Facing uncertainty can be challenging – being a business owner facing uncertainty is tougher.
Red Direction helps you [fast track and] grow your business – authentically, pragmatically, and resiliently.
Starting the conversation:
Just because you are good at something doesn’t mean you are bad at something else. Skills take time and energy to build, and your learning experiences always come from less than ideal situations. The discipline to make a decision, communicate it, and guide your team through the execution is constant, even though each decision path will be unique.
You will hear about how to prioritize and address: the problems that are “always just there”; the fact that you are responsible for what your business has done; and how to close the gaps in communicating decisions. Jess Dewell talks with Sean Campbell, CEO at Cascade Insights, about building resilience by building your skills.
Your skills can never be taken away. Once you have them, they are yours for the rest of your life. Failures and successes can both be learning experiences, and with each lesson you build your resilience. Sean Campbell, CEO at Cascade Insights, shares his experiences and the courage it takes to invest in yourself.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guests: Sean Campbell
What You Will Hear:
Share what you learn to deepen your understanding.
Lean into your interests to learn new skills and how to solve problems.
Our journey is unique, and we are all flawed.
Should vs supposed to … trials of business leaders with soul.
Limit how much you complain, yet it is ok to show your struggle.
The inflection of being human and connection.
You are responsible for what your business has done.
Address known problems, the ones always around, and decide what to do.
Clearly communicate what you will NOT do.
Know the reason for the decision and share it.
How to close gaps in your decision-making.
Communication takes time, it is a skill to learn and build so keep at it.
Additionally, for the Fast Track Your Business Today Uncut conversation:
Instant gratification is always waiting for you.
Design your action and outcomes and know the time investment.
Know the pivotal areas and when the time is right to take action.
Mistakes happen, like waiting too long or not long enough, own when the timing was off.
It takes courage to act and learn from less than ideal outcomes.
Get comfortable making decisions, know the best interests of all.
It is ok to change your mind.
How to know you are doing the right thing at the right time.
It is BOLD to become good at one thing and offer only that solution to your clients.
Welcome. This is the Bold Business Podcast. Your business has many directions it can travel. The one true direction of your company creates the journey for you to move toward a new, exciting level. We call this the Red Direction. In today’s program, we delve into one idea. The idea will support you as you work on ever-present situations, including how to stay competitive in a changing market, how to break through the business plateau, and how to anticipate the changing expectations of your stakeholders. Jess Dewell is your guide. Jess brings you a 20-year track record of business excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place. Your unique True North. Now, here’s Jess.
Jess Dewell 00:51
Welcome to the Bold Business Podcast. And you know, it’s exciting to be able to be here to think about how do we get our creative inspiration, not only to just keep going day to day, to tackle those bigger problems, to tackle the opportunity to create the right processes to create decision tree structures and ways that we can prioritize that help us do the right thing at the right time and adapt and flex. And I’m excited to introduce you to Sean Campbell, who’s going to be talking with us today, who has been mentoring and educating business professionals for over 20 years. So it doesn’t matter if they’re fortune 50. It doesn’t matter if you’re a unique startup, it doesn’t matter if you’re still in school. It matters that you want to learn that you want to receive additional information and that you are a lifelong learner. So that’s important to Shawn too who has also been part of professional services term, excuse me firms for more than those 20 years that he’s been working, which is fantastic. So starting with consulting, not only with tech giants, as well as startups, he’s sold a company he understands growth, delivery, sales, marketing, operational best practices, and most important, his own personal experience of how they weave together. Shawn, welcome to the Bold Business Podcast.
Hey, thanks for having me on.
Yeah, I am. I always appreciate people who, who have a lot of experience and come from a place of sharing and come from a place of whether I’ve been there or not, I might be able to relate or provide some insight based off of my experience to help you through yours. How did you know that that was a part of who you are?
Sean Campbell 02:48
What having a business or driving that way or?
Jess Dewell 02:51
Being leading with education. Oh, desiring to help.
