Episode 85

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Published on:

21st Aug 2023

Dr. Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard - Building Confidence as a Leader: EP 085

This episode features Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard, one half of a mother-daughter duo whose incredible bond has shaped not just their personal lives, but also their groundbreaking approach to business, leadership, and personal development.

What sets Anne and Heather apart is their deep comprehension of the intricacies of relationships, leadership dynamics, and organizational behavior. Their profound insights, grounded in their own experiences, have enabled them to develop a distinct approach to coaching and consulting. Through self-awareness, dismantling limiting patterns, and focusing on a desired future vision, they empower others to tap into their full potential.


Tune in to gain valuable insights into how this mother-daughter team has harnessed the power of their bond to revolutionize the way we approach personal and professional growth. Discover the wisdom they've gained from their journey, and learn how you too can leverage human connection to unleash your own limitless potential.





👤Connect with Dr. Anne Dranitsaris and Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard:

✅ Official: https://dranitsaris-hilliard.com/ 

✅ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/powerupinnatepotential 

✅ LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/annedranitsaris/ 

✅ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/DranitsarisHilliard 



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Transcript
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Well, as they say, the show must go on. The show is on, despite being a couple of minutes behind.

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We hope you can forgive us.

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Heather from Caliber Leadership, welcome to the Big Ticket Life show this week.

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Thank you for being on.

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Thank you for having me. So excited to be here and be able to have these conversations that we're going to have

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today.

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Yeah. Yeah. And so it's very interesting that you would make your way to my schedule at this moment in time

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with your expertise and your views on leadership and, you know, self-belief system

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and the ability to dismantle dysfunction,

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because I've been very much focused on a book project for myself.

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That's all encompassing of those kinds of things and about really reflecting on yourself as a leader

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and examining the hurt and the stuff that everybody around you is dealing with and is

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bringing into the workplace, into their lives, therefore into your life, and how you as a

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leader can actually step into that platform to help them heal and then maybe do some healing

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for yourself in that same practice.

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And so, it's just very interesting to me.

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I take that as a positive affirmation from the universe that my project is on the right

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path and the right time and the right place. So Heather, thank you for being a part of that.

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It's very cool that we're here. Yeah.

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And, and, you know, it's interesting when you talk about, you know, all of this

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aspect of what's going on with people in the workplace emotionally, and, and I

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think for so long leaders have sort of come into their roles thinking, I have to

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be in control of my emotions.

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I have to demonstrate no emotionality whatsoever. And I have to work to create these environments where people aren't human beings, they're just human doings, right?

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And so it's always great to be able to have a discussion about the role of us as leaders being human in our work environments

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and bringing our whole selves into that process and the benefit it creates for our organizations

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even from our own experiences as leaders.

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Yeah, I loved it. We, um, just want to let you know, I make a couple notes throughout our time

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together because I carve out the, the really great juicy moments and share those out later and little sound bites.

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So everybody can get, uh, parts of the show, how, how it best fits their day.

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And that human beings versus human doings. That was the first one.

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That's a great, great way to express it. Love that.

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Um, so let's, let's expand on that. Where, where did you first say that out and speak that into

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existence and what inspired it?

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Well, I think if I, if I go back to when I first started leading, um, and I was in

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my twenties and had had absolutely no leadership training, like most people who

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step into leadership situations.

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And I was working with clients to introduce the notion of 360 feedback for their leaders.

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So I thought, maybe I should do that myself as part of this experience and being

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able to support my clients through the process.

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And one of the questions that was on this, and I still remember it, one of the questions

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on it was, you know, appropriately manages her emotions.

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And one of my employees said, does she have any? And that for me was like one of these moments of, okay, right?

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Because I thought of myself as this really, you know, inspiring, motivating, you know,

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I talked to them, I communicated with them, but I was only showing the part of myself

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that I was comfortable showing.

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And everything was with a smile on my face and keeping it positive, and their response

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to that was that they couldn't connect with me as a human being.

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So I was this great leader on, you know, in many ways, but from that human perspective.

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And as I talked to Anne about it, and that was where, you know, sort of this notion of,

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you know, what am I leaving behind? And when I'm playing a role as opposed to just showing up as myself.

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And that started us down the journey in some of these conversations around how do we bring emotional intelligence into the workplace? And again, that need to control

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as a leader, our emotions and our emotional experiences actually put us at a huge disadvantage

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when it comes to managing our people and even navigating the challenges in our work environment.

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Yeah, so spot on. And so, uh, you and, and, uh, for our listeners and for our watchers.

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And I, and I say it that way because we broadcast the show live stream on social,

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channels, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook. And then we throw out the recording a week later.

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So it's always cool to kind of get context as you're listening.

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If you're grabbing this as a podcast, come back to the show on the big ticket life, YouTube channel.

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Please subscribe because we do show a lot on the show. It gives context, and we all know you learn more when there's other senses engaged, and

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the visual body language helps drive home these points.

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And you and Anne, and Anne was going to join us today. We hope she feels better, so well wishes to Anne.

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Sad that she couldn't be here today, but you and her share a very unique bond, and not

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fact that you're a mother-daughter, but it wasn't always that, you know, storybook or

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great, you know, I guess, you know, greeting card, hallmark story, mother-daughter story.

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No. A little bit about that? Yeah, it's definitely not, and I actually met Anne for the first time when I was 27.

