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286: Luis Pedroza – How to Develop a Winning Brand

286: Luis Pedroza – How to Develop a Winning Brand

Luis Pedroza Show Notes Page Luis Pedroza was in a foreign country facing challenges in growing a product from an established brand. The company he was working with was seeing the competitive environment in an outdated way and growth was not that easy anymore. By showing them a new future or having them look at …

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Jono Bacon | People Powered

251: Jono Bacon: Communities supercharge business

Jono Bacon Show Notes Page

Jono Bacon started his journey of building communities as a fledgling young rock star in the UK. As a result of living up to his parent’s expectations he now he provides expertise and advice in this latest era of business. As an expert in community strategy, management, and collaboration Jono works with Fortune 500 companies, startups, and governments across the globe.

Jono was born in Northallerton, North Yorkshire in England. He lived in Bedfordshire and the West Midlands before relocating to California in 2008 to live with his wife, Erica.

While he has always had an interest in technology, the seed change happened in 1998 when Jono’s older brother, Simon, introduced him to Open Source. Jono was captivated by the notion of people around the world working together to produce technology that they all shared and benefited from. This created a lifelong passion to understand every nuance of how to build productive, engaging communities where a network of minds, experience, and time can produce value together. Just imagine what is possible if we can crack the code for doing this well?

He started dipping his toes into various technology communities, writing extensively for magazines and online outlets, and then joining a new government initiative called OpenAdvantage that provided Open Source training and consulting. As this initiative neared completion, Jono moved on to lead community strategy for Ubuntu, one of the most popular technology platforms in the world, ultimately becoming a community of millions of users.

His career then took him to XPRIZE where he helped launch incentive competitions that solve major challenges (such as the $15million dollar Global Learning XPRIZE to build technology that teaches kids literacy without a teach) and then he went to lead community strategy at GitHub where most of the world’s technology is created.

At this point in his career, Jono wanted to apply the power of building communities to broader range of industries and challenges and he started consulting for a variety range of organizations about community and collaboration strategy. This includes industries such as financial services, entertainment, professional services, non-profits, consumer products, security, and beyond. His clients have included Deutsche Bank, The Executive Centre, Google, Mattermost, Glorious Games, Santander, and more.

As his career has developed, so has his passion for his craft. Jono is determined to leave a legacy in which building powerful, productive, empowering communities is clearer and more predictable than ever before. His book, ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams’ is the latest milestone on that journey.

Jono is based in California where he lives with his wife Erica and son.

Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @jonobacon to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet

“We’re stronger together, when you bring people together and they have a shared passion and ethos.” – Click to Tweet

“We’ve seen a number of eras of the relationship between companies and their customers.” – Click to Tweet

“Millennials have identified a sense of community and connectivity is a critical element in how they’re choosing their workplaces.” – Click to Tweet

“Communities are the future of how businesses need to operate.” – Click to Tweet

“We all as human beings want a sense of belonging.” – Click to Tweet

“Building a great community is about building an experience and journey for your members.” – Click to Tweet

“The very best things we experience in the world are well-curated experiences and journeys.” – Click to Tweet

“We overvalue our own creations.” – Click to Tweet

“We as human beings consistently mimic our leaders.” – Click to Tweet

“We all want to do work that’s meaningful.” – Click to Tweet

“If you have an audience that’s interested in what you do you can build a community.” – Click to Tweet

“In the worst possible moments, it will pass, you will find a way forward.” – Click to Tweet

“We can train ourselves with how to deal with adversity effectively.” – Click to Tweet

“Stories are a vessel for learning.” – Click to Tweet

“The hardest lessons in your life are the most valuable ones.” – Click to Tweet

“Challenge yourself and be vulnerable and you’ll get there.” – Click to Tweet

“In general, the human condition is a kind one.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Jono Bacon started his journey of building communities as a fledgling young rock star in the UK. As a result of living up to his parent’s expectations he now he provides expertise and advice in this latest era of business. As an expert in community strategy, management, and collaboration Jono works with Fortune 500 companies, startups, and governments across the globe.

Advice for others

Measure and react to what you measure. Be a detective to see what’s around you.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Crafting my message better.

Best Leadership Advice

Don’t take yourself to seriously and try hard.

Secret to Success

I am an eternal student.

Best tools in business or life

Friends and colleagues.

Recommended Reading

People Powered: How Communities Can Supercharge Your Business, Brand, and Teams

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Contacting Jono Bacon

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jonobacon

Website: https://www.jonobacon.com/

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

 

Show Transcript:

Click to access edited transcript

Jim Rembach: : (00:00)
Okay. Fast Lear Legion. I’m so excited because today I have somebody on the show who’s going to help give us insights into the future of business.

Jim Rembach: : (00:10)
Jono bacon was born in North Ollerton, North Yorkshire in England. He lived in Bedfordshire and the West Midlands before relocating to California in 2008 to live with his wife Erica. While he has always had an interest in technology, the seed changed happen in 1998 when John was older, brother Simon introduced him to open source. Gianna was captivated by the notion of people around the world working together to produce technology that they all shared and benefited from. This created a lifelong passion to understand every nuance of how to build productive, engaging communities where a network of minds, experience and time can produce value together. Just imagine what is possible if we can crack the code of doing this well. He started dipping his toes into various technology communities, writing extensively for magazines and online outlets and then joining a new government initiative called open advantage that provided open source training and consulting as this initiative near completion.

Jim Rembach: : (01:13)
Jonelle moved on to lead community strategy for Ubuntu, one of the most popular technology platforms in the world, ultimately becoming a community of millions of users. His career then took him to X prize where he helped launch incentive competitions that solve major challenges such as the $15 million global learning X prize to build technology that teaches kids literacy without a teacher. And then he went to leave community strategy and gift hub and get hub where most of the world’s technology is created. At this point in his career, Jonelle wanted to apply the power of building communities to broader range of industries and challenges and he started consulting for a variety and range of organizations about community and collaboration strategy. This includes industries such as financial services, entertainment, professional services, nonprofits, consumer products, security and beyond. His clients have included Deutsche bank, the executive center, Google matter, most glorious games, Santander and more as his career’s developed, so has his passion for his craft.

Jim Rembach: : (02:20)
John was determined to leave a legacy in which building powerful, productive, empowering communities is clear and more predictable than ever before his book. People powered how communities can supercharge your business brand and teams is a milestone on that journey. And Gianna was based in California where he lives with his wife Erica and his son Johnell bacon. Are you ready to help us get over the hump? Let’s do this. I’m excited. Well, I’m glad you’re here and I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we get to know even better? Yeah. My passion is as, um, I guess you could say it’s not particularly current, but it’s becoming even more ferocious than ever, which is, I first discovered,

Jono Bacon: (03:00)
you mentioned it just now back communities back in 1998. The thing that really struck me, I didn’t really know it at the time, was we’re stronger together. When you bring people together and they have a shared passion and a shared ethos, it’s amazing what people can produce, right? We’ve seen Salesforce, Oracle, SAP build communities of, of, uh, over a million members. We’ve seen Holly Davidson, uh, set up over 700 local chapters around the world. We saw, you know, the revolution in, in, uh, in the web happening with Missoula, um, you know, Wikipedia value to tens of billions of dollars by the Smithsonian. It’s incredible when you pull people together. The tricky thing is knowing how you do that as being, as being difficult. You know, it’s a combination of psychology and workflow and technology. And my goal is to really try and figure out what the code behind that is.

Jono Bacon: (03:48)
And, uh, and my theory here is what, I don’t even think it’s a theory. I, I know it’s true, is when we get that combination right, it doesn’t just make the world a better place. It makes businesses more effective. It makes activism more effective. It’s how we are, uh, the best that we can be as a species. You know, as you’re talking, I started thinking about so many different elements associated with, you know, purpose, clarity, communication, connection. I mean, to me it’s almost like, okay, think about it from a, a, an English alphabet perspective. We have all of these letters and that for each community to be successful, it’s a different way that they’re configured. So yes, you have to figure out, you know, what elements have to go into the community for it to be successful. Yeah, yeah, exactly. I mean it’s exactly that.

Jono Bacon: (04:35)
The way I tend to think of it is that there’s kind of three buckets of communities, three templates I guess you could say. And I, I F one of them is what I referred to as can see them as these are the people who get together cause they have a shared interest. So for example, Trek BBS brings together millions of star Trek fans and they can’t really influence the show, but they, they care about it and there’s something pleasurable about spending time with other people. It builds a sense of inclusivity with, with people who share your common interest. The second type is what I refer to as consume as a, as, as champions. These are people who come together and they want to go the extra mile. They, they produce documentation, they make videos, they organize local events. Um, and we’ve seen many examples of this around the world.

Jono Bacon: (05:14)
I mean, I mentioned Missoula as an example of Iran. They had people in that community making crop circles to praise it, wellness of this back in the late nineties. And then the third type is what I refer to as collaborators. And these are people who get together to build things together. So for example, the open source community is a as generated technology that’s, you know, that’s powering the phones in your pockets. The cloud infrastructure, electrical grids. You know, one such example is a, is a project called Cuban Netties, which brings together over 2000 developers from over 50 competing companies to, to build technology that really powers the cloud. Each of these different models requires very subtly different ways in which you, you build them. But they all have psychology and cause you know, the, the, the machine, all of this is running on as human brains. So, you know, when I wrote people powered, a big chunk of it is what are the threads that go through all of these? And then how do you differentiate based upon the template that you’re using?

Jim Rembach: : (06:09)
Well, I also too, I’d like to add that what we’re talking about here or an organization, um, first of all, communities can be anywhere. We know they’re everywhere they’ve been through here, throw out of our lives. Um, even, uh, Dr. Charles Vogel who’s been on the show talk about its community, it actually has helped our species to survive. Yeah. However, when you start thinking about today’s world from an economy perspective is an organization can leverage communities, um, in a lot of different ways and they can also be extensions of their customer service. They can be part of their client success program and client success has to do with customer retention, uh, and helping customers to, to be, uh, better, uh, with the, the services and solutions that you provide. And there’s a lot of different, I mean, you can use it for marketing audit different ways that community can be leveraged. And so for my listeners, I often I’m talking to people who are in customer experience and customer care. Is that community, is is really one of the going to be one of the core tenants in how we actually both attract as well as retain customers really from here going forward?

Jono Bacon: (07:18)
I, I completely agree. I think what we, what we’re actually seeing is we’ve seen a number of kind of, um, eras of the relationship between companies and their customers. You know, back in the earlier days, um, it was very much a case that you make a product and you sell it to your, to your customer, and then the primary way in which they reach out to you have a relationship with you if through your history, your support line, right. You know, something broke, you need to return, they can’t figure out how to do something with your products. And that’s it. The secondary era was more the, the company would try and broadcast information and keep people aware of what they’re doing. So this would be through, you know, through newsletters, through social media, through blogging, through TV advertising. And then I think the third area that we’ve, we’ve seen, particularly in the last five years has been the bundling of online services with products.

Jono Bacon: (08:08)
So for example, if you go and buy a Lego set, if you buy a Disney toy, they all come with these apps. You know, any parent knows how annoying this is in some ways because sometimes these, these bundled services offer enormous value. So for example, as we record this today, Fitbit as being bought by Google for over $2 billion. And it’s not just that the fact that they make electronic fitness equipment is that they have a whole service that analyzes your data, provides recommendations and such forth. The next, the next era in my mind is that with all of those previous areas, it’s been primarily broadcasting information, providing content and services to the, to the consumer. Because modern consumers don’t want that anymore. What they want is a relationship with the bronze. 85% of millennials have a smartphone. You know, the younger generation is up in a connected society. Um, I, I forget the exact statistic, but, uh, you know, millennials have identified a sense of community and connectivity is a critical element in how that’s used in the workplaces. So to me, communities are the future of how businesses are going to need to operate. And, um, and we’ve already seen many examples of this succeeding and I think we’re going to see the, the, the, the general application of this to be much broader. And, uh, and that’s where I want to move is,

Jim Rembach: : (09:22)
well, and I would dare to say that, you know, you started talking about the, um, the younger generation. I mean, when you start looking at the, uh, you know, statistics from a demographics perspective, some of your more rapid usage is actually in the older generations. I mean, when you start talking about the aging, uh, in an advanced, uh, marketplaces, um, you know, of the, of the different countries, I mean, in the U S and the baby boomers and all of that is, uh, they are the most quick to adopt. And they are the one who are seeking out community more so than the younger generation or self-absorbed. Right. Um, right. We’re gaining and things like that where it’s the older generation want to use community as a way to connect personally.

Jono Bacon: (10:02)
Right. And I think some of that is like the older generation in my mind. And it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s interesting kind of the swing of this because when I was growing up, for example, in England, one of the things that the older generation always grumbled about was the fact that there wasn’t that sense of community anymore, that everybody was, was heads down in the video games and distinct all the internet and whatever else. Um, and I think that the older generation is as, Oh, I’ve always had a hankering for that to go back to those days of, of, of genuine community. And the young generation has grown up in a world of connectivity. But I think what defines a lot of their social, um, definition is, is that sense of belonging. Like belonging is the thing that threads through all of this is that we all as human beings, when you take away the screens, the computers, the microphones, all the books in the background, you know, we want a sense of belonging. We need that sense of, of, of social capital. So I think the younger generation of, uh, defining that and that consuming that more actively, but the older generation I think have a really good concept of what that is because because of that kind of original piece that happened before it.

Jim Rembach: : (11:03)
Um, most definitely I, and even too, when I start thinking about going back and thinking about this whole, you know, the value and benefit to the company and extension of customer service and all of those things is that, you know, all organizations realize that we need to have knowledge workers who understand the products and services internally to do a better job of starting to extend that, you know, to some people. As part of our community. I am actually a certified community manager. Uh, and one of the things through my certifications, we talked about an indoctrination process, which is, you know, a very different approach and mindset than just onboarding. Right? Right. Yup. That’s what we want to do is we actually want people to engage, connect, participate, champion, advocate. I mean there’s an elevation cycle. You use a little bit different

Jono Bacon: (11:54)
terminology, but tell, tell us about that Metro aeration cycle that you try to help organization to be able to create. Yeah. So my philosophy throughout all of this, and this is why throughout the entirety of people power is that the community building a great community is about building an experience and a journey for your members. Um, and I think that the very best things that we experience in the world are, uh, well curated experiences and journeys. For example, anyone who’s been to Disney world has seen this from the minute you, you pull onto the property to how you get parked to how you buy your tickets. I mean, they’re expensive, but how you get through and how you are kind of move through the park every, every single decision is being carefully curated. Um, one of the challenges I think we face with a lot of people who do community management is that the natural urgency is to go out and build awareness and growth.

