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Darren Gold | Master Your Code

Master your code and live an extraordinary life

Darren Gold Podcast Notes Darren Gold decided to forgive his mother, but she did nothing wrong. Thankfully, he realized how unfair and unjust he had been and how holding a grudge was disserving. He was learning how to master his code. Darren was born in London, England and moved to the San Fernando Valley, a …

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Mary Lippitt | Situational Mindsets

253: Mary Lippitt: Target what matters when it matters

Mary Lippitt Show Notes Page

Mary Lippitt was trying to influence her bosses and was rejected. When she was able to finally meet with the top executive, she realized she needed to open her mind and to recognize that her facts contained many gaps and she needed to adjust her thinking.

Dr. Mary Lippitt’s early years were spent in New Haven, CT; Lincoln, NE; Schenectady NY; Arlington VA; Paris, France; and Bethesda MD.  As the daughter of a minister, she moved frequently. These experiences showed her that despite outward differences, we share many commonalities. She formed a deep commitment to finding ways to bring people together and reduce the proclivity to stereotype or dismiss others since she did not like being labeled or pigeonholed.

As an adult, Mary has lived in Buffalo, NY, Bartlesville, OK, Miami Fl, Bethesda MD (again), and now in Tampa Bay, Fl. And over the years, she worked for county government, an international electronics firm, and as director of a university’s master of human resources program.

These divergent experiences helped her recognize there is a missing element in the way we develop our leaders. We traditionally focus on the internal aspects of an individual; their personal style, traits, and competencies. The context or outer realities are largely being overlooked.  Her distinctive work fills this gap by helping leaders critically analyze and address their complex and challenging issues.  In Mary’s book, Situational Mindsets: Targeting What Matters When It Matters, she offers a framework to build effectiveness, engagement, collaboration, that produce results.

Mary founded Enterprise Management Limited in 1984 and has served public, private, and non-profit clients interested in boosting critical thinking, the bottom line, and engagement. In the US, she has partnered with Bank of America, Lockheed Martin, Marriott, SAIC, the US Department of Energy, and the US Marine Corps.  She has also worked in Japan, Turkey, France, and Kuwait.

The role Mary enjoys the most is being a grandmother to her two grandsons, and she apologies to her daughter for making this statement. But grandparenthood has all the pleasures without any of the hassles of being a parent.

Mary currently lives in Tampa, Florida between her many travel adventures.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @marylippitt to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet 

“You could deliver results and still care about people.” Click to Tweet 

“Kindness and results are not exclusive to each other; you could do both.” Click to Tweet  

“The success rate of change is dismal because the change agents don’t listen.” Click to Tweet  

“A mindset is a temporary point of view; it is not genetic or a personal style.” Click to Tweet  

“When I focus, I can achieve something.” Click to Tweet  

“If I keep trying to juggle six things, I’ll make very poor decisions.” Click to Tweet  

“Change is probable, pervasive, problematic, and promising.” Click to Tweet  

“Change is where we’re going to have new opportunities, but we may not like the process of having to go through that change.” Click to Tweet  

“By the time I’m being forced I have fewer options. As long as I’m proactive I have more to choose from.” Click to Tweet  

“Leadership today is about asking the right questions, it’s not about having all the right answers.” Click to Tweet  

“No one has all the right answers, the world is too complex.” Click to Tweet  

“The focal point is important because that creates the common ground.” Click to Tweet  

“I realized, when you think differently from me you help me.” Click to Tweet  

“Instead of labeling somebody right or wrong, what can I learn.” Click to Tweet  

“I’m realizing I don’t have all the information, but I also realize no one does.” Click to Tweet  

“Our focal point of leadership has become a little too narrow.” Click to Tweet  

Hump to Get Over

Mary Lippitt was trying to influence her bosses and was rejected. When she was able to finally meet with the top executive, she realized she needed to open her mind and to recognize that her facts contained many gaps and she needed to adjust her thinking.

Advice for others

Learn to be able to say you do not know.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

I like to follow new ideas that sometimes I forget the priority of following through with my immediate goals.

Best Leadership Advice

Listen, persevere, and respect others.

Secret to Success

I’ve developed the ability to ask good questions.

Best tools in business or life

I use a situational mindset checklist.

Recommended Reading

Situational Mindsets: Targeting What Matters When it Matters

Thinking, Fast and Slow

The Art Of War

Contacting Mary Lippitt

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marylippitt

Website: https://enterprisemgt.com/

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

Show Transcript:

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

253 Mary Lippitt episode

Jim Rembach: (00:00)

Okay. Fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because we have somebody on the show who is really going to give us some greater understandings and frameworks on how to be significantly more effective. Dr Mary lipids early years were spent in new Haven, Connecticut, Lincoln, Nebraska, Schenectady, New York, Arlington, Virginia, Paris, France in Bethesda, Maryland as the daughter of a minister. She moved frequently. These experiences showed her that despite outward differences, we share many commonalities. She formed a deep commitment to finding ways to bring people together and reduce the proclivity to stereotype or dismiss others since she did not like being labeled or pigeonholed herself as an adult. Mary has lived in Buffalo, New York, Bartletts bill, Oklahoma, Miami, Florida, Bethesda, Maryland, and now in Tampa, Florida. And over the years she worked for County government and international electronics firm and as a director of a university’s master of human resources program, these divergent experiences helped her recognize there is a missing element in the way that we develop our leaders.

 

Jim Rembach: (00:00)

nd as the daughter of a minister. She moved frequently. These experiences showed her that despite outward differences, we share many commonalities. She formed a deep commitment to finding ways to bring people together and reduce the proclivity to stereotype or dismiss others since she did not like being labeled or pigeonholed herself as an adult. Mary has lived in Buffalo, New York, Bartletts bill, Oklahoma, Miami, Florida, Bethesda, Maryland, and now in Tampa, Florida. And over the years she worked for County government and international electronics firm and as a director of a university’s master of human resources program, these divergent experiences helped her recognize there is a missing element in the way that we develop our leaders.

 

Jim Rembach: (01:07)

We traditionally focus on the internal aspects of an individual, their personal style or their traits and their competencies. The context or outer realities are largely being overlooked. Her distinctive work fills this gap by helping leaders critically analyze and address their complex and challenging issues in Mary’s book, situational mindsets targeting what matters when it matters. She offers a framework to build effectiveness, engagement, collaboration that produces results. Mary founded enterprise management limited in 1984 and has served public, private and nonprofit clients interested in boosting critical thinking and bottom line and engagement in the U S she has partnered with bank of America, Lockheed Martin, Marriott, S a I see the us department of energy and the U S Marine Corps. She has also worked in Japan, Turkey, France and Kuwait. The role Mary enjoys the most is bringing a grandmother to her grandsons and she apologizes to her daughter for making the statement, but grand Parenthood has all the pleasures without any of the hassles of being a parent. Mary currently lives in Tampa, Florida between her travel excursions, Mary lipid. Are you ready to help us get over the hump? Thank you. I’m really glad you’re here and I’m really excited to talk about this particular topic. But I think before we get into that, I think it’s extremely important for you to explain who is Kate Hollander?

 

Mary Lippitt: (02:33)

Kate Hollander is the new head of sales at a printing company in Denver. And she walks into a situation where her staff really would prefer that she would not be there because they would wanted her job. The sales are declining rapidly. There are silos between the organizations in the, uh, between, uh, sales production and she, the owner is a micromanager. So she has a lot or plate from the get go. And the story talks about how she’s resolves this by delivering results, but also at the same time by making sure that people are engaged and respect it. What I’m trying to show in this story of Kate is that you could deliver results and still care about people. You know, kindness and results are not exclusive to each other. You can do both. And that this is what Kate shows people how to deliver results, but to work well together

 

Jim Rembach: (03:38)

well, and to give this even more justice. What you did is really set a very important setting and how Kate actually goes about her work when you talk about her being a medic. So if you could explain that a little bit, I think that’s a really good foundational elements to kind of help give people some understanding and context when we get into this discussion about these situational mindsets.

 

Mary Lippitt: (04:02)

Okay. Kate had been in sales before for a medical device manufacturer, but after nine 11, she chose to serve in the military and serve as a medic. So she’s coming off of tours in the middle East and she’s accepted a job in an industry that she is not familiar with. And so she knows about sales, but her recent experience is really in middle East and being a medic rather than a sales person. So there’s a lot of discounting her, uh, stereotypes about, you know, what can she do for us and you know, she’s younger than we are and all sorts of other aspects. Cloud, uh, the initial impression of her, uh, what really happens is that there is actually the restaurant next to her, the printing business, there’s an explosion. And then they see her in action and they realize a couple of things. Not only is she very decisive, but she also, no one knows when to step back.

 

Mary Lippitt: (05:08)

She handles the triage effectively. She directs people clearly and with respect, no panic. But when the emergency medical people arrive, she knows to step back. So this is not someone who is really out to, to, to, to look like on the hero. Uh, she works well with others and people realize, well she goes have some skills, maybe she doesn’t know a lot about printing yet. And the, she has to balance a reality that the owner of the business is pushing her go, go, go, go. And she recognizes that the sales have been going down for a while. So it isn’t just a motivational thing. There really are some other aspects. So she uses her honeymoon period just to sit back and do some analysis of what it is that’s really happening. And in that process she recognizes that, that her staff is using a transactional approach, just get the sale and move on.