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Anne is my biological mother. She had me just shy of her 17th birthday, and I was placed for adoption and raised with

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my adoptive parents and my adopted siblings.

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And so we are a mother-daughter team, and it's a really fascinating journey when you

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meet your biological mother when you're an adult, because a lot of those things that

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you might, I mean, I could never work with my adoptive mother because, you know, we have

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that true mother-daughter experience.

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But what Anne and I, when we first connected, what was really interesting was I wasn't looking

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for another mother, but she and I were doing very similar work but in different places.

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And she was working as a psychotherapist, as an executive coach, and corporate therapist.

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And I was doing work in organizations as a consultant on looking at how do we really

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help organizations achieve their potential and leaders achieve their potential.

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And it was sort of like this magical coming together of, you know, sort of her brain and my brain.

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I sometimes say she had me so that we could, you know, form this relationship and this

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business later in life.

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And we're really able to come together and leverage our unique abilities in a way that

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together is far more powerful and we've achieved far more than I would have because we both

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help each other to grow in a really different way.

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And we've brought our personal experiences into it. And so the things that we've learned as we've navigated being entrepreneurs, being leaders,

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figuring out how to forge a really unusual business partnership with somebody that, you

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know, gave you up for adoption and then you met later.

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And in her case, you know, trying to, you know, always initially we both in that same

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place as well. I don't want to do anything that's going to screw this up.

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So you start to learn just how much goes on emotionally in the workplace as we're constantly

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forging relationships and pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone, which is what

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this journey for Anna and I has always been about.

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Yeah. I mean, what a, I mean, first of all, so happy that you were able to reconnect, able to form

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that bond, able to do great work together.

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Interesting that dynamic of you're better together, but then you have this innate natural,

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togetherness as mother and daughter and you bring that in to those you help and into your own workplace.

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So how do you handle the dynamic of that relationship, the way your relationship began, the way it

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started, the way it came back together.

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How do you take, you know, what might be some of those visceral, maybe emotional responses

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that are deep down that I think a lot of leaders have, right?

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Because employees bring stuff to them that isn't about the leader, but subconsciously

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at times I know, and I say this, I know because I'm that guy at times.

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You know, it's, it's almost like this new cut on that old wound, but it's not the employee.

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They're not doing this to give you that cut to reopen that wound in particular.

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They're just going through their damn, they've got their stuff.

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So you know, how are you, how are the both of you able to kind of internalize that, set

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it aside, work through it and how do you help out? What would you suggest others to do as well?

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Yeah, I think that there's a lot in there. So let me start with the one that we always use as our foundation, which is self-awareness.

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And in self-awareness from, I guess on two fronts, one is we work from that basis of

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really understanding how our brain is organized and how that drives our behavior.

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So when I understand that, so for example, my style is much more informational and process-oriented

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and style is much more directive and decisive.

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And so I could very much react to the way she communicates because it's so different than my style.

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Or I could end up not making sure we're doing things jointly.

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And so by having that understanding, I don't have to react to her behavior or the way she

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might communicate something.

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And she can even say, okay, I'm just saying this, but don't react to it.

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So we put these things out in the open when we have that higher level of self-awareness

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around our personality, the way our brain is organized in particular.

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The other piece is really understanding your triggers and those messages that you keep

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pulling up from your past.

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All of us have them during the course of our childhood. The way our brain is wired, it's survival first.

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So we spend our childhood figuring out how to survive in our context.

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No disrespect to our parents in our situations where everybody's navigating and doing the

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the best that they can, but at the same time, there are things that we do as a child to

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adapt to survive our environment.

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If I use a really basic example, as a child who was placed for adoption, you know, fear

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of abandonment is a natural, you know, carry forward because I had to survive that and

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learn how to survive that experience.

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So if I know that as an adult, as a leader, when something's going on in my environment

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that's triggering that fear, I can go, oh, is that about my past?

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Or is that a true threat? Because our brain is always bringing

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those survival messages back into the present

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when they no longer serve us as adults.

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That's exactly what I wanted you to hit on, you know, is this, is this a real threat?

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In other words, is somebody on my team really threatening to leave?

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We've poured into them. They've been a great part of the team.

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Maybe, maybe their life circumstances have changed and they truly do have a better opportunity.

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So if they go to leave those abandonment issues, you know, as, as you legitimately have could come

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up, you know, maybe it's another application of that first seven or so years as a child

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framing your mind and the way you go into adulthood.

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That's exactly what I would hope, hoped you would touch on because that statement you

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said about self-awareness driving our behavior is so, so utterly important.

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And right there, it's not that somebody wants to abandon you, it's they need to do better

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for their themselves, for their family, for their circumstances.

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It's not about you, it's about them. And it's about us sorting that moment and, you know, really kind

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of stacking the information like, can we, can we work together or do we need to part ways, but it's not, it's not that new wound somebody's

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trying to rip open within, right?

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Yeah, we, we talk a lot with our clients about this notion of separating and depersonalizing because we're so quick to think that

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someone else's behavior is about us when the fact is the message we want to remind ourselves

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is it's not about me, it's about them.

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So how do I understand what they're going through, what they're experiencing, what emotion

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is getting triggered in them that's causing that behavior so that I'm not reacting to

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it and instead I can respond effectively?

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If you think about it from that perspective of every single one of us, our emotions drive

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our behavior, not our thoughts. And fear is actually the number one driver of our behavior.

