Leaders set the bar in how a company treats its customers, and it is important to understand the necessary leadership skills to do that.
They may not be in the frontlines talking directly with the customers, but a leader’s influence to the team impacts the way an agent performs and how they deliver the customer experience. This is why leadership is important. Have you ever heard one of your people repeat to customers things you’ve said?
Once I repeated something my boss said to me. The customer went and complained about the service I was providing. My boss never gave me any feedback.
I suspect he heard himself in those words I spoke to the customer. The only person he could be upset with was himself.
In this episode, Dr. David Arrington shares important leadership skills to apply in your contact center and customer experience strategy.
According to Dr. David Arrington, “Everything a leader does impacts the organization. It all trickles down. If you have solid leadership at the top and set those priorities that the customer is important from that perspective, people from that organization will follow that line.”
Dr. David Arrington was born in Philadelphia, Pa. He was raised in a loving and nurturing 2 parent home with one older brother.
His parents supported his love of computers. At the age of 11, they bought him his first computer, a Texas Instruments (TI-185). He would spend hours in his room writing shortcode and just learning what it could do.
After graduating from college with a degree in Computer Information Systems, David accepted a job as a Systems Analyst at Exxon Chemical in Houston, TX. Here he got his first real introduction on how to lead (or not lead), he moved on from Exxon a few years later, taking the lessons he learned there, stepped out into the entrepreneurial world, and started his first business, a small design company. A couple of years after starting this venture, his wife shared the news his second son was on the way. David headed back into corporate America and was hired by Schlumberger Omnes.
After a short time there, he was promoted to the position of Worldwide Recruiting Manager. This new position took him across the country and around the world. This experience clarified what leading both virtually and locally really meant.
With a sudden desire to do something totally different, David and his family moved to Michigan where he started and completed his Master of Divinity and started his pastoral career.
12 years, 4 states, and a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership with an emphasis in Leadership Coaching later, he left this position taking all the experience he learned about leading, motivating, and engaging volunteers and started his company, Arrington Coaching. This is where David thrives, and is fulfilling his stated mission to impact an entire generation of leaders. He does this by helping executives realize their vision and create sustainable change through executive coaching and leadership training. This year has been a whirlwind. In addition to writing his book Promotable: Demonstrate Your Value Highlight Your Potential Land Your Next Promotion, he and his team just launched ArringtonTraining.com to make his practical teaching style and proven methodology available to more leaders and teams.
In his spare time, Dr. David Arrington enjoys watching movies, TV shows and, listening to great music. When he’s not watching a great (or terrible) movie, with his beautiful wife of 23 years and 3 kidults you might catch him noddin’ his head to old school rap or playing a PC action adventure game.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
Listen to @dmackarrington get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet
“No one in the organization is ever really going to go higher than the bar set by the leader, so leadership is critical in order to make sure that everyone does what is best for the customer.” – Click to Tweet
“We always want things so fast that we forget we’re going to be here for the long-term.” – Click to Tweet
“Every time I am forced to pivot, it gives me an opportunity to reconsider and question what I am doing, how I am doing, and what I can do better.” – Click to Tweet
“Always look at pivot moments as opportunities for insight, reflection, and moments where you can shift and move your business and self further forward.” – Click to Tweet
“We overestimate what we can do in a year, but we underestimate what we can do in a decade.” – Bill Gates – Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
One of Dr. Arrington’s greatest hump was pivoting last year and moving everything online, including his course and practice. He was already doing it at that time, but it got accelerated going into 2020.
Advice for others
Understand where you are right now.
Holding him back from being an even better leader
Best Leadership Advice
Treat people the way you’d want to be treated.
Best tools in business or life
Asking great questions.
Promotable: How to Demonstrate Your Value, Highlight Your Potential & Land Your Next Promotion
Ready Aim Fire!: A Practical Guide to Setting And Achieving Goals (Beyond The To Do List)
Links and Resources
David’s website: https://arringtoncoaching.com/
David’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dmackarrington/
More episodes on leadership and CX: Customer-Centric Leadership and Culture (Annette Franz),
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Show TranscriptClick to access unedited transcript
Jim Rembach (00:00):
Okay, fast leader leads. And today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who is really going to help us get a better understanding of a lot of dynamics that are happening in the workplace that are ultimately impacting the customer and what we need to do about them. Uh, Dr. David Arrington was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and he was raised in a loving and nurturing two parent home with one older brother. His parents supported his love of computers. And at the age of 11, they bought him his first computer, uh, Texas instruments, T I one 85,
Dr. David Arrington (00:33):
Tina and 99 for a baby. It’s been hours
Jim Rembach (00:39):
Writing short code and just learning what it could do after graduating from college with a degree, of course, in computer information systems, David accepted a job as a systems analyst at Exxon chemical in Houston, Texas here, he got his first real introduction on how to lead or not. And he moved to on from Exxon a few years later, taking the lessons he learned there and stepping out into the entrepreneurial world and started his first business, small design company. A couple of years after starting his venture, his wife shared the news. His second son was on the way back into corporate America and was hired by Schlumberger.
