The CEO's Playbook for Building a Disciplined Organization

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The CEO’s Playbook for Building a Disciplined Organization

The CEO's Playbook for Building a Disciplined Organization

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Starting the conversation:

Embrace repetition. It changes more than your own perspective (clarity!) with understanding. Your business goals have a higher chance of completion with higher quality outcomes when everyone is moving in the same direction. Jeff Eschliman, CEO and Executive Coach discusses how to unlock success with the use of discipline.

Measurement and results directly relate to how well you, and your team, understand the goal. Intentional, and inevitably repetitive, communication is a reminder of the direction everyone is going — together. Listening, working through obstacles, and recommitting to the goal on a regular cadence is a disciplined framework to get more work done and reach more success.

In this program, you will hear how to remove more problems by listening well and then intentionally communicating; the four key questions to guide performance; and how repetition is part of successfully being accountable to your biggest goals. Jess Dewell talks with Jeff Eschliman, CEO and Executive Coach, about how discipline drives CEO success.

Host: Jess Dewell

Guest: Jeff Eschliman

What You Will Hear:

Listening is the keystone habit of communication

Problem with communication: when spoken and written words lack intention.

Four key questions to share direction and how to perform.

It’s not sexy to repeat ourselves, but it must be done. Think: repeating our mantra.

When we become OK with all the repeating, our perspective changes.

New perspective provides departments with knowledge on how to be accountable to values (and goals) as a leadership team.

The importance of regularly recommitting to goals — how often and what to do.

Pain is an indicator to ask more, maybe even different, questions.

How Jeff Eschliman does his deep work, his Day of Zen.

The two sides of discipline and what a lack of discipline looks like.

Constraint builds creativity! Discipline is a way to bring in constraints.

It is important to take time to think about something that is significant.

What we do every day matters more than we realize.

The clarity that comes from using a system (to support the way we work here).

Be thoughtful about finding out quickly if you are chasing the wrong measurement.

It is BOLD to be intentional about creating your own success.

Get started and make a difference in your business with a Growth Framework Reset.

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in your business with a
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The CEO's Playbook for Building a Disciplined Organization - Jeff Eschliman
The CEO's Playbook for Building a Disciplined Organization - Jess Dewell



Jeff Eschliman 00:00
The true values of an organization if they’re committed to upfront properly, by the leadership team rarely changes.

You are listening to the Bold Business Podcast, where you will hear firsthand experiences about what it really takes to ensure market relevance and your company’s future.

Jess Dewell 00:23
Welcome to the Bold Business Podcast where we just have fun conversation about something that sometimes isn’t fun business. But that is ultimately incredibly fun. Because as we look back, whether it’s through actual experience, or rose-colored glasses, depending on the journey we are on at the moment, it is an amazing one. And we find ourselves challenged, and we find ourselves stretched, and we find ourselves burnt out, and we find ourselves wanting to do more than we think we can. And guess what, Jeff is somebody who has experience in many facets of the world, and those that know me, you know, I like to get inspiration from everywhere, because background alone has that. And he’s going to be here talking about stuff that I love. So I don’t even have to tell you any of that. And we just get in. I’m kidding. I’m kidding, Jeff, we’re I booked totally introduce you. But people will know when we start singing like a choir. They know why I had outside. Obama. Yes. Hey, Jeff Eschliman is an executive coach. He has 30 years of experience combined with combat in Iraq, to the corporate boardrooms. Regardless if it’s personal development, consistency, tenacious work ethic. Even though Hallmark hallmarks of Jeff’s leadership style, he is clearly communicating not just clearly, crystal clearly communicating that barreled expectation that he hears from you, that he hears from around him and then helps you hold that this sought-after expert Jeff, he’s building and stealing results-driven teams. He knows that creating cultures for attracting top talent, internet, international and intentional onboarding, as well as rigorous top grading are critical. Because that’s what it takes to win with the right people today, yesterday, tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. This is something that is key through business over time. So not only that, there’s this thing called Harmony, coherence balance that sometimes is elusive. And that is something that is also necessary amidst all of that. So not only can you be bold, not only can you be results driven, you can also be able to slow down, bring an awareness at a different level to the chaos of everything that’s always surrounding us. Okay, I could keep going on and on Jeff, but I’m just gonna say Hi, and welcome to the show.

Jeff Eschliman 02:51
It’s so glad to be here, Jess.

Jess Dewell 02:54
I had you laugh. And in the first 30 seconds, shout me out.

Jeff Eschliman 02:56
All right, we’re gonna have fun today.