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And we don't think often enough, and I know this from our experiences with our clients,

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is when someone's reacting or behaving in a particular way, our immediate thought isn't

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oh, what's frightening them right now?

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What is it that they're, what fear are they reacting to and how do we work to alleviate that fear?

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So if someone comes to me and says, you know, I'm going to leave my job, the first thing

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that gets triggered in me is fear, right? Fear maybe of what are other people going

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to say? What am I going to, you know, what's it going to look like? What's it going to

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do to me? And so we have to work through those fears in a more objective way and not just

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think about all of those fears as being facts, but just again, it's emotional information.

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How do I use it? And what's the action I'm going to choose to help me to mitigate that

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fear that I'm experiencing.

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Yeah, so, so very smart and so very in tune, uh, especially for the times that we're in,

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because I think there's a lot, there's a lot of fear that's out there in our world.

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There's a lot of emotion that's out there in our world, a lot of hurt that's out there in our world.

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Uh, and a lot of things that, uh, get brought into our lives, whether that's in the workplace,

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personal relationships, family relationships, uh, there's so much there. So, you know, I always do

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work to have my guests shine as bright as possible.

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Can you maybe give our listeners and watchers a couple examples of work that

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you've done and if you want to share a name, you go ahead, if you don't want to, that's fine.

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Um, but like, can you, can you give us a couple of examples of things that we've

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maybe touched on so far where there was this major issue, you and Ann come in and

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we solve the problem and then maybe there's something else we could get to as,

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a success story of how you help people in their business.

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Yeah, I think that one of the ones, I mean, Anne and I, we've joked about this for

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years is as we specialize in dysfunction in organizations. So we get brought in because an organization and its leadership, its senior

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leadership are struggling with dysfunction.

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And a lot of people think of dysfunction as this sort of unsolvable issue, right?

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And they feel powerless when they're experiencing dysfunction.

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And what we do and what we've done, I'll talk through some specific client examples, but

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it's always coming in and helping an organization and its leadership team in particular understand

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what's actually driving the dysfunction because once you understand that, it is actually solvable.

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Dysfunction's normal, it's natural, it's where there's the opportunity to be functional,

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there's the opportunity for dysfunction.

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So one of our clients where we came in, the organization had been around for decades and

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a successful business, but they'd stalled out and were really stuck. And there was a lot of

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yelling actually that was going on, a lot of devaluing, a lot of, you know, the top tier

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of executives that were running the organization really not pulling the next tier of leaders in.

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And so the whole organization was siloed and fragmented and basically stuck and lots and

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lots of frustration that was going on there.

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And what we did as again that first step is to really look at and understand what's going

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on behaviorally and then what was the actual cause of these issues that were coming up.

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And one of the first ones was the business had outgrown the capacity of the senior leaders

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to run it. So they were still, they were trying to run a business like it was 20 years ago,

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where there was like a fraction of the employees. And this was their fear, right? They were

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so afraid of developing themselves as leaders that they kept trying to contain and control

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it. And so that was the biggest barrier. And so we worked with them to look at different

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ways of approaching these strategies and solutions they needed to implement that didn't trigger

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that fear. And I'll give you a really simple example. Um, they needed to do succession

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planning. They were all within five years of retirement at the executive level. But

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every time anyone talked about, Oh, you need a succession plan. They didn't want to do

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anything because in their mind, that's a plan to replace them. And that freaked them out

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basically. So I, we came in and we said, okay, we're not going to do succession. We're going,

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to do talent reviews and we're going to help the leaders below you to develop and just

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be ready whenever you decide to, you know, exit is the right time.

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And they said, oh, that sounds like a great idea. Because see, I made it about the next tier and not about them.

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So all the fear went away.

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But the process was identical to what we would do if we were in there doing succession work in an organization.

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And I love that example because it's about really understanding the fears that are driving

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the behavior of the leaders that's causing the dysfunction and then strategizing on how do we approach it?

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How do we break it down into smaller pieces? How do we, you know, remove them and focus elsewhere until they get ready and are more

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comfortable with it?

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So, it's just really understanding, you know, a lot of the work that Ann and I do is around

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understanding the personality of the leaders that we're working with, what's driving their

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behavior, and how do we really help them to almost get out of their own way because they're

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locked in and blocked in by the fear, right?

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Right, right. Well, that example that you shared, I mean, it sounded like successful company,

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cause you had a team of senior leaders, you know, just listening to some clues, right?

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So successful company, they were growing.

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Uh, maybe there was some fear of investing in capital of, you know, office space, warehouse space, manufacturing.

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Again, we're not getting into specific, specific details, but probably some fear

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of investing into that growth.

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Cause my goodness, what if we go and build a new factory or expand office space and then business backslides and now we have that expense to recoup when

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we don't have revenue against it.

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Yeah. I mean, just a lot of that fear can be paralyzing. So you go and you do these reviews.

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Um, I'm sorry, you do these, um, how did you phrase it? Uh, uh, uh, raising up the next level of people.

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It just went right off the top of my head. Yeah.

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So you went through that exercise and what happened next? They were, you said they were elated, but like, did they realize you did an end around on them?

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No, I still, and even when I tell this story now, I always think, oh, if they were to hear this,

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they know I'm talking about them because they didn't see it, right?

