is back burner. This is back burner. Here's some new stuff. Speaker 4: Oh, so interestingly enough, the board and I were crafting the strategic plan at the time, of course, because they had just ended their strategic plan. The executive, the previous executive director had just exited. And so they're like, okay, we'll wait to craft the new strategic plan with the new executive director. So I come on board, we had been working on it for a couple months and then COVID hit and everybody kind of for about three or four months, just kind of like disappeared into their own little bubble of panic. And so every, and so right. And so a Speaker 3: Little bubble of panic and I quit quickly on that one hashtag Speaker 4: That's what it felt like everybody including myself, right? Like if I'm not serving my, if I'm not doing exactly, if I'm not being reactionary exactly to what I need to do right now, I'm just like focusing on my family and trying not to look at the numbers and freak out about swapping in this country. And so, yeah. And so our strategic plan got put on hold. So we're, we're finishing up this month. Long story short, we're finishing up this month, which is good because I think like, because we are, things are starting to open up, schools are starting to open up, you know, the community is, is getting back on its feet, that this is a good time for us to look ahead the next three years and say, where are we going? What do we want to do? What, what have we done? That's really worked successfully this past year. Speaker 4: And the hybrid model, as everybody is saying, the hybrid model really is the future. You know? And so we are going to end up keeping a lot of the things that we did in those partnerships that we've created and the model of reaching families, the families that really want to reach those low-income families, those really needy families, the families that actually need educational resources and tools and not just yeah, those families. And so the model that we have at the moment is really serving those families. And so we really do want to continue in the same thing. Speaker 3: How do you best lead organizational change, knowing how hard it is for most people in change and your organization has been here, like you said, for a long time. So you probably came in, you took the job and it's like, alright, you looked around, you probably assess the situation I'm putting COVID aside just for a moment. Right. And so what's your view on that leading change. Speaker 4: Okay. So I have a view and then I have what happened with this job, which are interesting. Okay. So, you know, from my view to best organizational change, you have a clear vision of where you want to go, right? You set up step-by-step goals and getting there, you empower your staff to run with their ideas, to get there. You support your team. When they feel at a loss, you utilize the experience and knowledge of your board and you make the connections to bring in funding and change. Then you celebrate every step. Wow. That's all easy because that was your textbook answer. You know, like those are the steps in real life. You know, walking into an organization that's been around for 25 years. Organizational change can be very difficult, but this is the way we've always done it. This is how we've always done. This is how the previous executive director did it. Speaker 4: And the one before them, and this is how we do it. And so I have to say, COVID saved my life for this, like for this, or for actually being able to create organizational change within this organization in a fast way, in a very speedy way, COVID made it, it had to happen. And so it was, it became, you know, necessity, the mother, the mother of necessity. Right? And, and so we were able to make those changes, which might have taken three years in a year. You know, like we, we knew that we wanted to take things more hybrid to take it less out of. I'll give you a great example. So like our ready for kindergarten program in the past, we had a workshop that were set up in elementary schools. We took our, we loved our laptops. We took all of the supplies over there. Speaker 4: Parents would sign up, they would show up, we would have childcare. Parents would attend. They would sit in this class. It was very spoon-fed to the parents. They would leave, they would get a box of resources and they would go home. Right. And that was, we would do that three times a year. And we had, we had good success, but we, but my, my program director was like, well, what if we, what if we could do something where like, they could learn it at home. And they have the, you know, they were doing like online education, you know, online learning is really becoming trendy, but it just wasn't the model. Right. And I'm sure it would have eventually become the model in the future, but it became, she was the driving force to make it the model during COVID. She said, okay, I have all these ideas. Speaker 4: She worked with a national organization and they created it and we've had astronomical success. Like more, more parents are participating our community in this program than I've ever had never participated because they can do it at any time. Right. Especially, we always really wanted to get parents who had newborns to two-year-olds. Right. That's really like the early, early age. And that's always been the age that's been impossible to get. Right? Like the numbers were always terribly low and this year they've been higher than ever because parents can do it at any time. Right. They're at home, they're nursing, they're feeding, it's 2:00 AM the baby's crying that can't sleep, whatever. They can just sit on their phone and do this program and get that early child education to ensure that their child is successful. And so it's been great. It's been absolutely, absolutely fantastic to be able to do that quick transition, but what have happened, but it's going to take them a lot longer. Speaker 3: You did get blessed with that, but it's not all bad. Yeah. Yeah. With change. Wow. So ready for kindergarten. I know about the program. Some of our listeners may not get, can you do a quick 30 seconds on it? Speaker 4: Yeah, absolutely. And I'll tell you about team read as well, which is our other, our big program. So ready for kindergarten is an early childhood education program. We provide three classes a year and we provide all the tools and resources to ensure that the parents are the teachers at home because a lot of children are at home with their parents all day with a parent or a caregiver all day. And we know even if you're not, but the parent is the first teacher of every child. And so ready for provides those resources and tools to the parent to ensure that they have the knowledge and background, to be able to ensure that their child is ready on the first day of kindergarten. We S there are a lot of children in the Tri-Cities who start that first day of kindergarten, two or three years behind their peers. Speaker 4: So if they're starting at the age of a two-year-old at five, how long is it going to take them to catch up? Maybe never. I don't want to be, I don't want to be a pest, but like, you know, like they're always behind. They're always behind. And then that's, that's not fair to them. And that's, and that's and no fault to parents in the Tri-Cities, right? Like parents, no fault to parents anywhere. Right. It's parents, every parent wants the best for their kid. No parent is like, I to hope my kid fails, you know, like, Speaker 3: No, Speaker 4: Trust me. Like, no, I'm a, I'm a mom, no parent wants that. And so, you know, this is just providing that early childhood educational background for parents. So that way they can ensure their kid is successful. Yeah. It's, it's a phenomenal program. And then we also have team read, which is a tutoring program where we provide tutoring for children who are behind moving for, for first through third grade. And that's in the elementary schools in the past, we've actually had tutors from the community, volunteer tutors, come in and provide them. One-on-one tutoring for 30 minutes a week to, to children who are behind this year. We have changed it. I'm not going to use the P word. We have changed it so that children are, the parents are actually getting the tutoring resources to be able to provide that one-on-one tutoring, that targeted one-on-one tutoring for their kids at home. So the teacher evaluates the student, they said the child is at this reading level. And then here are all the resources. So we provide all the like level tutoring resources for the parent to be able to provide that one-on-one instruction at home for the kids. Speaker 3: Okay, great, great community resources. Wow. So one of the most difficult tasks of a leader is when you must have a difficult conversation with a team member, how do you bolster the courage to do that? Speaker 4: So this was a really hard thing for me initially. You know, I was really young getting into leadership. I got my first principal's job when I was 29. And I was the leader of, you know, managing some teachers that were long in the tooth, you know, like in their fifties and sixties had been there forever, who were just like, how dare you leave me? And I had to have those. I had to have some difficult conversations, especially bringing in, you know, new educational theory. And they're like, but I've been doing this for 30 years. What do you know kid? And I'm like, this is what we're doing. And so having to have those long conversations and I used to be a crier like where I would get like, so emotional, you know, like freaking out like panic, like shaking. And I'm like, don't cry, don't cry. Speaker 4: And so I took this great class from this author. Her name is Jennifer Abrams. She's an educational her, she has a background in education, and it was, it's all about having hard conversations. And she takes you to those steps. You don't have a clear idea of what you want to communicate before you go into the conversation, like already have it in your head, be clear and concise. Like you don't, don't apologize for the fact that you're having this conversation. Like you don't own it. It's not, you lay out the facts had documentation to back up your meeting, practice beforehand, out loud. You can actually hear the words coming out of your mouth. You're not like, you know, you might have practiced them in your head, but actually say them out loud before you go in, take a second person with you, a board member or another leader in your organization. If you're afraid, you won't be able to get through it. And then she said, this is my favorite part. She was like, if you're going to cry, clench, just like collect your booty and the whole back of tears and it'll hold it and then share what you need to share. And I'm like, okay. And I have to tell your work. I haven't cried through a single meeting. Speaker 3: Wow. That's a very practical tip. Speaker 4: I know. I just loved it. It was so great. No one has ever shared that. Speaker 3: That's awesome. Well, finally, what advice would you give to new leaders or anyone who wants to keep growing and gaining more influence? Speaker 4: I have to say like take every opportunity to get out into the community, to meet new people and to really share your vision for your organization. You know, a lot of leaders are passionate. A lot of new leaders are passionate about their organization, but when they might, they might be too passionate and not listen. That's the one thing, right? Like, you know, you're, you're super passionate, but you don't actually listen to what other people are saying. You're just so worried about getting your words out, so, you know, share your vision, but then also take the time to sit back and listen to what other people are saying. Keep current, make yourself a professional development plan. As we talked, like, what is your professional development plan makes you actually have one be looking to the future? What am I, what am I, what am I struggling in? Speaker 4: What do I need to work on? And then reflection, reflection is key to growth. You know, did you make a mistake? Did you get, you know, did, did the board sit you down and say, Hey, this is an issue. Okay, it's an issue reflect, how can I, how can I own this? It is my fault. What did I do? How can I fix it? So a way, you know, so I can learn from the future and really just, you know, it's, it's what that reflection is key and owning your mistakes, not being like, well, is that my it's not my fault. You know, they just hate me. They're just out to get me. Well, even if, so, even if that's true, you did hurt someone's feelings. So how can you own that? How can you take it on, how can you move forward and how can you move forward? Not just let it hold you back. Speaker 3: Good stuff, good stuff. Well, how can our listeners best connect with you and also connect to the programs? All of Speaker 4: Our events can be found on our website on Instagram and Facebook, which firstname.lastname@example.org. Speaker 3: Well, thank you again, Elizabeth, for all you do to make the Tri-Cities a great place and keep leading. Well, let me wrap up our podcast today with a leadership resource to recommend it's growing forward service training. I would love to come into your organization, maybe do a lunch and learn, or a couple hours workshop that will help build the leadership skills of your team. So you can resource email@example.com, and we'll customize something that will fit your schedule and your budget, and sort of beef back up professional development for your, for your people this year. Again, this is Paul Casey. I want to thank my guest Elizabeth Barnes from the children's reading foundation of the mid-Columbia for being here today on the Tri-Cities influencer podcast, we want to thank our TCI sponsors and invite you to support them. We appreciate you making this possible so we can collaborate to help inspire leaders in our community. Finally, one more leadership tidbit for the road to help you make a difference in your circle of influence. It's the great Stephen Covey. He said, listen with the intent to understand not the intent to reply until next time kgs keep growing forward. Speaker 2: Thank you to our listeners for tuning in to today's show. Paul Casey is on a mission to add value to leaders by providing practical tools and strategies that reduce stress in their lives and on their teams so that they can enjoy life and leadership and experience their desired results. If you'd like more help from Paul and your leadership development, connect with firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation that can help you move past your current challenges and create a strategy for growing your life or your team forward. Paul would also like to help you restore your sanity to your crazy schedule and getting your priorities done every day by offering you is free. Control my calendar checklist, go to WWE dot, take back my calendar.com for that productivity tool or open a text message 2 7 2 0 0 0, and type the word grown Speaker 3: Tri-Cities influencer podcast was recorded at fuse SPC by Bill Wagner.
Speaker 1: There's got to be a clear why as the motivator behind every goal. So I believe it's why power, not willpower that will ignite your inner drive and get you to your goal. Speaker 2: Raising the water level of leadership in the Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. It's the Tri-Cities influencer podcast. Welcome to the TCI podcast. We're local leadership and self-leadership expert Paul Casey interviews, local CEOs, entrepreneurs, and non-profit executives to hear how they lead themselves and their teams. So we can all benefit from your wisdom and experience. Here's your host, Paul Casey growing forward services, coaching individuals and teams for breakthrough success. Speaker 3: It's a great day to grow forward. Thanks for joining me for today's episode with Jessica Schneider. She is the medical doctor and the CEO and founder and owner of empowered health Institute. And I asked her for something funny or quirky about her and it was hard to come up with something, but she said she loves sci-fi and fantasy. Tell us more about that. Speaker 4: Yeah. As I was mentioning, Paul, I enjoy reading sci-fi books and what I'm currently reading right now is red rising by Pierce brown. And it's a great story, but I, this is the way that I've put myself to sleep for years and years. If I shutting off the real-world and going to something that's a little bit more a fictional, Speaker 3: Love it, love it. Well, we'll dive in. After checking in with our Tri-City influencer sponsor, it's easy to delay answering uncomfortable questions. Like what happens to my assets and my loved ones when I die. So it's no surprise that nearly 50% of Americans don't have a will and even fewer have an estate plan, many disabled clients worry that they don't have enough assets to set up an estate plan, but there are important options available to ensure that you have a voice in your medical and financial decision-making. Even if your health takes a turn for the worst estate planning gives you a voice when your health deteriorates or after you're gone. Marin Miller bam attorney at law is currently providing free consultations to find out more about estate planning or to book an appointment. Call Marin at (206) 485-4066 or visit Salem that's S a L U s-law.com today. Thank you for your support of leadership development in the Tri-Cities. Well welcome, Jessica. This is the first time we get to meet. I've heard your name in the community a lot. And so it's like, I've got to interview her. So it is great to meet you today. Sorry. So then our tries to the influencers can get to know you tell us about what your organization does, the uniqueness of it. And I think I know what you probably spend 80% of your day doing Speaker 4: Sure. Yeah, absolutely. Well, I am the founder and owner of empowered health Institute and we are a primary care medical clinic that is run a little bit differently. So we are a membership model, which means that our patients pay a fee to be part of our practice. And we've taken out the middleman, mainly insurance and allow ourselves a lot more time with our patients, which has been wonderful. And the reason why I started empowered health in the beginning was because I was seeing a huge problem with time to be able to spend with patients and became increasingly frustrated because the 10 minutes slots that I was getting each day with my patients was not enough to do more than push a pill or change a dose. And that is just not what health and wellness is should be about. And so I, I decided to found empowered health and, and by doing this, we're actually two years old this year, this month, and it's been amazing. So we're able to spend 90 minutes at our new patient appointments, getting to know our patients and actually understanding what the root causes that's actually causing them problems. And yeah, it's been incredibly rewarding. Speaker 3: Thank you for doing that, that just sort of blasted away at the old model. And I know some of your patients and they're just, they love that extra time that you get to spend with them. Speaker 4: Yeah. Brought the healing piece of medicine back. I know in it, for me and our patients, that's, that's exactly what they say too. Speaker 3: So why do you love to do what you do? Speaker 4: Yeah, well, I, you know, I got into medicine out of college because I love the science behind it. I am so fascinated with the human body and the ability for the body and the desire to heal. And so basically if we can get out of our own way and know the right tools, our body wants to heal us. And, and so that's why I got into medicine. I actually also applied to business school at the same time as I applied to medical school and I got accepted to both. And so it really was, you know, a hard moment for me to decide which one to pursue. And so medicine one, but being able to start empowered health and also now run a business, suits my personality very well. So it's been a great fit for me, both, both sides. Speaker 3: So you can't do it alone. You have to have a team. So who do you surround yourself with within the practice? And then who else do you surround yourself with outside of your practice to help you be more successful? Yeah, Speaker 4: Well, I mean, my practice is obvious. You know, I've got, we have five employees now and I could not do it without my team. They are, they bring a lot of their own personality and their own ideas to the table. And what I've had a lot of fun with as a leader is allowing them space to actually create and do new things. And so we're always looking for new ways to help support our patients in, in their health and wellness journey from the standpoint of business and, and being able to come and create something new in this community. I've actually been really fortunate because I do, I did grow up in the Tri-Cities and I do have a network of friends here. And so when I was ready to start empowered health, you know, I know the business attorneys, I know the landlord owners. I know, you know, so it's been really fortunate for me. Speaker 4: I've been really supported, you know, Brett Spooner is a close friend of mine, a lot of advice on starting a startup company. I'm also really fortunate that my brother, Casey Stratton and my husband max Schneider both have business degrees. And so I'm able to pick their brains on everything from finance to, you know, employee management and all of those things. I also think it's really important to have female mentors. And so I do have a mentor in the community who is a serial entrepreneur in the metastatic space, Nicole Scharamonte. And she has been wonderful in helping me to look at business and leadership from the standpoint of, of what a female brings to the table. That's a little bit unique. And so that's, those are the people that I've been really fortunate to be surrounded by and supported by and, and the list is even longer, but those are just some of the things, what a fantastic Speaker 3: Personal board of directors that you have so fortunate. So leaders have growth mindsets. So how are you constantly evolving as a leader and what's in your own professional development plan? Speaker 4: Yeah. This is such a great question, you know, and I really think about it. If I look back over my life, I think there's phases of growth as a leader. I have always personally been very interested in personal development. I actually started a personal development book club when I lived in Milwaukee and it's still going on today. Unfortunately, I can't be part of it anymore having moved here. But so I did that, you know, I have done coaching for myself prior to starting empowered health. I think the phase that I've been in in the last two years for personal development has really been trial by fire and being in it and, you know, going through and recognizing problems as growth opportunities. I'm definitely, I think we're entering a new phase and we just actually hired a nurse practitioner. So our, our practice is expanding, but I'm excited to be able to take the next step for myself and personal development. Now that we have another team member who's accepting patients. So, Speaker 3: So you brought up a book clubs, so books, probably a big deal for you, as you think back over the last few years, which books have been made the biggest impact on you? Oh gosh. There's so many now. Speaker 4: Yeah. The one thing I think has, has been a pretty one, pretty good one. Yeah. And I think just the concepts of, of organizing around what are, what are the few things that you want to get done and having laser focus on that. So that's been, that's been a big one for me. Yeah. Speaker 3: I love that book. It's like, what's the one thing you can do that if you do it, all the other things leave there become less yeah. Less burdensome or just maybe not even essential anymore. That's a great question to ask. Yeah. So to avoid burnout and negativity, how do you feed your mental and emotional health and wellness on a regular basis? Cause you got to be the role model. Speaker 4: So, you know, this is, yeah, this is my life. I love this question. You know, a couple of different things. I mean begin with, yes. It, it really comes down to recognizing that, you know, our nutrition matters, our sleep matters. I definitely emphasize working out and feel a big difference if I'm not able to get on the treadmill and just walk, you know, a few times a week. So those key things in my life, I also really do a very good job of shutting off. At the end of the day, I will stop work. I have kind of a hard stop time in the evening and recognize it's so important that I, my brain needs to rest and spend time with my family and my spouse. And I also, one huge thing as far as having perceived balance in my life is travel. We, even if it's just getting out of town for the weekend, it's the time that I find to be most fulfilling as far as reconnecting with my kids and my husband. And so it's, it's a huge part of my life. It's what makes the day-to-day worth it for me. And you know, I've never been to Europe, so I'm not talking about, you know, worldwide travel, but just getting out of town, camping or going to Leavenworth. You know, these are just things that are really important to me. Speaker 3: Yeah. I, they say vacation is an attitude adjustment. It's a code word for attitude. Adjustment. Exactly. Speaker 4: Getting out of the house. Speaker 3: Yes. Well, interesting on a nutrition exercise, you mentioned a few of those things. What is the common message that you give to your patients in those two areas, nutrition and exercise. I'm sure there's someone on the call or on the listening today on the podcast. That's like, I really want to lose weight or I want to live healthy and have that, that lifestyle wellness. What would you say? Speaker 4: Well, from a nutrition standpoint, I would say eat real food. You know, if your grandma wouldn't recognize it, get rid of it. If, if it has more than five ingredients on the label, it's probably not something that should go in your mouth. So start with real food. Okay. And from an exercise standpoint, you know, we talk a lot at empowered health about movement is w it can be anything. Movement is exercise. It does not have to be at a gym. It doesn't have to be a formal class. If you get out and you start making movement more part of your day to day life, you're going to have health benefits. Fantastic. Thank you. So Speaker 3: How do you get things done? So you're with you with patients, but you also run a business. So how do you organize yourself? I also love this Speaker 4: Question because if I, if I picked one word for myself, organization is probably one of the top ones. Yeah. So I, you know, my, my phone, I used to do list and it's, it's, it's my external brain. Right. And I, I truly wish I'm waiting for the day and maybe it exists where I can be in the shower and talk to to-do list to, to continue my list. Cause that's where all the great ideas come. I'll just some white space there. So yeah. So I use that religiously as, as my days, get more crowded or there's certain days of the week that I have more self-expectation. I actually will write out based on the hour, whether it's 60, 30, or 15 minute intervals and schedule in my, my task list for the day. And oftentimes what that does is it makes me realize that I have way too many things that I expect myself to accomplish that day and I can move them in advance. And it helps me feel like I'm accomplishing things and having, like I said, appropriate expectations for my time. Speaker 3: Yeah. It sounds like you're at achiever like me. And if we put too many things on our lists and then we don't get all of them done, we feel like we failed, which is ridiculous. Isn't it, we're getting way more done than the average person. But yeah. So we have to have that reality check. You have to do this. This is something I use with my team too. So listeners it's T O D O I S T. And I'm just reading a book called now do more better, which is like a faith-based productivity book. And they actually have a chapter on to-do list in the book and tell you how to set it up. Speaker 3: So that's pretty cool. All right. Before we head into our next question to find out how Jessica steps back looks at the bigger picture, let's check in with our sponsor located in the Parkway, you'll find motivation, new friends and your new coworking space at fuse. Whether you're a student just starting out or a seasoned professional, come discover all the reasons to love coworking at fuse come co-work at fuse for free on Fridays in February, enjoy free coffee or tea, Wi-Fi printing conference rooms, and more, and bring a friend. If you use this, where individuals and small teams come together in a thoughtfully designed resource, rich environment to get work done and grow their ideas. Comprised of professionals from varying disciplines and backgrounds. Fuse is built for hardworking, fun, loving humans. Learn more about email@example.com or stop by seven to three, the Parkway in Richland Washington. So it's easy to get trapped into reacting in leadership. There's problem comes up, got to deal with it. So how do you specifically step back and look at the bigger picture? Speaker 4: Yeah, I think this is a really a great question. And of course this happens, right? It's, it's unavoidable that these times are going to come up as a leader and as a business owner. And so for me, I think the first thing that I've learned, and this is definitely an in process, but is to step back time-wise, you know, allow 24 hours for the dust to settle, to recognize that there are very few times where a crisis has to be acted on immediately, and that allows my emotions to settle. And then I'm acting a little bit more out of logic, the logic side of my brain versus the emotional. And so, so that's the first thing that I do. And then the second is just remembering the goals. What is the bigger picture? And actually, and sometimes it requires actually just writing it down and looking at it that way. So that's that those are the things that I've started to work on and seem to give me some benefit here. Yeah. Inserting Speaker 3: That 24 hour pause. That's good. Good and good advice. Do you have a strategic plan for your business as you look out, you know, maybe one to three years, I know things are changing so fast, but do you have one? Speaker 4: Yes, we do. It's actually something. Well, as, as the owner and with my spouse, we have a strategic plan that we put into place before we even opened the business. But the one that I'm more proud of and that we use more on a regular basis is the strategic plan that our team has put together. And we spent a lot of time on this in the fall last year. And it is, it's really fun too. It's been actually broken down to by month and, and by product. And so it's fun to go back and revisit that at our team meetings each month, as we, as we travel forward through the year, Speaker 3: Give us a little bit more of an insight into that. Was it a retreat that you did? Was it questions that guided you through, how did you sort of culminate that vision as a team, as a team? Speaker 4: Yeah, so it started, you know, it starts from myself and my spouse. We do a retreat together and we set the big picture goals, and then we really looked at it from the standpoint of, you know, what impact do we want to have? How do we want to grow? What, how can we be better community players? And so we broke it out into five key goals that we have. And then within those goals, we have initiatives that we can act on. And so we broke it down there further. I have a team member. It's actually our coach. We have a health coach that works with our clinic and she does, she's very organized, does a little bit of life coaching also. And one of her great skill sets is, is breaking these things down into Excel spreadsheets in a way that we can all utilize them. So based on our five goals and our initiatives, we actually then develop tasks and then assign them to each individual on our team. So we each are color coded tasks that we, that we're responsible for and that we come back to on a monthly basis to keep each other accountable. Speaker 3: Love that I'm nerding out on that spreadsheet right now. Speaker 4: It is beautiful. Speaker 3: Yeah. That's funny. So last year, you know, COVID hit, did you have to make some key moves yourself for your organization in the last year to be responsive strategic in an uncertain time? Or did you just keep rolling along? Speaker 4: Yeah, I think like most small businesses, there was definitely some, some quick thinking of course safety was first in my mind, you know, as a medical doctor, we have to make sure that we're not putting our patients or our employees at risk. And so we did transition to telemedicine as much as, and stayed at that until we were able to start safely re-introducing in-person visits and, and then slowly moved forward. We are, we now have all of our staff back in our office and, and are, you know, navigating that, but we did have to make quite a few changes. And from a business standpoint, you know, we pulled back on any, maybe more unnecessary spending and, and kind of thought through that. And it was an interesting exercise for myself to go through, to say, what is the worst case scenario here? And to really look at the trajectory, had a lot of great support from my mentors at that time point. I'll never forget being on calls with both, you know, Brett and Nicole and, and hearing very similar feedback from both of them on strategy. What Speaker 3: Was the hardest part of the last year for you? Speaker 4: Oh, the constant change, you know, I have two young kids, I have a five-year-old and an eight year old and between their schooling and changes in, you know, work location for my spouse and support, that was probably the uncertainty. The constant change Speaker 3: Was telemedicine really hard. Or did you adapt to that pretty quickly? Speaker 4: Telemedicine is interesting because there's definitely a lot lost when you cannot put hands on the patient and see them in person, but it, wasn't hard from the standpoint of the technology and engaging. And luckily again, when you spend 90 minutes with your patients to get to know them at the very first visit, plus a 60-minute follow-up, I know these patients very well. And so to be able to pop in quickly for a telemedicine visit actually feels like talking to a friend on the phone. Wow. That's awesome. Speaker 3: How do you best lead organizational change? You know, that you've been doing it for two years. There's probably been a lot of change that you've had to guide your people through. And for most people change is hard unless you've got a unique team where it's, they're all just like, sure. Let's go. Speaker 4: Yeah, no, I know they are pretty unique, but yes, I agree. Change is hard for everyone. You know, the approach that I have learned works best for myself and for the team members that I've had is really bringing whatever the problem is to them. And I've of course thought about it. I thought of what solution I think would be the best, but asking, you know, what do you think is a solution here? What do you suggest? And I've had great results with that. And oftentimes I'm surprised by a brilliant idea that I hadn't thought about. And so I find it's a way to make everyone part of the solution and get everyone's perspective, and yet also provide appropriate direction. Speaker 3: Yeah. So staying close to your team's a big deal, because then it becomes, what do they say of if I can weigh in, then I'll buy in right Speaker 4: On that side. That's very well quite Speaker 3: Well. One of the most difficult tasks of a leader is when you must have a difficult conversation with a team member. So how do you bolster the courage to do that? Speaker 4: Yeah, I think I saw something on Instagram recently about, there's no better way to ruin a good employee than to watch you tolerate a poor employee. Again, I, you know, that just really hits home. Right. It's so, from, from my standpoint, I don't know if it comes down so much to courage is it's just, I recognize that those hard conversations are just part of the job. And if I want the rest of my team and the business and my patients and myself to do well, those conversations have to be had. Speaker 3: Yeah. They say out of caring comes courage. Right. So if you care about the person to hold back from telling them anything would be an act of selfishness, right. Because nobody's growing, I'm not growing as the leader, because I don't want to have that conversation and they're not growing because they haven't gotten the feedback. That's another, Speaker 4: Yeah, absolutely. Really good point. Speaker 3: So let's talk about our community a little bit. Tri-Cities so your Tri-Cities girl, right? Good. Yes. That's where my kids went. So you want to be a visible influencer in our community. Right. And how do you do that? Speaker 4: Yeah, so, well, it's interesting what you envision yourself doing when you grow up and what the reality is. I would have never chosen this for my path. That's very, it's even surreal to be here, sitting here with you today, but I think the first thing is getting involved, you know, and when we moved back to the Tri-Cities, we knew, and we, we discussed it as a, as a couple, my spouse and I, that, you know, we were going to step out into positions in the community to, to have influence, to meet people, to understand what the needs of the community are. So, you know, I serve on the board of the Tri-City chamber of commerce. I'm also associate board member of Giza credit union. And so I think it's, it's just about getting out there and understanding what, what is the community doing? What's driving it, what are the needs? Speaker 4: And then start plugging in, and then, you know, bringing your unique self to the table. It's really fun to be a speaker in the health and wellness world here in the Tri-Cities and we need it. We need something to change. We're actually in a really sad space from, you know, especially from primary care and doctors want to do a really good job. They want to love their patients. They want time and it's being taken away. And so to be here and to be able to speak to that is pretty powerful. And so I think the influence just comes naturally, if you're passionate about what you're talking about. Speaker 3: So you mentioned a couple of boards, would you recommend a Tri-City influencers to consider being on a board and why? Speaker 4: Absolutely. I mean, again, it's, it's an opportunity to network and to understand what's going on in the community. It's also really great way to learn from other organizations. You know, I mentioned the strategic plan that we put together at empowered health. It's actually very closely modeled just to the format that seen Giza use. And it's, you know, it's just, it's a great way to learn and to have mentorship and, and connect. Speaker 3: So you're you and your husband are both business owners and, you know, he got a couple of kids, he said, so how do you make time for just you as a couple? Speaker 4: Yeah. We're still, you know, we're still figuring this out. We've tried a couple different things, but you know, a lot of it's just communication and having time to connect in the mornings or at night, I cannot say we're perfect at this. You know, we've definitely put into place date nights and had that. Not always work out, but yeah, so we, we spend time together whenever we can get it. And like I said, I think the biggest thing that we do is really, we travel, we book our travel plans a year in advance and his family still lives in Milwaukee. So part of that's just because we have to, and we have to plan, but, you know, even just getting away for a weekend as a family or just the two of us is probably the way we reconnect. Speaker 3: So tell us about your marketing plan, because to see like you're visible out there. So what kinds of things are you doing on social media? Do you have a newsletter? That kind of stuff? Speaker 4: Yeah. Yeah. Well, of course I would be remiss if I didn't mention how we got started with introducing empowered health to the community. And that's largely been through a local marketing firm, brand Kraft media, and they have done worlds. They for supporting, you know, developing our website, our brand and introducing us. But as far as internal marketing, we, we do have a marketing director, Leah, who you've met and she works a lot on our social media, our Instagram. We also have a newsletter, which I'm very proud of and it goes out monthly non-members can go ahead and sign up for it on our website to get access to that. And we put a lot of content in there about lifestyle and supplements and even, you know, latest research on things like COVID and, and, you know, the vaccine and melatonin and all of those different things that have come out about COVID. So that is one way that we've really engaged in showing the community what we do. And the idea is that if you're interested in what we're putting out there, then you can come and learn more about our clinic. Speaker 3: Fantastic. It sounds like that newsletter is something I want to subscribe to too. So that'd be great. So how can they, how can people subscribe to that? What's your website and what's your other ways they can people contact you? Yeah. Speaker 4: So our website is empowered health institute.com. And again, you can sign up for the newsletter on there. There's a box to do that. And we are also on Facebook, under empowered health Institute and Instagram as well. Yeah. Speaker 3: Fantastic. Well, finally, Jessica, what advice would you give to new leaders or anyone who wants to growing and gaining more influence? Speaker 4: Yeah, I think, I mean, it definitely goes back to getting involved in the community and, and recognizing that even if you don't necessarily feel like you have something different, you do, you bring something unique based on your experiences and finding that niche and what you're passionate about and stepping into that in a way to make a difference and just moving forward. Speaker 3: Good stuff. Good stuff. Well, thank you for all you do to make the Tri-Cities a great place and keep growing forward. Thank you, Paul, let me wrap up our podcast today with a leadership resource to recommend, Hey, has it been a long time since you've gotten your team off site and done a retreat, things are opening up more now and I would love to be your facilitator for that. There are so many benefits for retreats, offsite, its relationship building its strategic planning. You can enhance your communication. As a result, we could do a disc assessments. We can do emotional intelligence assessments. We'll just customize that to fit whatever needs your group has for just getting closer together and being visionary for the rest of the year. So just reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, this is Paul Casey, and I want to thank my guest, Jessica Schneider from empowered health Institute for being here today on the Tri-Cities influencer podcast. And we want to thank our TCI sponsor and invite you to support them. We appreciate you making this possible so we can collaborate to help inspire leaders in our community. Finally, one more leadership tidbit for the road to help you make a difference in your circle of influence. Benjamin Franklin said an investment in knowledge pays the best interest until next time, keep growing forward. Speaker 2: Thank you to our listeners for tuning in to today's show Paul Casey on a mission to add value to leaders by providing practical tools and strategies that reduce stress in their lives and on their teams so that they can enjoy life and leadership and experience their desired results. If you'd like more help from Paul in your leadership development, connect with email@example.com for a consultation that can help you move past your current challenges and create a strategy for growing your life or your team forward. Paul would also like to help you restore your sanity to your crazy schedule and getting your priorities done every day by offering you is free. Control my calendar checklist, go to WW dot, take back my calendar.com for that productivity tool or open a text message 2 7 2 0 0 0, and type the word growth Speaker 3: Tri-Cities influencer podcast was recorded at Fuse SPC by bill Wagner of Safe Strategies.
