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143: Josh Seibert: I’m not good at giving up

Josh Seibert Show Notes Page

Josh Seibert was a successful sales professional. He was promoted to a sales manager and all he had to do was teach people to be like him. Josh then proceeded to take a mediocre sales team and turn them into a failing sales team. That’s when he learn his most valuable lesson ever.

Josh was born and raised in the small town of Sharonville Ohio. Typical traditional “Rockwell” style, blue collar family of four with one sister… until his parents added another sister and a set of triplet boys to the family during his teenage years.  Although he had an older sister, Josh was the first-born son in the family which came with high expectations.  Solid values including honor, integrity and a hard work ethic were instilled by his father. Inspiration and a “Can Do” attitude was his mother’s gift to him.

Josh volunteered and served six years in the elite force of the United States Submarine Navy. He will tell you that it was truly an honor and a distinct privilege to have served our country. “The Submarine Force built and instilled in me the highest high levels of courage, commitment, respect during a time when sadly, those of us who were serving weren’t as welcomed by our society as they thankfully are today.  He has always been proud and thankful for the opportunity and for all who have ever served”.

During submarine school in Groton Connecticut, Josh found his “Bride” and even now, after over 40 years of marriage, he still refers to Ann as his bride. Ann and Josh have three daughters and 8 grandchildren…including a set of twins.

After his service in the Submarine Navy, Josh entered the world of sales with Prudential Financial in Charleston SC. After building a successful insurance practice, he entered Management and began to climb the corporate ladder and became the Director of Sales Training for the company. After a 20-year career and years of extensive corporate travel (living on planes and in hotels) and faced with yet another move, in 1999 Josh acquired a Sandler Training franchise and began to build a training & development business in Greensboro NC.

Josh is often heard on local as well as national business/talk radio. He has written numerous articles for business magazines and is a well-known informational, motivational and inspirational key note speaker. And is the author of Winning from Failing.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“In every role, we’re either growing or failing.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“We learn so much more from experiential learning than we do from knowledge transfer.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“Experiential learning that follows knowledge determines whether or not we adopt it.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“There’s a difference between failure and failing.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“We have to shift the paradigm of understanding the value of failing.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“Whatever result we’re looking for, we get there by changing our behavior.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“If we’re protected from failure it doesn’t allow the full circle of the learning path.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“Those that are very good at what they do have a coach.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“Coaching is caught, not taught.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“Many leaders have never been developed in the coaching role.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“Skills are built on the job, not in a training room.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“To own it, you’re going to have to use it effectively on the job.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet

“I’m okay with failing, but I’m not good at giving up.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“A learning culture is so very different from the typical cultures in business.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“The only thing that could hold me back is self.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Josh Seibert was a successful sales professional. He was promoted to a sales manager and all he had to do was teach people to be like him. Josh then proceeded to take a mediocre sales team and turn them into a failing sales team. That’s when he learn his most valuable lesson ever.

Advice for others

Learn the value of failing.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Nothing. The only thing that could hold me back is self.

Best Leadership Advice

Never give up.

Secret to Success

My core values. My honor won’t let me quit.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

My belief.

Recommended Reading

Transforming Leaders The Sandler Way

Winning From Failing

Contacting Josh Seibert

web: http://www.training.sandler.com

email: joshs [at] sandler.com

Phone: 336-884-1438

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/josh-seibert-a06a1a4/  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SandlerSays

Resources and Show Mentions

Developing a Better Place to Work

Increase Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture

Empathy Mapping

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

 

Show Transcript: 

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

143: Josh Seibert: I’m not good at giving up

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.

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

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion, today I’m excited because I actually have the opportunity interview somebody who’s local to me I’ve known him for a long time, actually many, many years ago. I’m just so just so glad that we get to reconnect because he’s talking about something that is critically important for us to be able to do in today’s world to really develop a stronger work-culture environment and really people –centric skill set.

Josh Seibert was born and raised in the small town of Sharonville, Ohio. Typical traditional Rockwell style, blue-collar family of four with one sister until his parents added another sister and a set of triplet boys to the family during his teenage years. Although he had an older sister, Josh was the firstborn son in the family which came with high expectations. Solid values including honor, integrity and a hard work ethic were instilled by his father, inspiration and a can-do attitude was his mother’s gift to him. Josh volunteered and served six years in the elite force of the United States submarine Navy. He will tell you that it was truly an honor and a distinct privilege to have served our country. 

The submarine force built and instill in him the highest levels of courage, commitment, and respect during a time when those that were serving weren’t necessarily welcomed by our society as thankfully they are today. He has always been proud and thankful for the opportunity and for all who have ever served. During submarine school in Groton, Connecticut, Josh found his bride and even now 40 after years of marriage he still refers to Anne as his bride. Anne and Josh have three daughters and eight grandchildren including a set of twins. After his service in the submarine Navy, Josh entered the world of sales with Prudential Financial in Charleston, South Carolina. After building a successful insurance practice he entered management and began to climb the corporate ladder and became the director of sales training for the company. After a 20-year career and years of extensive corporate travel living on planes and in hotels and faced with yet another move in 1999, Josh acquired a Sandler training franchise and began to build a training and development business in Greenville, North Carolina. 

