The OYT Coaching Series – Pete Maldonado – Getting Employees to Take Ownership

Fast-growth companies are fast mainly because the CEO can remove themselves from being the bottleneck. My research into fast-growth companies revealed the importance of getting employees to take ownership. When they feel like owners, they can act like owners. My guest today is Pete Maldonado, Founder of Chomps. His company was ranked #22 in the 2019 Inc 5000 list. Chomps are located at major retailers where they sell Chomps meat sticks made with the best ingredients. Pete begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, which is improving collaboration in the organization. In part two, Pete is coached on getting employees to take ownership. We look beyond employees taking responsibility for their work. You will be a more effective leader when you apply the insights we discuss together. You will discover how to getting employees to take ownership inside this episode.

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The OYT Coaching Series with Pete Maldonado

Pete Maldonado: The Transcript

Target Audience: Pete Maldonado is the Co-Founder and CEO at CHOMPS Chomps has raised the bar for taste, quality standards, and consumer loyalty in meat snacks, a $2.5 billion category that enjoys strong sales growth and has evolved significantly since the days of iconic brands like Slim Jim.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Pete Maldonado
If everybody in the team were to continuously approach me with that, first, that first option, I would run out of time, very quickly. There’s, you know, and, and I feel like, you know, with the people on the team, again, taking complete ownership, I have complete faith in them. I’ve hired these people for a reason because I trust them. And I trust them to make and their judgment. So if they were to come to me and say, This is my recommendation, I mean, nine times out of 10, I’m most likely going to go with that recommendation. I mean, these again, these people are better at what they do than I am and they should be.

Intro [0:34]
Welcome to Growth Think Tank. This is the one and only place where you will get insight from the founders and the CEOs of the fastest-growing privately held companies. I am the host. My name is Gene Hammett. I help leaders and their teams navigate the defining moments of their growth. Are you ready to grow?

Gene Hammett [0:51]
Collaboration is a very important piece to your business running effectively, even when you’re not there. In fact, collaboration is one of the things I hear a lot from CEOs that want to improve that inside their own companies. Today, we’re going to look at collaboration as a way to optimize your own time as a CEO. Our guest today is the CEO of Chomps. He’s a founder of this specialty meat product. It’s not beef jerky, but you think about a meat stick chomps you’ve probably seen it in Trader Joe’s or Kroger or Whole Foods, but that’s who we’re talking to today. His name is Peter Maldonado. What we really dive into is how his journey of optimizing his time through the pandemic really showed up and increasing the level of collaboration that his team members had them their ability to make decisions without him was something he wanted to have happened, no matter what was going on inside the company. When you think about your journey of leadership and improving collaboration, you’ll learn from Pete and how he approached that today. Some of the details that he shares really helpful. When you think about your own leadership make sure you think about grow Think Tank. Now here’s the interview with Pete.

Pete Maldonado [2:00]
Hi Gene, how about you?

Gene Hammett [2:02]
Fantastic. Welcome back to Growth Think Tank. It’s been a while?

Pete Maldonado [2:06]

Gene Hammett [2:07]
Well, you were on the show before we talked about leadership and culture, which is a big part of the reason why Chomps has been so successful. to their audience and a little bit about what chomp says they have probably seen your products, maybe if they bought it before, maybe they just tell us about your product.

Pete Maldonado [2:24]
Absolutely. So chomps are better for your meat snack brand, we only do meat sticks. So we don’t get involved in jerky or bars or any of these other formats. So you can think of it as a better Slim Jim or one of those other meats, big brands that you would see it like a gas station or C store. Basically, what we’ve done is taken, though, that format and we took all those ingredients that might be questionable or scary that you might find in some of those conventional brands, and we removed them. And so that starts with the ramen ingredients. So the protein. So instead of using mechanically separated chicken or other scraps we use, they should use grass-fed grass-finished beef, or we use free-range antibiotic-free turkey or we have grass-fed grass, when is medicine. And then we’ve actually scoured the earth for the best possible supply for our beef, venison, and Turkey. So our beef actually comes from Tasmania and southern Australia. So that Melbourne area the venison comes in from New Zealand, and then turkeys all domestic here, work with a couple of suppliers, one in Minnesota and the other one in California.