Sean Campbell 02:58
I, I basically haven’t been able to learn something and not turn around and teach somebody what I learned my whole life. Even when I was in second grade, I heard the story later. But my mother told me the father boyfriend used to refer to me as the little professor. And he didn’t mean it, like I have an ego or anything like that, or I was in no at all. He’s just like, this kid likes to learn. And he likes to talk to people about what he learned. And I’ve been that way my whole life. I really like if I go pick up a skill, the next thing I want to do is I want to have five people learn it with me. So some of that is clearly probably a bit of a sales gene. But it’s driven by a desire to kind of share interesting things. I mean, that’s, that’s really where it comes from. And if there’s something I don’t understand, I usually just dig in and try to learn it. You know, I mean, a personal example there is, you know, the last presidential election, let’s just say it was challenging. It doesn’t matter what, how or how you voted, you probably felt it was challenging. And I went through that period. And I thought, well, I could just try to get all my lessons learned from Facebook, which seems like a really dumb idea. Or I could go decide to learn about presidents. And admittedly you have to have an interest in history to do what I did. But like, I don’t think you have to have a huge interest, even though I do. I said, I’m just gonna go read a biography of every president. I meet, I’m now off to Roosevelt. And I can tell you some of those presidents were snoozers. And probably nobody should have you ever written a biography about them. But that’s not entirely true, but partially true. And there’s other ones that actually face challenges that are eerily reminiscent to today. And there’s and there’s things about the human condition that all of them faced, and that’s, that’s kind of me. I mean, I run into problems like that, and I just go learn and it isn’t always a book. Sometimes it’s an experience. Sometimes it’s a conversation. Sometimes it’s reaching out to an individual, but I’ve been I’ve just been wired to be that way ever since I was, I was a little kid. Yeah. And it’s and it’s affected a lot of my life and career choices along the way. But, but yeah, I don’t really know a time that I wasn’t that.
Jess Dewell 05:10
Yep. That’s really interesting. Okay, so now I’m just gonna ask since you’re up to Roosevelt, what are the three that are the most memorable? Regardless of the biography read in general, what were the three presidents that you were like, Hey, I didn’t know or I was excited to learn or they’re cooler than I thought they were?
Sean Campbell 05:30
Yeah, well, it’s interesting. I’m through that working through the process of taking all of my Kindle notes and moving it into the app. obsidians, like, network map. So I, there’s kind of the meta that I remember from reading all the books, and then like the specifics, I’m kind of pulling them all together. Jefferson. Jefferson was a fascinating biography. The Lincoln one, unfortunately, was not a good biography. There’s not really a great presidential biography of Lincoln. Great. I should say. I think there’s some that are adequate. I mean, Lincoln was a great character, but I was a little disappointed in the biography.
Jess Dewell 06:06
Did you read the newest biography of his? What did it have like a gold cover? I’m trying to think I haven’t even my I haven’t in my storage unit in my books.
Sean Campbell 06:15
I can and as I’m just tell you right now because we’re doing this while we’re on computers…
Jess Dewell 06:20
Rreading it, and I was I haven’t put it into a box and I haven’t put…
Sean Campbell 06:25
Yeah, a period Lincoln biography. But what Roberts, Ronald see why, yeah, it’s it’s good. The problem with it is it’s a little bit. But it’s a one brief thing about presidential biographies. And I’ll answer your question. The problem with some biographies is they spent just an inordinate amount of time focused on the small political steps they made on their way to becoming president. And for some presidents, that’s a fascinating journey. Like, the three-part biography on Roosevelt is amazing. I actually read it a number of years ago, and now I’m up to it again, in the progression of going through all of them. His journey was amazing. But some, some president’s journeys were just, frankly, fairly dull and templated. Yeah, you know, McKinley is initial journey was fairly boring, but the back half of his journey, and the Spanish American War, and all that kind of stuff was actually more fascinating. So I’d say Jefferson was a really good one. Yeah. Another one. Taylor’s was actually pretty good. Benjamin Harrison, there was a really good one on him. And no, not Harrison. It was awful. I mean, look here real quick. It was. Go find because it’s about he was assassinated. And the one I’m looking for is to Garfield, yeah, there was a fascinating book on Garfield that I thought was probably one of the best ones, because it really goes through a really good just kind of his life. And what happened leading up to that actually blended in with a big discussion of Thomas Edison. Okay. And that’s actually kind of a fascinating book in a lot of ways. So anyway, I, you know, but, but all in all, to say, there’s a lot of what I, when I kind of face a question like that or a challenge. Yeah, I will tend to go to the source material, and what’s called destiny of the Republic, a tale of madness, medicine and the murder of a president. Okay. That was really surprising. And I think that’s the takeaway, you know, I mean, I’d say, some of the presidents that maybe didn’t do as much as president might have led a really interesting life. And some of the ones that didn’t maybe lead a really interesting life up until the point they became President ended up having really interesting presidencies. And I just think there’s a lot to lot to be learned when you got time to go down deep like that.
