Glenn Elliott Show Notes Page
Glenn Elliott was trying to grow his company by building a sales team. He had six false starts, received tons of advice and counsel, hired a guru that nearly bankrupted him just to find out that the answers he was seeking could be found by falling flat on his face.
Glenn was born in the North of England in the UK and has spent the last 25 years living in London.
At school he was lucky to meet a Physics teacher who taught business enterprise in the lunch break and that led him to run a number of businesses whilst a young teenager, setting the seeds for his later career.
He left school and studied computer science at university becoming a programmer at the phone company. A 10-year career there saw him move into project management – leading teams of people and that’s where he started learn how big companies disengage their people and also what environment people need to be in to do their best work.
He dropped out of an MBA after just one year finding it too theoretical and leaning too much on “how to be a good corporate manager” rather than how to start a business. Then he jumped ship from the corporate to start a series of businesses. His fourth attempt was marginally successful – a design and marketing agency – and that kept him occupied for 8 years whilst learning more about how to motivate, engage and inspire the people around him.
But it was his fifth business that really made a mark – Reward Gateway, an HR technology business with revenues of over $1bn that counts everyone from McDonalds, IBM, KPMG and many others as clients. He led that business as CEO for 11.5 years growing it to 2,000 clients and 400 staff across 9 countries before stepping down last summer to a new non-executive role as Founder. He has sold Reward Gateway twice to Private Equity investors and remains the company’s largest non-institutional shareholder.
Glenn is the author of Build It: The Rebel Playbook for World-Class Employee Engagement and he’s most proud of the environment he created at work and the culture that made Reward Gateway successful. His Glassdoor CEO approval rating was 99% and the company ranks on the Great Places to Work to list and most recently was ranked the 13th Best Place to Work for Women in the UK.
Glenn lives in London, UK with his husband, Kristian, and a daschund called Wesley.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
Listen to @glennelliott to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet
“If you want to do your best work, you can’t do that from a position of exhaustion and burnout.” – Click to Tweet
“If I want to be the best leader I can, I have to prioritize my own mental and physical health.” – Click to Tweet
“Business performs as a marathon, not a race.” – Click to Tweet
“In every job there is a recognition culture.” – Click to Tweet
“In every job there is a learning culture.” – Click to Tweet
“It’s difficult to imagine how someone who doesn’t trust anybody at work is going to be described as an engaged employee.” – Click to Tweet
“I haven’t found any company worldwide that has made significant progress with employee engagement without tackling their culture of open and honest communication first.” – Click to Tweet
“If you want to improve employee engagement in your culture you need to fundamentally look at how you treat people.” – Click to Tweet
“Some managers and leaders don’t understand why they need to say thank you and be appreciative – and they need to be trained because they’re wrong.” – Click to Tweet
“When you’re doing employee recognition, it’s about how you make someone feel, it’s not about the gift.” – Click to Tweet
“So many recognition programs are ruined by the money.” – Click to Tweet
“Immerse yourself in a lot of different viewpoints.” – Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
Glenn Elliott was trying to grow his company by building a sales team. He had six false starts, received tons of advice and counsel, hired a guru that nearly bankrupted him just to find out that the answers he was seeking could be found by falling flat on his face.
Advice for others
Build tolerance for people that don’t think the same as you.
Holding him back from being an even better leader
Being more comfortable with being vulnerable.
Best Leadership Advice
Be more vulnerable with your people.
Secret to Success
Work hard, counsel widely and then make your own decision. Decide yourself what to do.
Best tools in business or life
Build It: The Rebel Playbook for World-Class Employee Engagement
Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
Contacting Glenn Elliott
Resources and Show Mentions
Show Transcript:Click to access edited transcript
195: Glenn Elliott: Get on with it and stay resilient
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.
