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:
How are we showing up to uncertainty and ensuring we provide employees with the tools they need to be productive? You’ll hear tips and stories about the importance of knowing yourself, awareness of situations, and building resilience to keep your business growing.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guests: Eric Brotman, Charles Rose, Kris Ward
What You Will Hear:
There are three things we can use to create a strong framework for productivity: to know yourself and your needs; awareness of the pressures facing employees at work and at home; and assessing processes to rely on and build resilience. Jess Dewell brings you tips and experiences about productive leadership from Eric Brotman, CEO of BFG Financial Solutions; Kris Ward author of Win the Hour, Win the Day; and Charles Rose, founder of Charles Rose Executive Consulting.
Recognize assumptions and be open to reflecting on them.
Find your response to big interruptions and mold it to support yourself and others.
The relationship you have with your career impacts your productivity as a leader.
Having processes to fall back on minimize reacting.
Look closely and find out where you are using time on non-productive work.
Three areas businesses suffer from – especially when there is high stress.
Be willing to reimagine the way work is done.
Recognize the strengths you draw on and your achievements when thrown into something brand new.
Have a cadence of connection as a team, as a management team, and for your business.
Productive business management is knowing the priorities and committing to them.
It is bold to reimagine business management productivity.
Notable and Quotable:
Eric Brotman: Anyone who says this is the way we do it because this is the way we've always done it is doing it wrong.
Charles Rose: Trust is built through consistency. And that takes time.
Kris Ward: Really, you're just going to be shocked at the results.
ANNOUNCER: Welcome. This is the Bold Business Podcast. We want to thank our listener supporters who keep this podcast ad-free. Find out more at reddirection.com forward slash listener supported. 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. This idea is for you to apply to the opportunities and challenges you face. 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. This podcast will provoke ideas and will give you insights to be inspired. Just the will is your guide just brings you a 20-year track record of Business Excellence, or strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place your unique True North. Now, here's Jess.
Jess Dewell: Today more than ever before we find ourselves in a time where our productivity is strained. Our ability to think and make decisions is at its capacity. And, you know, even so, there are roles and responsibilities that we have signed up for accepted, and now must continue to wear those shoes every single day. It's important to consider what productive leadership looks like. It's important to understand what that means in a business context. Because even though life work, play intermingle, we still do need to understand how to put a lens of clarity around whichever we happen to be focusing. And recognizing that the other two are also present more than anything else, productive leadership builds resilience in you. It also builds resilience in your team, the way conversations happen, the way that work is done, the way that problems are handled, the way that innovation occurs, is going to allow you to know how much more awareness do you need to be productive in the environment you find yourself in right now. So it comes down to knowing yourself with absolute clarity, and what you're focusing on in a moment. So that you can be all in, show up and have the opportunity to work well and achieve the results you want and lead your team to the goals that you have set. So to start out, let's look at our assumptions, those things we might have just always done. So we continue to do them. In my interview with Eric Brotman, the Chief Executive Officer of BFG Financial Advisors, which is an independent firm assisting clients with wealth creation, preservation and distribution. Not only does he host the don't retire graduate podcast, he's published two books. Here's what he has to say on assumptions.
Eric Brotman: Anyone who says this is the way we do it because this is the way we've always done it is doing it wrong. Almost every case. And I'm guilty, I've been there. It was a journey from this is the way we do it to this is the way we've done it, but if you can show me a better way I'm listening to now it's we can do this your way just make it happen. And that is a journey that did take a long time.
Jess Dewell: There is more than one way to get to the end goal. And recognizing that each person on your team is there because of a strength and a skill and an attitude that was hand-selected for your team. Not capitalizing on it means you're missing out in effectiveness, not to mention missing out on the opportunity to build resilience. We must rely on those people that we have hand-selected to be on our team when things go awry. Sometimes we have to step away. Sometimes we have to close down our offices and work from home. Sometimes I don't even know what other ideas to come up with because I only had 10 of them show up in my life just today. Regardless though, knowing that there are interruptions can help us in our planning, we can make those interruptions, less significant. The founder of when the hour when the day is Kris Ward, and she is the leading authority in building your business by building your team. She helps entrepreneurs easily double their income and triple their time off. She is a huge proponent of creating freedom through frameworks. Here's what she has to say.
Kris Ward: Yeah, and life has interruptions. And that's why I tell people when they used to throw sympathy upon me I'd say listen, everybody's got something. This is my something right now. And what I would tell you is I'm really passionate about creating movement because you're should support your life not consuming. Without that, then what would I have done in the situation that I was in, but that was just my something right now. And just create a business that supports your life and not consume it and everything will be so different for you.