Jess Dewell 09:08
Well, okay, let’s take, let’s just pause right there. You’re talking about people who were boring and then became interesting, or people who were interesting. And then I don’t know if they play, I’m being very generalistic here plus, or became uninteresting. Isn’t that true of all of us? We get to this point where we’ve been boring and all of a sudden everything clicks and everything we’ve been soaking in and learning turns around and this light bulb turns on we shine so bright and amazing comes and others of us, we might shine earlier, we keep shining but we never change or we get to a point where it’s like cool. Our purpose was to do that and then to do something else that is equally as good. Yet from the outside looking in is not as exciting or shiny or things like that.
Sean Campbell 09:59
Yeah, sure. I mean, I think everybody’s life has certain story arcs. I mean, I, I think it’s probably why, although I don’t have the data to prove this. I think young people don’t read biographies and older people do. I think, you know, would your average 19-year-old young man go read a series of presidential biographies? Even though I was interested in history at the same time? No, I’m probably reading military history or something like that, right? I think you get to a point where you realize, much like in the study of the Presidents I went through, gosh, these are all flawed people, and they’re also amazing people. And they are creatures of their time. And yeah, and I say that because there’s a lot of discussion about decisions presidents made. And, and I’m not absolving any of them of that, you know, but there is also kind of looking at a person in their context is kind of an interesting thing and amongst their peers. And I think that’s, that’s probably true of all of us. Right. And so, yeah, I mean, anyway, I’d like I said, I think, you know, we’re all a biography waiting to be written. I’m sure someone said some version of that, you know, the version here, we all have one book in us. And by that they don’t mean a piece of fiction, they mean a biography basically. And, but yeah, yeah, there’s definitely kind of ebbs and flows through all of it.
You’re listening to the Bold Business Podcast. We will return to the show soon. But first, I want to take a moment and give you a peek into what additional services and solutions you could access to Fast Track Your Business. This program was created to develop your capacity on demand by sharing insights, tips, as well as lessons learned by business leaders, unedited and uncut. And we don’t just stop there. There are three additional benefits to help you reach your growth goals. You will also have unlimited access to one, hearing tips and insights to develop yourself as a leader to get better results more often. Two, experiencing viewpoints from many different business leaders. Three, receiving frameworks to build core competencies and to more effectively focus on business growth and leadership. Altogether, The Fast Track Your Business program will allow you to face uncertainty, anytime, anywhere. You can access what will become your most versatile tool in your toolkit by going to FastTrackYourBusinessToday.com. Now back to Jess.
Jess Dewell 12:40
Since we’re all flawed, and since we’re all learning, and since we’re all developing as we go, yet, the decisions we make sometimes have sometimes get lost in what we think we’re doing for other people, what we think our team wants, what we think our industry wants, what we think our, our customers want, and then what we think they want of us. And so we should be doing this, and we should be doing that. And I’m curious, even as even in all of the experience that you have had, have you ever been in been found yourself in that? Oh, my gosh, I’m doing things because I think I should. Because somebody else thinks I should?