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Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader legion. Today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who has developed an incredible system and framework a great visual and great depth into understanding how to create a better engaged workforce. Glenn Elliott, was born in the North of England in the UK and has spent the last years living in London. At school, he was lucky to meet a physics teacher who taught business enterprise in the lunch break and that led him to run a number of businesses about the young teenager. Setting the seeds for his later career, he left school and studied computer science at University and became a programmer at the phone company. A ten year career there saw him move into project management leading teams of people that’s where he started to learn how big companies disengage their people and also what environment people needed to be in order to do their best work. He dropped out of an MBA program after just one year finding it too theoretical and leaning too much on how to be a good corporate manager rather than how to start a business. Then he jumped ship from the corporate to start a series of businesses.
His fourth attempt was marginally successful. It was a design and marketing agency and that kept him occupied for eight years while learning more about how to motivate, engage and inspire the people around him. But it was his fifth business that really made a mark, Reward Gateway, an HR technology business with revenues of over a billion dollars that counts everyone from McDonald’s, IBM, KPMG and many others as clients. He led that business as CEO for eleven and a half years growing it to two thousand clients and four hundred staff across nine countries before stepping down last summer to a new non-executive role as founder. He has sold Reward Gateway twice to private equity investors and remains the company’s largest non-institutional shareholder. He’s most proud though of the environment he created at work and the culture that made Reward Gateway successful. His Glassdoor CEO Approval rating was ninety nine percent and the company ranks on the great places to work list and most recently was ranked the thirteenth best place to work for women in the UK. Glen lives in London, UK with his husband Christian and a dachshund called Wesley. Glen Elliott are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Glenn Elliott: Yeah of course, I am Jim. Thanks for having me on the show.
Jim Rembach: I’m glad you’re here. Now 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?
Glenn Elliott: Well, my current non-work passion is health and fitness. So, after eleven years in—why is a tough job a CEO? Twenty years of coming before that to I’m having a real investment in myself. So, I’m training every day and reaching really well and in best shape of being in my life, So, that’s my current kind of non-work passion definitely.
Jim Rembach: You bring up a really interesting point about that whole potential burnout at work thing and I see a lot of folks really dealing with that, and so well, we’ll get into the engagement component and the things that you have in a book called “Build It: The Rebel Playbook for World Class Employee Engagement, how much did you find, since you’re talking about that being your passion, that whole physical wellness was a contributing factor to the whole engagement aspects for your organization?
Glenn Elliott: It’s interesting, if you want to do your best to work you can’t do that from a position of exhaustion and burnout. I learned that from Arianna Huffington I was fortunate enough to see her speak at the HubSpot inbound conference and I think it was 2013 in Boston where she was just kind of launching her book Thrive and it was a keynote presentation that have left a real mark on me. In fact, I have a half-written blog article called “Arianna Huffington Saved My Life“. It was interesting the time she did that I was thirteen it took five years ago I’ve been CEO-ing for seven years in this current business and I always put the business first I put the my people first then I came pretty much last. And I was familiar with the language of work-life balance and I was thinking I was just choosing to focus on work. In Arianna’s talk what she said is it’s not about work-life balance it’s about integration and what she said is the key job of a leader is to kind of see what’s coming what’s ahead be in touch with the side guys and know what’s coming around the corner that your other staff can’t see and you can’t do that from a position of being exhausted and burnt out.
So the kind of light bulb that I got from Arianna was if I want to be the best leader I can and if I want the company to be as successful as it possibly could I have to prioritize my own mental and physical health in order to do that. Arianna Huffington talk in 2013 marked a real change in how I approached my health so I started prioritizing the gym every day. Right back then, I submitted part of my thing I decided to not be ashamed of it. I would say no to board meetings if they clash with the gym rather than canceling the gym because of the board meeting because you could put the board meeting at different time of the day. So I made the gym an immovable part of my day and I found that combined with a little bit better sleep really made a significant difference in how I was able to perform at work.
Jim Rembach: I think you really bring up some interesting points. And I was actually having a conversation the other day with an administrator of a school and we were talking about setting a tone being able to have boundaries and being able to set a vision and say, okay, this may have been what we’ve done for the past thirty years however, this is who we are and this is who were going to strive to become and this is the path that we need to take in order to be able to get there and immediately, he came back to me with a defense mode or defense mechanism which was about, well gosh, we may upset some people and I’m like, if you always take that position of defense you’re never going to fall forward and move forward.
