Episode 149: Transcript

The HOWs of Leadership in Uncertain Times

Speaker 0 00:00:04 Make it right. The manufacturing podcast,
Speaker 1 00:00:11 Two comments I’ve heard many times on this podcast are businesses challenging and manufacturing is hard, but perhaps that’s why we’re so interested in it. People love a challenge. There’s a tremendous feeling that arises when we overcome adversity. And we are definitely in the thick of that right now as the world bobs and weaves through the stages of a global pandemic. So we have this big question now, how, how do we move forward? How do we succeed in this uncertainty? And how do we come out the other side successfully welcome to the, make it right podcast. I’m Janet Eastman this week leadership advisor, Kevin Snook, and I are pleased to welcome back Dave McKeown. He is a leadership consultant and author of the self-involved leader, and we’re going to drill into some of those how questions. Good to see you, gentlemen.
Speaker 2 00:01:04 Good to be back with you. Thank you so much for having me.
Speaker 1 00:01:07 So I am curious, and I want to hear from both of you on this, but we’ll start with you, Dave, but how are you, what are you actually hearing from leaders right now on their state of mind? How is that state of mind and how does it change? Probably I would say over the last 12 months, Dave. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:01:26 Great question, Janet. And I think as, as is one of the hallmarks, all of this pandemic, it very much changes and is dependent on a couple of factors like geography and industry and even size of business. Um, but I would say I could sum up the current feeling in two things, one, the sort of quiet optimism that things are on the up and up. Um, and that’s also matched with a sense of, uh, just growing weariness and tiredness and exhaustion with everything that’s, that’s going on at the minute. It’s certainly shifted, uh, over the last six months, uh, from a place of anxiety and, and, and, and that form of stress towards one of, okay, how do we emerge from this and hard to ensure that we do that in a way that honors our people in our, our clients.
Speaker 1 00:02:19 What about you, Kevin?
Speaker 0 00:02:21 Yeah, for me, people are exhausted. Um, they, uh, they’ve been talking about this same COVID challenge over and over again. Um, especially in manufacturing facilities, they’ve had to juggle people. Um, you know, when you’re running three shifts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, um, and trying to, or three or four shifts and trying to keep enough people there to keep the business running whilst people are having to take time off quarantining, uh, doing all different sorts of stuff. People are just exhausted, uh, especially on the factory floor and for the supervisors and the who are having to rotate people and keep them separate and really try to, you know, we used to, we used to, we used to push for people to have cross shift meetings. When one shift comes in, they want to meet everybody from the other shift and integrate and mingle and learn everything they can about what happened before.
Speaker 0 00:03:18 And now we’re having to keep people separate in order to be able to reduce those kinds of challenges. So, um, it’s tiring to manage that, but it’s even more tiring to go through it. And I just think the level of stress in people is really coming to a, to a point I do get Dave’s point around. There does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel and, and it’s becoming, you know, it’s spring and the flowers are coming out again. We’re starting to see some sunshine, which is good. Um, but I don’t think we can underestimate how tired and worn out people are.
Speaker 1 00:03:51 So in this current state of uncertainty, like how do leaders rebuild their growth plans? Because as you said, Dave, there was all this uncertainty and everybody’s like, Oh my what’s happening. And now it’s like, okay, we’ve made it through that first year. And so maybe we are eventually coming out the other side, we better get on with it. We can’t just maintain, we got to get growing again. So how, how are they planning to do that?
Speaker 2 00:04:21 I’m seeing two distinct horizons of focus. Um, one is, uh, just a ruthless focus on the next 90 days, the next quarter. So there’s still that aspect of the near term and harder. We ensure that we get through that. Um, but that’s a very tactical level and actually can have a, uh, a very strong gravitational pool that when a leadership team focuses all of their attention on those 90 days, um, it can be very difficult to naturally elevate our focus away from it. And so for those organizations that I think that are a little step ahead of it, uh, alongside that ruthless focus on the next quarter, they’re also beginning to have some longer term strategic vision setting meetings that say, okay, well, what is our organization and post pandemic, um, what elements of the before world do we want to ensure that we go back to what elements of our NOI world that are new to us?