Jess Dewell: Hmm. So questioning our assumptions, understanding there will always be interruptions and we get to choose how we want to show up to those by laying a foundation to work from means the only thing really missing is a look in the mirror. Charles Rose is an executive coach, he brings us expertise as an entrepreneur, software developer, author and lecturer too. His experience with startups has shown him that it's the personal aspects of business that provided the greatest stumbling blocks, as well as the greatest opportunities. So, listen to what Charles has to say about this mirror concept.
Charles Rose: It's taking a real comprehensive look at your relationship with your career, maybe also your relationship with yourself. And so this works down to a clarity process, I maybe I can follow up with some information about the clarity process.
Jess Dewell: Before Charles tells us about this clarity process, so that we can really take a look in the mirror, let me set the stage as to why, why it's important. It's important, specifically, now more than ever before. We have stresses all at once that we have never ever, ever, ever had at the same time. There are piled high, piled high. And that's all right, because we get to a very fast fashion, find out where our roadblocks are, how we're going to show up, what we can handle, what we must look at differently. And it's in that clarity, that makes all the difference. So here, here's what Charles says about that clarity process practice.
Charles Rose: Trust is built through consistency. We start dating somebody, and we get to know them, and we build trust. And over time, we develop more emotional intimacy and depth and physical intimacy about them, and that takes time. And it's the same with an employer relationship, it takes time to build trust. Hopefully, we're coming into a kind of new age of employer-employee relationship that is based on more trust. But it's both ways. It's like you can't expect the employer to just totally trust the employee with no history. And vice versa.
Jess Dewell: I would say the same is true for our longer relationships as well. Trust is a two-way street, we must extend it and offer it for it to be received and offered back. One way you can get an immediate shift in your relationship with yourself. And your teams like right now in the middle of very uncertain times is to have a framework, a framework for which work can be done that can be relied upon for some of the consistency that Charles was talking about. And here's the thing, the thing is, the framework you choose is going to be different than the framework of your peers. Because your value set is different. Your unique selling proposition is different. The way that you conduct your business and interface with your stakeholders is different, yet fundamentally, they're the same. It's operational excellence at the core. And here's just one example from Eric about a framework for his company.
Eric Brotman: We had done something similar back when the bird flu happened. And it did something similar at H1N1 where we sort of did pandemic practice, not because we thought it was really ever going to be what this year is My goodness. But if it's not that it's a natural disaster, it's a storm. It's a whatever it is, how is our disaster recovery plan. And that means everything from the cybersecurity piece and the access to data and the backup and the things that are behind the scenes, but it's also who calls whom, and how do we communicate with clients? And if there's no internet or phone system or communication for x days, what do we do and how do we handle it and we sort of did some practice runs, and it made the actual event I'm sure as heck not gonna say it made it easy, but it made it less of a surprise.
Jess Dewell: Even though your answers will be unique to your company, those questions that Eric just posed are a great starting point to consider the what-if scenarios for your organization, for your location, for the way that you can ensure operations continue deliverables continue, revenue continues during times of upheaval, and uncertainty. And I have to tell you, just don't don't don't don't don't don't multitask. Kris says it too.
Kris Ward: So it multitasking the whole beat your chest and be proud of how hard you're working and you're a hard worker and wear that badge with honor. That's really old school and I'm not so harsh but some of the most successful people in the world with stay busy as a new stupid, it's really understanding that if you're doing that, that is not you being productive. So there's all kinds of studies to show how much we actually can manage. Decision fatigue, attention residue, there's all these things that affect our brain just like our phone, we open up all those apps at depletes the battery. And I would call myself a recovering rush-aholic. So we're giving this false information about what go go go looks like, and what it will bring you.
Jess Dewell: The right work is not only what builds resilience, it's what ensures productivity and alignment of the actions to the goals. Then we have to add another layer to that. The people part. We haven't really talked about the people part in this just yet, other than the fact that we're the people in the process, and we have to look at ourselves in the mirror. So what's next, Charles shares.
Charles Rose: It's framing, okay, what are my new needs in this environment, because my environment has changed, how have my needs changed in accordance with that?
Jess Dewell: You hear it on a plane, you hear it from those closest to you who remind you, put your own mask on, and then help others. Make sure you're square and then others can be served by you. Because if you are operating at a deficit, every action you take will also be lacking. You can't do the most productive, resilient work possible if you haven't taken care of you first. Okay, let's unwind a little bit of the misconceptions and misunderstandings about productivity.
