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…
Trust is proximity, frequency, duration, and intensity.
How do we automate elements of trust to better leverage our time (and results)?
Host: Jess Dewell
Guest: Jeffry Caudle
What You Will Hear:
Leadership means to lead.
Details about the elements of trust.
Systems thinking in practice – an example.
Systems that build trust.
Technology serves people, not the other way around.
Technology creates consistent results.
Reduce the number of steps to achieve the goal. Employ simplicity.
Visual AND verbal communication allow for understanding.
Problems small business face today.
Unconditional positive regard – people must know they can fail.
Know when Technology gets in the way.
How we can build confidence in our growth strategy by embracing more technology.
Some problems don’t have an answer.
Build in time for worst-case and delays.
What makes it BOLD to add automating trust to your growth strategy?
Notable and Quotable:
Jeffry Caudle 3:03
Best definition that I found for leadership was, “Leadership means to lead."
Jeffry Caudle 3:10
A lot of people don’t really understand what leadership is because the definitions are not clear at all.
Jeffry Caudle 3:24
John C. Maxwell said, trust is the currency of leadership.
Jess Dewell 3:27
If leadership means to lead, that means we have a responsibility to get results. And we have a responsibility to create an environment that people want to follow and join in, which means effective results, constant results. Even if the results are bad, be able to own and learn from them, so everybody grows together.
Jeffry Caudle 4:08
The leader determines what success looks like for the team. They’re the one who want to define success, then the team put together the objectives. You give your team autonomy.
Jeffry Caudle 4:21
When I was designing the system, I saw the end of the system and I work backwards. I think seeing your end goal, and being transparent about it, is really critical to building trust.
Jeffry Caudle 4:46
My grandfather mentored me and taught me that when you master seeing everything, that’s project management, that’s leadership. To see everything, you have to anticipate everyone’s needs ahead of time, and then see how all that interacts with each other.
Jess Dewell 5:45
This design thinking, being able to go, “Here’s where we’re at, here’s where we want to go," and working backwards from that makes us adaptable.
Jeffry Caudle 7:41
There are many systems that build up trust.
Jeffry Caudle 7:50
Trust is simplicity. And trust is clarity. Trust, is transparency. And its proximity.
Jeffry Caudle 8:20
Better to talk to people face to face, or even Skype than email. Because email, there’s a lot that gets lost in translation. Prioritization., that’s the biggest challenge for companies right now. Knowing what to prioritize. Because leadership is defining success, but when the customer says that they want things a certain way, then the customer often leads a lot of the organization. You run into this challenge of, what are the needs of the customer? And then also, how do we translate that to a project and meet those needs?
Jeffry Caudle 9:02
People aren’t aware of what they need. That’s the biggest challenge I think that faces companies.
Jess Dewell 9:08
So in our effort to be able to prioritize more, we think we need more time to think. So we use all this technology.
Jess Dewell 9:47
We think technology is great because it cuts through all kinds of stuff, and we get to reduce confusion between people. Well, if we lack clarity, and we’re not straightforward, and it isn’t simple, and working a complex process and just putting technology around a complex process? Instead of using technology to make it a simpler process, we’re compounding the problem.
Jeffry Caudle 10:14
Technology is there to make people happy.
Jeffry Caudle 10:17
Teddy Roosevelt said that laws were made to serve people, people were not made to serve law. What is it bureaucracy? It’s when people are serving the system, the processes, and the processes aren’t serving the people. And that works with companies too.
Jeffry Caudle 10:35
We need to change the way we think about in terms of not just being systems thinking, but also intuitive, and looking at how did the system play a part in people’s happiness,
Jeffry Caudle 11:35
It’s really easy to just blame the person. And to start with that, but we need to look at what is the underlying system? Where’s the underlying problem?
Jeffry Caudle 11:49
I ended up volunteering, and then working as a peer specialist in the mental health field. I took the systems thinking with people and said, “Okay, let’s look at your life. Let’s problem-solve this." And I noticed most of the problems that people have, it was just the way they were going about their day a lot of times. It was how they were setting their goals, breaking those goals down. And I would ask them, “No matter how big your goal is, what’s the smallest thing you can do today? The smallest thing you can do next week?" When you start small, you can build a habit around it. This is the thing that we need to look at when we look at systems, they are what build our habits.
Jeffry Caudle 13:49
Proximity is one of the biggest aspects of trust proximity can apply to people. And it applies to solutions, it shouldn’t be 12 steps to get to the goal is to be one step two steps to accomplishing this goal, we need to make sure that we’re reducing the number of steps so that the goal is as clear as day. And that’s part of what simplicity is about. And that’s part of what transparency is about.