Jess Dewell 02:58
Oh, yeah, totally and completely. And for those of you listening, you can’t see this. But for me, and those of you watching, guess what, there’s this little person next to a frame in Jeff’s background, and I want to know who that is. Who do I have back here? Yeah. Who is that on the keep going? On the edge of the frame? Right here. In the blue shirt. Yeah, him.

Jeff Eschliman 03:22
That’s me. That’s my, that’s a bobblehead that my team made for me. It’s a little bobble of me. But you can’t see my big ears because they’re underneath this. Yeah, underneath these headphones.

Jess Dewell 03:32
But is that what you listen with? Those ears? Yeah, this?

Jeff Eschliman 03:39
Uh-huh. No, I don’t miss much.

Jess Dewell 03:42
Although Lucky for you, it’s like radar. That’s actually a secret talent I have if I’m in a room full of people, I can pick out different conversations and different thoughts that are happening as long as they’re coming out of somebody’s face. And it’s very helpful, because it’s amazing how much that’s actually able to contribute to the big picture. And people are afraid to speak up.

Jeff Eschliman 04:05
And listening in spite of goofing about the big ears. Listening, I think is the keystone habit for communication in general. And that’s the way it worked for me in corporate. And that’s the way it works for me today. As a coach, listening is the keystone of good communication.

Jess Dewell 04:23
What do you think is wrong with communication these days?

Jeff Eschliman 04:25
The problem with communication is it’s not intentional. So I’ve got a personal belief and this comes from my business that the best way to run an organization is to have frequent and structured communication, right? So you’re intentional with the message of what is happening in the world. What is happening in our business? What are the changing dynamics, and if you can really craft the message, where you’re educating your team on a quarterly monthly basis, on the performance of your organization. You’re going to have a way better chance of having those individual team members understand what their individual contribution means to the greater success of the organization. And that the companies that I work with, and the CEOs that I work with, it’s one of the biggest things that we work on is frequent and structured communication, that really tells the team, how are we doing?

Jess Dewell 05:25
Here’s what I would say to that, Jeff, I would say, but through experience, I completely agree, even though every part of my body wants to disagree with you. Because I’d like it to be easier, I’d like it to be different. I don’t want to repeat myself 100 times, let alone 1000 times, let alone more than that. And that’s not just because of the amount of people that might be working with me and around me. It’s because it takes repetition. Right. And I mentioned it at the beginning, because of that key that we all face today. We forget, everybody’s lives are as chaotic as ours. And there is something secretly amazing in structure and repetition.

Jeff Eschliman 06:04
You mentioned that, like life is always changing. It’s the changing dynamics of the business, the changing dynamics of the world, and the changing dynamics of the individuals that work for those organizations. So even though it’s not sexy, and even though we want to say, I should be able to say at once and have it stick forever. That’s not the way life works. So if you’re the CEO, if you’re the head of an organization, if you’re the head of a big department, if you’re the head of a team, it is your job as the leader to communicate the vision, the message, the core values. And as I’ve been saying, where we are in the moment, I’m sorry, it’s not sexy, but that’s the way it works.

Jess Dewell 06:46
Okay, here’s a mom joke. Pete, repeat, we’re on a boat. Pete fell off who’s left? In fear right here, didn’t it definite? Did you know you were gonna have a conversation like this today? Oh, it goes at every level, right? And it doesn’t matter. If we’re talking to people in the grocery store, it doesn’t matter if we’re in front of a board meeting, it doesn’t matter if we’re at our annual meeting in front of the entire company, it matters that we may think we’re boring and saying the same thing over and over again, everybody else hears it different every single time. And so it’s all about perspective is what I’m hearing you say to is if we can keep that perspective, everything can change.

Jeff Eschliman 07:26
And everything does change, including the ears that are hearing your voice. What’s the turnover in business today that the chances that you’re talking to 10% of the group for the first time is highly likely. So it might be the first time that they’ve ever heard you speak. And if it seems like old hat coming out of your mouth, it might be the first time that they’ve ever heard it. And for the other 90% of that group, they need to hear it again.