Dr. David Arrington (01:21):
So close, so close Schlumberger, alumnus. Thank you very much. No worries. You’re not the first one. It’s okay. After a short time there and he was
Jim Rembach (01:31):
Loaded to the position of worldwide recruiting manager position took him across the country and around the world. This experience clarified what leading both virtually and locally really meant with a sudden desire to do something totally different. David and his family moved to Michigan where he started and completed his master of divinity and started his pastoral career. 12 years, four States, and a doctorate in strategic leadership with an emphasis in leader, leadership coaching later, he left this position, taking all the experience he learned about leading motivating and engaging volunteers and started his company Arrington coaching. This is where David thrives and is fulfilling. His ex is a stated mission to impact an entire generation of leaders. He doesn’t by helping executives realize their vision and create sustainable change through executive coaching and leadership training. This year has been a whirlwind. In addition to writing his book, promotable demonstrate your value, highlight your potential land, your next promotion, he and his team just launched Arrington training.com to make his practical teaching style and proven methodology available to more leaders and teams in his spare time. Dr. David Arrington enjoys watching movies, TV shows, and listening to great music when he’s not watching a great or terrible movie with his beautiful wife, Maria of 23 years and three cuddles, you might catch him nodding his head to old school rap or playing a PC action adventure game. Dr. David Arrington, are you ready to help us get over the hump? Absolutely. Jim, I’m glad you’re here. Okay. So now what is what you’re going to share with us today going to impact the customer experience?
Dr. David Arrington (03:12):
Well, everything a leader does impacts the organization. It almost trickles down. So if you have solid leadership at the top and set those priorities, that the customer is important from that perspective, people throughout the organization will follow that line. No one in your organization is ever really going to go higher than the bar set by the leader. So leadership is critical in order to make sure that everything beyond that leader, everyone who that leader, uh, functionally works with is doing what’s best for the couple.
Jim Rembach (03:50):
Okay. When you say that, uh, um, I start thinking about what if I ha you said the nobody’s going to set the bar higher than, than that. So what if the bar isn’t high enough, but that person doesn’t realize it. What do you do?
Dr. David Arrington (04:02):
That’s where I come in and I help those individuals. I was just brought in to a major company to help a VP who didn’t realize that he could set the bar higher. So what I did with him over six to about nine months was not only help him create a stronger team, but also help him raise the bar, raise the temperature for his team. And that, that had incredible results. I’m actually doing a case study with him about his, the outcomes we achieved in such a short amount of.
Jim Rembach (04:36):
Okay. So when you start talking about that, and I know you can’t, of course we’re not naming names or anything like that, can’t go into too much detail just yet. Yeah, exactly. But from a scenario perspective, when you start thinking about what moved the needle the most and had the greatest impact, and because you had a quick, what was it?
Dr. David Arrington (04:53):
Two main things. One was clarifying what leadership was with that leader, helping them to understand where their personal gaps were. That was critical. And then because most people, so before I go to the end, then because most people see everyone else’s flaws and blame it on the rain and everyone else blame, or I’ll throw a, a, a of a more deeper cut, Michael Jackson, blame it on the buggy reference in there. Um, so what they do is they point outward and see everyone else’s flaws, and they try to push all that off on everyone else. My role is fundamentally to ask those tough questions so they can see their own gaps. And once we can see those gaps, we can address them. And that’s what we did. Secondly, big thing was making sure their meetings worked more effectively because most people discount the value of meetings.
Dr. David Arrington (05:45):
In my opinion, a meeting is where you really get to demonstrate leadership for an entire team. And most people don’t have plans for meetings and meetings just are things that are on the calendar that everyone, but what we were able to do is we’re able to shift meetings. His meetings from being time sucks, time vacuums, where everybody walked away pretty much with nothing changed, no followups to very tactical. What are we doing this week? How are we moving the ball and even more strategic? Where are we going over the next few months? Those types of meetings brought everyone else on board and allowed people to experience the accountability that would help them to start hitting their targets and their therefore overall, uh, bring the entire team.