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And that's really important sometimes when we're dealing with dysfunction in organizations is that

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that the people who are causing the dysfunction, we have to do it in a way that they feel psychologically secure.

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Otherwise we get shut down. Right.

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And that's not to say that there aren't times where we take a step forward and

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they react and I'm like, okay, well that's information now, what do we need to do next?

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Right.

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Um, and so it, it's just sticking with it. My job and Anne's job in all of this is to hold the vision of where they're trying to

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get to based on their potential, based on what we understand about the business, and.

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Then to keep charting that course.

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What's the next step? What's the next step? And holding their hands till they get there.

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And honestly, there's been times where we've even had the conversation with the CEO and

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said, look, we get that you don't want to change anything about your behavior.

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You just want it to work in connection to you. So we're going to let you off the hook here.

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We're not going to try and change you.

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Going to focus elsewhere. And sometimes even just having that conversation where they can drop that persona that they're

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wearing where they're great and we can just focus in on other people or other issues until

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we can get them ready so these things all kind of come together at the same point.

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So we're always sort of pushing multiple streams in order to bring it together.

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It's dysfunctions complex, it's multi-tiered, but there's always a component where we're

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working the behavior of the people and we're working the systems in place that

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help shift the organization out of the dysfunctions that are there. Right.

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So there's always a path forward.

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Um, but we hear it all the time. Oh, we're dysfunctional. There's nothing we can do about it.

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And it's like, yeah, we're not powerless here, right? We are not powerless and we have to stop telling ourselves as leaders that we are

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powerless to do things in our organizational context in order to make things better,

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different, more productive, you know, more satisfying even for ourselves.

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Right. It's like so many leaders are just surviving the experience these, these days of being leaders. Right.

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Yeah. Yeah. So I love that we're focusing on the leadership position and leaders, uh, how

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we address ourselves, how we're self-aware, look to, you know, adapt, level up,

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improve those behaviors of leadership.

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Here's a, here's a question maybe out of left field. How, what, what do you do to bring in those same skills to,

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the teams, those leaders lead, right?

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Because there's culpability there as well.

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You know, I look at my business that I have a retail business that I own and, you know, I kind of follow this general rule of the work and the projects of 10%, 80%, 10%.

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I start the idea with 10% and like, here's the goal, here's what we want to accomplish.

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I give the initiative, the team to go do it.

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And then we circle back to wrap it up and I'm involved in that last 10%.

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And, you know, for me, that really works well.

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But there's times where it's like, why aren't we getting this?

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Why aren't we getting it? Why aren't we taking this initiative?

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And so how do we as leaders set that example and how do we instill the responsibility, I guess, of the teams we lead that, yes, you are here to do it,

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to do a job, we want it to be fulfilling.

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What are some things that you could share there?

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Yeah, I think that there's a couple of things. When you were first talking about it, one of the things that popped into my mind is

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this notion of leading into the gap, right? This idea that every leader creates a gap.

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So based on our competency, our personality, there's always going to be a gap.

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And I'll use myself as an example here.

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So again, my personality style is more informational than directive.

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I've had to learn to remember that, did I give information or did I not give information?

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That I actually give direction that people can follow and execute against to give me back what

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I want. When I'm really busy, if I'm tired, I'm pressed, I'm sick, it's harder for me to remember

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to stay in that directional space. So all my staff have been trained and understand their role in the

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process that if I'm not being directional enough for them, that they ask the questions, that they

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pull the direction and they clarify with me to make sure that they have what they need to be

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effective. So thinking about leadership as a dynamic, right? So there's both sides of

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the equation play a role. If I haven't given you what you need to follow, then it's your

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responsibility to get clarity and get direction from me so that you can move towards execution.

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If I'm the leader, I need to understand and really own my part in what I've done. And so

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if things aren't moving, it's like, what did I miss? What did I, what was I not clear on? Was

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What did I not, you know, what did I not boundary effectively around it?

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What did I, where did I not do enough follow-up, right? Because we, we have leaders do this all the time.

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They do what we call the ask.

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So I asked them to do something. Well, asking them to do something is not defining the outcomes and it's not giving

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direction that clarifies timelines, budget, right?

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It's just the big ask. It's like you're talking about me.

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And then it's like, oh, well they should read my mind, right?

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And fill in all the other details. But if the employees aren't- How do you not know this stuff?

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Right? It should be so obvious. She should just figure it out.

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My first boss, actually one of my first bosses that I ever had, he used to literally say that,

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can't you read my mind?

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And I'm like, nope, nope, not there yet. Maybe someday, but not there yet.

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So, you know, in that place of it, we say, but the dynamic that is created, it's between

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the leader and the followers, and the followers need to work to close the gap, as does the leader.

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But at the same time, you know, if you are supporting me as your leader, you're not looking

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to me to say, well, you should just know and you should just be able to do this and you

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should be great at all things leadership, because that's unrealistic.

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So we're setting this expectation that leaders should be perfect.

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And that takes the work away from our followers, our employees, our direct reports from actually

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developing up their competency and their capability.

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So we talk a lot in with our clients, that mutuality of the solution of it and not the finger pointing.

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Leaders blame employees, employees blame the leaders, and that leaves us powerless to change

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it. But when we break it apart and say, what does the leader need to do to be effective?

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To the employees need to do to follow, we build that together.

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And then we start to see that, that movement and that motion.