Jess Dewell 08:00
And here’s the thing, what we also don’t remember often is that we have a core team that we surround ourselves with, that also can pass on this message and say it in their own voice, yet convey the same consistent, structured message with crystal clarity. And I find that interesting, because most and I don’t know, I’m gonna ask you this question then. Because when I am in a group, and we have one of the things I saw is people that their value sets change, their visions change, and they forget to talk to each other along the way, and then they have, and then they have catastrophic problem, because they forget that their message is no longer what we’ve been talking about. It’s not one message, it’s more than one. And so that is something which ever whoever is at that table that is crafting that message, it is up to every single one of them. And in our case, in our conversation today, you and me both of us to hold each other accountable and say hey, wait a second, this feels off often in space or in left field or whatever metaphor you want to use. Where did we go wrong? Is that the reason we’re the result isn’t what we want is that the reason we’re having this particular obstacle and being able to bring it back together,

Jeff Eschliman 09:20
the one thing that I would start with is the value set that changes so here’s what I found in my own life and is that your value set rarely changes your true like core values of who you are and what you want out of life and what you want out of the world and as a business and part of that. As a business. You should decide what your values are upfront and as a team. You should be committing to those values and regularly reviewing them regular recommitting, you should be using your values within your organization when you hire them When you coach, when you talk about the mission, the vision, the that we are talking about the values, right? And so my argument would be, those can change, but it’s probably going to be rare. And it’s going to be subtle. And it’s going to be over time. Now, there are different kinds of values that can change, like a value proposition to the customer can change over time. And that might need to pivot based on changes that are going on in the global environment or within your own business and things of that nature. But the true values of an organization, if they’re committed to upfront properly, by the leadership team, that that doesn’t, rarely changes.

Jess Dewell 10:42
And that comes back to how quickly can we see that our individual values are shifting our perspective due to a lack of clarity, perhaps that and worn

Jeff Eschliman 10:55
And if you have regular, the other big thing that’s missing in businesses today, again, we’re talking, we started by talking frequent structured communication to the rest of the team. But is that frequent and structured communication happening at the leadership level to start with? And what I mean by that is, I think, organizations and this is what I see, sometimes just as, when I start working with an organization, they have a weekly or bi-weekly leadership meeting where they’re checking in for an hour or 90 minutes. And that is their proxy for almost all things communication. And so my questions from the start are, how many times is the senior leadership team going off-site? How much time are you taking, let’s say, on a quarterly basis, where the entire leadership team is checking out for a day, and they’re going off-site, hopefully working with a coach, they’re working on strategy, they’re working on the tactics of the business, they’re working on the changing dynamics, they’re getting their entire leadership team on the same page, so that when they go out and have these conversations with the broader team, they’re speaking with one voice. And again, it’s never just one voice, right? It’s many different voices that have agreed on what the values are, this is what our plan is for the year. This is what our plan is for this quarter. Now, let’s go tell the team what we’re doing and let’s crush it.

Jeff Eschliman 12:24
If you’re ready to make a real impact in your business, and you’ve waited too long to take action, go to Red And click on solutions to find out how.

Jess Dewell 12:36
Okay, all I heard was, I don’t have time for that I don’t have time for that I don’t have time for that when I was trying to listen to you. And I know you face that too, from the companies you’re working with. And that is a big obstacle to overcome. So all of you listening, joining in, just take a deep breath, breathe, start breathing again, because here’s what it comes down to. Everything actually fits in the time that we have. So when we are committed to that important work that Jeff is talking to us about, what we find is some of the tasks get taken care of some of it becomes redundant, some of it becomes whether you like the Eisenhower matrix, the unimportant and urgent they can just fall away, or they just not right now, those become very clear. The time is there, it is a matter of being committed to doing the deeper work. And that deeper work is actually that broader, more an ambiguous place to be? And what is a way do you just come in? And do you say this is just going to be the way that it is? You got to do this to have success? Do you work in that realm when you’re trying to bring a whole bunch of people together in an off-site? Or is this a gradual process? Right? I’m actually now I’m thinking about ripping off the band-aid. Do you let it get a scab on its own? Or do you rip it off?

Jeff Eschliman 13:51
Usually with me, it starts with a conversation with the CEO to start with. Yeah. And I tend to I get buy in upfront, right? Because it’s why are you hiring me? And why? Or do you want to pay the money? You you want something different? You want something better? Right? And that if you get any pushback, like you were just saying, it’s you’re doing what you’re doing right now, here’s my question the most of my clients, how’s that working for you? Yeah. Okay. If there’s parts of the answer, then everybody has parts of the answer. Because regardless of how our we’re trying, we, we stick it take a look at these various elements, whether it’s our life, or our business. And inevitably, there are places that we look at, and it’s oh, well, I haven’t looked over there a while now. That’s scary. And so it needs to be tackled, that needs to be dealt with. It needs to be brought into the light.

