page title icon disruption

Joe Dunlap | Now is the time to stop training

248: Joe Dunlap: It’s time to stop training

Joe Dunlap Show Notes Page

Joe Dunlap is the son of a US Air Force officer and spent most of his youth moving every two years from one Air Force base to another along with his younger sister.  He is a second-generation Bachelor and Master degree graduate.

Joe entered into Learning and Development by accident.  After completing his undergraduate degree in the Northeast, he applied for numerous jobs in Texas with little luck until a university offered him a position as a Hall Director, as long as he was also a graduate student.  Since it was late April at this time, the only department at the university that had rolling applications for grad school was the Department of Education.

Joe started a joint program in Adult Learning and Org Development with no intentions of finishing it.  Two years later I had an M Ed, he was working in HR at another university in Org Dev and some Adult Learning and here he is a long, long time later still working in L&D.

Joe started his career as a stand-up facilitator using PowerPoint and Word.  As technology evolved into eLearning, Podcasting, Video, and LMSs, he was an early adopter which allowed him to expand his competencies and services.  As the use of eLearning and LMSs grew, he became a SME for L&D technology which led him to being a leader of an L&D technology team.

Over the last few years he has researched, implemented, practiced and managed the evolving mindsets, practices, technology, and methods being used by organizations in the Digital Transformation era and implemented those within L&D as both a leader and consultant.  He is also a writer of L&D Transformation on LinkedIn.

Joe currently lives in Germantown, WI with his wife and the last of his three daughters, three cats and a dog; he’s the only male in the house, aaaaagh.

Quotes and Mentions

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

“With the growing skills gaps, how do we now deliver learning faster?” – Click to Tweet

“Move away from that training mindset and move into other possibilities.” – Click to Tweet

“Let’s talk about the problem because learning and development is only one piece of solving that particular problem.” – Click to Tweet

“Once training is done, what’s next because that’s not the end of the story?” – Click to Tweet

“How are you helping employees in their flow of work?” – Click to Tweet

“Thinking about the learning journey, there’s so many ways that people now go about acquiring learning.” – Click to Tweet

“If you just read a news article, there’s not a week that goes by where a CEO doesn’t talk about the need to become a learning organization.” – Click to Tweet

“The scale of an organization is losing its relevance to the speed of the organization’s learning capacity.” – Click to Tweet

“We can no longer focus on shareholder value, we have to focus on our employees improving their value.” – Click to Tweet

“You can’t continue to go out and buy skill sets, you need to start growing them.” – Click to Tweet

“You have to meet learners where they’re at. You can’t drag them to your Learning Management System.” – Click to Tweet

“If you are learning you are growing. If you aren’t growing what are you doing?” – Click to Tweet

“We moved away from that training mindset and started looking at that learning ecosystem for that individual and team and the learning journey.” – Click to Tweet

“Step back and embrace other thoughts and ideas and you’ll become a much better leader.” – Click to Tweet

[optin-cat id=11101]

Hump to Get Over

Joe Dunlap had an old-school training mindset and found himself in an organization that was losing to its competition. That’s when Joe challenged himself and his team to “stop training” and to start gathering insight into ways they could add value to employees and meet them where they are in their learning and development journey.

Advice for others

Be open to change.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Fighting an organizational culture.

Best Leadership Advice

Be humble in your practice and have humor in yourself.

Secret to Success

I listen to smart people.

Best tools in business or life

Taking a personal approach.

Recommended Watching

Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates (American Genius)

Contacting Joe Dunlap

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

Email: joseph.m.dunlap [at] gmail.com

Resources and Show Mentions

Dash Trainer: Agent Training in a Dash

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

248: Joe Dunlap: It’s time to stop training

Jim Rembach: : (00:00)

Okay, Fast leader legion today I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today who is going to tell you why you need to stop training.

 

Jim Rembach: : (00:47)

Joe Dunlap is the son of a U S air force officer and spent most of his youth moving every two years from one air force base to another along with his younger sister. He is a second generation bachelor and master’s degree. Gradually Joe entered into learning and development by accident after completing his undergraduate degree in the Northeast. He applied for numerous jobs in Texas with little luck until the university offered him a position as a whole director as long as he was a graduate student. Since it was late April. At this time, the only department at the university that had rolling applications for grad school was the department of education. Joe started a joint program in adult learning and organizational development with no intention of finishing it. Two years later he had a master’s in education and he was working in HR at another university in organizational development and some adult learning and there he is a long, long time later still and working in learning and development.

 

Jim Rembach: : (01:47)

Joe started his career as a standup facilitator using PowerPoint and word. As technology evolved into e-learning podcasting, video and learning management systems, he was an early adopter which allowed him to expand his competencies and services. As the use of e-learning and LMS has grew, he became a subject matter expert for learning and development technology, which led him to being a leader of a learning and development technology team. Over the last few years. He has researched, implemented practice and manage the evolving mindsets, practices, technology and methods being used by organizations in the digital transformation era and implemented those within learning and development as both a leader and consultant. He’s also a writer of L and D transformation on LinkedIn. Joe currently lives in Germantown, Wisconsin with his wife and the last of his three daughters, three cats and a dog. He’s the only male in the house. Joe Dunlap. Are you ready to help us get over the hump? I am ready to help you get over the hump man. I’m glad you’re here now giving my Legion a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we get to know you even better? So you actually said at gym it stopped training a lot. What I write about,

 

Joe Dunlap:: (03:00)

a lot of what I consult about right now is changing that mindset and practice that a lot of learning and development leaders have had for a long time. I am certainly one of those individuals. And where we always thought about the course, we always thought about an E learning course or a workshop or instruct something instructor led. And in today’s environment, especially with the digital transformation, we just don’t have that time anymore. We have to go over it much quicker for our clients and we have to be able to pivot on a moment’s notice, you know? And so with the growing cost skills gaps that we’ve seen, we’re hearing about this all the time. It’s how do we now deliver faster? And so what I’m trying to encourage or influence people to do is move away from that training mindset into other possibilities.

 

Jim Rembach: : (03:40)

Well, and I think what you talk about there is, to me, this isn’t really focused in on one particular industry. In addition, I think there’s a lot of things that are advancing right now in the whole artificial intelligence and business automation space, but also impacting what we’re talking about from a learning and development perspective. So when you can’t, if you can kind of give us a little bit about, uh, I’ll look into the impact of what AI can be on stopping training.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (04:08)

Oh, I mean, when you think about all of this, and especially AI is that, um, if I’m thinking about it from an employee’s perspective or an organizational perspective, is now how are we growing those skill sets? You know, five years ago, if you and I were having this conversation and someone said, get a scientist, we both were to look at each other with a question Mark in the day. That same road is making $170,000 a year for a guy to sign. Okay. So the utilization of AI, machine learning, you’re now starting to see, um, positions or occupations that didn’t exist in anybody’s tongue three years ago, four years ago. There’s not even degrees for somebody, but there are people who’ve grown up with these skill sets and have learned how to analyze data and work with machine learning who are now making a lot of money. But that’s now challenging. You know, all the employees within an organization of how are they only on moving as part of this digital transformation to grow those skillsets to be, um, help the organization remain competitive within their industry?

 

Jim Rembach: : (05:07)

Well, even when you talk about that and I don’t, this whole new job thing is quite interesting and well eaten for me. What I see AI working in the contact center space and customer experience space is that AI is being used as, you know, a job aid is being used as a, you know, process flow, you know, you know, follow the leader tool. Uh, is also when you put that into the whole learning and development mix really causing, you know, more and more or reinforcing more of that stop training, you know, type of focus. And there’s one of the things that you and I had had an opportunity to talk about is you talked about that, that mindset and that first approach and the first approach used to be build a course. Now you’re saying the approach needs to be different. What does it need to be

 

Joe Dunlap:: (05:56)

well know? And I’m

 

Jim Rembach: : (05:57)

guilty of this is that, you know, the, the first thing I typically did throughout my career is, okay, let’s go with the solution mindset. And typically that was of course it may have been new learning and may have been instructor led. Now it’s part of this digital transformation on learning new ways like design thinking and agile, which is, let’s talk about the problem because very often the problem has multiple facets to it and learning development is only one piece of solving that particular problem. And so it’s bringing the right people together at the table to brainstorm around multiple ways to do that. And more importantly, Jim, like you talked about, is that, um, you know, once that training is done, let’s go back to that idea of, okay, I did a course or I did a workshop or whatever it was, is now what’s next?

 

Jim Rembach: : (06:39)

Because that’s not the end of the story, you know, is that once they’ve gained that competency, that skill that knows whatever it is now, how are you helping them? Like you were just talking about in their flow of work, when they’re actually applying that knowledge, what challenges, uh, what successes are they having? What resources do they need on the job to help them continue to grow? Well, I think for me there’s also, you and I talked about the difference between things that are more technical than short term. Yes. In regards to job skills are concerned and then other elements which are more longterm and journey and development things. Yes. So I would dare to say one of the things that I’ve looked at a lot and have been trying to bring into the contact center world is what is referred to as blended learning. But a lot of really familiar with what blended learning is. If you could kind of help us,

 

Joe Dunlap:: (07:32)

you know, I think blended learning has multiple connotations. So you know, when you think about blended learning is what are those resources now that help that individual to continue learning and growing? So an example with a previous client, we were utilizing an internal Yammer channel. So social media, we are creating a role-based and or skill-based groups in which these people could come together and share their knowledge and expertise and resources. We’re pointing them right? Uh, we are utilizing SharePoint as a way of content management because this is where the worked and these were the tools that they worked with, uh, you know, creating short videos to very often my team and I, we would actually literally take our phones or iPhones or Samsung or whatever they used and go and show videos of people working out particular problems and sharing how they solve those problems. And then just literally posting that as a very rough video for other people to use as resources. So you start to think about that learning journey. There are so many different ways in which learning people now actually go past the means of acquiring learning, but finding out what your vendors are using and then incorporating that into your overall deliverables.

 

Jim Rembach: : (08:34)

You and I talked about, uh, the transformation of the learning and development leader. And as you were talking right there, I started really thinking about, you know, the, the nuance, the art and the science of all of this. And, and that is, for example, like SharePoint, well it’s a good tool for certain organizations, but then for other organizations it is, so you have to use a different tool so that all kinds of different solutions that really have to be explored and understood. But it does start with that mindset and be first and first of all, but I see one of the transformation points for a learning and development leader and then they think about it from even from a member perspective, as someone who’s responsible for overall performance, I may not be a traditionally trained L and D leader, but yet I’m responsible, you know, as supervisor or manager for people’s performance and getting the work done is that, you know, I need to start thinking about overall knowledge assets and manage assets. Yes,

 

Joe Dunlap:: (09:31)

absolutely. And now it’s, where do I find those assets? How am I voting on? And they’re looking for those people. And so it’s this idea of learning and development growing itself. And some of the things that I write about is go create your own work. You know, so if you’re listening, if you’re in the lunch room, the water cooler, so to speak, you’re hearing these stories, these pain points that exist across the organization. Go after them, start digging into those stories to find out how painful is this experience, this knowledge is skill, whatever it is, start finding those and start meeting those learners where they’re at like you’re talking about. Because you’ll find is I’ve found that all of a sudden you’re creating your own backlog. Before that people were saying, Hey, you built this. Can you help me build this? Or how can you, can we start to curate these resources together and where can we put those resources that help people at that moment?

 

Jim Rembach: : (10:18)

Well, and I think Joe, I mean you, you could probably give better insight into this than I can is that you are talking about how overall, you know, learning and development and the need for it and really the demand for it has quite changed. And with that organizational importance. So when we start talking about strategic value, it used to be, Oh my gosh, don’t train them cause no lead. Um, and I think that’s changing too. How have you seen the strategic importance of learning and development change just within the past couple of years?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (10:48)

Oh, you know, if you just read a news article, Jim, there’s not a week that goes by where I do not see a CEO or several CEOs who talk about the importance of becoming a learning organization. You know, and I share some of these quotes when I see them on my LinkedIn profile. Um, there was one recently I shared last week and I’m paraphrasing here by the CEO of work who said that, you know, he talked about the scale of an organization is losing its relevance to the speed of the organization’s learning capacity. And I think he hits the nail on the head is native. We cannot continue to grow our employees and grow their skill sets and our competencies. We’re going to lose to our competition if they’re moving faster than we, and many organizations are now recognizing this. In fact, there was, I think it was a week or two ago that a bunch of CEOs came out and said, we no longer can focus on shareholder value.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (11:37)

We have to focus on our employees and proving their value. And I think that that message has now made its way across a lot of industries and a lot of CEOs are recognizing. So the quote, like you said, you know, the CFO said to the CEO, what if we train them and they leave and the CEO says, what if we don’t? And they stay. Right. So like you just said, you can’t continue to go out and buy the skillsets. You want to have to start growing them. You’re going to start rescaling people. Cause there’s just not enough people who aren’t around. And that need is growing so quickly that you have to respond to it. So I think you hit the nail on that. Okay. So when we start talking about, you know, going through a transformation process, you know, you talk about the mindset, you know, I, if I start looking at an organization that is, you know, doing some of the things that they’ve just always done because their great habit, we build all these processes around them.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (12:28)

You know what, we can do it fast, but you know, the effectiveness has gone away. What are two things that you often have to cause them or you have to really encourage them to step away from? Yes, so one of the first things that I do, especially when I’m starting an initiative is I’m making sure that I’m getting buy in by all the leaders impacted. And I did this very recently with a client was we were going to roll out this leadership initiative. And so I met with all the leaders across the organization and I had several leaders maybe probably close to about a fourth of them who said, Joe right now is not the time we have these other priorities going on. And I really appreciated him saying that because it allowed me to focus on those people who were ready to embrace that at that moment and be my advocates as well.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (13:11)

And they made a world of difference because they were full head, they were fooling and supportive and they were able to push forward. And that way when some of those other leaders were finally ready to haven’t gotten those other priorities off of their fight, so to speak, they were now ready to embrace it too because I was meeting them at their right moment. Well, you know, as you were saying that I also started thinking of the fact that, you know, once they decided to essentially take themselves out and they saw other people embracing it, moving ahead, it was a threat. Yes, exactly. And it’s funny, I did a, a couple of years ago, I was with a large company and you know, like you said, it was 150 years old. They had a lot of processes in place. Uh, certainly the organization, organizational culture was very much face to face and things like that.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (13:55)

And he realized that they were just not keeping up with their competition. So they were going through this organizational change. You know, and culture always trumps everything. So you know, the CEO recognized we have to start shrinking our culture and there’s early adopters and late adopters. And so by helping in, in leading that particular change, I went for the early adopters first because they became my advocates for the people who are still kind of sitting back saying, wow, this is the flavor of the day. We’ll just wait two years and he’ll be gone. By the time they finally realized that this was not going away, there was a whole lot of stories out there and resources for them to become fully engaged with it as well as having good mentors. So to me, I think it goes back to that whole short term versus long term focus and that if I’m someone who needs to go through this transformation and I, well let me take a step back and I would say that everybody needs to go through this transformation even with call center coach Academy, see so many organizations

 

Jim Rembach: : (14:53)

that you know, really don’t understand what the whole difference between, you know, task, um, short term technical skill and long term, you know, leadership development, you know, really is, it’s absolutely, unfortunately, like you said, we all kind of opt for the classroom. We opt for the workshop, we, you know, we think that, you know, Hey, just give them the information and then therefore the action’s going to happen. And it’s just not the way it works.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (15:21)

You’re right, you’re absolutely right. In fact, actually I was leading initiative with the context in a very recently and we became aware of some pain points that certainly were not trained and there were no resources in which to help those costs in a representative with that. And so we built out a number of materials, basically job AIDS to help men with that. But it was very hard for leadership to start now embracing this idea of these huddle type of trainings versus a classroom based to bring people up with speed on these things. And I struggled with it a little bit to be honest with you because in my mind as I’m looking at this information, I knew that the customer service reps were not well versed in these topics because they were pain points. The quality was showing that, but they were focused, like you said, on the metrics and meeting service level agreements and not recognizing that, okay, you know, the, the forest for the trees so to speak, is that okay, but these pain points don’t go away if you don’t address them so great and you meet your service levels, great, you need your quality, but you’re still not helping the customer because your customer service reps don’t understand the information that’s in front of them.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (16:22)

And I’m still pounding away at that gym. I really am. There’s some people who have now started to come around and say, okay, let’s try some things. There’s sound. We’re still kind of pushing back on me on that. It’s a culture shift.

 

Jim Rembach: : (16:32)

Well, and I think what you said, kind of going back a little bit full circle, you started talking about truly uncovering, you know, the the problem and being really where the mindset set shift needs to happen. Yup. Oh, when you start talking about, you know, that different lens and, and the, and you causing people to look in places that they, you know, are just not accustomed to doing. Yes. What do you often find that is preventing you from making people to make that head turn?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (17:01)

Very often it’s the organizational culture is that, you know, they built up a, for lack of a better word, the command and control structure. And so when those subject matter experts who very often become those call center leaders, get into those roles, you know, they come with great technical knowledge, but like you just said, there’s, it’s very hard for them to look outside of just my channel right in front of me. Do you understand that there’s a whole lot of stuff that’s going on around here that is impacting what you’re doing, you know, and that can help you to benefit that. And so it’s just overcoming that organizational culture is that there’s a lot of players who can bring in hands, productivity and effectiveness if you’re willing to now embrace some of that mindset versus the straight ahead parallel linear thinking.

 

Jim Rembach: : (17:43)

Well, and you know, S and KPI’s are important for every single part of a business. Those key performance indicators. So could kind of give me an understanding of that, that when that shift has occurred, get on board, they start doing things differently. What are we talking about as far as a KPI impact?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (18:02)

You know, I’ve been incorporating some different measures lately and so one of the things that a lot of organizations are looking at is employee engagement. You know, so as we talk about the world digital transformation and social media, I’ve been incorporating some measures that might be typically used on a Twitter or Facebook or something like that. So if we push out some videos or some learning resources, not only my sharing their usage, but I’m sharing how many shares, how many likes, how many did they share that with? And so I’m trying to incorporate more measures based on the deliverable and the channels that I use that now help build a much bigger story for my client to see that there’s a much bigger picture out here than just simply for instance, ROI or some of the key measures that they’re looking at. Because you know, it’s very easy for us to get logged into like, did we meet our potty metrics or did we meet our service level of bringing through things like that. But there’s sort of, like you just said, there’s a whole lot of other story out there that once they start to become aware of it, you start to see that light bulb come on in their head is, Oh wait a minute. There’s some other things out here that really make a difference, especially when you’re talking about a call center environment to keep people here versus the kind of retention problems that most experience.