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And I'm not saying it's easy. We can't just flick a switch with this stuff.

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I thought you were bringing that today.

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Consistency and practice, practice, practice. Right?

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Right. Well, there's that word, right? Consistency.

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I mean, if you look through the lens of weight loss and, and, and, um, a healthy

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lifestyle, it is very simple.

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It's move more and consume less and be consistent with both.

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And yet there is a myriad of solutions. Like the one that's on the market today is just almost comical.

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It's eat a gummy bear, lose weight.

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Right. And it's just, it just blows your mind. And, but I think that speaks to the complexity of these relationships

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that we have, because people, I think a lot of people understand the weight loss example.

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That it is consistency and it is about two things and that's it.

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And if you can commit, you're good.

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And I think in the workplace, we, we do look for those easy answers.

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We do look for, well, you asked, but you didn't tell me and I'm not going to waste my time to read your mind.

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Which brings me to my next thing I wanted to ask you. So to get really like topical and I guess time appropriate or moment appropriate, there's

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a theme in the workplace called quiet quitting.

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You've heard of this, I'm sure. Yeah. And so, I'll have you explain it from your view.

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And do you help companies, like you help leaders with that concept of quiet quitting?

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Yes, we do. And we're also helping around just along the same lines as the struggle that

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organizations are having with the increased remote work, level of remote work.

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Because I think it's easier to quiet quit when you work remotely than when you're in

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a situation where your managers might get to observe.

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But the idea behind quiet quitting is, I'm not actually going to leave my job, but I'm

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going to really reduce what it is that I do, how I do it, the pace at which I work, the

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way in which I show up or don't show up.

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I think there's a really heightened sense of entitlement that some of these quiet quitters are demonstrating.

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And just even the way they talk in their work environment as though, again, this notion

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of powerlessness, right?

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Like I don't feel powerful enough or entitled enough to go after what I really want, to

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go after my ambition. And so I'm just going to stay here and I'm just going to keep collecting my paycheck,

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but I'm not going to produce what it is that I need to be producing.

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Until such things happen, whatever it might be.

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And I think the challenge is that.

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You know, to a degree, quiet quitting is one of the symptoms of the fact that we do not

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treat leadership as a profession. We do not ensure that leaders know how to lead, know

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how to hold people accountable, that they're being managed to be effective in most environments.

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There are some organizations that do it very, very well. But in my experience,

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that's over 25 years of working with client organizations, most of the companies that

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that we've worked with have never done any training for their leaders at all.

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And so one of the symptoms then is that employees behave however employees feel like behaving.

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And then the leaders say, well, you know, I can't say that to my employee, I can't do

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that, or they'll accuse me of micromanaging.

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And then our leaders, because they're not skilled, they're afraid and they feel powerless.

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And that's why I think something like quiet quitting is able to happen where, you know,

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Employees are really driving the show and they've got all the power, but the way

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they're using that power is passively.

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They're not coming to their leader and saying, can we negotiate something different?

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This is where I'm not satisfied.

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And I think it's really incumbent upon the leaders to think about what they're

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doing and how they're contributing to the situation, but also to have a plan in

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order to move out of it, if they are experiencing that with their workforce.

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Yeah. Now, I mean, I couldn't, uh, you touched on it exactly as I hoped you would.

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Um, and I think it's incumbent upon leaders to, uh, make sure and ensure

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that your people are taken care of.

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You know, it is very hard to get excited about a job if you feel like you're

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just working to just exist financial.

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You know and and we can say as leaders, you know, it's not my job to control rent or mortgages or interest rates or car payments or food bills,

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And that's those are true statements But there is also still a shared reality.

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And that reality exists for yourself as a leader, you know, yeah, you're experiencing at home a higher grocery bill you're experiencing maybe if you're,

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Uh, you know a leader who gets moved around your rent you're experiencing higher cost of rent. So sure,

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But not accepting that shared reality, I think is a real problem.

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So beyond just the pay and the wage being addressed, I've always found it's really great to bring people into the project, bring people in and make them the hero of the story.

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You know, in my retail business right now, my partner and I, we're very much removed from the front line.

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And so we have a whole workflow now where we're introducing our sales team as the people.

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And here's the proof in the pudding and what really gets them excited is we have customers

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reviewing saying Drew's the owner, Chad's the owner, Phil's the owner, and they're not.

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And I'm so endlessly proud of that.

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Not that we want to like deceive people and no one says they are, but to me as an owner and as a leader.

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I think it doesn't get much higher and wow, this team is pulling in the direction we want.

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Can you share any examples of transformation like that where you came into a company,

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brought some information in, brought some new skills in and like there was a switch that flipped?

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Yeah, one of our clients has had some real challenges over turnover in their manufacturing

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facilities, in part, like, you know, they would, some of the, in some cases, these employees would

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be, you know, leaving within the first 90 days. So they kind of would get trained and then they

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would leverage that to go across the street and make an extra quarter an hour or 50 cents an hour.

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And they, you know, what we talked about in that environment is, you know, really having to look

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at and put yourself in the shoes of these individuals you're bringing in. And unfortunately,

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I think a lot of the times, people that are looking at the dynamic in an organization,

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their pay level is so far beyond the reality of where their employees are working that

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it's hard for them to have empathy and to really understand what those folks might need.

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And so in this case, what we did was we actually started to look at the reality of these people's

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situations. What's the pay they're getting and what does that mean for them? Where are

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coming from, from in terms of distance and commute?