Jim Rembach (06:34):
You know, as you’re saying that I’ve received some feedback this week, um, from somebody, a couple of people who were saying how, you know, for me, I I’d like to really talk about the facts. Um, try to point out the things that we need to address and say, okay, this is the evidence, right? Because otherwise we just throw our emotion at it. Uh, and you know, much like that person not taking the, or realizing, you know, that they had an issue that they need to address. So when we start talking about the customer, when we start talking about internally, um, if we’re not, you know, looking at the data, oftentimes we’ll start doing other things which includes deflecting. Right? Um, and so I prepare, um, even when we were having this interview, I mean, I, I said, I went through, I went through your, we went through your book and I took these notes and, you know, I prepare and I get that feedback from a lot of my guests, but I, but I also shared with you that, you know, sometimes that could be quite intimidating, but however, this is what I see and why I do it is because otherwise, if you don’t prepare, you end up spa spiraling at a much faster velocity, you go from meeting to meeting, to meeting, to meeting.
Jim Rembach (07:41):
And then what does that, it’s more meeting the meetings, the meetings, because you have no clarity. So how do you break that cycle
Dr. David Arrington (07:48):
By addressing it? Um, and for many leaders, they don’t realize that that’s an Achilles heel. That’s why I created a free course on Arrington training.com. There’s a free course on leading meetings that don’t suck, right? Because so many leaders do what they basically reproduce the dysfunction. They they’ve experienced in other meetings into their own meetings. They just keep reproducing it because meetings are an afterthought. Meetings are something we have to do versus thinking about why you’re having this meeting. What are the outcomes who needs to be there? We just keep inviting the same 20 people who come in, sit here, resent being away from their real work for whatever this meeting was set for an hour, which always stretches into two and a half hours. I kid you not. I was working with another client years ago. That was a nonprofit, a CEO. I was working with her and her leadership team.
Dr. David Arrington (08:46):
And when we first got together, I said, here’s what I’m going to promise you now, right now, your leadership team meetings are three and a half hours long when I’m done, they’ll be, there’ll be under an hour. When I finished that engagement, she emailed me like the week later and said, David, I’m sorry. We were, we’re not there yet. Our meetings, we are meeting went to an hour and 15 minutes, right? So I said, are you kidding me? This is you’re joking. Right? That’s huge progress because you get way more done. You, um, you, you give everyone their most valuable resource back. You give everyone their time back. They walk out of that environment with clear direction. They know exactly what they’re supposed to do. They’re able to demonstrate that they’re rock stars and bring back exactly what everyone’s expecting them to. And they’re, they’re able to show in that next meeting. Here’s what you asked me for. Here’s what I did or here’s why I couldn’t get it done because I need X, Y, and Z. So it streamlines the process from, um, meetings that are just frustration and aggravation engines to actually being solid accountability vehicles that allow your team to perform where you’re not the one that has to do everyone’s job, because you’re the only one that understands what needs to be done.
Jim Rembach (10:02):
Okay. So now people may be sitting there and saying are listening. And they’re like, well, why are we talking about this for talking about impacting the customer experience? And I think it’s a critical, important point. So for me, when I started thinking about, you know, how, how is the customer get affected by that? Well, if our leaders are in meetings all day long, there’s no way we’re developing our people. There’s no way we’re getting connected to the customer through and via them. And then so therefore we become more distanced from the customer and from our staff.
Dr. David Arrington (10:34):
Yeah. That’s definitely one of there’s one study that said, I think most managers spend 60 to 70% of their work week in meetings. So that just imagine the wasted time, just imagine the opportunities of the opportunity costs of being in all those meetings. And like, you brought up not developing your people because you’re too busy with the bureaucracy of getting things done, which fundamentally is broken. Because everyone you ask out of those meetings will say, we’re not, that’s a waste of time, so you’re not getting things done.
Jim Rembach (11:07):
No, you’re not. I mean, it’s just, that’s that, it’s that velocity thing that I was talking about filing philosophy. Okay. So I want to ask you on top of the world best day ever, what does that mean?
Dr. David Arrington (11:18):
Oh, that’s my personal philosophy that whenever you ask me, even when we greeted me at the beginning of this, before we started recording, he said, Hey, how are you doing? I said, I’m on top of the world having the best day ever. And you’re like, no, no, no, that’s your normal, that’s your stick. It’s actually not a stick. It’s honest to goodness, the way I am every single day. And it’s, it’s a choice. And that’s what I have to be very clear about. It’s a choice there. I like everyone. I have bad days too, but I choose to focus on what’s good. That’s going to come out of a bad day or what, you know, tomorrow will be better. And what I say, when I say I’m on top the world, having the best day ever, I’m choosing my state of mind. I’m re I’m reiterating it to myself.