 

Jim Rembach: : (19:10)

Well, gosh, Joe, as you were talking and I started seeing the role and the skills zone, the L and D people and again, even if they’re traditionally trained or are, if they’re in a manager role, that that needs to shift and let me to to quite a significant degree for some cause I mean as you were just describing what you were doing, I mean I started thinking about internal communications. Yeah. I started thinking about internal marketing. Yes. That’s, that’s different than just communications. Yeah. Um, you started talking about, um, you know, the whole, um, you know, the cultural aspects and the cultural transformation piece, performance management. I mean, I’m starting to see a whole different level of skills that are needed inL and D people that just didn’t exist.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (19:52)

Yeah. And I think that’s part of what’s going on with the digital transformation. My personal experience with this has been, uh, in a, in an organization that was working agile is that in some cases I was leading an effort, so I might’ve been referred to as a product owner. In other cases, I’m rolling up my sleeves and I’m an individual contributor. And so I was taking on those roles as we started to see how learning was being consumed and the ways in which it was being consumed by learners, you have to meet them where they’re at. You know? So the idea of me dragging you as that learner to the learning management system is not working anymore. It’s, I now need to come to where Jim does his work and deliver to Jim in a way that he wants to deliver it. So I might need to learn how to use Twitter or Instagram or learn how to, uh, make an edit videos or learn how to be a web developer and SharePoint. And so whatever it is that your, your learners are using, you’re building those skill sets and that helps you in your future gym. Because again, you may be in instances where maybe you’re not leading that effort and maybe even learning as a part of that, but you have a role or multiple roles, you might be able to plan that becomes, that makes you much more valuable.

 

Jim Rembach: : (20:59)

Well, Joe, I would dare to say with, uh, the transformation that you’re talking about and I see it with all types of transformations that, you know, we really need to focus, we need some inspiration and, and we need some things that are, you know, continual reminders of, you know, the effort that we need to put forth in the resilience. And one of the things that we look at on the show to help us with that, those types of things are quotes. So is there a quote or two that you like you can share?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (21:24)

I do. There’s actually two quotes. So for any individual and learning development, it goes like this. If you are learning, you are growing. If you ain’t growing, what are you doing? Right. And so that’s actually a quote on my LinkedIn page. Um, and um, I lovely woman who was the vice president down at an organization, Nebraska, found that one time and massively distributed that across a whole network of people. And then I started getting all these people liking and sharing and his domestic, you mean whatever your LinkedIn messaging. I was like, wow, that’s fantastic that they really meant that much to her. Something that resonated with her and it resonated with her network, you know, as a learning and development leader is that one of the most valuable things I learned from a previous leader was you got to have humility and humor about yourself.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (22:12)

You know, because you can’t know everything. You are not the expert in everything. And so I very much follow the Steve jobs mindset is I don’t hire smart people to tell them what to do. I hire smart people to tell me what to do. So as I’m growing my team, I’ve grown two teams in my history. Um, I’m bringing them on board because they bring skill sets to the table that I don’t have. I don’t need somebody else telling me or doing what I already do. I need somebody doing what I can’t do and showing me how to do. And I’ve been very fortunate in my past where I brought in the right group of people who had skill sets beyond what I had, and I’m asking them, okay, show me what it is we need to do. Tell me what it is we need to do, and helping us to lead to new discoveries and new journey.

 

Jim Rembach: : (22:53)

Well, Joe, talking about building those teams, talking about transformation, talking about taking a different path than what everybody else was going down. I mean, those are things that happen because of learning experiences that we’ve had and I’m sure we talked about getting over the hump because they set us hopefully in a better direction and most oftentimes they do. Is there a time where you’d got over the pump that you can share?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (23:14)

Yeah, absolutely. I was with an organization about five, six years ago and I was talking about it earlier. They were starting to lose to their competition. You know, they had very traditional hierarchies and processes and other organizations were being much more experimental and innovative and they were doing things faster. And the organization that I worked for realized we’re losing to our competition. We need to change the way we do. And so with that initiative, I challenged my team and they challenged me in the same mindset was we need to start thinking differently how we deliver learning and how we support performance across this organization. And so through a number of brainstorming and strategy sessions, we started coming up with ideas based on the things that we had heard across the organization of the how and the means of which people were actually learning. So we started exploring the use of video.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (24:03)

We started exploring the use of social media, the internal Yammer channel. I talked about how to become web developers and SharePoint. So we started moving away from that whole training mindset is starting to look more of this. What is that learning ecosystem is for an individual or for a team? And what is the learning journey that we create? And so that really became our mindset was it was no longer easy or no longer could we go through the idea of a one and done and we move on. It was, you’re building a course, uh, you’re doing some instructor led workshop. It’s what’s next. Now you’re following that story as those individuals, whether they be leaders or individual contributors as they go on, apply that knowledge and skill. You follow them through those experiences to say, okay, what were your successes? What were your challenges? What would have helped? You know? And you start to build up all the resources they need around that, that, that way, hopefully, hopefully over a short period of time, the next person who comes through that learning journey has a much easier than the person that went before them. And you just keep improving.

 

Jim Rembach: : (25:04)

Well, I would dare to say the whole transformation process also takes a while. Uh, and also when I start talking, I’m thinking about learning and development, you know, transforming and people doing things different, you know, that’s just going to take well. But what I still, you know, you and the whole, you know, stop training method and, and focus and all of that. Um, I started thinking about you having certain goals and also the content that you create and all of that. But if I was to look at one goal that you had, what should I be looking at?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (25:33)

One goal for me is continuous learning is I am always looking for what’s my next thing to learn about. And I’m basing that on what I’m seeing in the industry, right? So most recently, like for instance, the world economic forum came out with their top 20 skills for 2020 critical thinking, creative thinking, things like that. So those are the things I start exploring for myself. So that way when I’m having these dialogues with people, I can share what I’ve learned on my journey, which helps make me, hopefully I’m better, I better bring more value and a better partner to my clients and to the people I work with. [inaudible]

 

Jim Rembach: : (26:07)

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 5: (26:14)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (26:33)

four slash better. All right. Fast leader Legion. It’s time for the

 

Speaker 5: (26:37)

Oh Oh,

 

Jim Rembach: : (26:40)

okay. But they hold on as a part of our where you give

 

Jim Rembach: : (26:44)

us good insights. I’m don’t ask several questions and your job is to give us robust yet read responses are going to help us move onward and upward. Facile. Joe Dunlap, are you ready to hold down? I’m ready to hold down. Alright, so what is holding you back from being an even better leader today? Organizational culture it at, you’re still fighting it.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (27:03)

An organizational culture that exist and changing those mindset and practices will always slow you down.

 

Jim Rembach: : (27:09)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (27:13)

The best leadership advice I ever received is be humble in your practice and have humor in yourself, knowing that you’re not going to be the person who knows everything and it’s good to have humor about that as you actually becoming a better leader every day.

 

Jim Rembach: : (27:27)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (27:32)

Um, did I listen to smart people? I want the advice of people who are telling me what they think the solution is versus going along my own immediate solution or thought process.

 

Jim Rembach: : (27:42)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (27:47)

Uh, I think it is that personal approach. So like I talked about before, it’s embracing that other people have opinions and ideas and experiences and that I want to hear them so that I can incorporate them into my overall effort of what I’m trying to produce.

 

Jim Rembach: : (28:01)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (28:06)

Um, I would recommend really, uh, it’s actually more of a documentary and it’s something I saw various and recently recently on Netflix and it’s the Steve jobs bill Gates story. And as you watch and it just covers their entire history from the 1970s well into 2000 and it talks about how they changed an entire industry. They’ve made an entire industry. Um, so here’s two individuals that have both dropped out of college. They both had these ideas of how to now transform the way that we work, the way that we live. And that to me was valuable as I watched that documentary because I think we’re seeing it. We see it every day is that we have these people who are transforming the way that we live and we have to open up our mindset. Anything is possible.

 

Jim Rembach: : (28:48)

Okay. Past literal age and you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/ Joe Dunlap. Okay, Joe, this is my last hump. Hold on question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you have all the knowledge and skills that you have now and at durability to take back, but you can’t take it all and you can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (29:12)

What skill or piece of knowledge would I take back with me? Um, the openness to change and the reason I would do that is because I think very early in my career and certainly throughout my time as a leader, probably told that within the last seven to 10 years because I had a mindset in place of what a leader did and how they thought. And then I was giving orders and telling people to do this. And now seeing the transformation that we, and I wish I would have stepped back much earlier in my career and embraced other and processes and ideas that probably would’ve made me a much better individual contributor and leader than I am today. Joe, it was fun to spend time with you today. Can you please share what the best leader Legion, how they can connect with you? Absolutely. You can find me on my LinkedIn profile. Joseph Dunlap. Uh, I am currently an independent contractor and I live in Germantown, Wisconsin. I would love to hear from you,

 

Jim Rembach: : (30:03)

Joe Dunlap. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The past leave Legion honors you and thank 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 fast leader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

[/expand]

Marcia Daszko | Pivot, Disrupt, Transform

217: Marcia Daszko: I was not familiar with any of those terms

Marcia Daszko Notes Page

Marcia Daszko didn’t know what she didn’t know. Now, she’s a catalyst for challenging leaders to think differently to realize results never before achieved.  A protégé of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, she’s co-founded two Deming User Groups, is a co-founder of the non-profit In2In Thinking, and assisted at 20 of the late Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s renowned 4-day seminars.

Marcia was born and raised in Iowa until she moved with her parents and three younger siblings to Los Gatos, CA in the 1970’s. She graduated from Santa Clara University with an English major focusing on journalism and later got her Master’s Degree in Mass Communication from San Jose State University. Her Dad’s career evolved from being a newspaper editor to sales to an entrepreneur of his own company for over 40 years—and Marcia followed his path.

With a natural interest in writing, reading, and teaching, after her college graduation, Marcia held positions as a 7th grade English teacher to a ten-year career in corporate communications and marketing in various industries. She began working to market the management consulting firm owned by Dr. Perry Gluckman and his team of statisticians and consultants in the 1980’s.

Soon Perry asked her to do business development and she asked, “What am I selling?” He sent her to a 4-day seminar about leadership taught by his friend, the world-renowned Dr. W. Edwards Deming. After that experience, Marcia asked Perry, “What was that all about?” Dr. Deming was in his 80’s, difficult to understand, and used a different vocabulary than Marcia was used to. Perry said, “I’ll teach you” and for the next three months Marcia read, studied, and had 3 to 4-hour conversations about new leadership thinking. Marcia said to Perry, “I want to hear Deming again.” Off she went to learn. At this 4-day seminar, the conference organizer introduced her to Dr. Deming, and he said “Come to dinner tonight.” She went and listened as a tableful of senior Fortune 500 executives, a Colonel, and an Admiral had a robust conversation.  She observed and listened. After dinner Dr. Deming invited her to attend the 4-day as much as possible to learn. He mentored her and she attended 20 of the 4-day seminars up until his death in 1993. After getting clients like Dow Chemical and Pepsi, Perry said, “we need your help to consult” and her consulting career began.

In 1993, both of her mentors died and Marcia wondered, “Now what?” With major clients, she continued her consulting work and in 1994 started Marcia Daszko & Associates. Now she speaks and teaches executive teams and her MBA students a new way to think about leadership—without the management fads and “best practices.” She begins every speech with, “My aim is to provoke your thinking.”

Her bold red-hot leadership book, PIVOT DISRUPT TRANSFORM helps people develop their natural leadership and lead with fewer struggles and failures. There is a better, revolutionary way to experience the joy in learning & leading.

Marcia resides in Silicon Valley CA.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“We all have the child inside of us that continually needs to learn and develop and make a difference in this world.” – Click to Tweet

“It takes a crisis in order for things to drastically change and people to step up. But that requires courage and leadership.” – Click to Tweet

“What are we trying to accomplish together?” – Click to Tweet

“Are corporations growing in healthy ways or are they growing due to greed?” – Click to Tweet

“The culture in organizations is a reflection of the CEO, the executive team, and the Board of Directors.” – Click to Tweet

“It takes a lot of courage to not accept what is, but to say what is our future.” – Click to Tweet

“The executives at the top of an organization, it’s their job to develop all of their people, not just their executive team.” – Click to Tweet

“Companies that focus on having everyone learn and work and improve together, those are the companies that are going to survive.” – Click to Tweet

“Always link what you’re trying to accomplish with a customer.” – Click to Tweet

“Success is after everything else has happened.” – Click to Tweet

“Adults keep piling it on, one layer on top of another, until it’s so complex people are not productive.” – Click to Tweet

“Leaders are searching for ways for customers to be served. The issue is, what they need to know, they’re not taught in school.” – Click to Tweet

“Transformative change is like the caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Once you become a butterfly, you’ll never go back to being a caterpillar.” – Click to Tweet

“The more that people think, question and explore, the more they discover new opportunities and can make a difference.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Marcia Daszko didn’t know what she didn’t know. Now, she’s a catalyst for challenging leaders to think differently to realize results never before achieved.  A protégé of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, she’s co-founded two Deming User Groups, is a co-founder of the non-profit In2In Thinking, and assisted at 20 of the late Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s renowned 4-day seminars.

Advice for others

Question based on systems-thinking and statistical knowledge.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Not enough hours in the day.

Best Leadership Advice

Learn, listen, and make a difference.

Secret to Success

I continually bring problems to the surface, and then try to get people working together to solve those with new ways to think about them.

Best tools in business or life

Curiosity

Recommended Reading

Pivot, Disrupt, Transform: How Leaders Beat the Odds and Survive

Profit Beyond Measure

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

Man’s Search for Meaning

Contacting Marcia Daszko

Website: https://www.mdaszko.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarciaDaszko

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

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

217: Marcia Daszko: I was not familiar with any of those terms

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.

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.

Okay, Fast Leader Legion today I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today who is going to defy many of your conventional wisdoms. Marcia Dazko was born and raised in Iowa until she moved with her parents and three younger siblings to Los Gatos, California in the 1970s. She graduated from Santa Clara University with an English major focusing on journalism and later got her master’s degree in Mass communication from San Jose State University. Her dad’s career evolved from being a newspaper editor to sales to an entrepreneur of his own company for over 40 years and Marcia followed his path. With a natural interest in writing, reading and teaching after her college graduation Marcia held positions as a seventh grade teacher to a 10 year career in corporate communications and marketing in various industries. 

She began working to market the management consulting firm owned by Dr. Perry Glickman and his team of statisticians and consultants in the 1980s. Soon Perry asked her to do business development and she asked, what am I selling? He sent her to four day seminar about leadership taught by his friend the world-renowned Dr. W. Edwards Deming. After that experience Marcia asked Perry, what was that all about? Dr. Deming was in his 80s difficult to understand and used a different vocabulary than Marcia was used to. Perry said, I’ll teach you. For the next three months Marcia read, studied and had three to four-hour conversations about new leadership thinking. Marcia said to Perry, I want to hear Deming again. Off she went to learn at this four-day seminar. The conference organizer introduced her to Dr. Deming and he said, come to dinner tonight. She went and listened as the table full of senior fortune 500 executives, a colonel, and an admiral had a robust conversation, she observed and listened. After dinner Dr. Deming invited her to attend the four day as much as she wanted to learn. Over the next several years she attended more than 20 of these four-day seminars until his death in

After getting clients like Dow Chemical and Pepsi, Perry said, we need your help to consult, and her consulting career began. In 1993 both of her mentors died and Marcia wondered, now what? With major clients she continued her consulting work. In 1994 started Marcia Daszko & Associates. Now she speaks and teaches to executive teams and her MBA students a new way to think about leadership without the management fads and best practices. She begins every speech with, my aim is to provoke your thinking. Her bold red-hot leadership book, Pivot Disrupt Transform helps people to develop their natural leadership and lead with fewer struggles and failures. There is a better revolutionary way to experience the joy in learning and leading. Marcia currently resides in Silicon Valley not too far from her son Timothy and two wonderful grandchildren. Marcia Daszko, are you ready to help us get over the hump? 

Marcia Daszko:     Absolutely, let’s go for it. 

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

Marcia Daszko:     My current passion—learning, helping people learn and lead and together in ways that they never have done before and making sure that path is wide open for also children of all ages. Because I think we all have the child inside of us that continually needs to learn and develop and make a difference in this world. 

Jim Rembach:    I’m glad that you shared that part about the child part because we’re going to talk about that in a second. However, in order to talk about that new way of thinking that difference component and all of that I think it’s really appropriate for us to kind of start off with something that you have. At the front of the book which is a bunch of questions, because for me as I went through these questions when I got to the end I got a big shocker. So let’s do these real—I’m going to do these as quick as I can, so you guys hang with me okay. This is an assessment of your current thinking and your actions—do you believe it’s important to hold individuals accountable? These are all yes-or-no questions, do you believe that it’s important to hold individuals accountable? Do you believe it is crucial to motivate your employees? Do you make most of your decisions based on conversations and intuition? Do you set targets and numerical goals for individuals to achieve? Does the executive team have annual strategic planning meetings to create the vision, mission, strategies, numerical goals, objectives and deliverables? Does leadership create a lengthy mission paragraph for the company? Does the organization continually adopt best practices and benchmark with other companies? Is change management adopted in your company but not much changes? Is resistance to change common in your culture? Do you believe the company should hire the best recruits with the best GPAs from the best schools to achieve the best results? Does management focus on quotas results the bottom line and the stock price? Are reorganizations and restructuring common and frequent? When times are difficult do you quickly respond by cutting costs? Do you believe you should empower employees? Do you believe it’s important to conduct annual performance appraisals and rank and rate the employees? Do you score the appraisals and tie them to compensation and bonuses? Do you incentivize workers and rewards and have a quota system? Now I know it took a while for me to read those but I think it’s really important because at the end from your scoring you say that, if you’d answered yes to more than two of these you need this book. And so for me I’m like, I don’t see how anybody is going to answer less than yes to 80% of those. Is that not true? 

Marcia Daszko:     Definitely, that’s true that’s what the world we live in. 

Jim Rembach:    When you start thinking about—how do we turn this tide when it’s kind of like a  salmon swimming up river in a current like they’ve never met, how do we do that?

Jim Rembach:    I have so many answers for that but I don’t know where to start. We sometimes need a crisis it takes a crisis in order for things to drastically change and people to step up but that requires courage and that requires leadership. And the courage and the leadership I think that we used to see decades ago I’m not seeing that same level of courage and leadership or the knowledge that people need. So for example, when Japan was in a crisis situation after World War II that’s when Dr. Deming went to Japan at the invitation of General MacArthur and helped Japan turn around and become a global competitor. At that point they were in a crisis so they were open to learning they had no way to go but up. And so that’s what we need to address in all of our organizations it doesn’t matter if it’s corporate education our education system is an extreme crisis and it’s a disaster in America we can see that because we see the results. If we focused on education and transform the education system that would impact the issues that we have with drugs and with gangs and with the dropout level and the declining education level in the United States. 

Jim Rembach:    Oh, my goodness. As you’re talking I started thinking about these massive problems and if they’re already in crisis and you’re saying that we need a crisis for them to transform, how long can we continue to be in crisis before that happens?