Jess Dewell 14:38
It does. And here’s the thing, and I don’t know about you, I know that there are times I recognize very quickly. Oh, this is a waste of money for these people right now. This company is they’re not ready. They’re not in enough pain to make a difference. And I know that’s something that Jung firmly believe in, right? You have to have pain to grow.

Jeff Eschliman 15:00
It’s a marker. And it’s a signal, right? It’s a signal when things are and this is why it gets confusing just because it’s a signal when things are broken, right? You have attrition and turnover in your organization, you have open wrecks that you can’t fill, right? Those are signs of that, well, those are symptoms of something else that are wrong. But here’s the problem. Pain is also a symptom of growth. If you go to the gym, and you work out really hard, and then you come back in the next day, and you’re you can feel it your arm so you can feel in your abs, and you can feel it in your glutes, right? That is the right kind of pain, because you are stretching your body, you’re stretching those individual muscle groups, and that, that, that chemical in your body is telling you, you’ve done the work of growth. So that’s why I say pain is an indicator, right? It’s an indicator, it’s a symptom, oftentimes, of things that are broken and need attention. But the reason it gets confusing is because there are also indicators that say you are on the right path, just like the analogy of the sore muscles.

Jess Dewell 16:13
What’s interesting, and that’s actually where true grip then comes in to. Some people feel the pain and they’re like, okay, I’m good with this, isn’t it, and it comes back in our household. And then I have actually for years and years, we’ve talked about this in our household. So some time along the line, I brought it into my business, we call them comfortable chairs, what is that cut, because if you’re sitting in your comfortable chair, you are not working out your muscle, it actually complements very nicely here, Jeff. And some people are still ready to just be in that comfortable chair. And so you’re right.

Jeff Eschliman 16:44
And it’s a journey of discovery. And it’s how much pain can you take, right? The pain of the business, right? If you have these open racks, and then all this or even almost worse than that is when you’re making hires, and you’re making bad hires. And then you have somebody that’s been on the team for 90 days, you realize there’s a mistake to be made. And you’re going to have to now take care of that in a different way. And you’re starting back from scratch. There’s almost nothing more debilitating and demoralizing than making bad hires.

Jess Dewell 17:16
I like that indicator. Pain is an indicator. And we feel it in different ways. Personally, you have mentioned earlier, during offsites, having that communication, making sure quarterly, there’s a different kind of message. How do you personally work that into your work?

Jeff Eschliman 17:36
It’s one of two things, you can take a look at the I love to just use the word discipline, right? Is discipline a good or a bad thing? And the short answer is it’s bolt. All right, the sharp edge. Exactly. All right. But my choice is to choose the pain of the discipline that’s proactive and positive. Let’s use the example of top-grading team members, right? So top grading is where you have a regular reflection and review of your entire team wholesale, top to bottom. And it’s in categories by however, that shakes out in your business unit, where you’re rating all of your team members from top to bottom, on both their performance and their behaviors, right? And then you take the top third of the people in that bucket and you reward you promote, you recognize all of those things. You take the people in the middle bucket and you support and you train and you coach. And then you take the people in the bottom third of the bucket and you warn or you train or you coach or you put them on a plan or but you have to be having direct even though these conversations are not easy to have with somebody that is a mediocre performer. If you haven’t had the bat conversation proactively that unfortunately, if you have to let somebody go in an organization, and how often does that happen? If it’s a surprise to them, then you haven’t done your job as a leader, right? And if you really are doing your job correctly, proactively, like telling them where they stand. It’s the most humane thing you can do. Because you tell them where you stand it even if that’s below the mark, you can say, hey, here’s where you are. Here’s where we’d really like to see it be. How can we work on this together a handle? Is there some training? Is there somebody we can pair you up with? You got to decide what the timeline is and you have to decide what the overall outcome is. And then you get on the path of that and probably at least 50% But maybe even more than that. One of two things will happen. That person will either improve themselves to the point of where they are now. In that middle bucket or They will likely self-select out of the organization because they don’t like the pressure.

Jess Dewell 20:06
One of the things that I, that really stuck with me as I was listening to you is that if somebody surprised by the outcome, and in your example, you were talking about letting somebody go, this is also true for performance. This is also true for mentoring. This is also any conversation, the onus is on who is initiating that. And you’re right, that is part of discipline. And that does come back to what are we doing in our strategic time? How are we doing this? What is the frequency with which makes sense for us to do these things? And then I like commit and also like accountable? Because they’re, because accountable comes back to that discipline? Right? Am I accidentally sitting in my comfortable chair a little too much? Did I not even know I had a comfortable chair? And I never got out? Or am I out? Training? Am I seeing chain? Are those things starting to be? Are we starting to see new habits and other changes because of that? We’re, we have more energy, there’s a lot more interest, more ideas are coming in people’s attitude, the energy around them at work is changing. Those are not necessarily quantifiable. And they’re also not the root cause that can ever be solved. It’s are we disciplined? And do we have the accountability to the choices that we’ve made?