Glenn Elliott: Yeah it’s true. I never set out of my life to upset anybody, however, you can’t please everyone all the time. One of the things I’ve learned most about business in the last 20 years is business performance is a marathon not a race. And I think there’s a lot of language around business about, they kind of like bravado and about kind of like this kind of broad approach to business about running through walls like charging as fast as you can and taking all prisoners all that kind of Travis Kalanick kind of rubbish which I just don’t buy into. I think success in business is about long-term sustainable performance across a large number of people, it’s a marathon not a race. I don’t believe that the company’s best output—in my business the (7:54 inaudible) of a curse when all four hundred people have exhausted themselves by Thursday and they have nothing left to give on Friday, so I (8:01 inaudible) by that.
Jim Rembach: For me when you say that I started thinking about how a lot of people talk about give a hundred and ten percent, I’m like—there’s only a hundred.
Glenn Elliott: It’s kind of like masculine thumping language and stuff and it sounds cool for a second but it’s exclusive for a story there’s a whole bunch of people don’t feel comfortable with it so you lose that talent they lose their best output too and I just don’t think it’s the best way to work.
Jim Rembach: I guess really what we’re talking about here does come into the part of the engagement bridge. When we’re starting to talk about one of the underpinnings. The engagement bridge—you talk about connecting elements and beams and then you talk about underpinning elements and the rocks the things that really have to be the stability components that you can build your bridge upon. And you have ten that are part of the engagement bridge but one of the underpinning elements is well-being and we were kind of talking about well-being.
Glenn Elliott: Absolutely.
Jim Rembach: And then the other two underpinnings that you have are pay and benefits and workplace. So let’s get a little bit of clarity around underpinnings, what do you really mean by that?
Glenn Elliott: The bridge is a ten element model there are ten things on it and it’s not designed as a kind of a ten point recipe—do these ten things and bingo you’ll have employee engagement, if only life was that simple it would be lovely, but it’s not it’s a lens to look at your organization through to look at the relationship you have with your people and make your own judgment decision about where you need to do some work things need to change. So, these ten elements if you look at the bridge they run from side to side but there’s three of them which don’t, they kind of say, as anchors at the bottom and they don’t cross across. That’s because I wanted to make the specific point that you cannot engage your people with those elements by themselves. It’s a mistake which has been purported by my industry actually for quite a long time. A big part of the HR tech industry is the employee benefits industry. Over in the US it’s a huge industry largely dominated by healthcare. And I’ve been through a million campus and presentations where people would say, yeah, you can engage your staff just do this just give them some better benefits and better communication then magically they will become engaged. Of course, they don’t. Engagement is about understanding the direction and the strategy of the organization the mission of the organization and buy in to it and thinking if that’s worthwhile. It’s about understanding how your role affects the success of that mission and it’s about you feeling really connected and good towards the organization and passionately wanting the organization to succeed. And therefore, you’re willing to put yourself out put the organization’s needs ahead of your own sometimes to make that happen, none of those things are affected by your paying benefits.
They’re affected by things like leadership, by management culture, corporate values, by honest and transparent communication, by recognition, by job design, by learning development environment they are the things that really create engagement. But if you have a complete absence of underpinning elements you have a complete absence of paying benefits works best in well-being it can be really difficult to build that bridge on top. If your entire workforce is stressed out and is barely coping, if they are unhappy with pay which interestingly everyone thinks people are unhappy with pay because they’re not being paid enough and that is sometimes true and that changes at different times of your life constitute your needs to change, but actually the biggest issue I see with pay is about fairness about people feeling they are fairly paid compared to others that they see around them that they can compare themselves to and it’s something which companies are quite bad at, about paying fairly. So, that’s the difference between the underpinning elements and the elements that run across the top.
Jim Rembach: I think to me when you start thinking about these elements that run across the top I think you kind of hit the point is that it really gets into the particular elements that will amplify some of these things that were seeing as underpinnings, right? And I would dare to say, you probably want to include as many of them as you possibly can. You say that it’s not a checklist or things like that but I would dare to say that you really need to focus in on including every element single of this elements.