 

Mary Lippitt: (06:11)

And she knows that customer service, uh, as you would know, well, requires a lot more than that. And she talks to the team and helps them come up with a ability to tailor their interactions with their potential clients to make sure that they have a solid sale and one that survives the actual first, um, order to deliver additional orders. And, and this is really resisted at first because after all, she doesn’t know the printing business and, you know, why should we change? We would be doing it this way for so long. And so she actually takes a step back and instead of trying to, um, demand, um, compliance, she actually works with her staff. She goes on sales calls with them, she doesn’t try to upstage them and she shows very early, they sh that she is trying to help them because she’s identified what their major problems are within the organization and she tackles those right away to gain some early wins to build the confidence that she really is going to be someone that helps them.

 

Mary Lippitt: (07:21)

So there’s a lot going on that she’s trying to juggle. And I should mention that she got this job because the vice-president charge of operations for title’s vice president of sales was someone she worked with in the military. So he was her advocate and the owner was a little reluctant to hire. She didn’t have the Printy experience. And again, he was hit the deck running nose down to the grindstone kind of guy. And, and so this, um, strong recommendation is, is the reason that she got the job, but the welcome was a little bit lukewarm.

 

Jim Rembach: (07:56)

Well, but you also talk about that and everything that you described there and the competing forces associated with this. So there’s, you know, the situations of threat from outside, um, you know, all the marketplace, you know, pressures, you talk about the internal culture, uh, you talk about, you know, uh, people trying to silo, you know, uh, protect, I mean, all of these different factors that I think everybody can relate to in so many different ways. And, and so then you start explaining this whole really how you navigate all of this and how Kate navigates all this. And that is in the situational mindset model. So if you could talk about the, the six components or elements of the situational mindset model because of if you just take them by word, um, you could potentially be misled and I think you need to explain them a little bit.

 

Mary Lippitt: (08:43)

Okay. There, there are six mindsets. Let me just preface my comments by people say, Oh, there’s gotta be more than that. I will remind people that there are three primary colors and we get lots cubes. There are seven musical notes, so we get lots of melodies. So having six is not as outrageous as it may seem. So let me identify the six. The first is I call inventing. It is a focus on what are the new products we should consider, uh, what are the new technologies that we can apply? What are the synergies that we can create internally or externally? So this is a focus on making sure that you are offering the products that are state of the art. And we do know that, you know, certain companies really go out of their way to make sure that they are state of the art, you know, whether it’s an Apple or or whatever organization it is.

 

Mary Lippitt: (09:38)

Having that reputation really is a discriminating factor for many customers. So that’s the first one. The second one is very customer oriented, calling it the catalyzing mindset. And in this mindset we’re looking at who our key customers, how can we increase our customer base, how can retain our customers, how can we provide them with customer service? What are the emerging customer needs? So both the first two are very external to the organization. They’re looking at technology and new ideas. They’re looking at the customer, which is obviously external. And those are really what I would call the entrepreneurial stages, the small business getting started. And then there’s a shift from the external point of view to looking at the organization. And I know you’re very familiar with the fact that organizations can grow rapidly, but sometimes there’s a lot of chaos in that growth. And so the third mindset is called the developing mindset.

 

Mary Lippitt: (10:41)

And it takes a look at how should we be organized? Should we be functional matrix, geographic product, whatever. But it’s also establishing, you know, what are our policies? What’s our pay policy, what’s our, uh, our policy on promotions. It’s taking a look at what are the systems that we need? How is information going to flow? What are the decision making practices we have? So it’s what I’ll call a macro orientation to how we function. And this is the orientation that says let’s take a look at our goals and make sure that we’re doing the right thing rather than just doing things right. So that’s the third one. The fourth one is also internal look, but it’s more of a micro look. Then the infrastructure develop a mindset. We call that the performing mindset. And in this mindset, what we take a look at are things like process improvement, a quality improvement, workflow analysis, facility layout improvement, um, return on investment, meeting the budget, uh, vendor management, supply chain management, all of the, the, the adjustments, the tweaking, the polishing of a work flow.

 

Mary Lippitt: (11:57)

And of course, you know, that is where we get the efficiency. So this is a very efficiency but quality oriented mindset. So the, the fifth mindset is still internal, but it’s taking look at the people is taking a look. What is a talent we have? Do they have the right competencies? How do we retain them? Do we have good collaboration? Do we have engagement? Do we have a succession plan? Do we have an agile culture? Are we change ready? Uh, are we proud of ourselves or do we set, have a sense of commitment and loyalty. All of the without broadly call the people and culture aspects. And, and again, some people tend to discount this area and I would just like to remind people that Peter Drucker said, culture eats strategy for breakfast. So this although may not have the pazazz of a customer sale, uh, if you don’t keep your sales people, if you don’t have the right compensation system for them, if they’re not proud of your product, they will stay with you.

 

Mary Lippitt: (13:03)

And you call that the protecting mindset. Why protecting? Because it’s protecting what we’ve achieved in terms of our product, our customers, our infrastructure and our processes. So it’s protecting all that we’ve built so far. And this is a very proud, you know, stage. And in that every one of these stages has many advantages, but many also disadvantages. And what can happen with protecting is that I’m so proud of what I’ve got. I won’t change. You know, we’ve, we’ve perfected everything, don’t mess with success. And the sixth and final mindset is taking a look at the trends that we need to adjust to. It’s called the challenging mindset because it’s challenging what we’ve already established. And this is taking a look at new initiatives, new business opportunities that we may have. It takes a look at maybe new business models. And again, just talking about the printing industry for a second.

 

Mary Lippitt: (14:04)

You know, there was a time when people would say, no one, no one will ever buy a book without being able to go to a store, open the book and look at, you know, but nobody will buy the book. Um, and I will say that Amazon has such, uh, show them how false that assumption was. So the challenging mindset looks at business models changing the strategy, adapting the strategy. It also takes a look at what of some potential new partnerships that we should go after. What are the kinds of alliances we should make? You know, it’s taking a look at positioning the organization for the future. There’s a lovely quote from Mark Twain that, you know, if you’re on the right track, that’s great, but you just stay there, you’re going to get run over. And the challenging mindset is going to tell you this is, you know, an opportunity to continue to grow.

 

Mary Lippitt: (14:56)

We don’t have to throw the baby out with the bath water. What we really can do is take what we’ve done well expanded, prepare us. We have to be an organization that sustains itself. So those are the six. And again, three of them are internally focused. The developing, the performing and the protecting. And three of them are really externally focused. The challenging, which is looking at the trends, you know, what does the demographic difference mean for us? Uh, what does it mean? You know, that the interest rates are lower than we had anticipated. All those things have to be considered. So the challenging, the inventing and the catalyzing mindset look more externally. And what’s really interesting is most change agents are looking at challenging, inventing and catalyzing. And we know that the success rate of change is dismal. And that’s because the change agents get so excited about their idea that they don’t listen to the other mindsets that people have. And again, a mindset is a temporary point of view. It is not genetic, it is not a personal style. It say I’m going to do what I think is most important. And um, historically we had something called faster, cheaper and better and we would say, you know, do it faster and then it will obviously be cheaper. No, not necessarily. So this framework in the largest, that faster, cheaper, better into a more comprehensive analysis.

 

Jim Rembach: (16:25)

No, but I think you bring up a really interesting point, right? So it’s, I have these six elements and as you were explaining them, I started thinking about all these different subsets. So I’m like, okay, I’m an organization and it was all as you, if you, if you still even thinking about that from a champion perspective, they can’t focus on everything. It’s just not possible. The whole, you know, multitasking myth is, is quite true. While we have to do a lot of things, uh, it doesn’t mean that we can focus on a lot of things. So when you start talking about choosing and choosing, which mindset, how do you go about doing that?

 

Mary Lippitt: (16:57)

Well, the first thing is you have to do a comprehensive analysis of your situation. And the term, the title of the book is talking about mindset, which is a present orientation. What’s, what am I facing now? But instead of having it be your mindset about myself and my own capabilities, it’s doing an awareness of the actual situation that I’m confronting. And so I would love to do six things simultaneously, but, but I know that I can’t text and drive, so I have to become aware of my limitations. And that’s not a bad thing because when I focus, I can achieve something. If I keep trying to juggle six things, I’ll make very poor decisions. I haven’t really analyzed everything and I’ll come across as someone who is a chameleon. First she wants this, then she wants that kind of thing. So we have to make choices.

 

Mary Lippitt: (17:50)

But those choices are not permanent. I think people resisted a choice because they thought, okay, this is gonna be a five year plan or a 10 year plan and what we have now is the speed of change is coming so fast that we could do one priority to time complete it and move on to another. There was a lovely story about the fact that if you’re driving a car, you adjust your position, your hands, your eyes, every nine seconds and you know, this is the rate of change and change is probable, pervasive, problematic and promising. So you know, the change is where we’re going to have new opportunities that we may not like the process of having to go through that change, but we’re going to have to to be successful.