Jono Bacon: (12:42)
So people spend a lot of money on advertising, social media content and things such as that. The first step in my mind is you have to bring people in and you have to, with if someone’s going to, if you go and do all the advertising and bring people in and they come to your front door, you want to make sure that the, the indoctrination, the on ramp of that is as smooth and as simple as possible. So what I’ve developed over the years is something that I call my community participation model. And basically the first step is that you, you define your target audiences that you want to reach out to. So you say, okay, I want to bring in people to write software or I want people to produce documentation. I want people to, to, to provide support. Um, so you’re providing kind of the, the, um, the supply part of the supply and demand pace, right?

Jono Bacon: (13:24)
So when people come in and ask questions, you want people to be able to provide answers for example. So we carve out those personas and then what you do is you want them to get to the first piece of value that they can generate for themselves on the community as quickly as possible. So let’s say you want to set up a community, people are going to provide help around your product, which is very common. Um, you want people to be able to provide an answer as quickly and as effectively as possible and carving out the OnRamp where they, the step one of the on ramp and then the final step is always the same. The first step is what is the point of someone joining your community? What is the, what’s in it for them? What do they get out of it? What’s going to take them away from their friends, families, PlayStations and whatever else.

Jono Bacon: (14:01)
And then the final step is when they’ve made that first contribution, validating it is making it clear we value what you did, we appreciate what you’ve accomplished him. And that is one piece of it. And I think when you, when you craft that well it means that it’s the easiest possible way for people to join your community in the same way that the very first level of pretty much every video game is a tutorial level for people to pick up the dynamics of how the game operates. The gaming industry, which is a multibillion dollar industry, is figured out the importance of that. The key thing then is you then step into a journey where you start out as a casual member where you don’t really know anyone, you feel a bit weird, you’ve got a bit of impostor syndrome, you don’t want to put a foot wrong and look stupid and then you eventually evolve into irregular where you’re there most days participating and then a very small number of these people will become core members.

Jono Bacon: (14:50)
And the way in which we move people forward through those three phases is through a series of incentives. And the reason why I break it into those three phases is because each phase requires different bits of strategy. So, for example, when someone joins a company in the brand new accompany, what do most companies provide them with? They provide them with mentors that provide them with education, that provide them with a lot of validation that provide them with very concrete things for them to get started with. You want to do the same thing for the casual phase of your community. And the goal in my mind is throughout, throughout this journey is 66 days. Scientifically, it takes 66 days to build a habit. Whether you want to get fit, whether you want to stop drinking, whether you want to join a community, and when you can get someone to join for 66 days fairly consistently, then they enter into the Regulus phase.

Jono Bacon: (15:35)
And at that point, um, you know, you, you, you apply a strategy to that pace as well. The key thing in my mind is you’re always, you’re weaving in pieces that move people forward from the minute they discover your community to how they go to that on ramp, into the casual, into the regular, into the core. And that’s one of the reasons why I think being intentional about communities is so it’s so critical. It’s not about frankly just signing people up to newsletters and throwing social media out there. Those are tactics that need to sit in terms of a wider strategy. Well, and I think that’s, that’s the kind of the thing that talking about jobs of the future, right? Um, it does require some deep understanding and expertise. Um, and you talked a lot about the whole human psychology element, right? Neuroscience, um, talking about, you know, motivations, the science of motivation.

Jono Bacon: (16:29)
There’s several different pieces that are involved with being able to have a successful community, some of those sciences a little bit. This is what I find so exciting about this. Like I’ve been, it’s funny, uh, on a side note, I, we, my family just got a puppy recently and we hired a dog trainer to help us, you know, train the dog and he’s been doing it for full ears. And the first session I had with him, he said, I love doing this. This is what I love about this is excited about it as he was in day one. And I feel the same way about my career. One of the things I love about this is it’s this fascinating intersection of, like I said earlier on psychology and technology and workflow. The psychology piece I think is particularly interesting. So some of you’ll, you’ll, um, your audience members may be familiar with behavioral economics, which is the, the, the science of we as human beings acting very irrational ways.

Jono Bacon: (17:21)
Like, we should eat healthy all the time. We should save for retirement. We should, you know, shouldn’t drink much alcohol. We shouldn’t take any drugs. But what do people do? You know, they drink, they drink too much, they eat fast food after they’ve drunk too much. They don’t say for retirement. We do these things, but we do them in consistent ways. Uh, where we’re predictably irrational is done. Our reality Robocom a lot of this offers like a psychological blueprint for how communities operate. So I’ll give you a couple of examples. One something called the Ikea effect, which is, you know, if you went and bought an Ikea table and I went and bought exactly the same table and we both produced, built them ourselves, you’d think your table is better than mine. And I would think my table was better than yours. And the reason for that is because we over value our own creations.

Jono Bacon: (18:05)
Now we know that scientifically. And that therefore has massive implications for how you build collaborative environments where you’ve got peer review, like a very common thing in communities is someone produces something and then the community provides input and review on that and to maintain a maintain quality. But it also provides fantastic feedback for the original personal, the person who produced the original piece of work. So if we know that we overvalue each of those creations, therefore we know we should have an objective way of putting in place peer review. You know, another example is, is that we as human beings consistently mimic our leaders. Um, and so consequently, one of the questions I get from a lot of journalists is, okay, we, we’ve got a lot of kind of outrage culture right now and, and in many cases, bad leadership in businesses. How do you deal with that?

Jono Bacon: (18:54)
And one element of this is not just setting the right kind of expectations around conduct, but it’s also instilling good leadership because people will mimic that leaders. But you need to teach people how to be good leaders. And so that can trickle downhill. So to me it’s, it’s an understanding of the behavioral sciences piece. Um, I think is one element, but the other element as well as just understanding the drivers behind why people join communities and why people operate in the way that they do. So one of the things I talk about early in the book is, I mentioned this earlier in this interview, is we want to get to that. Yeah. Sense of belonging. The way in which we get to belonging is we need to have access to the ability to participate in one way. And then we need to be able to make contributions and build a sense of self confidence.

Jono Bacon: (19:39)
And when you build a sense of self confidence, because that contribution to the loop is, is successful, it builds a real sense of dignity, which is kind of in a piece in our grouping. And when you keep doing that, you move to that sense of, of, of belonging. And what pushes all of that forward is social capital, which is this kind of free flowing, unspoken currency, which is not just doing great work, but it’s also the tonality and how you do that work. Like everybody who is listening to this or watching this will be familiar with those amazing colleagues that you’ve worked with who don’t just do great work, but they’re kind, they have empathy. You want to be around them. That generates as much social capital as the work itself. So,

Jim Rembach: : (20:20)
so as you’re talking, I mean, I’m starting to think much like we build a career paths, you know, within an organization and a half to build member paths for our community as well. Yeah. Just that, that, that adding value back to that person, enriching them, having them come out with something better if they were never to leave community is what’s going to help to continue to feed and grow the community.

Jono Bacon: (20:44)
You know, Jim, that’s, that’s a really, I never really thought about that. That’s a good point. As the, in, in, in really strong businesses, you have a, there is a career progression path, right? And it gives people a reason, Oh, a sense of momentum. Um, and one of the things, another psychological piece that’s so critical here is the, the value of, of, of meaning, um, is that we all want to do work that’s meaningful. Like I mentioned Don Aurelio, you honor, I can’t remember which book he wrote this in. I think it was predictably irrational, but he talked about, um, you know, a guy who was working on a merger and acquisition strategy and he spent weeks working on this presentation deck. You’re sleeping at work under his desk and the whole, the whole nine yards. And then the deal was called off and he was completely devastated. And even though he’d enjoyed the work and he felt like he was doing great work throughout all of that, it just didn’t erase that memory because it wasn’t going to have the meaning that it intended. And that’s why you know that the core ethos and the goals of the community is as critical as the pieces that you put in place. Um, so you know, that journey that I mentioned, the other one really is kind of the equivalent of carving out that kind of courageous in the company.

Jim Rembach: : (21:52)
And so when I start thinking about, you know, all of the different elements and components and the potential value, uh, that getting this right can add to an organization, I mean, it’s quite significant. So good with the communities that you’ve been involved with. Kind of give us a little bit of perspective of magnitude of growth and timeline because I think that’s important cause you and I also had the opportunity to talk about it. It’s like this doesn’t happen overnight. This is not a built, this is not a build it and then hold them back because they’re going to come flooding in thing. Yeah,

Jono Bacon: (22:23)
exactly. I mean, one thing I, you know, that I, I say a few times in people thought is I, I try to be like, I’m an optimist. I’m definitely a glass half full. I think there’s enormous amounts of opportunity in the world for most people. Um, but I’m a realist. Like this is it, it takes time. There is no silver bullet. There’s no guarantee, right? That the recommendations, the approach that I’ve used over the years is the most reliable approach that I’ve found, but there’s no guarantee that it will work for everybody. Um, and I think therefore what we see is we see growth figures that vary somewhat depending on the focus and the, the, the, the, the goal of the community and, and the appetite of the potential members of that community and also kind of the sector that it’s in. So for example, in technology and in the, the open source world with, with the collaborative model, we’ve seen remarkable success.

Jono Bacon: (23:20)
We’ve seen like huge projects such as Linux, Cuban, Netties, TensorFlow, uh, OpenStack, Ubuntu. These projects have had massive growth and have really impacted how technology is built and delivered. Um, and the open source is basically the way in which technology is built today. It is the way in which we do business now. And that is fundamentally driven by communities. The companies that succeed. There are the ones that that well, um, but we’ve seen communities in other areas be a little bit more variable. Like I’ve worked for example with some contracting organizations that are focused on construction. And that’s more difficult because a lot of people who work in construction, the people who are the owners, um, and the, the kind of the general contractors, um, they don’t spend, you know, they, in many cases they operate only by phone, sometimes by fax and occasionally by email.

Jono Bacon: (24:13)
So it’s, it’s possible to build strong regional inpost and communities like mixes and events and things like that. But if you want to build a more typical, uh, set of events that’s with, with the electronic pieces that are weaved in, it’s much more complicated to do that because that audience is by definition, they sure they’ve got a phone in their pocket, but they’re onsite most of the time they’re not SAP in front of a computer, then the dynamics are just different. And uh, and there’s, there’s a whole flurry of those pieces in between that sit there. What’s exciting to me is that we’re finding more and more use cases where we see these kind of hockey stick growth curves in new and interesting areas. So I’ll give you one example. Uh, one of the contributors to people power that was really proud of is this guy called Joseph Gordon Levitt, who’s an Emmy award winning actor.

Jono Bacon: (25:02)
He was in Snowden, you know, who was in Looper and all these different movies. And I met him backstage at a conference that we were both keynoting and he built a community called hit record. And this is, it brings together artists, musicians, filmmakers, storytellers. And what they do is they come together to work. On a shared production and many of these productions of being showcased at Sundance and they’ve got hundreds of thousands of artists around the world who are working together on that. There weren’t many communities I’d seen that I’d done that well before, but they, they again, they kind of figured out another piece of the puzzle. So my F my belief is if you have an audience that’s interested in what you do, um, and do you feel like there are ways in which you can provide value to them through technology, support, documentation, events, whatever else you can build a community? Well, and as you were saying that too, I think it’s also important to note that, you know, once you think you have it figured out, think again.

Jono Bacon: (25:57)
You know, it’s interesting you say that. I remember I used to work for a company called canonical and I was there for about eight years and I left in 2014. Uh, and I’d written my previous book, the art of community and now I run a conference called the community leadership summit. I remember leaving the company thinking, Oh, I’ve got this community business all figured out. The amount that I’ve learned last five years is astronomical compared to what I knew back then. And that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to consult because I really, I just came to the conclusion that there’s so much more, I don’t know. Uh, and that makes it fun cause I would hate to be in a position where you feel like, all right, well we’ll figure all this out. I’ve completed the video game. There’s nothing more to learn. So, well, I think that’s the, you know, that’s the beauty and frustration of dealing with humanity, whether it’s customer, right? Customer experience, community management, development. I mean

Jim Rembach: : (26:43)
it just goes, you know, health care, it just goes on and on. Government does. All right. Crazy net. Okay. So when I start thinking about all this, I mean, we have to stay motivated ourselves. Yes. One of the ways that we do that at a call center, uh, the, the, uh, fast leader show is we look at quotes. Um, is there a quote or two that you like that helps to motivate you?

Jono Bacon: (27:07)
You know, um, I’ll be honest with you, I’m terrible at, uh, at remembering quotes and lyrics. Um, but there’s a couple of things that I think relate to this. The one quote that really has always kind of stuck by me is [inaudible]. Uh, I don’t think we really know where it comes from. Yeah. Is this too shall pass? And the idea of being that, Mmm.

Jim Rembach: : (27:29)
Yeah.

Jono Bacon: (27:30)
I think the story is, is that there was some leader of an army years ago who basically, um, you know, lost a huge battle and lost a bunch of his, his army. Mmm. And one of his friends basically went away and, and created this motto. This too shall pass the, he then basically tattooed on his arm and the point was in the worst possible moments, it will pass you, like you will find a way forward. Um, and I’m a huge believer in stoicism, um, this, this notion that we can train ourselves for how to deal with adversity effectively. And it’s a very stoic term. I think this came later than the original Stoics back in thousands of years ago. Um, but also when things are really good and everything’s going great, it’s going to pass too. So, um, you know, again, like I say, I’m pretty terrible with quotes, but stoicism for me is being one of the most critical elements that’s impacted micro.

Jono Bacon: (28:31)
Like if I’m being completely honest with you, when I was younger, I used to worry about everything I was, I wouldn’t say I was fearful, but I was nervous. Um, and I think some of it was I came from a fairly rural background and you know, entered into this ridiculous technology world. And, uh, you know, I didn’t do very well at school. You know, I got two DS in the nnn, uh, well my grades, you know, and uh, but when I discovered communities and the value of, of this, it really kind of transformed a lot of, of, of, uh, of, of what I’ve done. But you always have those doubts and stoicism is an incredibly powerful way. There’s a book called the obstacle is the way by Ryan holiday that I’d encourage everybody to read where it basically says just when things are really difficult, you can find an opportunity that’s inside of that obstacle. Um, and it, that speaks to me, cause I’m frankly a bit suspicious of all of these kinds of self-help people who walk on hot coals and all that kind of business. I just think it’s a bit ridiculous, but I like how practical stoicism is. So

Jim Rembach: : (29:32)
I think that, I think you bring up some really interesting, interesting points in regards to that. Um, I mean, I always refer to my wife as being very stoic. Right. Um, you know, because it doesn’t seem like things rattle her. Yeah. However, inside she be

Jono Bacon: (29:46)
going nuts. Well, the thing is as well is you can’t, you can’t take the humanity. There’s been times in my, in my life where, um, you know, really serious things have happened and I’ve, I’ve remained relatively calm and stoic, but I’ll tell you one thing, if I see you change lanes on a freeway without using your turn signal, it drives me bonkers. Like, it’s just, it’s something about that that winds me up. So, you know, it’s about the human condition.