Glenn Elliott: All the elements exist in every job. In every job there is a recognition culture the answer might be I never get thanked for anything that’s what we get from our people, in every job there is a learning culture which might be—I’m not developing I’m going nowhere. These things exist it’s whether or not you choose to prioritize and do something positive with them this year or next year or you’re going to leave it to later that depends on the organization. You get a context where you’re at what you’ve got control of what you pay for can make a difference and that’s what’s really important. As I said it’s not a ten point checklist—start here go there, the slight exception to that is open and honest communication which is the longest element. If any of the listeners gets to see the bridge—just Google it—you’ll see that the longest element is across the middle, open and honest communication. The reason that’s kind of important is it’s so closely linked with employee trusts. There’s some really great data from Edelman the New York-based research agency, they’ve been studying trust in the workplace for nearly three decades, and what they find is that about half of people don’t trust their CEO about half don’t trust their boss and about half don’t trust their colleagues. It’s difficult to imagine how someone who didn’t trust anybody at work it’s going to end up being described as an engaged employee bringing their whole selves to work and doing everything they can to make company successful. I haven’t really found any company worldwide that has made significant progress in employee engagement without tackling their culture and have opened honest communication first.
Jim Rembach: Yeah, I think you bring up an excellent point about that trust piece. I do a lot of work with frontline leaders and contact center environments and there’s a statistic from a report that came out that said only thirty three percent of frontline employees actually believed that their frontline supervisor is effective so that goes back into that trust component thing it’s actually less than the half that you’re talking about. And so when you start thinking about that frontline person who’s really the one who’s impacting what happens in your company because they’re directly interacting with the customer that’s huge that’s a huge impact.
Glenn Elliott: That’s absolutely.
Jim Rembach: Okay, so the connecting elements are, like you had mentioned, the open and honest communication, purpose, mission and values, leadership, management, job design, learning and recognition and I love what you had said is that people may say well, we don’t have a recognition programs, it’s like, yes you do called nothing.
Glenn Elliott: Yeah absolutely. It was fascinating about recognition actually it is one of the areas where the most money is spent. In the States, over in the U.S., American employers spend 48 billion dollars per year it’s two percent of the American payroll, 48 billion dollars on employee recognition. However, when you interview employees 87 percent of them don’t believe there was any recognition at work and their figures from person that purchase and it’s because the majority of money is being spent on ten year recognition so long service awards, this was the oldest products in the industry the oldest form of employee recognition, and the problem is it’s completely ineffective. It’s been running for years many, many companies feel that they can’t withdraw it because they were either someone approaching their 25th anniversary they will be disappointed that they don’t get the—whatever it is. But it’s complete waste of money because for a start our young Millennials and generation following them said on staying in jobs long enough to get anywhere near the employee award anyway. But if you think about their completely indiscriminate awards regardless of your performance, regardless of how you live our values, regardless of what you do for your customer if you just sit still for five years and avoid getting fired and don’t leave we’ll give you 50 dollars and a gift certificate so it doesn’t do anything to reinforce values or reinforce what you’re trying to do. My co-host Deborah Corrie, her analogy is like, your husband doesn’t tell you that he loves you apart from every five years where he says, I love you darling but just because you haven’t left me yet.
Jim Rembach: I think you bring up a really valid point. A lot of times people are saying gosh, I wish they would just leave. I think it’s really important for us to point out here because while you were founding and still have now had the founding non-working title of the company Reward Gateway, I had Susan Fowler, with Blanchard company for many years and she’s the author of the book called, Why Motivating people Doesn’t Work with us and she was actually episode 72 on the Fast Leader Show, she talks about a lot of these types of HR solutions HR tech that focused in on rewards and all that other stuff she talks about it as junk food. And I would dare to say that after going through and looking at your book and looking at Reward Gateway and the work that you’re doing there is that to me I see almost any type of tool could be used for a bad also it could be used as a potential substitute. Meaning that, okay, if I’m an organization I’m saying, well, open and honest communication purpose leadership—ahh let’s just give them some stuff and let’s use a company like Reward Gateway and to me I think that’s what may turn it into junk food.