Jeff Eschliman 21:19
I’m not disagreeing, but I’m saying there are elements of it, you can quantify.

Jess Dewell 21:25
Oh, sure. I just meant that it’s never going to be the root cause. Should I maybe I misspoke on that front? So thank you for the clarification of that specificity. Yeah, it’s an indicator that we’re not actually solving the root cause, if those aren’t the outcomes, yep. Yeah. If we’re causing those problems, we’re missing the whole problem. Right? Talk to me more about discipline these two sides were or do you see companies get hung up? Around discipline?

Jeff Eschliman 21:50
It’s typically the lack thereof. And Sam, you’ve already mentioned it, it’s the key. Is it a lot comfier for the CEO to sit in his comfy chair, and not design a regular structured program of communication with the team will certainly, especially in this is where it’s probably the most prevalent is that the company is being financially successful. Right. So let’s say there’s great top-line revenue, there’s great margins flowing in, hey, we’re doing a great job. We’re crushing it around here. Okay? How many people though, how many organizations get exposed when the market dynamics change, right? And if you don’t build in as a CEO, a regular discipline of this communication, let’s say when things are going well, and there’s plenty of money flowing through the system, when things get a little tougher, when things get a little tighter, there’s some changing dynamics, if you don’t have your team built for this, there’s teams that go out, there’s companies that go out of business every day. And then there’s companies that end up on the ropes, because they don’t have discipline structure of starting with communication, and they don’t have great processes, and they’re relying on individual people. And then they have turnover. And it’s just all of this pool of symptoms. And that’s the problem is when you’re not exercising the discipline, proactively. And even when the times are good, when the times are good, is when a matter of fact, I was just talking with a team today. And actually, things are a little bit slower for them right now. And I said, this is the time to pedal downhill right now. Right? Where they’re in an industry that’s had probably five or seven years of runaway success. And they’ve been working their butt off. And they are like seeing this time as a time to catch their breath. And I’m saying, yes, go ahead and suck in a big breath of air right now, and feel what that feels like. And just about as soon as you’re done with that, let’s get on our bicycle and start pedaling downhill. Because if you want to make any improvements in your organization, you need to do it. Now while there’s a little bit of silence before this thing wraps up, because you can see the early indicators of what’s coming in 2024. And if you don’t harvest some of the improvements right now, I guarantee you by q2, q3 next year, you’re going to be wishing that you had taken the time to do it right in it.

Jess Dewell 24:26
There are a lot of people that will look at this concept of discipline, I love discipline, and I liked discipline. And I’ll say I even love it specifically because it gives us a constraint. So people who are it’s boring, it’ll get old law that does that’s a process. But that’s not what discipline is. It’s not to automate anything, per se. It’s to create the constraint with which we are always looking to find the edge and push it a little farther. And that’s something that I think is really important about discipline because it actually allows for more creativity no more innovation, more thought-provoking process opportunity in the market inside, whatever. Because we have a constraint, it goes back to that concept of growth of pain as an indicator. Let’s give ourselves a constraint so that we can easily say no to a whole bunch. The worst thing I see in organizations, when it comes to discipline is this idea that we have to evaluate every idea, I love your ideals or ideas are a dime a dozen. And no, we don’t. Because here’s the deal. Not all of your ideas fit here. Not that they don’t fit somewhere, we need to just pick the ones that fit here for this thing. And that’s where we get to be creative. And that’s where we start to get below the surface and understand how we can move forward. What do you think about that?

Jeff Eschliman 25:47
I think if I was talking with a team member, or maybe even a senior leader that said, discipline is boring. Yeah, question would be how sexy is failure? Yeah. Right. So tell me about that. So I didn’t. And I’m not saying discipline is sexy, because it’s not. You know what it is, though, it’s the key to success.