Gene Hammett [3:45]
Fantastic. I am impressed with what you guys have done. Remind me how many employees you’re up to now.

Pete Maldonado [3:52]
We have 23, as of today actually just hired for more, and planning on having about 30 by the end of this year.

Gene Hammett [4:03]
Perfect. Well, we’re recording this we’re kicking off 2021, which is I think a lot of people are happy to be going into a new year. And you’re going to share back with us what you have seen work for you and your team to optimize your time as a CEO. So how would you describe that that one strategy?

Pete Maldonado [4:24]
Yeah, I think the biggest thing for us and especially, you know, working mid pandemic, in this remote atmosphere, everyone really working from home. The biggest, the biggest, and key focus for us is really going to be staying connected. And so what that means is really leveraging any bit of technology that we possibly can to make sure that our team is staying connected and collaborating. Basically constantly and luckily for us, actually before the pandemic had started We introduced a Friday work from home option. Most of the people on the team were taking advantage of that versus coming into the office. So we already had some practice with staying connected and in a remote environment, which was great, obviously, because when we went from doing it on Fridays to suddenly overnight doing that every day, we at least it wasn’t like learning something brand new. We all had a little bit of experience with it.

Gene Hammett [5:28]
So when it comes to optimizing your time, I think about CEOs, I hear this all the time, we get pulled in a lot of different directions. How is this constant collaboration improve your time?

Pete Maldonado [5:42]
Well, there are multiple, multiple facets to that, but I would say the biggest thing for me, is when the team is collaborating, and they’re kind of unless to say they’re doing little breakouts of two or three people or even a bigger group, and, you know, they’re so they’re collaborating, they’re working on a single project, or maybe they’re brainstorming, you know, it’s, it kind of relieves the need for me to constantly be there, right. And so what I love about that is from an innovation perspective, you start getting ideas that are brought to the table from sometimes the most unexpected person on a team, I mean, you might have somebody that that handles, I know you name it customer experience, there’s somebody on the sales team, talking to the marketing team, and coming up with a great new innovative idea, way to either sell our product or market of the product or it could even be product innovation. And, you know, so for me, what that does is it relieves a lot of that, you know, that responsibility for me to be continuously bringing those ideas to the table, which really is the only way to scale a business, you know, and it can’t be where Rashida and I are the two count co-founders, and we’re in the weeds on every little decision, or, you know, or having to be there to drive things forward all the time, if the team can kind of operate as their independent, little, little groups will get a lot further faster.

Gene Hammett [7:14]
You know, this is right up the sweet spot of the work I’ve seen with fast-growth companies, which is getting people to really take ownership of their ideas. I know we’re gonna dive into a little bit later. But so you’ve seen through the pandemic, time, using technology, increasing collaboration has given you more time to work back on what’s most valuable for the business. Is that fair?

Pete Maldonado [7:38]
Absolutely. I mean, in that in that period of time, and during this pandemic, I mean, we’ve done so many different things, including hiring for new people, we’ve implemented various systems, which are going to allow the team to work faster, we’ve, we actually closed a big multi-million dollar line of credit, which was big for us, because we have a lot of growth happening now. And in 2021, we need to be able to have that capital to fund inventory. So it doesn’t take away from our, our other cash and we like to fund other growth opportunities. So yeah, I mean, we were able to kind of take a step back, and then both Rashida and I are able to focus on the bigger picture, strategic things that are really going to move the needle and set the business up for growth, now and into the future, versus having to kind of be in the weeds. And again, maybe working on things that are more maybe mundane tasks, tasks, or maybe there are things that really the experts on their teams should be handling, right? So when we hire people, whether it be marketing, or sales, or whatever, these people are all experts in their field. And there’s really no reason for Rasheed or me who aren’t experts in those specific fields to be involved. They’re kind of leading the way we want them to take complete ownership of their role and run with it.