Dr. David Arrington (11:58):
I’m reinforcing it to myself. And whenever I say it without fail people smile, because now I’m helping you have a great day or they think about their day. And they’ll say either I can’t, I’m not there. I wish I was, or wow. That you just made my day. Or, um, some people say, I wish I could say that. And depending on the person, I’ll say, well, yeah, it’s just words. You can say those words if you choose to, but because they’ve chosen that it’s not their best day ever. Um, basically they, they won’t. And the reason I say on top of the world best day ever, because today is the only day I have. I don’t have yesterday. It’s gone tomorrow. Don’t have that. I just have right now, which is why I have to own that right now is my best day ever. I’m not pining for the past. I’m not just so focused on tomorrow. I’m actually trying to be present in this moment.
Jim Rembach (12:54):
I appreciate you sharing that. I mean, there’s so much, uh, depth and versatility to that. Um, from a, from a, both, you know, a, um, um, a psychological, a, um, you know, neuro programming perspective from a, you know, uh, perception, impact and engaged. I mean, there’s, there’s a lot of effect on that, that people oftentimes just aren’t aware of. And so they’ll even say in Luxembourg, my son, who’s really critical of himself. I know where he gets it from. And, um, you know, he’ll say things about, you know, being stupid and foolish and you know, I am, and I’m like, dude, you know, you may think that inside, but once it comes out of your mouth, you’ve essentially etched it. Right. Um, reinforcing it things too. We all do. I would ha I would. I’m assuming that everybody thinks that some of us just more than others,
Dr. David Arrington (13:48):
Well, just, just for here, one more second, that negative self-talk is something we all struggle with. And it’s one of the things I’ve had to basically tell that negative side, just to shut up. Everybody has it for a long time. I would ask myself who wants to hear me? Who wants to, you know, when I, as a speaker who wants to believe me as a trainer and then executive coach, and once I got past a lot of that stuff, the world opened up and I saw more opportunity than obstacle. And for a lot of people, they get stuck in the rut of beating themselves up. And I, I, I often say you wouldn’t let someone talk about your, your spouse or a dear friend, the way you let yourself talk about yourself, the way you talk about you, you wouldn’t let anybody get away with that. If it was someone you cared about. So who do you care about more than you? So you should be careful and very aware of what you’re telling you about you, because believe it or not it’s to come out in the wash. It will definitely okay. Using another old metaphor, those chickens will come home to roost.
Jim Rembach (14:59):
Most definitely. Okay. So we’ve talked about development. We’ve talked about in the customer experience, we’ve talked about, you know, things that are taking us away from that, with meaning meeting, you know, meetings and the dysfunction associated with that. Um, you know, what, and, and feedback. I often one of my key mentors, Dr. Shamie ICAN and talks about that being one of the most misused underused misunderstood. Um, really, um, I I’d say tools in your toolkit, if you just want to talk about it that way. Um, but what are some of the secrets that you’ve learned about feedback?
Dr. David Arrington (15:32):
So again, there’s a free course on this one on Arrington training.com, because these are two very prolific leadership problems, right? Feedback is often underused. People don’t know what to say when to say they don’t want to be the bad guy, the bad lady. So they’ll let things go until they hit a breaking point. And then they’ll just give people, both barrels. People. Can, I had a, a, one of my first supervisors way back at Exxon. He said, it’s bad. People can take bad news. It’s no news they can’t handle. So if you tell me that I have room for improvement, I can live with that. If you make it like everything’s good. And then all of a sudden, you just come in and dump five years of problems in my lap. And I that’s overwhelming. I can’t do, I can’t deal with that. I resent that now.
Dr. David Arrington (16:24):
So if you’re going to give feedback, which every leader needs to, and honestly, if we’re going to talk about leadership and accountability feedback, isn’t just a hierarchical from your boss to you kind of thing, in a perfect world. It would be peer based where I could walk over to a peer and say, Hey, I need you. I need your help with this. Or the next time when you provide me this, here’s how I need it. But because we’re S we’re on such eggshells with everyone, and we don’t want to upset relationships because everyone is, is, is super, you know, kind of touchy, feely. Don’t tell me what I’m going to do, or I’m not going to say that because I’m not their boss. We limit the success of our organizations because we’re not open to sharing an insight in a very positive and helpful way.