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What's their community base that they're coming from? What's the language?

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What's their potential upside opportunity?

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Because we wanted to figure out how to create an environment where these people would immediately

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feel like they belong.

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Because we might not be able to increase their wages, but we did look at what are some things

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that might think in Maslow's hierarchy.

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Of need here, right? So what are some of the things that at that really base level.

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You know, we need to think about their sense of safety and security.

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And then the next step, we're sort of looking at, well, affiliation, right? How do we,

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how do we really foster and create that very, very quickly? So it feels different when people

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leave. And, and what we ended up doing is engaging the employees in these conversations and finding

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out where did they need the most help? What they, were they struggling with the most, right?

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They had a profit sharing plan. We took that profit sharing plan and we put it instead

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into increased wages for some of the folks. And in other cases, what it went into was providing

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them with access to higher level benefits because that's what they were more worried about.

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So we tried to think about ways to hear them, address the fears without breaking the bank for

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the business, obviously, because we're still in the business to make money here, but also then

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bringing it into that next level of saying, what else we, you want to improve your prospects

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for yourself and your family.

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How do we play a role in that?

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So started giving them access to opportunities where again, they could see a future for themselves

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and see how they could grow their income. So a lot of this was again, just trying to get at some of those security needs of their

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folks.

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Cause then we're in this case, we were trying to alleviate the fear that they were carrying

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into their workplace every single day, and at the same time, bring them into a place

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where they felt like they were really belonged.

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A place that they felt like it was home. And that required us to really increase the skills of their supervisors, who were barely

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holding it together managing their teams because they weren't skilled.

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And they had been raised, a lot of them had this sort of more militant approach of, I

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tell them what they do, they have to do it. If they don't do it, I yell at them, let's get on with it.

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And so it's really bringing that sort of the, again, that whole person.

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We want the whole person. We want to help the whole person to achieve their potential at work.

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And so what does that mean across all of these different things that we as employers put together and offer?

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And that's been phenomenal. They've seen massive increases in their engagement scores and massive increases in their retention

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rates beyond the 90 days, which is really important when you think about all the time

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you spend hiring and then training to be losing them within that 90 days or even

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that first year so that we're extending how long they're there.

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Yeah. I mean, listen, from a training cost standpoint.

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I mean, I've heard numbers as high as $15,000 to bring on an employee.

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I don't know, does that number equal out in this manufacturing experience or is it a little

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lower or is it higher?

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In their case, it's a little bit lower, but if you think about it from the perspective

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of, you know, just how many times they're having to repeat that process, that the leaders,

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the supervisors, the team leads never get to a place of stability on their team.

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And so the team's always fragmented. So I think you lose a lot from a productivity perspective as well.

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You also have to keep in mind that when people are really satisfied in their work environment,

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they feel like they're being heard and connected and taken care of, they have that sense of

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ownership and pride, they're more likely to bring in people like them.

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So there's this whole other benefit you get, right, where my recruitment costs go down

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because these people are considering, oh, would you fit our world or not, right?

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And so the other members of their community will start to come in and then it makes it

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even harder for them to leave because if people that are in my social community are now in

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my work community, I want to stay there longer to be a part of that, right?

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So there's all sorts of other benefits that come from a management perspective as well.

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Yeah, that's a great point because it's actually very appropriate to my life personally.

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My oldest son has decided to enter the workforce post-high school.

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He's in leadership management now with Chick-fil-A as a company, so he's looking at how long do I stay there?

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What might that next step be? was talking to my brother-in-law, uh, who works a union, uh, a union job at a

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warehouse and, you know, he's very anti bringing my son over there because it is just a complete disaster.

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He wouldn't wish that on somebody who's family. And so, you know, as a leader, as a business owner, as a manager, you,

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know, challenge yourself and really be honest with your answer.

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Like, would I invite family into here to work? What I put them through it.

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And if that answer is no, well, what right do you have to expect anyone else to come work here?

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I think that's a real fair litmus test, isn't it? Oh, I think so.

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I think it reminds me of a client that I had a few years ago in the hospitality industry, the hotel industry.

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And we were trying to figure out, you know, how they were growing.

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They were adding more locations to the business and we were trying to figure

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or how to develop up people and build a pipeline to obviously to be able to support this growth.

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Very, very important. So we brought them all, all the GMs together to have a conversation.

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And they said, they tell all of their kids and all of their family members and pretty much all of their friends,

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Never go into this industry and don't let your kids go in.

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And it was like this, okay, like this isn't just not my company, but they're saying don't come into this industry.

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So we had to take a really hard look at what it was about this industry and its practices and its way of operating that was then creating a block for attracting people.

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And it also gave the company a real opportunity to differentiate itself from all of the other hotel chains that were out there to say, we're going to do management differently.

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We're not going to be the one that burns you out, that exhausts you, that keeps you away

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from your family, that we're going to make a choice to do this differently.

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And maybe that does mean our profits are half a percent lower than everybody else's.

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But if we can do this in a way that people feel that this is a great career choice, if

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I go join that organization, then it would really help them to kind of bring people in and keep people in.

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But those kinds of conversations, I hate to say it, that leaders don't think to just sit

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down with their employees and ask these questions.

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What do you need? What will make this better? What would make this different?

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What are you struggling with?