Kris Ward: We're to start with productivity. It's so misunderstood. For me for many years too, I thought productivity isn't how fast can you run like a lunatic? And how many things can you do at the same time while you're running? Right? It's almost like you need business therapy. Because initially you think, Hmm, I left work still fresh, and I started refresh. So maybe like a little addict, you think, ah, maybe I'm not working hard enough. So I still feel good. Maybe I'll stay a couple hours tonight. But it's diminishing results.
Eric Brotman: Previously, we might not have hired somebody who lived 45 miles from the office for fear that they would constantly be later be stuck in traffic, or they would hate their lives and wind up not staying. Now it doesn't matter. And that's such a simple example. But it's a big deal. If you can just as easily take a job in Arlington as Albuquerque, it makes no difference, you can find the best people for the role. And people can find the best job for them without saying I've got this little radius, that's a big deal.
Jess Dewell: To avoid the diminishing results, to understand where opportunity really is. Having a lens with which to look at things differently, like in a prism, is something that can be incredibly useful to us. So just looking at your day, looking at your fatigue, looking at the problems that you are facing, not only as a person, but in your company. And then even going a step further and looking at and thinking about the problems that your employees are facing. What are the things that you can do today, that might have seemed out of the ordinary before, that can definitely be considered? That's the thing. Our uniqueness and our opportunity for success is being unordinary, being extraordinary. And so there's a lot we have to face and look at, and we must do the self-work, holding up that mirror, so that we can be really clear there. And once we're really clear, we're able to better help others in a way that enhances all of the work and moves work in the right direction, and allows the right priorities to be set. Charles shares a little bit of the underlying workings around this.
Charles Rose: We all have expectations about everything. Our subconscious mind is working on overdrive all the time. It's always thinking that's why when you meditate, it's hard to get quiet, because your subconscious mind is just going, going going. And that's its job. The problem is we typically kind of move towards things that feel good. And we kind of move away from things that feel bad in life. That's what we do. The opportunity is to get really clear on what's really motivating us what's really driving us. So the first thing you do is look at your thoughts. And that's your expectations. And so that's your observations, your beliefs. What we really want to get to is what are your wants, your needs, and your fears in relationship to say this new normal, or this new way of being new needs, as you said, What do you feel like your wants and needs and fears. So this is almost like a little brainstorming session, your expectations list. When you start thinking about this new normal new needs, what thoughts come to mind?
Jess Dewell: Mm-hmm. And if you're like me, there might be some shame there or some self-guilt or maybe even some embarrassment in addition to fear, anxiety, stressors, and underneath all of that, and for some of us may be right on top and right in front is opportunity, excitement. So going back to the three things that we talked about at the beginning that you're going to hear today, we're spending some time on knowing yourself and your obligations, and being clear about them, what will make you whole, so that you can help others be whole in every part of your life. And the second thing is that the more awareness that you have, the more productive you can be, the more of a leader, you are able to show up as in trying times. And by the way, it's those of us who are showing up and continuing to try during difficult times, or on stressful times, that also are setting up and practicing this concept of resilience, which is that third thing that we're really covering in-depth in this program today. The resilience you have the resilience your team has, and making sure that things keep moving, regardless of what shows up.
There was an article from Harvard School, in their leadership and management department. It was an article called how self-awareness makes you a better manager. The underlying message there is similar to what you've been hearing from Charles Rose, Eric Brotman, and Kris Ward, that being a truly effective manager requires a great deal of self-reflection, observation and growth. So where the assumptions are, which are in the way the business has done, the things that you take as truths within your company, and your willingness to look at them and find out, are they still useful? Or are they creating resistance in unexpected ways, as situations change over time? There are three areas that businesses can really suffer from around productivity. And Kris Ward shares on that.
Kris Ward: The three main areas that most businesses really suffer from are what I call damaging overhead, delayed income and diminished opportunity. And those things come from not having an effective team, because the damaging overhead, you're either paying them too much or worse, you think you're saving money, do it yourself. So you have to then look at how much as a new client earn you. Well, then if you're doing the work yourself, that's your value. So $1,000 a month, you just really have some very damaging overhead.
Jess Dewell: Okay, we've all done it. We've all waited a little too long to reimagine what we can do and what the best use of our own time is. And once we know what the best use of our time is, then we can figure out what the best use of another person's time is to continue to move toward the objectives. Kris goes on.