Tom interviews Katie about her experience learning to kitesurf in the UK and Turks and Caicos. Hopefully some nuggets of gold for anyone lesrning to kitesurf or coming to TCI.
Bill Wagner: Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Great minds talk about ideas. Average minds talk about events. Small minds talk about people." Be a great mind. I am Bill Wagner and I am a Tri-Cities influencer. Paul Casey: We use I messages, not you messages. But a you message, again, puts us on the defensive. And someone that's already aggressive, oh boy, that's just like bringing gasoline to the fire. It's going to make it a whole lot worse. Speaker 3: Raising the water level of leadership in the Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington, it's the Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast. Welcome to the TCI Podcast, where local leadership and self-leadership expert Paul Casey interviews local CEOs, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit executives. Hear how they lead themselves and their teams so we can all benefit from their wisdom and experience. Here's your host, Paul Casey of Growing Forward Services, coaching and equipping individuals and teams to spark breakthrough success. Paul Casey: It's a great day to grow forward. Thanks for joining me for today's episode with Madeline Carter. She's the morning news anchor at NBC Right Now. And fun fact about Madeline, she says she's an old soul and gets teased for it all the time. Madeline, tell us more about that. Madeline Carter: Oh, Paul, I belong in the 1950s. I have said this since I was probably about 16, which is a little strange. My mom teases me all the time about how I have an old soul. I'm a homebody. I'd rather be at home, sipping my glass of tea, listening to Frank Sinatra. So that is me in a nutshell. Paul Casey: That's awesome. And we're going to dive in after checking in with our Tri-City Influencer sponsor. Mario Martinez, Northwestern Mutual. Mario, what types of services do you offer? Mario Martinez: Hey, Paul. Thank you for letting me be on here. We run bifurcated practices in that we focus on two areas of a financial plan. The first one is we do protection pieces, which include life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance. Really, the things that people should be focused on to protect their families, their businesses. And on the other side of our practices, we do investment services. And on the investment platforms, we do both the brokerage platform and we do the advisory level services. So depending on what someone's looking for as far as guidance on their investment strategies, we can curtail and build a strategy for them that makes sense. Paul Casey: Mario, how can people get in touch with you? Mario Martinez: The easiest way, you can reach out to me directly on my business cell phone. It's 509-591-5301. You can send me an email at Mario.Martinez@NM.com, or you can reach out to us on our social media platforms, the easiest one being, excuse me, Mario Martinez Northwestern Mutual on Facebook. Paul Casey: Thank you for your support of leadership development in the Tri-Cities. Well, Madeline, it was great to meet you earlier this year, or was it last year? Madeline Carter: No, funny story, Paul- Paul Casey: It was the first of the year, wasn't it? Madeline Carter: We met the first week of January when 2020 still looked promising. Paul Casey: That's right. [crosstalk 00:03:15]- Madeline Carter: And we talked about New Year's resolutions. Paul Casey: We did. Madeline Carter: I think we need to redo this in 2021. Paul Casey: I think we probably should. It was snowing that day. Of course, when you bring in your guest it's like bunch early in the morning, and- Madeline Carter: Oh yeah. Paul Casey: And- Madeline Carter: Like 6:00 AM? Mm-hmm (affirmative). Paul Casey: ... that is funny. We've done a couple other recordings since then with Madeline Motivates. Madeline Carter: Madeline Motivates, yes. Paul Casey: Which I just love that, and I love all the people you're bringing on the show. Madeline Carter: Yeah, thank you. Paul Casey: So, yeah, it's been a great year of trying to put positive stuff in front of people in a negative year. Madeline Carter: Right. I mean, you were actually the very first guest of that segment. And for those who don't know, I created this segment, Madeline Motivates, because I've always been a big champion of motivation and encouragement. I always try to encourage people in any way I can, whether it's words or actions. And so I wanted to create this segment to try to uplift people. And it turns out you were the first episode in January. Two months later, I had no idea that we were going to be going through one of the most trying times that I think I've been through in my entire life. And I was just talking to someone that I work with about how relevant that segment became, and how useful, and the ideas. I mean, I didn't have to think too hard to come up with ideas for a weekly segment, because, I mean, what we're going through, it just warrants itself to needing motivation. Paul Casey: Absolutely. Well, so our Tri-City influencers can get to know you, take us through a couple career highlights that have led to your current position and just why you love what you do. Madeline Carter: I really do love what I do. And the interesting thing is this is actually my first stop in my career. Paul Casey: First stop, yeah. Madeline Carter: First stop out of college. So I don't have too much of a career history yet, but I will tell you how I got into broadcasting. It all started, I actually started university for the performing arts and felt a calling in the direction of broadcasting based on people I was meeting and a class that I took. I had took a class in radio production my junior year in college, not until halfway through. And I still remember the first time that I got to do the newscast on the radio. I went up to the studio, and I don't even think I wrote the news at the time, I just printed it off the computer. And I sat down in that chair behind the mic and just got chills. It was like, I don't know, a calling type of a moment. I sat down and it just felt right. And I read the news, and they ended up letting me do it once a week, and then I eventually started working at my college radio station as the news director and a radio DJ, which is a lot of fun. Madeline Carter: And ultimately, that was when my career really took off in terms of connections. Everything that I was doing seemingly led to the next thing. So, for example, I was doing the radio news one day when I got a call from my best friend's dad, who happened to be the morning radio guy in my hometown, and he asked me if I wanted an internship. And so he had just heard the newscast. And so connections like that just started to kick off. And ultimately, it led to an internship at the hometown TV station that I absolutely love, still love to this day, Fox 8 News in Cleveland, Ohio. That internship is where I gained the bulk of my experience and made connections that I think helped me get to where I am today, so I'm just grateful for that. Paul Casey: That is very cool. [inaudible 00:06:37] I think feeling the chills when you sat down in the chair. I tear up when I'm in the zone, when I'm- Madeline Carter: Oh yeah. Paul Casey: ... filing quotes for professional growth or putting together a seminar to deliver. I think our bodies even respond in a way to say, "This is what you were created to do." Madeline Carter: Yes. I'm actually having a flashback moment. I was just talking to our news director about career trajectory and where I want to be in the future, and I had tears well up in my eyes while we were having that conversation. And I said to her, I said, "Is this normal? Have you ever felt this way?" And she just said, "That's when you know you're doing the right thing." Paul Casey: What's great about internships? So you had that opportunity that really was a springboard for you into your career. I've heard of internships out at PN&L here locally, and maybe in some of the trades. If someone was thinking about just starting out, what would you recommend about internships? Madeline Carter: I'm a huge advocate for doing internships. I think it's one thing you can learn as much as you can in school and get a great education, but to get that experience in the field and to be with people that do it for a living, that, to me, was eye-opening. I went to a school that actually didn't have a running daily newscast, so that was my first experience seeing how the real world works in news. And I think getting that hands-on experience is crucial. Madeline Carter: But the thing with internships is I learned very quickly in both of the ones that I did in college that it is what you make it. I could very easily have sat there behind what they call the assignment desk and taken phone calls all day, maybe get some coffee for the news anchors. Or I could have put my best foot forward and tried to get as much experience as possible within those three or four months that I was there. And every single day, I worked hard to get to try new things and to help out in different areas where I knew I could grow. So I think if you're going to take an internship, really, don't take it lightly, because those connections, you never know where that might lead one day. Paul Casey: That's a great concept in general. It is what you make it, right? When I take people on a retreat for their company, I'll say that at the beginning. "What you put into this is what we're going to get out of this, as a retreat." Madeline Carter: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Paul Casey: It's the same with your professional development, your own personal growth, and every day you go to work. It is what you make it, so I love that advice. Madeline Carter: Yeah, it matters. And I think you make an impression, too. One of the news anchors at the Cleveland station who I looked up to most, she's one of my role models, she actually, it turns out she wrote the recommendation letter for me to get the job I have today. So that just shows how it matters, the fact that she was willing to take time out of her busy schedule to write that is probably because I worked hard and made sure to befriend her in the process. Paul Casey: Yeah, hear, hear. There's probably a resource on how to write a good recommendation letter, but those things matter. Madeline Carter: Yeah, they do. Paul Casey: [crosstalk 00:09:33] writing that for people, and whether it's a LinkedIn recommendation, which I know I want to do more of that for others, or helping people out when they go to interview for a job, those recommendation letters are really powerful. So, what helped you make the decision about jumping to this community here in the Tri-Cities? Take us to that moment where you made the decision to come here and, yeah, tell us about that. Madeline Carter: Again, I know I mentioned it's a calling for me to be in the world of broadcasting, and I knew from the moment I first spoke to the recruiter for my station that I wanted to work here in the Tri-Cities. I think it was culture, really, that stood out to me with the company that I work for. Madeline Carter: Kind of a crazy situation with how I got this job. I posted ... For news, oftentimes for on-air positions, you have to make a sort of reel or audition tape, as I like to call it. And so someone from our station actually found my video on YouTube. I was living in Ohio at the time, more than 2,000 miles away. I have no idea. Maybe what I tagged the video as, he found it and gave me a call and an email. And for me, it just seemed right from the beginning. I could tell that he was invested in me as a person and not just filling that next position that they needed to. And also, I asked him a lot about the Tri-Cities community. I said, "What's it like there? What are people like? Is it a close knit community? How do people treat each other? What's it like in the daily life in the Tri-Cities?" And everything I heard was impressive, and it reminded me of where I grew up. Smaller town vibes, everyone caring about each other, and I really feel that here still to this day. Paul Casey: Those are great questions that you asked. I mean, those are very specific questions about- Madeline Carter: Well, yeah, the culture matters. Paul Casey: ... the culture. Madeline Carter: It does matter. And ultimately, I did have another opportunity I could have pursued, but the other part of this is I can't really explain, I just felt called to come here. I was having dreams about working here, and I would see myself behind the news desk, and it was kind of interesting. Paul Casey: Wow. Madeline Carter: It was almost like I visualized it before it happened. Paul Casey: That sounds like a confirmation to me. Madeline Carter: I know. Paul Casey: We're glad to have you here. Madeline Carter: Thank you. Paul Casey: So, what advice would you give to listeners when they reach a crossroads, when they have a decision like that? I mean, I'm almost already foretelling that you're going to say something about intuition, because you felt that calling inside of you to come here, but just in general, what would you say? I've got a decision point, I'm at a crossroads, how do I know which way to go? Madeline Carter: Yes. Ultimately, it did, for me, come down to intuition or your gut or whatever you like to call it. But I do a lot of research, as well. For example, if you're choosing between two jobs and you're having a tough time making that decision, what I do, personally, what works for me is evaluating my options. So whether that's writing down the pros and cons of each, taking a look at what you've written. One thing that my dad taught me to do was after the interview, make a journal entry and write exactly how you feel. And when I went back and looked at what I had written, it was clear to me ... The pros and cons are there, but then ultimately, you kind of got to go with your heart, your gut. And just know that where you ultimately go, I think that it's on the path of where you should be going and it's going to mold you one way or another, whether it's a positive or a negative experience. So you can do your research, and then ultimately, you got to go with your gut. Paul Casey: Yep. Yep. And the pros and cons activity, it's tried and true. It seems so simple, and yet it really helps you, by putting it on paper, to filter your thoughts for making- Madeline Carter: Yes. Paul Casey: ... a big decision. So what's most rewarding for you in your job? And how do you stay focused on that? Because I'm sure there's hassles and disappointments and technical difficulties and all that kind of stuff. Madeline Carter: The most rewarding part of my job in news is the chance to bring light into someone's day. That's the beauty of a morning newscast, I think. We've got a great mix of news, entertainment, fun. Just giving you a reason to wake up and get out of bed in the morning. That, to me, is what drives me. The chance to be a friend to someone who maybe doesn't have one, someone who right now is struggling to just find their reason, their why. Just look to be a light to someone, and that's really what keeps me grounded. And also the chance to tell stories that shape our community. And whether they're good or bad, it's where we live, and you need to know what's going on. And those stories, I really think they truly matter. Madeline Carter: But, yes, you're right, life can get kind of crazy, especially in a very public type of a position. A lot of times, I'll find myself ... There are a lot of demands on my time, and a lot of people to respond to in so many different formats, whether it's viewers or managers, bosses. So those are the times when it can get a bit stressful for me, the time management aspect. But what really grounds me is when I speak to someone in our community, whether it's a guest that I'm interviewing or I'm doing an interview for a story that I'm working on, hearing people's stories reminds me why it's so important to share those with the people where we live. Paul Casey: I love how you said you just want to be a light, and in the morning probably people are comforted by your happy face when they turn on their TV in the morning, right? Madeline Carter: I hope so! Paul Casey: Because you're that consistent first greeting of the day, even maybe before the rest of their family wakes up, because you're on very early. Madeline Carter: Exactly. Paul Casey: So they've come to make you a part of their life, in a way, by choosing media- Madeline Carter: I mean, they have me in their living room. Paul Casey: Right? That's right. Madeline Carter: We have coffee in the living room. Paul Casey: That's an honor, isn't it? Madeline Carter: It is. It really is. Paul Casey: And a responsibility- Madeline Carter: Absolutely. Paul Casey: ... to be a light. I mean, if you were sort of an Eeyore to start the day off- Madeline Carter: "Morning. Here's your news." Yeah. Paul Casey: Yeah, that's right. That would start the day off pretty poorly. Well, leaders and influencers must keep growing or they become irrelevant. So, how have you matured in your professional growth, your personal growth, in recent years? Madeline Carter: I'm certainly still in the growth process, but for the past few years, I would say the past three years, I have studied character based leadership, and in a different context outside of broadcasting. But that's my goal of what I try to bring to the table as a leader is to lead with kindness, to lead with empathy, especially concerning coworkers and even our viewers, to be a leader for them in that way. And it's not always easy, but I've actually had a couple trials this past year that have taught me the importance of that. Madeline Carter: And one thing that I think I've really grown over the past year and a half that I've been here in the Tri-Cities is I've grown stronger in my personal voice. I know kindness can sometimes be perceived as a weakness, and I used to more so care about what people would think of me if I had to lay down the law or stand up for what is right or stand up for what I believe in. But now I feel having leadership in a daily newscast, it gives me that ability to better say what needs to be done, what needs to be right, whether it's an ethical news question or something along those lines. I less fear how others perceive me now, and I think that's a form of growth is growing in that confidence and that ability to take charge without worrying what people think of you. Paul Casey: Yeah, and I like how you said that. Kindness could be perceived as a weakness, but it's actually a strength. And if I ever do a random act of kindness, and just talking about it I guess means it's not random act anymore, but like when paying for the person behind you in the drive-through, right, at a coffee drive-through, I feel more powerful. I don't feel weak when I do that. And to see that person sort of wave and know that you pumped up their day- Madeline Carter: Exactly. Paul Casey: ... that's a great feeling. Madeline Carter: Oh yeah. Paul Casey: And it builds ... If you're in a workplace, that is building respect, it's magnetic. It attracts people to you if you lead with kindness versus the alternative. Madeline Carter: Right. Paul Casey: Well, you mentioned time management in there, and most of our to-do lists are greater than the time we have to do them, so that probably means you have to triage tasks like everybody else does, and maybe even delegate or outsource stuff or back-burner things. So, how do you sort out how you spend your time, and maybe any tips for the rest of us? Madeline Carter: Honestly, time management is still a bit of a struggle for me. I'm working on it. But something that helps me, I know you mentioned a long to-do list, but I do like to make a daily to-do list. That's usually the last thing I do before I leave work for the day, I email myself my to-dos for the next day. Paul Casey: Nice. Madeline Carter: Even though they may change. But I try to limit down to maybe the three or four most important things that I have to get done that day. Because I'm an achiever type of box-checker, I like to call it. Paul Casey: Yes. Madeline Carter: So I get a thrill out of getting things done, checking off items on my list. So when I make them manageable items that I can actually go through and feel like I accomplished something, that is what seems to work for me. So that is what I do to try to work on time management. Another thing I've learned in this job is to not spend too much time on the little things. I have perfectionist tendencies, as well, and I noticed when I first started in this role that I was ... Some things were taking a lot longer than they needed to. Not that I'm not putting as much effort in. I'm still doing my 110%, but learning what you can do quicker and what you can delegate. So that's been something that I've been trying to learn for time management. Paul Casey: Yes, the achiever, you alluded to that. So we were talking before we hit record today of the achiever is one of the StrengthsFinder 34 strengths- Madeline Carter: Yes. Paul Casey: ... and it's in your top five. It's in my top five. And any achievers listening, you're probably like, "That's why I listen to this podcast, because I want to listen to-" Madeline Carter: Right. "Because I want to-" Paul Casey: "... other achievers." Madeline Carter: "...grow." Paul Casey: Right? It's also in the Enneagram, the number three, type three is also an achiever, so it's funny how we take these assessments and they all say the same thing. Madeline Carter: I know, they really do. Paul Casey: But the box-checker is in that. And I like how you also are just transparent about you could gravitate to being OCD or perfectionist- Madeline Carter: Yes. Paul Casey: ... if you have that style. Each one of the styles has a dark side- Madeline Carter: They do. Paul Casey: ... to it. And so you have to know what's good enough, that's not compromising quality or excellence, but it's not getting so deep in the weeds that it's taking valuable time. Madeline Carter: Right. And another downside, if you call it, of the type three in the Enneagram, for example, the achiever, is the image conscious part of it, which kind of goes back to me saying how I care about what people think of me when I have to lay down the law. So that's something you got to work on those other not so good parts of the achiever characteristic. Paul Casey: Yes. Well, before we head into our next question about relationships, a shout out to our sponsor. Mario Martinez, Northwestern Mutual. Mario, why should people work with a financial advisor? Mario Martinez: Hey, Paul, that's a great question. Really, I think there's two types of people who should be seeking out a financial professional. The one person is somebody who has very limited access to financial guidance. Maybe they're a younger professional or somebody who just hasn't had an introduction to a financial professional yet. And the other type of person is really someone who has a lot of different exposure to different professionals, they just haven't found the one person that they really trust to take guidance from. So there's really an over information, in that sense. So those are really the two types of people that should be looking to be introduced to a financial professional. Paul Casey: Fantastic. So, Mario, how can people get in touch with you? Mario Martinez: The easiest way is to reach out to me directly on my business cell phone, which is 509-591-5301. You can send an email to Mario.Martinez@NM.com, or you can find us on our business Facebook page, which is Mario Martinez Northwestern Mutual. Paul Casey: Well, Madeline, you probably believe like I do that leadership is relationships, so talk to us about what relationships are key to your success? And how do you intentionally develop them, and maybe even in the land of COVID, how much do you do that differently? Madeline Carter: Yeah, relationships are everything. I think we've all learned that during this pandemic, is some point when we were spending time apart, it's really all we have. I think that relationships are key to success because, to me, character and kindness are what will carry you. I've seen examples of that in internships and people that I know that have kind of climbed the ranks in the industry. I believe that if you treat everyone with respect, you hopefully might get that back in return. So that's going to be my goal with entering this career path, and I think those relationships can help you become successful. Madeline Carter: But outside of work, some of the most key relationships for me are my family and my close friends. The people that really know you, the people that are in your corner, and the people that'll give you the truth when you really need to hear it. I moved more than 2,000 miles away, so I'm very, very far away from my key close knit people. But when I go back home, for example if I'm going to take a trip back home, those are the moments when I realize how far I've really come, because the people that know you best are the ones that'll tell you that stuff that you don't hear on a daily basis, especially living on your own. So for me, their relationships are what fuel me. I am a family girl through and through, so that type of support I think is key to success, because you need to have that as you go on and just continue on. Paul Casey: Has it been harder to connect with them 2,000 miles away? Family, friends, and COVID. I mean, do you do Zoom calls or phone calls, or- Madeline Carter: I'm done with the Zoom, honestly. I am not into that anymore. But yes, we do. I FaceTime my mom pretty often and we've started to pick that up. It's not her favorite thing, but we call each other all the time, text all the time. Same with my other immediate family. I have struggled to keep up with close friends. I'm learning as you get older and you move on from ... And you move, you're kind of the one who's responsible with keeping in touch, because I'm the one who moved away. Paul Casey: Yeah. Madeline Carter: And I've learned that the hard way. It's hard. There's so many people that I could text today or that I could reach out to. So I guess what I try to do is kind of vary it up, think about someone I haven't touched base with and I'll reach out to them. I usually give a quick call and leave a message if they don't answer, or send a text and say, "Hey, I'd like to catch up." And having intentional conversations every now and then has been key to keep those relationships going. Paul Casey: Yeah. You mentioned we all need relationships with people that will tell us what needs to be said, or they make observations about us, or they want us to live our best version of us. Tri-City Influencer listeners, I hope that you all have a ... We call it a fist of five. Five people that they love you and your style, your way, but they'll also call you on your stuff. Or if you're not living your core values, they're going to be like, "This is not what you usually are like. What's going on in your life?" Madeline Carter: Exactly. Paul Casey: And we all need that. I was teaching on emotional intelligence this morning to a company, and I brought up that years ago, someone gave me this tip to send five to seven questions to your tribe, those people closest to you, and ask them questions about yourself and get some feedback and then really listen. Like, "Where do you see me at my strongest? What do I need to let go of more that I tend to whine about for too long?" And, "When have you seen my shine?" And I still have saved one of those emails from seven years ago because it was that impactful to have people be that honest and answer those seven questions. Madeline Carter: That's good. I might need to try that myself. Paul Casey: Well, self-care is essential for mental health and top performance, especially in the land of COVID. So what recharges your batteries? How do you stay positive? How do you stay energetic for your job? Madeline Carter: My job requires a lot of energy, so I love this question. Yes. I'm naturally extroverted, however, I do have a slightly introverted side. I mentioned I was a homebody, so I definitely have to recharge my batteries. And that means at the end of the day, I like to have my alone time. For me, one of the biggest things I love, I absolutely love popcorn. So my ideal night of self-care is to pop popcorn over the stove with a little bit of oil and I watch a good movie or whether it's a Netflix show that I'm into. That, for me, by myself, is usually the best way to recharge. I'm also a huge reader, so reading books is another thing. Madeline Carter: But the choices that I make every day for self-care, I am huge on fitness and nutrition. I have to work out for stress relief. I'm the type that can't go ... I have to do it at least four or five times a week in order to feel like I got all my stress out. And then I eat very healthy diet. And those are the things that keep me having energy throughout the day. And speaking of which, on a daily basis, when you have a job as a news anchor, you have to have a wide range of emotions and bring that same consistent energy to the table every morning at 4:30 in the morning. Paul Casey: Man. Madeline Carter: And I am actually a night owl, naturally. That's a fun fact. Paul Casey: Wow. Madeline Carter: Yeah. So maybe that's why it works, because it's kind of in the middle of the night. But for me, what I do every day before work is I get up a lot earlier than I need to. I get up at 12:45 in the morning, AM- Paul Casey: What? You get up? Madeline Carter: I wake up. My alarm goes off. Paul Casey: What time do you go to bed? Madeline Carter: In a perfect world? 5:30. Paul Casey: Okay. Madeline Carter: But usually 6:30, which is not ideal. However, I get up way earlier than I need to. It doesn't take me that long to get ready. But the reason is I have developed a routine since I have been working here in the Tri-Cities to listen to music that makes me genuinely happy, and so that's the first thing I do is I turn on my happy playlist. I like to call it Happy Radio as what it started, but now I'm on to Apple Music. But I listen to happy music, stuff that puts me in a good mood. And then when I switch over to do my makeup in the morning, I turn on an interview about personal growth. I've fallen into the Oprah's Super Soul podcast, that's a great one. And right now, I'm listening to an audiobook by Alicia Keys about personal growth. And I find that doing that, it wakes me up, first of all, so I feel like I could be my true self by the time I get to work, and that's my goal every day is that I can be my full kind self by the time I walk through those doors in the middle of the night. So, to me, that seems to be what works to kind of keep my energy up and care for myself. Paul Casey: Well, I think you win. Out of all my 50-some guests on this podcast, that's the earlier wake-up time. Madeline Carter: I think you're probably right on that one. Paul Casey: I had a couple 3:30 exercisers and I was already impressed by that. Madeline Carter: It doesn't make it the best wake-up time, though, although it is the earliest. Paul Casey: That's true, although it is the earliest. But I would see how you would need a long ramp up to be- Madeline Carter: Oh yeah, to- Paul Casey: ... [crosstalk 00:28:42] fitness, nutrition, happy music, personal growth inputs into your life. You've created a good system for yourself to be at the top- Madeline Carter: I think so. Paul Casey: ... of your game. Madeline Carter: It seems to work. Obviously, you have your bad days every now and then, but those are the ... Having that consistency at least gives me something to look forward to and a reason to get up in the morning. Paul Casey: Yeah. Now, recharging your batteries, if you're an introvert, you recharge by being alone, typically, because you've had too much people time or too many Zoom calls. And then extroverts recharge their batteries by being with people, and of course they have suffered a lot this year. Madeline Carter: Right, right. Paul Casey: And so they have to be even more intentional about somehow getting that contact with other people. So how do you determine your next hill to climb or conquer? What's your process for continuous improvement so you keep getting better? That this month next year, you're going to be a better person, you're going to be a better employee, you're going to be better in all areas of your life. Madeline Carter: For me, it's time to climb when I've reached my capacity for growth. So when I feel that I get comfortable and I'm in my comfort zone, I'm not out of it, that's when it's time to find the next goal. And I'm definitely a goal setter. So for me, it's finding where I can grow next, whether that's a next job or it's a next project at your current job, which is kind of what I'm going through right now. Madeline Carter: Another thing that helps me grow and know what's next to climb for myself is by reaching out to coworkers and/or managers and asking for genuine feedback. And I'm not talking about just your annual or your every six month feedback session, but reaching out in an email and, for me, being in the news industry, sending them a story I did and saying, "What's your honest opinion on this? What could I do better?" I've reached out to different news anchors in our sister station to send them some of my work to say, "What do you think? What can I do better? If you had to pick one thing that I could work on for this next six months, what would it be?" And I reached out to recently probably about close to six or seven different people and got all different types of responses, but a lot of them have a pretty common ground, so you kind of find what areas you need to grow next. And so for me, it's about constant growth. And when you can't grow anymore, that might be when it's time to climb on to something else. Paul Casey: So good, because growth is on the other side of your comfort zone, right? It's not in the comfort zone. Madeline Carter: No. Paul Casey: Then you're coasting, and you only coast one direction, I love this quote, downhill. Madeline Carter: Yes, you do. Paul Casey: You don't coast uphill. So you have to stretch yourself, and I love how you said feedback is one of the ways to do that. And I really like the specificity of, "What's one thing I can do to work on?" Because if you ask for feedback from people, they often go blank, like, "Uh, you're great." Madeline Carter: Right, right. Paul Casey: And they just sort of ... But when you start asking the specific question, and listeners, you can use this in your one-to-ones either with your supervisor or your direct reports, "What's the one thing that I could do to blank?" It could be grow, it could be lead- Madeline Carter: To get a promotion. Paul Casey: Yeah exactly. Madeline Carter: To do all these type of things. Paul Casey: And try to get it to that one thing, because then, oh, now it's something tangible that I can actually do and put into my growth plan and get training on or get coaching on to get better. So it's a vulnerable thing, of course, to throw that out there and get feedback and ask that question, but it sounds like you embrace that. Madeline Carter: I try to, yes. Paul Casey: Well, finally, what advice would you give to new leaders or anyone who wants to keep growing and gaining more influence? Madeline Carter: Well, here's some advice from a new leader, myself. I like to call myself a newbie in this one. Be you. Be you. Just be you. Because there is only one you. One of my favorite quotes is, "No one is you, and that is your power." I've learned that this year, especially, taking on a role that's very public to where I am being myself every day. And it took me several months to grasp what it meant to just be Madeline up on the set and not be a news anchor. You can quickly fall into that trap of trying to be the next whoever your favorite person is in your industry, whereas the reason why I chose the job that I have today is because when they hired me, they said, "We want to teach you to be the next Madeline Carter. We don't want to teach you to be the next blank." They said one of my role models, they said their name. Paul Casey: Wow. Madeline Carter: And I said, "That's really interesting." It took me a while to grasp it, but that's my advice, is that there's only one you, and even if you have quirks, if you have things you don't like about yourself, eventually, those can become your strengths. And I think you just got to stay true to yourself in the process. Paul Casey: Be you. That's awesome. Awesome way to end. So, how can our listeners best connect with you, Madeline? Madeline Carter: Yeah, lots of things. I'm on all kinds of social media. It's too many to keep up with now. Instagram is my personal favorite. I love getting messages on there. My Instagram is @MadelineCarter.TV. And also Facebook is huge, Madeline Carter TV there. And also they can send me an email, Madeline.Carter@NBCrightnow.com. Or Twitter, but I'm not on that that much. Paul Casey: Tri-Cities Twitter just hasn't taken off quite as much. Madeline Carter: Oh my goodness, there's too many. That was what I was saying, the time constraints. I can't answer all the messages anymore. Paul Casey: Well, thanks again for all you do to make the Tri-Cities a great place, and keep leading well. Madeline Carter: All right. Thank you, Paul. Thanks for having me. Paul Casey: Let me wrap up our podcast today with a leadership resource to recommend. I want to invite you to Leader-Launcher.com. It's my local leadership development program for young professionals and emerging leaders. What we do is we meet once a month, and right now, it's virtually, for two hours, and I teach one leadership proficiency a month. So in a year, you get 12 of these leadership proficiencies which will set you up to move up the ranks in your company, to take that next supervisor position which will then give you so much more influence in your company. So if you are a boss and you would like to have your next tier of leaders developed, you can send them over to Leader-Launcher.com and sign them up. It's just 459 for the year, which would normally be like $9,000 if you hired me as a consultant for your company. So it's very affordable and it's very transformational. And hopefully, you'll consider Leader-Launcher.com. Paul Casey: Again, this is Paul Casey and I want to thank my guest Madeline Carter from NBC Right Now for being here today on the Tri-City Influencer Podcast. We also want to thank our TCI sponsor and invite you to support them. We appreciate you making this possible so we can collaborate to help inspire leaders in our community. Finally, one more leadership tidbit for the road to help you make a difference in your circle of influence. It's from Aug Mandino.He said, "It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world." Until next time, KGF. Keep growing forward. Speaker 3: Thank you to our listeners for tuning in to today's show. Paul Casey is on a mission to add value to leaders by providing practical tools and strategies that reduce stress in their lives and on their teams so that they can enjoy life and leadership and experience their key desired results. If you'd like more help from Paul in your leadership development, connect with him at GrowingForward@PaulCasey.org for a consultation that could help you move past your current challenges and create a strategy for growing your life or your team forward. Paul would also like to help you restore your sanity to your crazy schedule and getting your priorities done every day by offering you his free Control my Calendar checklist. Go to ww.takebackmycalendar.com for that productivity tool or open a text message to 72000 and type the word 'growing'. Paul Casey: The Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast was recorded at Fuse SPC by Bill Wagner of Safe Strategies.
This week we've got another guest host on deck. Mike “Cush” Cushiobury, TCI's editor-in-chief steps up to the mic (literally, right?) to talk trail etiquette. Padraig is back from his trip to gold country and the Tour de Placer Roubaix. Holding the event in April made for a significantly different...