Josh is often heard on local as well as national business talk radio. He has written numerous articles for business magazines and is a well-known informational and motivational inspirational keynote speaker and the author of Winning from Failing. Josh Seibert, are you ready to help us get over the hump 

Josh Seibert:    As best I can, thanks for having me on the show, Jim. 

Jim Rembach:   I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given our 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?

Josh Seibert:    My current passion is in the realm of training and development, leadership development and building a learning culture. I love doing the work. I’ve been doing it for over 30 years now and I can’t see myself doing anything else moving forward.

Jim Rembach:   It’s easy to think from the perspective of Sandler and the work that you do of sales that Sandler selling systems, Sandler selling processes, however, when I start looking at your book Winning from Failing and  I was going through it, it really isn’t just sales–centric or focus it’s much more than that. 

Josh Seibert:    Yes, the focus of the book is how—there’s a lot of how to sell and the selling systems, the techniques, and how to manage sales people and to manage the sales organizations.  There’s systems and processes and techniques that are specific to those roles—the sales role, the manager role, the leader role. The book that I wrote is more about structuring a learning culture such that development can be ongoing and supported and never ever stop. So the book focuses in the passion that I have focuses more about how to build a learning culture and really span it across everything even beyond sales and in every role either we’re growing or we’re failing. In small business, midsize businesses , they struggle and many leaders struggle with how do I get from where I am to where I want to be is this huge gap? How do I get there? And how do I not get back there to that gap again? 

Jim Rembach:   And I think that’s a really good point. As you were talking and I started thinking about what I’ve read and reviewed in your in your book that doesn’t happen overnight. And it often is a situation where you where you have to build in the timeline and expectations and like you said, the systems and the processes in order to develop and get there, you can’t push the process. 

Josh Seibert:    No, you didn’t get there overnight. We have not created or I have not discovered the purple pill that will allow one to get where they want to go overnight to be developed, to grow, to train, to fill in those gaps that are significant overnight. When I do find that little purple pill, I will sell it for a whole lot more than what I charge today.

Jim Rembach:   That reminds me of us saying that my father has always had, it says, when he figures out to put ten pounds of manure in a five-pound bag he knows he’s really done something well and he’s going to make a whole lot of money.

Josh Seibert:    That’s right, well done.

Jim Rembach:   There was something in the book that kind of resonated with me so strongly in that when you start thinking of human behavior and human expectations when it comes to learning and development we’ll say things and like you have in the book, “Hey, can’t we just hold a weekend training event or a single intensive or half-day super intensive or keynote speech that will transform everyone overnight?” But the  fact is that you say that, “Time and experience has shown that the only way that adults learn is by doing and the only way adults get around to doing something at an acceptable level of mastery is by failing trying again it’s just how humans are wired.

Josh Seibert:    Yeah, it is, it’s how we learn it’s how we grow. We learned so much more from experiential learning than we do from knowledge transfer and typically a one-day program on anything on management success, on leadership success, on sales success you picked the topic all of that knowledge transfer is very important in the learning process. It’s what we do with that knowledge that matters, that experiential learning that follows knowledge determines whether or not we adopted as a sustainable behavior moving forward as opposed to another binder on another shelf. We remember the 90/10 rule, 90 days after a training event, we retain about ten percent of what that knowledge transfer is. Unless there is a strategy to apply it in sustainably fail with it find those boundaries that experiential learning on the back end of it which includes the ability to fail in a determined specific quest to fail with.

Jim Rembach:   Someone referred to it as having a safe environment. Because when you  think in today’s world with a competitive aspect of it when you start thinking about dwindling and shrinking margins when you start thinking about people will say that, failure’s not an option, and that’s driven home in our heads over and over again that you just can’t fail but what we’re also doing by having that behavior, because it does come out as a behavior, is that we prevent any innovation, any creative thinking, people are just going to start following the process because it’s safe. 

Josh Seibert:    Right. One day we’ll all be minions as it were if we’re not careful that overprotection that happens Jim. I think it stems from the culture, the generations that moved forward as well. We baby boomers, I’ll speak for myself, protected our children from things that my father never protected me from and allowed me to experience those failures as I grew up in a small town in Ohio I didn’t have that and nor did he want that. I think there’s a difference and there’s a paradigm shift, I think there’s a difference between failure and failing. Here’s what I mean by that, being a failure is a self-esteem issue, it’s a self-esteem it’s a self-image issue is very damaging so being a failure is to me catastrophic. But failing from a control it from a role perspective I can be, what we call identity wise, I can feel very, very  good about who I am as a person and I should in my own eyes and eyes of God I’m perfect. Now am perfect in the roles? No, I have many roles in life, I’m a father, I’m a husband, I’m a son, I’m a trainer, I’m a leader, I do many things in my life and some days I do them very, very well in other days I don’t perform as well. But that is a role it’s failing in a role as opposed to a failure as a person. So first thing we have to shift the paradigm of understanding the value of failing as opposed to defining who is a failure.

Jim Rembach:   I think that’s a very important distinction that we often blur the lines on. One of the things I think, to kind of help really give—let me take a step back and say that one of the things that I really like about Sandler is that it you guys really do a good job of creating visuals and processes and frameworks that make practical sense and are just so easy to follow. One of the things that you shared in the book was called the knowing to owning a type of progression. Almost maturity processor or pathway and it talks about knowledge, application, skills, habits and then results.

