Make Your Time Work – Client Workshop
Great leaders are not working every possible hour to drive results. In this workshop, you will discover how Founders and CEOs of fast-growth companies look at time and how they overcome the feeling of burnout.
We look how you organize your day and even your email to see what is working for leaders within the fastest-growing companies in America. Listen in to the conversation about prioritizing your projects, going beyond time management, and about the internal shifts necessary to make your time work. You will discover frameworks that make it easier and hear why specific approaches work for them in their fast-paced life. This training is designed to help you communicate so that others can understand you and your employees can feel understood. Please don’t share it outside your teams without written permission from Gene Hammett.
Download slides from the workshop.
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.
So, this is from fast-growth boardroom. This is make your time work. And it really is for founders and CEOs of fast growth companies, how to optimize your calendar and your time to work on the most valuable projects. We are going to have a lot of fun today. It is packed. There’s a lot to say about time.
I think there’s a lot of struggle. There’s a lot of overwhelm that a lot of people are going through. So we’re going to dive right in. You should be able to see on my screen that the slides is that right. The growth think tank is probably the common bond that we all have. Either you listened to it, or you are, have been a guest on the show.
We do have some special guests that have never been to any of these workshops before. So really appreciate you being here. This is part of the strategy. Most of the people here are my clients. I won’t highlight who is my clients and who is not, but I will tell you that we’re here to, to come as equals and just learn from each other and, and have a very specific discussion on time.
This is part of fast-growth boardroom. This is something that I’ve run with clients for the last probably four or five months. It’s it’s a new opportunity to, to work with me because most of my work has been private coaching for the last 10 years. But this is a way to combine coaching with content.
This is part of the content series and then community like people getting together. There’s a lot of fast-growth leaders that are not, they want to be with other leaders and learn from what’s going on. But we’re all here to be extraordinary leaders to create high-performance teams and to create an increase in value of our companies.
I think everybody can stand behind that. Is that fair to say? Important days to remember the next coaching call is an the first Friday of August. So that’s where we talk about challenges and the goal. And then. Later today, I’m going to ask you, what are the other challenges you face? I see I’ve got just basically one question with four potential answers and it helps me shape what the next workshop will be.
And you decide, help me determine what that is. So that’d be the third Friday of August, and we’ll do that later. Special dates. We do a Porsche thing coming up in September. So in the boardroom, you’re going to be a part of the Porsche leadership experience. It’s something we’ve done, small group of people that, that are leaders and founders that want to learn about leadership and grow drive fast cars.
So we got a winter leadership experience coming up in January and we’ve got something in may, most likely dune buggy. So all that being said, here’s our agenda today. And sorry if I’m rushing, I just know that there’s a lot to cover and if I need to slow down, just let me know I’m from the south. So I normally talk much slower.
But I’m excited about sharing this with you. The the agenda is about how do you prioritize projects? We’re going to talk about some of the, the things that you’re doing and the discussion really is where the richness of this conversation is. We’re also gonna look at beyond time management. So I know people want some tactical things that are going on, but we’re also gonna look what’s beyond that.
How do we take it to the next level, whatever we’re doing and we’ll learn from each other, and then finally making the shift that’s a little bit unclear what that is, but it’s meant to be, because I think the real key to you managing your time is knowing what the shift is. So that being said, we have a confidential rule.
We have a lot of fast growth companies out here. Please don’t share anything that you feel like is, is damaging to the strategy of your business. But this is a safe space. If you’re something you want to talk about even personally and ask questions, make sure you do that. We don’t have as many people as we have had on here before, but we do have a lot of people.
So be as succinct as possible, this is a chance to really test your communication skills and get to the heart of it very quickly. We’re all smart, capable people. We can, we don’t need all the context, but we may ask for it if we need it. So just be succinct if we can. And then the question I usually ask in something like this is how would you sabotage yourself if you didn’t show up fully today, would you check email if you found your, if you get a little being notification or would you go to social media and check out that, or would you check out your project management and see what’s happening?
Just be mindful that if you really want to get the most out of this, don’t sabotage yourself be fully present for this conversation. Is that, is that a deal I promise to be fully present for you. If you could give it back to me, that would be FinTech. I read this. Does anyone not know who Seth Godin is?