Speaker 2 00:05:19 Do we want to, um, do we want to continue with, you know, there have been huge changes for organizations in terms of just for some of them just entirely new and different client bases, new products and services that have developed as a result of, of, of just needing to stay afloat over the last year or so. And so just taking the time to say, what do we want to, to, what do we want to be at the end of all of this and how do we recast that vision? So for me, I’m seeing that relentless focus on that 90 day period and just getting some time to begin to rethink the next three to five years.
Speaker 1 00:05:56 Yeah. And Kevin are seeing the same.
Speaker 0 00:05:58 Yeah. And I think it’s critical that people do take that time to look at the next three to five years. And I was actually just came off of a call with a client. And that’s exactly what we were looking at. We were looking at their three year plan and what we noticed as we went through the last year, the small cracks in the organization became, you know, huge fissures in there. And, and, and it really highlighted areas where we had to do more in the, uh, let’s say, in the foundational work and, and that might be recruiting, hiring skill development, those kinds of things. Um, and then other things I actually showed up better than we expected them to do. And, and people really Rose to the occasion in many cases. And so it’s it, you know, I think right on, on that there’s certain areas that we learned from, and they were, there were positives, let’s try to accelerate them. And it showed some gaps where we had to do things significantly different. And, uh, I think the overall skill set of people has, has changed completely during this last year.
Speaker 1 00:07:03 I think it’s interesting, we’re talking about a three-year plan or a five-year plan and you know, how you look towards your future. And if you look back like 18 months ago, people had a plan for the future and then that future just totally blew up, which, you know, it, it kind of makes people kind of think like, well, do we plan that far ahead, but I guess you always have to be adjusting your sales, right, Dave. So, you know, okay, here comes this wind, let’s adjust to do this. Right.
Speaker 2 00:07:31 And I think what, one of the things that we’ll take away from this is, is the need to be more agile. And I use that overly used word, um, uh, on a, on, on, on a leadership and decision-making basis. So, you know, one of the things that I teach my clients is the importance of building that drum beat of strategic review, which most leadership teams do that at a quarterly level, but there was always kind of this sense of once a quarter folks would get into a room and that sort of look at their strategic plan, look at the year and the go, yeah, feels like it’s going okay. Let’s kind of keep going in the same direction. I think what we’ll start to see more, um, is the need to keep track of some of those leading indicators that changes a foot look, nobody could have predicted a global pandemic and we’ll, we’ll, we’ll not be able to do that in the future, but actually there are a lot of things in our own business that, that, that are outside of massive global changes can really take us off course.
Speaker 2 00:08:37 So I think we’ll have more of a focus on, okay, w what does the data show us for this quarter? Do we need to make any changes or adjustments so that we’re not caught flat-footed, um, and whether that’s, you know, um, adjusting to consumer trends or changes in the labor force, or even just, um, changing political environments, I think leadership teams will want to have their finger on the pulse on that a little bit more, uh, coming forward. So yes, it’s plan three to five years, but remain ruthlessly agile and your ability to, to change as you go through it.
Speaker 1 00:09:09 Kevin, did you have a comment there?
Speaker 0 00:09:13 Yeah, I did. And as you were mentioning that day, but those things jumped up to me, you know, being agile is very important in a manufacturing company. Um, but there was a couple of other things that I think, uh, the more, the more we can simplify our businesses, I think is very important. We want to be able to make sure that we are, uh, taking some, like, if you, if you’ve got a thousand different SKU, as you’re managing that in a business, and you can rationalize that to 600, that’s going to help you in any situation. Um, if you can look at your supply base that you have materials that you can rationalize that have, you know, maybe more local sourcing, but a balance of that it’s, um, those things are good for you, whether the safety, whether that the climate is good or that climate is bad. And so I think there’s certain areas like that that’s, uh, that the companies need to be more aware of on strategically. How do you focus on, on making those things more simple and perhaps using technology? Because I think that’s another thing we’ve learned over the last year. Technology gives us the ability to do a lot of things that we weren’t doing very well before, gives us a chance to do much better.
Speaker 2 00:10:23 I love that note on simplification, Kevin, cause I think, you know, we have a tendency and they’re really good times just we can make these decisions. Um, and the impact that we think we’re going to get might not be as, as, as great, you know, we can launch a new product and we might not sell as many as, as we had hoped, but we can carry the load of that because things are good. But what we don’t notice is that is the ACC, is there it creating complexity that we add into the business? So we add a new process or a new line completely that we have to run. And it’s like, well, everything’s fine. So we’ll just ignore it. But then in times of trouble like this, you really do get stripped onto what is important because all of that bloat can just go. And I think that that, um, noise is a great opportunity to assess your business across just a whole range of avenues of all the way to like frontline processes, but coming all the way back to, to actually who’s our main, our core customer, who do we serve? How do we improve their life? What, what do we stand for? What do we believe in and try to shave off just some of the stuff that kind of was bloated over the last five, 10, 15 years.