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It goes back to the comment you made earlier and about the book you're writing is that,

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you know, it's like, we're so afraid to ask people what they're feeling and what they're

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experiencing that we don't go into, that we don't get the information we need to actually problem solve it.

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The number of clients that have said, well, I think this is the solution.

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We call it magic bullet thinking, where it's like, well, if we just get this one person

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in or if we just put this one program in place, everything will be better.

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And we say, well, it doesn't work like that, right? Have you asked your people what the issue is and what it is that they need to solve

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the issue?

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No?

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It's like, so then let's go do that first and foremost. Go ask, go find out, be curious and

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really hear them out, right? Don't dismiss what they're saying. They're living that experience.

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They know what they need and that's what we need to connect ourselves to as leaders is

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really understanding what's going on with our people. I don't have to play therapist.

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I don't have to solve all of their issues, but at least give me that understanding and context so I

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can think about what it is that we might do or do differently in order to create a better outcome

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come for everyone. Yeah, I love that. Love how the challenge is to think about the workplace.

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Just as a little aside, in the hospitality range, if you've kind of dug into helping

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those kinds of folks, I don't know if you've heard, but Las Vegas has at present over 7,000.

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Vacant hospitality positions right now. And so, just passing that on, if you've penetrated

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a little bit of that market, maybe you point some lead generation efforts into Las Vegas.

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As we look to wrap up our time, and you were speaking there at the end about asking your

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folks what they need, I would imagine you work with clients that by and large employ

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people who truly, and they may want them to have college degrees, and this is not a statement

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about college being good or bad versus vocational or career skills with what people do after

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high school, this is a statement about the fact that we're at a point in our

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society where the dignity and respect of these manufacturing jobs, my, my local

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neighborhood, I know later today, when I spend a few minutes on social media, I'm

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going to see a whole bunch of whining and complaining about the trash cans not getting picked up.

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And it's real interesting to me because I'm very connected to my community.

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The loudest voices from the cheapest seats there are the people who've denigrated the trades for years.

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And so as an employer, how would you challenge people, uh, who,

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employers and leaders, how would you challenge them to work in their communities about lifting up and giving back dignity to these roles?

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Because I'm guessing you've never come across a business that 100% only needs college-certified and degree-holding people,

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from top to bottom.

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Yeah, I probably have a few, but not, you know, there's always some admin positions

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or some, you know, general office positions that, that maybe don't.

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I mean, somebody has to clean the bathrooms, right? Right. There's custodians, there's janitors, there's warehouse.

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I think that, you know, the, the challenge we have is that, um, you know, there, there's

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this element of, uh, you know, that profit first mentality, right?

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When we're looking at profit, and I have this expression I use all the time, is

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that if you're profitable on the, as a business on the backs of your employees,

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you're not profitable. And, and, and so there is this push, right, where we're

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maximizing profit, maximizing profit, and I don't, get me wrong, I'm, I'm a business

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owner, I'm all about profit, and I understand that, but I do also understand

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that where we're doing it because, and we're achieving that profit that we want,

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We're doing it because we're refusing to invest in bringing people into our business or into

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our industry and training them.

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We, you know, it used to be.

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Yeah, you know, a zillion decades ago, businesses used to have training programs.

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They used to have apprenticeship programs. They used to put money aside to say, we need a workforce and therefore we need to train

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that workforce.

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And they all said, hey, let's save money and let's cut all of that out.

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So then they bring people in who aren't trained, who don't have the, and we don't, we bring

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them in and we don't want to train them. We don't want them to have a year to learn the business before we deploy them.

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We, again, it's all from that profit lend.

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And, and I think somewhere in here where, you know, as a business and in industry conversations

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as well, it's, we're having to think about it a little bit differently and, and, and

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really consider what is the investment we need to be making here.

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And when we think about, and I knew we do it, we do work with organizations around compensation,

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really looking at the value of jobs is having some of that baseline work around what is

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a decent standard of living for our employees? And are we okay with putting people into positions

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and cutting up their jobs and carving out their benefits in a way that they actually

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can't have a stable standard of living? But those are hard conversations. Sometimes I

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know one of my clients says, oh, that's all that sort of stuff, right? And it's like,

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no, this is where we're at. This is our reality as a world that from a social perspective,

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We have to be having these considerations.

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And so you tell me that you can't afford to shave $100,000, a million dollars, you know,

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half of 1%, whatever it might be in order to ensure all of your employees have that,

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six financial security, they need to be better employees.

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And those are some of the things now we want you to debate. We want you to discuss and make different, maybe we carve back, you know, some of the

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money we're spending over here.

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Right. client of mine, and again, they will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year

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on parties for their staff?

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But they will not bring up their wages of their lowest paid workers.

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And these are some of the conversations we're having about the basis of because the parties make them look good as leaders,

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Where's the other thing people don't see and so it's like well, let's talk about it. Let's say we've decided this year

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We're gonna forego this right? Yeah employees are like i'll buy my own darn pizza three times a year

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Yeah, um, and I can get the deluxe pizza if you just pay me a little more. Yeah,

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You know, um, no, I'm, I'm right there with you.

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And I say that as somebody who is very capitalistic in nature.

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However, there's a human element to it all. There's an empathetic element to it all.

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Um, and you know, for me, I always challenged the folks that I work with and I

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consult with that there's almost never a problem you can't solve by delivering a

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better experience, which commands a better price, i.e.