Raise your hand if you don’t know who Seth Godin is. All right. Kurt Seth Godin has, I think he’s written 18 bestselling books. Most likely you’ve probably heard of purple cow or tribes. He was on my podcast. He’s an incredible speaker, incredible kind of thought provoking person. He’s got the number one blog in the world, I think certainly on marketing.
So if you don’t know who he is, that might be a good one to look at, but he recently wrote something in his blog about coaching. And I thought I’d share it with you today because the really interesting thing about is we watch you know, you may not watch a lot of sports. I don’t watch that much sports, but you look on sports and you know, every one of those athletes has a coach.
Everyone on the field has a coach that has someone to help them push them beyond where they are today. The Olympics is coming up. Every one of those athletes has a coach. We don’t think anything about it. In fact, if they didn’t have a coach, it would be a little bit odd. Can we agree to that? But in business coaching, isn’t quite the same because it’s work.
It’s, it’s things that we’re comfortable doing. We can just put our head down and just get it done. And that’s part of the problem, because just getting the work done actually is more short-term thinking than long-term and you guys are really meant to be long-term thinkers. And so Seth wrote this about, it turns out that the people with the potential to benefit the most from the coach are often the most hesitant and precisely because of what coaching involves coaching involves, changing the way you think, what you believe, which is.
I’ve had coaches pretty much all of my professional career as an entrepreneur for 20 years on and off different coaches for different reasons, because I’m willing to put myself in the hot seat and grow beyond where I am today. I’m not saying this self servingly, it may seem that way, but I want you to really challenge your own beliefs today.
This isn’t a coaching experience. This is more of a, kind of a conversation workshop, but just be mindful that there are places you can grow from. And I thought we would start there. Here’s the first question that I’m going to ask you guys to participate in and you can unmute yourself. I’m not, I’m not only if there’s background noise, we’ll mute you.
But what’s the most important thing you must get, right? To double your company revenue. You guys, do you have an answer for this question?
Is there a right answer or are you just looking for, where are you in that process? I will give my answer in terms of just scale in general is what we like to call given the way your Legos. Okay. What does that mean? Meaning when you’re growing, when you’re in a very rapid growth company, you have a certain amount of tasks and responsibilities, and in order for the company to scale and for you to grow, you need to continually give those tasks away because new things are coming.
I liked that I did not make that up. That’s an article. Yep. I think it’s continuing to bring in incredible people and always just leveling up your talent.
I hear that quite a bit. We’re not going to get into hiring today, but just kind of quick question. Is anybody having trouble hiring right now? Raise your hand if you’re chopping. Okay. Bringing talent on board. And I, and I actually clarify, and it’s every level of the organization it’s figuring out how to bring in the right people at various levels.
We’ve got the right talent level throughout sort of every layer of the organization. I think that’s been something that gets more interesting over time. As you get bigger, you’ve got to build out multiple layers of management and you know, the farm team and every team. And so that’s, I think an important part of here for us.
Perfect. Robert, we are you just coming in a little bit late? You missed a little in the beginning, but you haven’t missed the real heart of the content. What we’re talking about right now is the double question. What’s the most important thing you must get, right? To double your company revenue. So who else would would add to this before we go?
I’d say having the right clients and in my case, yeah. I think everyone can relate to that. Sorry for my handwriting, it’s a little bit hard to be completely focused on you guys and have clean hand in writing. So this’ll be a little bit messy having the right clients is very important. It lowers the stress, right. Has anyone ever had a bad client? They’re not worth it?
Are they? And so that’s certainly one of the things that will double your company has the right clients. Anything else that, that we need to get out of? So Jean, first of all, it’s Rob. Sorry. I’m so late. I’m so sorry. I was late. I just was finishing up another call. No worries. For us it’s about delivering massive value because then we, we save money on post-implant acquisition because they stay with us.
They’re they’re repeat customers all of that good stuff, but it starts with making sure that they are absolutely delighted with the service that we offer. Love that. So we all have different things, but I think we’d all say as, as leaders of companies, these are all important, right? Delivering value, having the right clients, getting the right talent on board and consistently giving up the tasks that are in front of you so that you can make room for other stuff.