Speaker 1 00:11:33 Speaking of that, Dave, you had mentioned how some companies businesses have totally changed, right? Like the customer that they had before the pandemic is not the customer that they have now. So, um, do you go and bring those old customers back in again? Can you,
Speaker 2 00:11:50 I think it depends very much on, um, on industry. Uh, you know, I think that in some cases, um, when all of the restrictions are lifted, that market will come back. Um, you know, you think about the food service industry, people are not going to stop going to restaurants, but they had to change the approach to servicing those customers for, for many, many years. I think that’ll, that’ll return as a boom. You look though at something like the movie theater industry, people have become so accustomed to, you know, watching movies at home on to the fact, to the point where a lot of the studios have been dropping. Um, they’re big, uh, you know, would be blockbuster movies into theater. I, you know, through Netflix and a whole bunch of other platforms, does, does that come back to people at the end of this? Do we go, do we want to go back and sit in a movie theater?
Speaker 2 00:12:42 I don’t know that was a declining industry kind of before this. Um, I think that no matter where you’re at being really rigorous of Bard evaluating what the market looks like after, um, the pandemic and not relying on just this notion that will return to the way that it is, is going to be hugely important. Um, and then figuring out whether if, if, if it’s, if your mood of delivery has shifted, do you want to fold that part of that into your ongoing growth plans? Or do you revert back to, to, to the way things were,
Speaker 1 00:13:20 I want to go back to that, uh, that question about morale, like how do the leaders keep the morale of their teams elevated? Um, they’ve had a hard time so far and now figuring out where they’re going and keeping them going. How do they manage that morale issue, Dave?
Speaker 2 00:13:39 Um, I think it’s funny enough. This is one question that are low. It’s very pertinent right now. You know, the, the, the answer has been the same all along and it’s to manage and lead people with a degree of, of empathy and compassion and to, to understand the human needs in them. You know, we, um, when people get tired and they get Dawn, they want a couple of things. One, they want to be told that they’re doing a good job. They want to be told that they’re not in it on their own. They want to feel like there’s a sense of community there. And then they want to feel like they’re ease some sort of a path forward that there is, you know, there is this, um, place that we’re emerging too. You know, it was very easy for leaders and managers to ride off the adrenaline of the short-term need for survival when all of this started a year ago. And, and actually there’s, uh, an endorphin rush that, that, that comes with that. And there was, um, a huge wave of, um, we’re all in it together. Let’s keep firefighting. This is awesome that they could ride off for the first six months. That’s kind of gone long and now it’s like, people like this, this just sucks. Really I, and so just constant over communication of like,
Speaker 0 00:14:52 Hey, I understand that this is, this is not great. Uh, you know, and, and, and a call like to employees on what they need in order to feel like they can turn up and be themselves every day. You know, I think all of those good leadership approaches will stand us in good stead now.
Speaker 1 00:15:14 Yeah. Like in the past, we have talked on, make it right about that inverted pyramid, where the flood frontline will flow information down to the leader and say, these are the things that I think will work. These are the things that we need. Now’s the time to really invert that pyramid and get that flow down. So everybody feels like they’re making a contribution. Everybody feels like they’re being heard and the information is out there. So the correct decisions can be made. Kevin, you talk about this inverted pyramid all the time, right?
Speaker 0 00:15:47 Yeah, no, I was just thinking, uh, they they’ve said everything that I wanted to say about what we do on morale, right? It’s over communicate, treat people like human beings, find out what’s going on with them and how we can best help them. And that’s exactly what that inverted triangle is. Right. It’s instead of telling people what to do, you ask them what help they need in order to be able to do their job that’s up. And, uh, so that’s, that goes back to our old things around listening well, communicating well, treating people like you, you really care about them. Um, and, uh, and really seeing, not only from a work perspective, but from a home life perspective as well, because I think that’s, those two have come so much closer together this year. It’s, uh, how’s it going at home? And is there anything we can do to help you with that?