Josh Seibert:    Right, you begin with the end in mind, what kind of a result are you looking for? There’s something we’re looking for when we’re about ready to make a change. And whatever that result that we’re looking for we get there by changing our behavior. If we continue to do the same things over and over again expecting a different result we know that’s the definition of insanity. So we know that if we’re going to have a significant impact on long-term results then we have to have a sustainable behavioral change that supports that result. The tough formula is to allow us to take it from knowing what we should do, need to do, want to do and owning the behaviors as it were, it’s muscle memory you just own it. I once heard and play a little bit of golf and I don’t know if you do Jim, I’m not very good at it I’m better at what I do here that I am at golf, but golf is very simple the game itself is very simple execution is the problem but it’s a very simple game. In most sports if you use sports analogies most of them are very simple in theory but execution is where it is and that’s behavioral base. Going from knowledge to that sustainable behavioral change in effect is going from knowing something to owning it. When you own it you don’t think about it you just do it and later you can peel the onion back and think about what you did, what you did right what you could have better those things. But as we pick up the phone and dial it we own that behavior we don’t think about what we have to do and that’s the process.

Jim Rembach:   Thanks for sharing that. When I start looking at this it’s almost like the arc to impact. Meaning that like you were saying earlier when you start thinking about adult learning or learning in general is that, hey we only retain so much but it’s still get its information. Information does not deliver impact nor will it ever when you start thinking about in the workplace and growing an organization or even fending off competition or any of those things that we talked about on a day-to-day life basis. It has to get to the point where we do some behavior modification you have to practice it you have to be willing to fail so that you’re not a failure because in fact if you don’t do that you will become a failure.

Josh Seibert:    Well if we’re protected from failure it doesn’t allow the full circle of the learning path to happen. We celebrate success, those good things happen we tend to engages in endorphin release and we’re happy about those things it’s a right-brain emotional experience is what happens. So oftentimes we truncate the learning from successes because we’re happy and elated and feel good about what just happened. The real learning process happens is balancing that against what it feels like, looks like, and sounds like when we do fail and we balance those two things and then we can take the next step on the learning path. 

Jim Rembach:   One of the things that you share in a book is one of those that I always see people really also confusing and quite frankly just totally messing up big time is you talk about the four roles. In the learning and development type of organization you have to make sure that you know these four roles and you know which one you’re in. Those four roles are the supervisor role, the training role, the mentoring role and the coaching role.

Josh Seibert:    Yes, most leaders of organizations or managers spend a whole lot of time as it were in the supervisor role that one is what’s required by the company of course by the organization that’s what makes it run. It’s the overseer, it’s the supervisors the one who makes certain processes take place, people are accountable measures them implements them those types of things so it’s a supervisor role. As a matter of fact most leaders will spend most managers will spend about 45% or should spend about 45% of the time in that role because that’s a very, very important role but I always relate that role to the other three roles. And then just imagine you’re on a mission to go to the moon there’s NASA they’re down there in Houston that’s the supervisor role. And they’re monitoring and they’re measuring the flight of that rocket that’s going to the moon at each stage each step they’re directing the other elements to move that. Do we turn this burner on? Do we turn that burner on? What do we do next? And how do we engage with that? Or relate those things to the coach, the mentor and the trainer role that we have when we’re running that organization. Sometimes the supervisory role pulls up an opportunity that someone is not performing. Well, if it’s a “can’t perform” that’s different from addressing a “won’t perform.” A “won’t perform” that’s a counseling issue. If someone will not do the behavior and it’s not because they cannot do the behavior then we go to the counseling role. But coaching role, training role and mentoring role all comes from they can’t the inability to. So if we’ve discovered that they’re not performing or someone is not then we have to engage that coaching role that training role and that mentor role. They have to be in a learning environment to where they can gain the knowledge through some form of training, not that the manager or leader has to do it but they have to support that training. 

We got to ask ourselves, if we’re a leader how are we actually supporting it? And in beyond the—“Josh, you need to go to training” or “Jim, I’ve signed you up for some training” that’s supervisory, that’s task assignment but how are we engaged in supporting that training that should be going on? That’s the training responsibility engaging in that developmental role. The mentor and coaching role equally important, does that trainee when they come back that employee when they come back are they seeing that knowledge that they gained or maybe the skill they started to build in that training and development session, are they seeing that behaviorally in the environment that they come back to? Is the culture I’m actually doing what the training provided for them, is it being supported and from mentor standpoint are we doing it? As leaders, are we mentoring the behavior we’re expecting those to perform? I don’t mean do their job. But if we happen to step in and perform that role we’d better be not working out of a different play book that we’ve told them to learn so that’s a mentor role. But the most important of all of these is everybody needs a coach, everybody needs a coach. If you’re a leader and you’re in management your folks need a coach they need someone there to help them “peel the onion back.” We all had coaches throughout our lifetime whether they were physical sports coaches or they were teachers or they were our parents or guardians or those that helped us along the way and those that are very good at what they do they have a coach whether it’s a sports figure or not everybody has a coach. The best sports figures have a coach and that coach isn’t on the field doing it for them but is supporting them so when they come off the field to help them be brief to learn to help that learning process go forward so someone doesn’t get stuck those four roles are crucial in building and creating a learning environment. 