Kris Ward: Then there's delayed income, which of course, when you delay income, and you delay the income that was coming after that income, and then the diminishing opportunities. We've all heard where, hey, I wish I'd known you did that. I just hired somebody last week to do that. Sometimes they'll say to me, oh, yeah, I went out and I tried to hire somebody, Kris, and like, the kids these days, the economy, and I'm like, okay, that's like my tax accountant saying to me, you need a better tax strategy, and then come back next year and say, Yeah, I tried that didn't work. What do you know about that? You know, so I painfully learned over the years, and I ate it up and worked really hard at it. And I had a lot of bumps and hiccups and onboarding, and I was bottlenecking at certain points. And, you know, there's a whole bunch that's happened. And a very short version of this, why I chose to write the book was, I've been pulled away from my business when my husband had colon cancer. And when I returned to the business, after his passing, my clients were shocked, they had no idea what was going on, they didn't know anything was passing, and they didn't know I had been away. And my team was able to sustain that because of all the things we had in play. And that's when I want to start creating this movement that your business should support your life, not consume it. And so if your fear base, you're worried about productivity, you're worried about all these things, I would tell you, the great news is, it goes a little deeper, and you can fix it. And then you'll never have this problem again. But it starts long before today or pandemic, things like that.
Jess Dewell: And it's never too late to start. So with that in mind, I just have to plug the Present Retreat, because the more there is going on, the more people we have on our teams, the more we have the space to look at the opportunities and do key work and let other people do key work. So that, that strategy can be put into place in such a way that your vision can be achieved. And one of the ways that work is being drastically changed today is the expectation of where we are, what we're doing and how we actually do that work in geographic space. Charles shares.
Charles Rose: Employers wanted people in the office at least eight hours a day, and there was the perception that work was getting done. Oh my God, our culture is full of things about people hanging out and killing time and whatever, but they're at their desk. And it's like, come on, hopefully, there can be some change as part of this to where we start trusting employees more, we start getting more clear about what the actual work product is. And it's like, okay, your work for the next two weeks is to do these three major things. That's it. And we're going to measure it by we know, when this project is done, because these things are done, and then you're good. It's been a bit backwards in my mind, where it's just measuring people clocking in like a factory.
Jess Dewell: And what can we do to reimagine that concept? Where can we break the norms in our own companies in such a way that not only provides us more freedom to fully live the values that have been set for the way that work is done? Also, to build that trust, to set up the space for teamwork to emerge.
Eric Brotman: We're creating connection, we're creating teamwork, we're creating mutual responsibility and reliability and trust. People know that one another have their back. It's an incredibly safe environment. That way, that's a good thing. My first job I remember this vividly, I remember having to ask permission to go see a podiatrist because I had a sore foot, this isn't kindergarten. At some point, it's, Hey, I got all my stuff done, I gotta go see a foot doctor, I'll see you tomorrow. Not that you miss the quarterly board meeting or whatever it is, but that you schedule it, when you can schedule it. Life happens.
ANNOUNCER: You were listening to the ad-free listener-supported Bold Business Podcast,. We will return to the show soon. Right now, just is going to tell you about why we are ad-free and listener supported.
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Jess Dewell: The first area we have been talking about during this program is to know yourself and your obligations and be crystal clear. The second thing is that the more awareness you have, the more productive you may be, and the more productive of a team you will lead. And the third, frameworks, approaches, practicing talking processes that operational excellence is what's going to build resilience in the way you and your team show up and respond to new situations. Right before the break, we heard Eric talking about this fact that they're creating teamwork. Now, he's also going to talk about next, a little bit of adaptability, and a little bit of luck. And most importantly, the willingness to go through the exercise of asking the questions and thinking through unusual situations.
Eric Brotman: Before we knew what was really coming down the pike, we had a retreat scheduled for a Friday and in my infinite wisdom, and I'm using that term in quotes, but in my event Wisdom, I said, Let's cancel this retreat. And let's instead do an off-site work test, because the possibility exists that we might have to work from home for a week or two. Joke's on us. But we might have to work from home for a week or two, let's figure out if we can. So we took a half a day, everyone went home, logged in and did the various things that needed to be done. And then we got together for a lunch and talked about the experience. And that became our retreat. I didn't know how prophetic it would be that this would be happening week later. But we wound up closing the office for the better part of two months, 20 employees wound up in 20 different places, and we didn't miss a beat. And we did have to order some It stings and folks needed some tools. But it wasn't a big spend. And it was incredibly rewarding to see it all come together. And we did the things we needed to do to keep culture together, which is incredibly hard. But in terms of the tools, yeah, we made them available. We asked what people needed.