Speaker 0 00:16:34 And, uh, the technology now allows us to do so many more things more effectively. Like if you’ve got, if you’ve got a manufacturing employee who needs to be on shift of seven o’clock in the morning, and they’ve got a kid who is now having to be at home instead of being at school, that normally they would drop them off at school and then go into work, right. How do we help them do that effectively? Do they really need to be there at seven o’clock cause somebody else cover for them? Can they do that other part first? And or can they do like a half day from home or a couple of hours from home and then come in technology now, uh, allows us to have that flexibility if we use it well. Um, and so yeah, listening, finding out how we can help people both at work, but then also at home and the integration of those two as well.
Speaker 1 00:17:25 So I know that both of you are leadership advisors and you coach leaders all the time. How important is it for a company to actually bring in those coaches for their team members? Dave, have you seen this a lot where you, you know, it’s like you’re coaching the leadership, but are your, you’re also in there coaching the team and do they need more
Speaker 2 00:17:50 Help with this right now? I think at the minute, absolutely. And what it brings is, is two things. One I alluded to earlier, which is when, when you’re in firefighting mode, it’s very hard when you’re in firefighting mode, collectively as a team, it’s very hard to get out of that. Um, you just, you just get so sucked into the weeds of, of managing the day to day and, and just having somebody to out facilitate a process, to allow you to think about the three to five years that Kevin was mentioning. I think it’s usually important. It just, you just act as a, as a counterbalance because you’re not sucked into the, into the day-to-day weeds. I think the other thing that it, it is hugely helpful for is it, people don’t know what they don’t know. And just getting somebody in that can help provide some outside perspective, some advice, guidance, and support.
Speaker 2 00:18:44 Um, it, you know, that just dilutes the color of the water a little bit can be, can be hugely beneficial to leadership teams. Um, also what a fun I knew. I know I said there were two things. There’s a third thing that came to me. I think that as I go around and we have discussions with leadership teams and I can layer in similar discussions and challenges that other leadership teams are having into the conversation, it allows folks to realize that a lot of us are going through similar problems. Um, the crises that one team is facing, you know, certain aspects of it can be layered into another team. And as, as folks see that they begin to realize that that must mean that there’s a way through, because if, if multiple folks are faced with the same challenges, ultimately we believe that somebody is going, gonna solve the problem for her to get already get out the other side. So that, to me, that those are the three main benefits. Yeah. Kevin, do you have anything to add on that?
Speaker 0 00:19:46 Yeah. It, it, it kind of sounds funny. We’ve got two coaches or advisors on here, if it’s, uh, you know, telling people I need to use it. I understand that, that, that kind of sounds a little bit weird, but, um, the, I think what, what we bring to an organization is a different perspective. And when you are stressed and you’re, you’re, you’re in the day-to-day weeds of things, it really is difficult to look forward. And, uh, the last thing we want to be doing is when somebody is drowning, trying to give them swimming lessons, right. When they’re drowning, you need to throw them a rope and get them the hell out of them. So I think there’s a coach or a consultant or an advisor. You also have to be absolutely, uh, aware of where people are right now. And a year ago they will absolutely be drowning.
Speaker 0 00:20:41 I think now they’ve, they’ve been through this for a while. They, they kind of know how to manage things in the daily business and what they’re doing, but exactly as they’ve said, okay, now what, how do we take some of those learnings and go a little bit further forward? Um, what I, I think the biggest challenge is trust. And we’ve taught this quite a lot on this, uh, this one as far as, like, how do you trust an advisor? How do you, how do you find the right person to come and give you some advice? Frankly, there’s a lot of charlatans out there as well. And a lot of, a lot of people who are talking the talk, um, I think what if there was one bit of guidance I would give on that is, is find somebody who’s been there before. Now. Nobody has been through this pandemic before, so you can’t find a shower, let’s get out of the pandemic expert and move forward.
Speaker 0 00:21:33 But then half the people that have been through very difficult times before figured out how to learn from them and move forward. And so I would, I would really be looking for people that have been there, done it in the industry or in the specific area that you’re looking at, uh, and that they have use cases of where they were pulled people out. So I would say yet, uh, you have to trust whoever you’re bringing in. You have to make sure you’re choosing the right person, but that person could give you a different perspective that you simply call see yourself.