Jim Rembach: : (30:15)
It is. This is the beauty of it. Okay. So you also mentioned something about the learning that has accelerated for you with doing consulting and having all these tons of different perspectives and work and all that. Um, and so one of the things I think, um, I’d like to talk about is one of the things that’s very common for others. It’s about getting over the hump now, whether or not it’s in relation into the learning or something else, but we can learn a lot by hearing other people’s stories. The one they’ve had to, you know, overcome and triumph and where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share.

Jono Bacon: (30:47)
Oh, there’s been, there’s been a whole bunch. Um, um, I think stories are a really value. They’re a vessel for learning. You know, it’s how human beings share experience, I think. And because part of it in my mind is there is, there is a lesson in every story. Um, and, and it’s, and part of the fun is picking out what that lesson is in some ways. Um, you know, there’s, there’s been various ones across the course of my career. I mean, you know, I mentioned earlier on the fact that uh, I wasn’t a very, um, interested student at school. This is an early example where, um, in England you basically do your GCCS which your basic learning. And I got primarily season that and, but when I started my a levels, which are the two years between finishing school, uh, mandatory education and then going to university, like the level of what goes up significantly.

Jono Bacon: (31:36)
And around that time I joined my first band and I was completely distracted by music and that hence the two days in a nnn and then an N is, I think spelling your name wrong in the paper. It’s that bad. And so I, you know, when that happened, you know, my little 18 year old ego took a pretty serious dent and [inaudible] I was going to be the first person in my family to go to university. And I knew it, it meant a lot to my parents. And uh, so I just, you know, we went to the ultimate, you know, the, the, the, the university ended up going to, and I effectively taught my way in and I said to myself like, I am going to, I’m never going to have that happen to me again. Like I’m going to, it was like a wake up call in many ways.

Jono Bacon: (32:17)
And one of the things that I learned over the years was knowing your own psychology and how your psychology tends to react to things. So one of the things I discovered about myself is that may or may not apply to your, to your audience members is, is having a series of simple goals and also, you know, being a little, and do you think we can actually do this? Like, you know, do you think we could? Because my view is if you don’t ask, you don’t get right. So, um, so I think, um, I think that was one element. Another element of me I think was, was when I started my business, because to be honest with you, I, you know, I’d, I’d left canonical, I’d be an X prize, I’ve been at get hub and I was, I’d always had this urge to see if I could build my own business and run my own consulting practice, um, and learn more about what I’m doing from other companies.

Jono Bacon: (33:10)
But you have that nervousness of is it going to be any business out there? Alright. You know, and my wife was running a startup at the time, so she was taking a very limited salary because all of her value was tied up in equity. And you know, we have a kid. So is this something that’s going to work? And I just had this sense of, you know, wall Sada, I’m just going to get out there and give it a go and see what happens. And uh, and I’ve learned more and more a screw it philosophy. Um, but in many cases it generally works out fine and actually the hardest lessons in your life. Ah, the most valuable ones. Um, I’ll give you one more example that I, I’ve, I’ve mentioned before to some people was, um, I did, uh, I was asked to do a keynote for a very large tech conference called [inaudible].

Jono Bacon: (33:55)
This was five or six years ago. This was in front of five, four or 5,000 people. I had 15 minutes, like a lot of these keynotes and I had my separate 40 minute presentation during the day and I thought to myself and I, you know, 40 minute presentation, no problem. I’d done a load of those. And I was really struggling to put together a 50 minute presentation. And, um, uh, because I like to tell a story in my talks and I as like, how can I do this in 10, 15 minutes? So I got up and I did it and it sucked. It was terrible. It was an objectively bad keynote and they got off the stage and I said to my friend, you know, it wasn’t good, was it? And he said, some people are good at writing short stories and some people are going to write in it.

Jono Bacon: (34:33)
Uh, uh, novels, my friend Steve Wally said that, um, and I got off the stage. I was mortified. I felt like I’d embarrass myself in front of my whole industry and I’d ruin this opportunity. And I thought, what’s the best way to deal with this? So I wrote a blog post that day that said, I just keynote it, OS gone and it was terrible. And these are the things that I’ve learned. Uh, and a lot of people came up to me afterwards and said it was really refreshing to see someone be that open about things. And I think sometimes that’s the approach that I’ve taken to getting over the hump is just challenge yourself, be vulnerable and, and you’ll get them. Well, I think, thanks for sharing that because for me, as I was listening to you, I started also saying that, you know what? You just need to put things behind you.

Jono Bacon: (35:14)
Yeah. Which is hard, easier said than done. Right. But I think some of it, and I don’t know whether this is just me, I just turned 40. I think an element of this is just getting older, of just thinking, you know, wha whatever. Um, sometimes it’s, I think you just got to say whatever. Like I, I always say to myself, my philosophy is I refer to it as my rocking chair moment, which is when I get to be a very old man, uh, hopefully and you know, my friends, uh, have all died off. Um, you know, my gin drinking, uh, lifestyle as, as, as made me healthy. But, um, no one looks back and says, I wish I’d worked more. Everybody looks back and says, I wish had spent more time with my family, with my friends. I wish I’d focused on my passions more.

Jono Bacon: (35:59)
And that is, that is with me every single day. It’s one of the, one of the main reasons why I’m a consultant is because I want to be at home so I can see my son. Like it’s not just work. Then I think some of that is saying, you know, when something goes wrong thinking, is anyone going to remember this? No, probably not. Okay. So we’re not, you know, you talked about this maturation process of yourself and you know, really embarking on what, for me, what I see as the very, very early adopter stage of, of benefiting from, you know, the, and getting the power of of community, even though you’ve been at it for a while, this is still a really new stuff. Um, so, but when I think about goals, um, what is one goal that you have for all of this?

Jono Bacon: (36:43)
Um, the, the one goal, and this is, I like goals to be concrete and this sadly is not very concrete. My goal is when I leave this planet, Mmm. I want us as a species to be better at that, collaborating together in communities. And I want to play a role in shaping that. You know, it’s a fairly broad ambition. Like I know we’re better together as, as a species. I’m sure there are downsides of people getting, like people do get together and they do bad things. But I think as a general rule, the human condition is a kind one. And um, and I want to do everything that I can to understand the blueprint for that and to communicate it outwards. And I don’t think it necessarily means having all of the answers. I think it just means in many cases, packaging up the right answers in a way that’s easily consumable. But that’s my number one goal. Um, I don’t particularly care about, you know, being incredibly wealthy. Uh, you know, perfectly fine financially. That’s my number one goal. So, and the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

Speaker 4: (37:53)
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Jim Rembach: : (38:12)
board slash better. All right, here we go. Fast leader Legion. It’s time for the home. Oh, okay. Jonah, I hope they hold on is a part of our show where you give us good insights, facts. So I’m gonna ask you questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid response. Is that gonna help us onward and upward faster. Jono bacon. Are you ready to hold down? I do my best.

Jono Bacon: (38:37)
So what is holding you back from being an even better leader? I think what’s holding me back honestly is I need to craft my message better. I think I’m still discovering how to get what I want to do and get the value of this out to a broader audience. So I’m learning every day.

Jim Rembach: : (38:54)
What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

Jono Bacon: (38:59)
Um, don’t take yourself too seriously and try hard.

Jim Rembach: : (39:03)
And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Jono Bacon: (39:09)
Mmm, I think one of the secrets is, is I, I’m an eternal student. I’m, I’m always wanting to learn and grow and I look at myself critically, but not too much.

Jim Rembach: : (39:18)
Critically. And what is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

Jono Bacon: (39:25)
Um, friends, uh, friends, uh, colleagues. I’ve spent a lot of time not intentionally just getting to know good people and uh, I’m, I’m boosted and Boyd by the great people that I’ve got to know over the years.

Jim Rembach: : (39:39)
And what would be one book that you recommend to our Legion and it could be from Jen, any genre. Of course we’re going to put a link to people powered on your show notes page as well,

Jono Bacon: (39:47)
right? The book that I would read, two books actually if I can have two. Um, the seven habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey is an unbelievable book for the way in which you approach your life and your career. And I mentioned this earlier on, but the obstacle is the way by Ryan holiday is a fantastic book for really seeing the value that is surrounding us even in our hardest moments.

Jim Rembach: : (40:09)
Okay. Fast leader Legion, you can find links to that. And another bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/jono bacon. Okay. Jono this is my last hump day. Hold on question. But imagine you’ve given, been given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can only take one. You can’t take it all. So what knowledge or piece of skill would you take back with you and why?

Jono Bacon: (40:35)
What I would take back is the importance of, of measuring and reacting to what you measure. I wasn’t doing enough of that when I was 25. Um, I was feeling my way forward, uh, in terms of my career and what I was trying to do and, and I wish I had, I wish I’d read more and I wish I had, uh, measured what I was doing and evaluated. I was, as I was doing each day, essentially being a detective, being Colombo, uh, being Quincy to, to, to see what is surrounding me. Uh, I didn’t have that visibility when I was 25 and I would do that in a heartbeat.

Jim Rembach: : (41:16)
John, I’ve had fun with you today. Can you a fast leader Legion, how they can connect with you.

Jono Bacon: (41:21)
Yeah, it’s been a blast and I really appreciate, have me on. You can, people can go to Jonah bacon.com that’s J O N O B bacon, like the delicious meat.com. Uh, and you can find out more about my work, about the, about other things right there. And then also on Twitter is probably another way I’m just, John of bacon is my hashtag and also frankly, I just love to have a really direct relationship with. So if you, I’m happy to for people to email me, Jonah, Jonah bacon.com if there’s anything that you want to talk about, drop me a note.

Jim Rembach: : (41:50)
Jono bacon, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader Legion honors you and thank you for helping us get over the hump.

 

Jack Bergstrand The Velocity Advantage

184: Jack Bergstrand: It was an over-my-dead-body conversation

Jack Bergstrand Show Notes Page

Jack Bergstrand was a young executive at Coca-Cola working on changing the distribution network to gain efficiency and lower costs. But his plan negatively impacted manufacturing, which he was not in charge of. Jack had to go head-to-head to make headway.

Jack was born and raised in rural Illinois, growing up in the small town, Silvis, with a population of 5,280. He was the fourth of four boys, ten years younger than the oldest, and lived in the same house his whole life, with the same two parents who ended up being married for 70 years.

Growing up, Jack did not find school very interesting, but his mother wanted him to be the first person in their family to graduate from college. Things finally kicked in, and he received a master’s degree at Michigan State before he was 21 and ended up getting two more master’s degrees—from Stanford and George Washington. After graduating from Michigan State, he left Silvis and got a job with The Coca-Cola Company in Boston, Massachusetts as a management trainee.

Jack had many different jobs at The Coca-Cola Company. He was chief marketing officer and managed a division at The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New England, led the Distribution function for Coca-Cola Enterprises after its initial public offering, was head of Manufacturing and Logistics and then chief financial officer, for Coca-Cola Beverages in Canada, and was chief information officer for The Coca-Cola Company. On his 43rd birthday, Jack then started his own company, Brand Velocity and now Consequent—inspired by management legend Peter Drucker—to focus on what Drucker called knowledge work productivity in organizations. Jack simply calls it The Velocity Advantage. He has worked with large clients for more than 15 years on their most important strategic initiatives.

Jack considers his business legacy to be the publishing of his book, The Velocity Advantage, and its predecessor Reinvent Your Enterprise, and having had the ability to apply his intellectual property in practice and being able to see it make a difference with important cross-functional initiatives and with people’s careers.

Jack lives in Atlanta, Georgia, is married, and has a son and daughter—both living in Georgia

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @jackbergstrand to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Large business transformation initiatives fail 70% of the time.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet

“People who work in large organizations are typically going from meeting to meeting.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet 

“It’s the lack of holism that gets people stuck so many times.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet 

“We continue to get stuck because we all go back to our own mental models on what has worked for us in the past.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet 

“Velocity is the combination of speed and direction.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet 

“It’s very easy for someone to analyze something to death and never get out of the blocks.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet 

“It’s knowledge-work productivity versus manual-labor productivity that drives success.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet 

“It’s very easy to get started right now and then end up painting yourself in a corner later.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet 

“To get velocity requires a slightly longer start, but then a dramatically shorter conclusion.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet 

“The disruptors are never slow and the disrupted are always slow.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet 

“The hardest model to break is one that has worked for you in the past.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet 

“Nobody wants to work a year or two years on something and not have it succeed.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet 

“Projects are the common denominator on how companies move forward.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet 

“Every time I resist letting go of the tried and true, I usually get hurt.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet 

“It doesn’t cost anything to be nice to somebody, but it can sure cost you if you’re not.” -Jack Bergstrand Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Jack Bergstrand was a young executive at Coca-Cola working on changing the distribution network to gain efficiency and lower costs. But his plan negatively impacted manufacturing, which he was not in charge of. Jack had to go head-to-head to make headway.

Advice for others

Don’t interpret questions as defiance. Try to understand where they’re coming from.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Every time I resist letting go of the tried and true, I usually get hurt.

Best Leadership Advice

It doesn’t cost anything to be nice to somebody, but it can sure cost you if you’re not.

Secret to Success

Never, ever, ever give up.

Best tools in business or life

Strategic profiling.

Recommended Reading

The Velocity Advantage

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done (Harperbusiness Essentials)

Contacting Jack Bergstrand

Email: jbergstrand [at] cnsqnt.com

website: https://cnsqnt.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jackbergstrand

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

 

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

184: Jack Bergstrand: It was an over-my-dead-body conversation

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we uncover the leadership like hat that help you to experience break out performance faster and rocket to success. Now here’s your host customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Call center coach develops and unites the next generation of call center leaders. Through our e-learning and community individuals gain knowledge and skills in the six core competencies that is the blueprint that develops high-performing call center leaders. Successful supervisors do not just happen so go to callcentercoach.com to learn more about enrollment and download your copy of the Supervisor Success Path e-book now.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because the person that I have on the show today really addresses something that I dare to say every organization regarding whether or not they’re public, private, start-up, long term company really has to pay attention to and have it be a part of who they are and what they do every single day from here on going forward. 

Jack was born and raised in Royal, Illinois, growing up in the small town, Silvis with a population of 5,280. He was the fourth of four boys, ten years younger than the oldest, and lived in the same house his whole life, with the same two parents who ended up being married for 70 years.

Growing up, Jack did not find school very interesting, but his mother wanted him to be the first person in their family to graduate from college. Things finally kicked in, and he received a master’s degree at Michigan State before he was 21 and ended up getting two more master’s degrees—from Stanford and George Washington. After graduating from Michigan State, he left Silvis and got a job with The Coca-Cola Company in Boston, Massachusetts as a management trainee.

Jack had many different jobs at The Coca-Cola Company. He was chief marketing officer and managed a division at The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New England, led the Distribution function for Coca-Cola Enterprises after its initial public offering, was head of Manufacturing and Logistics and then chief financial officer, for Coca-Cola Beverages in Canada, and was chief information officer for The Coca-Cola Company. On his 43rd birthday, Jack then started his own company, Brand Velocity and now Consequent—inspired by management legend Peter Drucker—to focus on what Drucker called knowledge work productivity in organizations. Jack simply calls it The Velocity Advantage. He has worked for large clients for more than 15 years on their most important strategic initiatives.