Gene Hammett [9:01]
So wrapping up, this whole idea of increasing collaboration has allowed you to focus on the higher barriers stuff. What have you learned about collaboration that you could share with us today?

Pete Maldonado [9:12]
Well, it’s everything. And again, I think just pointing back to the innovation piece, you know, I guess one of the things that I’ve noticed is, let’s just say you’re, you’re a media buyer for search and social advertising, you know, there might be keywords that you’re not thinking about you, you’ve got your head down, and you’re in the weeds day in and day out, you kind of have these blinders on. And it might take somebody from that handles the brand and content side of things. And maybe they’ve been seeing, you know, specific engagement with various other keywords or various topics on social media, you know, that, you know, having that conversation and saying, Hey, listen, we’re starting to see a lot of people talking about the carnivore diet. That’s a big one for Right now, maybe you guys should start trying out those keywords, you know, without having those discussions and opening up those lines of communications all the time, there’s going to be a lot of opportunities missed. And so we’ve we found that over the course of time, just making sure that that that, that people are communicating, staying connected, whether it be through slack or email, or we set up these zoom calls. You know, it’s just we missed, we can miss out on a lot.

Commercial [10:28]
Now, before we move into part two, I want to go back and recap what this experience with Peter is, and what it means for you. The way I think about it is your job is to create a space where the best ideas win, not your ideas, but the best ideas. Now I say this with a smile on my face. Because your ability to create the best ideas really are about you leading people to have their own level of competence and courage and take ownership of their work. Now, that takes us right into part two, which is what we’re going to be doing in this coaching series is looking at how do we go to the next level here. And Peter really describes exactly what that looks like. But you will see inside our conversation, we really get into the heart of what was missing in his dialogue in his approach with his employees, it’s a very simple shift, when you see it, he sees it right away. And you’ll get a lot of value out of this if you want your employees to take more ownership. Here is Peter in part two.

Gene Hammett [11:27]
This is really about what you’re working on. I think you’d already share with me, you want to increase the level of innovation beyond where it is today. So it’s gotten you some freedom, but you want to keep that moving. Tell us a little bit more about the innovation you see for the company as it is this next year.

Pete Maldonado [11:45]
Yeah, so for, you know, there’s two parts to what we’re really focusing on for 2021. But the first part is going to be ownership. And so this means each of the employees taking ownership and having that business owner’s mindset with everything that they do. And then the second piece, again, is going to be innovation. And I feel like that ownership piece is necessary for innovation to really excel. And, you know, so one example I could say is, instead of an employee coming to me and saying, hey, Pete, here’s an issue that we have, what do you think, what should we do? That is not the way I want I want to be approached? I mean, it should be, hey, Pete, here’s an issue. Here are the facts, here’s my recommendation, what are your thoughts. And so that’s kind of, you know, just two totally different ways to approach me. And I feel like, if everybody in the team were to continuously approach me with that, first, that first option, I would run out of time, very quickly. There’s you know, and, and I feel like, you know, with the people on the team, again, taking complete ownership, I have complete faith in them.

Pete Maldonado [12:58]
I’ve hired these people for a reason, because I trust them, and I trust them to make and their judgment. And so if they were to come to me and say, This is my recommendation, I mean, nine times out of 10, I’m most likely going to go with that recommendation. I mean, these again, these people are better at what they do than I am. And they should be. So So for me, I feel like that’s very important. But then the step, the next step would really be to drive innovation. And so when someone’s not taking complete ownership of their role, or maybe they’re not, you know, they might not be what’s the word here confident enough to come out and bring ideas to the table. And so when I, the way I feel about it is if somebody is gonna be taking complete ownership of the role, they should say, almost be two steps ahead of where we need to go, right, they should see though this is where we’re at right?

