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Host: Jess Dewell
Guest: Jeff Barnes
All businesses are technology businesses.
What we do today sets the stage for IF we are relevant 10 years from now.
Similarities found across industries.
Growth mindset matters for you AND your company.
Innovation is a part of growth.
Growth mindset has 3 elements: challenging assumptions, taking action, innovating.
Share the key elements of a mindset for growth.
Live Audience Question: I don’t often meet salespeople who use the idea of growth mindset, many see that as flaky and soft not connected to sales… how do I influence my people to change that?
Mindset is important to your success.
Live Audience Question: How much of your Navy knowledge and experience have you incorporated in your business, what are some tips for me?
Pitfalls to be aware of that chip away at mindset.
Live Audience Question: As soon as I start asking myself what if, I feel less confident, I feel like I’m overthinking. What should I do to move “What IF” in a positive direction?
It’s BOLD to integrate failure and success experiences to build your growth mindset.
Jeff Barnes 2:31
Wake up every morning with an attitude of gratitude, and everything else is gravy from there.
Jess Dewell 3:37
We are all technology businesses whether or not we have technology that we are providing our customers.
Jeff Barnes 4:00
No matter what business you’re in today, you’re in the technology business. There are other businesses that you are in, your marketing sales obviously are big part of it, but technology has to be at the forefront of pretty much any business today.
Jeff Barnes 4:50
None the technology really matters unless you’re focused on it from the customer’s point of view. And if you don’t take that point of view and that approach, then you’re going to fall short of customer expectations. You’re going to start getting people complaining about their experience. Maybe they won’t complain. Mday be they just won’t keep coming back.
Jeff Barnes 5:11
If the customer doesn’t come back, they probably experienced something they didn’t like. And technology plays a really vital role in helping to either further the growth of your business as a result of creating that great customer experience, or stopping it dead in its tracks.
Jess Dewell 5:32
Even from the gecko, things that we think we add on to the business after the fact, really be long in the forethought. Not only in our business plan for this year, not only in our department growth plans for the year, we’re talking in our growth strategy. We’re talking five years down the line. 10 years down the line, because that full integration of that, really is how we’re going to remain relevant.
Jeff Barnes 8:24
A technologist, the IT people, software developer — all these folks — they’re really, really good at creating great codes, and great technology, great piece of hardware and software from their vantage point. For our customers, it doesn’t matter how much you love your product. If you fall in love with it from your vantage point, but the customer hates it, it’s not going to get any traction. That’s the key to any sort of technology you implement in your business, what’s the customer experience like? Even if you are inside of a big business you’re developing technology use for internal into the organization, you still need to focus on who the end user is.
Jeff Barnes 9:13
I love business intelligence, data and analytics, and all of that stuff. But when I go, and I try to set these programs up, I’m just dismade at the big companies that are developing these that are not really thinking about all the integrations that are required, and who’s going to ultimately be looking at these reports. So as the CEO, as an executive, you need that high level overview of what’s happening in your business. And if all those little cogs in the wheel are not aligned properly, you’re not going to get good data and good information back.
Jeff Barnes 9:49
When you think about any technology, you want to think about how it’s going to benefit the business, yes, but ultimately, who is the end user, so you can focus on that user experience and how its benefits them as well. That’s the big thing that I’ve noticed across every brand that we’ve run and we’ve managed, is that you have to focus on that customer experience. At the end of the day, that’s the one thing that matters more than anything else because if you get a salesperson out there, they start selling something, and they come into the business, and they actually bought and they want to do business with you but then they have a terrible experience, the salesperson is going to hear about it. And then they’re never going to come back and do business with you again. That’s the way I would look at any technology you bring up in business.
Jeff Barnes 14:10
When I sit in these rooms, especially when you get into the bigger companies, you know, billion dollar companies and you’re sitting in the boardrooms, you start bringing in all that experience. The biggest challenge that I’ve seen there is a risk averse mindset. That will actually be your Achilles heel when you start thinking about the growth mindset. It’s hard to have both in tandem. But that being said, there’s always risk mitigation factors you can take into account when you’re trying to be innovative.
Jeff Barnes 15:02
If you’re thinking 5, 10, 20 years down the road, we don’t know what the world will look like. We don’t know what our customers are going to expect. But we do know one thing for certain, if we don’t do anything in changing grow, we’re not going to be in business 5, 10, 20 years from now. Plain and simple.
Jeff Barnes 15:36
What you don’t want to do is have a bunch of ideas coming out, and then have all the reasons in the world not to do it. That’s the area where a lot of people fail and they fall short. At the end of the day, there’s about 10,000 reasons not to move forward on any one project. And especially once you start getting the Controllers and the CFO is in the room, then there’s a million reasons not to move forward. But at the end of the day, you need to make a decision to move forward and grow, and so you need to start asking the what if questions. So what if this works? What would the experience be like for the customer? How would we end up helping our customers? And how would we grow our bottom line if we did this,? This is where a very strong, visionary leader is absolutely required for business growth, because that visionary leader is going to be able to challenge the assumptions or those risk averse mindsets.