Jack considers his business legacy to be the publishing of his book, The Velocity Advantage, and its predecessor Reinvent Your Enterprise, and having had the ability to apply his intellectual property in practice and being able to see and make a difference with important cross-functional initiatives and with people’s careers. 

Jack lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Cynthia and has a son and daughter—currently living in the area as well. Jack Bergstrand, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Jack Bergstrand:       I am. I’m looking forward to it.

Jim Rembach:     And I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given our legion a little bit about you, but could you tell us what you’re current passion is so that we can get to know you even better

Jack Bergstrand:       Jim, simply my passion is to help others achieve amazing cross functional outcomes with unexpected ease. 

Jim Rembach:     Now you talking about ease—that just rolled off your tongue with ease but we know cross functional work and doing business today is no simple task in most cases it is career ender. When you look at large business transformation initiatives they fail 70 percent of the time. People who are working in large organizations typically are going from meeting to meeting typically interacting with others who aren’t seeing the world exactly the way they are and struggling to get on the same page relative to quite simple thing like where you intend to go on and why in a given timeframe. What the priorities should be and how to best do them? Who should be responsible? And things that in theory quite seem to be quite simple when you put them in a cross functional organization context are quite difficult. 

Jim Rembach:     If you’re talking about the characteristics of a larger organization versus a mid-tier smaller organization, it seems to me like they have an inherent crutch. What I mean by that is companies that are so large, the people who are in departments or in silos really only know that part of the business and for them to be able to think holistically about other aspects of the business it so difficult because everything is just so process driven. Is there a potential advantage to other organizations because they don’t have that crutch?  Or is it a situation that a large organizations can actually get through it better because they have more resources available to them?

Jack Bergstrand:       I think it’s neutral between large and smaller companies for the same reason. We have all come up a certain track, we all have a certain background, we all have a certain perspective whether it’s a cross functional team in a smaller organization or a larger organization it’s the same fundamental work that has to get done. It can get a more complicated in a larger organization but basically getting the work done is the same because you got a subset of folks. Whether you’re part of a 20 person organization or a 60,000 person organization. You basically have a goal you got to allocate resources you’ve got to come up with a solution and how to best implement it. 

Jim Rembach:     Okay, that makes sense. I started looking at your book, in the beginning it talks about—this velocity advantage actually containing the integration of more than 50,000 pages from hundreds of sources and decades of business experience. And so for me, I’m like, oh, my gosh! I hope I don’t have to learn all this, but for your book you have to because there is a quiz at the back of the book. 

Jack Bergstrand:       But if you don’t want to take it. For me I look at it the other way and that is rather than have 200 books you only have to read one. Rather than read 50, 000 pages you can pretty easily get to the book in a couple of hours three max. k oh my done to help people think about business in a much more holistic way because you pointed out earlier and it’s absolutely true is that lack of holism that it’s people stuck so many times so if you’re in your functional salo or if you’re looking at things very properly and you’re not thinking about things from a marketing of finance a supply chain in a human resources perspective it’s going to be a lot harder to move forward, so one book you’ve got it all. 

Jim Rembach:      One of the things too that I like from the very beginning is you show the differences. I guess you could say in organizational focus going from the Frederick Taylor-ism which is the whole productivity side of the work going to the Drucker side which is more that knowledge management or knowledge type of work and then you added on the velocity advantage components. Like for example, with Frederick Taylor-ism you talked about defining task in Drucker he focused more and talked about understanding tasks and from a velocity advantage you talk about concrete tasks. And you go through and look several things like command and control going all the way through strict standards and moving along but one of the things that you talk about in here is learning and teaching through facilitated collaboration as a velocity advantage versus Drucker who talked about continuously learning and teaching, what’s really the difference between the two?

Jack Bergstrand:       Once an evolution of the other and most of Drucker’s work was aimed at individuals in an organizational context. And what the velocity advantage focuses on is the cross functional nature of the work in these organizations and the need to get multiple people to integrate their own thinking and to implement that thinking. To do that productively benefits a great deal from facilitation, a shared language, a shared framework so that I’m not trying to teach you to think like me and you’re not trying to teach me to think like you but there’s a framework that’s bigger than both of us and in many cases bigger than the company’s even that we were in to get work done in a much more productive way.

Jim Rembach:      So ultimately when we start talking about being able to have the velocity advantage became part of the organization DNA, you’re really talking about—can I refer to it as kind of like a stack of things that you have to really have in place. First of all you have to have the envision, design, build and activate process which is EDBA, you have to have strategic profiling and action planning which you talk about being SPAP and then also the project management life cycle which is PMLC, if you could explain what those things are and how they really work and compliment or maybe even amplify one another?

Jack Bergstrand:        Yeah, absolutely. It all started with the first ten years of 10:25 and consequent was focused on large enterprise initiatives that had gone astray. They tended to be hundreds and millions of dollars, they didn’t struggle from lack of resources but they predictably fail and were at least failed relative to their original desire.  What we found in all cases what there was either a gap or a sequence problem between a clear understanding of where they intended to go and why, which is the essence of envision, what therefore needed to be done and when, which is the essence of design, how to best do those things, which is what the foundation of build is and who should be responsible for what which is what activate is all about. So getting envision in front of design, design in front of build, build in front of activate is a key part of making it work.

Now that’s pretty easy to get that you shouldn’t determine how you’re going to do something before you determine what you’re going to do but it’s not human nature in a cross-functional environment. Few got it but people continue to get stuck because we all go back to our own mental models on what has worked for us in the past. So, SPAP or Strategic Profiling Action Planning was created to help with that and to focus more on the project’s themselves. So strategic profiling just like a Myers Briggs for the velocity advantage in that we map people in terms of what their preferences are to the characteristics of envision, design, build, activate which get them to identify with the model both as an individual and then as a cross-functional team. And then we facilitate them through or a particular initiative, where they intend to go and why? What they need to do and when? How to best do those things? Who is going to be responsible for what? And then they walk away with an integrated plan and sometimes that’s the first time they’ve ever had one and it doesn’t take a long time. And then that life cycle simply manages it from a project perspective using the same language, integrating the same people, because effective way envision, design, build, activate is the way a project management life cycle works as well. 

Jim Rembach:     If I’m sitting here and maybe I am not a cross-functional team as of now, however I want to gain or receive greater levels of velocity maybe for my group, my team, how can I take advantage of some of the tools that you are referring to here? 

Jack Bergstrand:       Pretty easily. Even at an individual level—if you’re planning a family vacation you should follow envision, design, build, activate, you should determine where you’re going to go before you decide what you’re going to do, how you’re going to get there and who you are going to bring along with you. And so it works at a very simple level but then as you get more complex it also works but it provides more value because those things get messed up a lot more often. Its use a lot when a new leader comes in place. You got a team that’s wondering what the leader’s all about. The new leaders wondering about what the new team is about. Typically there is that hundred day period which is agony for everybody and so to get everybody in the same room to kind of go through what gives them energy or doesn’t give them energy relative to the envision, design, build, activate model and then work together on something that’s important to them as a way to build teamwork as a by-product of doing something as opposed to letting teamwork be the destination in itself. 

Jim Rembach:     You talk about first hundred days, you said agony I thought that was the honeymoon? 

Jack Bergstrand:       A lot of times it is, but it’s an agony if you’re not the boss because that gives you hundred days to not know where you stand. 

Jim Rembach:     That’s a very good point. When we start talking about the need for velocity, several times you reference it on the book it said, a lot of people can have speed a lot of people can obtain velocity but it’s the combination of what and velocity that really makes the difference? 

Jack Bergstrand:       Velocity is the combination of speed and direction. So it’s very easy for somebody to analyze something to death and never get out of the box, it happens all the time. It’s also very easy to get started right now, go, go, go and then end up paining yourself in the corner later. But in terms of actually getting stuff done if that’s what success is and I believe it is and most people would agree then you need the combination of speed and direction. And where do they get speed and direction at the same time? You need to be clear about where you intend to go and why in a given timeframe which is envision. Then have that define what needs to, which is the essence of design. Then have that constrain you in terms of what’s the best way in terms of the how to and then have that define who’s going to be responsible for what. And so velocity will have a slightly—to get velocity requires a slightly longer start but then a dramatically shorter conclusion and at the end of the day that’s what matters most. 

Jim Rembach:     I think for me when I started looking at framework and how you stacked all this things together it seemed to me like there’s certain things that grease the wheel. Yeah, you could just slap the wheel together but without any grease guess what you end up with? A whole lot of friction and burn. 

Jack Bergstrand:       Yeah. It happens all the time. And people oftentimes think they’re upfront they think that a lot further ahead than they really are. And then there comes a point where they recognize they’re a lot further behind they thought they were and that’s usually when bad things start to happen. 

I can definitely see that. When we’re talking about this need for velocity as well as that whole envisioning and direction piece there’s a whole lot of inspiration that we need in order to keep us focused. One of the things that we look at on the show are quotes to help us do that, is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?

Jack Bergstrand:       Yeah. One that I like a lot—when I was the chief information officer at Coke I had the opportunity to be interviewed for a book called Business at the Speed of Thought which was something that Bill Gates had written. In that book he wrote and so I would quote, The increase in velocity is great enough the very nature of business changes. And I’ve always love that quote and I think it’s a very important one more important now than ever it’s even more important than it was then. Another way to look at it is that history has always shown us that the disruptors are never slow and the disrupted are always slow. And so when you think about velocity and the ability to cross functionally institutionalize it it’s a critical mechanism for the velocity of an organization to be able to have velocity in the projects that they do because the projects are ultimately what drive them forward.

 

Jim Rembach:     So I would imagine that when you started going through the different positions within Coke and the different roles that you played in it just thinking about the different personalities and while I would dare to say the reason that it seems like when I look at your background it wasn’t like you were doing things that were very similar you jump to totally different functional areas. I would imagine to say that this type of framework and approach was something that enabled you to do that. But in order to get to that point learn those approaches so that that things become easier there’s a lot of humps that we have to get over and there’s a lot of learnings that I’m sure you had and that you could probably teach us. Is there a time that you have gotten over the hump that you can share? 

 

Jack Bergstrand:       Yeah, I think for about ten years of my career I was pretty actively involved in the restructuring of the Coca Cola bottlers system. When Coca Cola Enterprises were formed I was on the due diligence for that. So when you think about the Coke World at that time it was generally a bunch of family owned operations around the country. If you were the bottler in a particular city, your town you basically were Mister, in those case it’s always Mister, Mister Coca Cola, you’re one of the most powerful people in town everybody knew who you were and then all of a sudden this thing called Coca Cola Enterprises came about and so you had all of these people who had never been told what to do for generations and now they’re part of a bigger company. And that filtered all the way down whether you owned it or whether you were a route sales per person on it on a coke truck it was the same kind of an attitude that—we are Coca Cola for this particular town and there it was a thing of beauty in many respects. But when you try to integrate all of that and restructure like the way manufacturing works and the way distribution works and marketing and the whole host of other things the relationship with retailers sometimes it works okay even well and other times that work horribly. 

 

My hump was that I couldn’t really figure out how to predictably do it with less pain. There were certainly examples that because of the people and a host of reasons it just really went easily to change from one thing to another, in other cases it was just a battle from the very beginning. And so I would say that that was a hump that—once I read Post Capitalist Society from Peter Drucker he put words around this that really makes to me. The words that he used this phrase which is a little archaic today but this phrase called knowledge were productivity and when he talked about it in Post Capital Society he had talked about it for many years before. It was largely that in today’s companies at that time and it’s still true today knowledge were productivity versus manual labor productivity that drives success. And once he put those words around the things began to click for me in terms of, what was it the heart of when it works well and when it didn’t work well? And if we could just begin to systematize it a bet then we could be able to a more predictively make changes in large organizations by making changes in the way we do cross functional initiatives. 

 

Jim Rembach:     I can only imagine when you’re going through a couple of those times when it was quite difficult, there’s a whole lot of things you learn from that. Can you think of one specific time where it was like most memorable?

 

Jack Bergstrand:       One in particular. When Coca Cola Enterprises was formed I was the first distribution function head. When you look at it now nationally instead of as a host of small independent bottling companies, how do you want to do distribution? And then they’re somebody else who say, how do you want to do manufacturing? And somebody else, how do we want to do administration? And as I was working on the distribution piece I had developed a model that to me worked really well and to my boss worked really well on how to reconfigure the distribution network so that you could reduce the amount of inventory, the amount of space that was required, still stay close to the market and it reduce costs significantly except one area, and that area was manufacturing. Because the manufacturing actually had to increase its cost so that it could have more flexibility in terms of how it generated inventory so it had to be able to ramp up and down as opposed to have a steady state. 

 

That was a very painful time in my life I was fairly young and the head of manufacturing also reported to the same person that I did was much more powerful than I was and our boss just seem to delight in this what he called creative tension but it was really structural incompatibility. And so, it was extremely painful because we really have models and we were driving down our own models that would not work together but because of having somebody who believed that that was okay it just didn’t work. So, that lead to my next job to run manufacturing and logistics in Canada and I had a lot of support as well. But I was able to then make the trade off on the manufacturing side of my job in order to get the benefits on the logistic side of the job it’s something that can be very painful.  It’s also very painful when you’re a youngster because I was only twenty five years old when we started to do the due diligence of Coca Cola Enterprises and you’re going up face to face with the multi-millionaire who is the owner of a bottling company and you’re trying to explain where things are going and it’s kind of like “over my dead body” kind of a discussion. 

 

Jim Rembach:     I could definitely see where many people, especially in certain parts of this country with people who have had that cloud many of those families held those distribution things for a couple of generations. And you would have provably felt that is was warranted to make you a dead body.

 

Jack Bergstrand:       Yeah, I mean they always had all the cards. It’s probably—looking back at the whole thing and the system continues to restructure and has recently gone through another iteration but it’s really—I think one of the classic case studies of a system developed back in the late 1800 that was enormously successful and the hardest model to break as we go through—on the book itself is one that has worked for you in the past. And so when you have these families who have been extremely successful and then you got these what they consider to be empty suits coming in trying to tell you, it really could be done a lot better if you just did it differently, it’s really a very hard thing to sell. 

 

Jim Rembach:     I think there’s probably many people who are sitting here today listening to this and saying, I got that now, what do you mean 1800 generations? So you talk about the work that you’re doing now, you have the book and promoting a book can be a full time effort in itself too if you want to make an impact with it, but when you start thinking about one goal that you would have regardless of what it may be personal or professional what is it?