Dr. David Arrington (17:13):
The other thing I would share, cause there’s a lot about feedback. It needs to be positive. Don’t do the, the nice thing. And then the, you know, the good news, bad news thing, basically blend them together. Don’t don’t, you know, come in and say, well, I want to talk to you about a couple of things. The good thing is because everybody’s not, they’re not listening to the good stuff. They’re waiting for the bad stuff. That’s just human nature. We tune out the good stuff and we obsess over the bad stuff. So when you’re having your feedback, make your feedback more frequent, make your feedback positive more than negative and show where people can improve versus the mistakes they made people on your team. You’d need to believe that you’ve got qualified, competent individuals on your team. Your role as a leader is fundamentally to give them direction and then get out of the way and then give them slight correction as they’re going.
Dr. David Arrington (18:03):
So you stay on the same page and get the outcomes and get the deliverables that you’re working toward. And for many leaders, they’d rather be friends than leaders and you can be both, but you need to be more leader than friend. And what that means is they need to like you, they need to respect you. They need to, to want to run through brick walls for you. But that comes when they respect you and know that you’re going to be honest with them, tell them what needs to be done. You know, you’re going to correct them when things are wrong, you’re going to hold them accountable and you’re going to help them to grow. You’re going to have their best interests at heart.
Jim Rembach (18:40):
Okay. So, um, when we start thinking about, you know, today’s world 2020, and in the book, you addressed this to some degree internally, but I just want to look at it a little bit more holistically. Is it to be employed or to be a free agent?
Dr. David Arrington (18:58):
Oh, I would always argue that your free agent, whether you’re employed or not. So free agency is the idea that you have portable skills. It goes back to that. Self-talk so free agent doesn’t mean you’re an entrepreneur free agent means you understand your value and you can take that value. You have portable skills that can add value in any organization. So the idea of free agency is freeing you from being more loyal to an organization. Then that organization is to you. And that comes from very hard earned personal experience, where I was far more loyal to an organization only to find out that that loyalty was not reciprocated. And it’s one of those things where my awakening has helped a lot of my clients in the, in the past.
Jim Rembach (19:51):
Well, when we start, you know, thinking about that portability piece, and you said something, um, that, you know, I kind of want to, you know, put some spotlight on too, is you had mentioned something about portable and then for any, any organization, I, I don’t, I don’t see that being the case in one way, and maybe we can push it up clarity upon that. Um, when we start talking about fit, right? I think fit, unfortunately, traditionally fit was, Hey, you got the right skills. And I need people to have this experience. I think fit is taking on a very, very different meaning today. And I, when it comes to culture, I don’t, I’m not so sure that people really understand how to, uh, um, connect for fit, to find fit. And then therefore, you know, based on the, the candidate skills, maybe say, okay, it’s really, it’s really who they are as a human being and their value system and how they approach work that’s most important. And while they don’t have these particular skills, I could use that type of person.
Dr. David Arrington (20:56):
Sure, sure. So you can, you can train skills, but you can’t train personality. And when it comes to being a free agent, part of that is understanding that every organization isn’t for you, every culture is not going to make you feel at home. When I was with Exxon, it was very restrictive to me. It didn’t feel like somewhere I could build a career. When I was at Schlumberger, I could’ve stayed there for the rest of my career. It was far more entrepreneurial, far more freedom, far more ability to get things done versus checking the boxes that I felt was all it was required of me at Exxon. So when it comes to that, it’s two things. One as a someone who’s hiring, you’re looking at those fit elements. You’re identifying that. But as someone who is a free agent, you’re also interviewing the company to see if this company is going to be a fit with you and where you want to go as a human being.
Dr. David Arrington (21:53):
Do you want to have that time to, do you want to have the flexibility and freedom to raise your family? Or do you want to do the 80 hour a week job? Those are questions that everyone has to answer for themselves. And there, there are going to be people that want to do the 80 hours a week. That’s just the way they’re designed. They just wanna, they want to stay there and, and be on the grind. And they’re going to be other people who would like to do 40, 50 hours and have that security of a good job and being able to spend time with their kids. So that point and question about fit and culture is going to be a very personal one. So everyone’s going to have to come to that idea of what a good company would be for them. And a lot of times you have organizational culture conflated with foosball tables and ping pong tables.