Marcia Daszko:     Well, we have been in crisis and that continues we can continue to decline. Even if we look at the economy and we think that it’s doing well when it crashes it’s going to be pretty severe. So there are some systems that are hiding some of the problems but we’re seeing those results. Sometimes the good times are just camouflaging the realities of systems that are really in crisis. 

Jim Rembach:    Okay. Then as you’re saying that I just wanted to ask the question, what systems are you talking about Marcia? What systems are actually the ones? Are you talking about the total government system and the duopoly that they have with Democrats and Republicans, is that what has to change? Is it—what is it? 

Marcia Daszko:     Yes, I think it leads us to the questions that leaders have to ask and that’s, what are we trying to accomplish together? Or are we trying as a nation and as leaders to have a great education system? A great democracy? A great social system a government agency system that supports citizens when they are in need? For example, mental illness and things like that. Do we have a system supports those things? Corporations are they healthy? Are they growing in healthy ways or are they growing due to greed? How healthy are the people in these organizations? The culture in the organizations is a reflection of the CEOs and the executive team and the board of directors. So if there are organizations across any sector that have high turnover rates and a lot of toxic internal competition then those organizations are reflection of the people that lead them. 

Jim Rembach:    As you were talking I started thinking about—everybody talks about the Jim Collins book, Good to Great and how that is—a business annal that will live on forever. However, if you look at those organizations that were case studied in 2018 I think only one of them exists I think they’re all gone all the others are gone. 

Marcia Daszko:     That’s very common. We have about 6,000 startup companies in the Silicon Valley Bay Area now and we’ll expect about 90% of them to go out of business. And of the first Fortune 500 list that came out in about 1955 more than 60% of those Fortune 500 companies are gone. Some of them were acquired but many of them are gone. In the past decade we’ve seen many of them disappear. We’ve seen many airlines disappear we’ve seen Montgomery Ward, and Sears is doing poorly, Circuit City Blockbuster—we’ve seen declines in many industries so that’s when leaders really—it takes a lot of courage to not just accept what is but say, how do we want to serve our customers, our members, our students? And what does that look like in the future? What are our future markets? So the book is really about when I think about pivot disrupt transform it’s really about innovation and leadership thinking and courage. 

Jim Rembach:    I think for me when you’re talking about that I’m seeing that at all levels of a particular organization because I know especially if I’m on the front line I see a lot of the mediocrity I see a lot of the exceptions and excellence that we have and I see a whole lot of things that we need to be eliminated. However, if I just keep going through the daily transaction on the frontline it’s never going to get fixed I’ve got to stand up. The book is part of an enablement tool for basically everybody within that organization to take what really is, I guess you’d say that, interruption before we have crisis isn’t it? 

Marcia Daszko:     Yes. The book is about developing everyone’s natural leadership. And the leaders the executives at the top of an organization it’s their job to develop all of their people not just their executive team but to develop all the people. When you think about—okay, if you have two different companies and one executive team believes in developing and investing in all of their employees and another company only invests in a select few like the management track or whatever which company is going to succeed? Because the one who has developed the skills and the knowledge and the systems thinking and focus on having everyone learn and work and improve together those are the companies that are going to make the difference and they’re going to disrupt and survive.

Jim Rembach:    That’s a really good point and I think for me then we start getting into discussion of learning quality because you could say that the learning industry, and you can categorize like one, but that’s probably a multitrillion-dollar type of industry, however, there’s a whole lot of different quality in learning that goes along there. More and more chief learning officers and people who are at the upper end of learning and development are talking more about the learner experience today than I’ve ever heard before and also about bent blended learning and having more journey paths for people’s development it’s the training used to be, sit in the classroom and it’s an event and I think that’s going when.

Marcia Daszko:     Yes, because it doesn’t engage people. Especially to millennials they don’t have that attention span to sit and be PowerPoint-ed to death and so those things need to go away. But my concern is that people with certain titles, whether it’s HR or chief learning officers or people in leadership and development in organizations, my concern is when they focus on systems such as performance management and performance appraisals and so forth they are just carrying on and trying to systematize bad practices best practices and management fads. It is the leadership oftentimes above them that has to say no. We have to stop these management fads and we have to challenge our current beliefs and assumptions and practices and start asking ourselves some tough questions. Only a few questions it’s not a lot of questions it’s not thousands of questions but it is challenging how they currently think what they’re trying to accomplish and always link what they’re trying to accomplish with the customer, with a member, with a student. Because if they’re not starting with their current market and a potential market they are just going to be like the hamster in the wheel and they’re going to focus on bad practices such as holding individuals accountable from the results of the system. The individuals didn’t create this system the executives did. So they need—if they don’t like the results they’re getting they need to change it. If they’re satisfied with the results that they’re getting even though they have all these best practices my question to them is, how much better could you be doing if you got rid of the best practices and management fads? 

Jim Rembach:    That’s a phrase that I’ve just actually over the years have begun to loathe which is best practices. To me that means they’re just common is really what it ends up being. One of the particular chapter that you have in the book really stood out to me out because I think it also addresses the issue that you’re referring to in regards to—hey, hey we need to take a step back and rethink question some of these fads and some of the things that we’ve been doing that we’ve been taught that we’re supposed to do and you talk about a child’s lens and new learning, what do you mean by that?

Marcia Daszko:     A child’s lens—the children see things simply and directly. Children ask the best questions we’ve heard that for years but when we talk about simply going back to the basic questions and asking, what are we trying to accomplish together? How will we do it? Who are we serving? And how will we measure progress not just success? Because success is after everything else has happened. So the child is able to cut through a lot of complexity and waste we’re adults, sorry, they just keep piling it on one layer on top of another until it’s so complex and people are so quote-unquote busy but they’re not productive. I can go into an organization have a few conversations and pretty quickly identify at least 50 to 80 percent waste of time, of efforts, of resources, when people are not asking the right questions. 

Jim Rembach:    I think that’s a great place to start is with that simple, innocence and the questions are a critical component and I think all of us probably need to do a better job of doing that. But when we’re talking about these particular issues, crisis, change, transformation, pivot and disruption all that it’s loaded with the emotion. One of the things that we like to do on the show is focus on that emotion in a better direction and we do that by looking at quotes. Is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?

Marcia Daszko:     The first one that popped into my mind was one of Dr. Deming’s quote and that was, leaders asked for help and they don’t know what they don’t know so there is knowledge that they need that they don’t have. He would often ask at his four-day seminars how could they know? How could they know there’s anything to learn? And that’s a thing we always have to be learning. I’ve got to give credit to two leaders that they are searching there are leaders that are searching for solutions they’re searching for answers are searching for ways to solve their problems they’re searching for ways for customers to be served the issue is that what they need to know they are not taught in school, that’s one thing. One of my clients recently said to me, Marcia, I’ve been the president for ten years and I have been struggling with the same problems for ten years until you came and you’ve taught us a totally new way to think and you’ve given us new knowledge, knowledge about systems thinking knowledge about statistical thinking. Now we can attack those problems and issues and we’re already making a difference and it’s only been six months and he had struggled for so long. I think people try to learn, unfortunately, they read articles or books or go to seminars or watch videos that are giving them the same old manners fads and best practices. There are probably a hundred books out there about how to improve your performance appraisal that’s the wrong thinking and that’s the wrong book. What they need to do is pick up the book that says abolishing performance appraisals. Get rid of it because performance appraisals end up putting them in a position to judge, blame, criticize, rank and rate employees. Those things are all negative not helpful. Being a judge who likes to do that? When we think about the multi-millions maybe billions of dollars that organizations spend on doing performance appraisals. When you just take the time that managers spend in doing performance appraisals and then giving feedback and if people don’t like the feedback that demotivates them and they feel unappreciated and they go look for another job so the turnover rate goes up. 

Jim Rembach:    It’s so true and it gets repeated over and again. You’re even talking about the experience that you had that I read in your bio when you first went to Dr. Deming’s seminar and you didn’t understand the language and came back and there was a whole lot of adaptation and learning and humps that you had to get over. And so we learn a lot when guests get to share those stories, is there a time where you got over the hump that you can share?

Marcia Daszko:     There are so many humps. The first one was probably when—after Dr. Deming’s seminar I said, Perry what was that all about? Because four days of trying to listen to someone who is difficult to understand in his eighties using a totally different vocabulary of system and variation and control charts and new knowledge and systems thinking I was not familiar with any of those terms in  context of improving a business. When I went back to the office—and then Perry guided me. One day I was so excited I was in a bookstore in Palo Alto and I came back to the office and I had a whole armful of books they were about quality and learning and leadership and I didn’t know any better I was brand new. Perry looked at the books and he separated them into two piles, this is good this is good this is trash this is garbage take these back to the store. He had the ability with his knowledge to discern the difference between good leadership learning and the management fads that some people were gurus back then we’re pushing. That’s what it takes us to really learn but question and say, when you look at a system and you want to optimize a system and you want to look at the data over time to make better decisions how can you do that and where can you continue to learn so that it will be effective? If you’re learning and learning and reading and going to conferences and you’re not improving you’re improving you’re not feeling that things are improving and transforming you’re reading the wrong things you’re not getting the guidance from the right people. You need to disrupt what you’re doing and seek out other resources.

Jim Rembach:    As you were talking I started thinking about what I’ve mentioned many times is that you can’t be a leader and coach people if you also are not receiving that. Because like you said when it kind of when we started what Dr. Deming said they don’t know what they don’t know you’re asking them for support and questions there’s nothing in the well so you have to continue to find that and you need to have somebody as a coach to really do that. We talked about reading a book and things like that and that’s great because we all can absorb knowledge but I think the critical point from what I’ve picked up from what you said you need somebody to help, encourage you, and challenge you and that can only come from another individual it doesn’t come from a movie or a book. 

Marcia Daszko:     Yes, and that’s the key because great, I don’t want to go into that coaching name too much label because there’s so many thousands of coaches out there that don’t have knowledge, they can get certifications and they say, oh I’m a certified coach. And it’s like, what is your knowledge? Can you help leaders transform their personal leadership to help them transform their organization and make a difference in the world? And if they can do that, fantastic, but—most I don’t think they can. I think one of the most important traits of a great coach is, number one, they have to have that system statistical knowledge. Secondly, they have to be very provocative in their questions to really get their leaders to think to really challenge what they’re currently thinking, believing, assuming, doing what are they investing in. I don’t go into organizations and help them transform by being their best friends that’s not the aim. The aim is to make that difference with them by challenging them. There are times that when they are in reflection mode, they reflect back on things I used to do. I have had this happen to my surprise several times where I’m having a conversation with one of the executives and they start to cry. And I asked, are you okay? And they say, yes, I was just thinking about how I used to treat people how I used to lead how I used to make decisions and the impact that I had, I’m so sorry about that.  But that’s where Dr. Dimming’s quote comes in so powerfully how could they know? How could they know there was anything to learn? They were just doing their best. Best efforts and hard work and making decisions by consensus those are not helpful so we need to learn a different way to disrupt our own thinking and really believe that transforming ourselves and our organizations and our communities and our society it’s important it’s the right thing to do and there is a way. So for example in the book, there are three parts and the first part is things to stop doing because otherwise if just want to start doing new things well they have still in place a lot of bad things those management fads and I tell them it’s like trying to put fresh strawberry jam on moldy bread. You’ve still got the moldy bread and you’ve got to get rid of the moldy bread simultaneously that’s you’re learning how to make transformative change not merely change. Because if you change you can change back. Transformative change means it’s like the caterpillar becoming a butterfly, once you’re a butterfly you will never go back to be a caterpillar. Once you’ve learned new think new leadership thinking based on systems thinking and statistical thinking and strategic thinking about planning not just strategic planning in the traditional sense. Once you learn these new concepts and get help applying them then the sky is the limit. I often say then to my executive teams once they learn those concepts and how to apply them get out of the way of your people because they will take you where you’ve never been before that’s transformation. 

One of my clients was a 30 million dollars and wanted to take his company to 35 or 40 million and I said, okay, let’s not think about the numbers let’s do what we need to do. I began working with them and they went from 30 million to 300 million. But had he given them that arbitrary numerical goal of 40 million when they got to 39 to 40 million they would have slowed down or stopped and they wouldn’t have experienced what they got to experience together. 

Jim Rembach:    That’s a great story. I sure hope that more and more folks get exposed to your work and that we can start attacking those types of problems as well as some of those huge problems we talked about earlier. So 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 gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award winning solutions guaranteed to create motivated, productive and loyal employees who have great work relationships with their colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work visit beyondmorale.com/better. 

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

Marcia Daszko:     Definitely let’s go. 

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

Marcia Daszko:     Oh, enough hours in the day. There are so many things I want to do but sometimes I need to sleep. 

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

Marcia Daszko:     Learn, listen and make a difference. 

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

Marcia Daszko:     I continually bring problems to the surface and then try to get people working together to solve those together with new ways to think about them. 

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

Marcia Daszko:     Curiosity. 

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

Marcia Daszko:     Okay, first things that pop into mind first books are one is called, Profit Beyond Measure, it helps people think differently about results in the bottom line. And another one would be The Goal, it’s powerful it’s been around for decades. And another would be, Man’s search for Meaning.

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/marciadaszko. Okay, Marcia, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25. And you can take all the knowledge and skills that you have and take them back with you but you can’t take it all back you can just one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Marcia Daszko:     The ability to question based on systems thinking and statistical knowledge. And the reason I would take those questions is because the more that people think, question and explore the more they discover new opportunities and can make a difference. 

Jim Rembach:    Marcia, thank you for sharing your time with us. Can you tell the Fast Leader legion how they can connect with you? 

Marcia Daszko:     They can contact md@mdaszko.com or take a look at my website mdaszko.com and for sure take a look at my book there’s contact information in the book.

Jim Rembach:    Marcia Daszko, 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 elp you move onward and upward faster.

END OF AUDIO 

[/expand]

Amy Radin | The Change Maker's Playbook

210: Amy Radin: Where’s your junkyard?

Amy Radin Show Notes Page

Amy Radin (RAY-DIN), was used to getting organizational resources to innovate and drive change. Then she met Drew and gained a new perspective that caused her to never again complain, or tolerate complaints from others, about not having resources.

Amy, author of The Change Maker’s Playbook: How to Seek, Seed and Scale Innovation In Any Company, is a native of Brooklyn having been born and raised there long before it was the cool borough.

Her passion for all things innovative is evident back to her teenage years. The daughter of a pharmacist/small business owner dad and an artist mom, Amy learned, through her early experiences at Harold’s Pharmacy, what it really meant to serve customers, meet their needs, earn their loyalty, and stand out.  She sees understanding people as the starting point for innovation of any type. Technology, in her view, is just an enabler.

Amy is a proud graduate of the New York City public school system. She was a member of one of the first graduating classes of John Dewey High School, an experimental school whose structure and programming approach were based upon a progressive philosophy of education.

At Wesleyan University, Amy studied in the College of Letters, one of the first integrated curricula in Literature, Philosophy and History. She loved the study of language, and during a semester in Madrid and over the course of a summer at Middlebury College became near-fluent in Spanish. She decided to round out her liberal arts education, complementing it with a MBA in Marketing, earned at The Wharton School.

Amy is the kind of person who is drawn to “what is possible” with an emphasis on getting stuff done, not simply dreaming.  She undertook a complete career pivot in 2014, leaving the corporate world to engage with entrepreneurs as an independent advisor, and author of The Change Maker’s Playbook: How to Seek, Seed and Scale Innovation in Any Company.

She is married to Mitchell Radin, her husband of 34 years. They are the proud parents of 3 children, Jared, Molly and Shira [“SHEE-RA”], and share their home with their rescue cat, JJ.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“We as human beings tend to prefer just sort of sticking to the status quo.” – Click to Tweet  

“Change is hard and it takes magic gluing of the right people to get you from where you are to some place very different.” – Click to Tweet  

“Change is emotional and it’s physically difficult.” – Click to Tweet   

“In today’s world, speed is critical. You can be right and late and it just doesn’t matter.” – Click to Tweet   

“There are people moving much faster than you, no matter what it is you’re trying to do.” – Click to Tweet   

“It’s not running faster on the same treadmill, it’s changing how you go about things to compress time.” – Click to Tweet  

“How you treat your customers determines if there’s going to be money in the cash register at the end of the day.” – Click to Tweet  

“It’s a matter of recognizing how big a role the contact center people can play and then making room for them at the table.” – Click to Tweet 

“The people who are talking to customers have incredible insight about how customers are feeling and engaging with products or services.” – Click to Tweet 

“Everybody should spend time with customers, it’s eye opening.” – Click to Tweet 

“Any change initiative in an organization, if there isn’t active sponsorship from the top, it’s hard to get any place.” – Click to Tweet 

“Start-ups don’t have a monopoly on innovation and big companies don’t have a monopoly on bureaucracy.” – Click to Tweet 

“Can you form interesting collaborative relationships that bring together people with different perspectives, skill, and experience?” – Click to Tweet 

“Listening is an underrated skill.” – Click to Tweet 

“Establish and invest in a diverse network of relationships.” – Click to Tweet 

“In a world of constant change and unknowns, even if you think you know everything today, it’s going to be different tomorrow.” – Click to Tweet 

“My key to staying relevant is constantly investing in relationships.” – Click to Tweet 

“It’s not what I know, it’s that I know who to call.” – Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Amy Radin was used to getting organizational resources to innovate and drive change. Then she met Drew and gained a new perspective that caused her to never again complain, or tolerate complaints from others, about not having resources.

Advice for others

Be

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Fear.

Best Leadership Advice

Try it – there’s nothing wrong with trying.

Secret to Success

Having a network that I give to and full of people that are willing to step up and help me.

Best tools in business or life

Intellectual curiosity. I am a constant learner.

Recommended Reading

The Change Maker’s Playbook: How to Seek, Seed and Scale Innovation in Any Company

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Contacting Amy Radin

Website: http://www.amyradin.com/book/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amyradin

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

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

 

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

210: Amy Radin: Where’s your junkyard?

 

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.

 

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

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay. Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who really gives clarity around something that quite frankly, I think just about every single organization can benefit from. Amy Raiden, author of the Change Maker’s Playbook: How to Seek, Seed and Scale Innovation in any company is a native of Brooklyn. Having been born and raised there long before it was the cool borough. Her passion for all things innovative is evident back to her teenage years. The daughter of a pharmacist, small business owner, dad, and an artist’s mom. Amy learned through her early experiences at Harold’s pharmacy, what it really meant to serve customers, meet their needs earn their loyalty and standout. She sees understanding people as the starting point for innovation of any type. Technology and her view is just an enabler. 