Jess Dewell: When was the last time you did that? That's simple question, what do you need? And, if this situation were going to happen, or worse, and if this situation were to happen, what would you need, then? Just having that in the collective awareness within your company, that knowledge base of brains, is incredibly helpful. And we also have to look at the reality of what could change what actually has changed too.
Charles Rose: For me, it's looking at what's changed. And for me, I jump typically work at home doing executive coaching. So I coach from my office at home. So not a lot changed from that perspective. My partner Debbie is working from home now, which is It's nice having a hair frankly. What I see in my clients is more anxiety, their kids are on top of them. And that's something new, they're trying to figure out how to navigate the scary, Oh my God, if I screw up, somebody might get hurt sense of threat. And I think that's scary for people. Because there's this whole upset in the media isn't helping that. Because the constant focus is on unrest how bad things are more people are dying every day, the media was stressful before this, it's like, oh, my God, I find that meditation is the most grounding thing for me, because it brings me back to my center, there's a real feeling associated with that. And it's a common, it's a piece, I can get to a more subtle enjoyment of life through that.
Jess Dewell: It may seem far away when we're in the thick of it. It is possible. And like I said earlier in the program, it's never too late to start
Kris Ward: As an entrepreneur, I would tell you, the number one thing you do need to know is have an effective process for bringing people on board. Because when that's done well not only do you yield big results, and you get to move forward, and that amplifies your business and all that stuff. But the byproduct of that is infrastructure in the business. So everything that my team does, is like you're always looking how they can, they can be more and more effective and not do repetitive work, because we really live in a copy and paste world. And if you don't look at that carefully, you just end up with busywork. And you started this business to have a bigger and bigger impact and have a creative output and all that type of stuff. But what you've done is turn yourself into an employee with a lot of overhead.
Jess Dewell: So I'm going to come right out and say this concept of new normal, quote-unquote, is ridiculous. I'm not sure we ever had a normal, because the one constant is that there's change. So with that in mind, listen to this other take that Eric shares.
Eric Brotman: The new normal assumes, number one, that this has been thrust upon us and we have no choice, it presupposes that it's going to be this way somehow forever, both of which I discredit. In terms of getting back to quote-unquote, normal. I don't think we'll get back to where we were a year ago, exactly. I think there will be a lot of major improvements, Major League improvements about productivity and efficiency and work life. I think work-life balance doesn't exist. I believe in work-life integration, because the balance doesn't exist, you're one of the other but people have learned how to home school their three kids while completing a project for work while doing a load of laundry while worrying about their parents. And look how much the world has changed. And in so many ways for the better. Look how much less important it is to be dressed to the nines for a meeting, just be on time and be prepared.
Jess Dewell: Well dot, dot, dot. Even for computer meetings, I do, do my hair and I put on some lipstick. While I like to dress up, I don't need to. And it's great. It's great to have a little more flexibility. It's great to be able to put that time toward something else since I have so much more like you to put my attention on all at once.
Eric Brotman: Look how much less important it is to put on whatever airs folks put on like it's some kind of fashion show. So forget that no one needs to go to work sick anymore. I mean, for Pete's sake, even if it's the flu, if it's a cold, please stay home, we move to responsible PTO so responsible paid time off this year. It's a game-changer and it's something we had sort of tinkered with. But this was the year we did it. And basically what it means is we're no longer counting days off, you're no longer accruing, paid time off, if your job gets done and you need or want to take a day or three days or a week for whatever it is, don't pretend you're sick and take a sick day, make sure you have coverage. I'm not saying it's a free for all. And work is now optional. I'm saying if your department is set up where one of you can easily be out at any given point, or even two, and you want to make sure it's on the calendar and it's been communicated, then we're not counting days. Do your job, do it well.
Charles Rose: 30:33
Your okayness isn't dependent on your ability to achieve something that you get to be loved, you get to be okay like your child does. We give them unconditional love. And then at some point, we stopped doing that with ourselves. But that's a real human need, we have to give that to ourselves. The difference is there's never conditioned on the love. Of course, we want our performance to improve, we want to grow, we want to learn, we want to do better, all the time. But that's you're telling your child I want you to do it better improve clean your room, thank you that kind of thing. It's splitting our behavior as quote-unquote bad versus the person is being bad.