Sean Campbell 13:18
I think any business leader that has a soul does that. [Yeah.] I, I think there’s some business leaders that have a cold, hard lump of coal sitting there, and maybe they don’t ever wake up in the middle of the night. And, you know, think I should have done that. Or we get halfway through their day and do it, you know, or they need to have a scrooge-like experience, you know what I mean, to, to have it shake them to their foundations? Right. But I think most business owners if they’re, if they’re being honest with the people around them, and sometimes it’s hard to be honest, you know, your leaders I think have their limits on how much they should complain or expose their own struggles. And notice they said limits I didn’t mean that they shouldn’t ever you know, there’s a, I’ll get to the answer your question in a sec. But that just that idea of the limits of how much you should complain? Mountain my favorite scenes in it. And about that is in Saving Private Ryan, where they’re talking about the mission to save Private Ryan and they’re walking across the French countryside. And for folks that have seen the movie, they might remember it already. But there’s this scene where the other members of the group start to complain to Tom Hanks, who’s the leader of the group. Why are we on this mission? You know, why should we die to say Private Ryan and they’re all kvetching and complaining and, and he says well, many of them say to Tom Hanks you know what, what do you think about this? And he goes my job isn’t to complain down to you. I complain up to my superiors right? I don’t, I don’t complain to my employees. Right. And Then the same goes on like that. But the big takeaway is, there is a limit to how much you can expose your struggles, as a leader to the people who report to you, again, a limit, I think if you never expose the struggle, well, then there’s very little to relate to. But I think, yeah, there’s always a struggle like that. And as to how you deal with it. There’s so many things to that, I think, on one hand, your identity should not be wrapped up in the business otherwise, that struggle will consume you the supposed to, and you need to find a place to separate your identity. And the business. And I had a blessing in that regard, in that I was able to grow and sell a first business where my identity was very much wrapped up in the business, I say all the time, businesses are ego, inflation, and ego deflation vehicles, if you’re the leader, and if you don’t control that, that little Oompa Loompa, pump, you will, you will ride hills and valleys the whole time you own it, and you need to separate yourself from it. And for me, that’s absolutely a faith-filled exercise, if I did not have a strong Christian faith and assume that someone else is going to take care of the world. And I just have to take care of my day, it would be really hard. Because when, ultimately, if you’re being honest with yourself, you’re not the person who needs to do everything in the business. But you are ultimately responsible for what the business has done. And that’s a distinction that I think, and I said, ultimately, you know, people joke about the buck stops here. Well, that also means everything else stops there. You know, and, and I think and I think you have to recognize that, and figure out how you’re going to separate yourself from the business. And you also have to have people around you who aren’t in the business. I mean, I have very good, strong, friendly relationships with people in the business, like, I feel like I have relationships that go beyond just being like we’re in the business together. Like I can have casual fun conversations, and we can talk all very appropriately, and all that kind of stuff. But if all of my relationships were in the business, which can happen to small business owners, you know, all they talk about is in the business, their whole day is about the business, when they get home at night, all they do is talk about the business, you need to create that degree of separation. And it’s on you at the end of the day. And another big thing about the suppose to’s. And this is kind of a little separate take on it. But I’ve come to realize this is like really important. There’s always going to be something in your business that’s making noise in the corner, I like to say, then you will not be able to get to today, you might not be able to get to it for years it is this problem. It is this issue it, is this issue with systems or people or whatever. And I know there’s some people are listening, who probably ascribe to how dare he not get to that. And I would say you haven’t owned a business long enough, right? Because there are, there are things that you just can’t get to right now. And you have to decide, even though it’s making noise, like a noisy tea kettle over in the corner and screaming at you that it needs attention. You’ve strategically decided that other things is what you’re going to pay your attention to. And I would say the corollary to this is, when you do that, you have to tell your staff you’re doing it. And this is a critical mistake I think business owners make is they might be able to tell themselves, they’re not getting to something, but do they actually say out loud to the staff? Right? I’m not going to deal with that today. And here’s why. And most importantly, that may create pain for