Speaker 1 00:22:06 Well, and I guess, you know, it’s when you’re trying to reset that vision for your organization and align your people around it. And if you’ve tried to do this before, then they’re like, Oh, we’ve been around this one before. But if you bring that different perspective in right, somebody starts to frame it in a different way, then you can gather everybody around you and say, Oh yeah, I get it. We do have this new vision. Let’s reset. It. Let’s go for it. How often have you, you seen a team kind of changed their mind about moving forward and there’s, revisioning Dave.
Speaker 2 00:22:42 Yeah. It’s funny that dynamic that you mentioned happens a lot, happens a lot whenever there’s inconsistency in communication from the senior leadership team. So, you know, whether it’s driven by a particularly visionary, visionary CEO, or just a, uh, a culture of constant change, um, if the leadership team is turning up with flavor of the month approaches to their long-term vision, of course folks go, okay, well, that’s what this is this month. We’ll just we’ll share, share, share. Yeah. We’ll read that book. We’ll we’ll, we’ll, you know, we’ll put in those lessons. Yeah. See you again next month. And, um, and that can be really frustrating for a leader because they feel like their people are not taking up the same degree of ownership over the culture and direction of the business. The reality is that, um, consistency of communication is what’s going to drive alignment for you. So when, when you, as a leadership team, stock hands on your direction, you have to commit to six to 12, not 18 months
Speaker 0 00:23:46 Of just over communicating of what that vision is and why you’re making decisions the way that you are, and, and changes any changes to that. Over communicating that I’d had an old mentor once told me that it’s, it’s only, uh, Tony, once you start to feel physically sick about saying the thing, um, again, for another time that your people are starting to get that. And that’s one of the things that a lot of leaders don’t like doing, just sticking to that stump speech, that CMS, and here’s where we’re going. Here’s, you know, our core principles. Here’s why we’re doing this. Here’s what, what we need from you. Here’s why it’s going to be better for everybody, for our customers, for our community, just building that drum beat. Um, and, and then folks will start to move away from that. Oh yeah. Flavor of the month thing to, Oh, wow. We’ve heard the same thing for the last six months. They must be serious about it. I guess I’ve asked to pay attention.
Speaker 1 00:24:36 Yeah. Well, and there’s some truth to that too, because even if you look at the advertising world, they say, you have to hear the same ad 21 to 31 times or something like that before you actually even hear it. Right. So if you are the leader and you just keep hammering that same message over and over, it does finally get through. But if you keep it,
Speaker 0 00:24:57 I think it’s underestimated. So to me, consistency as a superpower and no nobody ever wants to, you know, if you ask somebody or what’s your, what’s your superpower? And they say, Oh, I’m very consistent. That’d be like, Oh, okay. Right. That doesn’t sound like a super power. Right? But that, but that drumbeat of consistency and saying the same things, because they are the priority, they are the message. That’s an incredibly important thing in a leader. And nobody, nobody can get anywhere if you keep changing direction, right. Keep changing that direction. You end up where you, where you started. You have to just take taking those step-by-step approaches forward. I don’t ride with Dave. I, I, I, I truly believe in say 18 months to start to see a change in a culture. Now you can get some short-term benefits and short term results, but you take away that pressure, you walk away, the chances are that’s going to roll back to the old way, but after 18 months, people are hearing it so consistently and they started practicing and doing it and then leading it themselves.
Speaker 0 00:26:04 Then those changes that you make, they stick. I think they tend to gain more momentum. So typically, typically what we find is we go into an organization, we’ll take a three month project, they’ll see some results. You know, it don’t become a six month project and then a one year, and it’s not unusual for us to be around for four or five years because that’s when you get that momentum. And although you are, you’re, you’re expanding that, the influence that initial trust, that you build sticks, that that’s when the real sort of culture change happens.
Speaker 1 00:26:39 So this self evolved leader, Dave, that you write about in your book, this is the guy who needs to know in here for sure that this is my vision and we are going there and he’s got to stick to it. I think there’s a, there’s an element.
Speaker 2 00:26:57 Um, once that decision has been made, yes, all of those things are, are right. Um, I, I think that in talking to book about co-creating a vision with your team, and I think that that’s important. Um, I think we’ve moved away from that old model of leadership that says our leader needs to be out in front, you know, like a swashbuckling hero, taking us on the journey that OMI, they knew where we’re going to go much more to, towards, uh, a more collaborative notion of, of, of where we want to go as a team. However, once we agree and decide on where we’re going, it’s the leader’s job to, to, to keep our feet to the fire, to, to put in place some of those, um, guard rails to help get us there. And I think that as, as Kevin mentioned, that consistency, it’s, it’s not a sexy part of leadership at all.