 

Jack Bergstrand:       You know for me it really is to tell other people how to help ease their cross functional teams and leaders to do truly great things more systematically. Because at the end of the day I’ve seen enough projects that didn’t work and the grim looks on people’s faces and sometimes people failing for factors beyond their control and nobody wants to work a year or two years on something and not have it succeed. And it’s so much more fun to succeed and it’s quite possible to do it better, faster and to do it with much more energy. And since projects are essentially the common denominator of how companies move forward and the things that they work on. To get that right or at least even get it better can help people take a lot of the empty calories out of their job, make their job more fun, and then actually make their lives more fun too. Because if you’re productive on projects that you’re working on chances are you’re going to have more time to things other than that. 

 

Jim Rembach:        And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

 

An even better place to work is an easy-to-use solution that improves the empathy and emotional intelligence skills in everyone. It provides a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement and provides integrated activities that will improve the leadership and collaboration skills in everyone. This award winning solution is guaranteed to create motivated, productive and higher performing employees that have great working relationships with their colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work visit beyondmorale.com/better. 

Jim Rembach:        Alright here we go Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Jack, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet rapid response that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Jack Bergstrand, are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Jack Bergstrand:       I give ‘em my best. 

 

Jim Rembach:      What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Jack Bergstrand:       Every time I resist letting go of the tried and true, I usually get hurt. 

 

Jim Rembach:      What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

 

Jack Bergstrand:       That it doesn’t cost anything to be nice to somebody buy it can sure cost you if you’re not.

 

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

 

Jack Bergstrand:       Never ever, ever give up. 

 

Jim Rembach:      What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Jack Bergstrand:       Strategic profiling. 

 

Jim Rembach:      What would be one book that you’d recommend to our legion, it could be from any genre, and of course we’ll put a link to—The Velocity Advantage, on your show notes page as well. 

 

Jack Bergstrand:       Certainly beyond the Velocity Advantage, I think Drucker’s book The Effective Executive is something that’s a very valuable book for anybody of any age at any time. 

 

Jim Rembach:      Okay, Fast Leader legion, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/jackbergstrand. Okay, Jack, this is my last hump day hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25. And you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. So what skill or knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Jack Bergstrand:       The one thing for me would be empathy. When I was 25 I was the head of marketing for Coca Cola Bottling Company of New England, we had the largest advertising budget in metro Boston. We had our McCann Ericson agency and I thought I was pretty hot stuff and I thought that I knew quite a bit. I have a lot of regrets when I look back to when I was 25 because I tended to take no prisoners I kind of interpreted questions as defiance and the truth is had I just listen a little more and maybe spend a little bit more time trying to understand where somebody else is coming from and a little bit more time explaining what I was trying to achieve then everyone would have been better off including me. 

 

Jim Rembach:      Jack, was an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share with the Fast Leader legion how they can connect with you?

 

Jack Bergstrand:       You can connect with me at jbergstrand@cnsqnt.com and I answer all my emails. 

 

Jim Rembach:      Jack Bergstrand, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot! 

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links, from every show special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

 

126: Dorie Clark: I was forced to master the skill of resiliency

Dorie Clark Show Notes

Dorie Clark found her dream job. She thought it was going to last a lifetime. It lasted for only a year. As a journalist, the entire industry contracted and she had to adjust. Dorie was forced to master the skill of resiliency and it led her to write her first book about career reinvention and how to adapt to career change. Listen as Dorie shares how she was able to get over the hump…and help others.

Dorie was born and raised in Pinehurst, North Carolina, the golf capital of the world. An only child in what was essentially a small-town retirement community, she sought to escape this cultural void as soon as possible, so at age 14, she left to attend Mary Baldwin College, and later transferred to Smith College.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa at age 18, and then earned her Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School at age 20.

After failing to get into any of the doctoral programs she applied to, she became a political journalist, and was then laid off. She then went to work for a gubernatorial campaign and a presidential campaign, which both lost.

She finally ended her losing streak by becoming the executive director of a bicycling advocacy nonprofit, which taught her how to run a business. In 2006, she launched her own marketing strategy consulting firm.

Today, she writes (her two books are Reinventing You and Stand Out), and consults and speaks professionally for clients including Google, Yale University, and the World Bank. She also teaches for the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, and is a producer of a Grammy winning jazz album.

Today, she’s proud that her work helps talented professionals get their true value recognized so they can share their best ideas with the world. She lives in New York City with her handsome cats, Heath and Phillip.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @dorieclark and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet 

“Want to be really smart, think of your job as just one stream of income.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet

“We put ourselves at economic risk if we have one income stream.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“Experiment on the side to give yourself more economic flexibility.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“Start to think about ways to create an income stream for yourself.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“You’re not going to get any data if you don’t do anything.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“If you at least do something, you’ll get data to learn and adapt faster.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“It takes a while to build a strong personal brand.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“If you persevere you are so much more likely to be successful.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“I was forced to master resiliency early on in my career.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“You really can’t rely on other sources to carry water for you.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Dorie Clark found her dream job. She thought it was going to last a lifetime. It lasted for only a year. As a journalist, the entire industry contracted and she had to adjust. Dorie was forced to master the skill of resiliency and it led her to write her first book about career reinvention and how to adapt to career change. Listen as Dorie shares how she was able to get over the hump…and help others.

Advice for others

Look to develop ways to generate multiple streams of income.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

I’m a bit of a micro-manager. I need to work on delegating more.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Do not pay for an office.

Secret to Success

Forcing myself to do things that I do not want to do.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Schedule Once, a calendar software that cuts out the back and forth on when to meet.

Recommended Reading

Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It

Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters

Contacting Dorie

Website: http://dorieclark.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dorieclark

Resources and Show Mentions

Stand Out 42-page Self-assessment Workbook: Learn how to develop your own breakthrough ideas and build a following around them.

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

 

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

126: Dorie Clark: I was forced to master the skill of resiliency 

 

Intro Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team-building session? My keynote don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your attendees take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee engagement, customer engagement and customer centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event. And I’ll your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more. 

 

Jim Rembach:  Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because the guests that we have on the show today is really going to help us with a career imperative. Dorie Clark was born and raised in Pinehurst, North Carolina, the golf capital of the world. An only child in what was essentially a small town retirement community she sought to escape this cultural void as soon as possible. So at age 14 she left to attend Mary Baldwin College and later transferred to Smith College. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa at age 18 then earned her Master of theological studies from Harvard Divinity School at age 20. After failing to get into any of the doctoral programs she applied to she became a political journalist and was then laid off. She then went to work for a gubernatorial campaign and a presidential campaign which both lost. She finally ended her losing streak by becoming the executive director of a bicycling advocacy non-profit which taught her how to run a business.

 

In 2006 she launched her own marketing strategy consulting firm. Today she writes, her two books are Reinventing You and Standing Out and she consults and speaks professionally for clients including Google, Yale University and the World Bank. She also teaches for the Duke University Fuqua School of Business and is a producer of a Grammy award-winning jazz album. Today she’s proud that her work helps talented professionals get their true value recognized so that they can share their best ideas in the world. She lives in New York City with her handsome cats Heath and Phillip. Dorie Clark are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Dorie Clark:  I am so ready Jim.

 

Jim Rembach:   Good. Now I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we get to know you even better?

 

Dorie Clark:  Yes absolutely and I’m going to give you the North Carolina salute because everyone looks at the Fuqua School of Business and I can’t even tell you all the ways that they want to mispronounce it and you just nailed it right there, so congratulations on that. But, yeah, what I’m working on right now—I actually have a new book that’s going to be coming out in October which I’m very excited about. I submitted the final edits of it yesterday. So, I am done with that sucker so I can start promoting it soon, It is going to be called Entrepreneurial You it’s coming out from Harvard Business Review press and it is about how to monetize your ideas and develop a multiple income streams for your business, so, I’m very excited about that one.

 

Jim Rembach:  I listen to you talking I’m really excited that you actually have a new book coming out so that I can put that one on my shelf. We often think that today entrepreneur means someone who is independent. Not beg to differ because a lot of our listeners are actually career folks and I think when you start talking about benefit to the company, benefit to you, security net, you have to think like an entrepreneur working in an organization.

 

Dorie Clark:  Yeah, I think that’s really right. Obviously if you work for yourself that’s fantastic but the argument that I make is that if people want to be really smart these days about how to take control of their career if you do work within an organization that is terrific but you should start thinking of that as just one of your streams of income. It’s just like stock market investing if you put all your money in one stock we all know that that would be a stupid idea. You’re supposed to diversify your portfolio, you’re supposed to buy an index fund or a mutual fund or what have you and similarly we are putting ourselves at economic risk if we have one income stream and that is your company. I got laid off as a journalist I know early in my career one day I had a paycheck the next I didn’t I never saw it coming. And so if people are able to be entrepreneurial even in small ways starting a side venture just experimenting on the side that is incredibly powerful in terms of both giving yourself more economic flexibility and also giving you new skills that actually make you more promotable inside your company.

 

Jim Rembach:   I think you bring up a really interesting point too like for me I’m guilty of one problem when you start thinking about something that you mentioned and standout is that  you really have to focus in on your niche. And listening to all the folks who are—I guess you’d say marketing gurus and experts and entrepreneurial experts—they talk about niching then you niche again then you niche again and then when you think you’ve actually gone too far in niching you niche one more time, you have to really focus in on carving out your niche. Now, for me I always say that I like chasing shiny objects, I’m going to watch myself and then I start dabbling in way too many things. Even if I’m thinking about dual income or multiple income streams benefit to me really adding value and as I progress in my career do I really want to veer too far off of my core?

 

Dorie Clark:  Yes, it’s a good question and a good point. But I think that it doesn’t have to be a sort of reckless allocation of resources. I mean, I think if you were doing ten different things and not making progress on any of them then yeah you could argue that it’s a waste of time or a diffusion of your energy. But I think of examples—I wrote a piece a few years back for the Harvard Business Review called A Campaign Strategy For Your Career and I featured in a guy named Lenny Achon who at the time was the head of communications for the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. And he had a really interesting story he actually started as a nurse which is not at all where you would think they would be hiring their communications director from. But he was able to work his way up in the organization and the way he did it interestingly enough was he started an app business on the side. He just got fascinated by technology by his social media, you know what? I want to start an app and so he researched it he did what he needed to figure out about how to hire the coders and do all the stuff news pretty far outside is day-to-day duties. He did this in one day and he gets called in to his boss’s office and he thinks—Oh! No. Did I do something wrong? Was there some policy that I didn’t know about? What it’s going to be? And instead of being criticized, instead of being fired he was worried that’s going to be, his boss said, Hey, I heard you created an app. And Lenny said, “Yeah, I did.” And the guy said, “Do you want to run social media for the hospital?” Lenny said, “Yes” They just said Internet, they didn’t have a deep bench of expertise in that and Lenny was someone who knew the hospital and he had shown enough initiative that they said, you know what? Let’s give it to him. And so for there  was able to expand out his portfolio and eventually head up all the communications for the hospital but it was because of just independent skills building he did on his own dime.

 

Jim Rembach:  I think you bring up a really interesting point about the whole fear factor component. I think it’s possible that a lot of folks really choose to stay or nest or stay in a particular spot because of that whole fear of termination but I almost have to say that the bigger fear is being affected by surprise. So, what would you say to folks that are actually sitting in that spot to where they’re saying, Oh, Gosh! If I actually veer out, if I do something  I might get caught and get in trouble versus—Hey, I need to think about really planning for my family, my future and things like that and making myself a stronger free agent so to speak.

 

Dorie Clark:  Yeah, well I think the truth is there’s very few things that you can get in trouble with if you’re doing them in your free time and not on the company’s time. As long as you’re not creating something that is somehow a competitor to your company you’re providing intelligence other people as long as you’re not doing something that would be so horribly embarrassing to your company it’s your free time and you’re able to make choices about how you want to spend it. Now there’s a lot of things that I think most of us recognize as being good things there’s a lot of people that go back and maybe they get a part-time MBA, people might take a course of some kind, leadership or time management, maybe they’re taking a continuing ed course or they’re signed up for an online course of some kind you could even just be reading books those are great ways to build your skills. In a lot of ways when the rubber meets the road it’s actually starting to think about ways to create an income stream for yourself that’s the ultimate test where you’re able to gauge your progress and say, no I’m actually building in some options from myself now. So, it’s not really the first thing you do out of the gate but it’s something to consider as a form of professional development.

 

Jim Rembach:  Yeah, I think that’s a really interesting point is that oftentimes we think a professional development means that I have to take a step up and those don’t often exist but it should not stiney you or prevent you from  finding some other way of growing, so that’s a good piece of advice. Now I know you have yourself done a lot of things in regards to interviewing other experts and your pursuit to become one as well as a lot of research when it comes to writing but all of that when you we start thinking about this standing out there’s a lot of emotion in that and one of the things that we look for on the show in order to find some emotion are quotes, is there a quote two that you can share with us that gives you some energy. 

 

Dorie Clark:  One that I have always liked is by Theodore Roosevelt, we live in very uncertain there’s even there’s a little genre now sometimes people talk about VUCA situations. It’s like, what’s VUCA? It’s a whole genre, it’s Volatile, Uncertain, Something and something—but it’s literally the sub-genre referring to all the chaos and uncertainty in our lives. And with that in mind Theodore Roosevelt’s quote he says—in any moment of uncertainty the best thing to do is the right thing the next best thing to do is the wrong thing and the worst thing to do is nothing. And so I am a believer in forward action and forward momentum you’re not going to get anywhere including just you’re not going to get any data if you don’t do anything. If you at least do something you will get data whether positive or negative and you can learn and adapt faster. So, I think to me that’s kind of an encouraging quote. 

 

Jim Rembach:  That that is a very encouraging quote. I say all the time and said sometimes you have to allow yourself to take two steps back just to take one forward and the fear though from taking those two steps back is prevalent in society as well as for us as individuals. One of the things that I really got a clear understanding of and it kind of helped ground me a little bit when I was going through the book Stand Out is that this doesn’t happen fast it’s just not a quick fix I wish I could walk into a room and flip a switch and get to the old surprised and say hey it’s all there that’s just not the way it works. So, if I’m a person who really hasn’t done a lot in regards to standing out and building my platform finding my niche what can I expect as a timeline?

 

Dorie Clark:  I think you raised a really important point Jim. This is a good and bad thing I’m an impatient human being I always want things to happen way sooner than they do but also the silver lining of the fact it takes a while to build a strong personal print it takes a while to become a recognized expert in your field if you could do it instantly who wouldn’t do it the competition would be insane you wouldn’t be able to advance simply because there would be so many people just in line queuing to advance. What happens instead is that we think that it’s hard to become a recognized expert because you say—oh, there’s so many people, oh, there’s seven billion people, five hundred thousand lawyers whatever—how can I stand out? The truth is yes at the starting gate there’s everybody but almost everybody drops off and that is the secret because by the end you are not competing against five hundred thousand people you are competing against ten thousand or a thousand or a hundred people and so your chances of success are so much better. 