Paul Casey: Goals are the gasoline that make the vision Speaker 2: Raising the water level of leadership in the Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. It's the Tri-Cities influencer podcast. Welcome to the TCI podcast. We're local leadership and self-leadership expert Paul Casey interviews, local CEOs, entrepreneurs, and non-profit executives to hear how they lead themselves and their teams. So we can all benefit from their wisdom and experience. Here's your host, Paul Casey of growing forward services, coaching, and it could be individuals and teams to smart breakthrough success. Paul Casey: It's a great day to grow forward. Thanks for joining me for today's episode with Rich Breshears he's the owner of Breshears photography. And I asked rich, what is fun or quirky about him? And there were a lot of things, but it came down to musical instruments. So a ukulele and a tuba. Rich. Tell us about that. Rich Breshears: Oh my gosh. So you won't believe this, Paul, but I actually went to college on his full ride scholarship to play the tuba, the way a full ride scholarship. They didn't tell me that was like me. That meant I had to like play in the marching band, which is something I did not want to do. But I was a yes, I was a tuba student all the way through college. I don't know. I thought I was going to be a, like a professional to bust. So it was just really weird, but I still own a tuba. I still play it occasionally Christmas carols and crazy stuff like that. But then a couple of years ago, we were at an auction and we go to a lot of benefit office and I saw like, I just couldn't help. It was like, it was like, you know, the angels were singing and this thing was blowing on the table. I mean, it was this purple ukulele and I picked it up and I just, I was like, Nope, I outbid everybody on it. And I ended up with this purple ukulele and now I play it for my Paul Casey: That's. Awesome. That's awesome. Well, we will dive in after checking in with our Tri-City influencer sponsor, it's easy to delay answering uncomfortable questions. Like what happens to my assets and my loved ones when I die. So it's no surprise that nearly 50% of Americans don't have a will and even fewer have an estate plan, many disabled clients worry that they don't have enough assets to set up an estate plan, but there are important options available to ensure that you have a voice in your medical and financial decision-making. Even if your health takes a turn for the worst estate planning gives you a voice when your health deteriorates or after you're gone. Maren Miller Bam attorney at law is currently providing free consultations to find out more about estate planning or to book an appointment. Call Maren at (206) 485-4066 or visit Salus that's S A L U S-law.com today. Thank you for your support of leadership development in the Tri-Cities so rich. So our Tri-City influencers can get to know you take us through some of the highlights that have led you to where you are today. Rich Breshears: Oh my gosh. It's a long sorted story, but we began our business officially in, in 2000. So we're at our time. Congratulations. Thank you. Thank you. We got January 1st of 2000 was the beginning of our, of our journey as professional photographers. And I started out, I literally, well, backstep just a little bit. I was a social worker who specialized in geriatric mental health and was brought here to the Tri-Cities in 1992 to start the very first assisted living at Hawthorne court retirement center in Kennewick. And I had it was that. So I was promised two years here in this town and look at us 2021. And I'm still here. I, I told my wife, she said, Oh my gosh, I can't believe you're taking me there. We lived in beautiful cor d'Alene Idaho. And she said, Oh my gosh, I can't believe it. So we, we came here. Rich Breshears: I promised her two years, baby. After that two years, we're gone, we're going to get we're going to go somewhere. Cool. And the company that I was with said, well, we have places in Anaheim, California, or we have Dora, just lots of places. I really didn't want to live. So we just kept living here. And then of course changed professions in 2000 and opened our, our studio and, and, and, and then just kind of work through. It's very hard to become a professional photographer, as you probably guessed in this day and age of digital cameras and things people, a lot of times they say to me, rich, what else do you do for a living? I said, well, this is it. This is all I do. This is, this is how I feed my family, pay my mortgage, put the kids through college, do all that by the dog food while we don't have a dog anymore, but a, you know, cat food and, and all of that. Rich Breshears: And the, and I, and I, and they say, Oh my gosh, how, how they look at me? Like, I'm just crazy. Like I'm from outer space, right? And no, it's taken a long time. It's you have to build that. You have to build that up. You have to build your name in the community. You have to, you know, you just have to become some more of a local name. You have to, you know, you have to do good for people and, you know, and you know, you're in and, and have that presence in the community. And that's just what happened for us. We just, we just are who we are. Don't force it. Don't try to be something we're not. And, and if you know me very well, you know, one that's who I am is who I am. And we've just got, been really blessed. I have to tell you more than anything else, just really blessed. And over the years, we, we picked up one staff member and then we picked up on another staff member. And now we're, you know, we've got several staff, people that work under us and, and we just have a great time. We, we play, we, we have a great time as, as, as a, as a team. And I'm just lucky to be part of that group. Paul Casey: And why do you love to do you do, I Rich Breshears: Don't know, Paul, I can't tell you Paul Casey: It's a strangest thing. Rich Breshears: I there's just something about, I may be having the worst day of my life. I mean, maybe just like horrible. Like I, I have sinus problems and things like everybody does in the Tri-Cities that's normal, but I'll be, I'll be like, we're sinus headache, or I, you know, I just don't feel good or, you know, just kinda grumpy. I, you know, you know, whatever, you know, and a client will walk in the door and my lights turn my lights on and we're talking and I start taking images. And I swear to you, not even 30 seconds later, a minute later, I am just having the best day of my life. And, and I'll just be just on cloud nine. And I never thought that would ever happen for me, honestly. It's, it's, I just fall into that, into that crease. It's just like, I'm here, I'm in the I'm in that moment. And the client walks out the door and I'm like, wow, I don't have a headache anymore. I don't feel, you know, I, I feel great. I, life is good. And, and, and, and it's been that way now for 20 years. So I I'm, I don't, I can't explain. I just love what I do. I love working with people. I love finding their, their greatest moments and cherishing the most with those with them. And, and it's just, it's a blast. Paul Casey: Yeah. What's the FA shout out to the Russian olive sinus. Speaker 4: I shouldn't know right here, the here this year. Wow. Paul Casey: But what is the favorite part of the job for you? Rich Breshears: Honestly, I had a family member who, a lady who came in yesterday and picked up her portraits and she walked in the door of the lobby and we, we always, we always present your images right in the lobby when you walk in the front door and she walked in and she just started crying and beautiful lady from Yakima. She's, they've been through a lot in their lives together. And, and she walked through the door and she just started crying. She was, I can't believe how beautiful that is. I just am. That's my family. And I'm just so proud of them. And it's just so beautiful. And that's really the moment where it becomes extremely real. And yeah, I guess it's the social worker in me that kind of goes back to, you know, really cherishing those moments as families. Cause they're, they're, they're, they're short, they're very fleeting, you know, just as you know, they're just so quick. Paul Casey: Mm Hmm. So, you know, you're in your strength zone every day, which is pretty awesome. Right. There's probably some weaknesses though that you have, that you got to maybe staff around or Speaker 4: Work on, you know, or so. So Paul Casey: Where do you sabotage yourself that you have to work on? Rich Breshears: Oh man. You know, it's so funny. I'm a huge fan of Steven Pressfield, the art of war and Speaker 4: [inaudible] Rich Breshears: You very much. And you know, when he talks about resistance, you know, when he talks about things like that, and I'm just, I'm Mr. Resistance. I mean, I don't, I own it all right. I, I sabotage myself constantly. Probably the biggest thing for me is, and it's been really hard because especially in my industry, like I said, I really like being in there with the clients I've been doing all that. Like, do you know? And, you know, you can get into the Photoshopping, you can get into all this stuff and you get into the whole artsy, fartsy side of it all, and you can get really deep into that. And, and you can really trip yourself. What I found for me personally, is I have to do as very little as possible and let my staff and let my wife who actually runs the business, believe it or not, I don't run the business. Rich Breshears: Marianne actually runs the business and she's an amazing operations person. And so she actually, she and the staff actually do everything. I'm just the guy with the camera and I'm really more of a figurehead than anything, which is great for me because it allows me to play and do things like that. But boy, you do not want me making business decisions that are raising them substantial or anything, you know, I'm Mr. idea. But then I, after I get past the idea it's over, like, yeah. And even I, I, I launched an idea on the staff on Monday and they looked at me like I was insane. I mean, they literally, like, I could see the eyes roll back in the backs of their heads. And I thought, wow, I really done fast past the Mark today. You know? And then they kind of come back down to earth. I go, Oh, sorry guys. I'll, I'll, I'll step out. Now Paul Casey: You caused enough damage for one day, right? Yes. So who keeps you accountable? Who keeps you energized to keep pursuing those goals? Is it your wife? Rich Breshears: I would say, yes. We, a couple of things. One to the team, we push each other every day and that's just really normal. The other thing is, is, and I, and I can't say enough about this, but I've been a member of some form of mastermind or, or coaching process since 2004, Marianne actually bought me a coach. Cause I was really struggling back in 2004 and she, she hired a coach for me. And in, it helped immensely back then. And ever since then, I've coached with you personally, a couple of times I've been in, on the coaching end for what you do. And I have had some form of coach either in industry or out of industry or both at any given time since then. And Dan, along with the coaching and the masterminding process of, you know, you're getting into a mastermind group, those people really hold your feet to the fire. And that's, that really helps. And for me personally, having a mastermind outside my industry is extremely helpful. Paul Casey: Yeah. So tell me what mastermind has done for you. And I'm probably going to start a couple more up this year because I just love small groups and the power in a small group of, especially when the peer coaching. Right. Was, was that the benefit for you or were there even other benefits? Rich Breshears: Oh yeah, I would say, and it really it's, it is the pure coaching. It's the, you know, the peers, you know, you, you give a presentation at a meeting and, and you know, you say where you're at with things what's going on and, and people, you know, w and one of your buddies that you love and trust, you know, sitting at the table across from me, he says, rich, you said that last month, that's exactly the same. Or I've heard this same phrase out of youth three months in a row. I'm starting to get concerned about you, things like that. And it really makes, makes you step back and go, okay, I'm really causing my own problems here. I'm, you know, I'm in my own way. And, and, or I'm really hitting that, you know, that Steven Pressfield resistance factor, you know, where I'm, I, you know, I'm saying things, I'm saying words that are really starting to become evident as to where I'm really at with things. And, and then, you know, I literally, while I was sitting in the lobby waiting to, to, to catch up with you for this, all of a sudden, I get a text from one of the guys in the group saying, Hey, buddy, what's going on with this? You know, so, and it's, and it's, it's crazy because that, that, that, that real intimate relationship that you build with, with a tight knit group of people is extremely important. Paul Casey: Yeah. So try see the influencers gather some people around you that'll help you stay accountable. That'll help, they'll encourage you on your goals. Because sometimes when you're a solo preneur, or you've got a small team, you feel like you're alone, and you've got to get people wrapped around, you get out and network with other people who can you make good connections, and you never know what that, that great idea is going to come from. And that, that could be the thing. That's the turning point for you? It Rich Breshears: Really is. It really is. Paul Casey: So replenishment of energy keeps a leader or an entrepreneur at the top of their game. Rich, what do you do to manage stress? Rich Breshears: Who would you use I to break out or the tuber, right? Oh, is anybody knows me? Knows that I have a fairly large presence on Facebook. Maybe not always a positive presence, but I have a large presence ranting. Again, there goes another rich rant, but in which you'll see, like, in this last year, I would say the stress levels have been pretty high this last year, probably. But if you noticed it probably was a lot of posts of me out in the, in the wilderness out hiking way beyond the reaches of, of, of society. And I find myself heading out into the woods a lot, but heading out in or out into the desert or out into, you know, I, I, that's probably why Jesus went out there. Cause I mean, at 40 days, baby, I mean, I could've, I could've spent a lot of time out in the desert this last year and been extremely happy was always when I came back in that I was, I was stressed, freaked out. Rich Breshears: And so there's that there's that stepping away. But then the other part of it is honestly, is, is I've really gotten into meditation. You know, you call it prayer, call it meditation. Collibra, you know, whatever you want to, whatever that, you know, whatever word that fits for you, but being able to step back really center yourself and really take that time. And for me finding those triggers, when I'm, I am starting to stress, sorry, I'm starting to freak out just a little bit. Something is starting to really get in, get into me. I was starting to see some of those triggers and trying to find those triggers when I'm starting to go, who rich you're, you know, you're, you're starting to lose it, you know, and, and really stopping and taking a few deep breaths, really getting myself re-centered again, you know, and it's amazing what five minutes of just, you know, taking some deep breaths and stepping away from things that, that really helps me to get my myself back on track. Paul Casey: Yeah. I was just reading about that today. That to manage your energy, oftentimes it is just the deep breathing. It's amazing what it can do to get you back grounded once again. And it kudos for solitude too. You know, we were in this noisy society, even in COVID, we're in a noisy society with lots of stuff coming at us through news and social media, that to go out there in the, in the desert, in the mountains, there's just something that you get perspective there. Sometimes you get really creative ideas too, especially if you're a creative, that's where I get the best breakthroughs. And yeah, you just come back refreshed and ready to go at it again. Exactly. Well, before we head to our next question with rich, a shout out to our sponsor, located in the Parkway, you'll find motivation, new friends and your new coworking space at fuse. Paul Casey: Whether you're a student just starting out or a seasoned professional, come discover all the reasons to love coworking at fuse come co-work at fuse for free on Fridays in February, enjoy free coffee or tea, Wi-Fi printing conference rooms, and more, and bring a friend. If you use this, where individuals and small teams come together in a thoughtfully designed resource, rich environment to get work done and grow their ideas. Comprised of professionals from varying disciplines and backgrounds. Fuse is built for hardworking, fun, loving humans. Learn more about firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by seven to three, the Parkway in Richland, Washington. So rich over the years, you've you brought some people on your team. You said, and who is that ideal person for you that to have on your team? What were you looking for maybe even in this community, or you think about like, who would be a great employee? Rich Breshears: Oh man. Gosh, Paul, I'm so glad you asked that we were literally working on this right now in the studio. It's so funny because we're kind of a little bit of an expansion process and we are hiring some, some various individuals, but you know, what we found is, and we are, I know it was literally having this discussion with one of my staff members say, well, she's probably one of my key people. She is one of my absolute key people. And, and she said it, and I was so great to hear her say it. She said, you know, you can really hire for the, the tasks are one thing. And a lot of people can do these particular tests. But what we're really looking for is the people with the right personality, the right attitude that fits in with the team. And we're pretty picky about who we hire on that level. Rich Breshears: We found that if you don't fit in with a team, you know, we have a real problem. So we're like I said, we're pretty picky. Very first person that interviews you when you come to work for Berkshires photography is my wife, the boss. And she meets with you very first. And she kind of goes over some real basics, the tasks and things like that. And then, then you meet with the rest of the team. All, you actually get a team interview. The, the entire, the entire team has about a half an hour interview with you and you, we just see how, how they fit when with that team. It's not really the questions that we're asking, what we're really looking for is fit and how that's, how they, we, we listen in and we kind of see, and we have, we get reports back from them. Just how did that, how did that gel, how did they, how are they jelling? And then the last person has to deal with me. So, because I'm the crazy one. So we always have one last interview with rich and that's Speaker 4: Kind of, I'm the, at least the crack head, right? Gladiator. Rich Breshears: Oh, they, they meet with me. And if they write pretty much, if they survive me, they, they, they can handle the crazy brochures. The diary that's, that's about as bad as it gets. But what we found is really is people who it EPR, sheers, photography, it's different for every industry, right? Or every business. But for us personally, people who are willing to chip in people who are willing to set their ego aside, ego is a massive issue in, especially in what we do, because people can be really proud about their work. And so they don't take. And even I tend to, I can be that way. I mean, gosh, I'm a creative for gosh sakes. You know what don't tell me my baby's ugly. You know? So, so, you know, it's one of those things where, you know, you have to be able to take input and say, gosh, what you're doing here, isn't working. We need to do something different and, and, and make that, make it, make it better. So people who are able to set the ego aside and take the input, things like that, those are really important. I have to tell you the polar some really, really bad I'm in common sensical things that I don't know, maybe aren't common sensical anymore, but I have to tell you being on time and actually showing up to work when you show up to work. I don't know if that makes sense, but if you Speaker 4: Isn't that sad that we have to say that even six, come on, you know, like, yeah. Rich Breshears: Show up to work and show up to work with you, show up to work, you know, and, and be there and be present when you're there. I can't tell you it it's, it's, it's I find it quite sad today. The people who are even in their forties and fifties, who will show up on their phone and they're literally on their phone and they've got it right in front of them while you're in the interview sometimes, or things like that. And they're just not able to, and it's, it's so sad and they might be extremely talented people, but they're not able to relate in with the rest of the team. So those are really probably the most critical thing. Paul Casey: Yeah. Yeah. Emotional intelligence. You're, you're describing interpersonal skills, presence, informality, you know, the, the ability to laugh at yourself or, yeah. I mean, when I think of photographers, I would like, I definitely want someone who is present and not other directors. Rich Breshears: Oh my gosh. Well, there's some real freaks in my business. No, no, no, no. Don't avoid it. I might be one of them where there's some people out there who is like, Holy smokes. If they ha, if that person had just old ins of, of people skills to go with their, with their incredible artistic skill, it would be amazing. Like they would kill it. They just need that little tiny bit of people skills. Paul Casey: Right. Right. Like you say, you can train the skills, but you can't train attitude. Right. So we've got to work on yourself and your own attitude and that's, what's going to make you most employable. So you've got to think strategically, do you, are you part of that, looking at the big picture of the business, is that, is that mainly your wife? Do you have team meetings together? How do you, how do you look for a long-term impact for your business? Rich Breshears: That's exactly what we do. So Marianne and I, of course, we work together. We play together, we sleep together 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It's pretty impressive. I know you do this at home. Do not go into this one lightly folks. It's, it's dangerous. And she lets me live, which is really impressive. I, I, she has not fired me or kill me. And so, so the, I have to say, so that's what we do. We, we get together at least once a quarter, we do a massive step away for about five to 10 days every year. At the very beginning of the year, we retreat just the two of us. We get away. There's a huge international conference for photographers that happens somewhere in the world every year in January. And we just coincide our board meeting with that particular week. Rich Breshears: So we step away and we do some really deep dive into what, what is the drive for? What are we doing this year? What's going to happen this year? Where are we headed? And then we come back and we strategize with the team and we start to actually break that out and, and start actually how one gets the team. Buy-in because, cause like I told you, rich comes up with some pretty crazy ideas from time to time. So it to get some team buy in, where are we going to really head with things and, and, and there is a team going to buy into this. And then, and then beyond that, we start to actually, you know, break it down into tasks. And, and then we, we started working on scrims about maybe four years ago and working in scrum. So Paul Casey: Tell everybody what a scrum is. I've read about this. Rich Breshears: Yeah. So working in scrums is, is something that's really high in the technology world. They do this a lot, but we break tasks into, into a two-week period. So what can you get done in two weeks? And so we break it down, break it down, break it down until we can get just a little bite size pieces that people can do. And each one, every Monday morning, we break down our scrums into every Monday we say, okay, this is where we're at in this scrum. This is where we're at in this scrum, this, this project is going on. Where are we at? You know, this brochure, this website, whatever, wherever we're at, working on whatever special tasks we're trying to do for, for development of the company, we break down into those pieces. And then we, we, we just farm that out to each other. Everybody just takes a different task that in their specialty and we just kind of go from there. And, and at the end of two weeks, you look at it and if you got it done, you got it done. If you didn't get it done, it's nobody's fault. Probably other things came up maybe at night, not be important anymore, which happens occasionally because rich has some pretty crazy ideas. And then the third thing is as well, maybe it was just too big of a job. We need to break it down into smaller pieces again. Yeah. Paul Casey: Yeah. And I, I think that's the definition of overwhelmed is not broken down into small enough pieces. So, so that often is, and that doesn't mean you're a failure. That just means your brain couldn't take that in and that big of a chunk. Oh yeah. But I really love how you said you tried to go to a conference every year. You probably get fresh ideas there. And of course I know you've got a lot of awards there too. Congratulations, by the way, along the way that's been pretty cool, but also tying a retreat, a staff retreat to that for strategic planning for the year, a kudos to you for that, I think more, more teams and businesses need to get away more often for that, that change of place. The change of pace leads to a greater perspective. Rich Breshears: Exactly. You're I think you hit it on the head there. It's I think so many times the one thing we need to do is to stop and take a little bit of a step back, a little bit of a break. And then all of a sudden, you free up your mind to, to actually see what you were missing. You're able to go, Oh, that's the piece of the puzzle that we are missing all along. We didn't think about that, you know, but, and it can be just an over the craziest thing. Yeah. I, I, I, I read a book and I'm so sorry. I think it was maybe in one of two tools of the Titans or something like that from Tim Ferris. But about every 45 minutes, you should take a break, no matter task, you're on whatever you're doing, but it's that same concept of, you know, every so often you just need to really step back and just go, Whoa. Okay. Where are we at? What's frustrating me. Ah, wait a minute. Just to get away from it for a while and then come back out. Paul Casey: Yeah. I think that's called the Pomodoro technique where you go for X number of minutes and then you have to take a break and you can just set this little tomato timer in it. It goes off and reminds you to take breaks because most of the people I coach don't take enough breaks. So I'm glad you say slid that in there. Cause that's a, that that is huge to stay fresh and leadership. So with your, with your team and maybe I'll change this question a little bit of with your customers, what do you do to wow. Your customers? So you make even more of a difference or there's some little things that you and your team do to really hit it out of the park. Rich Breshears: Hm. Probably the number one has another great question. But one of the things that we do is we've really carved a specialty when you and I met long time ago. Paul Casey: Oh my God. A leadership group. Yes. Rich Breshears: It was kind of like a sort of a mastermind Paul Casey: Was, was leadership is action. It was called jazzy jigs. Rich Breshears: Well, long time ago, the anyway, one of the things I found was that the best thing to do is to really strike that for a second. What was the question? Why were your customers? Oh my gosh, thank you. Paul Casey: He can, he's going to edit it. Yeah. Rich Breshears: One of the things that we found way back then was that we have to start specialist specializing. We have to actually bear down on one thing that we do and we do it really well because when you and I met Claire back then I was doing everything for everyone. Okay. If you call me and you said, Oh, I've got this, this makeup bottle that needs to be photographed. This is a little product photograph. Can you do that? Yes, I can do that. I, you know, Kenya, can you come photograph this school dance? Yes. I'll come do that. You know, can we, can you photograph my family? Yes, I can do that. A wedding. Yes. I can do that. Oh my gosh. Yeah. I can photograph anything. You know, and I wasn't, I was photographing everything mediocre. I was doing, we as a team, we weren't doing well. Rich Breshears: We were, we were just shot gunning an octopus thing on everything out there and not really doing anything really well. And w the more we bear down on what is it that we do? What is our mission and our vision, and really focusing on that mission and vision and saying, this is the client we want to serve. This is who we serve. And this is what we do really well. And keeping that foremost in every decision we make, the more we've done that. And there's a lot of times I will have, literally, because rich has, like I said, rich has crazy brain. He does all this crazy stuff with thinking all this stuff all the time about, Oh, I could be doing this and I'll have my, one of my production assistants will come in and go rich, where are we doing this? Oh, Oh, wait a minute. Got me. You know, and I'm sometimes the worst member of this, you know? I mean, it's the, owner's going to be sometimes the worst. Speaker 4: Oh my gosh, this is so much fun. I'm going to do this. Right. Rich Breshears: And so, yes, that's, that's probably one of the biggest things that I, I find is just, we have bared down specifically on to working with families. That's our number one thing. That's, that's our mission. That's our vision. That's exactly what we do. And, and bearing down on our mission and vision like that and saying, these are our core values. These are the ways we work and saying, yes, this is what we do. And when somebody calls me and says, Hey, I need this house photographed. I go as much as I would love to. That sounds like the most. Speaker 4: It's amazing ever. I mean, Oh my gosh, I'm doing this for, Rich Breshears: I would go do that. You know? And so that's making, that's Paul Casey: Really good. It's been like a filter then for you, once you identified your ideal client, it became a filter. So you could say no to other things that you're tempted to squirrel too. Right? Rich Breshears: Exactly. Yeah. And right down to, this is how we treat clients. This is what we do. This is, this is the kind of output we, we give our clients so that they're not shorted in the end that we take really good care of each and every one of them. And it's right down to that very last thing, like I said, the most, most important thing is when that family member walks in and sees their image, that mom, she walks in her, that dad walks in and they see those images in the lobby. And you know, and we've done a really good job, you know? And that's the most important thing and everything else, all these other little fun things I want to do. Oh man. I mean, Oh, there's, there's some really cool books outside of town. I could go photograph I'm. It's not what I do. It's not, I mean, yes, that would be so much fun, but it's not what I do. Paul Casey: I think you've, you've coined the term octopus thing. Speaker 4: He made it into. I made a verb. It felt like that my new term, Paul Casey: I love your chuckling when you're listening to this because that's you and that's me. And so, yes. So you have to get clear on your values. You've got to get clear what you do the best. You got to get clear on, where you can add the most value and get the most return on your investment. So that prevents octopus thing. Speaker 4: I love it. I don't know if I can claim that term or not, but I'll tell you what that's you it's you. Right. All right. Rich, Paul Casey: A wrap up. So what advice would you give to new leaders, new entrepreneurs, anyone who wants to keep growing and gaining more influence? Rich Breshears: You know, I have to tell you the number one thing I, I, it just comes to my head is when it comes to being a new entrepreneur and one don't let anybody tell you, you can't do it because there are going to be a lot of people out there who tell you, you can't do it. Yeah. I can tell you, I am one of those people who probably shouldn't be, but can't do it. I mean, like, I mean, I was told so many times how broke I was going to be our poor. I was going to be how quick I was going to go out of business. How awful this was going to be, how nobody's a full-time photographer in this day and age, how impossible it is. And I am walking, talking, breathing here before you today because I didn't believe it. When people told me I couldn't do it. Rich Breshears: Yeah. That's number one. The second thing is, find out what you do well, and do it really well. And third is be good to yourself. Be coming to yourself. You're going to have really crappy days out there. And there's going to be times when you're really feeling beat up. And you're probably the one that's beating yourself up the most. I leave if you're like me and yeah, just give yourself some love because nobody else is going to love you as much as you do. And you're the one who has to put on your socks every morning. And, and that's, that's just the way it's gotta be. So be kind to yourself more than anything else. Paul Casey: Good stuff. Rich self-compassion is huge, especially in the land of COVID right now. So how can our listeners best connect with you? Rich Breshears: Oh my gosh. Facebook, if you're, if you're living dangerous, I'm on Insta as well. I, one of my one rich photo guy on the Insta, there's a on Facebook. It's just a rich for shares. So, you know, go search me if you feel like being that dangerous. I on Twitter, I don't follow that much, but if you do eat me, I will. I, you know, I will see it. I will, I might respond to it. I might not, but that's, that's, that's one reason photo guy as well. I'm on LinkedIn. And, and then you can always just reach me at the, at our studio brochures, professional photography.com. Paul Casey: Awesome. Well, thank you for all the contributions you make to our community. So many nonprofits, your business touches, your generosity is admirable. And thanks for all you do to make the Tri-Cities a great place. Keep leading. Well, let me wrap up our podcast today with a leadership resource to recommend it is called a it's a podcast called business, made simple with Donald Miller. He's the StoryBrand guy changed his podcast name to business, made simple, and it's little, little nuggets of good stuff. If you are running a business, there are some solo episodes where he just pontificates on an area of your business. And then he brings in some great guest experts, and he really gathered some great thought leaders in the industry. So business made simple podcast. If you're looking for some professional growth again, this is Paul Casey. I want to thank my guests. Rich Breshears from Breshears professional photography for being here today on the Tri-Cities influencer podcast. We also want to thank our TCI sponsors and invite you to support them. We appreciate you making this possible so we can collaborate to help inspire leaders in our community. Finally, one more leadership tidbit for the road to make a difference in your circle of influence. Brian costal says, if you nurture your mind, body and spirit, your time will expand. You will gain a new perspective that will allow you to accomplish much more until next time kgs keep growing forward. Speaker 2: Thank you to our listeners for tuning into today's show. Paul Casey is on a mission to add value to leaders by providing practical tools and strategies that reduce stress in their lives and on their teams so that they can enjoy life and leadership and experience their key desired results. If you'd like more help from Paul and your leadership development, connect with him at growingforwardatpaulcasey.org for a consultation that can help you move past your current challenges and create a strategy for growing your life or your teams forward. Paul would also like to help you restore your sanity to your crazy schedule and getting your priorities done every day. By offering you this free control my calendar checklist, go to WW dot, take back my calendar.com for that productivity tool or open a text message two seven two zero zero zero, and type the word growth Paul Casey: Tri-Cities influencer podcast was recorded at fuse SPC by Bill Wagner of safe strategies.