And that’s, that’s really what the heart of today is. We could talk about this probably for the entire 90 minutes, but we want to dive into some of the details. So prioritizing your projects is one of the most important things that you can learn, how to do. There’s a lot of things out there that we’ve talked about, what’s urgent and what’s important.
And we’ve looked at those things. I’ve had one of the cubby sons, I think on the show before really interesting concepts of being distinguished between urgent and important. Do you guys know what that means? A lot of people get confused on, on it, but I want to look at different view today, and this is just a tool I use.
And you can kind of make a mental note of where you are. I use this so that we understand where do we need improvement and where are we critical people development. So if we go back to, to what Kurt was talking about is talented people. One of the formulas to bringing on talented people is to make sure you’re developing the people you have and the new people that are coming on board want to be a part of the development process you have.
That makes sense. And so if talent is something you’re doing, then you want to make sure that you keep you move this up to the top. Does that make sense? I don’t know where you are on this does is anybody know that they need more help in people development.
Paul, appreciate that. So the idea is for you to be able to, to, to make up a mark on here and say, this is where we are. I’m not going to ask you to open up. You know, client success. It’s interesting. That was exactly what Robert just talked about, the value that we’re creating, the client stories that they’re telling into the world and make it easier for you to bring on new clients.
Where are you in this process? Are you just getting the work done? Are you truly, you know, playing at the highest level you can, financials are the numbers where you need them to be. I’ve talked to a lot of people who had great years last year, I’ve had, I’ve had a lot of people in the show that had terrible years because of COVID.
But if I, a lot of companies that were growing really fast, but their financials aren’t exactly where they need to be. So that’s, that’s something that they’re, they’re, they’re putting down here. I won’t go through the details of this, but it makes sense, right? Just to understand where you are and where you need to, to, to have attention.
Does this make sense? My question for you. And again, I want, I want your feedback as how do you prioritize your projects? Is there something that a tool that you use a rubric or something you can share with us that we learned from you about how you’re prioritizing your projects?
Oh, go ahead. Go ahead. Yeah. Two tools that we use, one is EOS. So quarterly, we will sit down with each management department and talk about rocks. Basically that starts with an issues list. So everybody just shouts all the issues in the organization and those eventually become rocks or opportunities.
So basically you have an entire issues list and then you refine them because you’ll have duplicates. And then after you refine them, you rate them. And then after you rate them, you assign them to a department or a person. And that person has 90 days to finish. So that’s one of the primary tools and we use Zoho projects to sort those tools and assign them to people and monitor the Gantt chart of when they are complete.
And at what stage they’re at, how many employees do you have? Tyler 20. Okay. I think a lot of people would say no with 20 employees, it should be easier to do this without this, this level of structure. But I know from, from experience that having a system that everyone understands the language of like EOS can really help you as a team speak that same language and move forward and be aligned.
Have you found that to be a benefit? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So we’ve historically used. OKR is very similar. We actually killed this quarter somewhat surprisingly because it felt like we were setting a lot of arbitrary things and then keeping score for the sake of keeping score versus really helping drive us.
So we do the same exercise on a quarterly basis of sort of ranking things and building a product roadmap, but we’ve gotten rid of actually a little bit of the formality around the whole thing here for Q3 and trying it out kind of separately. I think it’s a matter, a little bit of the management team I have right now that are very self-starters and are very good at just getting things done, to be honest.
And I think it matters a lot, what your team makeup is in terms of the structure you need around this, w we use OKR is also, it’s very clear. It sends uprise wide. It’s transparent. Everyone has my permission. If, if what they’re doing is not aligned to an OKR, they have my permission.
Perfect. Does anyone need to explain what OKR is? Are there any where you kind of feel like a little bit? Okay. So those are definitely two tools that we can use to stay aligned as teams. And that’s, that’s really important piece because having a structure way of talking about what the company is, is facing and prioritizing those projects is critical.
Is there anyone else that has another way to prioritize projects that we haven’t discussed?