Jim Rembach:   And it seems to me where I find most people making the mistake is really saying that they’re coaching or thinking that they’re coaching but in fact that is not what they’re doing they’re supervising or training but they’re calling it coaching. 

Josh Seibert:    Yes, you’re absolutely right. Personal training is different from coaching. And what I find like you do is oftentimes they fall into training and telling mode. Telling is not coaching, coaching is caught not taught I learned that a long time ago. Coaching is caught it’s not taught so if you find yourself flipping into this is  how you should do it either through mentoring or you’re in training role. But allowing the learning to happen by being there and helping that person “peel the onion back” and discover for themselves the genius and the brilliance of a coach is to allow that discovery to happen. And to become a coach there is a learning and development process that one must go through to become an effective coach or to be able to perform in that coaching role. Many leaders have never been developed and that coaching role. 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a very good point. For me, I would even say to that I have to stop myself when I want to be or need to be that particular coach to where I don’t do the instructions, I don’t do the show how an I’m like, wait a minute, you already have this in you. As a coach I’m supposed to help you see that connection so that you draw it out, let me pull it out of you. 

Josh Seibert:    That’s correct. We’re not looking at films on Mondays we’re in the Sunday game. Now is not the time to train now is the time to coach so the connections can be made so folks can grow and learn from those and begin to connect those dots when we can’t be on the field with them.

Jim Rembach:   That’s a very good point. Now, what we’re talking about here is just loaded with a whole lot of energy and excitement and emotion and one of the things that we look at on the show are quotes to help provide that. Is there a quote that you like that you can share? 

Josh Seibert:    There’s so many quotes out there that I could share with you but the one that strikes me as related to the book and related to allowing for controlled failure. We also know this in controlled failure, and I’ll get to that quote in just a second, but the control failure, you mentioned it before, means not allowing catastrophic failure for or something someone’s learning along the way what we have to go from that knowledge to application in that we have to apply it in a controlled environment such that it’s first, safe enough and allowing them to do it and then in the environment on the job to build skills. Skills are built on the job they’re not built in a training room they’re started there and they’re refined may be there but really to own it you’re going to have to use it effectively on the job. And that’s where we tend to overprotect we don’t want this person to fail so therefore we jump in and rescue them or we don’t put them in a situation where they have the opportunity of failure we protect them from failure. The quote I heard a long time ago was, “No one has ever achieved anything great by playing it safe”. So we think of all the greatness that’s ever happened it wasn’t someone playing it safe and wasn’t allowed for her it was performed by those who embraced failure’s was part of the process so no one’s ever achieved anything great by playing it safe, that’s the quote I’ve always remember. 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a good one and I think we always have to keep that little voice in our head saying, that one when we go to actually step outside of that comfort zone. When you start talking about—you write in a book of course, family, being married as many years as you had been married, the different careers being a part of the ownership group within that Sandler office there and there’s a lot of humps that we have to get over. Is there a time where you’ve had to get over the hump that you can share?

Josh Seibert:    Oh, gosh if you have gone through a lifetime as long as I have there are multiple humps that you can go back and relate to that I had to get over that we had to get over as a family but specifically to this. I would say and I write about this in the book as well, moving from the role of salesperson I was in the United States submarine Navy for a number of years. And as I went through that journey and exited that career and move into the sales career with the Prudential Financial in Charleston, South Carolina I became and learned through many humps learned how and to overcome adversity and succeed and some training, some coaching, some mentoring but tough road to go and as it were back then.  As one word in the world of sales I climbed that corporate ladder and the first rung on that ladder was when you typically in a sales organization when you’re at the top of your game and you’re at the top of the leader board you get offered the brass ring as it were and you are offered, as I was, a manager position because all you got to do and that’s I heard was Josh you’re doing such a wonderful job all you got to do is teach people to be like you and then show them what you do and wow we can make just music out of this. So, I went from being a professional salesperson into the role of an expectation of being a sales manager while the competency difference between the two was astounding and I failed miserably. In the first six months of that of that process I was able to take a mediocre sales team and turn them in to a failing sales team at that point. So to get over that hump and hang with it and figure that out, what was I doing wrong? And to get through that and succeed at that role that was probably the biggest learning curve that I went through and the most valuable hump in my life I’m one of the most viable what I remember. 

Jim Rembach:   So, I can imagine like many others they have had something similar happened to them, however, when they hit that bottom they’re actually shown a career redirection. You’re fortunate.

Josh Seibert:    ell, I would call it fortunate and persistent. I grew up in a time period and my father had the value of honor and he transferred that value to me and it’s one that I hold near and dear to my heart. I made a promise, and I had to and was compelled to uphold that honor that I that I told them that I would do, so that inspired me as well as—I’m not good at giving up, I’m okay with failing but I’m not good at giving up, so I went in to—look, I’m probably not the best at this but I can’t be the worst there’s got to be something I’m missing. During that process, the epiphany as it were, during that process was discovering that I can’t make many me’s. I can’t make them like me they have to be who they are and I have to allow them to develop and grow with their strengths so I had to not do it for them because I couldn’t sell for twelve people, seven to twelve people, and I certainly couldn’t it was clear that over six months the all you got to do Josh wasn’t working so I had to discover what would work and how it would work. What I discovered was there are certain competencies defining any role, there is one in sales, one is in management, one is in leadership, one is in engineer or a doctor there are certain competencies that make that role work. And when you can work on the gap within the strengths and the weaknesses of one’s competencies and start specifically allowing that development to happen, wonderful things happen. So, instead of trying to hire and create many Joshes that couldn’t happen I had to create a model of competencies that would help them become themselves. And they all today are very independent and that was the epiphany to stop trying to make them look like me.