Speaker 1: You have to know where you are before you can determine where you are going, Speaker 2: Raising the water level of leadership in the Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington it's Tri-Cities influencer podcast. Welcome to the TCI podcast. We're local leadership and self-leadership expert. Paul Casey interviews, local CEOs, entrepreneurs, and non-profit executives to hear how they lead themselves and their teams. So we can all benefit from their wisdom and experience. Here's your host, Paul Casey of Growing Forward Services coaching, and it could be individuals and teams or breakthrough success. Speaker 1: It's a great day to grow forward. Thanks for joining me for today's episode with Brad Sapp and feel, and Nate Robertson from Spotted Fox Digital, and they have some fun facts. And for the first time I think they might do one on each other. So who wants to go first? Speaker 3: All right. So, I mean, Brad's got, Brad's got some good ones, but I'll go with an easy one. I would definitely say, you know, some of the funny things that Brad does in the office is he's from Alabama. And so when he says certain words, you know, you could think he's a Tri-Cities boy until, you know, he starts saying compass like a compass and you know, I'm like, is that what did you say? He's like I say, compass and I was like, you mean compass? It's like, yeah. Compass. So definitely some of the language from being from Alabama, are you from Alabama where you're from Alabama roll tide. So that's what we hear a lot in our office. We got a new whiteboard, just a little side note in there. The first thing that was on it was a huge red roll tide. So Speaker 1: Nice, nice. And Brian, what about Nate? Speaker 3: Right. So there's a lot of quirks about Nathan usually has to do with squirrels, but no, it's really, honestly, one of the funniest things, I think Nathan tends to call it like a remote for the TV. He calls it a channel changer. And I just think that's an old term. Like it should be me calling that not you. I feel like it's a channel. It does promote longer though. Speaker 1: Oh, that's hilarious. And Brad said that his wife was starting to come up with a whole list for him. And he said, Oh, thanks, honey. That was enough. Well, we will dive in after checking in with our Tri-City influencer sponsor, it's easy to delay answering uncomfortable questions. Like what happens to my assets and my loved ones when I die. So it's no surprise that nearly 50% of Americans don't have a will and even fewer have an estate plan, many disabled clients worry that they don't have enough assets to set up an estate plan, but there are important options available to ensure that you have a voice in your medical and financial decision-making. Even if your health takes a turn for the worst estate planning gives you a voice when your health deteriorates or after you're gone. Marin Miller bam attorney at law is currently providing free consultations to find out more about estate planning or to book an appointment. Speaker 1: Call Maren at (206) 485-4066 or visit Salus that's S A L U S-law.com today. Thank you for your support of leadership development in the Tri-Cities. Well welcome Brad and Nate. Brad, first time we met was through BNI here in the Tri-Cities and I heard you were the guy for website and all that other stuff. This was your another Brad idea company then, and we've developed a friendship along the way you've done. You've been helping me with my website for years and years. And then Nate got to meet you along the ways you guys merged into a Spotted Fox digital. And you've done a lot of video for me and both testimonial videos and my not my speaker demo reel videos. So it's been a great compliment for our two businesses. So glad you're a part of this today. So let's dive in so that our Tri-City influencers can get to know you take us through a couple of your career highlights that led you to this current company and tell us why you love what you do Speaker 4: Well. So I actually started my career in Alabama. I was working for a software as a service company. We were working with hospitals and that's actually how I ended up in the Tri-Cities working with Kennewick general and Kadlec can went general, obviously is not Rios. They've gone through rebranding, but that's how I ended up here in the Tri-Cities. And that's how I started. That's how I actually built my relationships in marketing here locally started doing a web design for a local marketing agency. And I did some with regional agencies here and that's kind of how I ended up starting my business. So that was probably one of the biggest moves that actually come into the Tri-Cities and then joining BNI, you know, joining BNI has led to a lot of connections that led me to you all and led me to partnering with Nathan. And if it worked for that, you know, group of, or that organization and the people that I met through that I wouldn't be sitting here today. Speaker 1: Wow. Very cool story. Nathan, how about you? Speaker 4: Yeah, so I mean, I started, you know, Tri-Cities local, small town, you know, loved the idea of advertising from, you know, when I was little. And so when I was going to school, I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I knew it was something to do in advertising. And so I did some odds and end jobs and eventually landed my first job, which wasn't easy in a radio station here in the tri cities, which was used to be called NNB radio. So this is going to date me a little bit, which is crazy. Cause you know, I always think I'm young, but you know, let's be honest. So I got gray hair, I'm the silver Fox now. So, you know, but was able to land my first Speaker 3: Job in radio. And I enjoyed coming up with the ideas for clients and, you know, just found out that I have this unique niche to being able to, to come with a unique idea and not just a cookie cutter idea. And I did that for a while. And then I actually ended up working for a spotted Fox, which was a deal company. And when I was working there, I was doing mainly sales. I grew the Tri-Cities from zero and was able to build this up and then eventually ended up purchasing the company. And at that time it wasn't my dream. And I really liked the advertising aspect of it, but you know, ended up falling into the video side and on the side because I was able to build a team on the deal side. So I started doing some video production on the side and you know, that took off. Speaker 3: And then that's when I met Brad because Brad, we, we ended up working in connect workplace where Brad was and I met Brad there and I was like, hey man, you know, could you give me a quote on a website? And so we said, I was looking for videographers. Yeah. So, so long story short, we started working together and eventually quote unquote, we started living together, right? So we're in the same. I like convinced them to get an office space with me at a connect workplace. And he moved in and then from there we just started working together and everything was flowing so well that we said, you know what? We just need to partner. And then that's when Spotted Fox digital became right and and use our two strengths. And now we do social media management. We do paid ads online, paid ads, SEO, you know, kind of a one-stop shop for your marketing needs. Speaker 1: How many staff do you have now? Speaker 4: We have a total of 11, Speaker 1: 11 staff. Yep. And over there connect workplace behind, behind Costco back in their great office space area. And so why do you both love what you do? I mean, Nathan, I'm sort of hearing that the creativity is a big deal for you. Speaker 3: No, I would say, you know, one of the biggest things is, is delivering and, and coming up with a concept and an idea for a client and then, you know, the most nerve-wracking part is you come up with this idea, you're sitting at a meeting and you're like so excited, you know, and then you leave that meeting and you're like, Oh my gosh. Now I have to make this become a real thing. Right. And so the cool thing is, is, is actually being able to see that from an idea into fruition of like, wow, this actually happened and the client's happy and what we delivered to them. And so that's where I get my, you know, enthusiasm, enthusiasm and excitement for what we do. Speaker 1: How about you, Brad? Speaker 4: I would agree. I, my, my favorite part is really just, you know, helping businesses grow and it, you know, being able to form a team and have a team of people where it's not just me with the idea and then going to execute it, you know, having a team of people that can rely on and have their focus and their strengths so that we can deliver the best product possible. Speaker 1: Yeah. Very cool. And so staying in your strengths, multiplies, your influence, you both have strengths. How do you add the most value to this partnership now that you have 11 people on the, what would you say? Like your sweet spot is Speaker 4: Personally? You know, I think for me, it's, it's really making sure that we're like, day-to-day that we're doing the things that we need to be doing to get to where we want to be. Like, you know, not just, not just making sure that we're checking things off our list, but we're actually thinking long term of like, what are the things that we're doing today? They're going to get us to where we want to be tomorrow. Definitely. I don't think that's the biggest value that I bring to the team. Speaker 3: Yeah. I would say, you know, the visionary portion of myself is always thinking big, big dreams. Like we're going here, you know, one day we're going to be bigger than Apple. I dunno. I mean, that's what gets Speaker 4: Me out of bed in the morning is, Speaker 3: Is, is thinking big. And sometimes that can be really scary. And you have days where you, you know, as the visionary where it's really scary and you don't know about those dreams but being around a group of people like the team that we have, it's always like an injection of being like, yes, you know, we can, we can do it. And you know, honestly, I learned from a young age, like anything you set your mind to, like you can do. And so that's been a huge strength of mine is Speaker 1: Yes. So on the flip side, then you have to be self-aware of your weaknesses, right? So what's your favorite way to sabotage yourself? Speaker 3: I'll be honest. So Brad points at me, Speaker 4: This is an easy one. This is an easy one Speaker 3: All day. And I admit to it honestly, it's spelling and grammar. I'll be completely honest. That is my biggest weakness is I call myself a creative speller. So I'm able to spell a word, how many different ways Brad, I don't know, a hundred. So, you know, that's my weakness, but I also let people know that, you know, and I own it and that's, and I try to get better at it. And you know, I got Grammarly, I got all this stuff, but at the end of the day, I accept it as like, this is something I struggle with. And I have my team help me, you know, Hey, I'm gonna send this email out, this important email. I have them check it out. Like, it's definitely not something I hide. I let people know, I'm a bad speller, but I have a lot of other, you know, strengths to overcome. Speaker 1: Yeah. Like I said to you, you're aware of it and you make that known so you don't try to cover it up, which would just make everyone talk about you behind your back. And you also use tools like Grammarly, which is that's a good plug for that program and using your team to, because there's probably a few of them that are very strong on editing and proofreading and things like that. How about you, Brad? Speaker 4: Okay. So I've been thinking about this a lot and you know, I'm not, not trying to call him Nathan out here, but I think he's kinda my favorite sabotage on the same exact thing, because you know, it be like, Hey Brad, can you review this? And so it's really kind of controlling that in, in, in it's more of processes. It's making sure that we're following the process because it's easy with this guy. He has so many ideas all day long that, you know, and it's fun to collaborate. I love that part of it. I love like the creativity, but we kind of have a system in place now to where we try to parking lot his ideas and we discuss them on a certain time instead of like coming up or like talking about them every time they come up. Cause I thought, I thought I had good ideas before I met this guy and I, he still has good ideas and he just has a lot more of that. Speaker 3: But Brad used to be nice enough where you'd actually listen and be like, okay, what do you want to do? And now he's like, you know, Nathan "parking lot it" that's our new term Speaker 1: Verb. Speaker 3: And then I'm like, okay, I'm going to wait until next Tuesday. Speaker 1: Yes. Land the plane, land the plane. So I'm going to say, see you next Tuesday. Cut that out. So yeah. What are your meetings look like then? Because it sounds like it's a lot of fun. You know, you've got lots of ideas to play with, but what's your meeting rhythm, Speaker 4: You know, it's very structured. We have, we have a, we have a, an agenda for each of our meetings and it's set up, you know, it's a, it's very systemized where we have an ice breaker and we talk about like our best, our best personal thing. That's happened to us during the week and our best business event. And we kind of go through that as a team and then we, what else is on the agenda? So Speaker 3: Then we go through, I think, highlights of like what's happening, Speaker 4: Customer, employee highlights. What's good. Are there any issues we need to address? And then we have our parking lot Speaker 3: And well rocks first. So rock reviews. So our rock reviews are basically what we come up with as a an individual. And so our company rocks, so we offer a program EOS, which is its traction, the book traction, what is it? Them Speaker 1: Entrepreneurial operating system. Speaker 3: So we go EOS and that's the program that we've taken for our business. That's done pretty well. But do we want to cut that out? No, that's cool. Okay, cool. Speaker 4: Okay. So then after the rocks we have, it's called, I think it's called IDs. I'm not sure of the terminology, but then we identify, we identify, discuss and solve all our issues. So any of the issues that have been parking lauded for that week, we go through, we identify the top ones, and we start going through and solving them. And some weeks we get through one or two other weeks, we knock everything off the list. You know, it all depends on how complex it is, but we try to knock through those things and we just identify the most important ones and get through them. And it's, it really helps us as an organization to focus on the most important things and do it a specific time and not be worried about it every time something comes up and it just makes us a lot more efficient. Speaker 3: Yeah. Having the meetings actually structured is, is really good. And honestly has made a huge difference because a lot of times Brandon are so busy and not having that structure. There causes a little bit of chaos and nobody walks away from the meeting with a lot of value. And, and now I, I definitely feel like Armenians have gotten a lot stronger. Speaker 1: Yeah. Traction definitely recommends Gino. Wickman is the author. Want to give him lots of credit for that? And big rocks are your priorities, your top priorities for the quarter. Right. You set them for the quarter and then yeah, you have your a, was it level 10 meetings I think is your, is your weekly. And then the IDs and it's, I think what's cool is that the issues get solved at a certain time and they don't, they don't consume the other meetings, but it's like, alright, this is our time to bang these out that stuff. Well, rarely do we achieve our highest potential by ourselves. So who keeps you accountable and energized to getting your own professional and personal goals accomplished? Speaker 4: Man? I would say what keeps me personally energized is, is the people that we work with. I think that, you know, and the, in our clients, you know, and looking at what they want and growing people, not, not the dollar, you know, I think a lot of people get held up on, on a dollar and making, you know, making a living instead of actually making an impact on someone's life. So that's definitely something that keeps me motivated is it's not just about going to work and, you know, just making money. It's about when, you know, I leave this place one day. I want people to say, Nate was a great guy. I worked for him and he taught me this. And that's why I am where I am today. So Speaker 1: Making a living, making an impact, not making a living love that. That's that's good stuff. Speaker 4: *inaudible* Speaker 1: How about you, bro? It keeps you accountable and inspired, energized. Speaker 4: So yeah, so I would say, I, I thought about this. I think there's like three things that keep me personally and professionally accountable each week. And we've mentioned a couple of them. One of those is, is on, on a professional level. There's two things. There's the level 10 meeting that we have each week, because that really helps us keep a pulse on what's going on, but it also holds us accountable for the rocks, all the to-dos and making sure that we're staying on task. But you know, I, I'm very much a, you know, professional accountability system each week, you know, holding, held accountable for making sure that we're bringing business to our networking team and that we're getting that back. And then personally, and even professionally you Paul, you're your business case plug there? I noticed, I noticed a big difference when, when I didn't have that, you know, I was, I did other things like mastermind and things like that, but that it was from a different perspective. I noticed a huge difference when I came to you, Paul, and you were helping me because it, it really put in my mind the things that were easy to forget about, you always reminded me of, Oh, you need to be working on this and this and this. And if it weren't for you holding me accountable each month, I would never look at those things. And it's all legislative. It looks like that. And it's made, it's made a big difference, Speaker 1: Right? Yeah. Without accountability things fall off the radar, don't they? And so even your park, the parking lot concept keeps things back on the radar, so you see, can bring them up. So yeah, coaches, BNI group, so many good ways to surround yourself because as an entrepreneur you could get, and especially in COVID, it's like double isolation. So it is great to surround yourself with people that keep you pumped up and accountable, then there's replenishing your energy. I was just reading in a book before coming over here today that, you know, time is a finite thing, but energy you can actually replenish. So that keeps you at the top of your game. What do you do to manage stress, Speaker 3: Manage stress, man, I know what Brad does, Brad meditates. And this is something that I wish I could get better at because I've done it a few times and it's been, it's been really good, but yeah, Speaker 4: It's consistency. It's the consistency. Yeah. Speaker 3: I would say just getting outside, like, and getting, putting myself in, like when I'm at work, I can get re-energized just by going on to you, maybe, maybe a social media shoot with some of our social media team. Right. And I'm going through and I'm like, thinking, oh man, we're doing this. This is great. You know? Or like, I love the video shoots. Right? Like a lot of times I get varied and just the day-to-day of being a CEO hopper and doing that side of things, but it's nice to actually go and actually be a part of like what you're creating. And so that's really actually energizing to me instead of doing the day-to-day it's, it's switching things up, I guess, at the end of the day. Yeah. Speaker 1: Switching things up. Yeah. Changing the state. I think Tony Robins says and reconnecting to what you do best. Sounds like also pumps you up. So breath meditation, anything else? Yeah. Speaker 4: So meditation is definitely a key for me. It really kind of helps it's it's really kind of, I don't want to say mind control, but that really is kind of what it is. It helps you kind of control that monkey brain, you know, cause it's easy to really get stuck in your head and you know, whether, whether negative thoughts or positive thoughts or whatever, it just helps you kind of control that and helps you. Like it just helps you think about things without reacting first. And I've noticed a huge difference since, since meditating. But the other thing that I do is a walk and I'll either listen to music or listen to podcast book. That's always helpful, but music has a huge stress relief for me. Speaker 3: That raises one for me, like fitness working out. Because a lot of times when I'm in that slump and I've been working really hard and maybe I through working out, out the window for a little bit, then you started really hitting ceilings. And I feel like once you start working out and you know, I am Peloton this year, cause I've never done, you know, spin or anything like that. But my brother-in-law has been doing it for like a year. And I was like, okay. I was like, I'm going to buy one of these sayings. COVID the gym's closed. And I need someone to push me. And so it's been awesome. I mean, when I get off of it, my brain feels rejuvenated. Like I feel more confident. I think that's the biggest thing for me in fitness is like, when I got done working out, I'm like I lifted these weights. I was on the Peloton. I'm freaking confident and I go to work, and I'm guaranteed. People could tell like, wow, now you got a good workout. So he's on my butt. You worked out today. You didn't work out yesterday. Exactly. I showed up yesterday. It was a long day Speaker 1: Exercise. The best depression Buster there is. Well, before we head into our next question on a hiring and people development, a shout out to our sponsor located in the Parkway, you'll find motivation, new friends and your new coworking space at fuse. Whether you're a student just starting out or a seasoned professional, come discover all the reasons to love co-working at fuse come co-work at fuse for free on Fridays in February, enjoy free coffee or tea, Wi-Fi printing conference rooms, and more, and bring a friend. If you use this, where individuals and small teams come together in a thoughtfully designed resource, rich environment to get work done and grow their ideas. Comprised of professionals from varying disciplines and backgrounds. Fuse is built for hardworking, fun, loving humans. Learn more about us at fusespc.com or stop by seven to three, the Parkway in Richland, Washington. So gentlemen hiring and people development crucial for leadership. If you could clone the ideal spotted Fox digital employee for your organization, what traits are you looking for when you go into interviews? Speaker 3: Oh, that's a great question, Paul, you know, people are heated, any good organization. We, we value our culture. We have set core values that we really follow. So they really have to align up with that first and foremost. But as far as key traits go, I think, you know, knowing somebody that has really good interpersonal relations, that's super important. Whether it's internal with our team outpacing for clients, having a strong relationship with people is super important. And then, you know, having good organization and really like leadership, being able to run a team of people. Those are really key traits that I always look for. If we're looking for somebody for our leadership team. Speaker 1: Yeah. What's interesting about that is you didn't say anything about social media skills or web code. I mean, you started with values in her personal and organizational leadership skills. Speaker 3: Yeah. Hiring people for me is always a really exciting task, but sometimes I'm not the best person to make the final decision. I'll be honest. And that's because I, I I've done some like leadership and kind of personality traits and I'm the kind of person that I see. Like everybody has potential, you know, I'm like I send to me and I, it could be any, Oh man, that guy would hire him. And after he had done, I'm like, I feel like we should just hire them. All right. So it's good to have Brad to like really focus me and, and you know, our team because we actually have our team that helps us hire, like, it's a big thing because instead of Brad and I just making that decision, we have key members on our team that it's like, Hey, you're going to be working with this person. And so making sure that they can work well together. And so I think that that's definitely a, you know, when it comes to hiring, it's not always for me an easy decision, but with the help from my team, it definitely gets it. Speaker 1: That's why it's nice to have a hiring team or hiring panel with multiple personalities on the team. You can. Speaker 3: Yeah. And we deal with so many different personalities between, you know, just our clients and even staff, you know? So you have to be able to work with, that's all we've been really blessed. We have, yeah, we have, we have an awesome team. Speaker 1: So when have you taken some lumps in hiring? Like what, you know, I've been walking along the journey with you bred for a while, so there's been successes and you know, some that didn't work out where have you seen like maybe like, Oh, we sh we should have seen that. Or they didn't have that trader that value. Speaker 3: Oh man. That's hitting close to home. No. Yeah. You want to take that? Yeah. Yes. Can you repeat the question? So honestly, a lot of times when you're hiring in, and you're not thinking of the actual fulfillment of the position, because you have to be thinking of all, you know, we were low, you know, I'll give you a sense. We were looking for a certain person to fill a certain void. Right. And the main thing on that void was the personality and the skills of communicating with our clients and those things. Right. But we didn't really pay attention to the actual like functionalities and what that person can do. And so when we brought them on our team, it was, it was a lot more training to the other sides of that part of the business that we were thinking they already may have had, but we were more focused on tunnel vision and they are that perfect person for that. But we weren't really thinking of the other side of fulfillment. And so I think that definitely realizing that they, and they have to be well-rounded and not just think, well, this is going to solve all our problems because the last person we had was good at this, but really what we need is this right? So it's a kind of mix in between. Speaker 1: Yes. And you do learn from what didn't work. Speaker 3: Yeah. The important thing is like, you're always going to have, they're always going to be things that don't work out. You know, you're going to have quote unquote failures, but as long as you take something away from that and you learn and you better, that it's all part of that it's yeah. Speaker 1: Yes. So I've had emerging leaders tell me they want to grow thinking strategically. So you both said that it's sort of your strength spot to look at the big picture. You both described yourself as visionary working on the business. How would you say an emerging leader can look at the big picture and what does that look like for greater long-term impact? Speaker 3: Well, for me, its really time blocking, you know, walking out the time to do it with our level 10 meetings, but also like personally, like blocking out specific times of the day that I'm supposed to be doing specific activity. And as long as I have those, or as long as I get those done, I feel like that's a successful day. The other part of that would be our, our long-term planning that we do. We, we blocked out like three to four days a year where the entire day is focused on that alone and we've walked everything out and that's all we talk about. And so I think again, just blocking that time out is a huge, huge deal. No, and I totally agree with Brad. And I think one of the biggest things is that you're not just time-blocking for yourself, but we actually tie block with our team to complete our vision. So that way, you know, you're able to, to all be on the same track without there being confusion of where are we going? And maybe Brad has certain goals in his mind that he's not sharing with me. And so when we do it as a team and we time block, it really has a huge impact. And I do definitely think that you should do personal time as well, but when it comes to goals of the business, definitely, you know, the team is definitely key. Speaker 1: Yeah. And our teams are waiting for us as leaders to cast that vision. I think it gets them excited when they know where the owners are going, where the leaders are going, and they get confused when they don't know where they're going. Or like you said, your goals are in your head, but I can't read your mind. So, and then Brett, you know, I love time-blocking, that's like huge. So, so if you're trying to find time for things, that's going to fall off the radar, but if you literally calendar that appointment with yourself, that's going to happen. I also, like I added about the retreat. I think every team should do these chunks of time where you just look out a little bit further and you can gain a lot of ground by doing that. So that's the macro level now to the micro level, what small acts of leadership do you try to both do daily as much as possible to make a positive difference in your team? Speaker 3: I'll definitely say leading by example, and you know, that's not always an easy thing to do as an owner. You know, sometimes you just want to roll in at 11 o'clock and, you know, Hey, I own the business. Right. But I think sometimes, you know, being the first one at the office and the employees seeing that I think that's been a huge impact and just kind of letting people know like, Hey, I'm in this to like, you know, yes you do. You know, you work for me, but I work with you. So yeah, I would agree with that. And I think the other thing that we do as a, as a leadership team, or as a company is really like showing our appreciation, not just for, not just for our clients, but for our, our employees, like showing them recognition of the things that they do well and and rewarding them when a client compliments what they do. Speaker 3: Oh yeah. We have a breadboard. Yeah. We have a brag board and, and we have goals for each department on certain amount of kudos or things that they're supposed to get each, each quarter. And we look at that all the time and I've noticed a huge difference in our team. They're, they're just so much more excited on a daily basis of like, even when they get a compliment, it's, there's just so much more excitement among the team together. I also like to add onto that brag board thing. I think it's such a cool, like a lot of people don't want to brag. I'm not going to probably like, I don't mind being like, look, you don't look at this, you know, two people I know, and I'm are close to. I like to and think a lot of people like hold those things inside. And I think it's important to show them and have a place where they can go, Hey, look, this happened to me. And its a, it's a great place to put it. And it's a place where we can see like, Hey, they're doing a great job because some of the times we see these employees are doing great things, but we just never hear about it. And so we put a place where they can actually show us or tell us where it's a safe place to do it. So yeah, that's been super helpful. Speaker 1: Brag board. Love it, love it. So if one of our TCI listeners asked you, like what, what two to three books must they read to grow their leadership or their entrepreneurial skills? Or maybe it's a resource like a website or, you know, just a place that you go to grow. Where would you point them? Paul Casey, another $5. [inaudible] Speaker 3: I would definitely, I mean, I'll be honest. I'm not a huge book reader. I like audio books, but I would, for one of them, I'd say traction and let me be completely honest. Have I finished reaction completely, almost I'm on the last final, like 20 minutes, I think? But the biggest thing I would say is, is, you know, finding your niche. So mine is YouTube. Like we learned a lot of stuff like video production wise on YouTube and, and we were able to emblem emulate what we liked and, and to, you know, a process or product. So for me, you know, Speaker 4: Years ago it was not much of a book reader, but in the last like several years, I've definitely become more avid reader. But I also do listen to audio books. I have a few favorites, but I would say, what are the most impactful books that I've ever read from a leadership standpoint is relentless by Tim Grover. I think that's an amazing book. It doesn't necessarily talk about like leadership from a business standpoint, but it talks about leadership from kind of a team standpoint. And I think that, that, and it, it talks a lot about basketball and, you know, your major superstars who went through this crazy coaching, but it talks about what they had to do to become that super Rockstar. And so I think that's a good foundation. And for me, it's a very inspiring book. So I always, always liked to pick that up. I love listened to it several times and then the other there's two other books, traction, I would agree. And then what's the Stephen Covey book, cost Speaker 1: Seven habits of highly effective people. Speaker 4: And that one's a really good foundational book, Speaker 3: Paradigm shift and podcasts. I mean, I had been listening to John Maxwell. That's been a huge, a huge, I would say, a source of leadership information and, you know, he has a really good way of putting it across. So that's been cool. Speaker 1: So finally, what advice would you give to new leaders, new entrepreneurs or anyone who wants to keep growing and gaining more influence? Speaker 4: I would say really just always trying to improve yourself, always try to constantly refine you're never going to, Speaker 3: There's never a, there's never an informant, you know, you're always like, I think when you're, when you're young, you kind of think, Oh, well, I'm going to, I'm going to get to this point and everything's just gonna be great. It's, it's just, it's not like that. It's, there's always things to improve on. There's always just skills that you can continue to refine. And let's say just always be working on that. Okay. Yeah. And on the leadership side, a lot, a lot of people will put in, you know, as a boss quote, right? Like, and, and don't be a boss, be a leader and don't just tell people to do things, lead them to do that. So I think that that's where a lot of people, when they step into a leadership role is, they feel like, Oh, well, I just need to tell people what to do and do this and do that. And that's the wrong way of leadership. I think it’s; it's being on the, in those trenches with that employee and, and helping them get to where they want to go. And that's a leader, you know, Speaker 1: You're here. Well, how can our listeners best connect with you too? Speaker 3: I would say, you know, they can always check out our website, Spotify, digital.com or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. We're always there. We're here for you guys. Speaker 1: Well, thanks again for all you do to make the Tri-Cities a great place and keep leading. Well, Rob, Speaker 3: Thanks, Paul. Speaker 1: Let me wrap up our podcast today with a leadership resource to recommend it is the book managing transitions by William Bridges. So change is really hard for most people and maybe the structure of change is the easy part as a leader, but we forget sometimes that change has an emotional impact on people. And if you don't have a strategy, you don't have someone on it. Then oftentimes people will resist that change to the bitter end. So he breaks into three groups talking about the letting go part, the neutral zone and the new beginning. And if you don't have a strategy for all three change is going to be a lot harder. So managing transitions by William Bridges. Again, this is Paul Casey. I want to thank my guests, Brad Sapp, and field, and Nathan Robertson from Spotted, Fox digital for being here today on the Tri-City influencer podcast. And we want to thank our TCI sponsor and invite you to support them. We appreciate you making this possible so we can collaborate to inspire leaders in our community. Finally, one more leadership tidbit for the road to help you make a difference in your circle of influence and the spirit of Brad's meditation here at John Kabat-Zinn says mindfulness is about love and loving life. When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life and your actions happened in accordance with that until next time, KGF keep growing forward. Speaker 2: Thank you to our listeners for tuning in to today's show. Paul Casey is on a mission to add value to leaders by providing practical tools and strategies that reduce stress in their lives and on their teams so that they can enjoy life and leadership and experience their key desired results. If you'd like more help from Paul in your leadership development, connect with him at growingforwardatpaulcasey.org for a consultation that can help you move past your current challenges and create a strategy for growing your life or your team forward. Paul would also like to help you restore your sanity to your crazy schedule and getting your priorities done every day by offering you his free control My calendar checklist, go to www.take back my calendar.com for that productivity tool or open a text message two seven two zero zero zero, and type the word grown Speaker 1: Tri-Cities influencer podcast was recorded at fuse SPC by Bill Wagner of Safe Strategies.