Jess Dewell 26:08
So one of the things that I work with, and this is something that I do, and it’s something that I encourage the leadership teams that I’m working with to do, and that is I call them present retreats. It’s basically CEO time, but it’s a I call it present retreat, specifically, because every single person on that leadership team needs to have their own. They have their own objective that fits into this big mission that comes from the structured communication. And if they’re not taking their time, if I’m not taking my time, it’s easy to get in that comfortable chair, it’s easy to lose the cadence, it’s easy to be unclear. And that crystal clarity is where all these nmsa where they all begin is, right? It’s like we lost a map, we’re trying the best we can, we forgot to talk to each other in the process. And that’s where then coming together as a group, you were talking about, hopefully, facilitated, hopefully, with somebody that has your best interest but is not tied to what you’re doing in the room with you. It’s incredibly important. And if we’re not doing this time, we’re not doing our own self-reflection. And if we’re not doing our own self-reflection, there’s no way we’re going to show up and ask anybody to help to hold us accountable. There’s no way we’re going to say if you we know you’re doing that, how can I hold you accountable without that coming back at me, and I don’t know what my part is. Everybody has a place in this. And that’s one thing to slow down to speed up. You. I know you’re a big proponent of getting rid of the chaos. But before we talk about getting rid of the chaos, a, and going more into this, I have to tell everybody, I know you’ve been listening, I know you remember that. This is Jeff L. Solomon. I know, you know, that he is bringing it today, you’re listening to this conversation on the Bold Business Podcast. And let me just tell you, as the CEO, Executive Coach, he knows what he’s talking about, not only with his background, but you can hear it in everything that we’re saying and how we’re able to challenge each other a little bit, hold each other accountable. That was something I set up at the beginning and look at us doe. So, Jeff, we’re going to jump back in.

Jess Dewell 28:12
And getting out of the chaos. All of the interruptions that we have. I know that’s a big deal for you in a big part of yes, this is all happening. Yes, it’s very, it’s very structured with which to grow to find pain, which pain do we want, we also have to get rid of the distraction. So let’s start talking about that a little.

Jeff Eschliman 28:32
For me, it comes in three parts. Let’s just talk about the first two. Uh-huh. I’m a big proponent. So in business, I ran a one-page strategic business plan. And in my own personal life, I actually have a plan for my life. And as part number two, and it’s really similar to the process that you talked about, I have a day of Zen. And so this is a day that I take personally every month, where I take an entire day where nobody’s going to get me. As a matter of fact, my tagline for the day of Zen is checking out. So you can check in. So what are you checking out on everything in life? Like, I don’t answer emails, my family knows my business knows they’re not going to get a hold of me. I put this on the calendar months in advance. And what I do in my day is in the first half of the day, is an entire wholesale review of the previous month. Now, I have more written goals than anybody that I know. Now, I don’t know everybody, but I know a lot of people and I have more goals than anybody. And so it takes me a long time to go through my goals to go through my KPIs to go through the reflection of that previous month, the good things, the bad things. And then the second half of the day is a time to build a plan to crush the next month. And I use all of those data points from the first half learning and apply that to the second half. The additional thing it gives you, Jess is what I call whitespace. So it gives you that time like, when does your average workforce member today? Not withstanding a CFC, CEO or a high-level executive and organization that might be a spouse, they might be a parent, they might be sibling, they have all these what I call roles and life? And when do you ever get a moment to catch your own breath or not just catch your own breath. But thinking about something of significance, I usually use the example of what happens if you have a child who suddenly start struggling in school? And what are you going to do to either come alongside him yourself or hire a resource to maybe help him? Or what if you have parents that are aging, and it looks like, wow, we’re headed in the next five years for a different level of care? What is it and we tell ourselves on our busy day, that somehow we’re going to do that, on Saturday, I’m going to work it in between the soccer game, and the barbecue that we’re having with the Smiths. And there’s a two-hour block of time, and you know what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna think about my parents and their aging care on that time. But we get to that time and we sit in the sofa, and we put our feet up, or like, I haven’t sat on the sofa with my feet up and about two months. So guess what I’m gonna do? Right? Um, that’s right. I’m gonna relish and enjoy this, right? So what I love about this opportunity is it just gives me a time to really reflect on things that are coming in my life, the seasons of change, right? And think about these things proactively.

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Jess Dewell 31:58
Where one is the one page strategic plan and your life plan? Or two is the day of Zen. Did you say that third one, we forget to number it, or is it still coming?

Jeff Eschliman 32:08
I still counting?

Jess Dewell 32:09
Okay, that’s my thought. I just wanted to make sure it’s like, oh, did I miss it?