Dr. David Arrington (22:41):
That’s not culture. Those are perks. Those are benefits, but that’s not culture. Culture is far more than a foosball table. It’s how that organization treats its people. What I like to say about organizational culture is it’s their internal branding. It’s the way you talk about you to you within the organization. How do you, how do they feel about their employees? How do they treat their employees? Are you just calls? Are you humans? Are you people that we’re trying to develop, uh, and, and position for greater responsibility in the organization. Those are all questions that you, as someone who’s a free agent need to be asking of that organization in the interview process, as you’re exercising your free agency.
Jim Rembach (23:24):
Even if you say that though, I’m starting to thinking about the conversation that we had off Mike, where we talked about superficial and people just splashed in the water on top and not any depth. And there’s too many times when you start talking about culture is, you know, people really haven’t identified the core pillars and values that are wrapped around it. And if they have a, they don’t know how to get to those core pillars, like talk about, you know, transparency, but they don’t really know what that means and how to get there. And this is due from a behavior perspective in order for that to happen trust, you know, what, what does that really mean? You know? And so I think that’s the ongoing work that has to continue to be going. But if I’m stuck in a meeting all day long, it ain’t gonna happen.
Dr. David Arrington (24:02):
And, and also you’ve got people who are in jobs right now that feel as though they can’t be them, their full self, because the culture doesn’t allow it. So for, to those folks, I would encourage them to start trying to change the culture within their sphere of reference, uh, their, their circle of accountability. How can you be that culture agent there where you are, because that also will trickle down out of your team, into other areas and eventually to the customer as well.
Jim Rembach (24:31):
Okay. So what is a 200 IQ question?
Dr. David Arrington (24:36):
So a 200 IQ question. Cause again, great reading the book. Great. You know, hit me with a book. A 200 IQ question comes from, I believe the chapter on your boss’s goals. When you are a team player, you’re not just thinking about your personal success. And I know that sounds very obvious, right? But for many of us, we go into work every day. And we’re trying to show that we are a high flyer, a 200 IQ question. This is one that I share in the book is asking your boss what their goals are and how you can help them achieve them. I’ve given this to a number of clients for them all to come back and say, David, they didn’t even know how to answer the question, which is good. It can be good, depending on the leader. If the leader is insecure, then it could be a big problem, but you need to understand who you’re working with.
Dr. David Arrington (25:26):
But what it lets them know is that you’re thinking about your role beyond just what you do. You’re your job description. You’re actually thinking and seeing that bigger picture and to be promotable, to be someone that can be a free agent, that’s critical. Being able to see the bigger picture beyond what you do every day puts you in an entire day, entirely different class and category and sets you on a path of greater promotability. So asking your leader, your boss, your supervisor, how can I help you succeed? Which was something I would ask every single person. And I just thought it was me. Right? Uh, and then I came to find out, most people don’t ask that question. And that question is going to shift their perception of you from someone they have to manage to someone that is in this fight with them side by side.
Dr. David Arrington (26:17):
And that’s a fundamental shift that you would want to make as quickly as possible that don’t ask the question. If you’re not willing to do some extra work, don’t ask the question and just, you know, there’s throw it out there as a gimmick or as a, uh, as a, um, a ploy, right? It’s just, how can I help you? Because they’re going to tell you if they know and you need to be able to say, okay, what part of that? Can I take off your plate and, you know, add to my plate, if you any cycles available to help them.
Jim Rembach (26:46):
Okay. So, I mean, because to me, when you’re talking about that, it’s, those are some trust building components. Uh, those are, uh, clarity building components. And even when you started talking about that, I’m like, well, that that’s something we could even extend to customers, you know, but again, it’s, if we’re going to take that insight, you know, and we need to start doing something with it. So, you know, how can I help make you more successful today or support your efforts to be more successful today and then take that customer insight and then drive it back into product changes, process changes, service delivery changes. Uh, and I think if more organizations were were to do that in a, in a proactive and intentional manner, I mean, their service experience in differentiation would be massive.
Dr. David Arrington (27:31):
And the idea is you, you get to ask that question, that’s a golden question. You get to ask it once, maybe twice, because if you ask it and then don’t do anything, you may get the opportunity to get a do-over. But if you ask it a second time and still don’t do anything by the third time you ask it, you’re just starting to engender resentment. They’re going to think, why are you wasting my time with this? Because we talked about this and then we talked about it and you still haven’t done anything. So you want to make sure if you’re asking that question, you are poised to act on that question.