Jeff Barnes 16:46
Henry Ford, arguably one of the most inventive people in the automobile industry ever, is quoted as coming in and having a meeting with his of engineers, and saying, “it’s great that we built these four cylinder engines, and even six cylinder engines, but I want a V8. I want more power. I when my cars to go faster. I wouldn’t be able to drive longer. Figure it out.” Engineer’s replied, “Oh, we can’t do that.” And he said no you can, you can figure it out. And then he’d come back a few weeks later “Where are we?” Well, it’s not possible, we can do it. He’d reply you better figure it out. He laeve, he’d come back maybe a month, maybe two months later. Where are we in this process? Oh, we’ve been trying Mr. Ford, It’s just not possible. “No, it is possible figure it out.” And so what he would do, is you start challenging these people. And if you don’t have that person that challenges them, and then challenge you as your team, and your experts inside the company, then no one’s going to move forward because they look up to that leader to try and figure out where the strategic vision is for the organization. And so the end of the day, what happened? Well, we got the V8 built. We have the muscle car industry inside the United States. And you know, the Big Three. And the automobile industry took off like a rocket fuel.
Jeff Barnes 17:55
You have to have that strong leader at the top who’s willing to challenge the assumptions, who’s also willing to listen to all critiques and criticisms coming from within the team. But you have to move forward. That person, they’re going to expand their own mindset as well, but they have to expand the team’s mindset before any traction can take place.
Jess Dewell 18:32
Action matters. At some point, take some action. See what happens. There’s always the ability to course correct.
Jeff Barnes 21:46
Customer services, service delivery, is the place where most businesses are failing. And if you just figured that part out, you’re going to win and succeed, and your customers gonna be your best source of how to grow your business if you listen to them appropriately.
Jeff Barnes 22:34
If a salesperson doesn’t think that it’s important that they grow individually, then you’re going to have those old crusty sales people from 20 years ago that are trying to do the same exact sales tactics, and they’re going to try and sell the same exact way, but it’s a different generation now. It may be hard for them to understand having a growth mindset is important, that I can believe. But the fact that they don’t need to do it, that is utter BS, because if they are not growing, they’re not learning about the business, or they have to realize there’s a whole operational piece behind that sale, to keep that customer happy. And they have to learn about what’s going on inside the business. They have to learn about the innovations going on inside the business. The vision in the direction of the business, and if they can adopt that and they can start to see why that’s important, then that is growing their mindset.
Jeff Barnes 34:30
You show up to work. You get the job done. You don’t stop working until the job is done. If you can just do that, then you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of everybody else.
Jeff Barnes 36:41
The discipline. The willingness to see things through. The ability to rely on your team and understand there’s a reason behind all of that. With those, you’ll go a really long way. Those components in of themselves will set you up for success. And it will set you up for success in a way that allows you to maintain your sanity, because I think a lot of people will figure that stuff out. “Okay. I got to be discipline. I got to do the work, see things throaugh. I gotta get the job done.” But they forget about the team part. And the team part is absolutely vital if you’re going to grow business, because you cannot do everything in your business. There’s no way. Maybe for the first six months or a year, you’re trying, and you’re learning, and you’re getting great at it, but you cannot do it all. So once you get out of your own way, then the sky’s the limit. But you have to learn all those things.
Jeff Barnes 43:40
If you’re struggling with their mindset, with the stress of the day to day all that. Go read a book by Viktor Frankl called Man’s Search for Meaning. And you can read that book, and put it down and still be completely stressed out about your life, then you need to go get help. Because Dr. Frankel is a Holocaust survivor, and he wrote a book about the experience, and about the mindset of going through all that. You have to read that if you are in any stressful situation, and you have to really absorb it. And don’t just read it and skim through it. Absorb the lessons. That will change your life.
Jeff Barnes 45:01
I don’t care how smart you are, how brilliant you are. There’s this thing called a Mastermind. The Mastermind is the most influential, important thing you can do if you want to succeed in life. I have no question about it. That is the most important thing you can do.
integration, traction, customer expectations, mindset, risk tolerance, innovation, problem solving
How well do we use the experiences we have (both sought experiences and unexpected experiences) to build our capacity?
Staying focused on growth can be difficult when we are working on all the little and big things that crop up in business daily. Anchoring our growth strategy to daily actions will determine our level of success. Jess Dewell talks with Jeff Barnes, COO of Celebrity Lifestyle Brands about growth mindset.
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