 

Amy is a proud graduate of the New York City public school system. She was a member of one of the first graduating classes of John Dewey high school, an experimental school whose structure and programming approach were based upon a progressive philosophy of education. At Wesleyan University and studied in the College of Letters, one of the first integrated curricula in literature, philosophy and history. She loved the study of language and during a semester in Madrid and over the course of a summer at Middlebury College became near fluent in Spanish. She decided to round out her liberal arts as occasion completing it with an MBA in marketing earned at the Wharton School. Amy is the kind of person who is drawn to what is possible with an emphasis on getting stuff done, not simply dreaming. She undertook a complete career pivot in 2014, leaving the corporate world to engage with entrepreneurs as an independent advisor. She is married to Mitchell Raiden, her husband of 34 years. They are the proud parents of three children, Jared, Molly, and Shira, and they share their home with their rescue cat, JJ. Amy Raiden, help us get over the hump please.

 

Amy Radin:    It’s great to be here Jim and looking forward to having this conversation about how to execute innovation. People love to talk about innovation, it’s hard to get things done and helping people do that has really become my passion.

 

Jim Rembach:    Well, and I appreciate that. And so, when we start talking about passion, one of the things that I found very interesting when I was reading the book is how much you actually infuse emotion into this whole process. So your book, when you first open it, really lays out the road map, it’s a playbook right? But to me it was a road map because it’s kind of visually that way where you go from–discover position with purpose and go all the way through to achieving impact. And then in every single part, each individual part of this book is chapters within that area, but then you put everything through a scrubbing process or an iterative process where you were asking about the capabilities, connections and culture. So how did you actually come to the conclusion that you needed to do that as far as with these three C’s for all of these particular areas.

Amy Radin:   Right. I guess, what happened with me is that no matter what role I played in my career, and even as, as you can tell from my early education experience, I was always drawn to what’s different and what’s next. We as human beings tend to prefer just sort of sticking to the status quo, we don’t love change generally. And for some crazy reason I was always different I always wanted to go towards the white space. And really what I found largely when I started to work on digital transformation back in 2000, and that was when people were just saying like, wow, there is some commercial possibility around this thing called the Internet. We have to see how it’s going to affect our businesses and our lives. There was a lot of resistance, a lot of ambiguity, a lot of uncertainty. And what I found just from being a hands on operator, because I had real goals. In those days I was at city we had a budget and we said, okay, well you’ve got to make this stuff happen with the Internet. What I really saw as a practitioner of change is that the real key–you can buy technology you can get on to space, you can find designers but the really hard part is can you attract talent and can you build a culture where people are really working collaboratively because change is hard and it takes that sort of magic gluing of the right people in the connecting and the right environment to get you from where you are to someplace very different.

 

Jim Rembach:    As you’re talking, I started thinking as well, you’d mentioned something about people not liking change. And I’ve had the opportunity to chat with a lot of folks who’ve actually studied this particular area. Some will even say that they’re, well, it’s not that people don’t like change is people fear change for a couple of different reasons. First of all, if we do this change, how is it going to impact me, my job, my life, my family? That is one very real fear. The others are, is that our body was designed to be in cruise control, it’s way God made us. So in other words, we put everything into a habit, right? And then we repeat the habit. And at any time we disrupt the habit, that’s the part that becomes somewhat uncomfortable. And then also we don’t want to feel confident and competent because of the change.

 

Amy Radin:    Right? I think all of those things are right, Change is, it’s emotional and it’s physically difficult. I was a pretty mediocre science school in high school but one thing I remember from my high school physics class is Newton’s first law, the law of inertia and I take that very much applies to us. People will stay on their–an object will remain in motion on its current path unless it’s forced out of position by something big and that’s usually something bad, imagine a boulder coming down a hill and it gets slammed to the side. So that’s us were kind of cruising along. I think a lot about one of the principles of behavioral economics, loss aversion. The theory of loss aversion says that we will discount upside and overweight downside. So if we see the opportunity to earn $2 on a bet, we assumed that we could actually lose $4 if things don’t work out, so it’s really natural.

 

I think the other thing that happens when you’re inside any kind of an established organization and it could even be a startup that’s been around for a while, I don’t think big companies own the space on bureaucracy and just getting complacent. But big companies, especially big public companies, especially those who are regulated, they are engineered for predictability and continuity they just want the cranked to keep turning continuously. Any change, innovation, those are just continuity they’re like bolts being thrown into the gears, the system setup to not tolerate that stuff. And so I think the question for established teams in any kind of organization is, sure the continuity is important, now you want to run a healthy business and serve your customers with quality, but how do you allow for some discontinuity? And that’s where the change comes from. 

 

Jim Rembach:     You know, it’s kind of interesting that you’re saying that because as you were talking about that I started thinking about how we often have this quest for speed and velocity. And because of what you were talking about, the reverse actually happens. In our quest for the speed and velocity we have all this repetition that occurs and we need people to follow it in order to increase our speed, but yet that in fact creates so much friction that it slows us down.

 

Amy Radin:     It is, it creates friction. I think speed, you raise a good point about speed because I think in today’s world speed is critical. You can be right and late and it just doesn’t matter because there are people moving much faster than you no matter what it is you’re trying to do. And I think one of the challenges is it’s not sort of running faster on the same treadmill it’s changing how you go about things to compress time, it’s been really eye opening to me. Since leaving the corporate world I’ve spent a lot of time with many startups, coaching them on enterprise business development and marketing and things like that. It’s been really eye opening to see how a startup who does not have resources, who’s investors are on their backs to show returns, how they get things done. Compared to the corporate world, even something as simple as a market research study, do you need to do the $200,000 study that takes five months to get the results? Or can you do a series of very well structured man on the street interviews to get enough clues to get to where you need to go. So, they have a much better sense of when good enough is good enough and that mindset, allows them to move quickly. They simply don’t have the resources so they have to be much more resourceful and scrappy. That is one of the big time compressors.

 

Jim Rembach:     As you were talking about that I started thinking about something that we were discussing prior to actually getting on the interview and it’s how you have constructed the different parts of the book which is–it’s in three. And you talk about that it is structured, in seeking, seeding and scaling. And one of the things, as I mentioned to you that kind of stood out for me is I was looking at the structure and the way that you have it is I also started seeing different parts of the organization in my mind. And so for me, doing a lot of work with the frontline, in contact centers, customer service and having that background and developing those front line leaders and call center coach is that I started seeing the seeking part being so critical. So many organizations at their frontline aren’t capturing the things that they need to in order to be able to hand, insights off to the people who can actually do the seeding and then subsequently the scaling.

 

Amy Radin:     Yeah. And I guess, for me, and I know you shared in my bio that I, my first job is really working behind the counter in my dad’s store and so I was a frontline person. How you treat your customers determines if there’s going to be money in the cash register. At the end of the day It’s very, very real and visceral. And then I was really lucky to have worked– i started my corporate career at American Express where the culture was such that as a member of the marketing and product team, my colleagues and I, we naturally would involve the employees who are frontline, the people on the phones all day in the call center. Whenever we started a new project we do marketing campaign or some big new innovation, one of the early steps was always to do something as casual as, you know, have a brown bag lunch with a group of Reps. Go sit in the contact center and monitor calls really get that input. So I think nowadays there’s certainly structured ways to get insights, through technology and databases and all that and all kinds of tools for capturing insight. I also used to just read call center logs. I remember riding the train early in my career and just reading printouts of customer comments. And so I think the information is there and it’s a matter of recognizing how big a role the contact center people can play and then making room for them at the table from the beginning of the process. I’ll tell you one quick story that I bet you’ll enjoy since you work a lot with contact centers. When I was at e-trade, we ran a companywide innovation challenge and the idea was to engage employees to get business plan proposals, not just because we want to proposals but because we really wanted to sort of reignite the innovation DNA in a company that really was a disruptor when it was founded. Everybody in the company was predicting that people and technology we’re going to win. Companies with 30 employees or tech employees a very, very tech driven company. We ran a very rigorous process with outside judges and serious challenged the winning team was a group of call center representatives. Out of about 60 or 70 proposals that were submitted in probably high school graduates maybe two year college and their proposal and plan trump those of people who others we’re assuming we’re going to get a slam dunk. So to me that was very, very heartwarming and exciting.

 

Jim Rembach:     I’m sure that brought a full circle for you talking about being behind the pharmacy counter. 

 

Amy Radin:     It’s funny the companies I worked the people were sometimes refer to the people in the call center as back office and I’m like, wait a second, we’re in the back we never run a direct consumer virtual remote business. The people who are talking to the customers are the people who are on the phone or the people who are on chat, they had incredible insight about how customers are feeling and engaging with products and services what’s working for them, what’s not working for them. That’s very important insight to get and an executive should do it as well not just mid-level people. Everybody should spend time with customers it’s eye opening.

 

Jim Rembach:     It totally is. And even what you’re talking about in regards to those call logs is that there’s technology these days for all of that with speech analytics and you’re being able to look at key phrasing, words spotting emotional detection, all of these things have become quite sophisticated over the past couple of years. It used to be that only the very largest of large organizations could utilize some of those tools because of the cost. And now over time, scalability is starting to take effect and a lot of organizations can take advantage of a lot of that discovery that they weren’t able to do before. However, it just goes back to that whole inertia thing is that, well, we’ve never really done that I’m not exposed to that and it goes back to that whole seeking thing. And the reason I bring that up is because you said something that I think is critically important as you talk about the innovation DNA of an organization. So if I don’t have an innovation DNA within my organization, where do I need to start that?

 

Amy Radin:    Big question. First of all, and I’ll tell you how I got started on this. Part of it was I guess, my wiring, going back to how I was raised and my education. The way I got started working on innovation per se was, I was in this digital job at city and really my responsibility was to figure out like what’s the impact that digital of the business that at the time was generating $5,000,000,000 in earnings. We were about a quarter of earnings it was a very important business and analysts cared about a lot. My boss came to me one day, the CEO, and he said, Amy, I want you to make us more innovative because we’re not innovative and we need to be innovative. And at the time I was like, okay, is he thinks I’m really special or I’ve tried the short straw, I am the only person crazy enough to do this and you don’t say no to the CEO. So it’s like, okay boss, I’ll go figure it out. And honestly I started networking and reading and saying like, what is this? And as luck would have it, there was a gentleman named Larry Keeley he’s a real authority on this whole topic of how do you create a discipline around innovation. And I was very lucky being at a place in the city who had those resources. He came (inaudible 17:18) but I think the thing is to go out and start asking, who in your network would know anything about this and where do you start? But I think for me it’s a couple of lessons the CEO has to care, right? Any change initiative in an organization, if there is an active sponsorship from the top, uh, hard to get any place he or she needs to create accountability across his or her entire direct report team.

 

17:51

So it’s not enough to say, Oh, I’ve got this head of innovation because you have sort of a target on your back, right? If your colleagues aren’t putting some skin in the game. I’ve always found that there are always people in the organization care about this. Anybody who sees a career runway in front of them and has ambition is going to be scratching their head and saying like, doesn’t management get it? Like what are they doing? The world is changing, we now all carry a computer in our pockets. We all know about one click shopping. You go on and on. So all this innovation has pervaded and taken over our lives. So people know it’s a matter of identifying them, empowering them and protecting them and putting some structure around what it is you’re asking them to do linking innovation for real business goal, having a real business objective. At e-trade I used to keep a list of people I called the hand raisers and it’s like anybody who reached out to me, it was like they care and built an informal network. So I think ultimately you need some dedicated resource, but as soon as people in an organization, no, that’s a senior executive who cares and the CEO is nodding their head up and down people will start to just identify themselves.

 

Jim Rembach:    Well, I know what you were just talking about. I mean, you talk about tribe, community champions a lot of folks have actually formalized that particular process of doing all of that networking and connecting and have all those hand raisers and all those pot stirrers because they can do what you said when they collaborate and work together, they can actually raise the tide for everybody when you started talking about this innovation DNA.

 

Amy Radin:  Everybody is, you know, we’re in a low unemployment situation. And even beyond that, there are so many specific skill sets that are in demand and so being perceived as a brand that is on the move and interested in, and active about continuing to adapt where the world is going, is going to automatically make it easier for you to attract better people. So yeah, it’s like the rising tide that lifts all ships. There are things, the networking and the informal actions to just like watch for who’s stepping forward. I’ve done some things in the past, like when we first got going at city on our innovation efforts, we would organize brainstorming sessions where we were deliberately very collaborative. We would invite in people from product, people from tech all parts of the organization, analytics, etc and we’d brainstorm. We’d look at different aspects of the customer experience or different segments of our customer base and say, okay, let’s just think about how could the introduction of digital channels impacts customer relationships. And we would implement test. So those kinds of, sort of semi structured collaborative sessions also started to draw people in and everybody likes to be on a winning team they’re excited about this stuff. We gradually influence the entire organization to the point where instead of digital just being sort of the domain of the department and innovation being the domain of just smoke with people, there were many, many people in the organization supporting our projects with their managers understanding that this stuff really mattered.

 

Jim Rembach:     What you’re talking about here in all the words and descriptors and momentum and movement and inspiration all of that is just loaded with emotion that we had talked about before and it’s in your book. But one of the things that we’d like to do on the show in order to help with that emotion charge is look at quotes that people like. So is there a quote or two that you could share that you like?

 

Amy Radin:     Yeah, one of my favorite quotes from the book, Comes Forwards The Ad and it said, big companies have funding scale, brand, infrastructure but they also have bureaucracy and don’t see near term value of innovation. Startups are hungry they bring speed, burning passion and agility that they may be furiously and passionately barking up the wrong tree. The point is startups don’t have a monopoly on innovation and big companies don’t have monopoly on bureaucracy. And I think that’s a major aha and conclusion and takeaway from the book is that–we all talk about the importance of diversity, but really a great way to get moving is can you form interesting collaborative relationships that bring together people with different perspectives, skill and experience? I get very irritated, I’ve been working startup, I say, uh, those big companies, they’re dinosaurs, they’re going away. And then you meet with corporate people and they say, oh, those startups they get away with murder. And I’m like, you know what? Listening is an underrated skill. If these folks in these different camps don’t see themselves as a different camps, but listen and realize they have a lot to learn from each other they will all advanced their objectives.

 

Jim Rembach:    Oh, that’s such totally true. I think we all have our own circumstances and situations and we have to learn how to iterate and pivot and adapt within our own environment. And that’s one of the things that also we focused in on the show is times when people have gotten over the hump on something and what they’ve learned from that. Is there a story where gotten over the hump that you can share?

 

Amy Radin:     Yeah. I talked a little while ago about this issue of resourcefulness, we never have enough resources. I think the big aha moment for me when I realized, wow, you really can break the orthodoxy of the corporate world, you can’t do anything with budget or a team. I met at an early stage founder named Drew and he was advancing a medical device that is basically the moral equivalent of an inflatable airbag that would open in that split second when an elderly person began to fall. The statistics on the number of deaths that occur every year because of elderly people falling and the cost to the health care sector are just–it’s fright. And so he, for a personal experience, became very passionate about this. So you know, you can imagine from medical device, the bar is unbelievably high on getting approval and so you had to sort of catch 22 situation where he couldn’t get even his early stage funding until he could prove that there was some chance of this working, but he couldn’t prove that there was a chance of this working without some resources.

 

So what he did was, he went down to a car junk yard on a Saturday morning with his son and comb through the cars and found an airbags that were reusable, not destroyed, not bloody or anything. He took them to his tailor with some bicycle inner tubes and for a couple of bucks sewed up a crude prototype to raise his first few hundred thousand dollars angel funding. And so that story I’m like, wow, I will never again complain or tolerate complaints from others about not having resources. It’s kind of like, where’s your junk yard? What can you do? And so that was a big one for me because having spent over 20 years in the corporate world, I was used to a way of doing things. And then I took myself out on the street and said, I really want to change my career. I want to use my expertise to help other people. And I could do that in a bigger way outside the corporate world. But it’s a little like, all of a sudden you’re like naked. Where’s all that structure? Where all those resources? Where’s that budget? Where’s my CFO? Kind of figure things out. So that’s a story I probably think of on a daily basis.

 

Jim Rembach:   Amy, thank you for sharing that. 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 gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award winning solution is guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with their colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work, visit beyondmorale.com/better.

 

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

 

Amy Radin:     I am ready.

 

Jim Rembach:     Okay Amy. What is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Amy Radin:     Fear.

 

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

 

Amy Radin:     Try it. There’s nothing wrong with trying.

 

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

 

Amy Radin:     Having a network that I give to and full of people who are willing to step up and help me.

 

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

 

Amy Radin:     Intellectual curiosity. I’m a constant learner.

 

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

 

Amy Radin:     I’m just finishing a great book by Yuval Noah Harari he’s a futurist philosopher called Sapiens about the history of humankind and on this whole topic of change and how did humans get to be sort of the dominant species, if you will, it’s a fascinating and quite accessible read on a complex amount of information. It’s on my bedside right now and quite enjoying it.

 

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/amyraiden. Okay, Amy, this is my last Hump day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25. And you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Amy Radin:     I think that what I would take back is the–how important it is to establish and invest in a diverse network of relationships. I happen to have a 25 year old child and I push her on that topic every day because in a world of constant change and unknowns, even if you thing you know everything today and you’ve mastered the skill or function that is going to drive you through your career it’s going to be different tomorrow or even tonight. And my key to staying relevant is constantly investing in relationships. So I tell myself it’s not what I know it’s that I know who to call.

 

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

 

Amy Radin:     If you visit my website, which is www.amyradin.com, you can find some free resources on the website, a download or content from the book, a one page pdf infographic of the the Seed, Seek, Scale framework. And also you might want to take the Change Makers quiz and sign for my monthly e-newsletter. So I’d love it if you would do that.

 

Jim Rembach:     Amy Radin, 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 onward and upward faster.

 

END OF AUDIO

[/expand]

 

Brannon Beliso | Live Learn Grow

199: Brannon Beliso: Achievements and success are two different things

Brannon Beliso Show Notes Page

Brannon Beliso as a child had no choice when he was a child, he was a victim. At some point Brannon the man had to make the better choices in his life that have led to greater self-discipline and founding one of the most successful schools in the martial arts industry.

Brannon “The Disruptor” Beliso (Buh-LEE-so) is dedicated to helping others live their best life. His purpose and passion is serving his clients in reaching their full potential through learning, living, and growing.

Brannon is an 8th degree black belt, a former recording artist with 3 top ten hits in the Philippines, owner of One Martial Arts, one of the most successful schools in the martial arts industry, and the creator of One Merit Badges, an internationally distributed life-skills education system.

The Professor, as Brannon is also known, humbly presents workshops and seminars – successful in the martial arts world and beyond – with the mindset that we can all always do and be better. He is committed to being a student for life, and is a dedicated father, husband, and servant to the community.

Brannon’s popular book, Live Learn Grow: Lessons of a Reluctant Tiger portrays his struggles and victories, and the insights that moved him forward step-by- step. He shares these experiences and the wisdom they’ve produced, to help his tribe find their why.

“Service is the New Profit,” Brannon’s mantra, helps him focus his clients to find happiness and success without focusing on money. In his TEDx talk “Happy
on Purpose” Brannon uses humor and experience to show how happiness is a choice we can all master.