Paul Casey: So a goal is like pulling the rope when you cannot clearly see what is on the other end. You know the treasure is there, but you can only see a shadowy outline. With each pole, the treasure becomes more and more clear until there it is right in front of you. Speaker 2: Raising the water level of leadership in the Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington, it's the Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast. Welcome to the TCI Podcast where local leadership and self-leadership expert Paul Casey interviews local CEOs, entrepreneurs, and non-profit executives to hear how they lead themselves and their teams, so we can all benefit from their wisdom and experience. Here's your host, Paul Casey of Growing Forward Service, coaching and equipping individuals and teams to spark breakthrough success. Paul Casey: It's a great day to grow forward. Thanks for joining me for today's episode with Justin Raffa. He is the artistic director of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers. And a fun fact about Justin he said his little whistling thing, Justin talk about that. Justin Raffa: It might be easier if I just do a little demonstration Paul. Should we just- Paul Casey: Please do. Justin Raffa: ... and then I'll explain later? Paul Casey: Okay. Justin Raffa: [inaudible 00:01:16] So there's a little taste of this annoying whistling approach that I learned as a kid. I use my teeth and I look really goofy if you were just watching me. [inaudible 00:01:35] this funny embouchure but I can do things like that. That's the piccolo solo from Stars and Stripes Forever- Paul Casey: Yes, it is. Justin Raffa: ... and I've learned how to do the little trills and yeah. Paul Casey: Yes, and it was funny because we laughed about this because I used to have a gap or a chip tooth right in the front for like 20 years. And I was able to also whistle through that gap, so that's pretty funny. Well, we're going to dive in after checking with our Tri-City Influencer sponsor. Paul Casey: It's easy to delay answering uncomfortable questions like, "What happens to my assets and my loved ones when I die?" So it's no surprise that nearly 50% of Americans don't have a will, and even fewer have an estate plan. Many disabled clients worry that they don't have enough assets to set up an estate plan. But there are important options available to ensure that you have a voice in your medical and financial decision-making, even if your health takes a turn for the worst. Estate planning gives you a voice when your health deteriorates or after you're gone. Marin Miller Bam, attorney at law, is currently providing free consultations. To find out more about estate planning or to book an appointment, call Marin at (206) 485-4066 or visit Salus that's S-A-L-U-S -law.com today. Paul Casey: Thank you for your support of leadership development in the Tri-Cities. Well, welcome, Justin. I was privileged to meet you many years ago when I was working at a church and you came alongside the music director there and was helping with oratorios and then the Messiah, and it's like, "There's this young guy coming in here with all this musical talent." I remember that. And then through leadership at Tri-Cities, we've had a chance to work together, volunteer together through that to promote leadership development in the Tri-City. So, great that I get to interview today. Justin Raffa: Thank you so much for this opportunity, Paul. I'm a big fan of the work that you do on this leadership front for our community. I've had the pleasure of working with you as a facilitator with one of my groups. And I don't know that I'm a Tri-City influencer. My friends like to call me a pusher and an instigator. They use those terms a lot, but I'm delighted to have a chance to talk with you today. Thank you for the invitation. Paul Casey: We could change this podcast because it's still an eye, Tri-Cities Instigator, right? I think that would be really creative. Well, help our Tri-City Influencers get to know you. Take us through a couple of your career highlights that led you to where you are now. Justin Raffa: I'm a South Jersey native. I grew up outside of Philadelphia in the part of New Jersey where it gets its nickname, the Garden State. I was heavily involved in music for years. I loved singing in church choirs as a kid, and then in all of my different levels of school, I was always involved in music. And it was about my junior year of high school where I thought, "Maybe I could do this for a living." And my high school choir director, who was my favorite teacher of my favorite class, gave me an opportunity that year. And she asked me, "Hey, would you like to teach the class? Would you like to run a couple of rehearsals on this piece and conduct it in the concert?" And I couldn't believe that she would give me that opportunity as a student. She sat in the back of the room and I was down there running the show and I really got hooked. So I'm grateful for those opportunities that I had in high school. Justin Raffa: I went off to my undergraduate degree. I had a lot of opportunities to intern with volunteer community choirs, learning more about the nonprofit side of my industry, which is my bread and butter now, which is what I love the most. Being an intern for a variety of choirs in the Princeton area in Central Jersey, I went to Westminster Choir College in Princeton, not part of Princeton University, but the university was just a 10-minute walk from my campus, so I did spend a lot of time there. But I just took every opportunity I could, which a lot of performing artists do early in the career. You never say no. Whatever chance you have to get in front of people to get on the podium conducting a group, I just ate up, eat, slept and breathed music for so long. Justin Raffa: My first teaching job was in Bisbee, Arizona, a little town on the border of Mexico. It was 2,500 miles away from everyone and everything I ever knew. I'm an only child, so when I finished my undergrad, I was just ready to get out of Jersey, to get out of the east coast. I was just ready for an adventure. And as a young teacher, you want to go out there and change the world. So I thought, "Let's take this job." Justin Raffa: I didn't speak a lick of Spanish. Most of my students there were bilingual. I am as pasty gringo complexion, I had to stay calm. My father's family is Sicilian and my mother's kind of generic UK, but I had a really wonderful time. I was 22 years old and I was out there by myself and had a chance to run the choir and drama departments of the Bisbee High School. And I was also quickly promoted as the lead conductor, the artistic director of the Bisbee community course. So here I am now 22 also in front of adults and getting to pick music and program concerts and things that if I had stayed on the east coast, I probably would have still had to be the intern for the another decade of my life. Justin Raffa: It's just very saturated. My industry back on the east coast, there's a lot of us looking for work, so at the border of Mexico, I had a lot of opportunities and I'm grateful for that. I got to test things out. I made a lot of mistakes in my first couple of years of teaching and working with adult choirs. I also was on the city of Bisbee's Arts Commission, which is where I first stepped into the government sector of advocating for arts. Justin Raffa: I did my master's degree a couple of years after, 27 years old, I needed a job, and I found this interesting little community called the Tri-Cities in Washington State. I'd never spent any time in the Pacific Northwest. I was interested. I was ready to move to another corner of the country ready for that next adventure. I came up for an interview, they liked me, I liked them, and 13 years later, here I am. Justin Raffa: And again, I was 27 years old when Mid-Columbia Mastersingers hired me to be its lead conductor, the artistic director. That's a big responsibility for someone that's still fairly early in their career. The board took a chance on me and I'm grateful for that. And that original team and I worked very close together to really build and start to rebrand the organization. Paul Casey: Yeah, it sounds like say yes to opportunities, I heard in that story. I heard about mentorship in that story. I heard take a chance on somebody that's showing promise, so a lot of good leadership lessons. Justin Raffa: But the salary that the Mastersingers offered me that first year, by the way, which I am happy to share. I don't mind talking about money. I know some people get weird about money. It was basically a $4,000 stipend for the year. And my parents back in Jersey were like, "You're doing what?" Paul Casey: For the year. Justin Raffa: "You're doing what? You're moving to another corner of the country to take on a job that pays you four grands." I was like, "Mom, dad, you got to start somewhere in this industry. It's a small-sized nonprofit performing arts organization. I think I can invest in this and build it, and it's going to give me the opportunities that I want to work in my field." Justin Raffa: I'm glad that we've been able to build the organization and my salary along with it in these past 13 years. But yeah, taking chances and recognizing that, for a lot of us who are artists money is definitely secondary. And we hope that it comes, but it takes a lot of time to build up your experience where you're at a level where you're being compensated for what you think you're worth. But I was happy to do it when I was 27, or I actually I would do it again now. Paul Casey: Well, that's a real love for it. So being in your strength zone can multiply your influence, so how do you add the most value to your organization? Justin Raffa: I have talked a lot over the years about getting the right people on the bus. Paul Casey: Yes, the bus. Justin Raffa: And for me, when the Mastersingers hired me, the organization was a 30ish thousand-dollar annual budget, pretty small, seven or eight members of the board of directors, most of which were singers or singer spouses. So very much the early stages of what nonprofits look like. So I was very intentional and strategic from day one about who do we want on the board? What other staff positions do we want to create? And who are the best people to fill those jobs? Justin Raffa: The board and I, we are very protective of who we bring into that inner circle, because we know that one bad apple can really- Paul Casey: So true. Justin Raffa: ... poison the water. So we've been very diligent about who we invite to come on our board. And as we've grown staff positions, I am fastidious about who we're hiring. I'm on all the selection panels. And that's part of my role as artistic director, when we're bringing additional artistic roles, just, you got to get the right people on the bus. Justin Raffa: And in choir, it's all about team. I could be the greatest, most intelligent musical mind that this country has ever seen, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter because the work I do is so contingent on groups of people. So yeah, getting the right people on the bus I think has been a really important step for me in growing my organization. Paul Casey: And then on the flip side, you have to be self-aware of your weaknesses. So is there a favorite way you sabotage yourself? Justin Raffa: Yeah, and I've just recently started addressing this. But when you work for a nonprofit organization, when you work for a nonprofit arts organization in communities like Tri-Cities, sometimes it's hard to set work boundaries. We do have a physical office space, but I do not have set office hours. I do not have a nine-to-five job where I need to report to this physical location. Justin Raffa: I can go into the office, but mostly my colleague, Wendy, who is our managing director, she's the front face of the office, so I almost never go in. Which means that at times I find myself answering emails on Friday night at 11 o'clock at night. Because I feel that there's this urgency to get it done. And not having those clear boundaries about showing up to a physical space to work and following a 40-hour work week nine to five, working in the nonprofit sector can be really consuming. And you feel like you're just on, 365 days a year you're just on call 24/7. And so I've had to be really intentional about balancing my time and setting up those limits and said, "I'm not going to answer emails after nine o'clock at night. Let's try that." Paul Casey: Right. Justin Raffa: And it's hard because things might come in and I see it, especially now that we all have phones where we get little dings when anything else comes like, "Oh, it'll just take me a second to answer." No, it can wait. Or, "It's the weekend, I'll get it on Monday morning." So it's been really hard for me because I love my work so much. And I often do have the time. I could take a couple minutes right now and answer that despite the fact that it's 11 o'clock at night. Justin Raffa: So just having to solidify those boundaries and those time restraints so that I don't feel that I'm constantly living my job. Paul Casey: Yeah, and that is hard when you love your job. I totally can relate to that as well, but it will drain you. And it also sets an expectation sometimes of the recipient of the email that, "Oh, I got to respond at 10 o'clock or 11 o'clock as well." Justin Raffa: Right. I don't want to condition people to think that, "Oh, well, Justin's going to answer my email within 30 minutes because he always does." That also sets up unhealthy habits. Paul Casey: It does. Justin Raffa: And end up, because you could see what time this email was sent, what time the response was sent, all of that is tracked. And I'm trying to help my staff colleagues as well. We've all been culprits of this. Like, "Folks, let's just take it easy. This is not so urgent. If something's urgent, pick up the phone and call me. But have a nice weekend, see you Monday morning." Paul Casey: Good stuff. Well, rarely, by the way, only children unite just saying that if any of those- Justin Raffa: Yeah, it's a thing. Paul Casey: ... actually influencers out there that are only children will have to start a meetup. But rarely do we achieve our highest potential by ourselves. And you said, it's all about the team in choir. Who keeps you accountable? Who keeps you energized to getting your goals accomplished? Justin Raffa: It's pretty easy for me as a conductor because it's my singers. Paul Casey: Yeah. Justin Raffa: It is the wonderful array of volunteer people that I serve in this community who look to me weekly in rehearsals or when we're doing events. Being a choir director is a very authoritarian job in many ways, it's not a democratic institution. The conductor is front and center, usually elevated standing on a podium, and is calling the shots, is dictating, "This is what we're going to do, and this is when we're going to do it, and this is how we're going to do it." Justin Raffa: So I answer to my singers. I am responsible to them. I am inspired by them. And as I mentioned a moment ago, I could be the most skilled, experienced conductor, but if my singers aren't having a good experience, if they're not happy with the nature of rehearsals or how the organization is operating under my leadership, they're all volunteers, and they don't have to show up next week. And I'm nobody without a choir. Justin Raffa: Standing up there by myself, waving my arms, it doesn't matter, right? Everything I do is based on my singers. And since we are a volunteer co-organization, that all of our singers are volunteers, most of them do not have professional musical backgrounds. They have other day jobs, and callings, and spouses, and partners, and children, and things that take their time. So they need their time to be well-spent when they are assembled with me for rehearsals and performances, or they can just opt out. Justin Raffa: And all of the professional development that I do to stay up to date on what are the newest cutting edge trends in choral music, all the professional development workshops and things I attend, is so that I can be of better service to my singers. Keep them connected, keep them engaged, keep them excited, and keep them coming back. Paul Casey: I love that, because they could vote with their feet. Justin Raffa: Absolutely. Paul Casey: Do you also have a formal feedback mechanism or are they just free to give you feedback at any time? Justin Raffa: We typically have a series of surveys that we'll share with them. And we survey a lot of our stakeholders, so following a performance, we survey our audience. Recently in this era of COVID, we've done a number of surveys with our singers to gauge initially, what do you want to do and what do you not want to do since we can't be assembled, since we can't be together in person singing? Because the staff and I didn't want to just arbitrarily create all these online offerings, whereas the majority of our singers would go, "Nah, I'm not digging that. I don't want to do that." Paul Casey: Yeah. Justin Raffa: So just trying to gauge their interests. And now, as we see a lot of businesses and industries that are transitioning back to hybrid services and in-person services, asking the singers, "Do you want to do this? Are you ready to be back together? What's the timeline? How eager?" Or, "What are the conditions that you want to see met before you would be comfortable resuming in-person rehearsals?" So that I would like to think that we've created a lot of opportunities for singers to give them feedback. Justin Raffa: Many of them have become good personal friends, they're in my social circle, so I would also hope that they would feel comfortable approaching me if there was an issue that needed to be addressed. But we also have a number of other staff and obviously a board of directors who are my bosses. If there was an issue, they are points of contact for singers to give that feedback, if they're not comfortable talking with me. Paul Casey: Yeah, you mentioned it's slow now of course, during COVID, and I feel for you because it's your passion and you can't assemble to produce these works of art. But when, before COVID, and hopefully very soon, replenishment of energy is a big deal, because you said you could be on all the time because you love what you do. So what do you do to manage stress other than the boundaries that you mentioned earlier trying to put a cap on replying to email? Justin Raffa: Paul, I am a massage junkie. Paul Casey: Are you? Justin Raffa: I try to go every two weeks if I can, if my budget allows it. Paul Casey: Nice. Justin Raffa: I also, a couple of years ago, started receiving acupuncture treatments, which I think are very complimentary, the yin to the yang of massage. If massage is the macro, acupuncture is the micro treatments. So that self-care is very important to me. I have a hot tub on my back patio that I use very frequently. Paul Casey: Oh, yeah. Justin Raffa: And it's funny because in this era of COVID, my industry was among the first to officially shut down because the nature of performing arts. We're all about big groups of people being together in the same physical space and usually in very close proximity. That's what choir is. Choir singers, we stand shoulder to shoulder often. Paul Casey: Yeah. Justin Raffa: So I have taken advantage of all of this free time I've had to really reflect on my health and stress management, because I historically have done a terrible job at it. I will just work myself to death. So I calmed myself into a daily exercise routine. I get out of the house every day. I think it's important to be outdoors, get some sunshine. I take a 30ish-minute walk. I'm very privileged, I live in Richland, close to the River Walk, so I have a built-in walk that's right out my back door. Paul Casey: Nice. Justin Raffa: And then I started a 30-minute exercise routine. I rotate arms day, legs day, core day. And if you had said to me over a year ago that this would be my future, I would say, "No way. I hate working out. I hate exercise. I'm not a gym guy." But so many of my doctors and my healthcare team, people that care about me have said, "Justin, as you approach 40, you need to take care of yourself and build muscle mass." Justin Raffa: I'm a pretty flexible person. My massage therapists have always told me that, but you need core muscles to be strong, so I don't turn into a shriveled hunchback of an old man when I'm 50. Paul Casey: Right. Justin Raffa: So I think devoting the time to take care of your physical wellbeing is something that I'd never prioritize, but that I've been able to do. I've seen a lot of benefits from that. And I've also recently been working on learning mindful meditation, something I'm interested in, but since I've had so much time by myself that I can really focus in on it. Paul Casey: Well, Tri-City influencers, a lot to put on your wellness self-care checklist that Justin just ran through. So hopefully you got some great ideas to make sure you've got in your own replenishment plan. Well, before we head to our next question on people development, a shout out to our sponsor. Paul Casey: Located in the Parkway, you'll find motivation new friends and your new coworking space at FUSE. Whether you're a student just starting out or a seasoned professional, come discover all the reasons to love coworking at FUSE. Come co-work at FUSE for free on Fridays in February. Enjoy free coffee or tea, Wi-Fi, printing, conference rooms, and more, and bring a friend. FUSE is where individuals and small teams come together in a thoughtfully designed resource-rich environment to get work done and grow their ideas. Comprised of professionals from varying disciplines and backgrounds, FUSE is built for hardworking, fun loving humans. Learn more about us at fusespc.com or stop by 723, the Parkway in Richland, Washington. Paul Casey: Justin, people development, that's what you do, it's crucial for leadership, and if you could clone the ideal person for your organization, what are you looking for? What traits would they have? Justin Raffa: Artists, and I'd say teachers and conductors in general, we are so focused on product versus process. We're working towards a performance and perfecting that performance. So we tend to put a lot of value on skill sets, on people's training. But at the end of the day, what I have discovered is, I could bring in the most talented and experienced artistic team, but if they're jerks, if they're not pleasant to work with, if they aren't good team players, the whole process is miserable. And then you could have the most beautiful high-quality aesthetic product, but it's not worth it to me anymore. Justin Raffa: So early in my career, I really looked up to these pillars. I idolized a lot of celebrities in my industry who I discovered are really nasty people. So I want to clone people who are flexible, who are pleasant to work with, that I'm going to look forward to going into the weekly staff meeting with them, and not dreading, "Oh gosh, I hope Paul doesn't go off the handle again because we didn't have enough green M&M's in his dressing room." Because a lot of that happens, a lot of artists who have wild expectations, and are very needy, and very demanding, and I don't want to play with those people. Justin Raffa: I would rather have a less-quality product, but that I have really enjoyed the process of getting there, working with people that bring me joy, that I really value the time that I spent, because we do. We spend so much time together as ensemble artists building a product. So I want to clone a team of, I don't know what that physically looks like, but flexible and reliable, that they're going to get the job done and not just do lip service. And for me as a leader, I want to a team of folks that I know if I'm going to divvy out these responsibilities, which has also been hard for me, sometimes it's like, "Well, I'll do it. I'll take care of it myself," if I divvy that out, I trust that the team is going to deliver. Paul Casey: Which is crucial for delegation, crucial for that. Yeah, and I also agree that we want to hire people, in whatever leadership position you're in, that you look forward to being with. That we don't think about going to a meeting with them and it's like, "Oh, I've got to go to a meeting with so-and-so." I heard it said that you want to hire people that you would choose to go to dinner with. That's one of the filters to look through and so, I love that. Paul Casey: Well, you have to think of your organization as the head of a nonprofit, you've got to look further out, long-term, you've got to look at the big picture, how do you do that, Justin? Justin Raffa: I have also historically been terrible at this, because I've often said, "I live in the present moment, and I'm just paying attention to what's in front of me." And as I approach turning 40 and coming into formal middle age I suppose, I feel like it's a big shift for me. Paul Casey: Yes. Justin Raffa: A lot of this, I think just comes with age that we become more experienced and it forces us to think ahead about what's next. When I was in my 20s, it didn't matter. I got a job for $4,000 a year. I'm not thinking about retirement or savings, it's like, "I'll spend it when I got it and have fun and I'll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow." But as I've worked in particular with the Mastersingers, if we have big goals, if we have big dreams about what we want our organizations to accomplish, if I don't want to keep working for the same 30ish thousand-dollar annual budget organization, we have to plan ahead. We have to set those goals because it does take a long time to get there. Justin Raffa: The choir's budget is now, just over $250,000 a year. And I'm so proud that we have built that here in the Tri-Cities. It can be done, a performing arts organization that thrived. At a time when, I was hired in the summer of 2008 in the midst of the big economic downturn that the country was facing where so many performing arts organizations were closing up shop, going bankrupt. You've got to set goals if you want to actually grow, and set your sights big, because I am. I want a big, bigger, better, bolder community. I want a bigger, better, bolder organization. And it's not something that I can do today or tomorrow, it takes the time to invest. Work with the team, set those big visions, because it's going to take a lot of time to get there, but you will, if you invest the time. Paul Casey: Well, congratulations for what has been built through you with the team, because that is phenomenal. Justin Raffa: Thank you. I'm proud of the role I've played, but it's because of the team. We got the right people on the bus when we need them. Paul Casey: That's right. And to use your macro/micro wording from earlier. So macro vision, the big goals, wanting to make this even more phenomenal than it is. What are the small acts of leadership in your role as artistic director? How do you make a positive difference in each one of your volunteers? Justin Raffa: When you and I went through LTC, we learned about five leadership traits in a particular system. And one that I had never really considered, because it's not important to me as an individual, is called encourage the heart. Paul Casey: Yep. Justin Raffa: And I think that conductors, classical music conductors are also notoriously terrible at this. We are trained to be pragmatic. We are fixing problems. And when something is correct, we just check it off the list and we move on. It's like, "What else needs to be fixed? Where else are the problems?" So I was so appreciative of my time in LTC that one of my biggest takeaways was stop and celebrate successes. And not just the big ones, once a year at the annual meeting, celebrate the little things, thank people, thank them more often than you think. Justin Raffa: And again, it's because I find that myself as an individual, that's not so important to me. I don't need a lot of lauds and thanks. I often say, "It's my job, I'm doing my job." But not everyone is like me. And of the diverse team and volunteers that I serve, it goes a long way in a rehearsal to stop and say, "Altos, that was really beautiful, thank you for that." And they look at me like, "Oh, my gosh." Because they're waiting for, "Altos, you're still singing the wrong note and I just don't know why." So this idea of encourage the heart, celebrate successes not just the big ones, and thank people often. Paul Casey: Thank people more than you think, I like that. Well, if one of our Tri-City influencer listeners asked you what are some leadership resources they must go to, it could be books, it could be podcasts, it could be other ways to grow their leadership skills, where would you point them? Justin Raffa: I used to be such an avid reader for pleasure, but now as a conductor, most of my "reading time" is spent studying music scores. But there are a couple of resources that I've enjoyed over the years as a leader. One of which I just mentioned, the leadership challenge, I believe is the formal concept that you and I studied in Leadership Tri-Cities and there's a book that came out with that. I very much enjoyed that book. It really changed my perspective on identifying those five key roles because two of them were very obvious to me. It's like, "I know I already do this pretty well, but the other three it's like, oh, I never really thought of that." So I certainly encourage people to read that. Justin Raffa: And the rest of my response, probably I would take this in a different direction than some of your other guests say, I think it's important for us here as leaders in the Tri-Cities to read the Tri-City Herald. I am a subscriber online, but we need to know what's happening in our community locally. And despite all the changes that the Herald has had in terms of staffing or the parent company that's in charge, they remain the best authority of local news. And I think it's important for us to know what's happening in our community on all these various fronts of business sectors and politics, because ultimately it is going to affect me and my organization. Justin Raffa: I think good leaders need to be aware of the big picture of what's happening in their community. Not just that I know all the latest arts and culture news, but that I'm aware of what's happening at PNNL and Hanford and on the tourism front, all those things come together. And support your local paper, right? We need good media. So be a subscriber to the Herald. It is a great resource. Justin Raffa: And then out for my daily walks, I usually listen to the New York Times, puts out a podcast called The Daily. It's about 30ish minutes, so it is the length of my walk. And that is focusing on different national issues, little 30ish-minute clips of what's going on nationally or even internationally what's happening in the world. And I have a lot of respect for The New York Times. I think it's a great publication. It's got a good team of people that are doing that investigative journalism that is not always guaranteed with a lot of our news and media sources these days. Justin Raffa: So those are things that I consume on a daily basis, in addition to reading lots of meeting minutes of city councils and other jurisdiction meetings, I try to keep myself up to speed on what local governments are doing. And since I can't attend every single meeting of every jurisdiction, I go back and read a lot of meeting minutes, which can be a little stale, but again, good to know what's going on? And what are our local elected officials? What are the decisions that they've been making for our community? Paul Casey: Great to stay aware. Good reminder. Well, finally, Justin, what advice would you give to new leaders or anyone who wants to keep growing and gaining more influence? Justin Raffa: Be present in the community, get out there and be visible, meet people. I continue to spend a lot of my work putting in time, getting out of the choir rehearsal, going to networking events and the chamber of commerce luncheons, any kind of communal gathering. I think it's important that I'm advocating for my organization, that I let people know that we exist. Justin Raffa: That was one of the biggest challenges when I moved here in the summer of 2008, as I was house hunting and people would say, "What brings you to Tri-Cities, you work in a Patel?" "No." "Are you hired by one of the Hanford contractors?" "No. I am the new artistic director of adult community choir called Mid-Columbia Mastersingers." And inevitably people said, "Who? Never heard of them." So I've had to build the profile of my organization. And a lot of that is just being present, getting out there. Justin Raffa: And getting out outside of your industry. We tend to cluster with people we know. All the arts and culture folks in town are good friends, they're in my social circle, I meet them at local watering holes, but sometimes we just become too insulated, right? All the doctors hang out with the doctors and all the lawyers hang out with the lawyers. We need to intersect those paths. Leadership Tri-Cities was a big help for me on that front. Some of my closest friends in my class were the most different from me and worked in sectors that are farthest removed from what I do as a musician. Justin Raffa: So get out there and meet people, meet people outside of your industry, and build your reputation that people know you to be a kind, compassionate and reliable person. Not just that, "Oh yeah, Justin is the quiet guy." Everybody knows that. They know I'm a music person, but I also hope that they know me to be kind and caring and reliable, that if I'm involved in a project or I've joined a board that I will deliver, I will show up when I'm given a task, I have a reputation for seeing it through. Build that community profile that people just don't think of you as, "Oh yeah, well, he's the CEO of this company." What beyond our titles do people know you for? I think that's so important, building those relationships, positive relationships with people. Paul Casey: Great reminders, to weave yourself into the fabric of your community and be that go-to dependable person. Well, Justin, how can our listeners best connect with you? Justin Raffa: Well, Paul as you and many know I did throw my hat in a political arena this past year. Paul Casey: Yes. Justin Raffa: I stood as a candidate for local office. If people are interested in engaging on those issues and just a lot of local community awareness, I do maintain a Facebook page called Elect Justin Raffa. I am not running for anything, I have not made any declarations, but I wanted to keep that page alive to just continue to talk about local community issues that I think are important. I also have a Twitter presence as well. You can follow me there, electjustinraffa. You can email me directly, it's email@example.com. My first and last name, R-A-F-F, as in Frank, A, is how I heard my mother pronounce my name for years over the phone, because inevitably the letter F might sound like a letter S. Paul Casey: And Justin, you probably also would love them to support the arts fundraisers in town as well, right? Justin Raffa: Yeah. In fact Mid-Columbia Arts Fundraiser is the name of an organization that supports not just my own, but some of our partners Mid-Columbia Ballet, Mid-Columbia Musical Theater, Mid-Columbia Symphony. There is such great art being made here in the Tri-City. Sometimes we're not so visible because we don't have a brick and mortar. We haven't built that performing arts center just yet. Maybe we'll talk about that next time. That's the long-term goal of mine that I will see through before I leave this community. We are going to get it done. Paul Casey: Yes, keep being a champion. Well, thanks for all you do to make the Tri-Cities a great place and keep leading well. Let me wrap up our podcast today with a leadership resource to recommend. He was one of the stalwarts in the personal development world, passed away several years ago, a guy by the name of Jim Rohm, jimrohn.com, J-I-M-R-O-H-N.com, and he lives on through his blog through The Success Academy, their resources, a team that just wants to keep getting his stuff out there. He was one of the personal development gurus of the 20th century. Stuff on goal setting, communication and leadership, all of my passions, you might want to hit up jimrohn.com to learn more. Paul Casey: Again, this is Paul Casey. I want to thank my guest, Justin Raffa from the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers for being here today on the Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast. And we want to thank our TCI sponsor and invite you to support them. We appreciate you making this possible so we can collaborate to inspire leaders in our community. Paul Casey: Finally, one more, a leadership tidbit for the road to help you make a difference in your circle of influence. Zig Ziglar said, "Outstanding people have one thing in common, an absolute sense of mission." And so next time KGF, keep growing forward. Speaker 2: Thank you to our listeners for tuning in to today's show. Paul Casey is on a mission to add value to leaders by providing practical tools and strategies that reduce stress in their lives and on their teams, so that they can enjoy life and leadership and experience their key desired results. If you'd like more help from Paul in your leadership development, connect with him at firstname.lastname@example.org, for a consultation that can help you move past your current challenges and create a strategy for growing your life or your team forward. Speaker 2: Paul would also like to help you restore your sanity to your crazy schedule and getting your priorities done every day by offering you his free Control My Calendar Checklist, go to www.takebackmycalendar.com for that productivity tool, or open a text message 72000 and type the word 'growing'. Paul Casey: Tri-Cities Influencer podcast was recorded at Fuse SPC by Bill Wagner of Safe Strategies.
Paul Casey: Goals are dreams with a deadline. So you have to start somewhere and that's some kind of dream or aspiration, and then you have to have a deadline now, because it's not done until you get there. Speaker 2: Raising the water level of leadership in the Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington, it's the Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast. Welcome to the TCI Podcast, where local leadership and self-leadership expert Paul Casey, interviews local CEOs, entrepreneurs, and non-profit executives, to hear how they lead themselves and their teams, so we can all benefit from their wisdom and experience. Here's your host, Paul Casey, of Growing Forward Services. Coaching and equipping individuals and teams to spark breakthrough success. Paul Casey: It's a great day to grow forward. Thanks for joining me for today's episode with Bob Smart. Bob is the principal at Southgate Elementary school, the proud home of The Dragons. And I asked Bob for something quirky about him and he talked about Chuck Taylor's sneakers. Bob, tell us more about that. Bob Smart: Well, I started getting Chuck Taylor's sneakers, old school sneaks to match the colors of the schools that I was working with. And then somewhere along the line Paul, it became kind of a problem. I've done up two dozen pair and... Paul Casey: Two dozen pairs. Bob Smart: Yeah. Sadly true. Paul Casey: Are you competing with your wife or is this just she outpacing you? Bob Smart: No. I have won that one. Yeah. Paul Casey: Well, we'll dive in with Bob after checking in with our Tri-Cities influencer sponsor. It's easy to delay answering uncomfortable questions like, what happens to my assets and my loved ones when I die? So it's no surprise that nearly 50% of Americans don't have a Will, and even fewer have an estate plan. Many disabled clients worry that they don't have enough assets to set up an estate plan. But there are important options available, to ensure that you have a voice in your medical and financial decision-making, even if your health takes a turn for the worst. Paul Casey: Estate planning gives you a voice when your health deteriorates or after you're gone. Maren Miller Bam attorney at law, is currently providing free consultations. To find out more about estate planning, or to book an appointment, call Maren at (206) 485-4066, or visit Salus. That's S-A-L-U-S-law.com today. Paul Casey: Thank you for your support of leadership development in the Tri-Cities. Well, welcome Bob. I was privileged to meet you, Boy, how many years ago has it been? Bob Smart: It's been a number of years. I was trying to figure that out before I came over. Paul Casey: Yeah. I'm going to guess seven or eight. Bob Smart: Yeah. Easily. Paul Casey: Yeah. You've spoken for... When I used to do these edge events, you spoke for one of those and I was able to coach one of your employees somewhere along the line, and one of the teams there. And so, yeah, it's been great. I've always enjoyed your focus on leadership and your enthusiasm. And so it's a pleasure to interview you today. So that our Tri-City influencers can get to know you, take us through a couple of career highlights that led you to your current position. Bob Smart: Well, I've probably taken the scenic route. So I started off as a science teacher and loved it and a baseball coach and loved that as well. Ended up being the school principalship and loved doing that. Had a tour of duty in central office as an assistant superintendent, I was a professor and a Dean. I was teaching in the grad school and I kept telling my students, which were principal and superintendent candidates, that the best job is principal. And then I got thinking, I was teaching a critical reflection class and I got thinking, what am I saying? So luckily I found my current job and they hired me and I love being a school principal. Paul Casey: And why do you love being a school principal? Bob Smart: I was just talking today to some folks that, if you like, anything can happen. That's the job. And it's phenomenal. You get to work with great kids, parents, teachers, staff. It's just a neat little place. Paul Casey: I too, I've been a principal and it is a variety job. No two days are exactly the same. Bob Smart: Yeah. Yeah. Paul Casey: I've chased children around the gymnasium, discipline issues. Yeah. I've sprained my ankle playing freeze tag with children before. So it's a great job, very stressful job for sure. And so you actually were a principal, went to district office professor, came back to that. Was that a difficult decision? Bob Smart: No, it really wasn't. Truly, it was thinking about what am I saying about the principalship? And I think I have had enormous satisfaction being a school principal. Paul Casey: So love what you do, is probably a philosophy that you would want to put out there for the Tri-City influencer listeners. Bob Smart: Absolutely. I mean, if you do what you love, it's a great day every day. Paul Casey: Yeah. So you're probably in your strengths zone, which multiplies your influence. How do you add the most value to the school? Bob Smart: Well, I think I'm a good listener, and I think I'm pretty thoughtful, and I think those skills really, really help. Pretty present in the building, so I have a lot of conversations in a day. Paul Casey: Do you intentionally pull yourself out of your office to be present? Is that just natural for your personality style? Or do you literally put that on your calendar, walk around? Bob Smart: Well, no, I do. I'm probably the opposite Paul. I have to return to the office. The joke is that I could probably sublet that office. I'm not in there that much. And there are definitely times I need to be there and do those kinds of things. But really most of the business is done in hallways, and walking around talking to people, hearing their stories and what their hopes and dreams are, and talking to kids all day. Paul Casey: What's been the net positive effect of that style of leadership? Bob Smart: Probably situational awareness. Being out in the building, talking to people, talking to kids, you can get a feel for what that tempo is, where the issues are, and then where you can help out. Paul Casey: Yeah. It's the old managing by wandering around MBWA. Right? Bob Smart: Exactly. Paul Casey: You can curtail problems. People say like, "Oh, while you're here, I've got a quick question." Right? Where they might not come to your office. Bob Smart: Have you been following me around? It's like every day. Paul Casey: Yes. Since you're here. Bob Smart: Yeah. Since you're here Bob. Paul Casey: And the other opposite, is people start to distrust leaders that they don't see. You've probably seen leaders or even principals along the years, that are bound to their office. Right? Bob Smart: Yeah. And it's also for our parent group too, stakeholder group. Because everyone has an experience with the school principal. And what we've been trying to do, is kind of break down those stereotypes. Paul Casey: Yeah. Bob Smart: And right now in COVID, it's really challenging. Paul Casey: Sure. Bob Smart: Prior to that, we see parents all the time and we try to stay away from the principal's office, so that people have a different experience so to speak. Paul Casey: I remember you teaching me that years ago, that people have negative experiences with school principals from their childhood, and you were trying to blast away at that stereotype by being one of them and just leveling the playing field. Bob Smart: Indeed. Paul Casey: On the flip side, leaders have to be aware of their weaknesses. So what is one of your favorite quote, unquote "ways" to sabotage yourself? Bob Smart: I love how you put that. And I can sabotage myself in a variety of ways, but one of the ones that I've had to get a handle on, is overthinking, and over-planning, and over analysis. Having a research background as such, I am real happy to try to overcomplicate something. When in fact what I've learned from that over time, is that a much more timely decision while maybe not the perfect decision, is probably a better decision. Paul Casey: Yeah. That reminds me of Colin Powell, the battlefield, if he gets 80% of the information it gets to go forward. Bob Smart: Yeah. Paul Casey: You'll never get 100%. Bob Smart: Exactly. And the cost, the cost of the organization and the person, to get that other little bit, isn't worth it. Paul Casey: Right. Right. It's minuscule. So I coach a lot of over thinkers. Bob Smart: Yeah. Paul Casey: I think we should start over thinkers anonymous group here in the Tri-Cities. What would you you say to an over thinker to try to help them snap out of it and yet still be who they are? Bob Smart: Yeah. That's tough. I mean, because you've got to understand the small game, and you've got to listen, and you've got to really think about what people want. So I'll start a lot of conversations with, "Do you want me just to listen? Do you want to work on a plan? Paul Casey: That's good. Bob Smart: Or do we want to gather more data?" And such. And a lot of times, it's just, Bob, I just want you to listen. And what I try to find, is when I start breaking out pages of spreadsheets and pivot tables, I normally try to have an intervention. Paul Casey: You just lost me so. Bob Smart: Well. Paul Casey: What's a pivot table? Bob Smart: It's something really cool, but it's probably just to me at [inaudible 00:10:24] Paul Casey: Down in the weeds, right? Bob Smart: Yeah. Paul Casey: Just down in the weeds. No, that it's a great marriage principle as well of, do you want me to still listen or do you want me to help solve the problem? Bob Smart: Yeah. Paul Casey: Because if you can get ahead of that, you're going to get ahead of the conflict that comes with, just listen, or I need you to help me come up with a solution, stop staring at me. Either way it sets the context for the conversation. Well, really do we achieve our highest potential by ourselves? So Bob, who keeps you accountable and energized, although you can feel the energy from Bob, can't you listeners?. But who keeps you accountable to getting your professional and personal goals accomplished? Bob Smart: One of the things I've done over the years and more recently than ever, is sharing with people, asking for feedback, and doing that in a genuine way. And telling folks, "Hey, when you see me start to do this, would you let me know?" Kind of the thing. And it can be a really difficult thing because you're setting down that mask and that shield and such to get to that point. So that's really helped me along. And what I have found is being a pretty approachable person. Many people, [inaudible 00:11:44]. Paul Casey: That's a blessing. Bob Smart: It's all blessing for sure. Paul Casey: Why don't more people especially leaders, ask for feedback? What's your gut on that? Bob Smart: I think ultimately, it's got to have a root cause down in fear. And I mean, people are stretched to their limit and we're all trying to figure out who we are, and how we can do these kinds of complex jobs like you talked about. And sometimes that feedback, especially unvarnished feedback, it can kind of hurt. And we need to be able to talk about that. And I think that's a start with valuing that feedback. Paul Casey: That is so good. Yeah. I think there is that fear. There a little bit of pride, maybe as well, like, oh, I think I'm doing the right thing here and now you're telling me I'm not." Bob Smart: Right. Paul Casey: And I don't know if I like that. Bob Smart: Well, you're pretty invested in these things. Paul Casey: That's a good word. Invested. Yeah. Bob Smart: All of a sudden it's like, wow, I'm getting some feedback that maybe this isn't the right course. In which genuine feedback and those kinds of genuine relationships and a shared sense of where we're going, I think is pretty powerful. But it's tough. Paul Casey: It is. Bob Smart: Yeah. Paul Casey: It is. And what a vulnerable question, when you see me doing this, would you bring that up? I mean, that just shows you're working on something. Bob Smart: Yeah. Paul Casey: And you really want to get better. Anybody that would say that question wants to get better. And it just makes it easier for then people around to go, "There