 

Jim Rembach: (18:40)

Well, and I think as you said that there’s one thing for me that I think is kind of stands out as that I would rather be proactive and rather it be voluntary than be forced.

 

Mary Lippitt: (18:49)

Yes. Because by the time I’m being forced, I have fewer options as long as I’m proactive, I have more to choose from.

 

Jim Rembach: (18:57)

Yeah. That’s funny that you say that. My daughter right now is a, uh, in high school and she’s a junior and I’m like, you need to start looking at schools. I said, because if you don’t do that, because she’s also an athlete, I said, you know, you have to start creating relationships that you surely should have already been building. If you want a roster spot, you know that it’s all about relationships these days. I mean, they, yes, they look at the athleticism and you know, athletic abilities, but they also want to make sure they’re finding the right cultural fit. It’s become so darn important. You’re, you’re going to be left with whatever the scraps are if you don’t get moving.

 

Mary Lippitt: (19:31)

And one of the things she should be considering is getting tapes of her in action. I mean, there are things that she could do now to help her, you know, identify the coaches that she might want to send information to, you know, and maybe even look at those where she can get on the roster and maybe also look at those where she could get a scholarship. So, I mean it looks like it’s far off to just somebody, but, but there are things we can do now to position ourselves well for the future.

 

Jim Rembach: (19:58)

That’s right. And that’s just exactly what we’re talking about as far as, you know, really being able to, okay, now I understand this framework, uh, and then I need to go about the choosing process, but I need to master this. I mean, because I need to be proactive with it. I cannot be reactive. I’m going to lose choices and options. I’m going to be the one being disrupted instead of being the disruptor. And so I have to master it. So now it’s a master. You talk about really two key key elements. There’s probably more if they are, please explain them. But you talk about focal points and guiding questions. Explain them.

 

Mary Lippitt: (20:30)

Well, I think I w w I would say is the guided questions are helping us identify all the information first. Because what happens is the, sometimes we have an idea but we don’t really test it out. Is this really the best option I have? So the questions become a checklist to make sure I’ve collected the data from everyone. And again, one of my assumptions is that leadership today is about asking the right questions. It’s not about having all the right answers cause no one has all the right answers. The world is too complex. So getting the questions surfaces the data so then I can evaluate it and set my priority or the focal point. But then I can also communicate that focal point by explaining exactly why this is the most important thing to tackle at this point in time.

 

Jim Rembach: (21:21)

Well I think the importance here too is that, okay, so I need to learn this framework. I need to have stir start working on mastering this framework because I do have to decide faster and I can’t just decide based off of what I’ve known or even what others are doing. Because if I look at these situations, um, there, there’s that unique DNA that starts actually revealing itself and that’s what I have to work with.

 

Mary Lippitt: (21:45)

Correct. I think the only thing I would say is that the, I have to keep reminding people that a mindset is a very temporary thing. So just to say it, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s fun following what the current priority or issue is, but it isn’t a permanent label of what I will always choose. Uh, you mentioned that I lived in Buffalo, New York and it’s in a, in a hurricane over in Florida or blizzard in Buffalo, New York. You don’t care what the background, whether somebody graduated from, uh, you know, in engineering or someone graduated in art. If they can help you get out of the storm, you say, thank you. So the focal point is important because that creates the common ground that creates the teamwork that makes things happen. And it could be a very temporary thing. I mean I can, if I’m in a blizzard and I, I can’t even open my car door cause it’s frozen and somebody tells me how to do it, you know, I’m thankful but I’ve learned it, I’ll move on. So I’m talking about a mindset is a very, very temporary assessment of what is most important to do. But that temporary assessment is going to help me set the priority, which means I can focus and achieve the results.

 

Jim Rembach: (23:05)

Yeah. We have to have that built in agility. Right. Okay. So you all off, you know, through our, our discussion here, um, used many different co quotes and those are absolutely focal points. You know, they point us in the right direction and we really, you know, look at those on the fast leader show and share them a lot. So is there one or two they’re all riddled throughout your book? You’ve mentioned a few, but it’s are kind of one or two that stand out for you as focal points.

 

Mary Lippitt: (23:31)

Well, I think there’s one from Ben Franklin. I like that. Just something like, Oh, if you stop, if you don’t think creatively you, it’s like giving up your, your, your future, your life. I it thinking is critical to our life and it gets a bad name, particularly the term critical thinking. Cause it sounds like I have to be a cynic or I have to be, you know, poking somebody in, putting up shortfalls. But really critical thinking, you know, it could be as subtle as, would you want me to investigate this aspect of this? You know, and people say yes. So you can be very comprehensive in your analysis without being, you know, a naysayer or a problem child kind of thing.

 

Jim Rembach: (24:19)

Now it’s interesting that you say that. I mean a lot of people may say, well it’s just semantics but it’s semantics are critically important. I’m sorry. I think give us context and they give us understanding. It’s like we’ve built a fide so many different words in our society that, you know, if we would have used them just a hundred years ago would have had a totally different, you know, context. I mean, I often refer to the one of ignorant and if you look it up, it just says innocent, unknowing. But yet if anything is labeled as ignorant, it is vilified. And that’s just, that’s just unfortunate. Now when we start talking about these, these transformations, these transitions, these learnings and all that stuff, I mean we talk about getting over the hump on the show. Um, and those personal stories of when we had those experiences can be so helpful for others. I just was telling my daughter the other day, I said, even though you may not want to hear my stories, you know, if you actually work to listen, seeing that we’re very similar in the way that we go about thinking, maybe you’ll gain some insight for yourself, you know, choose a better path. Of course she doesn’t want to hear that from dad. But, um, is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share?

 

Mary Lippitt: (25:26)

Yes. Um, early in my career I thought rational analysis would always win the day. And I was trying to influence up, uh, the chain of command and I got rejected and I couldn’t believe it. I was dumbfounded. And it wasn’t until I got a task I was, we had a, this was a large organization, we had about 30,000 employees and I got tasked with writing the head executives monthly column to the employees. So I got to sit down and talk with him. And we saw things very differently as what was a priority and how we analyzed it was very different. Now if you’re writing the top executive, you got to adjust your thinking to his point of view. Obviously extra. I write something, he’s going to review it, he’s going to edit it. He would rather not have to edit it heavily. So I hadn’t, I had to start opening my own mind.

 

Mary Lippitt: (26:32)

I have to tell you, I was convinced sometimes that I had more answers than I really had and I thought I saw things more clearly than I really did. Um, there’s, there’s a comment, you know, what you see is not all there is. And I, that was my opening to begin to recognize I didn’t see everything and all the facts that I thought I had had many gaps but I’d never had collected them. So that exercise of writing for him really showed me how differently people fought. And again, we tend in our society to say, if you think differently from me, you’re wrong. And, um, what I realized was when you think differently from me, you helped me. You helped me, I benefit from these differences. And so instead of labeling somebody right or wrong, you know, what can I learn? How do they see reality?

 

Mary Lippitt: (27:31)

What am I missing? And you know, there’s lots of stories about, you know, witnesses to car accidents and you know, everybody saw the same accident but they recall different things. That’s what we have to recognize in our organizations. People are going to focus on different things. Some will get the right, so we’ll get the wrong, but we’ve got at least collect them before we can evaluate them. And that was how I started to realize there really was, um, great wisdom that I was missing. And so I really learned the importance of asking more questions rather than asking just a couple of, you know, jumping into my conclusions, which I was fairly sure I was right. Um, I mean this is basically the confirmation bias. I collected the information that supported my point of view. And sometimes I remind people that at one point in time bankers said you could give a 95% mortgage because home prices never go down more than 5%. That was a false assumption. And so I’m beginning to become maybe is more humble because I’m realizing I don’t have all the information, but I also realized that no one does. And so this is why we need to work together. And so I think we could work together to produce results. But we also, when we work together, we show respect for another person. We showed that we value them and we therefore engage them and we get the kind of collaboration and teamwork that makes our jobs very satisfying.

 

Jim Rembach: (29:03)

Well, the only way that it does that though, Mary, is because if we have, you know, very useful frameworks because otherwise all of that diversity and different perspectives are going to not enable us to move forward. And that’s why I’m really glad that you’ve actually shared these situational mindset models and everything else that goes with it. So when I start looking at that and looking at the, you know, where you’ve been in the work that you’ve done in the work that you’re still yet to do, when I start thinking about some of the goals you have, um, I’d like to hear one, what is one goal that you have?