Brannon and his wife Kimberly live in Millbrae, California along with their kids Teya and Brayden.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“Service is the new profit.” – Click to Tweet 

“Consistency is the key to quality.” – Click to Tweet  

“Thought by itself means nothing, it’s only when we tie emotion to it, that is the fuel.” – Click to Tweet  

“Emotion without discipline is simply a dog chasing its tail.” – Click to Tweet  

“Emotion eventually needs to be channeled in some constructive way.” – Click to Tweet  

“The one thing that will fundamentally stay the same are your core value, your why.” – Click to Tweet  

“Something our culture lacks as a whole is self-discipline.” – Click to Tweet  

“A humble heart is very powerful.” – Click to Tweet  

“People like to focus on other people’s drama because it makes their drama not look so bad.” – Click to Tweet  

“We can only heal with love.” – Click to Tweet  

“Achievements and success are two different things.” – Click to Tweet  

“What I need most, is myself.” – Click to Tweet  

“As we get older, we need to stop dismissing each new generation as incompetent.” – Click to Tweet  

Hump to Get Over

Brannon Beliso as a child had no choice when he was a child, he was a victim. At some point Brannon the man had to make the better choices in his life that have led to greater self-discipline and founding one of the most successful schools in the martial arts industry.

Advice for others

Be humble and appreciate more in your life.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Time management

Best Leadership Advice

Lead by example

Secret to Success

My personal faith

Best tools in business or life

Gratitude

Recommended Reading

Live Learn Grow: Lessons of a Reluctant Tiger

E-Myth Mastery: The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World-Class Company

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Contacting Brannon Beliso

Website: https://brannonbeliso.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu3E-JWdPXotKBn9-b1mCTg

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrannonBeliso

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brannon-beliso-2864657/

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

Customer Experience Speaker

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

199: Brannon Beliso: Achievements and success are two different things

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.

 

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 I have somebody on the show today who really exemplifies the whole human aspects of being successful at the customer experience. Brannon Beliso was born and raised in San Francisco with four younger sisters. His upbringing wasn’t the typical one it was riddled with a lot of issues that many would think that you could not overcome. But now Brannon is the disrupter he’s dedicated to helping others live their best life. His purpose and passion is serving his clients and reaching their full potential through learning, living and growing. Brannon is an eighth degree black belt a former recording artist with three top ten hits in the Philippines owner of one martial arts one of the most successful schools in the martial arts industry and the creator of one merit badges, an internationally distributed life skills education system. The professor as Brannon is also known humbly presents workshops and seminars successful in the martial arts world and beyond with the mindset that we can always do and be better.

 

He is committed to being a student for life and as a dedicated father husband and servant to the community. Brannon’s popular book, Live Learn Grow: Lessons of a reluctant Tiger, portrays his struggles and victories and the insights that moved him forward step by step. He shares these experiences and the wisdom they’ve produced to help his tribe find their why. Service is the new profit, Brannon’s mantra helps him focus his clients to find happiness and success without focusing in on money. Brannon lives in Millbrae, California with his wife Kimberly and as kids Thea and Braden. Brannon Beliso, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Brannon Beliso:     Yes sir, Jim I’m ready to get you over the hump. I like that.

 

Jim Rembach:   I appreciate that and I’m glad you’re here. I appreciate that you’re here. Now give my Legion a little bit about you but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

 

Brannon Beliso:     Well you made that statement–Services the new profit. Once I really discovered that service was my calling and becoming selfless and becoming more less of a boss less of a controller and more of a true leader a contemporary leadership or service is my foundation everything shifted. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I am a lot into customer-experience, employee-experience and I always talk about the human centric aspects of running a business and you yourself we’re a champion and then became the teacher and mentor and I’m sure you were doing that along the way. But now as a business as somebody who is helping others grow their businesses. How much do you feel that the service aspects versus the experience aspects are really related or where do they differ?

 

Brannon Beliso:     I don’t think they differ I think they’re one in the same. And that’s where people really compartmentalize and separate that Jim, it’s one in the same and then we can view it that way then we’ll get that sense of continuity that we need throughout every aspect of not just our business but our lives. I truly believe consistency is the key to quality, it’s a quick, quick thing about that. Go to my favorite restaurant order my favorite dish and make it the way I like it I go back again. If they don’t make it the second time I might give you a third shot. Third time it’s wrong I never come back again. So when you talk about that experience think about Disney, and Disney’s one of the companies I’ve studied inside and out they’re very consistent in their delivery of that customer experience that Disney experience. 

 

Jim Rembach:   As I was reading through your book I started really getting an understanding of all the struggles and issues from a family perspective as well as being in the system through childcare system is that—there a whole lot of emotion that’s involved with these things that don’t go our way and how we respond to those is extremely important. Your book is just lesson after lesson and vignette and story that has truth and relevance to it, most of them are your own personal experiences. But when you start talking about emotion and the service experience when you think about that from—hey, you can’t make everybody happy—how do you go about turning a new startup when you’re opening up a new location? How do you turn that into grabbing and capturing emotion so that you can create long term clients?

 

Brannon Beliso:     I was just thinking that Jim, I think everything the way the process goes everything begins as a thought. Now thought by itself means nothing I would have could have should have, it’s only when we tie emotion to it that is the inertia that is the fuel that emotion that inspires us to take action and from the action I get a result. Anyone can walk around—I need to lose 20 pounds. Well, they have a massive heart attack and the doctors looking at them all of a sudden the emotional connection that I could die tomorrow is there they’re more likely to act upon that and change their diet and exercise. So emotion is key but emotional without discipline emotion without vision emotion without an action plan of moving your business a start-up or anything—what it’s going to look like in three to five years is simply a dog chasing its tail. We can sit in a room together Jim and go rah rah rah, there’s a lot of emotion but that emotion eventually needs to be channeled in some constructive way and that’s where the vision, the purpose designing the culture, core values, brand absolutes, all those different things that come with growing a business come into play. 

 

Jim Rembach:   So as you were talking I started thinking too about an organization have maybe around for a long time—we’ve been doing things the same way for decades and we’ve been very successful with that and so it’s become part of who we are. However, now I have all this competition I have this total different generation of workforce I have to disrupt myself that has emotion involved with it. How can I be focused enough to say I can’t hold on, because there’s a motion with that, I can’t hold on to what we’ve been doing because we now must do some things differently.

 

Brannon Beliso:     When I look at that say companies like Nokia companies like the Good Guys can you say blockbuster all gone once great, great companies because they stopped focusing on the why. Why are we doing this? We hear that it’s so trendy the why the why and if you read the great book by Simon Sinek, Starting from the Why and Good to Great, by Jim Collins no matter what products change business climate change trends change the one thing that will fundamentally stay the same are your core values are that why. And if I’m constantly revisiting that why living from that why refining that why then all it is a matter of tweaks and adjustments. If you really, really think about it take a great product like Apple it’s still fundamentally the same MacBook Pro same iPhones same iPad they haven’t done anything revolutionary in decades still what iPhone 10.0, it’s iPad Pro it’s MacBook with a faster processor. But what they really fundamentally got and this is important people the Legion as they’re called out there take note of this: when Steve Jobs came back the second time what he had learned the first time in that coup when they squeezed him out and got rid of them what they lacked was loyalty what they lacked was culture nobody drank the Kool-Aid. So what he did with the second coming he brought in Guy Kawasaki the chief spiritual officer as he was called he wore white he almost look like a pastor or a priest and his whole purpose was to live teach and preach the culture of Apple. So people drank the Kool-Aid that’s why you stand in line all night for a phone you can get two days later and walk into the store and Steve Jobs, God bless his soul long and gone, Apple just became a trillion dollar company. So I think that’s what really fundamentally happens is we get away from our why we start living from fair Jim and we focus on—all the bottom line the bottom line bottom line and then we become marketers instead of ambassadors of the why.

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a really interesting point. When I start thinking about the whole marketing piece and the ambassador piece I started thinking about a lot of those guys and ladies who you’re trying to help build their businesses in different parts of the country may probably even different parts of the world and they’re having to essentially connect with parents in order for those kids to become students of their—what do you guys call them, dojos? 

 

Brannon Beliso:     Dojos academies, martial art school but the big thing is martial arts drycleaner restaurant we are service based business and that’s what we tend to forget it’s all about service. 

 

Jim Rembach:   So from the service aspect—I’ve always wondered is there something different that’s involved when you start talking about, I’m not selling to the kid that’s essentially my end user I’m teaching the kid but I’m selling to the parent. Is there something that’s lost in translation? Or there’s something you have to do different?

 

Brannon Beliso:     Absolutely the majority of martial arts schools are one guy mom and pop maybe 75 students or less that makes up 75% of our industry. They’ve created a job for themselves they’re a terrible boss and that perpetuates itself. I think the big thing is recognizing there’s different skill sets. I’ll answer your question but I want to give you this first, the technicians like they talk about an EMS, Gerber talked about there’s so many technicians that’s one skill set I’m a black belt great guess what? You need a new skill set to be a great instructor. That’s not enough now you need a whole different skill set to be a great small business owner and then eventually a whole different skill set to be an entrepreneur. What I recognized early on when I say service is the new profit is I’m serving my parents and we know for a fact marketers 99 percent of the people will come to your website and they are not ready to buy, they’re not ready to buy. 

 

So they don’t want to be sold to but because we’re in fear Jim. I got to make rent, I got 75 students I got to make rent I got to make payroll I have to do all these things that we never get to the why and we live in market and behave from the what are we a martial art school, well, they’re a dime a dozen. So, it’s really me as a parent I need to know what separates you from everybody else. And if you focus your business on earning that trust which takes time which takes a lot of investment instead of just simply high $19.99 those cheap promo Black Friday things might be a quick one off but it’s not something you can build a sustainable growth-oriented business on it just doesn’t. Look at Walmart look at the position Walmart’s and now they built it one good cheap products but now with all the lawsuits and stuff going with the Walmart classic example, classic example.

 

Jim Rembach:  Your book is just riddled for me with teachings of emotional intelligence. I also see that there’s a couple things involved with this, first of all that personal drive an aspect of it meaning you knew that you could not respond to things a certain way you went down that path it didn’t go well luckily you were able to turn the tide but then also there was some aptitude and ability to be able to do

That. When you start talking about a lot of the different folks that you’re dealing with do you find, because you talk about—hey, they’re great technicians, so they have to become a more emotionally intelligent in order to have successful businesses, do you find that there is a problem with people’s ability to be able to execute on those things? Like they just don’t have the ability to do it? Or it’s a willingness thing.

 

Brannon Beliso:     Well I say all the time to any client I’m working with whether it’s one-on-one whether it’s a company whether it’s a martial arts school is there’s nothing I can’t give you that you can’t give yourself. There really isn’t, there really isn’t. In our industry you start off as a white belt you stand in line and you look at your instructor you want to please them, yes sir how many kicks? How many pushups? Whatever you say. In my case it was my dad he was my instructor my dad my coach he told me when to eat sleep how much to weigh what to do in a ring so I was disciplined and many people in life are disciplined but they’ve never learned or mastered the life skill of self-discipline, huge difference. One thing is to discipline a child a whole different days to empower them with self-discipline teaching them that tool that life skill. I think that’s really what our culture lacks as a whole is that we lack self-discipline. We’ve been disciplined and now there’s a revolt people revolt against discipline or they fall in line like sheep being led to slaughter and simply stare into their phone and distract themselves with something else. And I think that’s the big chance. When I talk about that disruptive mindset it’s not so much the willingness as it is the awareness, Jim, people like the awareness because I can get lost in my phone. 

 

Brannon Beliso:     I sat there in the lobby yesterday and I scan the room and I kid you not everybody was staring into a phone. Everybody and that’s scary that’s really scary.

 

Jim Rembach:   It is true. And you brought up one thing that for me I’m glad you did because in the book you talked about the saying that goes something to the effect of—if you want to eat omelets you have to be okay with breaking a couple of eggs. So when you start talking about this self-discipline aspect when you start going to being able to learn how to become resilient when you learn how to achieve when you talk about interacting and connecting with other people sometimes you’re going to have some broken eggs and you need to be able to push past that. So if I’m a person who’s always been disciplined to—how do I really get past that fear of, gosh! I might break an egg or two?

 

Brannon Beliso:     I think again living from some of my core values, number one is humility. People in a Western culture hear the word humility and they run because it automatically triggers humiliation, I’m being humiliated no you’re not. A humble heart is very powerful. Another one for me is gratitude. I’m thankful and if I don’t get along with you I’m going to take what I learn and be thankful we interacted for a moment a minute a day. And of course empathy. Seek to understand versus being understood. Today’s contemporary leader leads by example today’s contemporary leader like that picture at Facebook—old leadership he’s cracking the whip and everyone’s pushing the boulder—contemporary leadership leaders right up against that boulder with them. So if I’m right up against that boulder with my team pushing that rock I’m more empathetic to their challenges than their needs beyond our business and I think that’s very important in today’s leadership. You could be disciplined and I could be disciplined and if we meet at a level of humility we meet at a level of empathy and we’re both grateful for this moment we have now Jim you and I will learn a lot.

 

Jim Rembach:      Very much so and I appreciate that perspective and talking about the discipline piece. I started thinking about too – I had this question the other day talking about emotion and how important it is to everything that we’ve been talking about a lot of different ways and our response to certain things however our brain gets hijacked when we get in emotional stress and we know and we’ve experienced this ourselves like when we get into a heated discussion or some things just aren’t going and we just feel like we’re getting bombarded we can’t think of certain things our IQ drops tremendously because the whole emotion takes over. Do you feel that actually becoming discipline in the martial arts has helped you not have times where your emotions hijack your thinking?

 

Brannon Beliso:     Only time I get hijacked is with my six and nine year old are fighting that’s the only time my emotions get hijacked because it makes me and my wife crazy other than that what I’ve recognized about that process is when you feel those emotions start to take over you, what do most people do? They run they sedate they drink they avoid they become a victim they live from the victim mindset. When I’m faced with something like that—now let us just take social media, if it’s somebody I don’t know and you call me the trolls the haters whatever and they attacked me at Facebook I simply love them I block them and I delete them. I’ve really recognized to focus on my life what matters most versus what doesn’t matter. 

 

I think as a culture we focus on what doesn’t matter that’s why they sell millions of copies of The Enquirer people like to focus on other people’s drama because it makes their drama not look so bad. And if it’s somebody great like a Tiger Woods or some really rich actor they go, hey, I don’t have it so bad that guy’s got all that money’s more screwed up than me but still doesn’t cure, what’s there? So we sedate we distract we avoid but really what we should do is embrace like a best friend because we can only heal with love Jim. If I have something that’s adverse in front of me I at least want to recognize it let him go with love because I’m not responsible for how you think how you behave you know I’m busy dealing with my space. I recognize that I can’t control people places or things but can I make the conscious choice in that moment so I don’t get overwhelmed to simply say, hey, it’s cool. You think the way you do rock and roll but this is the way I think and if we can agree to disagree then I love block and delete. Life is short life is precious so to spend time around people Jim that that matter I think it’s really important.

 

Jim Rembach:      I think that’s a great valuable points. We’re talking about and I even said it on several occasions is it’s just filled with emotion and one of the things that we look at on the show are quotes to help give us emotion hopefully point us in that direction. Is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?

 

Brannon Beliso:     There’s many. Dali Lama is one of the people I embraced tremendously because his spiritual and humanistic attributes balanced my business mindset. He explains that it’s easy to be great when things are going your way can you be great when life is difficult. That’s what builds character that’s what makes us better people. Gandhi’s got a great one where he speaks about it, I’m not getting all the words right, the customer is not dependent upon us we are dependent upon him he is not a burden on our business he’s an attribute. If we begin to recognize that we treat people differently anytime somebody on my team says, this is my boss, I go, woohh time’s up pencils down I am not your boss the clients are the boss they simply pay me money and I distribute it amongst the team but don’t for one minute think I am your boss I am your team mate. You know some of those things are really important. I love the one by, I think it’s Lao Tze say that, if you’re living in the past you’re depressed if you’re living in the future you’re anxious if you’re in the present moment you’re at peace so I spend a lot of time and learning and practice being here now and I think that’s a big part of my success and happiness.

 

Jim Rembach:      Well and that success and happiness as I kind of mentioned earlier didn’t necessarily come from a place where that is cultivated and grown you chose to go into another direction and field and not be stuck in that. And so there’s a lot of humps that you’ve gotten over and you shared tons of them in the book but is there one that you can actually share with a Fast Leader Legion where we could learn?

 

Brannon Beliso:     I think you’ve done that for me through this whole conversation Jim choice. But I think for me as a child, and was sharing this with one of my clients the other day, as a child I had no choice. I had no choice when I was put in a foster home at 11 months. I had no choice when I was molested. I had no choice when I was beaten by my father. I had no choice I was a victim but eventually at some point Brannon the man had to make the better choices in his life or continue to be a victim. So I recognized that achievements and success for two different things. I was a state champion I had three top ten hits and I was the most unhappy person in the world so I recognized that the bigger house the bigger car more money wasn’t going to make me happy what was going to make me happy was taking that journey inward finding a place of why am I here? What am I here for? Not to buy a bigger car not to add more zeros on my bank account, I’m very grateful don’t get me wrong, you know we do very, very well I have everything that I want and possibly could mean but what I need most is myself and if you have that as far as leadership goes that’s the best example to offer your team and anybody.

 

Jim Rembach:      I think what you’re talking about too from that perspective talking about the leader perspective is there’s a particular study that, I’m just recalling in my head, were talking about the frontline leaders and the people who are on the frontline only 33% of those people who are on the frontline feel that their immediate frontline supervisor is competent. And I think with what you were just talking about is that if you have that sense of self and that awareness and humidity and all those other things that is going to you project a totally different type of know presence that I think that whole concept of competency is going to be thrown out the window people are going to feel that you’re competent.

 

Brannon Beliso:     Especially with today’s true entrepreneur. I’m in my business 16 hours a month for me to walk in there and throw the boss card around is insane. The autonomy I grant my team is tremendous I trust them they’re there in in the trenches every day I need their feedback I need their input I need that because I’m not there. Sure I’ve written the systems and the processes and I’ve established the culture and they run it but—a classic example is I would never walk into a room and demand and tell people I’m the boss, I don’t walk into my businesses and say, hi, how are you doing I’m the owner, I would never do that it’s not in line with today’s values. When you’re dealing with Millennials and Z’s they’re totally revolting against that sense of control and command leadership which perpetuated itself. World War II because we had all the factories I had the higher management the floor managers and the worker base on the assembly line I get that hierarchy that pyramid. We run with a flat line management we don’t have titles nobody calls me the boss and we all coexist and kind of serve each other. I think that creates the culture that we have it and our businesses. 

 

Jim Rembach:      Well, I would dare to say that you’re going to find that’s going to be the culture that many, many organizations are going to have to, I don’t want to say revert to, but let’s just say transition into in order for them to keep the top talent that is going to exist within those millennial and Z generations.