Pete Maldonado [13:48]
Now, here’s what we’re facing, and here’s where we need to get. And so they should be able to come to me with things and ideas so that we can get ahead into the future, right? I can maybe give an example. So right now what’s happening with all of our mobile devices is there’s they’re changing a lot of the opt-ins for various ways that you can get tracked by Google and Facebook. So when that happens, what that does is it’ll make it very difficult for us to get full attribution for where our traffic’s coming from and especially for ads and so if I’m, if I want to go and put out a new ad on Facebook, targeting soccer players, for whatever reason, that’s, that’s what we want to do. We want to hit soccer players. I’m going to have a very hard time if I’m not able to find those people that are interested in soccer on Facebook because now they no longer have that connection because they’ve opted out. So for us, you know, I want somebody to brand my team has done that, you know, it’s my only reason I know about this is that our team brought this to our attention.

Pete Maldonado [14:59]
So Hey, listen, you know, things are getting harder and harder out us being able to target our audiences is getting more and more difficult. And because of that CPAs or cost per acquisition could potentially go up. So it’s something that we need to be able to think about. Maybe their recommendation is, rather than spending this budget, whatever their whole budget is, on certain social advertising, maybe they will want to lose 50% of that and put that towards, just call it influencer marketing. Maybe now if I want to hit soccer players, I’m going to go find a professional soccer player that happens to have a huge following, following and do a partnership with them. So that’s one, one example. I’m just kind of pulling that affinity. So it’s not an actual example. But that’s…

Gene Hammett [15:45]
Pete, I wanted to, you know, kind of pause you here for a second here. Because I really get what you’re trying to say the first level of this is getting people to take more ownership, one thing you said was absolutely correct. As your company continues to grow and scale, you can’t be involved with every decision that needs to be made, that that has to be made on the frontlines or in the middle level, or with the people that are running those teams. So that makes sense.

Pete Maldonado [16:12]

Gene Hammett [16:14]
Doesn’t mean you’re not involved doesn’t mean you don’t care doesn’t mean any of that stuff. It just means, okay, if I’m going to focus on the next big strategic partnership we have or the next raise of money, or the next big thing that only you can do, then your team has to take ownership of their work. And that’s what you’re really kind of focused on, you know, as a leader right now.

Pete Maldonado [16:37]

Gene Hammett [16:38]
All right. So this is right in that sweet spot where the work I’ve done over the last few years with leaders just like yourself, is how do you get people to take ownership? I’ve said this for a long time. This is my next book. I haven’t titled it yet, because it’s a pretty complex title. I don’t want to call it just ownership. But the idea is to get people to take ownership. And it really starts with not just them taking ownership, it’s the feeling like owners, do you know what feeling like an owner means?

Pete Maldonado [17:10]
Absolutely. Let me hear your take on I like this.

Gene Hammett [17:15]
Well, you know, what feeling like an owner is because that’s what you’ve lived, you and your co-founder have come up with an idea and found some traction out there, gotten it to where it is, you know, the fast-growth company built a team of 23, you’ve carried the shoulders of many of the ideas, you’ve failed many times is that fair to say? Too many. But you’ve failed forward, which is what we as entrepreneurs do, and you’ve had that feeling of ownership, some from day one, and you probably had the feeling of ownership and other places before you even started chomps. But the feeling of ownership is where it starts because you don’t get people to take ownership just because you tell them to. They have to feel like owners.

Pete Maldonado [18:02]
Yeah, I definitely agree. And, you know, this kind of goes back to our previous conversation, you know, making sure that everybody feels that they have a seat at the table and that their voice is heard. And that is absolutely key. I mean, you got to imagine it, you know, if again, like going back to them if we’re hiring somebody, they’re going to be a specialist in whatever they’re doing. And they’re going to be much better at whatever their core focus is than I am right. So in my mind, I feel like we need to be able to lean on those people, and give them a voice and let them come out, let them shine, and do whatever their core competency is.

Gene Hammett [18:40]
Now here’s the hard question, because this is the coaching session of this and we really just up to this point, just really getting the idea out on the table and getting on the same page. So this question, you’ve probably never been asked this before. But you as a leader of this team, what has to shift for them to take more ownership?