 

One study that I thought was really fascinating actually there’s an analysis done of podcasts, speaking of you, and in this analysis it showed that the average podcast only existed for 12 episodes and then hang over a six month period usually people were able to keep approximately a biweekly schedule for six months and then nothing. And you think about you think—oh, there’s hundreds of thousands of podcasts but you know what, most go defunct because their hosts just can’t or won’t keep it up. If you are one of the people that is a survivor, if you survive simply because you persevere and you make a decision to do it you are so much more likely to be successful and the competition is actually very thin at those upper echelons. 

 

Jim Rembach:  You’re exactly right. For me I have over a hundred plus episodes doing it for a couple years and my wife will always say—and so now it used to be like why are you doing this? I release the show on Wednesday mornings, Tuesday evening I’m up in my office and I’m queuing everything up to have it be released for Wednesday morning at 4:30 a.m. because Wednesday what? Hump Day, of course. And she’s like, why you doing this? Now she’s like, don’t you need to go to your podcast?  She’s telling me that I need to get up there. But you’re right, I have had people tell me, and I probably got about five or six PR companies that are constantly giving their clients to me as potential guests on the show and so now I don’t have to really try very hard to go get guest I really cherry pick on who I go after but you know what? Many of them told me said, we don’t even touch podcast until they’ve had 100 or more because there’s many out there. 

 

Dorie Clark:  That exactly right. Yeah, the attrition rate is enormous.

 

Jim Rembach:  It is. I know with that though there’s a hot a lot of humps that I’ve had to get over in order to persevere and do that and everybody has some say need to get over and for us there’s a lot of learnings in that. Is there a time that you can share with us and you had to get over hump? 

 

Dorie Clark:  Yeah. A big one for me was getting laid off and losing my first job as a reporter that was probably something that was a defining incident for me. Because I enjoy being a reporter and I thought I would probably just make that my career it seems like a reasonably good fit for myself. I liked I like reading and writing and asking people questions it was something that that I imagined I could do the rest of my life and instead of doing it the rest of my life, Oh, nope I’m going to do it for a year and then get laid off and ultimately I had to adjust. I thought it was just a problem with my newspaper and a recession and I tried to find jobs at another paper and I couldn’t no one was hiring and of course retrospectively it was because the industry was entering this contraction but which was an enormous contraction. In fact, forty-two percent of American journalists lost their job between 2000 and 2015 so it was a near universal experience it was like the Black Plague of journalists. But I had to readjust not willingly I would have been happy to just cruise into another newspaper but I had to adjust because circumstances demanded it and that actually turned out to be a good break for me. Because it meant that I was forced to master the skill of resiliency early on in my career and that actually led me ultimately to writing my first book, Reinventing You, about professional reinvention and how to adapt to career change or job change or setbacks of the ilk.

 

Jim Rembach:  Well I think for you that was like a sink or swim or I mean you lived that it was real. So, when you were actually going through and doing  research for that book how were you able to separate your own situation from giving people advice? Well fortunately I wrote the book a number of years after all this had happened so it’s sort of like writing a memoir. You don’t necessarily want to write the memoir like the day after somebody dies or you enter rehab or something like that you need you need a little while to get the perspective so that you can narrow the story in an appropriate way and kind of make sense of the overall context. And so for me I got laid off in 2001, in fact,  the great historical irony for me was the day they laid me off was Monday September 10, 2001, so of course next day was quite a day to be an unemployed journalist but which made everything that much more confusing and frightening and complicated. But I ended up getting the book contract in 2011, about 10 years later and then the book Reinventing You was released in 2013 from Harvard Business Review press. So I had a while in between I was to able settle into my new career and I then cool stuff in the interim some which you mentioned the bio working for presidential campaign, as a spokesperson running a non-profit, starting my own business, so I had that context but it was it was interesting and instructive for me for writing reinventing you to interview dozens of successful professionals who had made career trenches transitions for themselves because I was able as a result sort of extrapolate best practices from what they did and a lot of ways write the book that I wish that I had because I just kind of (20:20 inaudible)my way through it and it would have been a lot more helpful to have a roadmap for it, so, that was what I sought to try to provide other people in writing.

 

Jim Rembach:   Well, you even talk about that and standout where you have to have some type of framework in order to be able to operate on. But I know like now you talked about new book coming out you finish that got it to the final edits to the publisher that should be coming out soon but you’ve got a lot of things going on. If you were to think about all of those things what’s one goal you have?

 

Dorie Clark:   Yeah, so one goal that I that I have for myself just to pick one thing I’m excited about is I’m actually starting this year to experiment with live workshops and that’s the first time that I’ve really done that. I did a pilot session last summer for a small group, 10 people, did a kind of mastermind day. And as a result of that it went well I began to kind of learn more about what it took to put an event like that together and so I have organized a couple of open enrollment workshops that I’m doing for my readers and  people in my community this year. And so I’m excited about that just learning the process of creating content and sharing that efficiently. So, one is about rapid content creation about how—we all know we should be blogging for instance but a lot of people they’re not sure what’s great about the—it take some ten hours to write a post so this is really taking my methodology which allows me to very quickly create content within 60- 90 minutes tops just kind of bang it out. So, sharing that methodology with people who know they need to create content and want to be able to do it more effectively. And then the other one, the other workshop is basically based off of my new book it’s going to be piloting some of these concepts in a workshop format and it’s about how to create multiple income streams from your business. So, especially for people who are primarily relying on one stream with their coach, their consultant etc. what can you do to lay the groundwork and begin to open up other revenue streams so you can diversify successfully.

 

Jim Rembach:   And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now, before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor: 

 

The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions. So, move onward and upward faster by gaining significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you’ll learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improved customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more. 

Alright here we go Fast Leader legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Dorie the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us some robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Dorie Clark, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Dorie Clark:   Oh, yes. 

 

Jim Rembach:  Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Dorie Clark:   I think something that quite likely holding me back is that I am a micromanager which is not a bad thing since I’m self-employed but I think I could delegate more and I could probably be more efficient about it. So, that’s something I’m thinking about how to do.

 

Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

 

Dorie Clark:  The best leadership advice that I ever received was actually not to pay for an office. I have worked from home for 11 years and as a result I have probably saved well over six figures from it, and I spend quality time with my cats so I love it for that reason.

 

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

 

Dorie Clark:  I am incredibly good at forcing myself to do things I don’t want to do. And so I don’t really procrastinate or more specifically I do procrastinate but by doing other things that I will need to do eventually and so I don’t waste a lot of time. 

 

Jim Rembach:  What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Dorie Clark:   One tool that I use a lot and really recommend is called Schedule Once and it is a scheduling software similar to calendar which is another alternative and it just test out all the back-and-forth about when and how to meet, so, I find it really helps my efficiency.

 

Jim Rembach:   What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners, they could be from any genre, of course we’ll put a link to Standout on your show notes page as well.

 

Dorie Clark:  Thank you. One book that I think doesn’t get the press that it deserves but I really liked it a lot, it’s called Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rummells who’s a business school professor at UCLA. It’s one of the books that I’ve read about corporate strategy and how to be more strategic in your business.

 

Jim Rembach:  Okay, Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information which will include a 42 page self-assessment workbook on how to stand out on the show notes page for Dorie Clark that you’ll be able to find at fastleader.net/Dorie Clark. Okay, Dorie this is my last Hump day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity go back to the age of 25. And you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you. But you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. So, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Dorie Clark:  What I would take back Jim is that I was very focused when I was younger and building my business on building up social proof and credibility and name recognition and things like that and all is important but what I didn’t think about at all was building a following. I was reliant on other people’s outlets, on other people’s turf and I didn’t specifically focus on building email list. I’ve come to realize with the increased fragmentation of the media landscape you really can’t rely on other sources to carry water for you, you need to be communicating directly with people which is why getting people to opt-in to your email list is so essential and I would have clued into that a lot sooner.

 

Jim Rembach:  Dorie, it was not her to spend time with you today can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you?

 

Dorie Clark:   Thank you so much Jim. Well, if people want to learn more if they would like to dive into my move so to speak there are a lot of opportunities. If they they go to my website which is dorieclark.com there are more than 400 free articles available there that I’ve written for places like Forbes and Harvard Business Review and Entrepreneur. And as Jim mentioned on my website, dorieclark.com you can get the free download of the Stand Out self-assessment workbook which helps you figure out how to develop your own breakthrough ideas and build a following around them.

 

Jim Rembach:   Dorie Clark, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot.

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

 

092: TwinEngine: It changed how we thought about marketing

TwinEngine Show Notes

Winnie Brignac Hart and Lorrie Brignac Lee lost 75 percent of their business in a weekend. Being based in New Orleans when hurricane Katrina hit, overnight they became a crisis communication firm. Immediately they learned what it meant to truly help people in a different way. Through this experience they were able to align what was important to them and move onward and upward faster.

Until Winnie and Lorrie’s late teens, they were known as one person “Winnie-Lorrie” (that’s one word) or “The Little Twins.” As identical twins, it taught them a simple truth about differences. When you look at identical twins, what do you think? How are they different? What makes each of them unique? Identical twins are intriguing — it’s because people can’t usually tell them apart.

Even today, their children, Miranda, Morgan and Olivia, collectively call them ‘Moms’.

Their unique perspective on the world helps them to better understand that the world we live in appreciates and expects individual differences in appearance and behavior. From their first-hand experience at refining their individuality throughout their lives, they’ve perfected the ability to perceive distinct differences in other people, other companies and other brands.

For Winnie and Lorrie, there are physical differences and there are inner differences—one of them is a left-brain thinker and one is a right-brain thinker. One is creative and expressive; the other is rational and linear. But it’s the pairing and integration of these different qualities that makes their agency “TwinEngine” (launched in 1990) what it is.

Winnie and Lorrie’s book Stand Out was written to offer a new perspective and a clear and structured approach to mastering how to stand out, be remembered, and become a trusted and preferred choice of customers and prospects. They do this by focusing on the eight fundamental areas of a brand: purpose, reputation, visuality, authenticity, ideal leads, distinction, strategy and mindset.

Winnie and Lorrie believe that every business has a distinct advantage that, when discovered, provides just the inspiration and momentum a business needs to make a huge leap forward in performance and profitability.

They have built a reputation as inspired leaders, speakers and savvy interpreters of business brand and personality. They have earned 125+ industry awards by working with a passion for leveraging their twin talents to help companies translate traditional marketing channels into forward-thinking solutions.

Winnie Brignac Hart and Lorrie Brignac Lee currently live in Houston, TX.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @flytwinengine and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“My passion is, always doing the right thing.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet

“A lot of companies develop marketing plans and they end up going nowhere.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“Most companies today look schizophrenic and the customer sees that.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“A brand is an entire experience.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“Once a company discovers their purpose it can be incredibly powerful.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“It’s about your own ability to have the mindset to achieve desired results.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“Today we all really compete on a level playing field.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“If you’re aligned with the ideal lead you have a customer for life.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“It’s not about acquisition, it’s about retention.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“When the customer becomes a promoter that’s when marketing works.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“Marketing has turned from a monologue to a dialogue.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“Marketing is no longer a department, it can’t be.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“It’s about leaders that bring people together, that work together.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“Some people aren’t ready, it’s a matter of being ready.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“It really helped us to understand the person behind the client.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“You have to think about everyday as an independent thing.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“We all need to be empowered to be marketers.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“You don’t know what you don’t know.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

“Always tell the truth and nothing bad happens to you.” -TwinEngine Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Winnie Brignac Hart and Lorrie Brignac Lee lost 75 percent of their business in a weekend. Being based in New Orleans when hurricane Katrina hit, overnight they became a crisis communication firm. Immediately they learned what it meant to truly help people in a different way. Through this experience they were able to align what was important to them and move onward and upward faster.

Advice for others

It’s about your own ability to have the mindset to achieve desired results and be disciplined to actually doing it.

Holding them back from being an even better leader

Lorrie: Creativity. I’m a left brained thinker and I’m working on my creativity.

Winnie: Systems and processes. I come up with ideas and we still have to implement them.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Lorrie: From my father, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Winnie: Always tell the truth and nothing bad happens to you.

Secret to Success

Lorrie: Being a good listener

Winnie: Hart, bringing hart to everything I do.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Lorrie: Order

Winnie: Flexibility, creativity

Recommended Reading

Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

Stand Out: Tools To Master The 8 Fundamentals Of Standing Out In Business

Contacting TwinEngine

Website: http://twinengine.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/514649

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlyTwinEngine

Resources

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

092: Twin Engine: It changed how we thought about marketing

 

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team-building session? My keynote don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your attendees take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee engagement, customer engagement and customer centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

 

Okay, Fast Leader Legion today I am beyond myself because we have a first on the fast leader show, we actually have two guest but t’s uniquely different because we have identical twins. Until Winnie Brignac Hart and Lorrie Brignac Lee’s late teens they were known as one person, Winnie Lori or the little twins. As identical twins it taught them a simple truth about differences. When you look at identical twins, what do you think? Are they different? What makes each of them unique? Identical twins are intriguing, it’s because people can’t usually tell them apart. Even today their children Miranda, Morgan and Olivia collectively called them Mom’s.

 

Their unique perspective on the world helps them to better understand that the world we live in appreciates and expects individual differences in appearance and behavior. From their first-hand experience at refining their individuality throughout their lives they’ve perfected the ability to perceive the differences in other people, other companies, and other brands. For Winnie and Lori, there are physical differences and there are inner differences. One of them is a left brained thinker one is a right brain thinker. One is creative and expressive and the other is rational and linear thinker but it’s the pairing and integration of these different qualities that makes their agency Twin Engine what it is. 

 

Winnie and Lorrie’s book stand out was written to offer a new perspective and a clear structure approach to mastering how to stand out be remembered and become a trusted and preferred choice of customers and prospects. They do this by focusing on the eight fundamental areas of a brand: purpose, reputation, visuality, authenticity, idea leads, distinction, strategy, and mindset. Winnie and Lori believe that every business has a distinct advantage that when discovered provides just the inspiration and momentum of business needs to make a huge leap forward in performance and profitability. They have built a reputation as inspired leaders speakers and savvy interpreters of business brand and personality. They have earned over 125 industry awards by working with a passion for leveraging their twin talents to help companies translate traditional marketing channels into forward thinking solutions. Winnie Brignac Hart and Lorrie Brignac Lee currently live in Houston, Texas. Ladies are you ready to help us get over the hump? 

 

Lorrie:    So ready. 

 

Winnie:   Ready, ready. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Gosh, this is going to be fun. I usually ask people about their current passion and what it is and the two of you being left brain and right brain thinkers, I’m hoping are going to give us a different response. So, Lori what’s your current passion?

 

Lorrie:   My passion is really always doing the right thing. And I do this by helping our clients build systems and processes to get the job done. We find that a lot of companies develop marketing plan ends up going nowhere. And I really like to help them implement those and see results. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Winnie, what about you?

 

Winnie:   I’m all about entrepreneurship. I’m about helping companies get out there start and stay in business as long as they possibly can and try to move them with all the need of the companies to stay in business longer. It’s all about helping people get in touch with what their purposes in terms of what they’re meant to do on this planet and help them become what they should be. 