it is again." And then you can chuckle maybe even. And it sort of puts a little levity to that issue of like, I interrupted again, or I'm talking too much, or whatever that thing is. Well, replenishment of energy keeps a leader at the top of their game. So Bob, principal's work is never done. Right? You could work seven days a week and the to-do-list is still going to be there. So what do you do to manage stress? Bob Smart: So my wife and I, we walk Howard Amon every day. Paul Casey: Really. Every day? Bob Smart: Snow, wind, slit, whatever. We walk it every single day. And if you know of Howard Amon Park, there's a red bench up at the top, and it's got a neat history to that bench. And we sit on that bench every day. And we don't finish the day until we go out. And sometimes that's eight o'clock at night with flashlights, or if I'm feeling particularly goofy, I wear those things on my head and those kinds of things. So we do that. That helps a lot. I also, I try to laugh a lot. And if you can't find humor in a school, you're not searching. Paul Casey: I've got a comedian buddy who started a Facebook group. You can all look it up. It's called Work Happy. And it's all the different ways, people in this group all are coming up with funny things to bring levity to work. Because we default to the negativity due to the stress of our job. So you've got to mix in laughter. And it is a great stress reliever. It's one of the best, I think emotional wellness habits that you can do. Bob Smart: You're right. You're so right. Paul Casey: And where is that bench by the way? So you've got the pool launch there at Lee. Bob Smart: Okay. Paul Casey: Where's is it compared to that? Bob Smart: Well, if you keep going North and you go up, there's an old building there. And you go up onto the dyke there, it's right at the top. Paul Casey: Okay. Bob Smart: You can't miss it. Paul Casey: Okay. Bob Smart: So here's the real secret Paul. Paul Casey: All right. Bob Smart: You got to look on the back of it, because there's a neat little plaque there. And I'll leave the rest to you. Paul Casey: Yeah. We'll just make that a little tease for the listeners. Bob Smart: Yeah. And so if you see a couple there say idle, because that's probably my wife and I. Paul Casey: I love it. And that's quite the commitment to say, you're going to do it every day, whether that's early or that's late. Bob Smart: That's right. Paul Casey: So you're getting exercise out of that, you're getting good conversation with your wife. Bob Smart: Exactly. Paul Casey: And both of those distress you. Bob Smart: And laughter. Paul Casey: And laughter. Well, before we head to our next question on people development, a shout out to our sponsor. Paul Casey: Located in the Parkway, you'll find motivation, new friends and your new coworking space at Fuse. Whether you're a student, just starting out, or a seasoned professional, come discover all the reasons to love coworking at Fuse. Paul Casey: Come co-work at Fuse for free on Fridays, in February. Enjoy free coffee, or tea, WiFi, printing, conference rooms, and more, and bring a friend. Fuse is where individuals and small teams come together in a thoughtfully designed, resource, rich environment, to get work done and grow their ideas. Paul Casey: Comprised of professionals from varying disciplines and backgrounds, Fuse is built for hardworking, fun-loving humans. Learn more about us at fusespc.com, or stop by 723 the Parkway in Richland, Washington. Paul Casey: Well Bob hiring in people development is crucial for leadership. If you could clone the ideal employee, whether that's a teacher, or support staff, anybody for your organization, what traits would that person have? Bob Smart: I think a person needs to be flexible. I mean, we've gone through a year of huge change, second order change. And I think that people that are much more nimble, people that are flexible, are going to be all right, but it's tough. And the second part, would be someone with a fierce customer service, whether that's in education or business I think is critical, an effective leader. And then I think the thing that is the game-changer, that last 5%, is somebody that's truly empathetic. Somebody that can truly empathize with stakeholder groups, people you work with, clientele, customers. Paul Casey: You used the word fierce before customer service. Why did you choose that word specifically? Bob Smart: I think that word is critical in the sense that, if you don't have a commitment to your next in line customer, and you're not absolutely committed to that, I think one, you lose genuineness and I also think that you're not in a service role. Paul Casey: Yeah. I had a feeling you were going to say that word service. That servant leader mentality, is gone when you get myopic. Just about me and my world, instead of the customer, the constituent that we're looking to serve. Bob Smart: Or transactional. Paul Casey: Oh yeah. Transactional. Bob Smart: Yeah. I mean, I think it's important to really have that commitment. Because once you have that commitment, more positive things from that relationship are going to come out it. Paul Casey: And it can become transformational, not just transactional, which educators are in a transformational business. You mentioned empathy as well. What does empathy sound like? What does it look like when you're... Interviewing is a tough deal, right? How do you listen for whether this person is going to be empathetic? Bob Smart: Well, I think some of it comes across as non-verbal inside those kinds of conversations. So what we'll do oftentimes, is we'll talk about scenarios. So here's the scenario that we oftentimes engage in. And then based on that response, that gives us a little bit of insight, whether or not you've got that empathetic response. Because in our business, we're in a highly, emotionally driven business. And oftentimes, we have to deescalate situations. And we can do that through humor, through kindness, but also most importantly through understanding. Paul Casey: Yeah. And that is so true that in hiring, if you were to say, "Hey, Paul give me a set of interview questions." I probably give you half of them that are scenario based, because people can be ready to answer the, "What are your strengths and weaknesses," questions. They're ready for a whole bunch of those, but they're not ready for the scenario ones. That's where the true person comes out. So I've had emerging leaders tell me they want to grow in thinking strategically. And they're like, "How I do that?" So what tips would you give on how to look at the big picture for greater longterm impact? Bob Smart: I would recommend that you study Red Tail Hawks. And that's kind of an odd response. But when you think about it, as a kid I grew up watching these red tail Hawk sit on top of these peepee apples. And then later on I found they've actually got two visions. One is on the horizon so they know when to pull up. And the other one is very focused and almost using a set of binoculars. So kind of a short-term in there, but having that eye for that horizon to get to whatever is going to happen. Paul Casey: The Red-Tail Hawk. Bob Smart: Yeah. Paul Casey: What an illustrative example of that. So it's looking long-term like you said the horizon, and then there's sort of the micro level. What are the small acts of leadership if done daily, can make a positive difference in the lives of teams? Bob Smart: I think being present, just being there, and talking to people, being seen, being visible. If you ask our kindergartners what I do, they say I boss cars. Because they see me out there in the parking lot, but we engage an awful lot of business in the parking lot, talking to parents, talking to kids, welcoming kids, especially during uncertain times. And... Paul Casey: Because you could delegate that, right? Bob Smart: Indeed. Paul Casey: You could say, "I don't want to be in that parking lot. The weather's crummy again today." But you choose to do that. Bob Smart: That's right. I choose to do that. And I think that's also part of my role is tone at the top. And demonstrating that welcoming, that assistance, that service, same thing at recess for our folks as well. Paul Casey: Tone at the top Tri-City influence listeners. Bob, flush that out a little bit more. Bob Smart: Well, I can espouse a variety of things. Paul Casey: Sure. Bob Smart: I can say, "Hey, it's really important for us to be outside, it's really important for us to greet people, it's really important for us to insert." But if I demonstrate that, that's so much more powerful. Meeting kids at the doorway, "How are you doing?" Especially now. Kids are scared, parents are scared. And having that opportunity. Also, when the principal is out in front of the building, as you well know, it is a certain reassurance. Paul Casey: Confidence builder. Bob Smart: Yeah. Plus we get to have a two minute conversation and if we scheduled a meeting, it would have been 30, 45 minutes. Paul Casey: So [crosstalk 00:23:29]. Are you saying it's an exit strategy for the long-winded people? Bob Smart: No, I wouldn't say that. Paul Casey: No, it's a lot of mini conversations... Bob Smart: It is. Paul Casey: ... That cumulatively turn out to be a culture. Bob Smart: Yeah. Paul Casey: And so you said, especially in these times. So let me take a quick side jont here by saying, what else is important in these uncertain times for leaders to do? You said to welcome them, be visible during this time. Any other strategies you're employing to try to help people deescalate some of these emotions? Bob Smart: Part of it is it's going to get better. And if you're not an optimist and looking forward with this, people are looking to leadership to, is it going to be okay? And it's going to be okay. We're going to get through this. We always do. And I think at some point Paul, it's ultimately love. It's really helping reassure folks and take care of people, that during really, really tough times. And in my line of work in schools, schools have a very important role in getting whatever stases and calm. Paul Casey: So as we try to balance people, because you're a people person with administrative tasks, you probably have to utilize some other people and who are stronger, where you might be a little weaker. So do you use your office staff, your administrative professionals to help you with that? Bob Smart: Well, we always have more work than we can possibly do. Paul Casey: Sure. Bob Smart: And I have to watch where I put what limited time I've got. Paul Casey: Yeah. Bob Smart: And I've got to be pretty focused on that. And I think you gave me an idea a long time ago. I still have it on my phone even. Paul Casey: No way. Bob Smart: Who can do this work? And every time... I don't make a lot of phone calls anymore, but I think about that. Because oftentimes that's a growth opportunity for somebody else that can do it. And then I can put whatever energies I have, into whatever I'm doing, whatever mischief I'm creating. Paul Casey: Yeah. Sometimes leaders have to be at the 30,000 foot level, sometimes at 15,000 feet. And today I think all of our listeners have got from you, you've got to be on the tarmac once in a while. Bob Smart: I think you're right. Yeah. I think that's true. Paul Casey: Well, some of our TCI listeners asked you, what two to three books or resources they must read, in order to grow their leadership skills. Where would you point them? Bob Smart: I would start off with Ron Heifetz's book, Leadership Without Easy Answers. And so that's from the Kennedy School of Government. And that was written a number of years ago, but he really sets up the arguments for a leader to understand what is happening on the dance floor below. Paul Casey: Yes. Bob Smart: And then the differentiating between a technical response and something else. Paul Casey: Adaptive. Right? Bob Smart: Exactly. Paul Casey: Is that the other one? Yeah. Bob Smart: Yeah. Paul Casey: I love that one. Bob Smart: So I just think, it is so powerful. It is really, really helped me think about my role as a leader. Paul Casey: Yeah. That's a good one. I use that, get up in the balcony and look on the dance floor. Bob Smart: That's right. Paul Casey: All the time I'd probably need to quote him, because I've totally stolen that. What's another resource that you'd point people to? Bob Smart: I like Drive by Daniel Pink and understanding that really at the end of the day, people are looking at self-direction. I think effective leaders create opportunities for folks to direct their work. And I think that's a powerful outcome. And I think that goes all the way back to what we're talking about, as far as if you care about people and helping them reach their goals. So that's a powerful work I like. The other one, is... And I think about it more often in the last year to 18 months, is Richard Swenson's work on Margin. Paul Casey: Yes. Bob Smart: I love that. Paul Casey: Yes. Bob Smart: And it's such an easy equation, but extremely difficult to do. Resources minus load equals margin. Paul Casey: Yes. Bob Smart: And what I find with leaders, is that we can operate in negative margin for a while and you would never redline your car. The engine's going to blow up. Well, not altogether different than that. So I think having conversations about margin, is really important in a longterm look at leadership. Paul Casey: Boy, you're the only other person I think that has mentioned that book... Bob Smart: Really? Paul Casey: ... In my life. Yes. I read it years ago in an administrative conference in Seaside, Oregon. I still remember when he came to speak and yeah, the whole load minus limits equals margin and you can't go into negative margin. Bob Smart: Yeah. Paul Casey: But our bodies were not meant to stay in overdrive for too long. He's got some good stuff on nutrition in there. This is years and years ago. But all the different ways that we need to build more white space into our day, to absorb the unexpected. I remember that phrase. Bob Smart: All those curves are the same. You can put all those curves together, whether it's nutrition or whether it's health, they all say the same thing. And my area of research is the principalship and rapid promotion and what happens. And the concern I have, is that the attrition rate for school principals is quite high, same as teachers. And it's alarming. And I think part of the answer has to do with having more honest conversations about margin. Paul Casey: So good. Well, finally Bob, what advice would you give to new leaders or anyone who wants to keep growing and gaining more influence? Bob Smart: We talked a little bit about this before. I would still make a list, but I'd be willing to chuck it in the first hour and be okay with that. Paul Casey: Oh no. You're giving me convulsions. Bob Smart: This is probably an overused cliche, but listen, learn and lead. I just think that's powerful. And I think it's okay to take some time to understand something, to really be in a position to where you can lead. And then finally, I think don't take yourself seriously. And I crack myself up all the time with the goofy things I do and that's okay. Paul Casey: Listen to learn to lead the three L's. Don't take yourself too seriously. These are great takeaways. Bob, how can our listeners best connect with you? Bob Smart: Well, I'm in the land of The Dragons at Southgate Elementary and where every day is the dragonrific day and pretty easy to get ahold of. And so... Paul Casey: Thank you so much for all you do to make Tri-Cities a great place and keep leading well. Let me wrap up our podcast today with a leadership resource to recommend. This past year have gotten certified in the EIQ, which is the Emotional Intelligence Quotient assessment. And so it assesses you in three areas, self-recognition, social recognition, self-management and social management. So for 60 bucks, you could take this assessment. Paul Casey: I'd be happy to debrief it with you. You can do a retreat for your team on it and to do a group debrief, so that the entire organization, or your entire leadership team, can raise the emotional intelligence level, which is one of the best leadership pursuits you could have for your professional development this year. Paul Casey: Again, this is Paul Casey. I want to thank my guest, Bob Smart from Southgate Elementary, land of The Dragons, for being here today on Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast. And we want to thank our TCI sponsor and invite you to support them. We appreciate you making this possible, so we can collaborate to inspire leaders in our community. Paul Casey: Finally, one more leadership tidbit for the road, to help you make a difference in your circle of influence. Milton Berle said, "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." Till next time KGF, Keep Growing Forward. Speaker 2: Thank you to our listeners for tuning in to today's show. Paul Casey is on a mission to add value to leaders, by providing practical tools and strategies, that reduce stress in their lives and on their teams, so that they can enjoy life and leadership and experience their key desired results. Speaker 2: If you'd like more help from Paul in your leadership development, connect with him at email@example.com, for a consultation that can help you move past your current challenges and create a strategy for growing your life or your team forward. Speaker 2: Paul would also like to help you restore your sanity to your crazy schedule and getting your priorities done every day, by offering you his free control mind calendar checklist. Go to www.takebackmycalendar.com for that productivity tool, or open a text message 272000 and type the word grow. Paul Casey: Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast was recorded at Fuse SPC by Bill Wagner of Safe Strategies
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu checks in with Dan on the latest happenings going on throughout the state including the Governor’s recent decision to end the mask mandate, if the Granite State will join the TCI, and much more! Get your questions ready!
The Transportation and Climate Initiative is a regional collaboration of states that seeks to improve transportation, develop a clean energy economy, and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. Last week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a climate bill committing the state to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Other regional states such as Connecticut have yet to fully pass a climate bill. Chris Herb, President of the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, joins Dan to discuss the repercussions of the TCI and these climate bills, which includes a potential gas tax hike.
The Transportation and Climate Initiative is a regional collaboration of states that seeks to improve transportation, develop a clean energy economy, and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. Last week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a climate bill committing the state to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Other regional states such as Connecticut have yet to fully pass a climate bill. Chris Herb, President of the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, joins Dan to discuss the repercussions of the TCI and these climate bills, which includes a potential gas tax hike.
Paul Casey: Too many priorities means you have no priorities, because then you're making everything a priority. Speaker 2: Raising the water level of leadership in the Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington, it is the Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast. Welcome to the TCI podcast, where local leadership and self-leadership expert Paul Casey interviews local CEOs, entrepreneurs, and non-profit executives to hear how they lead themselves and their teams, so we can all benefit from their wisdom and experience. Here's your host, Paul Casey of Growing Forward Services, coaching and equipping individuals and teams to spark breakthrough success. Paul Casey: It's a great day to grow forward. Thanks for joining me for today's episode with Lisa Godwin. Lisa is the Women and Children's Shelter director of the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission, and author and speaker. And I asked her what a fun fact about her was, and she started riffing on Hallmark Christmas movies. Lisa, tell us more. Lisa Godwin: Yes, so I absolutely love Christmas, and so I love that time of year, but I also love watching Hallmark Christmas movies. So, I have t-shirts that say, "This is my Hallmark Christmas movie watching t-shirt." Paul Casey: No. Lisa Godwin: I also have socks that I wear, yes I do. And ultimately, someday, I would like to be in a Hallmark Christmas movie in the background. I don't want to be up in the front, but I want to be an extra, where I can sip coffee, or do some ice skating, or something fun like that. Paul Casey: Bucket list item. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: Lisa, don't you know that they're all the same plot, every single one of them? Lisa Godwin: But they're so happy, every one of them is happy. Paul Casey: There's going to be a communication problem, and there's going to be a snowfall, and they get back together. Okay, all right, we got a good laugh before we came on the air. All right, we'll dive in after checking with our Tri-City influencer sponsor. Speaker 4: It's easy to delay answering uncomfortable questions like, "What happens to my assets and my loved ones when I die?" So it's no surprise that nearly 50% of Americans don't have a will, and even fewer have an estate plan. Many disabled clients worry that they don't have enough assets to set up an estate plan. But there are important options available to ensure that you have a voice in your medical and financial decision-making, even if your health takes a turn for the worst. Estate planning gives you a voice when your health deteriorates, or after you're gone. Maren Miller Bam, attorney at law, is currently providing free consultations. To find out more about estate planning, or to book an appointment, call Marin at (206) 485-4066, or visit Salus, that's S-A-L-U-S-law.com today. Paul Casey: Thank you for your support of leadership development in the Tri-Cities. So Lisa, we got to meet each other like 10 years ago, you were a development director in an organization that I used to be in, and we connected there, and I felt like kindred spirit there. It's like, we get to talk leadership, and we both had a passion to make an influence on the world. We've all gone to different jobs since then, two or three of them>. Lisa Godwin: Yes, yes. Paul Casey: And reconnected, and just so excited for what you're doing over there at the Union Gospel Mission, so thanks for being here today. Lisa Godwin: Thank you. Paul Casey: Tell our Tri-City influencers a little bit of your career highlights that led you to your current position. Lisa Godwin: Yes, so there have been a lot of career highlights, but I have to say that it's actually the low lights that brought me to my position right now at the Union Gospel Mission. So I work with women who are down and out, who are at sometimes the worst time in their life, and so as much as I'm so very thankful for the position as executive director, I was Leadership Tri-Cities also WSU Woman of Distinction, and a couple other things. And those were awesome, and I was so excited about that, but it was the low times in my life that taught me the lessons that I can take with me to lead the shelter, not just lead my staff, but lead the women who they themselves can become leaders once they are out of their trauma and difficulty. Paul Casey: So why do you love what you do? Lisa Godwin: I love what I do because every day I get to encourage, empower, disciple, mentor, teach, come alongside of women who do not know their worth or value yet, and I get to help them see that. I get to help them see the diamond in the rough. I get to help them see their strengths, not their weaknesses. Their weaknesses are usually what they're focused on, and it actually ends up becoming their identity. And I get to teach them that that is not their identity, that they can grow their strengths, and we get to help them find their strengths. Paul Casey: What a fantastic mission that you get to be a part of. So along your journey you made different career moves, you said some lowlights probably led to some of those. How did you decide when to make a move, maybe from one of those organizations to another, from one position to another? Lisa Godwin: Yeah, so I have to be honest, I have a relationship with the Lord, and so the main thing is prayer. I spend a lot of time in prayer and meditation and reading, and that guides and a lot of what I do. Also, situations that may come up within that position that I am in helps me evaluate if I'm best used in that position, or if maybe it's time to move on and let someone else take over from where I've brought it to. So I think there's a lot of parts and pieces that go in from moving to different positions, but ultimately, I just want to be used in an organization where I can serve them. And once that's not happening anymore, then maybe it's time for me to move on. Paul Casey: So Lisa, staying in one’s strength zone at work can multiply your influence. So how do you add the most value at the Union Gospel Mission? Lisa Godwin: Absolutely, so I believe that due to my life experiences, and the things that God has allowed me to go through, I realized that transparency is critical to coming alongside of the women at the shelter, to coming alongside of my staff, that it provides trust, and they trust, whether it's staff or the women at the shelter, they're going to trust me if I'm transparent with them. And so they're going to share with me, they're not going to hide things from me, and that's where there's growth, because now I can come alongside of them and they trust me, and I can help them, and assist them, teach them, mentor them, and encourage. Paul Casey: Transparency is so huge. I think I've said once on the podcast, Patrick Lencioni wrote a book called Getting Naked, which has nothing to do with nudity, by the way, it has all to do with transparency and vulnerability and leadership and how that builds trust, and just lowers those barriers. He said it was his least sold book, and probably because of the title, it's a little too catchy. But yeah, I totally agree with you on that. In fact, you are now a published author, you wrote a book, and really the whole core value of the book is around transparency, isn't it? Lisa Godwin: It absolutely is. It basically is struggles that I have gone through, that I have lived through, have come out on the other end, and I can basically come alongside another woman through the words in my book to encourage them. It was written specifically to a woman who is hurting, whether that's a woman in a shelter, or anyone else, but someone who's going through a really hard time and needs to have answers to the pain that she's going through, this book will provide some of those answers. I'm extremely transparent, you're going to see the struggles that I've gone through, the personal struggles, and some people say it's pretty raw. But I'm okay with that because it's proven already to be extremely successful and has brought women out of certain pain elements that they've been going through in their life. Paul Casey: Wow. I remember, I was sitting in Barracuda Coffee with you several years ago and you're like, "I want to write a book." You did it. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: You wrote the book, years later. And Tri-City Influencer listeners, many of you have a book in you, and it takes a lot of discipline to write it, but I would say, go for it, get some words on paper. And we'll just take that quick aside, how did you write the book? Did you do it in one big chunk? Did you write X number of words a day? Lisa Godwin: It was pretty cool how it all came about. Yes, I've wanted to write this for, and had in my heart for about 15 years. Had dinner with a friend about two and a half years ago and I said, "Oh, how I would love to reach more than just the woman at the shelter with a message that I've been sharing with them, and a book would do that, it would open the doors to touching more hearts and lives." And she said, "Well, why don't you just write letters, why doesn't each chapter be a letter to the women who are hurting?" And I said, "Oh my goodness, that is the answer, that is what I'm going to do." So I had the answer, I knew what I was going to do, I sat down, it took me a month to write it, which is crazy, and then found a publisher within a few months, and was off and running. Paul Casey: So exciting. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: So you said you were pretty raw in there, and transparent. So leaders have to be self-aware of their weaknesses, so you can be a little raw and transparent with us really quick. What's your favorite "way to sabotage yourself"? Lisa Godwin: Oh my goodness. Fear, for sure. Paul Casey: Fear. Lisa Godwin: There was no question. And whether it's fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the risk that I might need to take, fear in general. Yeah, so I've had to create some ways to deal with that fear and really to black that out. Paul Casey: False evidence appearing real, right? That's what FEAR stands for? Lisa Godwin: Yes, it is. Paul Casey: So you said you've had to come up with some ways, if someone is struggling with fear listening today, what would you say to them? Lisa Godwin: I would say fear is a liar. I would say we make things way bigger than they are, and just focus on the truth. Paul Casey: Courage. Lisa Godwin: Yes, yep. Paul Casey: Well, rarely do we achieve our highest potential by ourselves. So who keeps you accountable? Who keeps you energized to getting your professional and personal goals accomplished? Lisa Godwin: Absolutely my husband. He is my biggest fan, my biggest supporter, and I would hope that he would feel the same way about me. But he is always there to encourage, to speak the truth when I need it. I have to say my family as well, my children. But then there's an element that the women at the shelter hold me accountable. So they're really good at being able to see right through you. And so I have to be on my game, I have to be real. They're going to know if I'm not speaking the truth, and something's going on. So they hold me accountable to me being the best leader and the best mentor that I can be, and I love that. Paul Casey: Very cool. All right, let's get Scott on the line right now and ask him the same question. No, just kidding. Lisa Godwin: Exactly. Paul Casey: No, it's great to have family members be that inner circle keeping you energized and accountable. But using your people, I'll use the word using there, but using your people to be that gauge for, am I bringing my best, my authentic self? I think that's really classic. So replenishment of energy keeps a leader at the top of their game, how do you manage stress? Lisa Godwin: So other than the Hallmark Christmas movies, I enjoy camping. My husband and I have recently gotten into camping, and we have a trailer. I also like kayaking. I just enjoy that being out in the river, just the quietness, being able to just think, or not think, and just have a little exercise, it's just wonderful. So it gets me out of my element of thinking and having to process things. Paul Casey: I was reading just the other day that just being in the forest is a stress reducer and a depression buster. Isn't that amazing? There's something about the, the chemicals that the trees are exuding. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: That literally just being in there reduces, so we have to get more time in the forest. Lisa Godwin: Absolutely. Paul Casey: In Tri-Cities it's probably Russian olives, but I love the idea of kayaking and exercising and camping, to be out there in God's nature. Well, before we head into our next question on people development, let's shout out to our sponsor. Speaker 4: Located in The Parkway, you'll find motivation, new friends, and your new coworking space at Fuse. Whether you're a student just starting out, or a seasoned professional, come discover all the reasons to love coworking at Fuse. Come co-work at Fuse for free on Fridays in February. Enjoy free coffee or tea, Wi-Fi, printing, conference rooms, and more, and bring a friend. Fuse is where individuals and small teams come together in a thoughtfully designed, resource rich environment to get work done and grow their ideas. Comprised of professionals from varying disciplines and backgrounds, Fuse is built for hardworking, fun loving humans. Learn more about us at Fusespc.com, or stop by 723 The Parkway in Richland Washington. Paul Casey: So Lisa, people development, crucial for leadership, the people you surround yourself with. So if you could clone the ideal employee for the mission, what traits would that person have? Lisa Godwin: So when I'm looking to hire a supervisor, or a staff member, I am always looking for someone who is teachable. At the shelter it's a beast of its own. So every day is different, and every situation is different, so they need to be able to be teachable, no matter how many degrees they have behind their name. And also humility. Humility is so important. Humility to be able to accept responsibility for mistakes that you've made. I do not ever expect perfection, and I make that very clear. I expect if you've made a mistake, own it, let's own our mistakes, and then let's learn from them. And they know that about me, and I live that out. I do the same thing; I'm going to own my mistake. Also honesty. Just be honest with me. If there's a problem, tell me. If you've done something, tell me. I'd much rather have you be honest with me then me finding out a different way. Paul Casey: What would you say are some signs of not being teachable, of not being humble? I don't know if you can pick that up in an interview, maybe you can, but just when you think of, you also inherit employees, a lot of our listeners have inherited employees. What are some of those telltale signs of not being coachable, teachable, and humble? Lisa Godwin: Yeah, I really feel like it's when someone's consistently making excuses for things that they've done, there's just not an owning. When you can own your mistakes, there's humility there. When you can speak your mistakes, and not just think it but speak it, that you own it, that you are going to do something about it, there's power in that. And so if I can hear somebody acknowledge that they've made mistakes, that they've grown from it, and that they're willing to grow, to me that's an indication that they're probably humble, they're probably willing to be teachable, and there'll be a good staff member. Paul Casey: That's a good indicator in a hiring process. I was talking in our last podcast about how we have to do these scenarios in our interviews probably more often than the standard questions to listen for just that, those little ways that people, so what was the biggest mistake you've made in your last job, and how did you deal with it? Listening for the, I screwed up, but I grew from that. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: And what happens when a leader does own their mistake? What's the effect on the culture, the staff? Lisa Godwin: Oh, I think it's extremely healthy. I think it creates an atmosphere of, it actually promotes creativity, because people don't have fear anymore of holding back. They can be creative, they can potentially be used for their strengths, and they're not going to fear what their boss is going to say to them, or do to them. There's the transparency, when a leader is transparent that's going to trickle down to the staff and they're going to be transparent, and you're going to see success because nobody's going to be fearing making a mistake, if that makes sense. Paul Casey: That is so good. I've heard of organizations have the best mistake award to normalize mistakes. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: To say, you took a risk, it didn't work. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: We're not beating you up over it, we're actually going to give you an award because you did your best, you tried, it didn't work. There's actually one global giant that shoots off a cannon at their headquarters when someone has a learning opportunity. Lisa Godwin: Wow. Paul Casey: So as soon as everyone hears the big boom they're like, 'Somebody screwed up, and they learned from that." Lisa Godwin: Yes, that is great. Paul Casey: Well, I've had people tell me, "So Paul, I want to think more strategically in leadership, I don't think that's one of my natural gifts." What advice would you give to how to look at the big picture? You've been a leader in several organizations, how do you get that long-term impact? Lisa Godwin: So from my perspective, I really see goal setting, every year on an annual basis, as being pretty critical to the success of that organization over the next year. One, it communicates to everyone the mission that you're on for that year, so all your staff are on the same page. And then I also think having each individual staff member under the leader, they also need to have their goals set. So everybody knows what's going on, everybody knows the direction that they're going in, and their effort can all be in that direction, versus having questions and not knowing, and then nobody does anything because there's no goals. Lisa Godwin: So goal setting on an annual basis, I think is critical. Also evaluating, I think it's really important to evaluate your policies and your procedures on a yearly basis as well. Things change, I know they do at the organization I'm at right now, and things change from year to year. We've got COVID, the pandemic, we've got all of these things happening in our world that are changing on a daily basis, and we have to adapt to those changes. And so on a yearly basis, just looking at those policies, looking at those procedures, making tweaks, making changes so that you can more effectively serve, or do whatever your mission is. Paul Casey: So good, evaluate your policies and procedures. I would even say job descriptions could be added to that. Lisa Godwin: Yes, and best practices. Paul Casey: Best practices, yeah. Because things creep in from the side, and one day you wake up and you're like, "I'm not doing anything that's in this document that says what I'm supposed to be doing." Lisa Godwin: Yes, exactly Paul Casey: How do you do that annual goal setting process? Do you have a process that you work through? Lisa Godwin: As director I am part of, obviously, all of the directors at the shelter. Paul Casey: Yep. Lisa Godwin: So yes, every January we go through the process of looking at five different categories. So as director of the shelter I would look at my volunteers, what are my goals for the year for volunteers? What are my goals for donations and potential donors? What are my goals for my staff, in terms of training? What are my personal goals in terms of growth opportunities, trainings that I want to go to? And then anything else, any other category that may serve your business or organization. So we really put it into different categories, and then have maybe three to four or five goals in each category that are attainable, goals that at the end of the year, we can look back and see that we've accomplished this, and it's moved the organization forward in a long-term way. Paul Casey: Yeah, listeners, you may want to rewind that for those categories, especially if you're in nonprofit leadership, because those are great. And for any business that you're in, put them in categories that helps you think through how to improve in that one area, make them attainable. I would also add, make them a stretch too, right? Lisa Godwin: Sure, sure. Paul Casey: So that they can't just be done, I was reading in a book yesterday that says, "Don't pick goals that can be done just by business as usual." Lisa Godwin: That's good, yep. Paul Casey: Because sometimes we shoot small, and we're just like, "Oh, okay, I'm going to write this goal down because I know we're going to achieve it. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: Just by the normal way of doing things, but instead stretch a little bit, challenge yourself. Still attainable, but it's going to take some work because real change does require a real work. Lisa Godwin: Yes, and risk. So thanks for the counseling on the fear. Paul Casey: Yes. So yeah, so goals are one of the ways to bring the vision down onto the tarmac, as I like to say, that the day to day, so how else can leaders, what are small acts of leadership that if they're done daily, make a positive difference in the lives of the teams and the constituents? Lisa Godwin: So good communication I think is pretty critical as well on a day-to-day basis. If I'm communicating as a leader to my staff, what that individual is doing correct, or what they are missing, I can align them on a daily basis, or a weekly basis, whatever that looks like, depending on how large your organization is, but I can keep up on that. Versus waiting until the yearly meeting and having to throw a ton of information on them that they can't really go back and fix, but that I can fix along the way. Lisa Godwin: And so good communication with them on what they're doing right and wrong, but then also communication about what's happening with the organization, so they are keyed into what they need to be doing as well. And they need to be communicating with me as well, so it goes both ways. I do a one-to-one with my staff, with all of my staff, we meet twice a month one-to-one. The first meeting I hold the agenda, and we go through the items that I want to go through. The second one I allow them to. So I'm training them as well in their leadership potential by having them come to the meeting and communicate with me. So I'm trying to train them, also, to do the same thing. Paul Casey: Wow, that really freshens up the one-to-one process. I know some of our listeners really know that they should do one to ones with their people, and there might be a little bit of a hesitation because it's like, "I don't know what should go on that agenda," so I really liked that of the one, one of them is your agenda, one is theirs. I also heard of leader's doing half and half of an hour, where half of it is [inaudible 00:24:51] . What kinds of questions do you ask, what else is on that agenda when you're leading the one to one? Lisa Godwin: Well I first ask, do you have any questions of me? Is there anything going on that you need to know from me? I like to give them praise. I will always give them praise, and then we'll work through any of the issues that I see that I might need to tone up a little bit. But the questions I might be asking them may surround any issues that have gone on over the last couple weeks, any questions they might have about policies and procedures, and yeah, just good communication, letting them know what's going on. Paul Casey: Yeah, that real-time feedback is so important, as opposed to the annual performance review. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: Which of course is great as well. I'm trying to work with companies to move them to quarterly reviews so it is doing exactly what you say, giving more real-time feedback so you can align, and so you can praise. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: Both of those are so critical. Well, if one of our TCI listeners asked you what two to three books, besides yours, of course, that they must read in order to grow their leadership skills, where would you point them? Lisa Godwin: So I have to say, I would point them to the Bible. Truly though, you are going to find so many leadership styles, how they handle things, insecurities, how they handle their insecurities. You really do get a good view of different leaders within the Bible. Also, I really do like the leadership challenge, that's been really helpful, and there's a newer one that's focused towards women, per se, but I really like it, and it could be practical for anybody, and it's Get Out of Your Head by Jenny Allen. A lot of times we live in our head and we need to get those thoughts out, and as leaders, getting them on paper and then communicating them effectively is important. Paul Casey: Yeah, Leadership Challenge, a classic, our local leadership Tri-Cities program. By the way, what class were you? Which best class ever where you? Lisa Godwin: I was class 20, thank you. Paul Casey: Well, second best class ever. Okay. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: But yes, the Leadership Challenge is sort of the textbook for that, five principles, or practices of leadership, in their model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and the heart one, encourage the heart. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: Yes, nailed those, so that is a classic that I would definitely say is in my top five leadership reads ever. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: And the name of your book is, we didn't say that earlier. Lisa Godwin: That's okay, it's Dear _____, There's Hope on the Other Side. Paul Casey: Okay, awesome. Lisa Godwin: Thank you. Paul Casey: All right finally, what advice would you give to new leaders, or anyone who wants to keep growing and gaining more influence? Lisa Godwin: The biggest thing that I've learned is not to think that I've arrived, not to think that I know everything, be willing to learn, be willing to grow and understand that there's other people that may know more about a certain topic than you do, based on their life experience or things that they've been educated on. And so when you put up walls to listening, or to only be speaking and not listening, you're really shooting yourself in the foot because you're not able to grow. And so I would encourage you, and this is, again, something else from the Bible, "Be quick to listen and slow to speak," and that in and of itself is super powerful as a leader, because when you're listening, you're going to learn so much that can grow you. Paul Casey: Two ears, one mouth. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: It's probably for a reason. Lisa Godwin: Exactly. Paul Casey: And really what you're describing is having a beginner's mentality. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: By going into situations not as a know it all, it's sort of like when your teenager goes, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, mom." Lisa Godwin: Exactly, yes. Paul Casey: And you're just like, "Yeah, that means you don't really get it." Lisa Godwin: Yeah. Paul Casey: But as leaders, always going in with that beginner's mindset is really rich for the curiosity of learning something new, in a situation. Lisa Godwin: Yeah. And then surrounding yourself. When you do have weaknesses, surround yourself with people who have their strength as your weakness, and so you can play into each other's strengths and weaknesses. Paul Casey: That is so good, whether that's your friendships, mentors, coaches, colleagues, when you're hiring, that all plays into balancing yourself out. Lisa Godwin: Yes. Paul Casey: Well, Lisa, how can our listeners best connect with you? Lisa Godwin: Absolutely. So they can connect with me via email, and my personal email is Lisa.Godwin@mail.com. And eventually I will have a website up, I'm starting a nonprofit called Endless Hope, and my website will be EndlessHopelg.com. So check that out, and yeah, let me know if you have any questions. Paul Casey: Very inspirational. Well, thanks again for all you do to make the Tri-Cities a great place and keep leading well. Lisa Godwin: Thank you. Paul Casey: Let me wrap up our podcast today with a leadership resource to recommend. Got certified last year to present the DISC behavioral assessment, DISC stands for dominant, influential, steadiness, and correctness, and you are a blend of all four of those, but you usually default back to one or two of those. So for $60 each, I can get you the link for that to take the DISC survey, would love to debrief it with you, debrief it with your leadership team, or do a retreat for your entire organization or team so that you can gain the most about how you're wired, and how to pick out these qualities in your customers and in your team so that you can custom communicate to them that is most honorable. So hit me up for the DISC behavioral assessment, and we'll help you with your self-awareness. Paul Casey: Again, this is Paul Casey, I want to thank my guests, Lisa Godwin from the Tri-Cities Union Gospel Mission for being here today on the Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast. We want to thank our TCI sponsor and invite you to support them. We appreciate you making this possible so we can collaborate to help inspire leaders in our community. Finally, one more leadership tidbit for the road to help you make a difference in your circle of influence, Bobby Unser, a race car driver said, "Success is where preparation and opportunity meet." Until next time, KGF, keep going forward. Speaker 2: Thank you to our listeners for tuning in to today's show. Paul Casey is on a mission to add value to leaders by providing practical tools and strategies that reduce stress in their lives and on their teams, so that they can enjoy life and leadership and experience their key desired results. If you'd like more help from Paul in your leadership development, connect with him at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation that can help you move past your current challenges and create a strategy for growing your life, or your team forward. Speaker 2: Paul would also like to help you restore your sanity to your crazy schedule and getting your priorities done every day by offering you his free Control My Calendar Checklist, go to ww.takebackmycalendar.com for that productivity tool, or open a text message 50 72000 and type the word growing. Paul Casey: Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast was recorded at Fuse SPC by Bill Wagner of Safe Strategies.