Speaker 2 00:27:51 It’s, uh, it’s a, it’s a really mundane part of it. Um, but, but greatness is built on the Monday. And, and, um, so once you, once you intentionally commit to going in a direction, yeah. Just keeping that drum beat going is hugely important. That doesn’t mean that we can’t change our mind or that we’re constricted in this one strategic approach. In fact, quite the opposite, what it means is that our, our review process of where we’re going and how we’re, um, how we’re getting there is so good that it allows us the flexibility to, to, to, to go after new opportunities and so long as they fit within that overarching vision of where we want to get to.
Speaker 0 00:28:36 Yeah, Dave, I, I love that. And I, I’m interested in your, your, uh, feeling around when you, when you consistency is about building the foundation. Right. So making sure that the day to day operations and all that stuff that you do normally is in really good control so that you have a chance instead of looking at what’s happening today, to look a bit further forward. And to me that makes it a more exciting situation, right? And so that it’s that change management, it’s so new initiatives that, you know, all that stuff that’s coming down the pipeline, that’s kind of what you want to be focused on. That’s actually more exciting. But in order to do that, you have to have control of the day to day. How do you, how do you make sure that the selfie board leader gets that balance? Right? Um, yeah, I haven’t
Speaker 2 00:29:26 That I talk about from time to time about, you know, being a band and most leaders, particularly visionary leaders want to be deleted guitars. Cause that’s the cool, sexy stuff. When I get to like whale on my solos and it’s like, sure, I mean, that’s great do need that. But if you just have, um, abandon, all you’re doing is playing lead guitar. It’s like, th there’s, there’s not, it’s not music, it’s just noise. And so you’ve got to work on the drums and the beers, which is that, that consistent rhythm that keeps us going. And I we’ve got a song and we’ve got some music and yeah, on, on the top of that, then you, you get to, to play your drills and your licks and some of your solos on it. It can a little sign grid. Um, so I think that we’ve got to think of Bardot in, in that way.
Speaker 2 00:30:12 And, and again, back to consistency in the stuff that’s, that’s not particularly sexy. It’s, it’s about building a really robust implementation rhythm. That means, um, bringing your leadership team into a room at regular levels and looking at the right horizon of things that you want to look at. So at a real simple level, you want to be getting together once a year to evaluate your vision and your strategic plan for the next three to five years and break that down into your 12 month goal. And then using, we mentioned it earlier, that quarterly review is there is just such an important bet for looking at all of the leading lagging indicators on your progress, towards your goals. And what’s happening there, making the adjust Justments that are needed at that point. Um, too many leaders come in and say, I just had a great thought in the shower, or I had a great meeting with somebody let’s go in this direction.
Speaker 2 00:31:05 And then before, you know what things are moving in another direction, then everybody is like, what’s going on. Whereas if you actually have a robust decision-making process, that’s run on a monthly or quarterly basis that says here’s a new opportunity. Here’s, you know what I want to achieve with it? Here’s some data does a supports that here’s some data that’s against it, let’s debate this, let’s kick it up. Uh, and, and, and then make a decision on the direction that we want to go. And, um, essentially what I’m talking about is building a process in place that allows you to be more agile and more innovative without it being dependent on whatever grid idea you’ve just had.