Jim Rembach (28:01):
Yeah. It’s like at the grocery store where they were now, they’ve become programmed to say, did you find everything you were looking for today? Do you want fries with that? I mean, all of those things that now have become so robotic and cliche, and, um, I think it’s time for, you know, uh, a change up in an update and a do over for a lot of organizations that want to differentiate. Okay. So when you start talking about, um, stretching, you know, stretching yourself, stretching your performance, trying to take it to a higher level, trying to stand out, trying to be extraordinary. If you were to say, you know, people actually putting forth that effort and stretching, what percentage of people would you say that are actually stretching themselves?
Dr. David Arrington (28:46):
So that’s a tough question to answer because everything changed in the last 12 months, right? So stretching yourself, what it really gets down to. And I would flip the question verse from a broad perspective, macro, look at how many people are stretching to a more micro, how can I take the right steps to stretch myself? Right. So what I would say is stretching yourself, puts you in, again like that 200 IQ question, it puts you in a different place. It mentally, and within your organization, you’re perceived differently. I had a client talking to me yesterday. Oh no, it was last week about, uh, a, a move. She took based on stretching herself. Right. Um, and, and it was, she, when we were talking, it was so funny. She just held my book up and said, David, this. And I was like, are you getting, but I understood.
Dr. David Arrington (29:40):
She was talking about stretching herself. Are you willing to make a lateral move? If it gives you greater visibility? Are you willing to, um, take on another assignment? If it gives you greater visibility? Are you willing to take on a little bit more responsibility? If it gives you more visibility, it may not turn into a paycheck today, but it, or you know, something that you can see in a paycheck today, but it may give you the visibility you need for tomorrow and the next day. And within a short period of time, that visibility turns into opportunity. And that’s what happened with my a worldwide recruiting manager. I was just a network engineer. I showed up within six months. They asked me, would I take on this role and being young and naive, which I’m still glad to say, I’m not as young, but I would still say yes to it.
Dr. David Arrington (30:31):
Am I naive? Well, look, we’ll live with that. But being young and naive, I said, yes. And once I was done with that assignment, because I crushed that assignment, they asked me David, where in the company do you want to go? Not just in Schlumberger, ominous, but where in Schlumberger global, do you want to go? So that’s where the young part came and I was, I was like, I’m good. I just want to go back. I could have picked any position, any organization. And they would have made it happen within a matter of weeks. So that’s what happens when you take stretch assignments. And the question is, are you comfortable and complacent now? Which is cool. Are you, are you in a good spot? And you don’t want to stretch your where you want to be. You’re at the pinnacle of the success you need, because for that, everyone that’s going to be different.
Dr. David Arrington (31:19):
Or are you still trying to climb? Are you still trying to make a Mark for yourself, make a name for yourself. And if you are then identifying stretch opportunities and stretch responsibilities are, is going to be critical. You just have to move it. And this is an ego thing for many of us. If I don’t, if I, if my next role doesn’t have a better title or more money than I don’t want it, but you have to look at it for some of the intangible things like visibility, who you’re going to work with knowledge about the organization. Will I learn a whole different part of the organization if I go here, because when you’re trying to be promotable, as you move up the ladder, they’re going to decision makers. They are going to be looking for individuals who have that bigger picture understanding of the organization.
Dr. David Arrington (32:08):
They’re going to look at your resume within the company to see if you’ve just been doing your job, or if you stood out and you’ve taken on added assignment. And then how did you do when you took on that add assignment, that’s going to give you that upward mobility that most people dream about, but aren’t always anxious to work for. So I would say sometimes you got to stole the, stole the ego and take a job that may feel like a lateral may feel like the same amount of money. But if you’re learning something, again, going back to portable skills, you can take this information with you anywhere. That’s, those are the kinds of assignments you’d want to be on the lookout for.
Jim Rembach (32:46):
Well, without a doubt, then when we start talking about this type of work, when we start looking at, you know, the impacts that it has internally and externally, uh, it’s very inspirational. Um, but we have to stay, you know, attent there and focused on the right things. And one of the things that helps us do that on the show quotes, is there a favorite quote that you like, and you can share?
Dr. David Arrington (33:05):
Oh man, uh, yeah, one of the first one that jumps to mind is a bill Gates quote, um, that I like it says we overestimate what we can do in a year, but we underestimate what we can do in a decade. And that’s, to me that’s fundamental because we, we always want things so fast that we forget we’re going to be here for the longterm. And so going right to the point I was just making, if you don’t get the immediate gratification of that grit higher paycheck, guess what you’re going to get the long-term opportunity, that, that visibility and that new information that, um, the broader relationship base within your organization will provide.