 

Mary Lippitt: (29:37)

I would like to expand our definition of leadership to include making sure that we balance the short and the longterm and the ability to gain active support from others. I think that our focal point of leadership has become a little too narrow and I value everything we’ve done in the past. Um, just it, my uncle Ronald lipid with Kurt Loland did the very first leadership study in 1938 it was called the Lou and liquid white study and they came up with laissez Faire leadership and all that. And I really think everything that we’ve done in leadership has been fantastic, uh, whether it’s group dynamics, whether it’s emotional intelligence, whether it’s style, whatever else. But I think we’ve left out our situational ability to, to deliver, uh, the best for the organization. So I really would like to expand how we look at leadership

 

Jim Rembach: (30:43)

and this world of customer centric transformation. And you know, I’m a digital transformation and all of that. This type of leadership is really bottled to not just the success of an organization, but the existence of an organization and the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor. And even better place to work is an easy to use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone using this award. Winning solutions, guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work, visit [inaudible] dot com for slash better. All right, here we go. Fast leader Legion. It’s time for the home. Oh now, okay Mary, the hump day. Hold on as 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 be as give us robust yet rapid responses are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Mary rib lipid. Are you ready to hoedown all right, so what is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Mary Lippitt: (31:55)

I like to so much to look at new ideas, but sometimes I forget the priority of following through with my immediate goal so I can become distracted and I need to re remember it again. What is my priority today?

 

Jim Rembach: (32:14)

What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

 

Mary Lippitt: (32:18)

Listen, persevere and respect others.

 

Jim Rembach: (32:24)

What do you believe is one of your secrets that helps you contribute to your success?

 

Mary Lippitt: (32:29)

I think I’ve developed the ability to ask good questions.

 

Jim Rembach: (32:33)

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

 

Mary Lippitt: (32:38)

I a situational mindset checklist. It’s a basically reminding me what questions I need to ask and those questions can be tailored to the level of the organization or the type of industry. So that really helps me. And I know that some people discount the, the, the importance of a checklist, but I’ll say lawyers, doctors, pilots and Santa Claus. You checklist

 

Jim Rembach: (33:04)

and what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? And it could be from any genre. Of course, we’re going to put a link to situational mindsets on your show notes page as well.

 

Mary Lippitt: (33:14)

Well, I think the Daniel Kahneman’s thinking fast and slow is absolutely fantastic book. And I also will give a shout out to the art of war, my son zoo many, many years ago, which again talked about the importance of learning the lay of the ground. And that’s what I’m talking about with situationals concepts.

 

Jim Rembach: (33:34)

Okay. Fast, literally. And you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/mary lipid. Okay, Mary, this is my last Humpday hold on question. Imagine you’ve been given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you can take the knowledge and skills that you have no back with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only choose one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Mary Lippitt: (33:57)

I would take back the ability to say I do not know. And the that leads to my willingness, um, to ask the questions and again, engage people and make a better decision. I really, I think for a while thought I do not know, was demeaning of me when I now realize it is showing the fact that I understand the complexity of this world.

 

Jim Rembach: (34:24)

Mary, I had fun with you today. Can you please share with the fast leader Legion how they can connect with you?

 

Mary Lippitt: (34:30)

Uh, they can connect with me at Mary, at situational mindsets.com or www, situational mindsets.com

 

Jim Rembach: (34:39)

Mary lipid, thank you for sharing and knowledge and wisdom. Fast leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

[/expand]

Jono Bacon | People Powered

251: Jono Bacon: Communities supercharge business

Jono Bacon Show Notes Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quotes and Mentions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hump to Get Over

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

Advice for others

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

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Crafting my message better.

Best Leadership Advice

Don’t take yourself to seriously and try hard.

Secret to Success

I am an eternal student.

Best tools in business or life

Friends and colleagues.

Recommended Reading

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

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

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

Contacting Jono Bacon

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jonobacon

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

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

 

Show Transcript:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Rembach: : (27:29)
Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speaker 4: (37:53)
And even better place to work is an easy to use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award winning solution is guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work, visit [inaudible] dot com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[/expand]

 

Joe Dunlap | Now is the time to stop training

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

Joe Dunlap Show Notes Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quotes and Mentions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[optin-cat id=11101]

Hump to Get Over

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

Advice for others

Be open to change.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Fighting an organizational culture.

Best Leadership Advice

Be humble in your practice and have humor in yourself.

Secret to Success

I listen to smart people.

Best tools in business or life

Taking a personal approach.

Recommended Watching

Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates (American Genius)

Contacting Joe Dunlap

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

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

Resources and Show Mentions

Dash Trainer: Agent Training in a Dash

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

Show Transcript: 

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

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

Jim Rembach: : (00:00)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (00:47)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (01:47)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (03:00)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (03:40)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (04:08)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (05:07)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (05:56)

well know? And I’m

 

Jim Rembach: : (05:57)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (06:39)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (07:32)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (08:34)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (09:31)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (10:18)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (10:48)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (11:37)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (12:28)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (13:11)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (13:55)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (14:53)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (15:21)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (16:22)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (16:32)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (17:01)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (17:43)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (18:02)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (19:10)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (19:52)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (20:59)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (21:24)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (22:12)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (22:53)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (23:14)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (24:03)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (25:04)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (25:33)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (26:07)

and the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

 

Speaker 5: (26:14)

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Jim Rembach: : (26:33)

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

 

Speaker 5: (26:37)

Oh Oh,

 

Jim Rembach: : (26:40)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (26:44)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (27:03)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (27:09)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (27:13)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (27:27)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (27:32)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (27:42)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (27:47)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (28:01)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (28:06)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (28:48)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (29:12)

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

 

Jim Rembach: : (30:03)

Joe Dunlap. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The past leave Legion honors you and thank you for helping us get over the hump. Thank you for joining me on the fast leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe. If you haven’t already, head on over fast leader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

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Omar L Harris | Leader Board | The DNA of High Performance Teams

247: Omar L Harris: Leadership giants have gaps

Omar L Harris Show Notes Page

Omar L Harris coasted on his own individual talent early in his career. The first time he led a team, he began to carry the performance of the team on his shoulders. This caused him to be hospitalized and suffer from panic attacks. Finally, he realized he needed to trust his people and put them in the right place to win.

Born to a chemical engineer father and social worker mother in the working-class town of Pittsburgh, PA, Omar L. Harris learned the values of connecting process to outcomes and the importance of being of service to others at an early age. Being the youngest of four boys in a family of 5 children he endured a lot of hope and pressure to succeed where others had failed in order to uplift and support his family. Moving from Pittsburgh to Charleston, WV, to Lake Charles, LA over the course of his childhood and adolescence engendered in Omar the ability to adapt to constant change which has been his status quo as an adult living all over the US and spending considerable time living and working in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

As a young professional in the pharmaceutical industry, he was exposed to Gallup’s StrengthsFinder tool back in 2002 which informed his philosophy of focusing on what was right with people versus what was not. According to the StrengthsFinder assessment, Omar learned that he was naturally gifted with the ability to forge connections between seemingly unrelated items, influence transformation from good to great, quickly generate options, inspire confidence in others, and confront and overcome obstacles. Honing his natural talents into reliable strengths he successfully matriculated through Pfizer and ultimately found a corporate home at Schering-Plough as a fast-track management associate where he worked for one of the most successful marketing teams in the pharmaceutical industry. He became the youngest marketing director and senior marketing director in the company’s history before Schering-Plough was acquired by Merck.

His 8 years of experience working on this high performing team became the seed that would germinate and ultimately grow into his book Leader Board: The DNA of High Performance Teams.

Omar began leading teams in 2006 and began implementing principles he’d learned reading books by John C. Maxwell, Tom Rath, Patrick Lencioni, Stephen Covey, and Jim Collins to name a few. Over time he found significant gaps between the brilliant theories of these leadership giants and the exact application in the day-to-day minutiae of leading a team in the real world. So, he set out to synthesize and adapt these concepts into a suite of Team Performance Acceleration Principles that he’s used with teams of different sizes and scopes all over the world to drive results.

Omar currently lives alone in Sao Paulo, Brazil where he works as Country Manager – Brazil for Allergan.

Quotes and Mentions

Listen to Omar L Harris (@strengthsleader) to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet

“If you provide positivity to others, you in turn fill your own well of positivity.” – Click to Tweet

“You can avoid the negativity trap simply by trying to do something nice for other people.” – Click to Tweet

“Be aware of your impact of positive and negative on your team and organization.” @strengthsleader – Click to Tweet

“The more positive energy you put out, the more you’re going to get back.” – Click to Tweet

“By putting positive actions in place, you have the ability to drain the well of negativity.” – Click to Tweet

“There’s a halo effect when the leader is intentionally being positive.” – Click to Tweet

“The information about you as a leader can get transmitted faster than ever before.” – Click to Tweet

“If you are a negative leader or toxic leader in today’s environment, everyone’s going to know and no one’s going to want to work for you.” – Click to Tweet

“In today’s world you can no longer get away with being a toxic leader.” – Click to Tweet

“HR cannot create a personal relationship with your people with you.” – Click to Tweet

“One of the reasons we’re seeing this global disengagement crisis is because managers are increasingly less engaged and involved in their people’s lives.” – Click to Tweet

“Where you went to school, how smart you are on an IQ test and your past success, does not predict your future.” – Click to Tweet

“As a leader, don’t assume that the behavioral attributes you need to be successful are there.” – Click to Tweet

“Every project has elements of execution, influencing, relationship building, and strategic thinking to it.” – Click to Tweet

“If you’re a poor leader, changing companies is not going to make you a better leader.” – Click to Tweet

“You need to make sure your character is at the utmost level at all times.” – Click to Tweet

“There’s different coaching aspects depending on which stage your team is in.” – Click to Tweet

“The numbers are depressing if you look at the employee engagement numbers.” – Click to Tweet

“Focus on the person, not the role.” – Click to Tweet

“Everything happens in due time, don’t get ahead of yourself.” – Click to Tweet

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Hump to Get Over

Omar L Harris coasted on his own individual talent early in his career. The first time he led a team, he began to carry the performance of the team on his shoulders. This caused him to be hospitalized and suffer from panic attacks. Finally, he realized he needed to trust his people and put them in the right place to win.