 

Brannon Beliso:     Well there’s a lot of talent there. And I think as we get older we need to stop dismissing each new generation is incompetent or lesser than because they do have a cellphone some people will say, well the promise we don’t have critical thinkers today Jim because I can simply google it. The other day I said to my son he was writing report on Walt Disney I said, well tell me about Walt? He was Alexa. I said, no, no, no don’t ask Alexa I want you to tell me. So I think that’s the challenge with technology as I can simply Google it and then watch a YouTube video and then it becomes lore. It’s bred out of people is that critical thinking those soft leaders that we need more and more and more. But if we can really utilize and leverage technology to do the mundane to automate those many tasks that we don’t need to spend our process on but not turn around and start playing video games and not turn around and to snapchat or Instagram but really recognize, I am this different kind of freedom because of technology, and really integrate yourself on a another level of learning of leadership it’s going to change tremendously. Look at Zappos, look at Apple, look at Facebook, I’m right in Silicon Valley so I get to witness this on a daily basis that movement towards a culture driven tribe of raving fans of people that drank the Kool-Aid that get it it’s really the movement because that’s where purpose and passion lives. You keep talking about that at heart level that emotion now people aren’t driven by data, sit with a bunch of seasoned Millennials and go, third quarter report earnings, they’re going to go, what? It doesn’t happen. 

 

Jim Rembach:      That’s very true. I know you got a lot of things going on—you get the book, speaking coaching, of course teaching, building, a business you got two young kids—there’s a lot of things that are going on, but if you talk about one goal, just one, what is it?

 

Brannon Beliso:     To continue to find more ways to spend with my kids, that’s really it. I’ve reduced the level of speaking gigs I’m staying closer to home as I shared this summer I think I worked three hours this whole summer other than a few podcasts here and there I discipline myself to spend three months consistently with my kids especially because they’re out all summer. I’m home every night at 6:30 for dinner I help with homework I go to soccer people say well that’s pretty mundane for somebody with all your accomplishments. I said, let’s get this straight achievements and success Jim are two different things I’ve got tons of trophies they sit up in the attic. I have tons of awards none of them hang on the wall because I don’t want to live in the past. So today what I need to do is be successful and success today for me is to find more ways and time to spend with my family. 

 

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:

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team building session? My keynotes 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. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Alright, here we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay, Brannon, the Hump day Hoedown is a 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. Brannon Beliso, are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Brannon Beliso:     Yes sir, Jim, I’m ready.

 

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

 

Brannon Beliso:     Time management.

 

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

 

Brannon Beliso:     Lead by example. 

 

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

 

Brannon Beliso:     My personal faith.

 

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

 

Brannon Beliso:     Gratitude.

 

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

 

Brannon Beliso:     Yes other than my book I would recommend everybody read the E-Myth by Michael Gerber and The Mindset by Carol Dweck.

 

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/Brannon Beliso. Okay, Brannon this is my last hump day hold on 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 you can only choose one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Brannon Beliso:     Humility. Back in my 20s I was so full of myself so much egos so much bravado that came with that age and that time being a state champion a recording artist just at the top of everything I lack humility tremendously and if I was more humble I would have been more grateful and appreciated everything in that process in that time of my life. 

 

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

 

Brannon Beliso:     Yes. Social media of course Facebook, LinkedIn. YouTube subscribed to my YouTube channel please, Instagram we can find me everywhere and of course at Brannonbeliso.com. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Brannon Beliso, 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 fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

[/expand]

 

opple — The End of the Firm-Based Strategy and Rise of New Models for Explosive Growth

190: Ralph Welborn: What role do we play in business ecosystems

Ralph Welborn Show Notes Page

Ralph Welborn was working on a wicked problem with the Department of Defense, CEO’s, and Chief Security Officers of many different organizations. He had to get them all to be in service to fight the bad guys. Ralph now takes the lessons he learned to move beyond customer-centricity to ecosystem engagement.

Ralph Welborn was born in Tacoma, Washington. As a child of an Air Force Officer, he lived in a variety of places: Japan when he very young, Chicago, Virginia, then for high school years, back in Tacoma, Washington.

He has one older sister, Caroline who is the first Master Chief ever in the US Navy. And his parents still in Tacoma, Washington. His parents own their own separate small businesses. His Dad owns an Asian antique store and re-builds pianos and his Mom owns a stained-glass shop. At 89 and 82 years old respectively, they still outwork him!

His parents always encouraged travel and being sensitive to other perspectives and how different people in different places looked at the world differently. This is something that Ralph has always brought to his work and has become foundational to it as he gained more experience. It is also why he has worked so much around the world (and lived in different parts of the world as well.

Ralph received a Ph.D. and was going down the path of academic career in development economics… but he quickly became enamored (challenged) by how different stakeholders made decisions and the implications that different approaches to decision-making had on actions taken and impacts catalyzed.

This led Ralph to consulting. First in Advanced Technology, then eventually to running Strategy practices at KPMG and IBM. He’s always been attracted to “Hard (some call them ‘wicked’) problems” – those that require the engagement of different types of organizations to solve them… because no one could solve them on their own. And this focus on collaborative engagement – now called business ecosystems – has been front and center for much of his work over the past 15 years.

Ralph is the author of Get It Done, about bridging the gap between strategic objective/intent and everyday execution and The Jericho Principle, which focuses on how to drive alignment both inside and outside of an organization to drive innovation and new sources of value. And his most recent work is Topple, the end of firm-based strategy and the rise of new models for explosive growth.

Ralph currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife of 26 years Meg. They have 3 fantastic kids Nicole, Jeremy and Jacob.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“I’m paranoid about so many companies that run the Red Queen race; running faster and faster but staying in the same place.” –Click to Tweet

“What can we do fundamentally different given that we live in a changed competitive environment.” –Click to Tweet

“If you look at the explosive growth models of today, there really is something fundamentally different about them.” –Click to Tweet 

“Industry boundaries are starting to blur together.” –Click to Tweet 

“Only 12% of companies capture 85% of economic profit.” –Click to Tweet 

“The companies that are capturing more of the economic profit have this common new explosive model.” –Click to Tweet 

“Explosive growth models are these business ecosystems model.” –Click to Tweet 

“Businesses are often optimized for a world that no longer exists.” –Click to Tweet 

“You may be optimized for what you’re doing, but as the market shifts, simply doing what you were doing before doesn’t work anymore.” –Click to Tweet 

“The 20% of capabilities that made you successful today are not the ones you need tomorrow.” –Click to Tweet 

“It really is only about 20% in any organization, is what you need to drive 70% of your value.” –Click to Tweet 

“Where are we going to plant our flag and mobilize our capabilities around that?” –Click to Tweet 

“How do you start to unlock how people think about things?” –Click to Tweet 

“We’ve been trained to always do what we’ve done before.” –Click to Tweet 

“A changed competitive environment requires a new strategic question.” –Click to Tweet 

“Where is value being created and destroyed in the ecosystem that I and my customer are engaged in?” –Click to Tweet 

“You can’t win the long-term ‘out-execute’ battle.” –Click to Tweet 

“The majority of companies are fighting over a diminishing pie of economic growth and profit.” –Click to Tweet 

“Once you shift a unit of focus from your company to the ecosystem you don’t go back.” –Click to Tweet 

“Our competitors of tomorrow will not be our industry peers, they will be ecosystem-centric organizations.” –Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Ralph Welborn was working on a wicked problem with the Department of Defense, CEO’s, and Chief Security Officers of many different organizations. He had to get them all to be in service to fight the bad guys. Ralph now takes the lessons he learned to move beyond customer-centricity to ecosystem engagement.

Advice for others

Learn how things connect and what are the implications.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

I’m not running enough.

Best Leadership Advice

Play more tennis, not golf.

Secret to Success

Laughter and having fun with people.

Best tools in business or life

Ask questions and draw pictures with people.

Recommended Reading

Topple: The End of the Firm-Based Strategy and the Rise of New Models for Explosive Growth

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Contacting Ralph Welborn

website: http://www.capimpact.com

email: ralph [at] capimpact.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ralphwelborn

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

 

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

190: Ralph Welborn:  What role do we play in business Ecosystems?

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. And 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 we’re going to get the opportunity to get some brand new perspectives on what is customer experience. Ralph Welborn, was born in Tacoma, Washington. As a child of an Air Force officer, he lived in a variety of places: Japan when he very young, Chicago, Virginia, then in his high school years, back in Tacoma, Washington. He has one older sister, Caroline who is the first female Master Chief in the navy. And his parents still in Tacoma, Washington. His parents own their own separate small businesses. His Dad owns an Asian antique store and rebuilding pianos and his Mom owns a stained-glass shop. At 89 and 82 years old respectively, they still outwork him!

His parents always encouraged travel and being sensitive to other perspectives and how different people in different places looked at the world differently. This is something that Ralph has always brought to his work and has become foundational to his work as he gained more experience. It is also why he has worked so much around the world. 

Ralph received a Ph.D. and was going down the path of an academic career in development economics but he quickly became enamored (challenged) by how different stakeholders made decisions and the implications that different approaches to decision-making had on actions taken and impacts catalyzed. This led Ralph to consulting. First in Advanced Technology, then eventually to running Strategy practices at KPMG and IBM. He’s always been attracted to “Hard (some call them ‘wicked’) problems” – those that require the engagement of different types of organizations to solve them—because no one could solve them on their own. And this focus on collaborative engagement – now called business ecosystems – has been front and center for much of his work over the past 15 years.

Ralph is the author of Get It Done, about bridging the gap between strategic objective/intent and everyday execution and The Jericho Principle, which focuses on how to drive alignment both inside and outside of an organization to drive innovation and new sources of value. And his most recent work is Topple, the end of firm-based strategy and the rise of new models for explosive growth. 

Ralph currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife of 26 years Meg. They have 3 fantastic kids Nicole, Jeremy and Jacob. Ralph Welborn, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Ralph Welborn:    I’m ready, let’s go. 

Jim Rembach:    We’re going to have a great discussion today. I’ve given my legion a little bit about you but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better? 

Ralph Welborn:    Sure. I’ve always been really enamored with a particular character from Alice in Wonderland. She’s the character—she’s the Red Queen—do you remember her? She’s the character who runs faster and faster but stays on the same place and it’s striking to me how many businesses do that. And so I’m paranoid about so many organizations to run the Red Queen race of running faster and faster but staying in the same place. So what I completely enamored and passionate about is how do you help people stop running that Red Queen race? What can we do fundamentally different given that we live in a changed and competitive environment. So that is my focus lately what the book is about and what I’m working on right now. 

Jim Rembach:    I was going through the book for me I had to share with you and I did off mic, but I think it’s important that we mention it during our time together, when I first received your book and looking at the title and the subtitle—Topple-The End of Firm-Based Strategy and the Rise of New Models for Explosive Growth. For me my mind immediately went to like professional services firms and that what I started thinking but when I got in to the book I was delightfully surprise because really what we were talking about is pushing things forward beyond customer-centric and customer centric and customer centric practices. Even in the book you reveal how even customer centricity is still just and internal type of focus and activity. So when you start thinking about business ecosystems, what does it really mean? 

Ralph Welborn:    A lot of people talk about business ecosystems now, it’s a hot topic of the day. I think a lot of people characterized them as have more partners. And I get that it’s a logical thing—how do I get my partnerships? How do I get more engaged in what I’m doing? But if you take a look at the explosive growth models of today there really is something fundamentally different about them. So what the book is about is, what are four lessons of these new models? Business ecosystems really, simply is the orchestration of different capabilities from different organizations to capture new sources of value. Think about it, Amazon is a prototypical example here. What is Amazon? It’s hard to define them in terms of any particular segment. What are they? They’re a consumer company? They’re a data company? They’re a storage company? What is it that they really are? What is Tencent? Is Tencent a social media company? A banking company? A gaming company? It’s hard to know. So industry boundaries is starting to blur together as we all know. There’s a lot of discussion about it but there’s not a lot of dissection of how do we take advantage of it? What do we given this blurring of activities and given that we know that only 12% of the companies capture 85% of economic profits? The companies that are capturing more those economic profit have this common new explosive growth model and those explosive models this business ecosystems as a new model and that’s what I believe we should focus on. 

Jim Rembach:    And for me as I going through the book I started kind of getting an understanding and talking about connecting other things and bringing them together chip and then heat and made it stick talk about the curse of knowledge. And then I started getting this feeling that a lot of companies really don’t understand, much like you are talking about the Amazon situation, what it is that they do and they associate that with what it is that they produced. Even if it’s a software type of company even it’s services company they can’t do a good job of “peeling their onion back” if you can use as a type of example to say that, okay, while we may be delivering this really what we’re good at and what we are is that and I do think that they can build upon but I don’t think that they do a good job of self-identification. 

Ralph Welborn:    And actually that’s an incredibly insightful point. I think that many of our leaders have been trained. And it makes sense, our leaders and our organizations have been very successful at what they’ve been doing for a long time and it makes. They’ve been trained to certain way we do certain things we’ve created our products and services to meet a particular market in a market needing customer expectations but if those markets change, that’s why I often say, businesses are often optimized for a world that no longer exists. So you may be optimized for what you’re doing but as the market ships simply doing what you’re doing before doesn’t work anymore. And so there’s concept I use, you may have picked up in the book pretty extensively and I call it the new 20 percent. So the argument in the research is you were optimized for world that no long exists the capability that made you wildly successful up to date, I call it the new 20 percent the 20 percent of capabilities that made you successful today are not the ones you need tomorrow. And here’s what gets you really interesting, it really is only 20 percent in any organization is what you need to drive 70 percent of your value. So largely done is what is that new 20 percent that you happen to need? But the problem is were so attuned in and trained by doing what we always did we don’t know that mean. Let me give you an example, sometimes you conceptually go, ahhh, give me the (9:15)

I was having this discussion with the head of strategy at one of the largest insurance companies here in the States and he said, hey, I get it. What had made us successful today, the core of the insurance industry is on how we price risk. What happens if we live in a world where the core asset is not about pricing risk but preventing accident? The capabilities to prevent accident is fundamentally different than it is to price risk, that is so consequently that’s that shift. So how do we, and you mentioned and then made you stick that thing it’s again, what is the friction that were actually going to attach in the marketplace? Where are we going to plant our competitive flag and then mobilize our capabilities around that? Asking that question is not a, how do I sell of what I currently have today? It’s a different way of thinking about it. Where do I plant my flag and figure out what that new 20 percent is? I’m going to need to deal with it. And then talk about what products and services I do of it. 

Jim Rembach:    Okay that’s really helpful to me because I started to get a little bit more clarity around going back to what we had mentioned before moving beyond customer centricity and getting to the ecosystem components and thinking in the mindset because it is a total shift, right? Talking about perspectives too many times have I seen perspectives internally be such that they’re just locked and I’m sure you find that in your work they just can’t remove themselves from their own four walls and it’s a very, very hard thing to do that disassociation component and creating that distance between you and your customer. Oftentimes we do that as human beings we’ll say things when we’re in our own company, talking about our own customer experience we’ll say, I know I wouldn’t like that and I’m like, you’re not your customer.

Ralph Welborn:    Right, right, right. Couple of points you bring up, one is we’re locked and so the issue is, how do you start to unlock how people think about things? We can have a whole discussion just on bath tapping but I think a couple of techniques a couple of lessons that I’ve learned over the years, number one, again we been trained as leaders and as service folks, we’ve been trained to do what we’ve always done before. If you believe we live in a changed competitive environment then it only makes sense logically that there’s a new strategic question. So a changed competitive environment requires a new strategic question, the new strategic question I believe is not how are we going to solve what products and services but instead it’s where is value being created and destroyed in the ecosystem that I and my customer are engaged in? And the minute you ask the question, the very minute I’ve seen this over and over again—again I’ve had the privilege of working around the world with all type of company, the minute you ask that question to what’s the ecosystem that was valued created and destroyed your changing your unit of focus from the company or even the industry literally to the problem, the ecosystem the problem you were trying to solve for your customer. Right now that’s interesting because you’re changing the unit of focus all of the sudden you’re not bank you’re not a retail company not a manufacturing company you are an organization of capabilities in service of delivering value, however to define whatever it is. So wherever I go that’s kind of one little chink in that armor I often get when people say, wow! What is my ecosystem? Because the next logical question, what is my ecosystem? Where is value being created and destroyed? What does it mean the ecosystem of my customers? That starts to shift your space and then that’s literally pragmatically to how we think about –I call it the generation of how we tackle and approach customer experience very differently. 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, so even as you were saying that I started thinking about where we are in today’s society and talking about the shift in the workplace and in different generations and who’s essentially taking over the work place and the things that they’re looking for is that I would think that whole ecosystem in engagement mindset would be absolutely appealing to the younger generation of course who’s really look into as you know the saying goes is that I don’t want to work for you know the companies that are great in the world I want to work for the companies that are great for the world.

Ralph Welborn:    Yes, right. And that’s that whole discussion about the why. And that’s why if you take a look at the explosive growth companies of today as well as who are the folks who tend to work for them and why they there that’s lesson number two. Lesson number one is ask the new strategic question which is, where is value being created and destroyed in the ecosystem? Number two is—given that you have some insight plant your flag, and planting your flag is around the why. What explosive growth historically as always, always, always come from tackling friction, tacking market breakdown or tackling non-consumption? And that’s it. That’s the why, I’m going to plant my flag in extraordinary healthcare differently which is why we have JP Morgan and Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway with their explosive announcement the other day. Which is why you have certain other type of companies there’s Mode in Africa which is driving an extraordinarily new mechanisms of engaging with customers. Which is why Amazon’s issue is fundamentally un-enabling from a business point of view to do anything with their AWS and so on. It’s planting the flag and then it’s the mobilizing your capabilities wherever they come from to service that. And yet younger people absolutely want that. So aside from the fact that they’re trained as digital natives it’s a view of standard DNA of working with others, the business models that’d be the same. But to get to your point is it got to be organized and orchestrated around the why which is what I talk about it’s planting the flag.

 

Jim Rembach:    Having a flag that is always moving will actually precipitate your downfall.

 

Ralph Welborn:    Yeah I passionately believe I’ve actually read it. We need to own a problem. We need on a problem that matters. And so for this new thing outfit around the (15:46 inaudible) thing is I’m going to make a fundamentally differently from everybody else. If you take a look at some of the other activity some of the other—again if you look at explosive growth companies you can search them out by these criteria that they’re doing and one of them is there’s a specifically clear flag that they own. And here’s where it gets really interesting from two perspectives. One is the typical approach to strategy again I believe he is let me sell and this goes straight into the heart of a customer it’s interesting what we mean by the traditional approaches I want to sell more of my products or services based on the portfolio I’ve got. By definition everyone wants to do that by definition to do that is you’re racing with everybody else to sell the same set of products and services in the market you’re running the right clean base it is such an inside out you that forces you down a path of how can I out execute everybody again? And you cannot win the long term out execute battle the world technology is changing too darn fast to do that it’s just the wrong approach to this. So the question becomes again where do you find your peg? And where the implication on how we engage with customers? 