Jeff Eschliman 32:11
I wanted to take a breath. And

Jess Dewell 32:14
I don’t do a day of Zen every month, because I build it into more of a weekly schedule. And since we first talked, I started thinking about it. And I actually think that it’s a different time. And I may actually add that as part of the cadence that I’m using specifically because for it and because I’m doing the other thing every week, what I think that significant piece needs to happen. I need to basically sing in the shower, thing of the car with the windows down, rolling down the road, taking a knee longer hike sitting on the park bench, something that’s so out of the norm that allowed everything to go for a period of time. So that significant thought can actually happen. And I’m not taken by surprise. And I think that is a really awesome way that I what your target. Just in part two, I’m like, Ooh, I would like to figure out how to work that in because we don’t take time and I will tell you do the point of kicking your feet up. I don’t know, how do you get to that? I’m grocery shopping. I’m talking to the folks. I’m making sure I’m staying in touch with the people in our community that make up our networks so that if I’m late, or something else can happen, everything’s where it needs to be in cat can go. Right? Right. Because it comes and you’re right, without preparation, without any thought towards it at all. It could be a surprise and cause things to come to a full stop when they probably don’t need to. They could still be disruptive. They could still be interruptive it doesn’t it’s not drawing any Okay, so what’s the third one?

Jeff Eschliman 33:47
The third one is called carpe diem. So it’s cool seize the day, right? Carpe Diem Latin for seize the day. This is a process that I use every day. And it’s what I say where you take and I didn’t really say what was on the one-page plan but the one-page plan has my core values, my core competencies, my purpose, my one-year goal, my monthly goal. And then we use the Carpe Diem to operationalize what’s on the so how do you bring the one-page plan to life daily? And here’s the thing about Carpe Diem, Jess, what we do every day matters. And it matters far more than people give it credit for. Right? So if you want to have good health, if you want to have good nutrition, if you want to have good relationships with the people that are close to in your life, if you’re not finding a way to invest in those kinds of things. On a day-to-day basis. You’re really not harvesting the benefits of an individual day I use my car pay Diem process I asked myself scripted questions every morning, who do I need to be today and accomplish my goal roles here. How do I want to show up? Right? And I use three specific areas work, love, and energy, right? How do I want to show up, I have identities. For all of those are my identity, my identity, for energy, for example, is I look at myself, as an elite athlete that’s competing in the game of life. Now, I probably wouldn’t be a very good competitor, like on the Olympic stage, or maybe even in our professional level. But compared to society, I’m an elite athletes. And I treat my body that way. Because I want to, I need to bring the energy and vitality to the purpose that I have in my life, and the things that I want to do on a day to day, month-to-month, yearly life. And I need to be able to bring that energy. So it’s important to me to show up that way, every day. And when you ask yourself these questions, and when you get clarity on these things, and that’s the big thing, getting clarity on the things that are important to you. But the part that makes the secret sauce here, Jess is the system. If you have the whole system working together, the one-page plan, I call the Northstar, right, that’s what’s guiding you. The day of Zen is what you use to keep things in perspective. Because life is always change, just like we talked about all that stuff in business, that all applies to our personal life, right? Things are always changing, and in our own body, and our own life. And all of these things are always changing. So we have to have a system, we have to have processes that are built for change, right? Because that’s the way it works. And then if you can boil it all the way down to just today, when we’re recording this, it’s Tuesday, right? If we could have a great, how do you have a great week, have a great Tuesday, right? Have a great Wednesday, build those things on top of each other. That’s how you’ll have a great month. That’s how you’ll have what Darren Hardy calls the best year of your life, ever. And I’m just trying to stack those on top of each other and make every next year, the best one I’ve ever had. And there’s nothing to me more exciting.

Jess Dewell 37:16
Reminds me of that movie day with Kevin Kline in it. Today is Monday, everybody works on Monday because that’s his job when he’s not impersonating the president. And that’s true. It’s true to have that goal. So that leads me to the second thing that came up, which is a question, which is, what’s the quickest way to get to clarity?

Jeff Eschliman 37:35
How about this? asking better questions yet? Ah, ha, what Tony Robbins would call more empowering questions. So yeah, those are the fun ones.

Jess Dewell 37:45
Yes, those are the fun ones. And let’s say you’re still stuck. Here’s what I would say, to get to better questions, do something. And if it doesn’t work, change it tomorrow. Try don’t try. It’s literally like trying on. For me. It’s pair gene. I hate jeans. I don’t want to wear them. If I find them, I’m going to buy several until they wear out because they change so much. I really want to get paired. Some people are like that with shoes. Some people are like that with cars. Some people are like that with their exercise. I’m never going to change this routine. This is what it is. But until you can actually say I don’t want to change it anymore. The has to try and say no, yeah, you’re What were you gonna say? Fail forward, fail forward. I’ve met a lady once she, she said, I think she was she. I think she was 33 at the time. And she said to me, I wish I could remember her name. She said, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. But I know 252 Things that I don’t want to be. There you go. That’s where I’m headed. So anytime people are like, What do I do? How do I start? You just gotta start be like heard?