Jess Dewell: Eric said it, be responsible, make sure your work is done, do good work, and take care of yourself. Charles just said we have forgotten to unconditionally love ourselves in the process, you are not your behaviors all the time, you are the choices that you make a little bit more, consider those choices, make them wisely.
Let's come back to the holding up the mirror that has been a theme through all of this with something that Eric shared.
Eric Brotman: For me, it is definitely about knowing yourself. But it's also about knowing your teammates. And whether it's Myers Briggs, or Disc, or any of the different programs that are out there, the various assessments, some of them wind up being fun activities, and then they hit a shelf and you never pay attention to them. Some of them you can actually dig into a little bit. I think there's it's real important to understand that the golden rule is not good enough. And the golden rule isn't a must. In fact, it's a it's a mistake. To treat someone the way I want to be treated is not helpful, I need to treat them the way they want to be treated, I refer to it as the Platinum Rule. I'm sure it's been said before that it's just one level higher, that people don't want to be treated necessarily the same. So if I were to talk to you the way I would want to be talked to, you might really react horribly to that. And yet, it would have been exactly what I would have wanted to hear and vice versa. So how do we know the people we work with, live with, recreate with well enough to sort of meet them where they are and treat them the way they want to be treated? Like what's more important to you. And the best way is to ask what is the best way to bring something like this to your attention.
Jess Dewell: In an article by Harvard Business Review, called understanding leadership, there's a key point that is made, it is a fallacy today to treat somebody else the way that you want to be treated, because it is inconsiderate of another person's situation, the things that are on their plate personally and professionally, as well as just what they need to be able to give you their all because just like Eric said, Everybody has preferred ways to be spoken to and interacted with that actually support and motivate. Another key point that the Harvard Business Review article on understanding leadership touched on is that our own perception of reality is just that our own and we either make things too simple or too complicated to be received well, by the person we're communicating with. And the best way to work on that perception and reception is to listen.
Charles Rose: As much as I can Yes, it's having a listening you know, as a coach you listening to other people, they call it active listening. So it's listening with your ears, with your eyes with your intuition, your emotion, your intellect, everything you've got, if you can turn that on yourself, that's the practice and starting to listen to yourself and saying, Okay, what do I need today? Do I need to exercise and push myself because sometimes self-care isn't necessarily comfortable? It's Hey, man, let's go out and do a run. Other times it's I'm exhausted. What's best for myself is to not do a run. I'm gonna go have a bath or I love being in water. So like a shower is amazing for me. Reading being outside having a drink out on the patio in the summer.
ANNOUNCER: It's time to take another brief break from our program. Earlier, Jess shared about what goes into each podcast and why it is so important to be ad-free and listener supported. But why? Why should you consider becoming a supporting listener? Jess has that answer.
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ANNOUNCER: And now let's return to the Bold Business Podcast for the rest of the show.
Jess Dewell: We've been talking about knowing yourself, holding up that mirror. We've also been talking about increasing our personal awareness to make us more productive and to create a work environment that allows for productivity. We've also been talking about the importance of frameworks and actions to build resilience. Kris gives an example of what this looks like in her company.
Kris Ward: 90% of what my team does, I don't even know how to do but that's okay. Can I give that work to somebody else? Do I know how long it takes? Can we pass that process that toolkit we call it on to somebody else? I mean, the amazing thing is actually we're at a point now and I'm teaching my coaching clients how to do this. For example, we just never got around to YouTube, we've been neglecting it, we know we should do it. And I had an amazing guest on the show. And he was talking about that as like, okay, you know, enough is enough. I'm so behind the times on this one. So we have a whole YouTube training that would have taken me I don't know, eight weeks. So I have somebody on my team doing it. She comes to me every week and says, here's what we need. Here's why we need it. Here's some philosophies. Here's a two-minute video, you should watch, I watched three hours, but you just need to watch this two minutes, here's a grocery item list of things I need from you. So we can get this channel up and running. And the old me would of course, not even too long ago, a couple years ago trying to learn it all and then regurgitate it to my team, something I don't even understand. But it's within my social media person's skill set. So now she's more versed in all that she's telling me that she needs to keep it moving. I don't even take courses anymore, unless it's something like I really want to do or a leadership or a marketing thing, because I'm a marketing strategist. But all that other stuff that I used to say, oh, I'll burn through my work really hard. And then I'll start learning that thing at five o'clock tonight when you know, I started the day exhausted, but I shouldn't be refreshed by 5 pm, after eight hours of just going like a nut. And everybody does that. I have somebody training me on what they learned. So you really can outsource and delegate and a magnificent amount. If you have the toolkit, the systems and the backbone in play, so that it's done easily, effortlessly and consistently.