Paul Casey: Now, what are the 20% of targets that will let you 80% of results if you were to focus a disproportionate amount of time on those 20% tasks? Speaker 2: Raising the water level of leadership in the Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington, it's the Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast. Welcome to the TCI podcast, where local leadership and self-leadership expert, Paul Casey, interviews local CEOs, entrepreneurs, and non-profit executives to hear how they lead themselves and their teams so we can all benefit from their wisdom and experience. Here's your host, Paul Casey, of Growing Forward Services, coaching and equipping individuals and teams to spark breakthrough success. Paul Casey: It's a great day to grow forward. Thanks for joining me for today's episode with Tom Fletcher. Tom is the assistant manager for the waste treatment plant, and Tom does everything with gusto. So Tom, what's unusual about that? Tom Fletcher: So I often get teased by the wife and many family members that I'm either 100% in or 100% out. And when I came into and I was walking through the house at night and that's no different, walking through the house at night and missed the step. I have tiled floor; you know if you're on the tile you're safe. Well, guess what? My foot stepped on the opposite side of the wall and smashed my face right into the wall, blood going down. Paul Casey: Oh, no, no. Tom Fletcher: The wife comes out and laughs at me and says, "What are you doing? Don't you put your hands out in front of you?" I said, "No, I was walking." So I do everything with 100% in or 100% out. Paul Casey: And that's why we're interviewing you today, Tom. Well, we'll dive in after checking in with our Tri-City Influencer sponsor. Paul Casey: It's easy to delay answering uncomfortable questions like, what happens to my assets and my loved ones when I die? So it's no surprise that nearly 50% of Americans don't have a will and even fewer have an estate plan. Many disabled clients worry that they don't have enough assets to set up an estate plan. But there are important options available to ensure that you have a voice in your medical and financial decision-making, even if your health takes a turn for the worst. Estate planning gives you a voice when your health deteriorates or after you're gone. Maren Miller Bam, attorney at law, is currently providing free consultations. To find out more about estate planning or to book an appointment, call Maren at (206) 485-4066 or visit Salus, that's S-A-L-U-S-law.com today. Thank you for your support of leadership development in the Tri-Cities. Paul Casey: Well, Tom, great that you are here. I'm doing a little bit of coaching for your organization and got to meet you through that process. And just our brief conversation made me want to interview you, because I think we're kindred spirits on the whole leadership stuff. And so, let's let our listeners get to know you. So what are some career highlights that have led you to where you are today? Tom Fletcher: So I got master's and bachelor's in civil engineering from WSU, go cougs, grew up in a family of construction businesses. So I've been in the field since I was little but knew that that wasn't my career path. So I went to work for the US Army Corps of Engineers, and in 2006 decided I would make a change and actually transferred to DOE. And from there it's been a whirl, and I think I've held seven positions in the last- Paul Casey: Wow. Tom Fletcher: ... 11, 12, 13 years. Was the deputy manager of regional operations, and just about three years ago was asked to come back and bring the waste treatment plant online. Right now we're headed towards 2023 for the first creation of glass. So got a lot of work to do, but that's where we're headed. Paul Casey: Awesome. And why do you love what you do? Tom Fletcher: A couple of different things. One of the things that I love doing is to give back to the great nation. It's my way of giving back, working for the federal service. But it's also, I get to have fun doing it. And there's something about building a $16 billion facility that you don't often get an opportunity to go do. And the magnitude, the challenges, all of those are rewarding and fun at the same time. Paul Casey: Yeah, I was just doing that last week. No, just kidding. You're right, that is a rare opportunity to be able to put on your resume. Well, staying in one strength zone at work multiplies your influence, you probably believe that as well. So how do you add the most value to your organization and to the teams that you get to lead? Tom Fletcher: So one of the things that I've done a lot through my career is really building the team. Putting the right people in the right seat of the school bus is critical in delivering of a project. You don't put the kid that trips everybody in the front seat, you put them towards the back. So when I build up a team, it starts with building a clear vision, delivering that clear vision, building a critical mass within the team, supporting that clear vision, and then delivering on results. And as long as you can bring those three together, the sky's the limit. And I've created my career based on basically those three premises of clear vision, building the critical mass within the team to support that vision and then going and delivering on our word. And that's how I pretty much came to where I've been at this point in time. Paul Casey: Where did you learn that, Tom? Did it come from resources? Did you have a mentor maybe that taught you that? Or did you come up with that on your own? Tom Fletcher: So a couple of different things. One, I do a lot of reading. I grew up in a family, as I said, that we were taught early that nothing in life is given and everything is earned, or is given or deserved and everything is earned. So, that started off at an early age. I've been working in the field of construction since I was probably 10 or 12 years old with my dad and family members, two of the family businesses. So, that was the starting of it. But a lot of it comes down to mentors and coaches. I've had a lot of mentors and coaches. I'm lucky to have my brother who built businesses on supporting building businesses and supporting people grow. So having a brutal, honest voice that I get to bounce things off of that comes free when he normally charges a lot is excellent as well. Paul Casey: Well, on the flip side, leaders have to be self-aware of their weaknesses. So what is your favorite "Way to sabotage yourself?" Tom Fletcher: So one of the things that I want to touch on here, and this is really about defeating the lesser self. I have a philosophy, and this is built around my brother and my brother's concept as well. You have a heroic self, and you have a lesser self, and the lesser self is that little person on your shoulder, always sitting there telling you to rationalize things away, removing accountability. And I've spent a lot of time making sure I recognize who that is and what it is, and it's me. So the lesser self is just another side of me. And understanding what that means to me and what his triggers are, usually starts with words like, it can be done tomorrow, or there's a future day for that. Tom Fletcher: But for me, it's, being an A type personality, active listening. It's always that little guy saying, jump in there. You know we are going to tell you. And not actually letting the other people provide their perspective, the teammates that truly are the ones that are delivering the mission and truly often have the best answers. Getting all of that information on the table before you're making the decision has been critical and probably my weakest aspect, but it's been something I've worked hard on over the past 10 years. Paul Casey: You mentioned about rationalizing, and I think our brains do have the unlimited capacity to rationalize. If you had an employee who was a "rationalizer," we've probably all been there in our lives, what advice would you give them? Tom Fletcher: Know oneself. A lot of us have someday syndrome. Someday we'll start that, tomorrow's a good day, and that never stops. It's, someday we'll do that. Just over 18 months ago, I was challenged, and again, by my brother, to get back in shape. I'd let business take over for seven plus years and my body got out of shape. And now 18 months later, I'm 60 pounds lighter and in the best shape I've- Paul Casey: Wow. Tom Fletcher: ... physically been in my life, because some day is now today. And it's taking that accountability, again, 100% in or 100% out. And I have watched many statistics, and I'm a huge tracker and I watched my cholesterol keep growing, I watched my shoes get further and further away. And I took no action until I took that challenge. And once the challenge happened, it's been 530 days since I've missed a workout. Paul Casey: Wow, fantastic. Tom Fletcher: But it's about knowing yourself and knowing those weaknesses. And then once you go in, just make it a part of your day, make it a part of you. Paul Casey: Yeah. You can't dabble in it, you've got to fully commit, all in. Well, you mentioned about active listening, which is one of the best leadership skills you could probably have. How do you remind yourself to actively listen? Because you are a driver and you said you're type A, go, go, go, but you've learned along the way. You said that before you make a decision, you've got to listen. How do you remind yourself of that? Tom Fletcher: I think part of it comes to educating your team. And it's two pieces. One, educating the team that you need to know the bottom line upfront. So as a leader, I make sure my team knows, give me the bottom line and then provide me the details. I'll listen to the details, but if you start with the details and I don't know where I'm ending at or what the punchline is, man, that takes me a long time. So I've taught my team ... and this is true throughout life. If you look at the different types of personalities ... I've done a lot of reading and training on personality types. If you start with the bottom line, provide the analytical data and the facts that support it and then provide the connection from an emotional standpoint of how it makes us feel or how it improves us, you cover the entire suite in that order. Tom Fletcher: And the amount of patience people have or normally have is in that order, if you look at it from a personality type. So that is a way to communicate and something that I've learned works very effectively, both vertically, horizontally and down. If you communicate in that style, because you grab that bottom line up front, you gather the facts for those analytical thinkers and then those that are emotional based, they really want to understand what's in it for me. And if you connect that at the end, they'll stay there the longest, because they're really there about the emotional piece and they don't want to cut you off because they want to make you feel that good. Paul Casey: I love that. And I heard that's an acronym. Bottom line up front is BLUF, right? Tom Fletcher: Yeah. Paul Casey: So you got to call your bluff. Tom Fletcher: Yup. Paul Casey: And I love that you hit each one of the personality styles with that approach. Sounds like that'd be a good email too. Tom Fletcher: It is. Paul Casey: Just hit it up because some people want to read the first paragraph anyways, but then those that are going to hang with you need some of that other information. Tom Fletcher: Absolutely. Paul Casey: Yeah, it's great for vision casting. So Tri-City Influencer listeners, bottom line up front, then the analytical info, and then the emotional why, and you'll probably catch everybody. Well, rarely do we achieve our highest potential by ourselves. So Tom, who keeps you accountable and energized to getting your professional and personal goals accomplished? Tom Fletcher: So as you guys probably can tell, my energy level is high all the time. Again, I'm 100% in when I go in and that's just me as a person, my personality type. But I will tell you, I have a beautiful wife and two beautiful daughters that support me unconditionally, whether it's in my career, at home, whatever craziness I try to get them into. And a lot of time it's at the expense of personal time with them, because again, I got high energy, high expectation on my career side, the house as well. But in addition to the family, I have a whole host of mentors. I've been lucky enough that many of my mentors started off as paid mentors and the relationship and friendships, which I can't stress enough the importance of relationship and friendship that I've built with those people over time. Tom Fletcher: Now I can pick up the phone without the paycheck that goes along with it and have that conversation about, hey, what do you think about this? Or what do you think about that? I have my brother, which is another awesome resource for me, and the team that my brother works with. And so, it's been a great, I'll say, interaction. But at the bottom line, for me, it really comes down to making sure that we as a human or organizations, only our organisms, only have a couple of things that we can control entirely within ourselves. One is our integrity ... for me, these are my two large ones, my integrity and my word. And I will protect those at all costs, and those drive my behavior. So if I've committed to something and it takes me 24 hours or 48 hours straight of work, I'm going to meet my deliverable. Tom Fletcher: But that's just me, and that's something that I think it comes down to. You got to know what your value is, what your commitment style is. But one of the things I would tell you is, make the commitment publicly. Nothing makes it more important than putting a date on a piece of paper or putting a date in Facebook or putting a date in something that's public. When you're going to get questioned by those people that are out there that says, did you do it? And you don't want to say, no. That's a bad answer as a leader. No is not the right answer. Paul Casey: Yeah. I heard the other day, you're 78% more likely to accomplish your goals if you declare it out loud. I mean, that is some great odds. Tom Fletcher: Yeah. Paul Casey: So publicly share that with somebody or put it out there on social media. And you don't want to have that egg on your face. Tom Fletcher: No. Paul Casey: You want to get that done. I love how you said you've almost turned your mentors into friends over the years. And I think we all need people that we can hit up for advice, or as a sounding board along the way. I call them the A team. Accountability, teamwork, encouragement, asking for help and motivation, that's your A team. We've got to have those people in our life. And that's so cool you got so many that you could turn to. You mentioned your family, and before we turned on the recording, you talked about it blurs your style, work-life integration. Talk a little bit more about that. Tom Fletcher: Yeah. So I'm a person that I work and live one life. I don't have a work life; I don't have a home ... they blur together. I'm lucky that my wife is willing to let me do this because I'm not sure ... I don't know if I could do it any other way. So I often go to work a little later in the morning because I want to spend some time at home with the kids in the morning, get them off to school. I've had the ability throughout my career to be able to pretty much meet every one of their games. But on the flip side of that, work doesn't stop when I left the office. So I don't have a 9:00 to 5:00 job. I could, but that's not my style. I respond to emails throughout the entirety of the day. Tom Fletcher: I work throughout the entirety of the day, whether I'm home when it's a Saturday and Sunday. If one of my teammates have emailed me or sent me a note, it doesn't stop me from jumping on the phone. I do try to hold a couple hours each evening dear to my family. But from a big picture, it's really just one life. And tried and we talked a lot about work-life balance, and you think about that in a scale, you always are giving up on one or the other. Paul Casey: Right. Tom Fletcher: And with integration, some days, some weeks, it's going to be higher on the work side and some weeks it's going to be higher on the family side. And that work-life balance, or that work-life integration, it'll all level out at the end. And you're not trying to truly give one thing for another. And often it creates, like I said, two different lives, a work life and a home life. I just, I don't do it. Paul Casey: My wife calls me the blur, I just sort of fly. So when you say it blurs together, I totally get that. So replenishment has to be important too, to stay at this high level of capacity that you have. What do you do to manage stress? Tom Fletcher: This is a weird one for me, because most people think I'm not human in this case, because I really don't get stressed. I probably have one of the highest stress jobs, I've had one of the highest stress jobs that you could possibly have. I've went through major litigations, multiple major litigations, I've went through very emotional events from a workforce standpoint, but I really don't have stress. I mean, I do the best I physically can do and at the end of the day I know I've done the best I physically can do, and that's good. I mean, to take home energy or negativity or to even have it at work, that doesn't have a positive outcome or event that's caused by it, why? So I don't do things that don't add value. And if it's all in, all out, stress is one of those all outs for me. I can't figure out the value of it, other than, we all have it in the background. I mean, yeah, it's there, but I don't really feel it. Paul Casey: Sure. Tom Fletcher: But again, it's that work-life integration that I think is part of the reason I don't have that field, because it really does flow. It doesn't come in as one giant peak. And yeah, I get 50 deliverables a week that weren't planned, on a Monday, that disrupt my whole week. And I could be stressed over, or I could just go and say, okay, how's the best way to tackle them and prioritize the order, and just go crank down the list. Paul Casey: Right. Yeah. And stress is just stress. And I think what you're talking about is your response to it. And you're not viewing it negatively, you're viewing it as like, man, this is just an energy giver for me. Tom Fletcher: It really is. It's not really a planisher, it's really just, hey, I got to go tackle the projects or the action in front of me. Paul Casey: Yeah. If we continue to view stress negatively, that's when we get to burn out. So if you can have a positive view of stress, you won't get there. Love that. Well, before we enter our next question on hiring and people development with Tom, a shout out to our sponsor. Paul Casey: Located in the Parkway, you'll find motivation, new friends and your new coworking space at Fuse. Whether you're a student just starting out or a seasoned professional, come discover all the reasons to love coworking at Fuse. Come co-work at Fuse for free on Fridays in February. Enjoy free coffee or tea, Wi-Fi, printing, conference rooms, and more, and bring a friend. Fuse is where individuals and small teams come together in a thoughtfully designed resource-rich environment to get work done and grow their ideas. Comprised of professionals from varying disciplines and backgrounds, Fuse is built for hardworking, fun-loving humans. Learn more about us at fusespc.com or stop by 723, The Parkway in Richland, Washington. Paul Casey: So Tom, hiring and people development is crucial for leadership. If you could clone the ideal employee for your organization, what traits would that person have? Tom Fletcher: A growth mindset. And that is one that wants to learn, doesn't believe a failure is a failure and really believes it's an opportunity. We have a motto in my organization and something that I've lived by failure today is an opportunity for success tomorrow as long as we learn from it. Is driven and is a self-starter. I can teach, we can teach anybody a skill. It's really hard to teach somebody something that, in most cases, all three of those are contained within. And if you think about some of the great growth mindset people, or some of the great fixed mindset people on the opposite spectrum that just truly believe everything, great growth mindset would be Michael Jordan, right? Paul Casey: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Tom Fletcher: There's always a way to get better. Paul Casey: Yep. Tom Fletcher: And I can see the tennis player's name that throws his racket. Paul Casey: McEnroe. Tom Fletcher: McEnroe. Great fixed mindset. There's nothing that I did wrong, it's everybody else's fault. It's that guy in the stadium that made him sneeze, right? Paul Casey: That's right. Tom Fletcher: So that mindset, and it's been proven, and that's just something that's been shown, that if you have that growth mindset where your mind is about, okay, how do I fix that or how do I get better? I can try to get you there, but that's probably the biggest thing for me. And then driven and self-starter, because the sky's the limit, no matter what level of the organization you're going. And if you have those three, you can learn the rest. Paul Casey: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Say that quote again about ... what you said was, "Failure today is an opportunity for success tomorrow." Is that the quote? Tom Fletcher: Yeah. Failure today is an opportunity for success tomorrow, as long as you learn from it. Paul Casey: As long as you learn from it. Great words, TC Influencers. We love the self-starter thing too. I've been really reflecting on that. What separates a leader from a follower or at least an influencer is that initiative. That self-starter. If you're looking for a potential leader in your organization, look for those that kick it in gear on their own without any prodding from anybody else. Well, I've had emerging leaders tell me that they want to grow in thinking strategically, Tom. So what tips would you give on how to look at that big picture, that vision for greater long-term impact? How can people get better at that? Tom Fletcher: So, know where you want to go. If you're looking three months out, four months out, six months out, you're going to fail to start with. Most of us, and I've had the opportunity and my wife's business is now what, five years in the making. And we started her business, knowing that we had a five to seven-year plan before we thought she'd become truly profitable. I mean, that's just something you got to know. You got to know that you're in, especially with a business, if you're building a business, you're in up to five to seven years before you're going to be a truly profitable business. Or that amount of cash that needs to go in to support building the business actually starts coming out in the positive terms. And if you can't see that end point of where you want to be and you think today's going to be cash day, I challenge you to think longer. You got to know and be real with yourself, that long-term vision there. The only thing I would tell you is, don't get stuck on the starting gates. Perfection is the enemy of good enough. Paul Casey: Yes. Tom Fletcher: I tell my team all the time, we know where our destination is and a destination is a point on the journey, so that's one of our goals along where we're ultimately headed. But we're going to leave the starting line, not knowing exactly how to get there. And through metrics and measurement, we're going to self-correct or mitigate risk, another way to look at it, through time, such that we're going to leave. And we may take two or three jogs, but at the end of the point, end of the time, we're going to make it to our destination. And guess what? We don't get to stop there, because the day we stop is the day we start going backwards in life. Paul Casey: Yes. Tom Fletcher: Because somebody else did not stop. Paul Casey: That's right. Tom Fletcher: So it really is about taking that long-term vision, knowing that destination three, five, seven years in advance. Now, you can have some intermediate steps along, those goals, and you need to track metrics to measure those goals. Paul Casey: Yes. Tom Fletcher: Right? What's measured is delivered and what's not is forgotten, for lack of better words. Paul Casey: Yeah. Tom Fletcher: So I would just challenge you to think big. Don't have pride and rigidity. Too many people write a plan and say, this is where I'm going to go. Well, guess what? 27 things happened between here and where you thought you were going to go that you need to be adapt and flexible too. And if you're willing to be adaptable and flexible, the sky's the limit. And I'll give you an example from my wife's business. My wife creates cake toppers. When the pandemic hit, how many cake toppers do you think were coming into our business, which just turned profitable this year? Tom Fletcher: Her business just turned profitable this year. Not many. We went from over a couple of five to $600 a day to less than $50 a day. So we quickly looked at the potential and we landed this year with the largest year of the year, because we started developing face masks and stuff to support the pandemic that we're currently in. You have to be flexible; you have to be willing to grab that next product line. Yes, did it cost money? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, in all these major changes is opportunity and you just got to be willing to grab it. Isn't that scary? Paul Casey: Yeah. Well, quick shout out to your wife's business. Do you have a website that we can- Tom Fletcher: She's actually on Etsy, Christy's Custom Vinyl. Paul Casey: Okay. Tom Fletcher: Is her shop, but she does a lot of cake toppers and cake wedding products. Paul Casey: Fantastic. Well, that reminds me of Seth Godin's book, Poke the Box, where he just says, "Put something into play, ship it." He kept saying. And then you can iterate off that later. But as adults, we get more and more reserved and we get risk averse and we don't put it into play because we think it has to be perfect. But like you said, we got to be flexible. If we're rigid with it, we're in trouble. Also, like how you said, think bigger. We sometimes set goals that just by the normal course of things were just going to get done. I always tell employees, stretch, put a stretch goal down, think a little bit bigger. If you shoot for the moon, you're going to end up at the stars. Tom Fletcher: Yeah. Paul Casey: So that's at the macro level, let's go to micro level. What small acts of leadership, Tom, if done daily, make a positive difference in the lives of people and their teams? Tom Fletcher: Communication, communication, communication, and just keep hitting repeat. And I think the other piece of that is positive reward recognition where it's deserved. And I make that very clear, if you say thank you to everyone, thank you means nothing. So you need to make sure, as a leader, especially if you're the top leader or at the top of your organization, that your thank yous are visible, but also reserved for those areas that truly are those A performances. If all your C performers are getting the same thank you that your A performers are [crosstalk 00:25:51], you have just trivialized your A performers. Paul Casey: Yup. Tom Fletcher: And it's okay that the C performer does an A job and gets that credit when it's done. But you have to give credit where credit is due, and it has to be in a razor manner that is truly rewarding and meaningful. The other thing I would tell you is, make sure you know how your employees want to be recognized. Paul Casey: Yes. Tom Fletcher: If you take a very strong introvert and you go put them up ... bring them up in front of a stage and deliver them a grand award, they are going to want to sink as far down into their seat as they physically could. So, recognize people how they want to be recognized. That would be my other one. Paul Casey: Do you think that goes to performance reviews too, Tom? Like, rating? You can't give everybody the exceeds, exceeds performance review, right? Do you think it also plays out there too? Tom Fletcher: My biggest pet peeve in life, rating everybody equal. And I'm not trying to put a differentiation, but when you look at an array of people, we have a bell curve distribution, no matter what anybody tells me. There are people on the lower end, there's people on the high end and the masses in the middle. And so when you look at it, we have that distribution as you look at the vast majority of organizations. There are a few that skew one way or the other, depending on their structure and depending on how they style. But we have to be brutally honest with our teammates in order to help them grow. If we're not, we're giving them a disservice and we're doing ourselves a disservice because we're allowing subpar products to be the standard. So you have to be able to have the hard conversations to truly push the team, to give them their feedback. I don't ever wait. Yeah, we have feedback twice a year, plus end of your performance. That's nonsense. When you see something that they can improve on, give them the feedback. Paul Casey: Yeah. Tom Fletcher: And as long as you start with what we talked about earlier about the growth mindset, they want that feedback. Paul Casey: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Tom Fletcher: They want to know, how do they improve? Very rarely do I go ... I mean, I do have presentations all the time and it doesn't matter whose ... if they're willing to give me feedback, I'm asking for it. Paul Casey: Oh yeah. Tom Fletcher: Because it could be something small or just a small tweak that truly makes a difference and I make a better connection to the audience I'm talking about, so. Paul Casey: Yeah, real-time feedback is so crucial. Like you said, the once, twice a year kind of thing, it's doing your people a disservice because they can course correct if we give it to them sooner than to wait for the once-a-year thing and then it's, oh, surprise. Tom Fletcher: And you have disempowered employees when you do that. Paul Casey: Indeed. Indeed. And I like how you said that it's the motive behind that, it's the high performers. If you just pull everybody up to this rating that everybody gets, it really de-motivates the high performers. If one of our Tri-City Influencer listeners asked you two to three books or resources they must read in order to grow their leadership skills, where would you point them? Tom Fletcher: So I have a whole library of books. Paul Casey: Yes. Tom Fletcher: But if I was to put a couple on the list, I think, and I've talked about this a little bit, growth and fixed mindset. Mindset by Carol Dweck is an excellent book, it really talks about the growth of fixed mindset and gives great examples. And then Good to Great by Jim Collins. Another great book where you talk about getting the flywheel, the 5,000-pound flywheel going. And once it gets going ... it's really hard to get started, kind of the same idea of a business thinking long-term. But once that thing creates rotational mass and starts moving, it takes a little energy to make it keep going faster. But as soon as you don't put energy into it, it is slowing down and therefore you're going the wrong direction and somebody's passing you. So I think those are probably the two great books. But honestly, anything that you want to gain knowledge in, just read. Tom Fletcher: I tried to read 30 to 50 pages the other day. I tried to make that part of my day, reading 30 or 50 pages a day. And it doesn't matter what it's in. I mean, it really doesn't, as long as it's in an area of improvement you want to go after. I read a lot of books that some would go, what, why is that? But it's just leadership styles. Whether it's a book on autobiography for Amazon, Jeff Bezos or any of those. They each have nuggets in them. And are you going to read the whole book and you get something out of the whole book? No. But there's nuggets in every book that you can learn from. One thing I will say is, find a way to actually know how to go back and find that information in your book. Paul Casey: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Tom Fletcher: If you don't have a good way of tabbing or a good way of note taking or highlighting or whatever works for you, categorizing, to actually go back and recall and reflect on those words, six, 12, 18 months later, you hurt yourself a little bit when you're reading books. I always write mine; I highlight those critical ones and then I write on the edge of the book itself on the margin, my note that I want to capture or the thought I want to come back to. But just find a way that works for you. Paul Casey: That's a great method. I read 46 books last year on leadership, personal growth. That's why I think we're like-minded in that. And yeah, I try to highlight, and then I go back and journal through. So I get really three reads on a book and then it imprints in my brain a little bit more than just reading it and then it's gone. So Tri-Cities Influencer listeners, whether that's a seminar or a conference you go to, when you get to go back to conferences, or whether it's any kind of resource or even meeting with your mentor, take good notes because you want to capture that stuff. And put something into play within 72 hours, share it with somebody, write it, do something, or we start to lose it, and then all that professional growth opportunity slips away. Well, finally, Tom, what advice would you give to new leaders or anyone who wants to keep growing and gaining more influence? Tom Fletcher: Be true to yourself. I think you've heard me say this multiple times. I'm the same person at home as I am at work. As soon as we try to divide ourselves or make ourselves have different personalities, you're not going to be true to yourself. So many people try to fit in a box because there's a paycheck or a pay increase that goes along with it. But if it's not the right spot for you, don't take it. Money is just an object, it's not what defines us. And be true to yourself in that process. Keep moving forward, no matter what is in front of you. Yes, you're going to get knocked backwards in life and in business and in developing or growing. But no matter what adversities, challenge, you keep moving forward. That'd be my main thing. It takes determination, grit, and just pure brute force at times to overcome those challenges. Tom Fletcher: So I would just say, keep going. You talked a minute ago about documentation, one of the things I work hard about is documented approach. So whatever we do, whether it's a process at the business at home or a process at work, I try to document it such that I'm improving on it. So rather than trying to relive, okay, how do I go do that? Well, I've got a documented approach. I go back to my piece of paper. That's what we did last time. Let's see, what do we do this time? Was it better or worse? And keep iterating on that. And that approach just keeps getting better and better through time, the more times you use it. Paul Casey: Yeah. Anything we're doing is worth evaluating for sure. And so, yes, be yourself, Tri-Cities Influencer listeners. It's the best way to have executive presence if you're trying to go for that goal, because you're not trying to fake it, you are trying to be your unique self. Well, Tom, how can our listeners get in touch with you if they wanted to follow up? Tom Fletcher: Yeah. This is the part that I ... I'm probably the worst at social media in the world. Social media and I are like evil enemies. But I am on LinkedIn and Facebook. If you do send me a note, I do look at those and will respond. Just don't expect it overnight. Paul Casey: Because the driver is on his path, achieving great things. Tom Fletcher: I look at them every couple of days. They pop up. What really gets me is those little stupid bubbles that have numbers in them that drive me absolutely crazy as a human. Paul Casey: Well, thanks again for all you do to make the Tri-Cities a great place and keep leading well. Let me wrap up our podcast today with a leadership resource to recommend, the book I'm in the middle of right now called the 12 Week Year, by Brian Moran. The 12 Week Year. It's trying to help you get more done in 12 weeks than other people do in 12 months. So if you're a productivity junkie like I am, you're going to like this book because it's giving yourself tighter deadlines than just your annual goals. Those annual goals seem so far off and we just procrastinate saying, hey, I got time. And then November and December come, and all of a sudden, we've got some pressure to ramp up. But by breaking your year into 12-week years, you're going to have that little bit of pressure to get things done more often. Paul Casey: Again, this is Paul Casey. I want to thank my guest, Tom Fletcher, from the waste treatment plant for being here today on the Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast. And we want to thank our TCI sponsor and invite you to support them. We appreciate you making this possible so we can collaborate to help inspire leaders in our community. Finally, one more leadership tidbit for the road to help you make a difference in your circle of influence, it's from Zig Ziglar. He says, "Outstanding people have one thing in common, an absolute sense of mission." Till next time, KGF, keep growing forward. Speaker 2: Thank you to our listeners for tuning into today's show. Paul Casey is on a mission to add value to leaders by providing practical tools and strategies that reduce stress in their lives and on their teams, so that they can enjoy life and leadership and experience their key desired results. If you'd like more help from Paul in your leadership development, connect with him at growingforwardatpaulcasey.org for a consultation that could help you move past your current challenges and create the strategy for growing your life or your team or group. Paul would also like to help you restore your sanity to your crazy schedule and getting your priorities done every day by offering you his free control my calendar checklist. Go to ww.takebackmycalendar.com for that productivity tool, or open a text message to 72000 and type the word grow. Paul Casey: The Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast was recorded at Fuse SPC by Bill Wagner of Safe Strategies.