Glenn Elliott: I completely agree since we talked about this a lot at work. Fundamentally, if you want to improve employee engagement your culture you need to fundamentally look at how you treat people. That’s hard—it’s actually really easy and it’s also very cheap you’re normally changing policy rather than buying something. But people find it hard because of organizational inertia. What they find it easier to do is to buy a tech products and kind of stick it on the side and think will that do the job? And of course it won’t. My company sell all sorts of employee recognition products and that’s lovely and a great tools if you want to use them but I always say to people if you want to start an employee recognition you can start this afternoon you can go to the card store buy a box of thank you cards and some stamps get HR to give you access to people’s home addresses and start thinking about who am I grateful here in this organization? They might have not done something done something awesome yesterday. Who do I think—I’m going to make sure they know how valued they are and that they’re seen and that they’re visible and I was going to write them a little note saying, hey, John I just wouldn’t let what you do for us is really important and I see you and I’m really grateful for it, best wishes Glenn. Stick it in the mail, that’s it. You will change that person’s week they’ll make their month they will keep that card for the rest of their career and it’s going to cost you the cost of a stamp. It’s an attitude I think we see recognition programs fail all the time because people buy the tech but they don’t invest the time in talking to managers or the exec team in saying what they bought and why and how to use it and why it’s important. You’ve got to overcome that. Some managers and leaders don’t understand why they need to say thank you and be appreciative and they need to be trained because they’re wrong. They need to be trained they need to be explained that as humans we perform much better when we are seen, when we feel that we can. And if we feel that we’re invisible we feel that no one really knows or cares if we’re here or not our performance suffers, that simple.
Jim Rembach: A great point. Now what we’re talking about here when we refer to engagement when we refer to doing those things as far as showing appreciation there’s a whole lot of emotion wrapped up in it. And one of the things that we looked at on the show are quotes to help hopefully spur some emotion and get us going in the right direction. Is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?
Glenn Elliott: The first quote that comes to mind that probably appropriate some Maya Angelou quote, she is an amazing woman I could listen her or read her all day. She says, People will forget what you said they’ll forget what you did but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. And I think it’s that thing about when you’re doing employee recognition it’s about how you make someone feel. It’s not about the gift or the size of the gift certificate or what you buy them. In fact, so many recognition programs are ruined by the money because what happens is as soon as an employer decides that they’re going to attach money or a gift to thank you suddenly there comes this horrific bureaucracy of sign offs and approvals which drags the whole thing down. I learned this when I was at the phone company where I did a special project and my boss’s boss thought it was great and he thanked me for it I felt really proud and really pleased and he said he was going to put me forward for an Innovation award a year and a half later I get a letter from HR, I’ve never met before saying that one—I’d forgotten what the project was by then. The fact that it taken them a year and a half to give me a gift certificate made me feel less valued than when that guy just said thank you. If you want to attach gifts of money fantastic but only do it in a way which doesn’t turn this into a bureaucratic nightmare.
Jim Rembach: I think that’s a great point. I’ve even tried to do some of that type of instruction and coaching to my kids for Father’s Day, I’m like, do not get me anything don’t buy me anything I don’t want anything. I said I want you just to do something for me, show me that you appreciate me. Try to get them to understand that recognizing people or whatever reason isn’t about getting them a gift card or buying them something it’s that’s not what it’s about. Unfortunately, in our society that’s what we have come to use as our default.
Glenn Elliott: It’s not, it’s the message. What my favorite is probably the personalized thank-you card and a stamp but frankly, a telephone call is just powerful. If you’re working in an organization and the CEO or director or somebody unexpectedly calls you up and you think, oh, what do they want? And they say, hey, John I’m just calling to let that I think you’re doing a really great job and I’m really, really grateful for it and I just want to let that it’s seen and it’s not taken for granted. That call takes a minute to make and you will change that person as well.