Speaker 1 00:31:40 So you, you talk about having a process. It’s not, it’s not, um, it’s not a free form business, right? You have to have a process in order to be that agile person to be able to make those changes and be creative, right? Yeah. I mean, a huge part of it is,
Speaker 2 00:31:58 Is whether or not you’re wanting to build a scalable business. You can’t build a scalable business on, on people, uh, you know, on individuals on, on somebody’s great ideas. You build a scalable business on, on the processes that sit underneath it. And then the grit people come in and sit in on, uh, and in a lot of organizations are typically fast-growing organizations. Our belief is that our success is based on the ability of our people to do extraordinary things. And in some instances that is the case, but if you want to build a lasting business and build a legacy and, um, it’s gotta be falling down on that drum beat of success and, um, and, and drum beat to allow you to be more creative and innovative, like you said, Jonathan,
Speaker 1 00:32:44 I’m curious to know Dave, how you encourage your leaders to get their people, to focus their, their ideas away from that day to day. I know like we’ve, you’ve got a job to do every day. You got to get that done. You got to get that done, but there’s that horizon out there and where we’re going, how do you get those people on your team to think creatively, even though they’re going through their day to day process step,
Speaker 2 00:33:10 Um, having, um, I’m a very big believer on being intentional about our focus for a particular meeting that we have. So w what often happens in a, in a leadership group is somebody will say, Oh, well, I haven’t really been together for a while. Okay. Let’s get together. So they get together. And the agenda is just as mishmash of like an issue that happened on, you know, with somebody on the floor. And we’ve got to deal with that all the way up to, like, should we make this strategic choice about whether we’re going to pursue this market? And that’s just, uh, just conceptually a really incredible way to think. I mean, how can you even just move your own horizon of focus? And so, you know, it’s back again to that consistency of that rhythm, you know, your weekly meetings are there to talk about tactical, weekly stuff that’s happening here.
Speaker 2 00:34:00 And then you want to bring your people together on a monthly basis and talk about things that are higher level. So what did we do last month that worked particularly well, what we’ve just lifted our horizon up a little bit. What did we do that didn’t work? What do we want to, what do we want to ensure that we’re focused on for the next 30 days? Okay. We’ll just lift it up again. And then again, back to that quarterly one, when you start looking back over three months and forward to the next 90 days, that that can be really helpful, but you gotta be super intentional about what’s on the agenda. And you’ve got to share that with the people in the room and say, I need you to think at runway level, or I need you to think of 50,000 foot level. Um, and then you’ve got, uh, you kind of got to police the discussion.
Speaker 2 00:34:38 So if you see it being pooled in a horizon, a direction of a horizon that you’re not there to talk about it, then say, Hey, this is a great discussion. This is not the forum for it. For, for this reason, let’s put on a, on a parking lot and we’ll address it on our next one on one, or next weekly, our next quarterly, wherever it fits, wherever it hooks leaders, I want to deal with everything all at once and give everything the cm urgency. Sometimes all you need is a place to hook something. That’s a great conversation. Let’s hook it on this meeting, that’s coming next week. And we’ll talk about it then. And we’ll, we’ll make sure that we covered off.
Speaker 1 00:35:11 So for a business leader who has always run his business, like, okay, let’s have this meeting, let’s do this. Let’s do that. When you go in Dave, and you say to them, why don’t we set it up this way? You have your weekly meeting and you do this, you have your monthly meeting and you do that. How long does it take them to get that change and get that, get that ironed in so that they do it, and then what’s the result for them? Um, it depends
Speaker 2 00:35:45 On the, on the shift. So much of it depends on their willingness and their ability to make those behavioral changes, because particularly if that’s how they run their business for a number of years, it’s just such deep ingrained grooves of behavior. And so often I’ll have a discussion they academically can see and understand the reason for why they want to do it. And it’s usually built on, on a couple of things either. They feel like they’re their T Mark taking ownership and accountability for leading the business. And the reality is that’s because they are just, you know, setting fires everywhere. And so their team’s like, well, you’re just going to set a fire. So I’m just going to stick to the bare minimum, uh, and award they’re exhausted and trying to, having to try to keep everything going on their own. And so just keeping them focused on, on those two reasons for why we’re discussing or having a discussion, the first place is, is important.
Speaker 2 00:36:36 Um, helping them make that behavior change is the difficult thing. If they’re, you know, on the sliding scale of like, yeah, they’re awesome. And they’ve got this, I think 12 months, probably by the time that is bad at. And, uh, if they’re reluctant and hesitant, it can take anywhere up to 24 months, sometimes even three years, um, for them to, to keep at it. And the benefits are that they’re starting to build a team that takes a little bit more ownership and accountability over leading and managing the business. They get to elevate their focus on the purely strategic longterm art look for their business. They feel a little less exhausted because they are not having to see if the day they’re not the one that’s having to, to own the creativity and innovation process for the organization. There’s not something that’s built in there and they get to step back and say, okay, now I have a business that will, that cam has the possibility to outlast me. I know, I know. I, I can begin to think about what that might look like for the, for the future.