you the fact that I can’t solve that problem today, or maybe for weeks or months might create a problem over here. But you have to trust me that the problem you’re dealing with is either smaller than the other one, right that I can’t you know, that might, that might create a bigger problem over there, right? Or what’s sometimes worse to communicate. But it’s got to be true sometimes. I’m just not ready to solve that yet. I don’t feel like I have the right lane, or I don’t feel like I have the right solution. And I don’t want to be pressured into making a solution, simply because it’s creating a small amount of pain today. And if I make the wrong decision about that noisy thing in the corner, it might make worse problems for everybody. And that, that takes a degree of courage you know, a lot and it relates to something I’ve heard people say about leadership which this is not the only definition of leadership but at times like This I think about it. Somebody once said leadership is disappointing people at a rate they will accept. And I think that’s right in lane with that, right? It’s this idea that there are things that you just won’t get to, and you’re doing it because you don’t have the headspace to solve it. It is possibly going to create a worse problem if you solve it wrong. Yeah. Or there just isn’t time, there just isn’t time for you to deal with all of it. Anyway, so I think there’s, there’s in some, there’s a lot to this. And I think that I just sum it up as this and then totally, I went a little long in that. But like I think dealing with the supposed to use is a really big problem as an owner, because if you have a soul and you really care, you do, you do kind of think everything eventually was your responsibility, even if you delegated it. And yeah, once you end up there, then you’re going to have to deal with all the stuff that’s not getting done. And you have to figure out a mental framework for what that’s going to be and it can’t be, you’re going to work crazy hours and somehow magically get to all the suppose twos because the minute you finish a set, as opposed to the other ones just grow out of the woodwork like crazy. You got to, you got to find a way to manage that in some.
Jess Dewell 21:17
And I want to tie this back to the very beginning when we were talking about when people’s lives got interesting. We think about when somebody’s life is interesting, and we think about the fact that some of these presidents have died so long ago, and the worlds that they live in lived in were so different than ours yet, they still had to prioritize, they still had to make decisions, they still had to do things that impacted people close to them far away from them, and ripple out to even farther away from them. And that happens to us in our business, too. And we can’t please everybody all the time. It’s what it comes down to. And if we did it once, that’s pretty cool. It’s a very, very heavy burden to try and do that all the time. Because pleasing the right people at the right time is not necessarily good for growth, self-esteem business, or the self-esteem of the people who have hitched their missions to ours. Right. And okay. Yeah. And so thinking taking that, then in a slightly different in a different venue, is it sounds like, by the way, I’m a big proponent of saying no, and I’m a big proponent of going yep, that’s not that’s I understand, it’s a big pain for you, it is not a big enough pain for all of us. So I get that too. And in fact, I’m a big proponent of honoring what those are. Because, well, we all have somebody in our lives, that does not matter if they are 2, 22 or 222. That throw temper tantrums, we have them at all ages. And they know that typically their experiences, the more I throw a tantrum, the more people notice me and I get what I want. That is a skill. And we have to some of us learned, some of us learned other things. And some all of us have the ability to be the squeaky wheel. And so understanding is this a squeaky wheel? Is this a behavior I want? How does this actually impact the way we do our work here at our company, and how does the way that we’re working, our work is getting done actually impact what we’re doing in the world outside of the way that we’re doing our work getting done, is hard to communicate. And I bet you have some experience of just along the lines of what you were describing, we’re all going to have problems that are sitting around. And there is no prize for getting them all solved. Because to your point, they’re all there. So when we have a squeaky wheel when we’ve decided strategically not to do anything about it right now, regardless of the reason. Being able to communicate, that turns out to be the hard part, our perception of presidents we like and don’t like or because of the way they made decisions and how their decisions affected us. So we can take that and say, Hey, any biography we’ve read of any person of any, of any walk of life had that same thing happening. So how could we make? How could we utilize that and say, Cool, we know, we don’t like what somebody said or did? And now we’ve got to recognize somebody else isn’t gonna like what we’re saying. So how do we communicate clearly so at least they know the reason they like it or don’t like it?
Sean Campbell 24:38
Not to oversimplify it. But I think,
Jess Dewell 24:41
Oh, I like oversimplification. Let’s do this.