Jim Rembach:   So the interesting part is that it totally aligns with what you do today because you’re teaching organizations how to essentially do the exact same thing that you went through.

Josh Seibert:    That’s what brought me to today.  I think from that moment on through more humps became successful at that particular role and climbed the corporate ladder at Prudential, end up being the director of sales training for that organization out of Newark, New Jersey, if you’ve ever been to New Jersey God love you. And throughout those rungs on the ladder going through I remember that in every rung of the ladder that I went through and then whatever position that I was in beyond that first one I had to approach it from a learning and development perspective because if it’s what carried me through that and made that strong and when I left it didn’t need me which was wonderful. So the next person that took over that role built upon what I left and didn’t have to replace it, I was very proud of that. It worked on every rung of the ladder that determining what is the outcome that we want, look at the end in mind and start building and developing the people to help achieve that and a learning culture it’s so very different from typical cultures in business. 

Jim Rembach:   So, I know you have a lot of things going on, you have the new book, you are continuing to do your work and helping to be the coach, be the mentor, be the person who helps organizations get over their humps, what is one of your goals?

Josh Seibert:    More of philosophical goal at this particular point, we all go through that process in business of growing. When you open your own business like I did in 1999, I found that my first goal was survival. Let’s just survive this business and many are that way and at some point through survival we get to that next level of what I would be or I’ve heard, it’s a sense of stability. We finally aren’t worried about the things of survival it’s just, can I keep it stable instead of this rocky boat and rollercoaster activity? So the pursuit was stability and then some form of getting it to that success that I had defined back at that time and what would be successful for me I would enjoy that success that of achieving that goal that I had mapped out in the business plan and so forth and I’ve done that a number of years. But really my primary goal now is significance, I used that word in that I’m blessed a lot of hard work and we have a very successful business. Certainly that doesn’t mean that I’m on a plateau by any means, we will continue to grow and continue to work with what we do, but significance is the next goal. How can I take what I’ve done and provide it to be some significance beyond the success that we’ve created here and that’s the passion that I’m moving forward, why I wrote the book. What we did is in the book, it’s what we do it’s how we got success. How I cause significance and transfer to the book itself is one step towards that goal of significance.

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. 

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Jim Rembach:   Alright, here we go Fast Leader Legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Josh, 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, Josh Siebert are you ready to hoedown?

Josh Seibert:    Let’s go to hoedown.

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

Josh Seibert:    Nothing. The only thing that could hold me back is myself. 

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

Josh Seibert:    That’s what I heard not received from Winston Churchill, Never give.

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

Josh Seibert:    here’s no secret it’s just my core values and my honor won’t let me quit.

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

Josh Seibert:    Oh, gosh, I guess the best tool that I have in this is tough, but the best tool I have in life is my belief.

Jim Rembach:   What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners, and it could be from any genre and of course we’re going to put a link to Winning from Failing—Build and Lead a Corporate Learning Culture for High Performance.

Josh Seibert:    That’s a great book right there but beyond that book there’s another one from a colleague of mine called, Transforming Leaders the Sandler Way and it’s put out by Dave Arch. Look that book up if you want to be a better leader it’s a great book.

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

Josh Seibert:    Certainly the value of failing. Because back there I at 25 years old I didn’t know the value of all that struggle I was going through maybe that might have helped me pursue it a little bit better.

Jim Rembach:   Josh, it was not under spend time with you today. Can you please share with the Fast Leader legion how they can connect with you? 

Josh Seibert:    Sure. They can find me at training.sandler.com—that’s our website here. You can email me at joshs@ sandler.com. If you tend to want to do that you can contact me locally at 336-84-1438.

Jim Rembach:   Josh Siebert, thank you for sharing you 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. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access the download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help move onward and upward faster. 

END OF AUDIO 

 

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Chris Lah on leadership podcast Fast Leader Show

005: Chris Lah: Focus, delegate, and ignore

Podcast Show Notes with Chris Lah

Are you putting a lot of effort paddling and steering in the wrong direction? Join me as Chris Lah shares his story of a failed technology implementation project where he tried to do too much. Learn how Chris found himself drowning and what he ultimatly did to sail forward. Learn how Chris found clarity about his mistake six months later and how you can learn from him to prevent missing that important pitch.

Chris is currently the Senior Director of Revenue Cycle Customer Service at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He began his career at the hospital in 1983 as a Financial Counselor while he was finishing his undergraduate degree. In 1994, he left the hospital and managed the business operations and call center for the Mayfield Clinic. In the summer of 1998, he was recruited to lead the project management office for Anthem (now Wellpoint). He returned to CCHMC in 2000 to help centralize customer service operations. His service teams have achieved J. D. Power & Associates certification 6 years in a row and have won national team awards for excellence on three different occasions.

Chris has his undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati and is currently completing his MBA at Xavier University in Ohio. He is strongly committed to helping with Children’s Hospital related charities and has been a fund raiser for the Catholic Inner-City Schools Education (CISE) as well. In his spare time, he is a Program Director for TEDx Cincinnati.