Jeffry Caudle 14:35
We’re all system designers. The way we interact with each other., The way we see what other people are doing, and what we take in, and way we understand things. We have to look at our role in this bigger picture, because it’s not just us now, there’s a lot of contractors and a lot of different things. Complexity is increasing as we go along. And so, bringing that simplicity back teams is really critical, as I see it.
Jess Dewell 15:18
The way that we communicate, and what the expectations are, are different than when we’re in person. Yet, there are similarities in both cases. Touchpoints of regular check-ins. The touchpoint of, if you’re not using the technology that we have set up to keep track of all of these things, how come? If we are having a consistent problem, where do we look? Do we look at the communication breakdown? Of course. Most people stop there. When we’re talking remote teams, and we’re talking about building relationships between us and our customers, actually when we’re service industry is the same principles apply to having a remote team and working remotely from the rest of your team. Simplicity must be talked about more, almost to the point of over-communicating just because when we rely on email, or we rely on technology, or we rely on text, it’s so much the norm, that we take a whole bunch of stuff for granted. We’re actually working against how our brain is wired because it’s great that our brain wants us to help get shortcuts, and be able to save time and do more with our time. But it’s not great that those shortcuts interfere with the relationships.
Jeffry Caudle 16:45
People tend to understand things more visually than verbally. If you ever played the game telephone, for example, you have a group of people, one person passes the message to each go through each other. And by the endpoint, it’s not the same thing.
Jeffry Caudle 17:08
If you created transparency, you build trust. And the way to build transparency is through visual representations of data. By having actual charts, actual graphs that every team can see an access, and you only put the most critical information in front of people. What they need.
Jeffry Caudle 17:40
If you’re decentralized, and you’re working with a decentralized team, you have to try to have a visual interaction of some kind. You need to not rely so heavily on email, because email can slow people down and trying to interpret what’s going on. A lot of times, you’ll get emails and they’ll say, “If you have any questions, please contact me." And then you contact them. And it’s like 24 hours. That’s with every single email out there.
Jess Dewell 18:28
Most people think transparency means bare your soul, have no secrets. And really, it just means don’t have any motives behind your actions. Or state, whatever your motives are, so your actions make sense,
Jeffry Caudle 18:56
This is where simplicity comes into play, is that you have to reduce the amount of information that you’re giving people, down to bite-sized ways. If the objectives that you said require so much information that it overwhelms people, you have to pay attention to that. Because a lot of times when people get overwhelmed, they won’t admit that they’re overwhelmed. But if you build small successes with your team, that’s the most critical element, as I see it,
Jeffry Caudle 21:30
Right now, every business has a problem of growth. Where they want to grow, and they want to decentralize, and they want to expand, but they can’t expand because they have trouble knowing where the people are, what their people are doing. and communicating those goals
Jeffry Caudle 21:46
There’s a huge amount of barriers for a company to expand right now. Bu,t we’re in a technological age where we can expand horizontally without increasing real estate. Without increasing costs. Where technology can actually really help us is with the decentralization of your company.
Jeffry Caudle 22:17
If you can deliver solutions to your customer, that allows you to be transparent with your customer, and clear. Because these goals as far as simplicity, clarity, transparency, and proximity, they apply to your customers well. And we as customers, we pick people we trust.
Jeffry Caudle 23:15
A lot of it is about meeting the needs of your customers, going out and working directly with them. But to do that, people need to be able to check-in. And their work needs to be tracked in such a way that the team sees what’s going on.
Jeffry Caudle 23:35
The growth goals are critical, because it’s about prioritization. The team has to know what the priorities are
Jess Dewell 23:47
When was the last time you asked your people, what are their growth goals? When was the last time you asked your key customers, what are your growth goals? When did you ask your customers, what is the thing you’re trying to solve, and how does what we’re doing actually hope you get it solved?
Jeffry Caudle 24:37
So the biggest thing is that trust has to be extended to people first. You have to extend trust to your employees unconditionally.,
Jeffry Caudle 24:44
I believe the therapeutic tactics like Carl Roger’s unconditional positive regard, that employers and leaders have to build that, but they also need to understand that their people are learning. And they need to help people grow in such a way that communication is established so that people know they can fail. It’s not just absolute failure. It’s the idea that communication can fail. But they can misunderstand something. And that’s okay.