Speaker 1 00:37:34 Well, and we all know when we try to make change, even in our personal lives, the wheels fall off all the time. Right. It’s just, you just got to put the wheel back on and keep the thing rolling, but, you know, it’s like, as you know, the first time the wheel falls off, you go out, it’s never going to work. Right. But you just keep it’s that consistency put the wheel back on, keep moving forward. So every failure is actually a win because every time you get back on again, you’re moving forward, right? Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:38:01 For sure. And you’ve just got to keep that and goal in mind whenever that happens. Like, why am I doing this thing? And actually back to the point of Kevin was talking about Ron coaches earlier as one of the thing that a good coach can do is just say, yeah, I know that this feels like it doesn’t work and it’s clunky and, you know, but trust the process. Cause here’s where you’re going to get the other side.
Speaker 1 00:38:22 Right. Right. It’s like riding a bike. You got to keep trying. Right. Uh, how about some key takeaways, Dave? I gotta be cognizant of your time here. So, um, do you have any key takeaways for people over the next six months? What to keep an eye on what to do anyway, you can help them out here.
Speaker 2 00:38:39 Um, I think you’ve got to be intentional about your strategic decisions, um, and, and the reason why you’re making them, uh, I think that goes back to both the short term, what we’re doing over the next 90 days on what we’re going to do for the next three to five years. Um, I think that we’ve got to keep that humanity in, in how we show up for people there that, um, Kevin spoke about and ensure that we’re, we’re checking in with our people. And then also finally find your own sense of replenishment, uh, wherever that comes from, because it’s, it’s tough. What we’re talking about in terms of keeping an organization going through crisis is, is a hard thing to do for leaders. So make sure you’re getting plugged in where you need to recharge, where you need to so that you can show up as the best version of you for your people.
Speaker 1 00:39:29 Any final comments, Kevin.
Speaker 0 00:39:32 Yeah. And just reflecting on a bit of what Dave said already. It’s a, I think a lot of CEOs, business leaders, entrepreneurs, those kind of guys, they are very, uh, they’re very outgoing. They’re, they’re risk taking that. They want to look forward. They want to move fast. They need to keep going, um, having the self-awareness of that. And also there’s the self limitation in some of that, that structure and organization as stability and foundational work are not natural for you. Um, putting in structure around the meetings that they’ve talked about or where, you know, those sorts of things, it’s not going to feel like a natural behavior for you. And that’s where you need a little bit of encouragement. You need a little bit of time, maybe a little bit to trust on it to say, okay, there may be another way that I can do this individually. You know, that, that I need to change in order to be able to change the organization and help the organization here. So my takeaway would be that if the more self-aware the leader can be, and as, as Dave talks about self evolved, um, that allows you to see where some of those weeks or to maybe, um, and I, I truly believe that every leader has good intentions. It’s just, it’s only when you have that, self-awareness that you realize that may be a slightly better path that you can take.
Speaker 1 00:40:50 Dave, you had said something, I don’t know whether it was the last time we talked or whatever, but you talked about the leader, who’s always kicking up dust. Right. And when you use that comment, it sat with me for the longest time, because I think personally in my own head, you got so much stuff going on, that all you’ve done is kick up a whole bunch of dust. Right. And then you have somebody like an advisor come in and just go, they just sort of dust things off and they go, no, where you’re really going is right here. Right. And they sort of clear the air for you. So, um, yeah. You just need to be able to clear the air and know exactly where you’re going.
Speaker 2 00:41:27 Yeah. I think that’s, that’s, that’s true. Uh, we should not confuse motion with progress. Um, and
Speaker 3 00:41:34 Just getting clarity on that path is, is it’s hugely important. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:41:39 Gentlemen, always good to talk to you. Thank you so much for joining us today, Dave. I know it’s really early. So, uh, hang in there. Okay.
Speaker 3 00:41:46 Thanks so much for having me. It was fun.
Speaker 1 00:41:48 Welcome Dave McKeown is a leadership consultancy. He’s also the author of The Self-evolved Leader. You can check that out. It’s available on Amazon and wherever good books are sold. And Kevin Snook is a manufacturing leadership advisor. And this podcast is brought to you by Kevin and his book, make it right. Five steps to align your manufacturing business from the frontline to the bottom line. And you can find more of our shows at lucidi4.com and on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and YouTube. And there’s more information on our make it right, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds. And that’s it. Thanks for joining us this week and thanks for listening to the, make it right podcast.