Advice for others

Everything happens in due time, don’t get ahead of yourself.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Not working out enough.

Best Leadership Advice

Focus on the person, not the role.

Secret to Success

Daily habits that lead to future outcomes.

Best tools in business or life

My energy, positivity, and my enthusiasm.

Recommended Reading

Leader Board: The DNA of High Performance Teams (Leader Board Series)

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

How Full Is Your Bucket?

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

Contacting Omar L Harris

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/strengthsleader

Website: https://www.omarlharris.com/

Resources and Show Mentions

231: Jim Harter: Chief Scientist Workplace, Gallup

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

Show Transcript:

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

247: Omar L Harris: Leadership giants have gaps

 

Jim Rembach: (00:00)

Jim Rembach: Okay. Fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because I had the opportunity to interview somebody who I have actually had the chance to interview before and he brings such a wealth and depth of experience and knowledge that I’m looking forward to this conversation. Even more than the last, born to a chemical engineer, father and social worker, mother in the working class town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Omar L Harris, learn the values of connecting process to outcomes and the importance of being of service to others. At an early age, being the youngest of four boys in a family of five children, he endured a lot of hope and pressure to succeed where others had failed in order to uplift and support his family. Moving from Pittsburgh to Charleston, West Virginia to Lake Charles, Louisiana over the course of his childhood and adolescence endured in Omar the ability to adapt to constant change, which has been his status quo as an adult, living all over the U S and spending considerable time living and working in the middle East, Asia and Latin America.

 

Jim Rembach: (01:02)

As a young professional in the pharmaceutical industry. He was exposed to Guelph StrengthFinder tool back in 2002 which informed his philosophy of focusing on what was right with people versus what was not. According to the StrengthsFinder assessment, Omar learned that he was naturally gifted with the ability to forge connections between seemingly unrelated items, influenced transformation from good to great quickly generate options, inspire confidence in others and confront and overcome obstacles, honing his natural talents into reliable strengths. He successfully matriculated through Pfizer and ultimately found a corporate home at shearing plow as a fast track management associate where he worked for one of the most successful marketing teams in the pharmaceutical industry. He became the youngest marketing director and senior marketing director in the company’s history. Before Schering plough was acquired by Merck is eight years of experience working on this high performing team, became the seed of what would germinate and ultimately grow into his book leaderboard the DNA of high performance teams.

 

Jim Rembach: (02:03)

Omar began leading teams in 2006 and began implementing principles. He’d learned reading books by John C. Maxwell, Tom Rath, Patrick Lensioni, Stephen Covey, and Jim Collins. To name a few over time, he found significant gaps between the brilliant theories of these leadership giants and the exact application in the day to day minutia of leading a team in the real world. So he set out to synthesize and adapt these concepts into a suite of team performance acceleration principles that he used with teams of different sizes and scopes all over the world to drive results. Omar currently lives alone and saw Paul Brazil where he works as a country manager of Brazil for Allegan where he loves to travel and experience the culture. Omar L Harris, are you ready to help us get over the hump? Let’s do it. Let’s do it, man. I’m glad you’re here. Now 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? Or my current really is,

 

Omar L Harris:: (03:00)

uh, writing. So that’s where the author comes in leading. So, which is why I maintain a position at Oregon and lead an enterprise over 300 people and high performance strengths coaching. So basically helping people understand what’s great about them and put it into action to overcome their obstacles and achieve their goals.

 

Jim Rembach: (03:17)

Well, I’m talking about action. I mean your book leaderboard is just loaded with a lot of opportunities for that to take place. Um, being able to take, like you have said, some of those gaps that we often find in theory and making them real. But I think first of all, we often have to realize that there’s potential pitfalls and things that we can run into. In the very beginning of the book, you talk about negativity trap. Can you tell us a little bit about what that is?

 

Omar L Harris:: (03:44)

So the negativity trap is really where you get into a mindset or the negative cycle of negative thinking that perpetuates negative outcomes. And this really comes from the book. How full is your bucket? Um, was written by Donald O Clifton and Tom Rath, uh, back in, I think the early two thousands was what came out. And so, uh, what was most interesting about that particular, that particular book was it was a, uh, a great example of PLW in term camps, uh, in China. And the psychological effect, uh, that the, the, the captors used all the captives to basically utilize negative reinforcement to perpetuate a hopelessness and sort of hopeless hopelessness. And the captives, it didn’t do torture. It didn’t, you know, beat them. They didn’t treat them poorly. They just gave them bad news about their fit. They wrote letters, for example, from the point of view of the family members dying in the U S as an example, or, uh, they would perpetuate other negative thoughts in the captives.

 

Omar L Harris:: (04:45)

And this led to was sense of hopelessness and people basically die the hopelessness and these camps not up toward turnout of other things. So, uh, that was a very powerful example that I took from, from reading. Uh, how full is your bucket? And then the inverse of that situation is the theory that if you provide positivity to others, you intern for your own well of positivity so you can further be energized into your job and be engaged. So the idea that you can avoid the negativity trap simply by trying to do something nice for other people. So what I always tell people who are coming to me with negativity in my office and on a daily basis is, you know, do something nice for someone that somebody else, here’s something positive for somebody else. Be aware of your impact, both positive and negative on your teams and on your organization. The more positive energy you put out, the more you’re going to get back to providing a more. So it’s a bit of a virtuous circle. So, so you have to avoid the negative negativity trap, which is really these negative doubts, beliefs, self limiting beliefs, um, career limiting beliefs, things that we all have anxieties, fears, worries,

 

Jim Rembach: (05:53)

okay.

 

Omar L Harris:: (05:53)

And counteract that by simply putting positive action into place. By putting positive actions into place, you have the ability to really, uh, to drain the well of negativity. Refill with the Willow positivity. And this is the first, the book starts off with this example because, uh, more than any of the thing, there is a, there’s a halo effect of the Fado the leader on the organization when the, when the, when the leader is intentionally being positive with their, uh, with their organization versus when you’re not aware of your actual impact on those around you. So it’s about self-awareness. It’s about intentionally being positive because you know, that’s going to have a far more powerful impact on employee engagement or productivity, and you’re going to get it back into yourself as well.

 

Jim Rembach: (06:38)

Well, to me, what you just said, right there is the really the importance of modeling because I think, you know, it’s too easy for us, especially where if we’re in a position where we have some subordinates to oftentimes fall into the trap to where it’s like, okay, you know, don’t do what I’m doing. Do what I’m telling you to do.

 

Omar L Harris:: (06:57)

Right? Right. And today’s employees, the millennials and those coming after them, they’re watching you basically. You know, the idea of transparency is everywhere, right? Transparency on the web, transparency on social media. Uh, uh, right now there are websites and services where bosses are being rated by their employees of glassdoor.com so everybody’s watching you now and the information about you as a leader is can get transmitted faster than ever before. If you are a negative leader or a toxic leader in today’s environment, everyone’s going to know and no one’s going to where want to work for you. Whereas before you kind of get away with it today in today’s world, you can no longer get with being a toxic leader. And so that’s really why I start the book with the negative trap negativity trap to show that the main character of the story is trying to avoid that so he can basically perpetuate something positive for himself. And then for the organization.

 

Jim Rembach: (07:46)

Well, one of the things that’s important to all of this as well is making sure that when we’re selecting people for our teams, regardless of the size, and I would dare to say the smaller the team that even more important than it is, is that we don’t just necessarily go through a very typical, our common process of interviewing you actually use something that’s a little bit different. What is that?

 

Omar L Harris:: (08:08)

So my principle is called interviewing, but interviewing begins actually after the person has been hired to the team. So it’s a step of onboarding. So one of the things that really is really amazing to me in today’s day and age is that leaders outsource onboarding to HR. So HR cannot create a personal relationship with your people, with you. HR is not going to sell your people on you. Think about this. When you hire someone, if the maximum out of time is spent with you as their hiring managers, probably an hour in that first interview you did with them, right? You think that there’s a bond of trust already created and a bond of they understand your style. What’s going to work for you, what works for them and how you guys are going to work together to for powerful part partnership and really drive no. So interviewing is taking the next step to saying, listen, we work together.