Chris currently lives in the suburbs of Cincinnati with his two sons, Evan and Joe. He is most proud of his 2 year old grandson Jack and swears he’s the cutest kid on the planet!

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Check out @ChrisLah1 getting over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Good captains steer in the current, they don’t try to paddle against it.” –Gandhi Click to Tweet

“Don’t get in the middle of a whirlpool and find yourself trying to steer against it.” -Chris Lah Click to Tweet

“Every lemon you throw out there hopefully you can find a way to make lemonade out of it.” -Chris Lah Click to Tweet

“Focus, delegate, and most importantly ignore the things you need to ignore.” -Chris Lah Click to Tweet

“The embarrassing thing about failure is I wish I had the epiphany while failing.” -Chris Lah Click to Tweet

“Some stuff just doesn’t need to be acted on.” -Chris Lah Click to Tweet

“If I had just stepped back and got myself out of that churn I might have had an epiphany.” -Chris Lah Click to Tweet

“You can’t live your leadership life looking in the rear view mirror.” -Chris Lah Click to Tweet

“You need to have a balance outside of your work.” -Chris Lah Click to Tweet

“Exhaustion is the biggest way to repeat mistakes or make major mistakes.” -Chris Lah Click to Tweet

“You need to be fit as a fiddle when you go in everyday to lead.” -Chris Lah Click to Tweet

“They need you at your best.” -Chris Lah Click to Tweet

“My worst decisions were made when I was sleep deprived.” -Chris Lah Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Chris was the lead of a radiology information systems implementation project. By his definition and his bosses’ definition the outcome of the installation project failed. Chris unfortunately was unable to focus, delegate and ignore the things he needed to ignore to properly steer the project. Listen to the show to find out how Chris learned about how his very own leadership led to the failure and what he needed to do in the future to prevent it from happening again.

Leadership Epiphany

Some things just don’t need to be acted on.

Best Leadership Advice Received

You need to not complicate the simple.

Secret to Success

Family balance.  My grandson gives me inspiration every day.

Recommended Reading

Chris mentioned a book still being written by Tom Chi, Google X co-founder, on rapid prototyping. See Tom’s Ted Ed talk: http://youtu.be/d5_h1VuwD6g

More Resources

Brain Writing Tool – A tool used to help separate divergent and convergent thinking in the innovation process. This tool is used by small and medium sized groups to move the creative thinking process in a more structured and expedited manner while improving collaborative idea development.

Show Transcript: 

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005: Chris Lah: Focus, delegate, and ignore

 

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 intelligent practitioner, Jim Rembach.

Jim Rembach:     Thanks Kimberly. Okay Fast Leader legion. I’m so excited to get the chance to speak and meet with the guest that I have to introduce to you today. Chris Lah been a long-time friend somebody who I have looked up to. He is just a wealth of knowledge and one of those people that always finds that shining light in a sea of darkness. Chris Lah, are you ready to help us over the hump?

 

Chris Lah:    Looking forward to it Jim. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Awesome. Chris I’ve actually given our listeners a brief introduction, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you better?

 

Chris Lah:     I had to laugh at that cause I am what you consider a died in the wall Aquarius by definition. We are obsessed with making people happy and I try to live up to that title.

 

Jim Rembach:     You know, I didn’t know that we even shared that. I’m an Aquarian as well, although I can say that you’re probably more of a master at doing what you just said than I am, and you know what, it’s true. You execute on that and everybody recognizes it. But you know even behind that piece of trying to make people happy and somebody who I feel is an excellent leader. When people like us who look for inspiration, who try to help others, who try make people feel better about themselves and create that better environment oftentimes I linked to leadership quotes. Leadership quotes are one of those things that to me, trips or trigger a lot and provide some inspiration. Now do you have a leadership quote that guide you, helps you and that you think is one of your favorites?  Can you please share with us?

 

Chris Lah:     Thanks for asking that Jim. I’m probably going not to Gandhi complete justice on this, I’m going to paraphrase him, but it had to do with the [inaudible 2:23] about what a good captain does, typical Gandhi, it going to be somewhere between allegory and a metaphor. But good captains steering the currents they don’t try to paddle against it. So there’s a lot of good leadership quotes that are out there. For some reason the one with Gandhi just for me it applies to most situations that I need to step back, I need to take a look at a project and issue whatever you’re steering in to. There’s a lot like a current that your better versed thinking of how to anticipate and try to project what’s going to happen and don’t get in the middle whirlpool and find yourself trying to steer against it.

 

And I do use this, not so much that read the quote out loud but I always think about it in the back of my head when there’s some type of a problem or some type of project, there doesn’t even have to be a problem, it can be a project that you’re trying to anticipate what you’re going to be up against I fall back on that one more frequently than I do anything else. 

 

Jim Rembach:      Oh, that’s a great quote and that’s also great mindset. I oftentimes talk to people about just one-on-one interactions with somebody even if it’s a sale situation or customer service situation,  is to try to find a way to get alongside the person instead of trying to hit them head on. Oftentimes we have just things that we do habitually, like I say, when you say yes but, when you’re responding to somebody that’s exactly what you’re doing, your butting heads. So you have to try to find that path that allows you to swim with the current swim with them so that you both have forward momentum. I love that quote, thanks for sharing that with us. You talked about how you apply that, how would you say that you weave that into you—you talked about the day-to-day—can you give us really a little bit more of a specific example where you’ve used that quote, apply the quote?