Jim Rembach: Totally. Okay, I am sure that when you start talking about this journey into where you are today and talking about the multiple startups and going through and finally getting to your forty, which by the way if you only had to go to your forty to find some positive gain and benefit that in itself is extraordinary because many go through forty and fifty but I’m sure you had a lot of humps to go over to get over that actually has caused you to be where you are and in a direction that you are going. So is there a time where you had to get over the hump where you can share?
Glenn Elliott: Oh, yeah. There were so many humps as you start. Early months and years we were five people we started with an idea we had such a lot to learn getting your first customer is a major milestone getting a second is a milestone getting the third and the fourth. Getting your first customer that actually is going to pay you a decent amount is often a separate milestone because it needs must and to get a name on the board you’ve also got to do some pretty creative pricing. I think there have been so many working out our pricing policy was super tough. I think probably the biggest hump I got over in my early years though was actually working out how to build a sales team. I funny I was just thinking about this yesterday because I was talking to a CEO she’s got a business also Neo tech she’s a few years younger than us and she was just about to set up her first sales team hire her first salesperson and remembered how tough it was for us I must have had six false starts six different people who I hired and they couldn’t do it. I hired the wrong person I had them in the wrong set up I had them in the wrong structure given them the wrong tools it wasn’t just their fault it was mine too. It took a good year and a half before I met the first guy who actually could sell for us. I can remember in his job interview he said to me what will my target be? And I was like, targets that’s a great idea we should have those, which is kind of feels ridiculous now that were doing that then. Yeah, that was a big hump.
Jim Rembach: When you think about going through that particular process of learning, what is something for you that really caused you to pivot and make a change? Because you talked about several different iterations, what caused you to finally say, I need to turn. Was it something significant? Or was it something that was just like a gradual kept nudging and finally getting in the right direction?
Glenn Elliott: Yeah, I think it’s the build of knowledge. I’m pretty resilient and so I kind of control the disappointment when things don’t work out. I think what’s important when you’re building a building a business—because I think you’re building a business you’re also building yourself as the leader and entrepreneur behind that business. When I think back to how little I knew when I started Reward Gateway it’s almost comical that we’re ever successful because I’ve learned so much since. So in building the sales team I’ve never ever hired a sales person before I have no idea what I was doing I didn’t know what one looked like really I and so I just had to learn quickly. You learned by just failing falling flat on your face and getting back up again and by not beating yourself up too much about it. You just got to get on with that stay resilient.
Jim Rembach: A couple things that you’ve said too also probably contributed to that is that you had other people influence you and other people that you convened with other people that you counseled with and that was all part of the knowledge gained. So one of the things that I’m finding more and more is that even though we as individuals may not particularly recognize it but it’s our community that helps us to advance the greater levels of performance more than going to a particular event or an activity like an MBA program or something. It’s those experiences it’s the knowledge from others and so we have to be more proactive and an intentional in regards to creating those types of communities and environments for us.
Glenn Elliott: Yeah, I think it was an interesting point. It’s 12-13 years since I started Reward Gateway and we’re fortunate now there is a much bigger community available. We barely had podcast 13 years ago I was listening to them there’s a massive amount of online resource, opinion, YouTube channels, some great books about different aspects of business, sales, building a business, entrepreneurship, whatever it happens to be. When I think about all the advice I’ve had since I’ve started my career I’m pretty certain that all of it has been given with the best intentions. I don’t have ever met anyone who deliberately tried to lead me down the wrong place but that doesn’t mean that a lot of the advice wasn’t wrong because it was. I think it’s that thing about people will generally give you their honest best advice from their perspective and from their context of what they have learnt and what they’ve seen and that might not be in fact often isn’t your situation. And I think the answer to that is to immerse yourself in lots of different viewpoints. If you read widely if you listen to lots of podcast rather than just one if you follow several different people on Twitter or whatever you do whether you’re on and get their views and then what you your mind is very, very good at finding that kind of sifting out the stuff which is really relevant to you when you find up on it I think that’s a real thing what you can do now.