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Raised prices, which then means you can pay great people to deliver that better experience, which puts you right back to

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raising prices, which pays for it all. And it just becomes this cyclical thing that works.

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Yeah.

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And, and so to me, it's one of those, it's one of those things that, you know, you can, you, I suppose you could always appease

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your board, you could appease your C-suite.

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Um, you could appease your investors, um, at some point you cut so far to the

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bone, there's just nothing left and, and you're this damaged company.

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Um, so that would be my challenge for people to think of.

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Heather, I have loved, loved our conversation. We're coming to the top of the hour.

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Um, anything that we haven't talked about that you're just like dying to get out,

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that you want people to know about what you and Ann do and that the power of,

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of change that you can bring to other companies.

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Yeah, I think the one piece that I want to leave probably everybody with, and this is

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a lot of what's behind the work that Anne and I do with organizations, with individuals,

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is really helping them to navigate through that fear.

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Fear is natural, being afraid or getting feelings of fear being triggered.

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But I don't think we as human beings in organizations or even for those that are self-employed or

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wanting to be self-employed, really don't always have the tools we need to be able to

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navigate our way through that fear, to understand how it is that we work with ourselves, with

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our own brain and work through our own development in order to get to that next place that we want to get to.

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Anna and I are huge believers of helping people and leaders and organizations achieve their

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potential. That's the work that we've always done.

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And the place that we want to talk about is really thinking about where you're letting

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your fear be greater than your ambition.

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Because every time we allow our fear to be greater than our ambition, we hold ourselves

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back. We play it small. You know, and our brain does this weird thing where part of us says, go out there, be big,

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be successful, achieve this. And we have that ambition.

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And then the other part of our brain says, you know, who do you think you are?

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And that's the fear that's coming in. And so I think my last thing that I just want to highlight because so much of what

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Anne and I do with our clients is around helping them to move through that fear,

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to really go after that ambition and go after that potential because it's in

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there and you have it.

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And it's just our fear that always ends up holding us back. But we're humans and we have incredible capacity to develop through that so that

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our fear doesn't continue to be our blocker.

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Yeah, love it, love it. And I would add to that, that I bet you the people you lead can sniff out that fear pretty

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easily.

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They've got you figured out if you're not leading with a true fearless heart, right?

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You're not.

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Committing to ensuring that you're leading in the right way with self-awareness,

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looking to eliminate that dysfunction. So, I love everything you just shared.

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You know, if you want to pick up more, well, we're going to leave off today.

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Anne and Heather have a great podcast called Dismantling Dysfunction.

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And so, I'm sure that's a great place to continue connection with you and hear great

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insights from the both of you. Heather, I've really enjoyed our time today. Thank you for,

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for stopping by and giving your time to my folks here on The Big Ticket Life.

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It was a pleasure, pleasure having you on the show.

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So thank you, Heather. I hope you have a wonderful day.

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I hope it cools off a little bit up there in Vancouver.

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And well wishes to Anne. I hope she rests up and gets better very soon.

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Thanks so much for having me, Jeff. You're welcome. All right, everybody, well, we'll see you next week,

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on The Big Ticket Life. Now go out there and do life and business on your terms.

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Take care. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to this episode of The Big Ticket Life.

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You've heard from another amazing guest living their own Big Ticket Life,

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and now it's time to live yours.

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First, I'd love for you to take me up on my free gift to you.

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Find your gift at gift.thebigticketlife.live. That's gift.thebigticketlife.live.

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See, all your life you've been told what is and what isn't possible by the loudest voices from the cheapest seats.

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It's time to finally do life and business on your terms. Sure, you've heard similar things, but without clarity on what can be done,

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it's easy to have your customers, employees, maybe even partners, and your spouse,

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keep you from truly living a big-ticket life.

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My big-ticket method shifts you into that investor seat, in your business, away from commodity and away from competition,

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into a market of one, so you can finally live your own big-ticket life.

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So my gift to you is for you to book your discovery call today, where we'll uncover,

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first, the Chivo behaviors, those chief everything officer behaviors that hold you back and why

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moving into the investor seat in your own business is critical. Two, we'll uncover the

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premium position that's up for grabs right now in your market that you're missing out on. And three.

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Which big ticket methodologies are just waiting to be dropped into your business to explode

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your sales and profits. So again, thanks for listening to this episode. I'd love for you to,

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to take action right now, accept this gift, book your call, go to gift.thebigticketlife.live.

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About the Podcast

The Big Ticket Life
Doing Life and Business On Your Terms
Welcome to The Big Ticket Life where you'll be inspired by driven leaders doing life and business on their terms. They break the rules, they see the opportunities. They've had the struggles, they've had highs and lows, yet they've always remained focused on the goal: a life and business led by themselves on their terms. They're unapologetically focused on their success and the success of those around them. We celebrate success around here because we live The Big Ticket Life.

About your host

Profile picture for Jeff Giagnocavo

Jeff Giagnocavo

Founder and Leader of The Big Ticket Life. 100% focused on doing life and business on my terms and helping others do the same. Using Big Ticket Methods I help main street type business owners win on main street in an Amazon World. Check out my main street masterclass by visiting https://thebigticketlife.com/mainstreet

If you feel we are a fit to work together please book a discovery call with me here - https://calendly.com/discovery-call-with-jeff/