Pete Maldonado [19:00]
Well, yeah, I mean, it’s a good question. I feel like what has to happen is they need to realize that my mindset, when I want for the team, is I want to, I want them to feel like I work for them, quite honestly. I know that sounds kind of cliche, but I mean, in reality, this is it’s an idea that I had, I brought it to life, but I’ve never built a business like this. I mean, this is I don’t have experience building a business CPG business in general, but any business especially if the scale. And so when I bring a hire somebody, I hire them because I’m looking for that expertise. They’ve been there, they’ve done it, they’ve worked for whether it be a big CPG or another startup that got to this size and scale even you know beyond. So what I’m looking for is to surround myself with people that have been there and done that so I can lean on them. I don’t want them to feel like they need to lean on me just because I’m in the CEO position. And so that to me, is critical for them to understand that and they should they have to have that confidence to be able to bring that expertise to the table.

Gene Hammett [20:07]
So confidence is a big word there. Let’s zero on that for a second. How can you as a leader increase their level of confidence and their own skills and our own ideas?

Pete Maldonado [20:15]
Well, I think it’s, it’s, again, it’s making sure that they are realizing that their voice is being heard, right. Here are a couple of things that we have that we’ll do, actually, when we were doing this more so before the pandemic, but some of this lunch and learns, so one of the things that we like to do is allow people from various departments or various skill sets to go and teach the rest of the team about what they do. And so what happens is, it’s kind of interesting because a lot of times people will be in their own little world or staying stay in their lane and not really bring up the things they’re working on with their co-workers, because they’re caught, maybe they feel like that is not going to be interested, or it’s just not relevant or whatever. But there’s been so many times where we’ll do this lunch and learn, and the whole entire team is just firing questions away because they’re so interested in hearing more about what their co-workers are doing in their role, you know. And so I thought, I think that’s one of the things that we’ve done in the past. That’s really, and I’ve noticed, you know, right away, when we do those things, people, they’re able to go and teach this, it’s almost like a teaching a class, right, and they walk away from it with this kind of this, like this new level of confidence, where they’re, they’re now suddenly excited to talk about what they do. So that’s one of the things that we’ve done, I think in the past two, we’ve seen work.

Gene Hammett [21:32]
So that’s a perfect example of something you’ve done in the past, that gives people a chance to show their, their level of expertise. And that increases their confidence. And it also increases that collaboration, which we talked about earlier. But I want to scale this looking forward, you as a leader, what is something that you either need to start doing or stop doing that will allow people to take more ownership of their work?

Pete Maldonado [21:56]
Hmm, well, that’s a good question. Well, I think you know, the answer is, let’s hear it.

Gene Hammett [22:01]
Well, I mean, coaching is not necessarily about me having the answers. I’m kind of curious what I can share with you some ideas, and we can brainstorm around it. But what’s one or two things that come to mind? First, what could you do differently that would allow people to take more ownership?

Pete Maldonado [22:16]
Well, again, I think it’s just it’s stepping out. So rather than if I’m sitting and listening to what I guess, here’s, here’s what you’re doing right now. Right? The coaching the versus giving me the answer. I feel like that’s what the easy thing for me to do in a time-saving thing for me to do would be just to step in and knock it out real quick, I already know what the answer is going to be. And this is what we need to do to move forward. I feel like this is actually something I struggle with, by the way. So this is a good point. Is it really just leading the person to the answer, right versus giving it to them. It’s kind of like, okay, you know, you know, maybe pointing out some of the facts and then allowing then them to come to the answer. And then it was really just a repetition of that. Right. So yeah.

Commercial [23:05]
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Gene Hammett [23:31]
You’re right on it, Peter, certainly one of the things you can do instead of giving someone The answer is to let them figure it out for themselves. And the best way to do that is to take that coaching stance that you just described, and it is what I’m trying to do with you today. I didn’t tell you the answers purposely because I’d rather you come up with it. Because if you came up with the idea, you’re more likely to actually execute on it than if I gave it to you. Have you ever heard this psychological fact? It’s just like when someone tries to go on a diet if someone says you need to lose weight, rarely does that work with to activate someone, they have to decide from the inside that they need to lose weight, eat healthier, you know, but less processed food and their, their diet, and they have to make that decision day in and day out in order to create the consistency. And so that that kind of analogy makes sense with you, right?