Jeffry Caudle 25:22
When people feel like they’re being blamed, they get really defensive, and they worry about talking about what they have trouble with. It’s always about making people feel comfortable to talk to you. You have the elements of the business, but the business are all dependent upon the people.
Jeffry Caudle 26:32
A lot of times people think that leadership is having all the information. It’s not. It’s distributing the information. It’s sharing it.
Jess Dewell 26:51
I don’t have all the answers, what answers do you have? Let’s piece this together ourselves. And I call that Dimensional Leadership., because we tend to think we want to work in a vacuum. We think we need to. We’ve been conditioned that the higher up we are, the more alone we are because we’re supposed to have all the answers. And then what happens when we don’t? We have heart condition, and back pain, and failure, and obesity, and all kinds of other outcomes of stress.
Jeffry Caudle 27:45
Technology gets in the way when it blinds you.
Jeffry Caudle 28:35
People only want 1 to 3 things in front of them at a time. It’s really critical to remember that people are not multi-taskers, their unique taskers.
Jeffry Caudle 28:47
When we put technology in front of people, we have to be taking away other things. And I believe that with technology, every improvement should remove steps as you remove other systems that you have to use.
Jeffry Caudle 29:21
When you implement simplicity, clarity, transparency, and proximity, you actually create an automation system just by default. That’s just what happens. When you reduce steps, you get automation, and you get a system where everybody flows together.
Jeffry Caudle 30:22
Machines were meant to create certainty. So anything that centers around certainty, it can be automated. But, where people shine is their uncertainty, when it’s problem-solving. when it’s working together, when it’s setting the objectives.
Jeffry Caudle 30:44
AI is done. It can’t stat its own objectives. We need people to figure out what are the objectives and to move things from uncertainty, to certainty. And as soon as you cross that barrier, where you have a solution, you know, what needs to be done, and it’s just routine, automate it. Get people out of that disengagement.
Jeffry Caudle 31:22
If you free up your people, then they can call the customer personally. And all those communication things that apply to your team, it applies to your customer. Your customer is a team member in your business. They are helping setting the objectives. Work with them. Employ your customer, and see them as a part of your company.
Jeffry Caudle 31:43
It’s so critical in the way that we use technology, that we’ve never forget the people element.
Jess Dewell 31:55
We can automate trust. We can take care of the things that our routine, that are mundane, that we have figured out how to build a process for, and technology has caught up, so we don’t have to do those tasks. Which means, we can collaborate more. Which means we can have more time for creative thinking. Which means, we get to actually evaluate more of what our contribution is besides checking boxes, and how much of something we’re doing, and what is the value add, by the way, we’re getting those boxes checked, and the way we’re influencing what we’ve already automated.
Jeffry Caudle 33:23
If you can prune a fruit tree down to three branches, it actually produces tons more fruit than if you try to just let it grow. And companies, they try uncontrolled growth of everything from their tools, their resources to their people, they no longer can see what’s important, and they no longer can actually expand.
Jeffry Caudle 33:47
It’s all about pulling back everything so they know what is important, so that you have one thing in front of you at a time,
Jeffry Caudle 35:20
We have to remember that there isn’t always an answer. And if we can’t find the solution, there may not be a solution.
Jeffry Caudle 35:43
Sometimes things are not always clear. And you have to work with ambiguity more often than not,
Jeffry Caudle 35:53
That’s always the challenge is working with ambiguity, trying to find a way to build certainty, but recognizing the ambiguity is a part of the process. And it’s a really important part.
Jess Dewell 36:19
How do we anticipate changing customer expectations? There is no tried and true process for that, because technology changes so fast. Because the way we engage with our technology is changing so fast. Because of our acceptance or resistance to change around us happens. All of those are impacts. We will never anticipate 100% how our customers are going to change, what they want, what their expectations will become. All we can do is head in the direction. It’s like mining for gold.
Jeffry Caudle 44:43
To adopt anything new is terrifying, Terrifying because it makes you feel stupid. Like I’ll just say that every new technology you adopt, every user interface it makes you feel dumb. To learn anything new, you will feel dumb. To work past that, you have to be willing to accept that is part of the process. And if you’re willing to be dumb, if you’re willing to ask the questions, you will find that is when the best of you shines.
Jeffry Caudle 45:41
Always trying to be the student is how you learn, is how you adopt new technology, and new ideas.
Jeffry Caudle 45:47
We all want to be the master, but the student is the one who learns
lead, autonomy, transparent, design thinking, simplicity, prioritize, solutions, problem-solving, growth strategy