 

Jim Rembach:    That stand out and I’ve really enjoyed your book. To me it’s one of those situations where you have the opportunity to bestow the gift of clarity by the simplicity of your message. And to me that was extremely helpful. There’s a lot things that help to self- identify for folks. And I think oftentimes we struggle with that. And so, when you start thinking about taking a collection or collective of people in trying to help them identify really, what you call in the book an archetype of personality, to me that seems it would be extremely difficult to do it internally. Because a lot of our guests are coming from the customer care, customer experience world and a lot of our audience comes from that so we talk about that differentiation in making it. How you help companies really with that identification piece? 

 

Winnie:   I think it’s really hard Jim and because most companies today almost look schizophrenic, or look like they’ve multiple personalities. And the customer’s feedback, you know so you behave one way with one customer and someone behave another way with another customer and the difficult we have today is a brand is an entire experience. So one of the things we do is one of the exercises in the book is called brain archetypes. And it helps companies go through a process of really understanding if the company were an archetype, whether it’s a hero or assistant or the caregiver and giving everyone a touchdown in terms of really identifying what that looks like to the external customer and internal customer which is the employee. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And I think you bring  up a really important point and for me I see the congruency piece, the whole part of the inside impacting and affecting the outside. There’s an employee experience that’s important from the identification component so I do a lot of work in employee engagement. And they talk about how workers of today aren’t necessarily interested in the companies that are the best in the world, there they’re looking for the companies that are best for the world. So, very unique distinction and I think the younger generation is really looking at that that purpose and that identity piece to connect with more so than whatever products they make. So, how does a company get past that type of, “what I call corporate arrogant thinking?”

 

Winnie:   That’s a good one, it’s a challenge for every company, Jim. And I think for a company to truly understand the purpose people within the company need to understand how their purpose relates to the company purpose and I think it’s the disconnect and the misalignment of the leaders in the company defining what their purposes and then defining what the collective purpose of the company. But once they find that and once they discover that and send how each of their purposes impact by the company purpose it could be incredibly powerful. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Now, when you start talking standing out and the different things that you talk about focusing on and those eight fundamentals, which one of those fundamentals do people spend the most effort on, I don’t necessarily mean time, but effort, there’s a difference. 

 

Winnie:   Mindset. Because I think—when it comes to all the other fundamentals there are specific tools and activities you can blend and really feel a sense of achievement but it really comes down to—it’s really about your own ability to have the mindset to achieve those desired results and to be disciplined about actually doing it, that’s where the rubber hits the road, it’s really about execution. And having the mindset to really believe it not only within yourself but as a member of bigger collective. 

 

Jim Rembach:    But definitely a lot of things that were talking about here in regards to mindset, archetypes, brands, brain connection, brain impact a lot it can be very passionate and on the show we really focus on quotes of all different types in order to help with that connection and generation of passion. Can you each share a quote that kind of drives you?

 

Winnie:   Well, one of the things that has impacted me in my life is reputation. And I want to about our experience as leaders. But, Warren Buffet, I’ve followed him my entire career and he says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.” And I always think about the importance of integrity and reputation when it comes to a leader and I’ve always want to warn and really, really the messages I always plan such a huge impact. 

 

Lorrie:   I can’t recall who said the quote but in terms of when we talk about ideal leads that’s everyone is not your customer. So, with marketing many companies that’s smart (8:34 inaudible) but if you really don’t understand who your ideal customer is you’re really wasting all your efforts, so everyone’s not your customer, I think we said that Lorrie. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I think that’s hard for a lot of folks. For me having a background in customer care being on the frontline I knew that that was the case and I was totally willing to tell certain folks, “you know what, maybe we’re just not the best company for you and you may try this company.” And I would actually give them somebody else to try. However if I had an executive witness that, that would have been a huge problem and probably my last day on the job. So, when you start talking to some of these executives about that ideal customer piece and let some of the others go that aren’t ideal, is it been an easier conversation to have when you guys first started versus what it is now or it has gotten even more difficult because the competition’s gotten more fierce? 

 

Winnie:   Well competition it used to be there were the big bosses and the small companies and today we all compete and in really level playing field. And the running grid aspect of the past what people always sort of bundling up and gathering customer everywhere but really when it comes to it it’s not sustainable. Because if you’re align with that ideal lead becomes an ideal customer then you have that customer for life. So it’s not just about acquisition, it’s about retention, it’s about deepening relationships so if that customer actually becomes the promoter not some marketing works and sort of achieves that beautiful state is when you have those ideal customers and those ideal leads and really become the way that you market yourself because I promote you. 

 

Lorrie:   Yeah, and also thinking of half it was very difficult to know who your, “I’m digging up question of the year lead was, but who should I deal with. And now that the marketing term more from a monologue to a dialogue, we’re able to have these conversations and we’ll be able to solve those idealist problems. So being able to identify what those problems are is really one of the biggest challenges.

 

Winnie:   Yeah. 

 

Jim Rembach:    For me being someone who was frontline customer care working being an expert by the CXPA Customer Experience Professional’s Association and being part of those that are actually responsible in trying to improve that entire customer journey and have it to be something that is a brand strength and value is that I see a lot of these lines coming together. So what I mean is I can talk to the customer experience folks and their talking about these things associated with brand and brand loyalty, brand impact, internal engagement, external engagement I go look at the call center folks they’re talking the same thing, I go talk to the marketing folks they’re talking the same thing, I’m on a board for a couple different organizations and their talking the same thing it’s like is that the same language talking about across all these different departments and silos but yet nobody’s working together. How do you get an organization to do that?

 

Winnie:   Well, that’s the magic button, right there, isn’t it Jim? What needs to happen because marketing used to be a department and that’s where all the communication happens, all the messaging happens but now marketing is no longer a department it can’t be a department because it’s really about aligning all the silos together and when it comes down to well have to back to the mindset aspect of it, understand each of our roles, responsibilities you’d be a part of this. And it really comes down to leadership. it’s about leaders that bring people together to work together and to engage together.

 

Jim Rembach:    So, talking about ideal client, ideal customers, when you guys have the opportunity to work with an organization and you have identified that it’s weak leadership that’s going to prevent you from actually delivering a big impact to that client, what do you do? 

 

Winnie:   Well, we’re all about transparency. So, we have a process in which we have those difficult discussions with them but ultimately if they don’t have the mindset to actually achieve the results then we’re not the best fit for them. You know, some people aren’t ready and so it’s a matter of being ready.

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s a big struggle and that’s a big hump to get over both as a service provider, like you guys are, as well as the organization itself and goes back to that self-identification piece and talking about that archetype and corporate arrogance and a lot of the things that will impact the company from experiencing a lot of success. And sometimes we have to go through those pains and get over those humps in order to come out the other side, hopefully you can survive, especially in today’s marketplace, but there’s humps we all have to get over. Is there a hump that you have gotten over that has made a true difference for you, can you share that with us?

 

Winnie:    Jim significant—our original office was in Wallens, and during Katrina we lost 75% of our business in a weekend. I believe at that time we have 9 hospitals, not just one vertical that we had all of those hospital watered and people died. It was a very difficult time for us to being a very traditional agency, you know, radio, TV and reports all of this sort of typical things agencies do. And every night we became a crisis communication firm and we learned immediately what it meant to really, really truly help people in a very different way that we we’re used to helping people in the past. So, through that experience—and we have some significant projects in the works of the time. We we’re really able to really pull together, to really align, what was really important to us and really help people in a way that we never thought we’d be able to do before. And I think we wouldn’t be where we are today if that wouldn’t have happened to us and I’d seen the success that we had because the agency sort of gotten—the agency sort of, Jim, always religion is tower and like we’re the agency and you’re the client. When you get to a point when you’re with the client and you’re knocking out (14:55 inaudible) and you were helping bring food to their families and you are helping them just pick up the pieces, it’s very humbling and I think it really help us understand the person behind the client, it was a significant event in our life. 

 

Lorrie:    And also to understand also a lot more (15:11 inaudible) it has been a wake-up call where we really sat and say, well, what are we doing? Why are we doing it? And it really just kind of start this whole process in terms of really just being open to and transparent and really change how we thought about marketing. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Thanks for sharing that. And thinking about your own archetype prior Katrina and that experience versus the afterwards I don’t want to say aftermath, but the afterwards and where you are today, what is one of those archetypes you think that you have now that you didn’t have before? 

 

Winnie:   Really caregiver. Really understanding that we’ve serve, we are servants to message and the more we are able to serve transparently, because it’s not all about us anymore, it’s all about the works we won and the accolades and the great campaigns are created and that’s really about our success comes from our client success. And it is a process, it’s a relationship and I think we’ve gotten really, really excellent at doing that and really we’ve become amazing listeners. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Have you experienced or fortunate enough to have clients that were with you prior to that natural disaster and afterwards have they commented to you about the difference and what have they said?

 

Winnie:   We actually (16:45 inaudible) every single relationship we have back then. We have very, very long—we have some clients we’ve had for 25 years. It’s not the client, it’s the people behind the clients. And I think we all change. I don’t know that they see a difference in us because we’re all different. We all understand things a little bit differently, that things don’t last forever and some things you have to really think every day as an independent thing and really, really do your best. One of things, Jim, we started was our brand promise, which is earning our—you can see the wings behind me. Our brand promise is to earn our wings every day. If we just do that every day then we’re successful, our clients are successful, and our employees are successful and it all works, and that one can really change.    

 

Lorrie:  And also take that from the beginning, 25 years, even though we’ve change how we (17:38 inaudible) the organization, it’s all been about trust. And our client tells us they can trust us, no matter what the situation that trust is always been there and I think that’s the big  reason why we have a lot of our (17:51 inaudible)as well. 

 

Winnie:   And one thing more is that our ability to maintain a proper mindset through that whole experience where some people are literally falling apart, were totally paralyzed, we were very clear in our    clear in our actions and really, really help them at a time where they performing the way that were normally how they use to perform. And you don’t know until something like that happens how people are going to be. We were there for a lot of people. One of things our father told as over and over again as we’re children be  a lot of things but the thing is, you don’t know what you don’t know. And through that crisis in our life we learned that really quick. And that’s kind of one of our   we don’t (24:21)

 

Jim Rembach:    Thanks for sharing that. You talked about your father and for those that haven’t had the opportunity when you referred to the “wings behind her” Twin Engine actually has a connection to an airplane that your father have purchased when you were just pre-teen, a twin engine four seater. And you guys being identical twins even identified your own titles to that, give me your titles real quick. 

 

Winnie:      Winnie Hart, to right engine, Lori Lee to left engine. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I just think the way that you guys are integrated, all of that personal connection into your brand and even when you start looking at the way that you craft your messaging in regards to taking off, lifting off all of those things, I think it’s absolutely brilliant. So, when you start looking at a lot of the things you guys have going on and I’m sure the whole family thing is just yet another issue that we didn’t get into and that’s where a lot of passion can be derive from for sure. But what are some of your goals?

 

Winnie:   Well, personal or business, Jim?

 

Jim Rembach:    You tell me. 

 

Winnie:   One of the things that the book has helped us to is to create a system which we call Brand Traffic Control, so that people can read the book and they can go back and implement some of these tools immediately. We wanted to create a book that it wasn’t just about theories and ideas and just a good read but really something that’s actionable and that people can be empowered to do this themselves because it feel like this whole concept we talked about marketing not being a department. Just the whole idea that we all need to be empowered to be marketers not only about brands but ourselves and I think this book and the 30 some activities and tools in it will really help people do that and so that’s one of the things I’m really, really excited about and it’s where were definitely going to leave our legacy. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Lorrie do you want to add?    

 

Lorrie:   The Brand Traffic Control is kind of a creative entity at this point but we’re going to—we’re working on it now to    system in process so that people can access ** online. So of course maybe ** I’m working on that system so that it works. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor. 

 

The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions. So move onward and upward faster by gaining significant deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improve customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Alright here we go Fast Leader listeners it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Winnie and Lorrie, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Winnie and Lorrie are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Winnie & Lorrie:  Ready.

 

Jim Rembach:    Alright. So, Lori what do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today? 

 

Lorrie:     I think it’s my creativity. I’m the left brain thinker and I’m working on my creativity. 

 

Winnie:   Sense and processes. Definitely I’m the creative one. I come with all these ideas and we still have to find a way to implement them. 

 

Jim Rembach:     What is the best leadership advice you have ever received, Lori?

 

Lorrie:   From my father, “you don’t know what you don’t know.”

 

Winnie:   Always tell the truth and nothing bad happens to you. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success, Lori?

 

Lorrie:   Being a good listener.

 

Winnie:   Hart. My last name’s Hart for many, many reasons and bringing Hart to everything I do is definitely mine. 

 

Jim Rembach:     What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life, Lori?

 

Lorrie:   Order. I love order. 

 

Winnie:   Flexibility, creativity. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What would be a book that you would recommend, beside your own and we’re going to put links to that, that you’d recommend to our listeners, Lori? 

 

Lorrie:   Scaling Up by Verne Harnish

 

Winnie:   What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader listeners, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today show by going to fastleader.net/TwinEngine. You’ll also find a link to their book, Standout. Okay, Lorrie and Winnie this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one so, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why? Lorrie.

 

Lorrie:   I think it’s back to, “you don’t what you don’t know.”

 

Winnie:   Jim, I’m would be really about just being grateful. I think that being grateful for all the gifts that we have received and were able to share with other people. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Winnie and Lorrie, it was an honor to spend time with you today, can you please share with the Fast Leader listeners how they can connect with you?

 

Winnie:   You can learn all about our company at twinengine.com and you can connect to this one also  with our names, Winnie Hart and Lorrie Lee. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Winnie Brignoc Hart and Lori Brignoc Lee, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, the Fast Leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot! 

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

 

065: Blake Morgan: I wasn’t a trust fund baby

Blake Morgan Show Notes

Blake Morgan moved to New York City as a young southern Californian girl. While many of her roommates had family nearby, Blake found herself with no support system and found herself needing to make her way. Listen to Blake tell her story of how getting over that hump affected her career and life.

Blake Morgan is a customer experience adviser that has worked with Intel, Verizon Wireless, Verizon, Newmark Knight Frank Retail, One Medical, Misfit Wearables (Shine), Pega Systems, Clarabridge, Zendesk, Sparkcentral and more. She’s highly involved with SOCAP where she serves as the VP of Marketing for the North West chapter.

She loves “customer experience” because as humans we are feeling, sensing beings. Our most vivid memories are powerful experiences. Today brands understand that creating a knock-your-socks-off digital experience is the way to the customer’s heart.

Outside of work she volunteers with Hop-a-long Animal rescue managing their Twitter account–helping dogs get fostered and adopted in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In a past life she lived in NYC for five years–then met her now husband at a CRM conference and moved to the bay area in under two weeks. Good thing it worked out! Today she loves calling the bay area home.