Paul Casey: A good rule of thumb is before you speak, ask yourself, "Is what I'm about to say true, necessary, and kind?" T-N-K. Speaker 2: Raising the water level of leadership in the Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington, it's the Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast. Welcome to the TCI Podcast, where local leadership and self-leadership expert, Paul Casey, interviews local CEOs, entrepreneurs, and non-profit executives, to hear how they lead themselves and their teams so we can all benefit from their wisdom and experience. Here's your host, Paul Casey, of Growing Forward Services, coaching and equipping individuals and teams to spark breakthrough success. Paul Casey: It's a great day to Grow Forward. Thanks for joining me for today's episode with Ken Gosney. Ken is the Executive Director of Goodwill of the Columbia. And a fun fact about Ken is he really tries to be hip at home, but his family's like, "Not so much." So Ken, tell us a little bit about that. Ken Gosney: Well, I try to keep it cool with the kids, and the other day my wife told a story, and after she was done, I said, "Cool story, bro." I thought it was quite funny, and my kids just ripped on me and told me that was three years old and nobody says that anymore. It was a strong effort, but another failure. Paul Casey: Thanks for trying to be relevant. Ken Gosney: Yeah, keeping it real. Paul Casey: Well, we'll dive in after checking in with our Tri-Cities Influencer sponsor. Speaker 4: It's easy to delay answering uncomfortable questions like, "What happens to my assets and my loved ones when I die?" So it's no surprise that nearly 50% of Americans don't have a will, and even fewer have an estate plan. Many disabled clients worry that they don't have enough assets to set up an estate plan, but there are important options available to ensure that you have a voice in your medical and financial decision making even if your health takes a turn for the worst. Estate planning fives you a voice when your health deteriorates or after you're gone. Maren Miller Bam, Attorney at Law, is currently providing free consultations. To find out more about estate planning or to book an appointment, call Maren at 206-485-4066, or visit Salus, that's S-A-L-U-S, dash Law.com today. Speaker 4: Thank you for your support of leadership development in the tri-cities. Well, welcome Ken. I was privileged to meet you, we're thinking it's about nine years ago. My son was a freshman at Hanford High, you were the principal there, and of course I always want to get to know my kid's principal because I was a principal many years before that. I remember being in a parent-teacher meeting where we were talking about the regulations of the upcoming dance. And I realized I don't want to be in these meetings. Ken Gosney: Yeah, those were interesting meetings, what's appropriate at a school dance. Paul Casey: Yikes. So that our Tri-City Influencers can get to know you, take us through a couple of career highlights that led you to your current position. Ken Gosney: Well, when I first entered education, I was an English teacher out of Prosser High School. Paul Casey: Yeah, English. Ken Gosney: Yes. Paul Casey: That's my minor. Ken Gosney: There you go. Loved it, was teaching, and then coaching basketball and golf after school. My principal convinced me that administration might be a good thing to do, a good career. I was in the middle of getting my master's degree at that point, so I took a few extra classes, got my credentials. Low and behold, the athletic director/assistant principal blew a hole in his esophagus when he was eating Cheerios, he choked. Paul Casey: No. Ken Gosney: And so, immediately I was pulled out of the classroom, and for the next four months was an administrator at the high school, and loved it. So then took the next step of applying for jobs and was hired at Hanford High School, was there for 12 years. I then made the natural transition to Goodwill. Paul Casey: There was a little sarcasm in natural transition, right. Ken Gosney: Yeah. No, so I knew actually the former executive director at Goodwill, so when he left, the job came open, and I thought that that seems like a great opportunity and still kind of satisfied my desire to have a job where I can look in the mirror and say I'm trying to give back to the community, I'm trying to make a difference. So went for it, and yeah, the board selected me. It's been five-and-a-half years now. Paul Casey: Okay, and why do you love what you do? Ken Gosney: Well, when I was a principal, I worked heavily in the special education department and loved it. I loved working with that population of kids. You'll never meet better human beings than those kids. I still see those kids still now because Goodwill of course works with a lot of employees with disabilities or other barriers. It's great to see them still progressing, getting to see how they're doing. And I really just valued a mission that Goodwill has of changing lives through the power of work. We're able to, really on a daily basis, impact people's lives, and the lives of their family, and get out of that cycle of not having a job, and poverty, and helping people achieve some goals. It's really cool. Yeah, I can't ask for a better job, I love what I do. Paul Casey: What a great mission. I love the thrift stores too. We're thrifters, my wife and I, and my mom. I think these jeans probably were purchased at Goodwill. Ken Gosney: I hope you got a good deal on them. Paul Casey: Always, always. There was probably that moment of that decision to switch from being a principal to executive director, what was going through your mind during that? Did you do pros and cons? Ken Gosney: Absolutely. Yeah, actually I would take a lot of walks at night, I'd take the dog out, and walk for miles just going through my mind if I really wanted to leave a job I loved. I loved being the principal at Hanford High School. The high school was really humming along. I had been there long enough that I had hired the administrative team, the leadership team, and a lot of the teachers. Things were going really well, I loved it, so making that kind of a change was pretty dramatic. I had a lot of pros and cons lists I guess going in my head, a lot of talks with my wife about what we thought would be the best for the family. Really, I mean, not to get dark here, but when my youngest was six, he had a brain tumor. We were really lucky it was in a good location, the surgery was successful, but it was really scary. Ken Gosney: We were in pediatric ICU for two weeks with him. So at that point, I really kind of analyzed where I was as a parent, and I saw other people's kids more than I saw my own kids. At that point, I started looking around, but I still wanted to make sure it was a job that fulfilled my need of wanting to be a positive impact in the community. So when this job came open, I was like, "That's the one," but still it took a lot of thought to get there. But it allowed me to spend more time with my family than a high school principal position, which is just crazy hours. I mean it really is. Paul Casey: Yeah, yeah. So work-life balance was a huge, almost number one... Ken Gosney: Right, yeah. Absolutely. Paul Casey: ... on the list for that decision. Just for our listeners who might have a critical decision to make in their life, what do you tell people who are that crossroads of decision making. It could be career or it could just be another big decision in their life. What advice would you give? Ken Gosney: Well, I think you really need to analyze why you're considering the change. I could throw out the old cliché, which I truly believe, you follow your heart. But really make sure you understand why you're wanting to make that change and if it truly is right for you. I mean, money is a factor, there's no question. There's lifestyle, what are the hours? Are you working weekends? Is it straight 9:00 to 5:00? I think all those things come into play, and also where you are in your life. If you have kids, a wife, all those decisions of course have a direct impact on your family. But I think at the end of the day you do make that pros and cons list and try to make the best decision you can make with all those factors being included. Ken Gosney: Sometimes jobs I think look really attractive on the outside, and then when you really start to dive in, is this the best move? Maybe it's not. I would just say put a lot of thought into it and why you want to go into that position, what are you hoping to gain or accomplish by making that move. Paul Casey: What's the most rewarding part of being a leader for you? And then how do you stay focused on that and not the hassles, the disappointments, and the other junk of being a leader? You probably had to do that as a principal and also now. Ken Gosney: Yeah. It's really easy to get dragged down into the muck of it. And sometimes I have to remind myself I'm not perfect at it. I have to remind myself that looking at all the positive things is really important. It is important to acknowledge what you're doing well as a leader, as an organization. Not to rest on your laurels with it, but to acknowledge that there are things we're doing really well and there are things we need to improve on. But sometimes you get really lost in the negative, whether it's employee situations, you name it, right? Just like the lockdown when we were shut down for three-and-a-half months, we had to make some really difficult decisions in there and it was very frustrating because of the limited control we had on the situation. Ken Gosney: Yeah, I just think it's important to acknowledge what is going well, not to dwell on it too much, but to remember, yeah we got these significant challenges or frustrations right now, but we're doing some things that are going really well too, and we're having some really positive impacts. But again, I have to remind myself to do that because I think human nature sometimes it to just focus on. And sometimes like that five percent of the job that really exhausts you mentally, physically, whatever, it's easy to overlook the other 95% that's going fairly well because you're just focused on that 5%. And so I think sometimes it's just good to take a break and step back and say, "Okay, we're doing this and we're going to be able to handle this challenge." But and also I think surrounding yourself with people that embrace challenges and are positive themselves, you have people that are energy givers and you have people that are energy suckers and who you surround yourself with, I think is really important. Paul Casey: How do you intentionally try to celebrate those wins? Do you do it in staff meetings? Do you do it in one to ones? Is there retreats, where do you try to capture those wins and those stories? Ken Gosney: I think all of the above, I mean, we have like with our store managers, we have weekly meetings and in those meetings, there's an agenda and some of those are things we have to work on or things that aren't going well, that we have to make adjustments. We always talk about things that people are doing really well. And sometimes we actually single out a manager and said, "Hey, this manager was able to accomplish this." And acknowledge the things that our people are doing really well. Ken Gosney: And with my direct leadership team, I have five direct reports. I was acknowledged with my board. I have a board of 14, so I have 14 bosses. And they're great. They're all volunteers in the position. They really value what we do, but I always make sure to acknowledge the work that my team has done, whether individually or as a group because it's a collaborative process. And so it's easy sometimes for a leader to sometimes say, well, this is what I've done. And I try to never say that, I would say, this is what we've done, or this is what Paul did to make things work better for us. And I think that's really important that people that are working hard and being part of your team, understand that you value what they bring to the team and there's ways to acknowledge that. But I think one of the most important things is to collaborate and say, Paul, what do you think about this situation? Paul Casey: Yeah. Ken Gosney: Now at the end of the day, I have the final say, but you should be able to foster an environment of just, "Hey, let's, let's get after it here. And let's disagree." I don't want, yes men. I guess I should say yes people, but I want people to disagree with me and that's a hard environment to foster sometimes because as a leader, you're making yourself vulnerable to, "Hey, my idea, wasn't the best idea." But it also helps you come up with the best solutions. Paul Casey: Yeah. Good stuff. When I teach positive culture, I talk about acknowledging people, getting their input and communication and you hit two or three of those just right there. What makes people feel valued? Ken Gosney: Yeah. Also gives opportunities, I think for growth. I was really proud of when I was at Hanford High School, three or four of the assistant principals, I had went on to take their own buildings as lead principals. And in order to do that they have to have experience and it's a different gig going from assistant principal to a lead principal just like any leadership, right. When you take that step up and suddenly you're in charge of all of it. It's a different gig. And so providing them opportunities to learn, to grow, to fail and fail safely but learn from it. I think it's really important. Paul Casey: How are you growing these days? You mentioned growth and how have you matured as a leader just in recent years? Ken Gosney: Well, maturity is not typically a word that people use with me. But how have I grown as a leader? I think it's really important that you are always as a leader open-minded and I think that's where the most growth comes from. And I think it's important to read books on leadership and all that type of stuff. When it comes down to actually executing it, that collaborative environment allows you as a leader to really get the best information from the best people. If you hire great people and you need to let them be a part of your team and really collaborate in that environment, you learn from each other all the time. And you learn to function as a team in a high level team and that's work, doing that as a work because people have to trust each other that when they throw out an idea, even if it's disagreed with, but it's going to be done respectfully and not in a personal attack type mode. And that takes work to get there. And I think our team is there right now. We're really happy with where we are. But it took some time to get there. Paul Casey: Yeah, so one-liner on a job description of staying open-minded or creating psychological safety collaboration, but it could take, it does take a lot of work to get that. Well, you probably have a lot on your to-do list, like all leaders do, and it's probably greater than the time you have to do it. So how do you triage your tasks? How do you know what to delegate? How do you know what to focus on all that? Ken Gosney: So I'll go back to when I was a principal. I was horrible at delegating and I mean, horrible at delegating my first, probably two or three years as a lead principal. Because I was so, anxiety ridden about making sure everything was done in my world of right, right. So when my kid had that tumor and of course I was out for a month with him, I really had to let go and let my assistants and my leadership team run the show and you know what happened? Paul Casey: Nothing fell apart. Ken Gosney: Nothing fell apart. As a matter of fact, it went really smoothly and it opened my highest, a little bit of, okay, have I been, what have I been shouldering too much and too, have I not been giving opportunities to people to grow and show and develop their skillset. Paul Casey: Yeah. Ken Gosney: And so that was really an eye-opener for me that, okay, you know what, I need to trust my team to do their job and understand that they can do it and they can do it really well. And in fact, sometimes better than me. And so that was a real eye-opener and that really changed I think my perspective of how to work with my team, Paul Casey: Any delegation tips that you'd pass on to our listeners? Ken Gosney: I would say, whatever you... you know first off, if you hire, like in my current position, I have a director of finance. I'm not going to handle finance stuff. I'm going to delegate finance stuff to her, one because that's her job and two that's her training. I should not. I'm an English teacher by trade. I shouldn't be handling finances. So I delegate, if it's within their realm, I think they should be handling it. And so it's easy for me to say, "Okay, I'm going to really control this budget." But really she's part of my team and that's her expertise. So she's going to be right there with me and the rest of the team saying, "Here's where we are. This is what we can do. This is what we can't do." So I would say one of the important things with delegating is to let people do their job. If I have an athletic director as a principal, I should let the athletic director handle athletics and all the issues that can come with that. If I have one that's in charge of discipline, I should let them handle discipline. Yeah, that doesn't mean I'm not involved, but I think you let people do their jobs. Paul Casey: Yeah. Don't pull the rope back. Ken Gosney: Yeah. Paul Casey: Give them authority and responsibility. Right? Ken Gosney: Yeah. Paul Casey: Good stuff. Well, before we head into our next question on relationship building, a shout out to our sponsor. Speaker 4: Located in the Parkway, you'll find motivation, new friends and your new coworking space at Fuse. Whether you're a student just starting out or a seasoned professional, come discover all the reasons to love coworking at Fuse. Come co-work at Fuse for free on Fridays in February, enjoy free coffee or tea, Wifi, printing conference rooms, and more, and bring a friend. Fuse is where individuals and small teams come together in a thoughtfully designed resource, rich environment to get work done and grow their ideas. Comprised of professionals from varying disciplines and backgrounds. Fuse is built for hardworking, fun loving humans. Learn more about us at fusespc.com or stop by 723 The Parkway in Richland Washington. Speaker 4: So can you probably believe, like I do that leadership is relationships. Talk about what relationships are key to your success and how do you intentionally develop those? Speaker 4: Well, I would say the relationship with my, especially my direct leadership team is very important. Like you can't really overstate the importance of that relationships and the way I develop it now, of course, this is the world, according to God's name and I'm sure there's many ways to do this. I just try to make time to talk. And so one thing we frequently do we haven't released since the pandemic because that's kind of screwed up all of our scheduled regular scheduled meetings, but we would start out every meeting our weekly meeting with how was your weekend and we'd go around the table and everybody would take five, 10 minutes and talk about their weekend. Paul Casey: Right now. Ken Gosney: So you think about that, well, that's an hour to an hour and a half of our meeting. By the time you have five or six people reporting. Right? Paul Casey: Yeah. Ken Gosney: And of course it leads to questions from the other, in an engaging conversation. And you get to learn about people, you get to learn about their families, what their interests are. And so that helps to break down walls because all of a sudden now I'm viewing Paul, not just as a work colleague, but kind of a friend and somebody I trust. And so now we can have conversations that maybe a month ago we couldn't have, because I wasn't willing to trust that you were going to be okay with my ideas, whether you liked them or not. And so yeah, I think time is the biggest factor. Ken Gosney: And it's really difficult sometimes because trust me, there are days I come in and it's like, okay, I got a full list of things to do and somebody walks in my office and they want to chat. And I have to, I really have to just push that aside and focus on them because that's important. That relationship is really, really important. And it's important for them to get my attention at that moment because they've come in looking for it. And for me to shut it down and say, I don't have time would not be healthy and any way, shape or form. So yeah, it takes a lot of time. But I don't know that you could do anything more important than develop those relationships, if you really want to have a collaborative environment, Paul Casey: You said everything changed in COVID. Do you, do not check in via zoom or whatever you're doing now, or just less of it? Ken Gosney: So we still have weekly meetings, but we've changed from, now we have about 10 or 11 people in there and we're all spread out through the conference room. And we brought in people, extra people because of safety, we've got a safety person, who's making sure we're following all the safety protocols. And then, so it's almost become too big of a, "Hey, let's take 10 minutes because now we're going to be here for three hours." And really people is we've been really busy. And so now it's trying to find that balance between talking and honoring their time. And so yeah, it's become a little bit bigger, but I think we've been able to handle it well because we've already had those established relationships. And so it hasn't been as big of a deal, but we do miss it, but there, you know, I just was talking to my HR director, which I haven't seen in a couple of weeks because I have been out and she's went out. And so we took 20, 25 minutes and taught and just shooting the breeze. And so those pockets of time are still happening as they can, but it's been difficult to find the time to just say, "Hey, this is, we're going to work as a team and build relationships at this moment." So. Paul Casey: Okay. Well, self-care, essential to mental health to top performance, especially now when you made a career altering decision because of self-care and family work-life balance. So what recharges your batteries? Ken Gosney: Well, I think really at this point in this environment I enjoy my family and really enjoy going to work, especially after three and a half months where we really couldn't go to work or it was very limited in what we could do and who we could see and all that. I really came to value more than ever what we do. So I worked, does recharge my batteries. I know that's a, maybe not something you hear every day, but I do love going to work and I miss it when I'm not there. I've missed the routine of being there every day with people. But really at this point my wife and I are kind of getting two of our three kids are gone to college and then we got a sophomore. Ken Gosney: And so a lot of times it's just, my wife and I we're sitting there watching TV and we've settled into this, watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and- Paul Casey: No, you haven't gone there. Ken Gosney: And then we have our cream corn and go to bed. We enjoy each other's company and it's been good just to at night, we're not running kids all over the place anymore. And I know sometimes that's scary when couples hit that phase, but Michael, we haven't been able to run him anywhere because all of the stuff has been canceled. And so really we've been able to just enjoy each other's company. And so that's been good at night be able to sit there and relax and just talk or watch TV together or whatever. A lot of Netflix documentaries. Paul Casey: Yes. Well, you brought up your finance director earlier when we talk about finances are really, one of those big things that you have to do as an executive director to sort of keep just an overall perspective on that your board probably of course would appreciate that you're doing that. So what does that evaluation look like in your position? Ken Gosney: The evaluation of finances? Paul Casey: Yeah. Budget commences, all that kinds of stuff. Ken Gosney: So, like I said, we have 14 board members and they come from a variety of walks of life. Some of them heavily with finance background or banking, business banking. And so we meet monthly and we have to report our finances to the board on a monthly basis. And Goodwill as a nonprofit is an interesting setup, in that we have our mission side of the house and we also have our retail side of the house. And so what's interesting is we have to run the retail side like any business would run. We have all the same bills, all the same problems that any business would have. And how well we run that business is how well we can take care of our mission side of the house. Because the more money we make on the retail side, the more money we have to spend on mission. Ken Gosney: So it's really important, but it's this weird balance between we're, going to be really business savvy and we're going to be really mission savvy and compassionate savvy. And sometimes that's almost like it doesn't go together. So, it's like a compassionate way to run a business, which sometimes, I think some people would say that doesn't work. It does, but we really have to do well on the retail side for our mission side to do well. And so we have to report the finances and the finances, if they're not looking good or they're not sustainable, we would go bankrupt like any other business. Ken Gosney: So my board, yeah, they hold us accountable to making sure the finances are looking good. And if there are issues, we better have an answer for the board as to why something's happening within the finances or expenses and what our plan is to move forward with that. Now the board has been very supportive. Like I said, they're great people, they're very passionate about our mission. But they also understand that mission is funded by our retail. But they hold our feet to the fire and like I said, they know their stuff. And so there's no trying to pull the wool over the eyes of that group. They're too sharp for it. Not that we would try it anyway, but anyway, as a nonprofit, I think, especially if it's a well-run non-profit their finances are in order. If their finances aren't in order, that may spell trouble down the road for them. Paul Casey: Did you have to make any big changes when you came in? I noticed that you had some storefronts and then no longer have as many storefronts for receiving donations. I don't know if that was just an observation I made. Did you have to do some changes of what works, what doesn't work? Ken Gosney: We did collapse two stores in Kennewick into one. We built a brand new one. And we have moved or eliminated some of the donation centers where they're this standalone trailers. And so what's really interesting about that is we use the same process that Walmart would use when placing a store. So Walmart doesn't just come in and buy any old place land. They do research on demographics and what store is going to perform the best and where. We do the same thing. And because it's the business side of the house, we have to make sure that our expenses are under control and we're able to maximize our profits out of there. So yeah, sometimes we were in the wrong spot or needed to make some efficiency changes, and that's what we came up with. So that was a steep learning curve for me, by the way. Ken Gosney: Because a budget as a high school principal, I mean, basically the district gives you, "Here's some money, make sure you don't spend more than you have." You're not in charge of generating revenue. And so now being in charge of generating revenue and so minimum wage went from $9.47 when I first started and now it's $13.69. We pay $14 an hour, is our minimum. So that's a dramatic, huge, especially when you're talking about hundreds of employees, we have about 300 employees. That's a huge impact on your budget. And it's a good thing. I'm not complaining about it, but we had to make some adjustments to make sure we could handle that increase in wages. Which we've done. But if we're not looking to the future and trying to be more efficient and always on, I guess cutting edge with what we're doing, those expenses will overtake you. Paul Casey: Yeah. Well, let me just follow that rabbit trail. So strategic planning, what does that look like then say, you're always looking forward. Ken Gosney: So yeah, our strategic plan, we're looking at, how do we handle expenses, including wages benefits. We have an excellent benefits package for our employees. It's very reasonably priced and that's very important to us that they can be covered and not break the bank while doing it. Which means we cover a huge portion of that. So all those things were taken to account. Capital projects. So for instance, the Kennewick store that we built a year ago, year and a half ago, that was simply, we were leasing two facilities and it became, lease are expensive. And then when you have to fix a 25,000 HVAC unit, you're actually fixing somebody else's HVAC unit. You're putting in a brand new one and you're just paying for all of it and you don't really, it's not yours. Ken Gosney: So we started looking at building and building turned out to be cheaper substantially than leasing the two buildings. And at the end of the day, once we have it paid for, it's ours. And then it frees up all that extra money to go into mission. So yeah, I mean, we're talking five, 10, 15 years down the road is how we're looking at things. Your infrastructure has got to be healthy. I mean, we had trucks that weren't running when I first got there. So we looked at ways to get new trucks for our guys to drive. The battery start. So yeah, it's strategic planning involves our board, it involves employees, our leadership team. And we do that, it's typically a three or four year document, but it also is subject to change if COVID happens or some other situation comes up. Paul Casey: So you've got the building, the new buildings on Columbia Center Boulevard. Ken Gosney: It is. Next to Fred's Appliance. Paul Casey: And then the other building in Pasco? Ken Gosney: Yeah. The old K-mart for those that have been around for awhile. Paul Casey: Yes, Kmart. Ken Gosney: Remember that Kmart there? Paul Casey: Great. Just want to give that info. Where everybody needs to go and- Ken Gosney: And then next to Fred Meyer and Richland. Paul Casey: Next to Fred Meyer. There we go. Those are the three. Well, finally, Ken, what advice would you give to new leaders or anyone who wants to keep growing and gaining more influence? Ken Gosney: Well, I would just say don't, don't be afraid to fail. Because you're going to. And you're going to make mistakes and it's okay to say, "I made a mistake." And I go back to when I was first made a principal, the lead principal, my very first staff meeting, it was in this summer, summer was just ending and school was about to start. And one of my assistant principals was in charge, I think it had to do with lockers. I can't really remember. But he was up presenting and something had happened and we had a blow up with some of the staff. They were furious and I totally got it. And as they were talking about it, I was like, "Oh no, we missed that. We didn't catch that. That was going to be a problem." And it was too late. Ken Gosney: And so I had a to make right then and there, because I was off to the side and my assistant was up presenting this part. And so I just stepped up and said, "Hey this is my mistake. I did not consider that and I apologize." And I was ready for this backlash to now come towards me, and I really wanted it to come towards me and off the... Because really I'm the guy in charge. And what happened was the exact opposite. The anger left that room in like three seconds and it turned almost towards compassion where they're like, "We can handle that." And it was never brought up again. It was like, "Okay, we can fix this semester. This is what we'll do to handle it now." And that was a real lesson for me to learn that, you know what? You can't get up and say, "I screwed up," every day, but when you do make a mistake, I think it's important to acknowledge it. I don't think people expect leaders to be perfect. Paul Casey: That's right, yeah. Ken Gosney: And if they do, you're never going to make them happy anyway. But I think most people just want an authentic leader. And I think my advice to any leader, new, young, old whatever is to be yourself. You can steal ideas from other people, but don't try to be other people, because people will see through that. Be authentic, be who you are always lead with integrity, and I think you'll be okay. Paul Casey: Yeah. And apologies build trust. That's a good lesson. That's a good lesson. How can our listeners best connect with you? Ken Gosney: Well, through the Goodwill Industries of the Columbia website. We have email addresses listed on there for all the leadership team. And of course, we live in a great community and we've been super happy with people kept their donations for those three and a half months. And so when we were allowed to reopen, we've always appreciated the support of the community. And we've been here for over 50 years and just really looking forward to many years of being here. It's been awesome. Paul Casey: Yeah. It's still, there's a lot of great thrift stores in town, but I think the common phrase is people like, "Yeah, I'm just going to donate that to Goodwill." That's a great thing to say. Ken Gosney: And if I could just plug real quick. In 2019, we don't have the 2020 numbers yet, but in 2019 donations helped us serve over 5,000 people locally and place 900 people into jobs locally. Paul Casey: That's incredible. Ken Gosney: So those donations make a huge difference. And so again, we've really always appreciated the support, but just know that it does make a huge difference. Paul Casey: Awesome. Well, thanks for all you do to make Tri-Cities a great place, and keep leading well. Ken Gosney: All right, well, thanks for having me. Paul Casey: Let me wrap up our podcast today with a leadership resource to recommend. If you're looking for something to motivate your employees, and you're probably working remotely, I want to put you on to a YouTube site. Well, I found it on YouTube. It's from snacknation.com. It's 11 insanely powerful and motivational videos for employees. So they've just taken some of these best motivational talks by Brendon Burchard, Daniel Pink, Les Brown, Shawn ACOR, and they've put them in these little bite-sized nuggets that you could play at the beginning of a staff meeting. Paul Casey: So again, it's snacknation.com, 11 insanely powerful and motivational videos for your employees. Again, this is Paul Casey. I want to thank my guest, Ken Gosney from Goodwill of the Columbia for being here today on the Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast. And we want to thank our TCI sponsor and invite you to support them. We appreciate you making this possible so we can collaborate to inspire leaders in our community. Finally, one more leadership tidbit for the road to help you make a difference in your circle of influence. As a leader, you are a stage procurer, not a perfumer. Until next time, TGF! Keep Growing Forward. Announcer: Thank you to our listeners for tuning in to today's show. Paul Casey is on a mission to add value to leaders by providing practical and strategies that reduce stress in their lives and on their teams, so that they can enjoy life and leadership and experience their key desired results. If you'd like more help from Paul and your leadership development, connect with him at email@example.com, for a consultation that can help you move past your current challenges and create a strategy for growing your life or your team forward. Announcer: Paul would also like to help you restore your sanity to your crazy schedule and getting your priorities done every day by offering you his free control-my-calendar checklist. Go to www.takebackmycalendar.com for that productivity tool or open a text message to 72000, and type the word Grown. Paul Casey: Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast was recorded at Fuse SPC by Bill Wagner of Safe Strategies.
We have a Patreon! Extra content for our patrons; if you like what we do and you're able, throw us a shekel. We wrap Season 2 with "Mutually Assured Insemination" - Meditations in an Emergency gets the TCI treatment. Hosts - Roberta Lipp & Dan Jasper Sound & Graphics Consultant - Albert Stern (stickrust arts) Music - Adam Michael Tilford Editing - Roberta Lipp Questions/Comments/Dirty Jokes: Questions@TheyCoinedItPod.com Social Media Instagram Twitter Facebook
Paul Craney, Spokesperson of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, joins the show to discuss the Transportation Climate Initiative, what it would mean for New England and the other states involved, and what is being done to stop its implementation. Links: • Follow Paul on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pauldiegocraney • Follow the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MassFiscal • More from the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance: https://www.massfiscal.org/ • More on the TCI from MFA: https://www.massfiscal.org/transportation-climate-initiative-tci • Video of MA Undersecretary for Climate Change David Ismay: "We Have to Break Your Will.": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muxVGmgykA4 • More on this issue from IER: https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/tag/transportation-and-climate-initiative/
Uncle Neil got a tour of the new studios yesterday. Hockey season starts tonight, Jeff Rimer is in the studio, and coach Doug MacLean on the phone. Spitting on an umpire, TCI not showing the Panthers, and Pete Bolger gets a complaint call. Rimer has some problems with Hank, and Joe Z. A good song at the end.
Uncle Neil got a tour of the new studios yesterday. Hockey season starts tonight, Jeff Rimer is in the studio, and coach Doug MacLean on the phone. Spitting on an umpire, TCI not showing the Panthers, and Pete Bolger gets a complaint call. Rimer has some problems with Hank, and Joe Z. A good song at the end.
Uncle Neil got a tour of the new studios yesterday. Hockey season starts tonight, Jeff Rimer is in the studio, and coach Doug MacLean on the phone. Spitting on an umpire, TCI not showing the Panthers, and Pete Bolger gets a complaint call. Rimer has some problems with Hank, and Joe Z. A good song at the end.
We here at TCI are receiving the usual pre-Christmas suggestions from PR agencies for wish lists. Rather than focus on what they are suggesting we suggest to you to buy, Patrick has elected to discuss the whens and whys of purchasing a new bike or new bike gear. TCI may...
Thursday - Tre5 Open House 6pm, Friday - 1pm - Prom Queen Reveal, Provost Motorsports booth 2pm - TCI, C10 Chassis Reveal, Total Cost involved booth. 3pm - King of Beats contest!!! Stop by the C10 Talk, C10 Nation booth for your free name tag sticker.