 

Jim Rembach:    And that’s totally appropriate to a conversation that I had right before having this interview with you. I was talking about what traditional tech companies do coming into the contact center and customer experience industry and for them what they do are like, here’s my benefits that are going to help you. And I’m like, that’s so wrongheaded that is not what’s going to enable you to stand out from the slew and sea of sameness.

 

Ralph Welborn:    Yeah, couldn’t agree more. From that point of view, Jim, let’s unpack—so here’s a way that I think about the different generations of customer centricity go straight to the heart of that. Like what you said it’s definitely an inside out view on how we engage with customers. Generation one of customer centricity is, hey, I have products and services to deliver to my customer I know that they’re struggling with a little bit how can I make it easier for them? So it’s the magic moment just whatever else it happens to be. But the rigor of that to get your customers go. How? That wasn’t so painful was it? The action was okay, so it’s more productivity enhancement. That’s kind of generation what which is, I got a bunch of stuff to engage my customer better let me figure out how to do that by cleaning up my process a little bit. Generation two is where I think a lot of people are headed to is, all right I know that when my customer’s engage with me there’s an emotional dilemma that they’re dealing with. And so how do I actually go deeper and to understand what the emotional pressures are or the most dilemmas are that customers have when they interact with me? Let me make my process better but it’s still prime most on that how do I sell more products and services to them? I’m just going deeper from an emotional level, good still inside out. If you take a look at explosive growth companies they start in a different space and it’s not a space of, hey, check out the better benefits I can give you with my products and service. Instead it’s, what problems do you have in terms of how? What it is you want to do and how can I support that? 

 

Let me give a really pragmatic example. I was working with a very, very large company that sold apparel and the industry was growing about 2.1 percent and they were saying, hey, I need to grow faster than everybody else here. I have a whole bunch of customer centricity efforts going on I’ve got this emotional customer centric we analyze it, but you’re asking the wrong question from an ecosystem point of view. The question is not how do I sell more of what I’ve got to your customers today? The question is, what problem—this customers don’t buy products for themselves they buy them to do something with them. You don’t get a credit card to buy a credit card you get a credit card to buy something to do something with it, whatever the objective is, let’s figure out what those objectives are. What we did with this company is you said, hey, what are the problems your customers have? And it happen to be a whole bunch of the customers happen to work in—they were amateur musicians. There are a billion amateur musicians in the world there are hundred and up are here in the U. S. alone ranging from all ages. 

 

The question was, wait a minute I sell apparel what do I have to do in the music industry? And we said wait a minute, what is it that your customers really care about? They care about doing the music. Where is the section points that they have with doing music? We look at the value chain of music and we said, what role might we want to play in? Well here’s where it gets really interesting, if you get in the head of the customers what they want to do, the problem in this case is music, we find that there’s a common issue that they may have. A trumpet player out of LA may really like to play drums with some guy from Ghana are learning certain type of African rhythm, how do you do that? The friction point here is finding the good nay and drummer matching the trumpet player up with this drummer, how do you that? And how is that relevant for me as a shoe company? Well, if you take a look customers often have a problem a friction point about finding our matching something together you created digital studio which these guys did. Basically you have a mechanism to drive greater stickiness for customers around this. I’m solving a problem that I happen to have the more stickiness you get around and the more they tell people the more they’re likely a whole separate way to buy more shoes and apparel and whatever else, the more they do that and they say, hey, these guys are helping me solve the problem I really have in terms of how I’m living my life matching service. And so it is really nice virtual cycle that’s developed between your helping me solve my problem I have that additional trust in you I’m going to do this you’re ready and more value to me that other level of analytics is something that can be modifies as well.  This company now is three and a half times the industry average growth of anybody else. That is and ecosystems perspective from the customer that is solely customer insight from a pain point they had into the company. And then the company said, I have existing products and services but there are new products and services I need to deliver them to deliver against that pain point. 

 

Jim Rembach:    As you’re talking—thanks for example, that gives you a totally different perspective of what a journey map can actually deliver and it wouldn’t be anything like that.

 

Ralph Welborn:    Yes, right. 

 

Jim Rembach:    In this particular space when we start talking a customer centricity and getting closer that’s one of the first thing that people go to. You’re talking about buzz where it’s gone beyond buzzword. But there’s some drawbacks because again you’re staying in a your own four walls you’re thinking about the process as it exists and the product—okay, we’re talking about incremental moves and shifts and products and services you’re talking about massive shifts. 

 

Ralph Welborn:    I think you need both, clearly you need both. You need to clean up you need to do the incremental step that’s absolutely important to do. The question is, I mention before twelve percent of companies are driving eighty five percent of economic profit which means that the majority of companies are fighting over a diminishing pie of economic profit to go over and that battle is getting tougher and tougher. So the incremental stuff is really important to do to keep you on the landscape but overtime it’s not going to help you at all. If you look at explosive growth companies they’re doing both and so the question is I’ve got to do this incremental step, of course you do, but if you want explosive growth you’ve got to take this other approach as well I believe. There pragmatic lessons and examples now, we finally have, is what to do about.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay so for me in my mind as you were saying that I started thinking about fundamentals and creativity is I have to do my fundamentals.

 

Ralph Welborn:    Of course.

 

Jim Rembach:    And then I have I must be creative and innovative. 

 

Ralph Welborn:    You do but you know it’s interesting I love this I just I get so passionate about this area and this is why I think looking at the pattern of the lessons of explosive growth company becomes really critical some people say, oh, my goodness creativity, innovation, what do I do about that that’s a magic black box that in order to come to me after I’ve had two scotches or beer or whatever else we’re going to have all these ideation sessions together lie on the floor and something will come up. I don’t it is that I think actually there is the absolute rigor and discipline around this. And that’s why the third lesson of explosive—that’s why we have this conversation, well done. 

 

The third lesson again I go back to—I get asked a new question, once you’ve been said, I’m ready my flag here what is that new twenty percent? Once I decide with my why I’m going to own health care better I’m going to own whatever that convenience around x then it’s, huh, what are the critical capabilities by which I crisply define that skillsets, behavior profiles and technology assets? What is that combination of capability sets? What’s the new twenty percent necessary to unlock that seventy percent? Then creativity comes down—it’s all create a process, this one is those steps. But you focused the creativity process around clarifying—where am I going to plot my flag? And then what is that new twenty percent? Once you back that you’re in execution mode, it’s just different. 

 

Jim Rembach:    So the saying goes as far as a creativity is concerned is that you don’t give a creative person the beach you get them the sandbox.

 

Ralph Welborn:    Yes, yes, absolutely.

 

Jim Rembach:    So you’re picking up sand boxes? 

 

Ralph Welborn:    You are picking sandboxes and then you’re saying, what am I going to have? The difference over the sandbox is that ecosystem model requires the orchestration of capabilities from other organizations as well. You may not have all the capability yourself you’re going to have to actually in embed your relationships or engage with other firms as well in really critical ways. You make more money they make more money you suffer risk they enjoy risk as well. So that’s that issue it’s not exactly a sandbox or just maybe sandbox with holes in it. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I do say that it’s still not giving everybody the beach it’s still saying I’m going to take sand from certain beaches in order to put in my sandbox. 

 

Ralph Welborn:    There you go, yeah, exactly. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Because you have to have some type of framework otherwise you’ll do nothing.

 

Ralph Welborn:    Correct. You have to plant that flag around a problem to own. That’s how I tugboat to my clients, plant the flag around what is the problem you want to own. And problem to own does not mean products and services you deliver it’s completely different.

 

Jim Rembach:    Well, you said a moment ago all of this has so much passion wrapped around it and one of the things that we look at on the show are quotes to hopefully give us some. Is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?

 

Ralph Welborn:    Well, I’m going to go back to the insurance executive, I actually write about him in the book I guess I just never free a beat in that session when he would say, I don’t get this we’re insurance we’re growing just fine thank you very much and we’re trying to get better on how we engage with our customers. But then at one point he slam down on the table and he bolted up and he said, I get it. He said again our core asset has been around how we price risk what happens in the world when it’s not that but it’s around preventing accidents? And then he just one in a day walking around the room just thinking about the powerful implications of that. Because once you shift that unit of focus from your company to the ecosystem you don’t go back, so it’s incredibly powerful.

 

Jim Rembach:    Talking about being able to come to these realizations and one of the things that we’re not going to get to which is in the book, I highly recommend you getting it will have a link to it on the show notes page, is that Ralph shares a lot of methods and models that he’s actually developed over the past couple decades around all of this ecosystem modeling, consumer engagement modeling, value insight modeling and then also that new twenty percent models. Maybe we’ll have to have you back so we can get in those as well. But when we start talking about coming to this culmination of where you are now and your trajectory going forward is that you had humps to get over in order to get there so is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share? 

 

Ralph Welborn:    Well yes a number them. Where to start on something like that? There was a hump, at that time I was working with the Department of Defense and a number of other commercial organizations around a really hard problem, wicked problem as you mentioned before. And a wicked problem is a term of art it means something that no one organization can solve by itself and so you have to figure that out. The problem we faced was, how do fight a network of bad guys with a network of good guys?  And how do you orchestrate public sector with private sector? People in banking from logistics from consumer from technology all of whom have a different set of objectives in ways they do things. How do you get them all in service to tackling a really, really hard problem? 

 

Tinkering cracking that code was not easy, this is a really urgent problem challenge that we were dealing with. We had CEO’s and the chief security officers of many, many different organizations in a room for days to tackle to this and we were all stuck because we were all looking at it from different vantage points, our own vantage points. The question was how do you build that shared framework of insight? And how do you mobilize stakeholders who care about different things? In a way that they’re willing to contribute to everyone in a way though that they can execute differently as they have to but they get value out of this. And so my defense days were about how do you fight a network of bad guys with the network of good guys? And now what I’m focused on is the reality is I passed it (30:07 inaudible) that our competitors of tomorrow will not be our industry peers or industry competitors they will be ecosystem centric organizations and patterns of ecosystem engagement. We have to figure out how we engage with others and what role do we play within those ecosystems in in which to engage in to compete with others because that’s the world we’re going into.

 

Jim Rembach:    Ralph, it’s been an awesome discussion and we’re going to take a little break right now and we’re going to come back in order to move on to the hump day hoedown. Everybody we’ve been talking with Ralph Welburn author of Topple. 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 gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award winning solutions guaranteed to create motivated, productive and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work visit beyondmorale.com/better. 

 

Alright, here we go Fast Leader legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Ralph, the Hump Day Hoedown is a part of our show were you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet rather responses that are going to help us move onward upward faster. Ralph Welborn, are you ready to hold down? 

 

Ralph Welborn:    I’m ready. 

 

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

 

Ralph Welborn:    I’m not running enough. 

 

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

 

Ralph Welborn:    Play more tennis, knock off. 

 

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

 

Ralph Welborn:    Laughter and having fun with people. 

 

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

 

Ralph Welborn:    I love to ask questions and I’d love to draw pictures with people. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What would be one book that you recommend to our listeners and it can be from any genre of course will put a link on your show notes page to Topple. 

 

Ralph Welborn:    I think this is a great book called Homo Deus, it’s about the future of mankind in a world of changing technologies, love that book. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay Fast Leader legion you can find links to that and other bonus information from today show by going to fastleader.net/RalphWelbur. Okay, Ralph, this 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 just choose one. What skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?  

 

Ralph Welborn:    How interesting, love that question. I would take back the ability to draw—I would take back the issue of modeling and drawing pictures. Here’s the reason why, it’s all about patterns and so being able to understand how one thing is connected with another. If I knew the type of ability to model back then that I now know it would be huge in terms of saying what’s next with what how and how much with what implication.  

 

Jim Rembach:    Ralph, it was an honor to spend time with you today, can you please share the fast leader legion how they can connect with you? 

 

Ralph Welborn:    Sure, absolutely. Please feel free to contact me, my website is capimpact.com or contact me directly at ralph@capimpact.com.  

 

Jim Rembach:    Ralph Welborn, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over or 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.

 

END OF AUDIO

 

[/expand]

 

Whitney Johnson Build An A Team

187: Whitney Johnson: It’s not that I turned it around

Whitney Johnson Show Notes Page

Whitney Johnson was a star analyst working on Wall Street and she had a fantastic year, except when she got the feedback from all her peers. It was really bad. So, she got a coach and turned it around. And after 15-years she’s still learning lessons from that experience while helping others to avoid the same mistakes.

Whitney was born in Madrid, Spain and raised in San Jose, California.; along with her younger sister and two younger brothers. Her parents married initially because her mother was pregnant and they then divorced when she was a senior in high school.

Because her mother got married young, as the oldest child, Whitney’s job was to help make her mother happy, so achievement – winning the brass ring – became very important. Whitney studied music in high school and graduated from college with a degree in piano performance, but after graduating and moving to NYC with her husband so he could attend graduate school at Columbia, she became the primary breadwinner. And since she needed to put food on the table the brass ring was Wall Street. She started out as a secretary, took classes at night and became an investment banker.

After being a banker and then equity analyst, she disrupted herself to become an entrepreneur – eventually co-founding an investment firm with Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School. While working with him in investing in early stage companies, she had the a-ha that the theory of disruption wasn’t just about products, but about people. From there, she began to research and codify a process of personal disruption she writes about in Disrupt Yourself and Build an A-Team. She also coaches and teaches these principles all over the world.

She hopes through this work to help people be less terrified to make the changes they need to make in their life and give them a structure to lean on as they make those changes.

Whitney currently lives in Lexington, Virginia where her husband teaches biology at Southern Virginia University. They have two children; a son, David, who recently returned from a mission in Campinas, Brazil and is now a sophomore at Utah State, and a daughter, Miranda, who is a junior in high school and whose passion is academic team.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“If you can be a great boss you can build a great team.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet  

“When people stop learning they start to feel disengaged.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“Board and disengage people don’t innovate, they get disrupted.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“When you’ve gotten to the top of a learning curve and it’s time for you to do something new, how do you know when it’s time to do that?” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“We need friction, we need challenges.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“We tend to ignore people and things when they’re working.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“It’s not just pile more on, it’s making choices in order to optimize the learning of every person on your team.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“We all need visual reminders or at least check-ins.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“That whole challenge of buy-in, we talk about it all the time and most of us are really bad at it.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“If we’re not feeling that sense of self where we can give to others, then we’ve got to figure out what’s happening for us, so that we can do it for others.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“If you can’t get buy-in from your stakeholders you’re not going to get a whole lot done.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“We’re all entitled, it’s just a matter of how.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“Anytime we look at one of our big failures, in that failure are the seeds of some great successes.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“When every single person on your team is a learning machine” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“The fundamental unit of disruption is the individual.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“Companies don’t disrupt, people do.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“If I can disrupt the current version of me, I can change my world and the rest of the world just a little bit.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“Get a coach now, don’t wait until there’s a problem.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

“Everything is a head game, if you can change how you think and feel – that’s going to make all the difference.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Whitney Johnson was a star analyst working on Wall Street and she had a fantastic year, except when she got the feedback from all her peers. It was really bad. So, she got a coach and turned it around. And after 15-years she’s still learning lessons from that experience while helping others to avoid the same mistakes.

Advice for others

Get a coach now, now, now, now. Everybody needs a coach. Recognize that everything is a head game – if you can change how you think and feel and not just consume information but really change your habits and hard-wiring, that going to make all the difference.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

How I think about myself, what I think about myself.

Best Leadership Advice

Do not dare not to dare. I pass the test. Trust the process.

Secret to Success

I’m hungry – I want to improve.

Best tools in business or life

I work with a great group of people and the Headspace App.

Recommended Reading

Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve

Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

You Were Born Rich

Contacting Whitney Johnson

website: https://whitneyjohnson.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnsonwhitney

Resources and Show Mentions

Disruption Diagnostic

Free Chapter of Build An A Team

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

 

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

187: Whitney Johnson: It’s not that I turned it around

 

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. And 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:   , Fast Leader legion, today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who’s going really show us some frameworks and ideas on how to build and A-Team. Whitney Johnson was born in Madrid, Spain and raised in San Jose, California along with her younger sister and two younger brothers. Her parents married initially because her mother was pregnant and they then divorced when she was a senior in high school. Because her mother got married young, as the oldest child, Whitney’s job was to help make her mother happy, so achievement winning the brass ring became very important. 

 

Whitney Johnson:   studies music in high school and graduated from college with a degree in piano performance. But after graduating and moving to New York City with her husband so he could attend graduate school Columbia she became the primary breadwinner and since she needed to put food on the table the brass ring was Wall Street. She started out as a secretary to classes night and became an investment banker. After being banker and then equity analyst she disrupted herself to become an entrepreneur eventually co-founding an investment firm with Clayton Christensen at Harvard business school. While working with him in investing in early stage companies, she had an “aha” that the theory of disruption wasn’t just about products but about people. From there she begin to research and codify a process of personal disruption she writes about in Disrupt Yourself and Build an A-team. She also coaches and teaches this principles all over the world. She hopes through this work to help people be less terrified to make the changes they need to make in their life and give them a structure to learn on as they make those changes. Whitney currently lives in Lexington, Virginia, where her husband teaches biology at Southern Virginia University. They have two children, a son David, who recently returned from a mission in Campinas, Brazil and is now a sophomore at Utah State. And a daughter Miranda, who is a junior in high school who’s passion is academic team. Whitney Johnson, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Whitney Johnson:   Yes, I am. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I’m glad you’re here. I’ve really enjoyed going through your book, Build an A-Team and we’re going to get to talk about some of those things. But before we get in to that, I’ve given my legion a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

 

Whitney Johnson:   Yeah, what you alluded to just a moment ago, my passion is to really help you become a great boss to build a team, an A Team that can innovate and manage through change that is what I am focused on passionate about, who will talk to anybody who will listen on the topic. Because I think if you could be a great boss, you can build a great team. 

 

Jim Rembach:   And as I was going through the book there’s several things that just stood out to me. And one early on was the statistic that you reported that one study showed that 84 percent of people felt trapped in their jobs. To me that’s just astounding and when you start thinking about the whole how much does this trap feeling and engagement kind of play in to one another? 

 

Whitney Johnson:   Another statistic is that only 30 percent of the people are engage on the job—that’s the United States and then 15 percent outside of the United States. I think what happens is that when people stop learning they start to fee disengaged and when they feel disengaged they feel like, well, I’m really unhappy but I don’t know if I can actually leave because I got to put on the table and so that’s where the trap feeling comes in. And what the purpose of this book is to say to you as a manager if you will let your people learn, if you allow for the fact that they are learning machines allow for this biology of change they will start to re-engage they will stop feeling trap and instead of trying to be like a caged animal getting out of the trap they’ll be like, this is fantastic and work real hard and happy and then productive because they’re happy.