 

Chris Lah:     So many times you draw on failure rather than success. [Laugh] But I’m a big proponent that for the old—every lemon you throw out there hopefully you can find a way to make lemonade out of it. But on a personal story and inside my career I do draw on an important failure where I didn’t apply my own credo. I didn’t even know Gandhi’s quote back then that’s what I think this one story I’m going to tell you probably actually help prove it. 

 

It was back when I was early in my management career in a position that was half technical and half customer service, and I guess maybe Yogi Bear which has play half something else at the same time, but I was in the radiology information system implementation and it’s really one information systems were relatively new so we’re going back in to the early 90’s on this. And retrospectively, I look at a failure on the outcome of the installation of that project, and it was a failure not by only my definition but I think by at my bosses and maybe even my staff. Retrospectively, I look on that the communication, the middle ground, the relationship with people, the current that I in not realizing them, I didn’t find that middle ground between my bosses, my staff and my customers because I wasn’t acknowledging, not anticipating what I was in the middle of, it led to the failure to the actual project and that I retrospectively was not able to focus, delegate and most importantly ignore the things that I needed to ignore to be able to better steer.

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s very profound when you start talking about things that you should ignore. A lot of times we try to look at every single thing instead of being aware that we need to ignore certain things, that’s pretty important note that you point out. So getting over the hump of what you’re talking about, can you give us a little bit of a specific example on when that epiphany occurred for you and knowing that you needed to do just that—ignore certain things?

 

Chris Lah:     Well the embarrassing thing about failure is just I wish I would’ve had the epiphany while I was going through the failure, I probably could’ve prevented it. But it was about six months afterwards, oddly enough—I’m a baseball fan—and so many good things I think sometimes come out of baseball for examples that you could use—but am a big Reds fan—and I remember being frustrated a Red’s game and they were in the losing streak and I was watching their hitters get up to the plate and they were swinging at the first pitch over and over and over again and not having what I thought was, “My God, you got to have an strategy when you go up to the plate you just can’t get hack at the first pitch you’re out over and over and over again”. And then I thought, “Oh, this is what I was doing, I was jumping in to this situations” the subsets to the project that I was working on and I wasn’t being methodical and that was something like a Gandhi approach on it. I was getting up there and I was jumping on the first thing trying to answer it, trying to satisfy everybody and I was going to the churn and burn of it not realizing that some of the stuff it just didn’t need to be jumped on it didn’t need action I was hacking at the first pitch over and over again.

 

It was my epiphany I was sitting up there in the cheap seats at a Reds game getting frustrated realizing that shoot, I thought I’ll go down there and grab in these guys going, let me tell you about my real experience maybe you guys need to take a couple of pitches before you swing, and that was my epiphany. 

 

Jim Rembach:     It’s amazing that oftentimes things are totally unrelated to the hump that were trying to get over permits us some insight into getting over it. When you start thinking about we thing…We all can whiff, right? Whiff and miss.

 

Chis Lah:     It is true that really it’s the unrelated things a lot of times they cause you to have the epiphany. When you’re so caught up in the moment you’d be using that extreme example you start drowning in it. And maybe it’s when you can look over your shoulder, you’re out of that moment and it’s something totally unrelated that helps you connect some of the basic things that you know all these things you learn in kindergarten, you learn in third-grader, you learn from your parents and everything, you  start draw or baseball, in my case, you start drawing together and say, ‘should have I just step back and gotten myself out of that churn, I think I would’ve seen it a little bit more clearly and maybe I would have had epiphany before that project failed but that’s the wisdom that goes with it. I haven’t had a failure like that since I’m happy to report.

 

Jim Rembach:    Thank you for sharing that with us. Now if you were to give one specific piece of advice to our listeners to help them get over the hump and regards that story, what would it be?

 

Chris Lah:   That’s a really good question Jim because it’s hard to boil things down, I think, into one piece of advice that applies to all situations. But I learned a lot of it does have to do with the approach, where you see like a rapid coming up ahead or whatever. You need to try to recognize that. You can’t keep on with using another metaphor. You can’t live your leadership life looking in the rear view mirror, you’ve got a look ahead and you’ve got to coordinate all the signals and the best way to do it is you need to have a balance outside of your work. You need to have that balance. You need to be well rested. You need to understand your own personal signals. And for me, exhaustion is the biggest way to repeat mistakes or to make major mistakes. You need to be fit as a fiddle when you go in every day to lead. Your staff deserves that most importantly, your customers deserve that they need you at your best.

I think a lot of that has to do with being balanced outside of work and being well rested going into work. It sounds really corny but a lot of my worst decisions were made when I was sleep depth or I was like going back, I was not ignoring—there were sweating, the small stuff and it was taking away from the energy I needed to make my big decisions. And I think people have to be really cognizant of that when they’re going in to meetings. It’s not being prepared by looking at pieces of paperwork it’s being mentally prepared by being rested and having the energy to be able to—you decipher the signals that you need to be up to decipher—you can’t do that when you’re worn out you just can’t do it. 