 

Omar L Harris:: (09:00)

I as your leader, habit, intense interest and curiosity about who you are, the person, what makes you who you are and I’m going to sit down with you over the course of two to three hours and get to know the building blocks of you, your motivators, your desires, your drivers, your strengths, your weaknesses, things you hate, things that drive me crazy things you love. Because when I have all that information right from the beginning, first of all, the fact that I’m asking these questions creates proximity between the two of us. The second thing it does is it builds trust because it shows that my manager is concerned about knowing me as a person before we start talking about what my job actually is. So it’s no the person focused on a person, not just a role. And those two things combined creates a powerful partnership between you and your employee, which is the building block.

 

Omar L Harris:: (09:49)

If you have that with every individual member of your team, this is how you begin to talk through some of the stages of group formation and hack some of that process, which we’ll talk about it a little bit. I’m sure Jim. So, but that’s, that’s what interviewing really is, is a, a standardized approach during the onboarding process within month one, someone coming on your team where you sit down and really reveal yourself, become vulnerable, let them know about your life, you get to understand their life, build up our partnership and then, uh, take a, take a, take a

 

Jim Rembach: (10:18)

stuff from there. Well one of the things that also to me is quite, um, the opportunity when you start talking about that is I could even do that to my boss. So like for example, they may not come with me with this, you know, come to me with this particular, you know, interview process. However, I could essentially be using this tool in order for me, you know, as their direct report to get to know them better. You know, whether or not, you know, it’s, it’s open and open discussion and that they’re willing to do it. I just need to collect this information so that when I do try to get, you know, my ideas forth in an approved, when I try to, you know, um, have them enable us to get certain things done that only they can do. I mean I see it being as very a lot of ways.

 

Omar L Harris:: (11:04)

So Jim you are, you’re going to the bed step cause that’s actually you’re exactly right. You know the questionnaire works both ways. You know, I’m trying to influence leaders to be more people oriented and I’m asking them to do the stuff of doing interviews. But if you’re an employee you also have an obligation to break crate, break, bridge that barrier with your, with your manager. So it works both ways. And actually when I started my new job with Allegan last summer when I joined it and moved to Brazil from Indonesia, I actually sat down with my new manager who was the senior vice president of LA, of the [inaudible] region and I, I did an interview with him, a reverse interview. So we sat down over lunch and I actually use the process that we built the bond of trust right from the beginning I understood what his pet peeves were, I understood what he expected from me style wise, what expected for me from a communications perspective. I understood about his life, the fact that he had kids and you know his birthday well, whether it was important for him. So we got to a different level of, of comradery over the course of a two hour lunch and then our relationship was off to the races from that moment on. So you’re exactly right. It doesn’t just speak, it shouldn’t just be the manager to the, to the new colleague at Oxford, the colleagues. It’s actually very powerful for colleagues,

 

Jim Rembach: (12:14)

manager as well. Well, and I want to make sure that people kind of understand when we start talking about the reverse interview process is that certain cultures, that’s kind of expected. If we’re talking about the North American culture, specifically in the United States, we oftentimes will shirk or discount the importance of doing something like that because we think it’s invasion of somebody’s privacy. But in fact that’s how you build relationships is getting to those things because it’s not what, we don’t want to know what it is that people do. What we want to know is who are they.

 

Omar L Harris:: (12:45)

Exactly. Exactly. And the best teams I’ve ever worked for Jim or teams where we were involved in each other’s lives, we got personal. So, so, and I think if you’re going to spend all this time working with a group of people to achieve a goal and you don’t get personal, uh, it’s, it’s really, what’s the point of it. I mean, I think that’s, you know, keeping it a hundred percent professional and only what happened when people walk into the office. You don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes at the teammate or as a boss. Um, you’re really missing a major trick in terms of motivation and engaging the organization. That’s probably one of the reasons why we’re seeing this global disengagement crisis because managers are increasingly less engaged and involved in their people’s lives. They don’t understand what’s happening. I’ll give you, I’ll give you another example, Tim. I’m doing my midyear performance reviews, right? And one of the questions that I’m asking you, my major performance reviews is, um, tell me, uh, how, how has your level of stress right now, how has your current level of engagement with, uh, with me and with the enterprise and with the products we’re working on? Um, how was your overall health and is there anything in your personal life affecting your performer friend? Now I’m asking these questions in a mini review. I can ask these questions because I’ve already done interviews with all of these people.

 

Jim Rembach: (14:01)

Okay.

 

Omar L Harris:: (14:01)

And we already have trust. If I just come out the door asking questions like this, you know, it’s not going to work. But because I’ve already put the work in, uh, when I ask questions like this that are really caring and understanding questions and let me know what’s going on with somebody, um, it’s not taken in a wrong way and we, it further builds those last so’s trust.

 

Jim Rembach: (14:20)

It’s funny that you say that because I, um, a while back was doing a mid year review with, uh, somebody who was reporting to me and I started asking him questions about how could I, you know, better serve and support them, how could I, you know, and basically that was the gist of the review process. Um, and then when it was all done, she looked at me kinda fun and she said, is that it? And I’m like, well, yeah. And she goes, that is the strangest review that I have.

 

Omar L Harris:: (14:49)

But, but, but we’re, we’re, we are are of like minds. Jim, I asked the exact same question because for me, once again, that whole concept of servant leadership, I work for you. I did a rule book bears from you, so you can be massively successful if you’re successful. I’m successful.

 

Jim Rembach: (15:04)

Most definitely. Okay. So another thing when you start talking about identifying the right people, you use another little bit of a twist, somewhat of an acronym, uh, and then you use something called boom, a, w, H. O. M. what does that stand for and what does that do?

 

Omar L Harris:: (15:18)

So whom is the step before interviewing, which is how I identify a high performance DNA right from the start. Let me give you the background of this. So going, bridging another leadership Titan’s philosophy into the practical application. So one of my favorite books is good to great. I love good to great so much. We have a read good to great. It’s a study of a top tier companies. They had a peer group and basically they deliver 10 times market performance over a 30 year period. And they were studied by Jim Collins and associates. And then they wrote a book, uh, of somewhat, uh, not, uh, obvious insights about what made the, what made the great companies distinguish themselves from the good companies. So the first principle of good to great was not, you know, a counterintuitive insight was not they had the best mission or had the best process.

 

Omar L Harris:: (16:11)

It was called first. Who then what first, who then what says as a basic principle, get the right people on the bus and then decide where the bus was going. Right. I loved that and I kind of committed it to memory, but then I’m in a day to day world and I’m like, but who are the who? How do I decide who the right people are? Is that experience pedigree, a, you know, a past success? Is that the best measure of who I started there? Then I realized that actually where you went to school, how smart you are and an IQ test and your past success is not necessarily predict your future success. I have to go deeper. So I created an acronym initially was just work ethic, heart and optimism. And that was built out of, uh, really thinking about the teams that I worked on that were very successful.

 

Omar L Harris:: (17:00)

And what did everyone on those teams have in common? Well, we all worked really hard. We had shared passion and we saw problems and barriers as opportunities and not as things that were going to slow us down or stop us. So I use the who principle for many, many years. And then when I was working in Indonesia, I added the M, which is maturity because I, as I become, uh, increasing my leadership in terms of leading leaders, deleting leaders of leaders and leading leaders of leaders of leaders, the higher up you go. So for example, now I’m leading leaders of leaders of leaders, but shorty becomes a much more important attribute. And you can’t assume it’s because someone is, you know, 45, 50 years old or in their forties that they’re mature. And what I mean by maturity is they can deal with inevitable disappointment. They can deal with conflicts productively when they arise and then make a positive outcomes come out of that.

 

Omar L Harris:: (17:53)

Because so then I begin utilizing, creating questions from maturity that complemented the entire, uh, big fire cycles. So now when I hire a team for a team, anyone who comes on my team, they have to prove to me that they have the necessary level, minimum level of work ethic, heart optimism and maturity. My current team now is comprised of all these individuals. We don’t have unnecessary conflicts about silly things. We’re very focused on the mission. We all are aligned. The passionate about what we’re doing and when we kind of problems were very quick and collaborative to solve them together. So, um, high performance is almost guaranteed if you have that DNA right from the start, which is why I recommend hiring the right home.

 

Jim Rembach: (18:37)

Well, and as you are saying that, I kind of chuckled inside because I used to have this saying that I use quite often and you see, you’re causing me to reflect and bring it on back. As I was talking about my career of managing, you know, hundreds of people through operations, um, at various times is that I, I would say I’ve been blessed. I’ve had the opportunity to lead 18 year old men and 65 year old boys.

 

Omar L Harris:: (19:07)

There it is. You brought, you brought the whole thing home. And the whole point is as a leader, don’t assume that the behavioral attributes you need to be successful are there. Um, and, and so, so a lot of times we focus on someone’s town and their potential, uh, but these people are destructive on teams. You know, I’ve dealt with some of the smartest people you could ever lead. And individually they are superstar, they’re brilliant, but he put them in an, around another group of people and the frustrations boil over and people don’t move fast enough for them. And, and then it just creates unnecessary attention that people can’t get things done and it becomes devolves into, you know, uh, just a lot of negativity. And you’re in that storming phase that we’re going to talk about a little bit later.