 

Jim Rembach:   And the way that you kind of, I guess it’s a brought this to life formatted for me visually clear, you did it in a couple different ways, but one way is you talked about S-curve of learning. And with the S-curve of learning—okay, so let me talk about first of all the categories within it in (4:53) you have an experience, engagement and then you have mastery and so for the longest time I hear about getting to mastery trying to get your people and help them to become a master at something. However, the thing that stood out to me is you talk about the downside of mastery, what is that?

 

Whitney Johnson:   Exactly. Just a really quick recap of this idea the S-curve for everybody who’s listening. So, really in your mind pick though this S it looks a lot like a wave, whenever you start a new role or new project you’re a the bottom of that S and you’re working really hard and it feels like not much has happening. You’re inexperience and you might come home from work feeling like, I don’t know what I’m doing what did I take this job? We’ll that completely normal cause there’s this jumble of puzzle pieces that you’re trying to put together and that is going to last for six months maybe a year. But then you working hard and then you move into that phase of engagement and you’re typically there for one to three years, this is the sweet spot it’s a steep pack of the curve and this is where you’re learning you know enough but not too much and so it’s a really fun part of the job and that’s where you’re engage and that’s where you want most of your people on your team to be. And then as you just asked to get to be a master, you been doing this for about three years you’re now on the top of that S, well, guess what happens here? Because you know what you’re doing now you’ve figured out how to put all those puzzle pieces together there’s no longer very much novelty. And because there’s no novelty your brain is no longer giving you the feel good effects of learning, those dopamine hits that we love so much, and so you’re bored. And so, you said yourself there are master but in fact this is the absolute danger zone. Because when people get bored one of two things happen, they either leave, so you lost this star performer, or they disengage, they check out and they’ve become complacent which is bad for them but it’s really bad for you because bored and disengage people complacent people don’t innovate they get disrupted, they get disrupted and so you as a team in the company.   

 

Jim Rembach:   And within the book you talk about a couple different ways in order to assist people and in re-engagement process when they start hitting that level and sometimes you talk about moving sideways going backwards in order to be able to launch and propel themselves forwards, and that’s one of the things we talk about a lot on the Fast Leader show. Another thing that seems to be really interesting is you talk about seven accelerants of learning and growth. You talked about managers really needing to know what this seven accelerants are, let’s share with them real quick. You have the right risk, distinctive strengths, embracing constraints, battle against entitlement that step back and grow that I mentioned a second ago, give failure its due, be discovery driven, why this seven? 

 

Whitney Johnson:   What we found in our research in just backing up a little bit to get to the foundation of all this ideas is that—I had worked on Wall Street as we talked about it in the bio and then had disrupted myself connected with Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School who came up with this theory of disruptive innovation. He wrote a seminal book called the Innovators Dilemma and so this whole theory of disruption of this silly little thing that can eventually take over the world and therefore you improve your odds to success. Toyota takes over General Motors Neflix takes over Blockbuster the telephone took over the telegraph so what happens over and over and over again. And so when I had this big aha about—this theory doesn’t just apply to products it actually also applies to people I stead out to really think through this and quality a framework of personal disruption so that you would know that it’s time for you when you’ve gotten to the top of the learning curve and it’s time for you to do something new how do you know when it’s time to do that? But then once you do it what are the steps or what are those leverage that you can pull that can allow you to move along the learning curve really quickly. And so on our research we found this different leverage that you just talked about taking the right kind of risk plain to your strengths, embrace constraints etc. So those seven leverage come from the research that we’ve done. 

 

Jim Rembach:   So you think about, we’re talking about the constraints piece but you talked about the engagement part within the S learning curve and that’s kind of like the feel good part of the job, but the thing is you kind of made an interesting when you kind of threw this people a curve ball. In the book you talk about giving them constraints in order to keep sweet spot employees disrupting so you have to keep challenging them. 

 

Whitney Johnson:   That’s right, that’s right. And what happens frequently is you get a person in their sweet spot, in fact just the other day I was talking to one of my coaching clients and he was talking about we’re kind of doing this inventory of the people who are working for him and he was saying, yeah, this woman Susan, that’s not her real name, she is just doing a fantastic job, I’m like, good I said are you pushing her? He’s like, huh, no I’m not. Like, give her strengths assignments you’ve got to push her because it’s basically a law of physics like we need friction we need challenges and to move up that curve which is really steep you need the challenge of something that you quite know how to do and then you’ll be able to innovate. Now a couple of reasons why we don’t do it? Number one is everything is working and tend to ignore people and things when they’re working so that’s one reason we don’t. Another reason we don’t is that when people are doing really well and they in our mind become a high potential we’re actually afraid that they’ll fail and so then we don’t want to give them things that will challenge them but if you’re going to allow people to really be in that sweet spot you need to be willing to give them assignments where there is the real risk of failure. So those are couple of reasons why even though we’re like—of course you would do it, while we sometimes don’t. 

 

Jim Rembach:   And as you’re talking and thinking about all of this I started thinking about the leader themselves we’re talking about frameworks don’t apply and things like that. But however, the person who is responsible for these folks and their development and their growth you have to kind of be a constant agitator yourself? 

 

Whitney Johnson:   Right absolutely. And I think that you need to be constant agitator if you got a person on this sweet spot it’s a matter of, I would say, agitator and just being aware because oftentimes they would be giving you signals but if you’re checking in with them I think this is one of those things that ends up going by the way so it’s like frequently you got really busy and you stop having check in with people. But if you’re willing to do things like, at least once a month seat with them and say, how are you doing? How are you’re people? What’s happening? You’re going to get so much information in you’ll be able to get a sense if you’re willing to be present and be aware that huh everything is working for her, I think I’m going to push her a little bit harder because we want to get more out of her. Now to be clear person A is really busy they’re super competent I’m going to give more to do. There’s this trade off their when I say give them stretch assignments it may also mean that you take something of off their plate it doesn’t just mean keep giving them more which is frequently what happens. The thing that’s interesting and helpful here is to recognize that for that person to sweet spot you give them a stretch assignment you take something off their plate but what might be now very easy for them very commonplace could be a stretch assignment for someone else and so that thing that’s become very boring for them give it to someone else and now you’ve got this ripple on effect they’ve got a stretch assignment but so do someone else. I think an important piece is it’s not just (13:00 inaudible) it’s making choices in order to continue to optimize the learning of every single person on your team.  

 

Jim Rembach:   I think that’s a great point. For me I started thinking about a car and then you don’t want people to be on cruise control you always have to help them make the turns accelerate when they need to maybe slowdown when they need to, and I think that’s very helpful to know. And also for me one of the think that I started doing is I started putting things more visual for me to remember because you talk about you get too busy we all get too busy and when I put things present in my face on the wall or something like that it causes me that pose to say, oh, gosh! Step back make sure that I’m doing the fundamental components make sure that I’m really connecting with the people who I need to be connecting with as well as you said not overloading them cause it’s too darn easy. 

 

Whitney Johnson:   Exactly, those visual reminders were hugely helpful.

 

Jim Rembach:   Definitely for me. I don’t know if it’s a gender thing or not my wife doesn’t need she does it all in her head I’m like I don’t know what’s inside there I got to see it. 

 

Whitney Johnson:   I actually don’t think—I think they might be learning cells but I think we all need visual reminders or certainly check-ins I have this list of questions I ask myself every day, did I do this? Did I try my best to do this? Because otherwise I won’t do that.

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s for sure. Now I do want to cover with this sweet spot disruption items art that you have in here because to me it’s really interesting when I started looking at these and I started thinking about that they really cause people to learn how to achieve which is a very different thing than learning how to compete or do a task. So you talk about time maybe adding a brick wall deadline and moving the target up or changing some priorities money or other resources in other words taking some of those things away and saying, hey, if you didn’t have as much or if you didn’t have this or that what would you do differently? 

 

By the way saying it to them not in sense of, hey, were going to do this because were punishing you, part of this is in the framing, a lot of these is in the framing it’s not like, oh, were taking your budget away therefore you’re not valuable to us anymore which oftentimes is how it comes across it’s, okay, I think you got more in you so I’m going to have this budget for next three months I want you to see what you can do, it doesn’t mean it’s gone away, so there’s a big framing piece here. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That is so true cause otherwise everything—this is one reason why I hate the whole swat analysis type of thing because it becomes a weakness and a threat, right? And everything’s a weakness and a threat, I hate that. 

 

Whitney Johnson:   Yeah, exactly. 

 

Jim Rembach:   So then expertise maybe looking at a particular issue that you’re trying to solve more so a novice or maybe for us a lot of people who are my audience as a customer, right? You can have customer-centric focus. And then by-in which is trying to get those people to learn how to sell their innovative ideas both internally and I won’t even say externally, right? 

 

Whitney Johnson:   Absolutely. Yeah, and I think so often—the buy in thing I think is such an interesting or something that I thought so much about because whenever you’re trying to get someone to buy into your idea whether your selling to them to your customer or getting buy in for an idea internally you were effectively asking that person so everybody is on the learning curve all of us are. You effectively asking that person to jump to a new learning curve and it’s not their learning curve at least not right now, are you trying to find it you work, and so how do you pack a parachute for them so that they feel that it had become their learning curve and they actually wanted them and that whole challenge of buy in we talked about it all the time and most of us are really, really bad at it.

 

Jim Rembach:   I would agree. I was just having this conversation, I think it was yesterday, about what I referred to as convince her strategy, you really have to know your target the people who you’re trying to get to buy in and at the way that they go about their decision making process in order for you to effectively apply the right framework in order to get them to buy in it’s definitely a science that’s within itself. Another thing that I really like in book, because I see, I even see it at the very youngest level still in elementary, middle school and even high school is this issue around failure and then how to respond to failure. I see too often kids getting the opportunity to get a grace or mulligan or a pass on a lot of things so that they don’t experience the failure process. But yet we’ll turn around time failures important you have to fail in order to be able to overcome but we don’t teach them how to respond to failure. I really like the framework that you put together on how to actually doing that because in order for us to take risk, achieve and really experience something that’s going to be different than everyone else they have that breakthrough performance that A team, we have got to respond to failure well. And so you talk about—first of all begin with why the failure happened and then you talked about what was the failure result of is it that the person or the team fail because they’re on the wrong role, we put them on the wrong spot, where there unrealistic expectation and do we need to make some changes to that? And then how quickly can we recover from it? That framework to me was so powerful I think we all really need to learn how to respond to failure and then teach people—you talk being an agitator, hey, you failed now let’s analyze it and go to these steps.`

 

Whitney Johnson:   Exactly, and give people an opportunity too. And I think you allow them to actually make a mistake. And be invested enough in them to analyze how the mistake was made and to go through to those series of questions that you just (19:10)

 

Jim Rembach:   Because to me that’s definitely a growth and a learning process  that’s extremely valuable that will get people to mastery a heck of a lot faster. 

 

Whitney Johnson:   Absolutely, absolutely.

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, a lot of what we’re talking about here is this riddled and filled with all kinds of emotions and we need to focus in order to move forward faster and a lot of times on the show we focus on quotes in order to help us get that focus and that energy. Is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?

 

Whitney Johnson:   Yeah, one that I specially love is a Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rings and jewels are but apologies for gift the only true gift is a portion of thy self.  That quote really is meaningful for me because I think that whether I’m writing, whether I’m talking giving a speech whether I’m coaching whether I’m doing a podcast with you I can give ideas but if I don’t give a portion of myself how I feel and I don’t give my attention to you, it’s funny I’m closing my eyes because I‘m thinking through this and I’m not looking at you, if I don’t give my attention to you then it doesn’t matter if I give you ring it doesn’t matter if I give you jewels I really do believe that the only real gift that any of us have to give the only one that really means is a portion of ourselves and oftentimes that portion of ourselves is that for that moment in time where you become the most important person in the world. That to me is the only real gift that we can give to people. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I love that quote and I also love your elaboration and deep meaning associated with it. Just like you have said a while back sometimes we just get too busy and we forget all of those things but that’s really the difference maker I’m talking about building that A-team it’s giving of self in order to make other greater.

 

Whitney Johnson:   Right, exactly, exactly. And it requires that we feel enough the sense of self there’s this ripple effect so if we’re not feeling that sense of self that we can give to others then we’ve got to figure out what’s happening for us so that we can do it for others. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Most definitely. And so when we start talking about coming to that realization for yourself typically we have to go over a lot of humps in order to be able to get to that point, there’s just a lot of learning opportunity. Is there a time where you’ve gotten over a hump that you can share with us?

 

Whitney Johnson:   Yeah, so this a really interesting question, when I was working on Wall Street I was a star analyst and I was an equity analyst and is picking stocks this and buy this is a sell upgrade downgrade it, and I have had a fantastic year. My metrics were good I was good at picking stocks we written really good research just everything was good. Except, except when I got a feedback from all my peers, the 360 feedback it was really bad I just got back feedback. And so that was first of all a huge punch in the gut and I felt terribly misunderstood, this is probably been 15 years ago now, I felt terribly misunderstood so they got me a coach and I basically said I am going this round I’m going to turn it around and I did the next year when I got the feedback back out of—I don’t know I think 50 or 60 people when they look at the 360 feedback I had the second highest rating of anyone, so that’s good but that’s not the lesson. This is what I think is interesting as I reflect on this question that you just asked me, recently I interviewed from my podcast a fellow by the name of Carl Cast and he’s written a whole book on derailers, what could derail you in your career? And there’s this whole quiz that you can take and there’s five different categories that you can fall into them. And I took the quiz and I was thinking I’m pretty sure I’m going to be like—one of the categories is a whirling durbish and there are a couple of other categories, I don’t remember all of them you can go and checkup the podcast, but one of them I was like, oh, no I’m definitely not that one—I was that one, it was captain fantastic. What is the description of captain fantastic?  Alienates people bruises them with sharp elbows and blind spots. So I think that the real realization for me as I reflect on that experience it’s not that I turn it around, although I think that’s important I think it was—because I think of the time I was kind of going through the motion I’m just going to prove like that brass ring I’m going to do this. I think now for me the lesson is as you think about this moving up the learning curve and this idea of battling our sense of title, entitlement or sense of self or sense of this is ideas growing up their ** minds which by the way it the hardest one. The lesson for me is you have to know who your stakeholders are you have to be able to get along with your stakeholders you have to be able to get buy in from your stakeholders and if can’t do that you’re not going to get a whole lot done. And by the way, you’re not going to be a nice person either but you’re really not going to be able to get very much done. And so for me the big lesson was, how do I battle my own sense of entitlement? We’re all entitled it’s just a matter of how. And how do I figure out who my stakeholders are and how do I figure out how to get buy in from the stakeholders so that I can get things done and that was a big learning opportunity for me and one that has continued to be a learning opportunity as overtime I grow up I’m able to translate and interpret and gain more meaning from that experience. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Thanks for sharing that. As you’re talking I also started thinking about as I’ve gone through getting close to a couple of hundred podcast right now and talking to different folks about the things that they feel are their passion and the course where their careers have taken them I often find this hump story and the things that they share being quite interesting meaning that, okay, you’re on Wall Street you’re a financial analyst  when people think about Wall Street they think about—hey that is the pinnacle you’re already want to be anywhere else, that’s a perception that a lot of people may have. But now you’re in coaching and you’re writing book, so, could it be that the reason that you’re here is because of that experience and the challenge that it had given you and how you found a passion in order to better yourself and now you want to help others do it. 

 

Whitney Johnson:   Yeah, certainly. I certainly, absolutely contributing factor of disability to now be able to coach people and to think about this ideas of how do you build a great team. I think yeah, absolutely any time we look at one of our big, big failures I think almost always if we will let it in that failure are the seeds of some great success and more importantly you need contributions that we can make to those around us. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I think that’s an important think especially we talk about that person who’s reached that mastery is helping them to do that give back, right?

 

Whitney Johnson:   Yeah, absolutely. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, so now you do have a lot of things going on—you’re promoting the book you’re doing a lot of coaching, family, all of those things are important, when you start thinking about goals do you have one goal that you could talk about, what would it be?

 

Whitney Johnson:   Here I’ll show it to you can you see this? This is post now. Wall Street Journal best seller for Build an A Team that’s my goal right now. And so why is that my goal? Because it focuses my energy of getting this book into the hands of those many leaders as possible. Because when you and I know that every single person on your team is a learning machine where you can learn and you can live and you repeat and make it possible for repeated person disruption people are happy and engaged, as I said earlier, and they love working for you they love coming to work and because all of those things are happening you ship more products and so there’s this fortress cyle. That simple goal it focuses my energy how do I sell as many books as possible the goal being Wall Street Journal best seller and so that is my short term goal right now that I think about every day. 

 

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

 

Jim Rembach:     Alright, here we go Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Whitney, 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 a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Whitney Johnson, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Whitney Johnson:   I’m ready for hoedown. 

 

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

 

Whitney Johnson:   How I think about myself whatever I believe myself. I’m doing a ton of work to change how I think because if I can change how I think change what I do I’ll change what I build. My belief is that the fundamental unit of disruption is the individuals, companies don’t disrupt people do. So if I can disrupt the curve version of me I can change my world and maybe the rest of the world just a little bit.   

 

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

 

Whitney Johnson:   I’m going to give you three. One is do not dare not to dare, C.S. Louise and another is I passed the test this coladrial of when we see power wanting it so desperately like The Ring and Lord of the Rings and being able to look at power and not grasp it. And then the third is a little bit more practical it’s Alan Mulally former CEO of Forbes who said, Trust the process put the process in place and then trust it. 

 

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

 

Whitney Johnson:   I’m hungry I want to improve. The brass ring it’s pretty hard wired and so I find that I’m continually nothing. I have moments of happiness and celebration of what I’ve been able to accomplish but I’m still very, very hungry.

 

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

 

Whitney Johnson: I have a great team of people that I work with and the Headspace app. 

 

Jim Rembach:   What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners and it could be from any genre, of course we’re going to put a link to Build an A Team on your show notes page as well.

 

Whitney Johnson:   Yeah, you know that’s so funny I remember once I was doing this question and I ask people, what book had inspired you? And this man said my book, I’m like no, what book? And he’s like, my book, I said, no, you can’t say your book anyway. So, the book that inspired me are two that I think that really are powerful is Grit by Angela Duckworth and Born Rich by Bob Proctor. 

 

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/Whitney Johnson. Okay, Whitney 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 choose one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why? 

 

Whitney Johnson:   Because I’m a disruptor I’m going to give you more than one. The first is get a coach now, now, now, now don’t wait until there’s a problem everybody needs a coach athlete needs a coach you need it.  Second is recognize that everything is a head game. If you can change how you think and feel not just consume information but like really change your habits and your hire wiring that’s going to make all the difference. Because if you change that then you can change how you manage your change and like I said it will make all the difference. And the thing that I would do all over again is I would marry my husband. 

 

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

 

Whitney Johnson:   Yeah, if you want to take the escrow locator see where you are on your learning curve go to whitneyjohnson.com/diagnostic or if you want to download the first chapter of the book you can /ATeam, those are the best ways to get hold of me.

 

Jim Rembach:   Whitney Johnson 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 

 

[/expand]