Jim Rembach (33:51):
Now there’s times, um, when you start talking about this pivoting and changing and, you know, realizations and, you know, um, the different milestones and where we are. I mean, there was a whole lot of factors that went in there there’s times where, you know, we’ve, um, you know, learn, had some lessons to learn when we had to make some changes, some realizations in order to get over the hump. Is there a time, you know, where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share
Dr. David Arrington (34:17):
And I’m just running through all of the, the hump moments? Uh, I guess, Oh, uh, last year was tough. That was, um, I mean, there’ve been a few. Um, and so let me try to narrow it down when you’re talking, are you talking personally or professionally?
Jim Rembach (34:34):
I, I, this is part where I don’t like the frame people. I mean, I want you to share whatever comes to you and you have passion about,
Dr. David Arrington (34:41):
Oh, okay. So pivoting, I guess recently there’s been a lot of things that have happened. Um, and I’m just trying to end to be honest, I’m just trying to focus in on one cause that one caught me off guard, which is good. I appreciate it. W pivoting last year, moving everything online, moving more of my courses online. Um, moving more of my practice online. That was something we were already doing, but it just got accelerated into 2020 and with everything that happened, um, another big pivot was me hiring a coach again as a coach, as an executive coach, I believe in coaching. So I, I keep a coach. I have a coach, uh, pretty much all the time. And, uh, last year I hired a specific coach for sales to help me grow the business even more because I’m constantly growing. I’m constantly learning. Um, but yeah, we’ve had some personal moments.
Dr. David Arrington (35:41):
Like last year in the middle of a pandemic, we had what looked like a little leak, which ended up like wiping our whole first floor out. And, you know, like we’re all kind of jammed upstairs for four or five months while all of downstairs was unusable, kitchen and everything. So, um, there’ve been a lot of pivot moments. We had a fire, uh, back in 20 2013 where we lost pretty much everything. Um, so we’ve, we’ve had a few pivot moments. That’s why, when you asked me for one, I, my, my brain was like, okay, which one? That’s all I was trying to get you to kind of narrow it down, but yeah, uh, it’s constantly, every time I’m forced to pivot, I have to, it gives me an opportunity to re consider and question what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and can I do it better? So I always look at those pivot moments as opportunities for insight reflection and a moment where I can shift and move my business and myself personally, a little bit further forward.
Jim Rembach (36:52):
Well, I’m a 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 forward slash better. Then, all right, here we go. Fast leader Legion. It’s time for the home, home down. Okay. David, the Humpday hold on as the part of our show. Okay. That’s good insights fast. And I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust, yet rapid responses are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Dr. David Harrington, are you ready to go down? And Jim, all right. So what is holding you back from being an even better leader today? Time? That’s, that’s pretty much my, my number one thing, um, time, what is the best leadership advice you’ve ever received,
Dr. David Arrington (37:54):
Treat people the way you’d want to be treated.
Jim Rembach (37:57):
What is one of your favorite tools that you help that you believe helps you lead in business or life?
Dr. David Arrington (38:04):
One of the best tools is asking great questions
Jim Rembach (38:08):
And what would be one book you’d recommend to our Legion? It could be from any genre. Of course, we’re going to put a link to promotable on your show notes page as well.
Dr. David Arrington (38:18):
The book I’m reading right now, I’m almost done with it is ready, fire aim. So I would I’d recommend that. One’s good.
Jim Rembach (38:24):
Okay. Fast leader Legion. You can find links to that. And other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net and searching David Arrington. Okay, David, this is my last update 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 now with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why
Dr. David Arrington (38:49):
I would take back the oven? So again, so many, so many ideas. So what I would take back with me is the understanding of where I am right now. If I could only take one thing I would take today and everything I’ve gotten right now and take it back. So therefore I’d be able to move a lot more quickly.
Jim Rembach (39:11):
David had fun with you today. Can you please share with the fast leader Legion, how they can connect with you?
Dr. David Arrington (39:15):
Absolutely. It’s been a blast gym. You can find firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find me on LinkedIn. I know Jim will drop a LinkedIn link there. Let me know. You heard about me on the show. And I also want to share that we just opened up the leading under pressure community, which is a community for executive leadership development, where we’ve got courses, coaching, um, uh, community and accountability for, uh, executives who need to make sure that they become more promotable. You can find email@example.com slash LLP.
Jim Rembach (39:49):
There you go, David Aaronson thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and the fast leader Legion honors you. And thanks you for helping us get over the hump.