 

Jim Rembach: (19:52)

Yeah. And let’s talk about that. Okay. So, and you’re talking about the, the, the team work and the team building process. I mean that talking about going back on those Titans that that was done back in the forties or 50s, I think. And you probably have more insight and sharing on that, but there’s a specific process that teams go through and, and it, it and it actually evolves and, and sometimes you go back two steps and move forward, but about that team process.

 

Omar L Harris:: (20:18)

So, so Bruce Tuckman who’s a behavioral psychologist and a giant of behavioral psychology, uh, wrote an a landmark article called uh, group development and sequences. And in that landmark article, what he did was he basically took a lot of research from a lot of different disciplines on different groups of people and it looked to find the thin red line between all these studies. And what he found was that basically, uh, when you’re talking about groups of, you know, between one and 25 people, like smallest type groups, uh, when you put these people together and you give them a task, naturally they’re going to go through four stages. Forming is the first stage, storming is the second stage. Norming is the third stage. And performing his last days. Now forming is guaranteed. And I would say storming is guaranteed. Norming and performing are not guaranteed. Uh, you’re just because you’re in a group of people, you don’t always arrive at norming and you, most teams never actually arrive at performing.

 

Omar L Harris:: (21:21)

Um, although their managers or leaders may think they’re, they’re in high performance, but they’re not actually that actually performing. So let me go through each one of those stages for you, Jim. So we can break it down a little bit. Better. Forming happens either when it’s a brand new team, random people that are coming together. So basically, you know, it’s a start up and you’re starting a new organization or when the leader is new. So imagine you are a leader. Like I was coming into Brazil last year inheriting an organization. The team begins to form around me because my energy, this is my presence changes the organization. So we forming from that, from that perspective or forming happens when the mission changes. So imagine that you won a championship, but the next year you want to win another championship. Well, the next year’s task is different than the first year task.

 

Omar L Harris:: (22:08)

The team members may be different. That dynamics in the market may be different. So therefore you’re forming again around the task. So those are the three instances where you’re actually four. So basically it’s a group of people coming together to do a task. As you go through and begin to decide how you’re going to go about doing the task, you go into a phase called stormy, which is basically when everyone has a different opinion about how to accomplish the task. You put 10 people together and said, listen, uh, you know, uh, screw in a light bulb. That’s where the dope comes from, right? You’re going to find, you know, 10 different opinions about the best way to do that, right? So that’s storming. And then that show was basically everybody wanted to put their point of view on the table and say, listen, this is how we should go about doing some critical tasks.

 

Omar L Harris:: (22:52)

The leaders tried to assert their authority. Uh, individuals are trying to be political, either to become close to the leader or to basically remove the leader’s power. So it’s a very uncomfortable period of time because although people have, they know what the task is and they agree on the task, how to achieve the task has not yet been aligned. So norming is once you know, everyone is aware of the task and know what we’re trying to accomplish and we agree on how we’re going to go about achieving the task. So what are the rules of the road where the rules of the game? Now we’re in Norman, now we have certain rules and established ways of working that will allow us to go forward and accomplish the task. And usually it stops right there. It stops adoring because because you’ve gone through storming, what happens in norming that prevents high performance?

 

Omar L Harris:: (23:38)

Well, one thing, people will become too polite. They don’t want to disrupt the harmony that they’ve established after coming through stormy. So there’s an artificial harmony that pervades norming teams that the leader must disrupt. All of the leader can disrupt the artificial harmony by stimulating productive conflict, by stimulating productive conflict. Then you get to the next stage, which is performing. That is when, uh, not, not only does everybody know what the task is, not only does everyone have the ways of working, but everyone is laser focused and a hundred percent passionate on doing whatever it takes to achieve the task. That’s the difference between a performing team and a Normington. It’s a level of commitment and the level of focus and orientation towards nothing’s gonna stop us from achieving this task, not even artificial harmony. And that’s when you get to high performance.

 

Jim Rembach: (24:33)

Well, and when you start talking about yet another acronym, so we’ve hit a several. You, you close the book with something called [inaudible].

 

Omar L Harris:: (24:43)

So really what I wanted to do was, uh, because once again, Bruce Tuckman wrote a great article, right about forming, storming, norming, and performing. There’s nothing in the article that says, what should a leader be doing? Or how can a leader actually help a group of people faster move through these stages. So that’s where the teeth have come into play. Because basically I have identified in the literature and in my own personal experience that there are definitely proactive ways a leader can take to speed. The group from forming to performing. And so the team performance acceleration principles or T paps or the state that the actual practical application things you can do starting today that will allow you to move much faster through forming jump right through storming gets normally very quickly and then get to performing after that. So there’s five team performances or it’s principles linked to each one of the stages of group formation. And that’s really unique about leaderboard is that there’s never been that kind of guidance linked to the state as a group formation put together before. And it’s not only my own, uh, own ideas, it’s also the amalgamation of the best, the leadership from the greatest minds on business, uh, business and operations and organizations, uh, over the last 20 or 30 years. But what’s different is it’s all practical application. It’s all things you can do, download tools and start utilizing them today.

 

Jim Rembach: (26:15)

Well, I think that’s the missing component for so many folks and they need to get, you know, charged, energized, uh, excited, motivated, you know, when they hear and read, you know, certain things about leading. And then it’s like, okay, now let’s go do it. And we’re like, where do we start? And it’s crickets. Right?

 

Omar L Harris:: (26:32)

Exactly. Exactly. So, so you know what I, what I like to say is I’ve, you know, the first person that goes through the wall gets the blood and knows, I’ve gone to the, what I’ve gotten the Belinda nodes for everybody. I’ve actually taken the pain and time to try to implement these things in the real world, see what works, what does not filter all that out and give you a curated list of tools that will definitely work to move the needle forward for your organization.

 

Jim Rembach: (26:59)

Well, and as I had mentioned to you, I mean, going through the book, I mean, I was inspired in a lot of different ways. Uh, I also had the opportunity to have, uh, dr Jim harder on the fast leader show who is the chief research scientist of workplace for Gallop, uh, who is author of this book called H the manager. He also shares a lot, a bit about, a lot about the strengths. And while, you know, there are some people out there that will talk about the strengths and even you know that strengths finder and identifying and you know, all of that, you know, has some gaps in it as well. It’s nothing is perfect here, but I th and I think one of the things that you’ve done with leaderboard, and I think you’re also, you know, working on some additional works associated with that, you know, is making it, like you said, it’s tangible. The day to day this is okay, you know, TA take all of this theory, you know, and do these things and now you’ll have success.

 

Omar L Harris:: (27:52)

Yeah. Speaking of the strengths specifically, and I’m glad you brought that up, Jim, is you know, as a certified strengths coach, I have a, I have a gigantic frustration I’m going to reveal to you right now, which is the power of focusing on what’s right with people versus what’s wrong with them as a leader to engage and really transform someone’s career is phenomenal. Two problems we have right now, only 20 million people globally have taken a strength finder assessment. So the vast majority of people still have not learned their strengths. What in globally there are less than 4,000 certified strengths coaches for 20 million people in the world. So even if you take the string spider test and you are very passionate and you and you, you get the, you get the bug that you want to develop restraints, that the likelihood that you’re going to find a strengths coach that was going to, that’s going to be able to take you through the process and help you improve is very difficult because of the, the, the gap between the number of people who are taking assessment and the number of actual strengths coaches.

 

Omar L Harris:: (28:56)

So leaderboard also fits in there to bridge that gap to a certain extent as well. Because when I talk about in the book and what I leaderboard actually is, so other than a clever title is uh, one of the actionable steps that we’re talking about. So all the leaderboard is, is taking principles from strengths based leadership, which was published back in 2008. Uh, and what strengths based leadership said is that, you know, there are 35 themes of talent. So basically everybody has, uh, 30, 34 teams of talent, talent, which are ordered in terms of their dominance from one to 34. Right? These things have talent. They say they organize it, the four domains of strength, so executing, influencing life stability and 50 thinking. So basically the 34 talents are organized in four domains of strength. Well, I take it a little bit further than than Gallup is, is to say what that means to me is that if I’m a leader looking at a group of people, that means I have people on my team who may be better than me in execution, who may be better than me at influencing outcomes, who may be better than me at relationship building or who me, who may be better than me, asked you to thinking I don’t have to be great at all of these things as leader anymore.

 

Omar L Harris:: (30:12)

I just have to be to put the people who are great at those things in there of straight sewed on a daily basis and then watch them that in capital. And that’s what a leaderboard is. A leaderboard is basically identifying the top domains of everyone on your team and the game of find the work. Because every project actually has elements of execution, influencing relationship building and should be thinking to it. So if you break down tasks and allocate them towards the individual or team who are strongest in those areas and gamify it, you’re going to start seeing progress towards goals accelerate at an exponential rate. And that’s what we did in our team as an actual example back in, you know, back in the early two thousands and that’s what a leaderboard is. And that’s the, that’s the real gold at the heart of the book is how do you apply strengths based leadership actually in the workforce 14 and take it a beyond the great theory of focusing on what’s great with people, but actually put it to work.