Other fun “Blake” facts, she once ran a marathon in San Francisco. She takes Russian Language classes so she can understand her husband’s family.
Blake enjoys hanging out with her husband and Yorkie, Athena in Oakland, CA.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @blakemichellem to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Companies are only willing to build relationships when it’s cost effective.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet

“They’re lying saying they want to improve the customer experience but not willing to walk the walk.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“I want to do business with brands that treat me like they really care.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“You don’t want people working for your company that don’t have it in their blood.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“You don’t want people that have customer facing roles that don’t have it in their blood.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“You want people who are really proud to represent the brand.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“There’s a lot of benefit to taking a breath and thinking what’s the best way to respond.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“Learning to listen can mean the difference between a great day and ruining a relationship.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“Working at a big company, people don’t really know who you are outside the company.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“Even if you do work for an employer, it’s so important for people to have a brand.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“Feel comfortable in your own skin because that’s really attractive.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“Being a good listener is so important and so under appreciated.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“When you listen you really hear for that golden ticket.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Blake Morgan moved to New York City as a young southern Californian girl. While many of her roommates had family nearby, Blake found herself with no support system and found herself needing to make her way. Listen to Blake tell her story of how getting over that hump affected her career and life.

Advice for others

It’s so important for people to have a brand. It’s really important to have your own personal brand.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Scalability

Best Leadership Advice Received

Be yourself. If you’re trying to be someone else it’s really obvious.

Secret to Success

Longevity in the business.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Being a good listener. Listening is everything.

Recommended Reading

Thick Face, Black Heart: The Warrior Philosophy for Conquering the Challenges of Business and Life

Contacting Blake

Website: www.blakemichellemorgan.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/blakemichellem

Resources

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

065: Blake Morgan: I wasn’t a trust fund baby

 

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team-building session? My keynote don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your tennis take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee engagement, customer engagement and customer centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader Legion you want to make sure that you go to iTunes and download and subscribe The Fast Leader Show if you haven’t already because the guest on the show that we have today, her quick wit and get to the point style is sure to help you cut through the clutter in your world. Blake Morgan graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz and with a focus in Journalism and on a whim moved to New York City, and now Blake is a Customer Experience advisor that has worked with Intel, Verizon Wireless, Verizon, Newmark Knight Frank Retail, One Medical, Misfit Wearables, Pega Systems, Clarabridge Spark Central and more. She’s with highly involved SOCAP where she serves as the VP of Marketing for the North West chapter.

 

Blake loves customer experience because as humans we are feeling, sensing, beings our most vivid memories are powerful experiences. Today brands understand that creating a ‘knock your socks off’ digital experiences is the way to the customer’s heart. Outside of work she volunteers with hop-along animal rescue managing their Titter account and helping dogs get fostered and adopted in the San Francisco Bay Area. In a past life when she lived in New York City she did it for five years and that’s where she met her husband at a CRM conference and moved to the Bay Area in under two weeks— good thing it worked out.  Today loves—both her husband in calling the Bay Area home. Blake Morgan are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Blake Morgan:    Hey, Jim. Good morning, I’m ready. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Alright, thanks. I’m glad you’re here with us today. I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

 

Blake Morgan:    My current passion I would say is dogs. Because last night I actually have someone drop off a little puppy, to my house that needs a home, and I just couldn’t say no. She’s the cutest, five pound New Yorky mix, with this devilish little eyebrows and so I just got dog crawling all over my house right now and I would say that’s my passion. 

 

Jim Rembach:    It’s definitely my kids passion too, they keep asking me to have one. We were chatting earlier before we got started here today and I was mentioning how my neighbor has adopted for long time for many years and it’s definitely something—it takes a lot of effort that that he takes a lot of effort it’s not simple. I’ve even seen situations where people going through a very stringent screening process to actually be one of the adopters and foster parents, but it’s so valued. When you start thinking about that passion and where it comes from, why dogs?

 

Blake Morgan:    Well, dogs actually were once wolves. And they figure it out that if they could cozy up to humans, back in the caveman days that human would feed them, they would provide protection and comfort to humans and humans would feed them and it was a nice kind of symbiotic relationship. Thanks how actually how dogs evolve from wolves, so now they’ve somehow become cuter. I think they figure it out if they were cuter they would get better food and better homes. There’s a long history of dogs and humans being friends and I’ve just always loved dogs. We had dogs when I was a kid, just wonderful, they’re very calming and just such a nice break from the hassle, buzzle of the day to just come home and see this wagging tail so happy to see you no matter what. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Listening to you talk, I started also thinking about some of the work that you do talking about customer experience, customer engagement, and that whole evolution piece and the need to connect, I started seeing really a correlation on how you started talking about that evolution. While it’s maybe not politically correct to talk about humans as animals or in that way but do you see some connections there with regards to how we actually do what you just said?

 

Blake Morgan:    We are actually animals, Jim, so it’s okay, I think it’s correct to say that we are. There are leaders, the interesting things you can pull out from that, I mean people have always travelled in communities and the best they contribute to society in the way that they can, and it’s all about survival. And while we do have the Internet today, we have links in the Facebook—really it’s still about survival, it looks very, very different than it did say, 5000 years ago.

 

Jim Rembach:    It’s a good point. I could still say that we’re always looking for that inspiration and some of the joy that absolutely pets can bring us including our human relationship. One of the things that we focus in on the Fast Leader show is leadership quotes or just quotes, I should say, that could give us that kind of inspiration and connection and really tap that emotion. Is there a quote or two that stands out for you that you can share with us?

 

Blake Morgan:    There’s a recent on I’ve been kind of fixated on from Warren Buffet and what he says is that: “Trust is a very expensive gift do not expect it from people who are cheap.” And the reason I like this quote about being “cheap” is because I believe it has a lot to do with brands today and where they are mis-stepping with customer experience and their efforts to build relationships with customers. We all have experiences with people on our lives that they don’t really like to spend money, they’re risk averse, they don’t like to pay their half of lunch maybe, they don’t like to go out they’re just scared, but how does that relate to a brand. For example I was recently on a flight to Melbourne with United airlines and United Airlines has recently announced that they are now serving a better coffee. They basically had a string of announcements about a customer experience initiative one of which was the coffee.

 

I’m a huge coffee fan I love coffee, the flight from Melbourne to the US or vice versa is 14-16 hours, it’s grueling, so I knew about this announcements from United and I went to the stewardess and I said, “Hi, can I have some of this Elli coffee I hear of?” And she just looks at me and said, ”Oh, sorry we’re using the rest of the old stuff until we get the new stuff in because….you know of course it’s more cost effective. And for me this has sent a message of—you know the airlines and other companies are only willing to really build relationships with their customers when it’s convenient or cost effective for them. And in a way it’s like lying in a way they’re kind of lying like saying, “Oh, we want to improve customer experience” but really they’re not willing to ‘walk the walk’. And so, for me I want to surround myself with not only people who are spiritually wealthy and have this air of wealth, not literally I’m not talking about money I’m talking about generosity and kindness, same with the brands that I do business with. I want to do business with friends that treat me like they really care about building relationship with me and they’re willing to spare an expense, not like with United Airlines who tell you anything to save a dollar at the expense of the relationship. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I think you bring up something that’s even more than a marketing campaign like you were saying. I had the opportunity to interview John Wolski from Zappos and he was talking about how human centric can be something to do, you actually have to pull up within your DNA. 

 

Blake Morgan:    Yeah, I love it. And Zappos’s absolutely gets it there the first. Tony Hsieh is the genius, he’s super bold. The things he’s willing to do are just wonderful without really have care for the industry. Everyone is like looking at him, people are writing all kinds of rumors and gossips with the holacracy right now where Zappos remove managers from their system, basically, he still moving forward showing the world what can be, what is possible. And I think that’s wonderful for Zappos, I’m really happy for them. 

 

Jim Rembach:     I was just reading something talking about their holacracy change that certain percentage of employee took the buyout because it’s one of the things that Zappos does which is to me I think is totally unique and weeds out the ones that don’t want that connection that you are referring to earlier. And the piece is talking about how people left but that isn’t necessarily something that is a bad thing.

 

Blake Morgan:     I totally agree, Jim. You don’t want people working for your company who don’t have in their blood especially when like Zappos where your living in Las Vegas the people who worked there it just a day job, they have a community there they’re always doing happy hours together like weekend, party, parades, running events, it’s really a way of life, so Tony only wants people who are really committed. You really don’t want especially people in customer service or customer facing roles that don’t have it in their blood. You want people who are really proud to represent the brand and love what they do and feel like, “Yeah, this is where I’m supposed to be.”

 

Jim Rembach:     That community has some power, why the dogs travel in packs?  Why do they connect with humans? Humans have that high integrity in the things that you were talking about, want to bond together as well. Hello, we all need to definitely ground ourselves. I know for me, I had situations where I’ve had to get over that hump. Where I was…especially in college talking about the Fraternity and the rushes and things like, that is that, I’m going to be a GDI which is a something-something independent, I’m going to be anti-fraternity. And for me, knowing where I am now like this hindsight, I’m like that was just a bad mindset, it was. I’ve limited myself some opportunities to grow network at an early age that I just avoided. I wish I could turn back—but I can’t. So, I know that was a hump, right? I didn’t get over. I didn’t realize it was a hump at that time. But there’s a lot to learnings in there throughout our lives. Can you think about a time where you’ve had to get over the hump where it helped you with your learning? Can you share that with us?

 

Blake Morgan:    I would say my experience moving to New York as a young person. A lot of the kids that go to New York are from the tri-c area, I was from Southern California, right? In the tri-c area you’ve got a lot of old family names, you’ve got a lot of old money, so I always have roommates whose parents would bring them furniture and food and take them shopping, and I was everything myself because I didn’t have family around. I wasn’t  a trust fund baby, I have a job and a lot of my friends and I were living paycheck to paycheck, which was fun, we didn’t feel bad about it because we we’re all struggling we are all trying to make it work in New York. I think that experience of just really learning to hassle and work hard, I’m not sure I would have learned that had I not had that experience of living in New York city at such a young age. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Being able to make that move and just go there without those connections, you and I had talked about boldness and that was some the things that is of interest to you and it is for me as well. And we also talked about it sometime boldness didn’t serve us well and that happens and so finding that middle ground is really an important piece. Have you done something or kind of ground yourself in a way so that you find that middle ground a little bit better?

 

Blake Morgan:    I would say that meditation has been very helpful for me and just learning to slow down because I do like to respond quickly to things. I make calculations in my brain very quickly and decide things, but you know what, sometimes there’s a lot of beauty and benefit to just kind of taking a breath and thinking, okay, what is the best way to respond? And the beauty of meditation, even just 10 minutes a day is it really slows your brain down and allows you to be calm, to be focused, and in a business environment that’s everything. Just learning to kind of be quiet and listen for even 30 seconds can mean a difference between you having a great day at work or kind of ruining a relationship with someone I work, so, I would say meditation has been really key. I do a lot of other things just throughout the day, make sure I’m fresh like going to walk with my dog and exercise and taking good care of myself. You know see a lot of people in business who don’t how to take care of themselves, they don’t set up their lives so they get enough sleep, they don’t eat well and things that hinders their work. You can tell when you meet people and you them really, really umpth up like they’ve just been on social media way too long. Like scheduling tweets, and you’re like, okay—you obviously need to have some on our time, that on our own time is really important when you meet people face to face, or you’re interacting with them and they can tell if this person seems crazy, or this person seems calm and rooted. 

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s a very good point. You mentioned something earlier for me that I’ve had it, kind of check myself on and that is, coffee. While I’m not somebody who necessarily looks for the unique brands and stuff, I’m good with just a regular roast type deal, but it’s when I have more than I should have that kind of causes me to have problems with that whole stopping and thinking before it comes out, so I got to watch that. I know you got a lot of things going on, the animal rescue piece, the SOCAP, the writing for Forbes, doing your own podcast, of course your hobby, all those things and fitness—when you start thinking all those things, what are some your goals?

 

Blake Morgan:    My goal right now is to build my brand. I have been working for other people mostly for 10 years. I did my own consulting thing for about two years before I went to work in Intel but when you’re working in a big company people don’t really know who you are outside of the company so I been trying to build my brand. Even if you do work for an employer I think it’s so important for people to have a brand because, especially in the Bay area a lot of this jobs are short term and even if you are working for someone else it’s really important that you have your own personal brand. So, right now for me I just want people to know who I am. And so part of that is just being a content—like every week publishing YouTube videos, podcast, articles, engaging online, and it matters I get emails from people who’ve read a certain article even just one article that resonated with them can turn into a job project. So that’s basically what I’m focusing on, building my company. 

 

Jim Rembach:   And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick work from our sponsor. 

 

Leaders in organizations with high emotional intelligence make more money and perform than those with lower EQ. So get over the hump now by leveraging the 54 emotional intelligence competencies and your human centric leadership and organization development. Download the complete lists for free at beyondmorale.com/EQ.  

 

Here we go Fast Leader listeners it’s time for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay Blake, the Hump day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Blake Morgan, are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Blake Morgan:    Sure. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Alright.  What do you think is holding you back from being even better leader today?

 

Blake Morgan:    Wow! Scalability. I’m just one person so when you’re working for yourself you’re doing everything yourself, so scalability is task.

 

Jim Rembach:    What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

 

Blake Morgan:    Be yourself. If you’re trying to be someone else it’s really odious. Being yourself someone will appreciate who you are and what you stand for, so don’t ever try to be fake and feel comfortable on your own skin because that’s attractive. 

 

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

 

Blake Morgan:    I would say just longevity in the business. I’ve been in this business for a while now people know who I am and I think just falling in love with one thing and learning everything there is to know, for me that’s actually been customer service. Since about 2008 and now people know who I am and it’s wonderfully, built a relationships that really last. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Blake Morgan:    Being a listener is so important and so unappreciated. Listening is everything. When you listen you really hear for that and I’ve golden ticket and people appreciate you more because people don’t listen. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What would one book from,  any genre, that you’d recommend to our listeners?

 

Blake Morgan:    I would say a book called Thick Face, Black Heart, especially for women in business. It’s just a great overall person development book and a book about business as well especially for young women who needs to learn how to kind of be tough enough and have thick skin.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from our show today by going to fastleader.net/Blake Morgan. Okay Blake this is my last Hump day Hoedown question, Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything you can only choose one, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Blake Morgan:    Oh, confidence. You know in your 30’s especially as a lady, you have certain confidence you cannot have when you’re 25. And I just wish I could bring my younger self a little more confidence and everything would be a little better but you can’t do that that’s life. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Blake, it was an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share with Fast Leader listeners how they can connect with you? 

 

Blake Morgan:    Absolutely. Feel free to visit my website at blakemichellmorgan.com or Twitter, I’m Blake Michelle M. and would love to hear from you.

 

Jim Rembach:    Blake Morgan thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. 

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

 

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