Sean Campbell 24:43
I think I think yeah, I think a lot of it is just giving your reason. Yeah. And then not backing down from the reason you know, I don’t know. I mean, I don’t have any problem telling people why I’m making the decision. I just don’t feel like it’s a community to see Should every time. Right and? I don’t know. I don’t know, I think I think in a lot of ways, that’s, that’s the thing. I mean, you just got to you got to lay out your reasons and you got to.
Jess Dewell 25:10
You may have just Sean, you may have just touched on something specifically around when we are trying to solve every problem we accidentally can make community decision making when our businesses aren’t designed to be run that way. Or vice versa. Maybe we’re not community if we’re supposed to be community decision-making.
Sean Campbell 25:36
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I, I don’t think businesses are democracies. I don’t even think businesses are republics. I don’t think. So. I don’t believe they’re dictatorships either, though. Because people can leave and people can change jobs. And you know, you have to provide it a good environment. But yeah, I mean, ultimately, so ultimately, somebody has to be making make those decisions when people disagree. Right? That’s right. Imagine that and that’s, that’s as simple as that.
Jess Dewell 26:18
So well. And so let’s talk about this for a minute, too, right? We, I think, and I could be remembering wrong. So please correct me if I am wrong. One of the things that you specialize in is making sure that the offerings of accompany aligns to the solutions that are actually there, right?
Sean Campbell 26:36
Yeah, yeah. I mean, we do a lot of market research. So yeah, to help people understand if they’re aligned with market need. Yeah, absolutely.
Jess Dewell 26:44
And so let’s take that same thing. So everything we’ve been talking about could be, is what we’re saying aligned to the decision that we’ve decided the path that we’ve decided to go down, is what we’re communicating clear enough that people understand why something is or is not, is or is not a priority at this moment, or ever. Don’t we still have that alignment piece that we could like, overlay here and say it doesn’t, whatever we’re bringing to the table, there is more to it. And don’t forget to share it as much as reasonable. Like, if you came to me, and you looked at my business, and I said, and you said, Wow, just everything you’re saying is great. Yet, of course, none of your products are selling, if that were truly the case, right? Whatever, if my problem was my products are selling right. And you can you would be able to do some whatever you’re doing and go Well, here’s why. There’s a gap here.
Sean Campbell 27:43
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I mean, that’s what we do all the time. I mean, so So yeah, yeah. I mean, I think. So if what you’re saying is, is that align with kind of what we do day to day? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think there’s that we try to provide a lot of insight into where those gaps are in a company’s decision-making. And then, you know, back that up with some actual supportive, you know, research to MIT to prove the point.
Jess Dewell 28:10
And I was trying to tie your amazing expertise back to the way you were sharing everything you shared up until this point, right, these views that you shared, where I was, early on in the conversation, I was thinking, Where can I bring this in? This is so great. I know, this is what you do. I see it, whatever somebody said they were going to do or my perception of them when I’m reading their biography, or this thing I want to learn more about yet, what solutions are out there? How are they showing up? Do they actually solve the problem? Did it get the result that they wanted? That is the same kind of thing you’re doing everyday and your business it yet just in a different realm? I hear you doing the world like that, Sean.
Sean Campbell 28:52
Yeah, it’s probably fair. I mean, I mean, you know, I don’t want to simplify, simplify myself too much down to an algorithm, but I mean, I guess Yeah, I mean, that’s true.
Jess Dewell 29:03
I’m not trying to do that.
Sean Campbell 29:05
No, no, no, no, I get it. I get it. I mean, I just but, but I’m sure there’s definitely an element of the way I approach problem-solving the problem led to me having this kind of business, for sure, in the same ways that I wanted to be a college professor, which would have had, you know, similar dynamics of learning and teaching and researching and things like that. So absolutely.
Jess Dewell 29:29
Isn’t that interesting? Because see, none of this none of the things I wanted to do actually align with the strengths that I have. I had to learn all that the hard way Sean I learned all the things not to do that I, that I was like, No, I not for Jess, not for Jess, not for Jess. I’m still learning those and I still have a really big long list of things of what I want to do when I grow up. By having conversations and seeing how people work and where they get their excitement from and, and what they’ve done with what they’ve learned. That’s always going to be a part of who I am. So I think this is going to be the thing that ties together whatever I do for the rest of my life is having conversations just like this. My one strength that ties it all together, you know what I mean? When you have it, you can lean into it.