 

Jim Rembach: (31:12)

I mean, so for me, as you were talking, I’m like, well, that’s the personalization of work. I mean, what you’re doing is you’re making it right for me. Yeah. Yeah. Well, needless to say, when we start talking about a lot of, you know, the frustrations, um, a lot of the successes in the exhilaration, there’s a lot of things that help us really to get pointed in the right direction. And on the show we focus on quotes. Um, there are a quote or two that you liked that you can share.

 

Omar L Harris:: (31:38)

My favorite quote, and I don’t know if it applies to necessarily to, to, to what we’re talking about here, but, uh, is by Emerson. No change of circumstances can overcome the feet of character. So that’s something that I carry with me is that, you know, your, and I think it does link because if you’re talking about this transparency now that we have, and the fact that everything you do is watched and correlated and seeing roughly by the people who work for you, uh, you can’t, if you’re a poor leader, changing companies is not gonna make you a better leader. Uh, you need to put in the work, uh, and you need to make sure that your character is at the utmost level at all times, especially as a leader. So, you know, it’s inexcusable for the higher up you go to become a worse person. It’s inexcusable. I think the higher up we go, the better off we had to get them more actualized we have to become, and the more supportive we have to be for people because that’s why we’re, we given that great title was not, you know, because we were so as, because we have a lot more to give back to the, it’s not about the ego, it’s about what we have to get back to the organization. So I think that that quote for me kind of sums up that that idea

 

Jim Rembach: (32:48)

well and the modeling becomes even more important, doesn’t it?

 

Omar L Harris:: (32:50)

Yeah, yeah, for sure. For sure. So yeah, I really, I really am passionate about the servant leadership approach to religion, philosophy and, and really, uh, helping leaders understand that there is another way to achieve results. Top-down used to work still works in certain organizations, certain cultures in certain instances. But if he wants sustainable high performance, if you adopt servant leadership and begin to go to the customer and go to your front line and understand what the real challenges are and begin to drive solutions faster to those challenges, how can you not drive higher performance?

 

Jim Rembach: (33:27)

Well I think for me, um, like you were talking about is knowing and some people will call it situational leadership. So I mean I need to do top down. I mean I just need to want that longterm, you know, value generation and all that. Well then I need to switch on and I need more of the things that you’re talking about.

 

Omar L Harris:: (33:46)

And you’re right. And one of the things, the other things that I talk about in the team performance in the discussion section of the book is what is the role of the leader in the four stages? Because the change begin to form and you have to be on board directive. You do have to kind of tell people what to, to organize the group and organize the work. Whereas the storming, your mindset has to be coaching. You need to coach people a lot more. In norming, I talk about inspecting, so not coaching, but inspecting. So you’re, the mixture of the norms hold up under all circumstances. So there’s different coaching aspects depending on what stage your team is in. Um, and that will help you also move the team to the state is acknowledging what you have to do and what you have to exhibit for the group, for the group in that.

 

Jim Rembach: (34:29)

Well, and I would dare to say that the, or where you are now was a direct result of, you know, capturing a lot of information, self-awareness, you know, continuous commitment, you know, to learning all of those things that, you know, just didn’t come and your youth. And so when I start thinking about lessons learned, you know, we talk about getting over the humps. Is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share?

 

Omar L Harris:: (34:52)

Oh yeah, definitely. Definitely. I think that, you know, early on in my career I coasted on talent, on my own individual talent. So my own ability to be a very, very hard working, but my own individual talent to put things together in a way that people hadn’t thought of before. And I kind of really coasted on that. But when I became a leader of organizations and teams, you know, the first time I led a team, I was trying to once again utilize my own individual towel to drive this group of people towards a goal. And I put the whole team on my bed and just like LeBron James catering the Cleveland Cavaliers to the chat, to the, to the finals in 2007 versus spurts. But as far as we’re a team, the problem is, is one guy who we only know who they are right now, right. That was like me back in 2006 I, I, you know, I was dragging my organization forward and we were getting some results done.

 

Omar L Harris:: (35:43)

But the moment I was out of the picture, it kind of collapsed. And that’s not leadership. Leadership is, you know, once again, sustainable DNA, it’s in the DNA. I mean means that when you, whether you’re there or not, these principles are going to be upheld and moving forward. So I think I had to overcome that hump because also the cost of myself was very personally challenging. I went through panic attacks once the hospital several times. At that same time of my life, I was working myself and putting so much pressure on myself individually that I almost broke myself. And I think that I had to reflect and really come back and say, listen, actually I’m not trusting my people enough. I’m not putting him in the right places to win and I have to invent a new way to do this. And that’s what I began to embark on the journey that ultimately began, uh, that ends with, uh, with leaderboard being published.

 

Jim Rembach: (36:35)

Well, and like I said, and I know you’re working on, you know, your next, you know, opportunity and your next book, I’m not going to get into that. I know that’s something that I, I would dare to say it out the course of your career, you’re probably going to produce several, but I know you said you’re a strengths coach finder. Um, you’re a country manager, you know your author, speaker. I mean you’ve got a lot of things going on. So when I start thinking about a goal, what’s one of your goals?

 

Omar L Harris:: (36:59)

Well, my main goal right now in one goal that you’re really helping, we miss Jim, is to really get some of these ideas out there. I think it’s not about that this is bigger than than Omar L Harris. It’s bigger than any one person. This is about, uh, how are we going to, the numbers are depressing. If you look at the employee engagement numbers, you look at what’s in what book. The book gets the, and it talks about employee engagement. You just get, the preps are like, listen, our our, how do we, we’re going to be in a perpetual recession or depression from an economic perspective, but we don’t get distinct fixed. Right? So for me, it’s really about trying to change the hearts and minds of principals, new leaders coming in. So I want to really focus on new people who are coming up and I’m really focused on doing whatever I can do in my power to get the word out to the new leaders coming in that there’s another way to do this.

 

Omar L Harris:: (37:54)

Um, and maybe not the ultimately right way, but there’s another way to do it, another path. There’ll be always be other paths of how to do things. Uh, so I think that’s one major goal that I have set for myself right now, which is where I’m probably really focused on, on that. And then am I, am I into the world is just, um, making sure that I am actually the example of these principles. So I think that, you know, one of the things that happens to you when you write a book like this, and you’re not a theoretical, uh, theoretical person. You’re not in academia. You’re actually doing it every day is people can say, Omar is not walking the talk. He wrote an entire book about this stuff and he doesn’t do any of it. Whereas actually when I’m talking to my team and my midyear reviews, one of my colleagues, she said to me, she said, Omar, you know, one of the great things that people appreciate about you is you wrote this book, but it’s 100%. You and I’ve met the world to me that actually that, you know, the, the, the, I w I’m really walking the talk and I think being that example, showing people that I’m not just talking about the stuff that I actually do, it is also really important to me right now to be somewhat of an example and, and to really talk to anybody who needs help on how they can make the transition. Cause I made it, um, uh, to the other side of this and that’s what I’m really focused on now.

 

Jim Rembach: (39:07)

And the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

 

Speaker 3: (39:13)

And even better place to work is an easy to use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone using this award. Winning solutions, guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work. Visit [inaudible] dot com four slash better. Okay. Omar, they’ll hope they hold on as a part of our show where you give us insights fast. Okay. Several questions. And your job is to give us robust get referee responses are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Harris, are you ready to hold down? Let’s do it. Alright, so what is holding you back from being an even better leader today? Not working out enough. So my own personal energy is that I need to work out for

 

Jim Rembach: (40:02)

my physical fitness. What is the best leadership advice you have ever received? Focused on the person, not the role. And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

 

Omar L Harris:: (40:14)

Uh, daily habits that lead to future outcomes. So basically making sure that I’m focused on the right daily habits to lead the future outcomes. Although I’m not doing the workout enough and I am getting enough water, getting enough sleep, uh, reading every day, uh, and making some time for meditation on a daily basis.

 

Jim Rembach: (40:31)

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

 

Omar L Harris:: (40:35)

My energy and my positivity and my enthusiasm.

 

Jim Rembach: (40:38)

And what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? It could be from any genre. Of course. We’re going to put a link to leaderboard on your page as well.

 

Omar L Harris:: (40:46)

The five dysfunctions of a team by Patrick Lencioni.

 

Jim Rembach: (40:49)

Okay. Fast leader Legion. You can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show. I go into fast leader.net/omar L Harris. Okay, Omar, this is my last Humpday hold on question. Alright. Edge. And you are given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 knowledge and skills that you have now back with you. But you can’t take it all. You can only choose one. What skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Omar L Harris:: (41:13)

The only thing, I will go back and I’ll tell myself and give myself the perspective that everything happened to do time. Don’t get ahead of myself because, uh, you need to, I need to accumulate knowledge as well as, uh, accumulate, uh, promotions and whatnot was very focused on promotion to getting to a certain level. Uh, and I think that, you know, actually time and and perspective is equally valuable, not just moving fast, like a career. It was a fun time with you today. Can you please share the fast leader Legion, how they can connect with you? Yes. The best way to reach me facet of Legion is through my website, www.omarlharris.comomarlharris.com.

 

Jim Rembach: (41:55)

Oh, Omar Harris. It was an honor to spend time of the day and the fast leader Legion honors you. And thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

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