Jeff Eschliman 38:50
Get in motion? Yeah, didn’t motion.

Jess Dewell 38:52
That’s exactly right, that relates. That’s really great. And so I love your answer, ask better questions become more empowered. And that comes back down to, the only way to do that is to have space, right? create it, you have to create it, you have to choose it. Right and decide it’s important because it’s going to be painful for a while watching all the stuff you’re used to chasing around or dousing with water or whatever else might be going on. happening until you find out oh, that lasted not very long. And sometimes that experience is really important sometimes. So what is one of your biggest successes from your three part process here?

Jeff Eschliman 39:32
For me personally or from a client?

Jess Dewell 39:34

Jeff Eschliman 39:37
My biggest success is just the harmony that I’ve created in my own life. Right? And so if you want me to unpack that a little bit right now the difference between harmony and let’s say work-life balance. Perfect. Yeah, so I’m, I guess I would say I’m famous, or maybe I’m infamous for goofing on work-life balance. So behind me somewhere here there’ll be like an apothecary scale, right? because my analogy is the apothecary scale. So are we supposed to believe that we’re gonna put everything from work and one bowl and everything else from the rest of our life and the other, and then somehow they’re supposed to hang in balance? So here’s what I say about that term. It’s the wrong measure. Like, why are we chasing? So I choose to focus on this word that I call harmony. And so I choose to believe that harmony, at least for me, is one of two things. Think about like a beautiful song, I think about Whitney Houston, like belting out one of those iconic, right? And music can move us emotionally. And so it’s beautiful. Or think about. I love the Winter Olympics and ice skating. And like the best athletes in the world coming together in their sport, and its grace and its power, and it’s beautiful. And then a couple comes together and does it and you look at that. And it’s I can’t believe it’s so harmonic and beautiful. And those examples are like what I’m trying to create, in my own life. And so now that I have this trifecta of the system going on, and I’ll use one more quick analogy for you, just like I eat, the other comparison is plate spinning, right? The old analogy of having all the plates on the sticks, and you’re spinning them. And in my corporate life, I was a, I’m about as good at plate spinning as anybody I’ve ever met in my life. I was really good at it financially, and fitness and relationships, and all of these things going on best metrics of the division and all of these things. But at the end of the day, you’re still spinning plates, right? And what I had to slow down and say was like, I got 250 years old, and I’d been in the organization for 30 years. And I’m like, what’s next? They’re going to add another plate, or I’m going to add another one, right? I’ve just became a grandfather, here’s another plate, or all these it’s like, additive. And I gotten good. And I spent a lot of plates. But I said, Where does this ever in? And so that’s why I came up with this trifecta. And again, it’s we went through the whole global pandemic, and the whole world changes in front of you. And it’s what are we going to do now? You know what, we’re doing Zoom meetings, instead of face-to-face meetings. And now I’m having a counseling coach people like online, right? It’s all these changing dynamics. And if you don’t have a system in play, to manage that, how would you ever be able to keep yourself straight? In any given day or any given month? How many people say, Oh, my gosh, can you believe November’s almost over? Like, next thing you’re gonna snap your fingers and it’s gonna be Felice NaVi Dodd, right, or we’re going to be into the next year is, and if you don’t have an intentional system in place, right? Like you’re tearing those months off the calendar, and you’re saying, Where did that go? And let me I never say that because of my Zen process. And the one page plan and having the stuff lined out in front of me like, it is super intentional, and systematic. And I keep it out in front of me. Even though things are changing, and they are always change.

Jess Dewell 43:20
Now, I want to know what, what makes a bold, what makes it bold to be intentional, and create said plan and take action on it.

Jeff Eschliman 43:30
What makes a bold is like almost nobody does this. That’s bold, to get on the podcasts like this with you, and bear my soul and share all these things that might not be popular with most or people might be rolling their eyes or any of that. And that’s okay, go ahead and roll your eyes and keep doing what you’re doing. And then I asked you the same question that I asked my clients, how’s that working for you? Right? Why are you going to send money to my account? It’s because you want something different. And my operational distinctive number one is if you want something different, do something different or be something different, and different. Make no mistake is code for better.

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 spark 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 are ready to work with Jess, email her at [email protected]. Special thanks to The SCOTT Treatment for technical production.