Sean Campbell 30:14
Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, you can, you can grow new strengths, too. But you know, a different thing. That’s a different thing.
Jess Dewell 30:21
You are right, I could grow new strengths. When I left high school, I was going to be a biochemist. Turns out that’s probably never in my future, regardless of my ability to do math or not, which is different. My ability to focus or not, which is decent, but not, but being in a lab for that long all by myself would not be very good for me.
Sean Campbell 30:47
Yeah, well, jobs. Mix the things right. Yeah. I mean, I wanted to be, I wanted to be an astronomer when I was in high school. And, you know, sister, Mary Gayle turned to my parents and said, You do know what grades he has in math. Right? You know, and, and, you know, but on the other hand, I wasn’t entirely wrong either. Because astronomy is a little bit to your point about there’s kind of a mix of things you need to factor in when you have a career. I mean, on the other hand, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, hmm, okay, they know math way better than I mean, Sagan is passed, but he did at the time he was living, you know. But on the other hand, what, what’s the appeal of those two gentlemen? Well, they’re good storytellers. Yes, they can take the math and turn it into something evocative. They understand that astronomy is not just the observation, it’s the wonder that comes from it. And it’s the connecting the dots. And so, you know, you do have to be realistic when you approach careers and jobs, like how much of it? How much of it, you can really, really do, right? Like I, you know, and you know, I, I love history, but when I was a younger man, I couldn’t write a complete sentence at all. And, you know, you could blame a lot of things for that, but you should just blame me. And, but I wasn’t very good at it. And so I was never going to be a historian back then. But tying it into the point of view can learn other skills? Yeah, I would not say that. You know, I still, I still like to talk more than I like to write, given the opportunity, but I actually enjoy writing now. And I’ve gotten fairly decent at it. And that’s, you know, like I said, that that’s something that you can definitely kind of pick up other skills. And so, anyway.
Jess Dewell 32:38
Okay, so Okay, now, I’m curious, what is a skill that you’ve picked up in the last few years? Let’s just do that, that that you are excited about? Because you’re still using it every day?
Sean Campbell 32:55
I’d be writing it would be. [Yeah.] Because I mean, my high school English teachers. Yeah, if they knew part of my day job was leading a marketing team, who one of their strengths is writing. And one of the things we’re doing is we’re writing, marketing deliverables for major marketing teams and technology companies. Because the company has two consulting arms one is researching. One is marketing. They would just tackle they would not believe this is possible, like at all. And I wrote the way I talked, I didn’t know what active voice was, I thought passive voice just was voice. No idea. I didn’t know what a period was. I didn’t know what a comma was, and no idea where to put a semicolon. And so you know, and I’m not saying I’ve somehow reached some amazing Hemingway-level heights. But, but I have gotten to the point that I can recognize good writing, I can comment on good writing. I can. I can edit reasonably well.
Jess Dewell 34:00
And you can articulate your thoughts in a way you never could before through writing, then is that also true?