Jim Rembach: Yeah, that’s a very excellent point. I’m actually coaching an organization right now and their CEO, it’s a tech company, he was asking me if there was just something cookie cutter that he can take in place within what we were talking about, which had to do with the marketing and sales communication flow, and I said, no. I’ve been studying this for a long time I said there isn’t anything that you can just say, cut paste. I’ve taken elements from all of these different sources and now knowing more about your organization are able to mold that and give you some suggestions and ideas on how you can therefore go and create it yourself.
Glenn Elliott: Yeah, completely. I remember in my previous business the design with web build and marketing agency I was desperate for someone to give me the answers to how to make it more successful. I got it 20 staff and about a million and a half dollars revenue we’d book but we didn’t really make any money we just about script by. I was convinced that I was making a mess of it if someone else would know what to do with it. I found a guy who had been chief exec of a much, much, much bigger agency and then he’d gone to be chairman and he’d retired in his fifties. I found this guy and I was like, he is the answer to all my prayers and he knows everything he’s done this before he’s grown an agency to several thousand people. And I hired him to be my chairman kind of advisor and mentor thinking he would have all the answers, he was the most expensive person ever considered hiring by my house I’m nearly bankrupt just to pay his bill. And of course he didn’t have all the answers because what he had was he had what worked for him in his situation then. It was 20-30 years later and the context had just changed. He was a really an advertising agency guy and I was running a digital marketing business and they were actually widely different the whole economy was different, so it didn’t really work it didn’t really help us. I think if I was doing that again now I’d be better immersing myself on all the stuff which we’re able to find on the Internet.
Jim Rembach: Talking about direction and where you’ve been and all that stuff, you have the book you’re now founder but I’m sure there’s a whole lot of things you’ve got your hands and that you’re dabbling on. But when you think about one goal that you have, we also talked about the physical aspects in getting your body stronger and more healthy, but if you were to talk about one goal what would it?
Glenn Elliott: We’d be working hard launching the book which came out in February, February the 28th, it will be a bit later on the States, so that’s good and it’s selling well it’s selling well every week so we’re pleased about that. My next big goal is we’re starting our own video podcast series in a couple of months. I was in a meeting about it this morning it’s going to be a daily show it’s five minutes every day it hasn’t got a name yet but it’s basically five minutes of informed opinion brutal honesty every single weekday on business topics or end of relating back to people. So I’m quite excited about that that’s my kind of next kind of big business piece.
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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Alright, here we go Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Glenn, 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. Glenn Elliott, are you ready to hoedown?
Glenn Elliott: I’d give it a go.
Jim Rembach: Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Glenn Elliott: Being more comfortable with being vulnerable.
Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?
Glenn Elliott: Be vulnerable with your people. Best leader I know is a woman called Shelli Packer, she’s incredible with her people and her team. Gets buy-in instantly and she’s just really good at being really honest and open with them. I’m not bad but she’s just better than me personally.
Jim Rembach: What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success my secrets?
Glenn Elliott: Work hard counsel widely and then make up your own decision. Decide yourself what to do.
Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?
Glenn Elliott: My Mac.
Jim Rembach: What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners that could be from any genre of course we’ll put a link to, Build it! The Rebel Playbook for World-class Employee Engagement on your show notes page as well.
Glenn Elliott: I think my favorite book for business from a people perspective right now is Patti McCord’s, Powerful. Patti McCord was chief talent officer Netflix for 14 and Powerful is the incredible story of the radical of different culture that builds Netflix.
Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader legion you can find links to that another bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/glennelliott. Okay, Glenn, 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 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 piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?
Glenn Elliott: At 25, I would take back tolerance and acceptance of people who don’t think the same as me. Because I think when I was 25 I was pretty black-and-white about the world if someone didn’t think the same as me I kind of wrote them off for someone that wasn’t interesting I want in my life. And as I’ve grown older I’ve really seen the value of having people in my world who think differently.
Jim Rembach: Glenn, 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?
Glenn Elliott: Yes sure. You can find me on Linkedin, it’s Glenn Elliott. The book’s website is rebelplaybook.com and you can download the first two chapters for free there. You can also find me on the Twitter @glennelliott.
Jim Rembach: Glenn Elliott, 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.
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