 

 Jim Rembach:     Yeah, I think that’s great advice and we do hear more and more that now where the science are coming out and proving the point that is true, from what you’ve just said. It affects your IQ when you are fatigued.  And for us at the Fast Leader Show we’re trying to redefine leadership. At a minimum we lead ourselves and so even when we’re fatigue we can’t lead ourselves very well. It doesn’t matter if you are working in an organization or a nonprofit you’re part of, your own business and you’re an entrepreneur or even a domestic professional, we all have to lead. We lead self, we lead teams, we lead groups, we lead projects and we lead interactions with vendors—we all lead. And we all have to pay attention to how well we do cause it going to affect the result. 

 

So Chris, tell us a little bit about what you currently do and the passion that you have for that?

 

Chris Lah:     For the past 15 years I’ve been in the role where I’m leading the nonclinical aspects of customer service at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, which is recognized as a top three hospital, really not only in the United States I think in the world, it’s a very, very important place.  And the nonclinical aspects of customer service are so important because they can unfortunately disintegrate from the overall patient experience that were trying to put on the table here for our patients and families. So the role that I have is to make sure that none of those—we call the revenue cycle processes—take away from what we hope ends up being a very satisfying clinical experience. 

 

It’s something that we built, it’s not just me, and we build it with quite a few people and senior management over the past 15 years. I think we’ve taken it from being unrewarding experience and department to work in that we weren’t actually helping families to being a little bit, using the buzzword, were proactive a little bit better about that anticipation here as well to try to actually help her families out. So, it’s important that we’ve grown from about 17 people to 48, as we focusing and on improving that experience. I’m happy to report that I think we’re doing pretty well. We were J.D. Power, a certified seven years in a row, for customer service excellence, but it is more than a trophy and a certification. A lot of our people are very passionate about wanting to help families so we change the mindset over here that it’s not just that reactive model. We got some people that are wanting to help people from the minute they pick up the phone.

 

Jim Rembach:   Thank you for sharing that and for the work you guys are doing and the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. 

Alright, here we go Fast Leader listeners it is time for, Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Chris, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insight fast. I’m going to ask you several questions and you goal is to give us a robust yet rapid response that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Chris are you ready to hoedown?

 

Chris Lah:       I’m ready to hoedown. Put me on the hoedown hot seat. 

 

Jim Rembach:      Alright, here we go. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader?

 

Chris Lah:     I still find using that analogy I gave you before. Sometimes I still find myself swinging at that first pitch instead of taking a deep breath and waiting for maybe a few other pitches to come to me. 

 

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

 

Chris Lah:   Oddly enough from an economics teacher, who I think had a good 360 on me. After only teaching me for a few classes he pulled me aside and said, “You need  to not complicate the simple” I’ve remembered that one almost as much that Gandhi quote that I gave you before.

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a pretty good one. What do you feel is one of your best resources that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Chris Lah:    I would say the family balance. Specifically what I found is—I have a grandson and I look to him and he gives me inspiration every day and I take that right into my leadership role. I think of him in the background and it helps me out. 

 

Jim Rembach: Awesome. What would be one book you would recommend to our listeners? 

 

Chris Lah:   That’s such a tough question because there’s so many good books out there. I think the best book out there is actually being written right now, I’m aware of it being written. I talk with the gentlemen by the name of Tom Chi, he was part of the Google secret lab, the guys who develop the car the drives itself, the Google glasses. He’s a proponent of what they call advanced prototyping using the process of writing a book that’s going to have leadership elements in it, I can’t wait to read it. It hasn’t even been written yet but I know he’s working on it and I know it’s going to be great. 

 

Jim Rembach:    We’ll see if we can try a link to that when it becomes available and thanks for sharing that we’ll lookout for Tom’s work. So Fast Leader listeners, you can find links to other information that’s associated with the things that Chris shared with us as well as quotes to Twit on fastleader.net/Chrislah. Okay, Chris, my last Hump Day Hoedown question for you. 

 

Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and you were 25 years old again, you are supposed to begin a new job as a manager of a team of people that is underperforming and disengaged, but you’re lucky you’ve retained all of the wisdom and skill that you currently have. Now your task is to turn this team around. You get up, get ready, you head out to work, what you do now?

 

Chris Lah:    Deep breath on that one. The knowledge that I have now taking back to 25 years old again is for me to get my staff more directly involved with my customers, focus groups, surveys, feedback, engagement. If I had flaws when I was 25 the first time, I wanted to do things textbook, I want to follow my gut, I should’ve followed my customers. I immediately get their feedback, I get everything that they need, everything that they’re feeling, everything in the 360 and I incorporate that into the goals of my team especially if they’re underperforming, I think that it would at the very least help, it would help get them reengaged.

 

Jim Rembach:   Good advice. I think we can all use connect with your customers. You know what your customer? To be a lot of different people, who you’re serving, who you’re trying to help. So, Chris Lah, it was an honor to spend time with you today, please share with Fast Leader listeners how they can connect with you?

 

Chris Lah:    I try to make myself as accessible as possible. I will be happy to share my e-mail address, my work e-mail, is the best way to get a hold of me. So they can get a hold of me the e-mail at chris.lah@cchmc.org, my direct office phone, I never turn down a good phone call with a good question, its 513-636-8904.

 

Jim Rembach:  Chris 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 onwards and upward faster.

 

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