Pete Maldonado [24:25]
Yeah, absolutely.

Gene Hammett [24:27]
Because of what you create. I pick that one specifically. But your something you said in there, I just want to make sure we put a spotlight on it, you could do a better job with coaching them than telling them what to do. And you added in there telling them as always, probably the fastest way to do it. But it’s probably not the best way is that fair to say?

Pete Maldonado [24:48]
That’s for sure. Because the way when I’ve actually noticed this too because the more it’s like pulling a band-aid off right if you don’t ever you never get to the point of allowing them to learn, you’re always going to be the one having to come to the table with the answer. So the sooner that you can start coaching them and letting them come to the come to conclusion and the answer themselves, the faster I’ll be able to step away from it and have to take on that responsibility. So yeah, it’s easier said than done. For sure.

Gene Hammett [25:21]
It is saying, but I’m going to add to this just so that you can kind of really, you know, look at it from different perspectives and whatnot, and then we’ll wrap up today’s call. But what if you want people to take ownership? The answer is not to tell them what you want them to do next. The best thing you can do for someone that you want to take ownership and say there’s an issue, the question you gave, there’s an issue that came up, maybe the CPA is increasing. Your job is not to say, Okay, give me the data, so I can look at it so I can tell you what to do next. Right, your job is to say, Well, what does the data tell you? Yeah, what does? What do you think we could do to test out? You know, a couple of ways to lower the CPA cost. And as you ask the questions, I mean, you’re, you’re probably naturally curious, all coaching is, is being curious, as opposed to telling someone what to do next. Because here’s the short answer to this, telling them what to do next.

Gene Hammett [26:18]
If you tell them what to do next, they will not trust you as much as they will trust you more than they trust themselves. And so the next time they run into some little issue, they will come to you and say, Hey, this, this worked last time, and it was easy. I’ll just ask Pete again. But your job is to ask those questions that guide them to on their own journey of curiosity, to allow them to fix it. And then the big thing behind it is to let them do it. Even if it’s wrong, sometimes you have to let them learn that way. Right, right. Because you mentioned, you know, I said this and didn’t know we come back to it, but you failed a lot. You said way too many times, right?

Gene Hammett [26:58]
You’ve learned to take ownership of even those failures because you owned the result behind them. And so your job is to have the kind of conversations with each of the people that you want to take ownership of in a way that gets them to increase their confidence, increase their own level of courage, allow them to see the problem even more clearly, just to your questions, and know how to move forward without you being there. Right. I know this is kind of basic, you kind of get it. Any questions around like getting people to take more ownership?

Pete Maldonado [27:31]
No. I guess Actually, my question would be around, kind of going back to that that one word that I’m really trying to focus on this year, which is like really innovation, right? Yep. What would you say, in your experience is the best way to promote that like ideation, that’s going to drive innovation, right? That’s something that we reach out to. We’re challenged with, we do a lot of like we use, like Hagen’s, and we use disc profiles internally here. And one of the things that our entire team struggles with is this fear of failure.

Gene Hammett [28:09]
Yep. So yeah, that’s exactly what it is, if the culture has a fear of failure, then innovation becomes extremely difficult. Can you name a technology or a moment in time where innovation didn’t have to go through periods of failure?

Pete Maldonado [28:27]

Gene Hammett [28:28]
Think about it really hard.

Pete Maldonado [28:29]

Gene Hammett [28:32]
The Space Program, obviously, many of those rockets didn’t work exactly the way they intended them to. The microchip, the cell phone has been an iteration. What are we on iPhone 13, or something like that coming? Everything you think about has been an iteration, not an avoidance of failure? And so to answer the question, specifically, if you want to embrace innovation more, one of the things I would suggest you do with your team has what I call a meta-conversation, and the meta-conversation is let’s look at innovation as a company, and let’s talk about what innovation is, what what do we see when we’re innovating.