Sean Campbell 34:05
Yeah, exactly. I mean, and I feel I feel really good about that, you know, but I was a small note. I mean, I won’t say what blogs. I don’t want embarrass myself that bad. But I looked back accidentally, in a way at a blog that I had read about 10 years ago that I happen to stumble across again to some other guy’s blog. And I didn’t remember that I had commented on the blog. And so I looked down at the comment, and I was almost like, Oh, my eyes are bleeding. That is like the worst grammar possible, like and I put that on the internet. You know what I mean? I like that, like, well, I don’t even know what I was saying. You know, I’m not even sure I could interpret you know, so, but that took a lot of time. And I think that’s, that’s important. And a side note, I tried to throw this in interview sometimes if, if we end up here, just a brief note. Like Public Service Announcement. If you’re younger, and you’re good at one or the other, you’re writing or speaking. Yeah, I almost know for a fact you walk around telling people, you’re bad at one, because you’re good at the other. And I would say my public service announcement is, imagine this is the public broadcasting channel for a minute. Stop that. Because you can at least get one to be your one A skill. And the other one to be your one B or your one C. And if you can do that, if you can get to the point that the other one is, is close. You’re, you’re going to be in a fairly good group of people, because so many people very early in life, typecast themselves as good at one or the other. And they frankly, never tried to get better at the other. And it’s truly the other side of the street to That’s right. I mean, I don’t know how many writers I’ve met. They’re like, I don’t know how to talk. You know, no, I never give a speech. Now, I can’t really do that. You know what I mean? And I do believe it’s learnable. I do believe in innate skill. I do believe that probably, much like, if you tried to switch it in baseball, you know, you’re always going to hit better, right? If that’s the way you’re set-up, but you can hit left, you know, you might not hit homeruns. Last, but you’ll get on base. And I think too many people give up on that. And it’s super critical, especially now, because and this will end the public service announcement is like, you know, when we all went home to work, and some of us were already at home, but the whole planet went home. [Yeah.] One of the things one of my clients said to me that I thought was hilarious is he said, speaking of the transition, and the fact that everything now was going to be predominantly handled through written communication, like if you had to make your case for an initiative, sure, you could get on a Zoom call, but what would somebody say, Well, hey, send me that as an email, right? Whereas previously, you might march over to somebody’s office and continue to make your case, such that eventually, the boss or whoever says, Sure, go do it. And his quip about this was he said, I had no idea how dumb some of my colleagues were till they had to write me stuff. You know, and, and it’s, it’s true. I mean, it’s, it’s sad, but it’s true, right? Because there were people who were leveraging their verbal communication skills, and then they all went home, and they had to go type away a five-page email to their boss, explaining what they wanted to do. And, and the converse is also true, you know, you don’t want to just hide in your inbox and never gonna talk to me. So anyway, I, that’s just a big PSA. I think if you’re at the early stage of your career, and don’t make an excuse, go get good at the other one.
Jess Dewell 37:39
That’s right. [You got plenty of life left.] Even if your age, let’s just say even if you’re at our age, if you’re still walking around saying you’re bad at that, just stop it and go learn it.
Sean Campbell 37:48
Well, the only guy says, you can always, you can always learn it. Just it’s it is it does take Well, yeah, well, I just think Mark Twain once said something about writing that I love quoting is he said, I would, you, I would have written you a letter, I would have had it oh, gosh, normally I say this so quickly. And I just forgot it for a second. I something, it’s something like I would have sent you a letter half as long but I didn’t have the time. Which is a great line because it gets to the point that writing shorter takes more time, not less. And, and I think there’s you know, if you can look back on your writing 10 years later, and realize you’re writing half sentences half as long and emails half as long you’re probably on the right track, right? So anyway, that’s really great.
Jess Dewell 38:34
Hey, everybody, this is the Bold Business Podcast, you are listening to your host just duel. Talk with Sean Campbell, the CEO of Cascade insights. And you know, here’s what we’ve been talking about. How do we learn? Where’s our curiosity, we each are walking our own path. There are shoulds and it’s up to us to lean into what our goals are, where we are going and who we are leading to make sure we’re making the right decisions at the right time with the right lens in front of us. For those of you who are part of the Fast Track Your Business program, keep on listening, this is in your true north. For those of you who are like what is that thing? Well go visit Fast Track Your Business today.com and find out how you can continue to get insight solve your problems and have on-demand information for working on the problems that you are solving right now. With the experience and expertise of guests just like Shawn.
The Bold Business Podcast is brought to you by Red Direction. Jess Dewell dug into one idea in this program. Her goal is to ignite your creativity and sparked different thinking with the presented material. How you apply this to your current priorities is up to you. Jess Dewell can bring the missing voice back into your company with you Jess will solidify your company’s true north, your unique Red Direction. Provided you’re ready to work with Jess email her at radio at Red direction.com. Special thanks to The SCOTT Treatment for technical production.