Eric Brotman: If you don't know where you're going, it doesn't matter where you start, you just sprint, but that's not necessarily the right speed and sprinting in the wrong direction is hazardous to your health, your wealth and your happiness. So let's not do that.
Jess Dewell: Right, knowing where you're going. Having that map that has been planned out, understanding the resources that are available allow you to set the pace.
Eric Brotman: Pre-COVID, we were running quarterly retreats that involve things like ropes, courses, and go-kart racing and various team activities. We did a trip to Gettysburg and met a professor of leadership and management at Gettysburg College and took a battlefield tour. Just some very cool things that brought people together in different ways. During the period of our office closure because we're reopened now for our team. We're not open yet for clients, but we're open for our team and trying to be very smart and safe about it. But when this began, we made sure that we had weekly zooms that were sort of check-ins at the end of the week, but they were also happy hour. So first we'd all check-in. And then we'd all pour whatever our beverage was and it certainly didn't have to be an adult beverage, but whatever it was, and we'd have a toast and then we would do activities. One of our folks volunteered to collect information from an employee and then say Who am I and they would say Who do you think is the person who is most afraid of spiders or who wants to jump out of an airplane or whatever, just fun things that make you know your coworkers a little bit differently and then we would put them into something called Kahoot, which was like a trivia game. So online and you can do it with employees facts, like which of the following was said by Mary Smith. And it became really fun. Now, I will say it got tiresome after a few weeks, a few months, certainly because we were all missing each other, but it was born out of necessity. And I think it was helpful. So now we're still back to doing these retreats. We do planning summits once a year that are off-site where we close the office for two days, we combine our holiday party with our awards banquet with our annual planning. And it's really a great experience,
Jess Dewell: Adapting to a situation creating a stopgap to get through. So that connection can be maintained. So that trust can continue to be a two-way street. So that teamwork continues to build and be fortified, means that whatever we do right now, in the midst of Oh, you know, chaos, craziness, unexpected, whatever, doesn't have to be something that lasts forever. We can make decisions for right now, knowing that the decisions we make aren't set in stone, and we're going to be making different decisions for different situations that are going to change what we're deciding right now, in the future.
Charles Rose: What we've been doing is working with companies to say okay, for everybody, let's look at their career. It started with expectations. So it would be what are your expectations for your career? What are your thoughts? What are your words? What are your judgments, anything that comes to mind, you just throw it out on that list? That starts giving you a sense of Hmm, these are the things I want acknowledgement, I want to give this, then I need to learn this thing. I'm excited about this, you start to get a map of like, Huh, these are all the things that I think about my career and there's worries in there. There's needs in there. There's wants or aspirations in there as well. So we get all that down. The next step is we start to create a purpose statement for this relationship. Why am I in this relationship? Why do I have a career? it's looking at what do I want to give to it? So I'm going to give my time and my talent and my skill and my effort, blood, sweat, and tears, that kind of thing? And then what do I want to receive money? Of course, how much? But also, what are my needs in terms of is it being of service to people? What's the fulfillment in my career? What's my contribution? That I feel, you know, and how do I measure? How do I get it through? Thank you? Do I get it through a trophy? What is the acknowledgement piece for me? How do I want to be acknowledged? Is it gratitude? Is it a rank or title? Everybody's different?
Jess Dewell: 42:33
The first thing we've been talking about in this entire program, productive leadership is that we must know ourselves and our obligations.
Kris Ward: 42:43
What I tell people all the time is your calendar is your time bank account. And a lot of people do not put stuff in their calendar that they do every day, because they have their calendar as this resource for outside influences. So outside influences or controlling your day, I have this appointment, whatever, even a dental appointment that is expensive. You don't want to go to Oh, it's on the calendar, and you'll get there. So I tell people, well, why is that on the calendar, like, Oh, I do that every day. But I'm like, Okay, well, that's like saying my car payment comes out of my bank every month, but it comes out every month. So I don't count it, but happens is your time bank account, you may walk in think you've got eight hours, in fact, you may have five, so then you're set at a really faulty deficit. And that sets up everything to be built on a weak infrastructure that's misinformed. And then you can't report to your superiors or your team like, Okay, look, here's how much time I have. In fact, I really only have three and a half hours every day, you want to do this new project. That's a big deal. It's gonna be two hours. So what's our game plan? What's our new priorities? How can we be clear in those priorities?