Gene Hammett [29:13]
We see failure, we see things not being right, but we also see new paths forward. And when they generate the ideas for what innovation is they begin to get on the same page together. And that’s what we call team alignment, especially around a word like innovation. Does that make sense? No, absolutely. And that’s one way you can do it. But there are many other ways. You know, I would assume that you have company core values. We do. Do you have one that’s pretty closely tied to innovation? It’s called a game-changer. So celebrating the game changers, for people that are, you know, failing forward or innovating inside their own little areas and recognizing them rewarding them and having peers recognize them, all of those things lead to them knowing what’s expected of them, which is we want you to innovate, we want you to push the boundaries here be a game-changer. Does that make sense?

Pete Maldonado [30:12]
Absolutely. One of the things that we were doing internally is creating, you know, you call like a safe place to innovate.

Gene Hammett [30:19]

Pete Maldonado [30:20]
So what we want to do is set up first, first off is blocking off time, right to actually sit there and make sure that we’re all taking the time to think through these things to Ida to share ideas. But then on top of that, it’s a step further, where it’s putting our money where our mouth is, right, I want people to innovate, let’s put a budget, which is a test budget, which could end up disappearing, or if it works, then great. But this should be a separate budget from anybody else, anybody’s budgets, not tied to KPIs or anything like that. And this is just strictly for innovation, right? And so what we want to be able to do is put money up and put time on the calendar to make sure we’re trying these things. And the team can vote on a vote on everything together. So one of the other big things is, you know, with this with our, the personalities on the team, they’re nervous about, you know, failing themselves, right? So I guess if we could do that, and remove that individual responsibility for a decision, and make a collective decision as a team and decide, hey, listen, this is we’re gonna go for this together as a team. And here’s the budget, here’s the time, let’s do this thing. And let’s go for it. And so that’s when you try to execute, and if it works, then great. If it fails, then we fail as a team together.

Gene Hammett [31:45]
I love all the ideas that you’re now sharing. Is this helpful to talk about it this way? Oh, for sure. Yeah. So let me leave you with this in the audience as well. Here’s the concept behind ownership that you really have to understand, as an owner of a company or a founder or co-founder structure, you have that feeling of ownership. And that translates into the way you think about the work the way you see problems, the way you see the goals. And the way you actually see the process. Your job as a leader is to not just tell them what to do and where we’re going. But it’s also to get them to understand why and have a connected mission together. And then also, you don’t want to just give them a goal, without letting them understand how to get there. It’s not for you to tell them how to get there, it’s for you to let them own the process. Because those who own the process, own all the challenges that come along the way which failure is usually one of the challenges that we have to face. And so if you want people to take more ownership, then you’ve got to let them really feel that ownership across the entire spectrum, not just pieces of it. That makes sense, or that’s easy for you. It does take more time to get people to take ownership, but the long term game here is that they will feel like owners. This has been pretty, pretty helpful for you, Pete.

Pete Maldonado [33:04]
Absolutely. Yeah.

Gene Hammett [33:06]
Well, thanks for being on the show. I’m gonna wrap up just a quick episode here. We’ve been talking about, you know, optimizing your time, this whole series with coaching is for you to grow as a leader. When you think about what you’re doing as a leader. Peter openly shared with us, you know, this is the next level for us smaller company but knows that they can’t grow until everyone’s taking ownership and they’re innovating inside the organization. Today, we looked at different ways to look at that shift some of the frameworks around it, but also, you know, really zero in on what does it take to get people to feel like owners. If you want to evolve as a leader, make sure you go to You can sign up for a free conversation with me. This series has been very helpful for many people and hopefully, it’s helpful to you. When you think of growth and you think of culture. When you think of leadership think of Growth Think Tank as always encouraged. We’ll see you next time.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.


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