Jess Dewell: 43:47
Takeaway number two, the more awareness we have, the more productive we can be.
Eric Brotman: 43:53
How do you get people to know themselves well enough, and then to feel safe to communicate what they need in the workplace? This is not Kumbaya, if I worked for you, and I said, you know, I'm gonna have a Snickers in my briefcase every morning, just in case, it's that day, because it might not be for three weeks, but one of these days, I'm going to be the hero, and it's going to work out great. And that's a silly example. But it's also a real example.
Jess Dewell: And the third takeaway, the more open and trusting your team is with each other, and you that two-way street is strong, you have resilience to show up and face opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses that come your way, anytime, anyhow. Anyway.
Charles Rose: Having the employer and the employee be on the same page is the absolute first step and making sure everybody's clear as to why they're in the relationship. It's sort of like, again, you agree to start dating somebody? And you say, Okay, well, you know, here are the rules of the road. This is what I expect, what do you expect, and then we go from there. The opportunity is for a lot of communication, a lot more, because in the past, it's been okay, we throw you into an office and We figure if you're there 8, 10 hours a day, you must be doing something.
Jess Dewell: 45:04
And we've all learned that is just untrue. So check those assumptions, check those truths that you've been relying on, and really find out, are they still serving you? And can you rely on them? Or are they kind of true, or maybe they're completely untrue today, and they must be looked at, reflected upon and addressed, so that you can continue to move forward, effectively. It's bold, to redefine productivity, to redefine how you are going to show up, and what is important to the goals of your company. And sometimes, we must take actions that are outside the realm of our initial thinking. Listen into Kris.
Kris Ward: Being bold was I came back and you know, I fired a few clients, I thought, Oh, I don't really love working with you. And that was not a great thing to do. And you're like, I lost an income. So but I was like, No, I have to do everything all in or, you know, we do that you have like, 10 clients and three Love, love and for you like and, and two, you're like, oh, hopefully they call in sick today or whatever, right? So I was bold in that poison workplace where I was just really hell-bent on everything's going to matter. And we're going to go all-in and no excuses. And so I think what happens to be bold, and to pull back and say, here is a plan, and trying to outrun the clock and try to impress people with your sense of worth of busywork.
Jess Dewell: Charles shares why it's bold, to be an effective leader today.
Charles Rose: That we're incorporating more of our true nature into the equation that I think we're actually maturing as people. And this is our opportunity now is to grow up a bit as humanity, and say, we need to treat our people better. And we need to create deeper, more nurturing adult relationships with each other. And that's the call. And that's bold, because that's courageous.
Jess Dewell: 46:57
Here's Eric's take on the boldness that effective leadership brings us.
Eric Brotman: It's trying things that are Uncharted and unproven, you know, determining the difference between confidence and faith, you don't always have evidence to make the decisions you need to make. But if you have the right people with you, and you make decisions collaboratively, and with that whole village, you're gonna do the best you can. And I think what's bold is to shut up and listen, let people who are experts at various things, play their role, and then charge forward even if it's into the unknown, it's bold to do that.
Jess Dewell: Pulling in every ounce of what you have to build a two-way street of trust, to be consistent in your actions, regardless of the changes that are going on around you. And really considering what productivity means and what can reasonably get accomplished and the available time, all rolled up into operational excellence. And it's through frameworks and processes, and systems, that we get to build resilience. So we know if something crazy happens, we can fall back on those systems because they're known. They're tried and true. They're plug and play, so that we can find out if we have to unplug one thing and plugin something new for a stop-gap or for ongoing success.
Now that you've listened in, you now have concrete examples, ideas, thought processes and tips to better know yourself and the obligations that you have to increase your awareness that allows for an increase in productivity and what it takes to build a resilient individual, a resilient team and a resilient company. Listening to Charles Rose, Kris Ward, and Eric Brotman. Talk about their situations firsthand. Talk about the way that they show up to certain situations makes me realize the more that we can listen, the more that we can question our assumptions, the better off we are to be adaptable, which reflects and amplifies our productivity. Do the right work at the right time. You know it. You've got this.
ANNOUNCER: 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 it to your current priorities is up to you. We want to know what actions you take. Use hashtag Bold Business Podcast and add your voice to this important conversation. 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 Radio at Red Direction.com. Special thanks to the Scott Treatment for technical production.