Same concept, just, you know, slightly different tools in terms of how we do it, but the same. Okay. Here’s one of the things that I found to be a benefit. This book’s probably behind me and I had one of the authors on this. Are you guys familiar with this book? The one thing. It it’s written by Gary Keller.
You’ve probably seen Keller Williams, a huge real estate company out there. And he was looking back with his, his own internal team and saying, you know, what has made us successful? And they want it to be the number one real estate company. Right. And in the world. And they yeah. Organized it and ended up writing this book.
And this is the key question on the book. Some books you don’t need to read the book. If you need more depth, obviously you can, but this one key question was in there. What’s the one thing I can do such that doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary.
I don’t want you to answer that thing because I think it needs a lot of reflection for you. But a lot of companies that are growing fast have too many initiatives on their plate. They got to get all their stuff right. From marketing and sales. And I know all these things are important, but can you get it down to one?
Can can people really rally behind that one thing that is most important. Do you see, I see the power of this one question. If you can live by it, it will change the way the team aligns around the work. It’s a very simple concept in this book. It’s a simple read. I’m not asking you to put homework on your desk, but I just want you to, this is one way that a lot of people prioritize it.
We do it in our own company. We know which system in our business is the most important and we protect that system with everything are the reason I do what I do is because I have systems behind our business and we have a limited team to get out a lot of content and create the space we have today. But this one question will help you.
All right. So I want to talk to you a little bit about what gets in the way of you prioritizing your work. I call these things. So, if you were really honest with me, what gets in the way of you guys prioritizing the work
babysitting adults? Okay.
I don’t need an explanation, but what does that do to you? It takes away focus from management to vision and help prioritize higher level responsibilities and delegate those appropriately.
I think it’s in the same vein, but just HR issues. Cause they’re just the most unexpected thing. Do you have an idea of what’s coming down the road generally and then some random thing pops up with a human and you have to deal with it. I’ve had many CEOs come back and say to me, this whole work thing is easy, but the people part is the hardest part of what.
You guys can look for that. I think all of us have to learn how to, how to do this on a better basis. Anything else that gets in the way of prioritizing? I mean, this for me is the lack of shared vision and understanding. So, and this is where OKR is, are absolutely critical for us, but, you know, from those exactly what they should be working on, that makes prioritization relatively easy.
But when you know, everyone’s got great ideas and I’ve got a company full of folks that want to run down rabbit holes and and chase squirrels. My job as CEO, my number while I’ve got a couple of jobs when I’m chief culture officer. But secondly, my most important thing is to say no to a lot of stuff.
Yeah. Keep his focus. That’s my job. I love that you say that I actually have a quote a little bit later that you’ll probably remember about saying no to things. The word I pick up on the most here is a shared vision.
When you have a shared vision across everyone on the executive leadership team, not, not just not even thinking about that, how much easier is your job,
because they should be filtering out the stuff for you. They should be keeping people aligned in their teams and they should be coordinating together just like you expect them to do as the executive leadership team instead of you having to run. I think this is funny babysitting adults. So shared vision is one of the primary responsibilities of any CEO, any founder of a company is making sure that first level, that executive leadership team all gets it together.
Now I’ve worked. I coach some executive leadership teams that have been fractured because of, of complexities inside of COVID and whatnot. And yeah. We’ve had to realign. We’ve had to do a lot of work to get past those issues. I want to share with you three areas. We can discuss them two enemies. I see quite a bit that are actually different than these. The first one is, and could I just share one more? Yep, sure. Robert individually goes, so we, you know, I’ve got some senior folks that all, all think they know best and they all kind of want to go off because off piece from time to time.
So it it’s just a matter of recognizing that and somehow having a conversation to align that idea and that ego we’d be with the kind of greater plan is that different than, than lack of shared vision. I think the one is a kind of top down and the other one’s bottom up for me. So top down there, it’s my responsibility to make sure that vision is shared, but it’s the responsibility of the individual and this is where the ego comes in.
So recognize that and see that that’s the right way to go. I’m all about creativity and innovation and folks having ideas about how we can support that shared vision, but it’s when folks and their egos think they know best. I’m not saying I do, but if it’s against the shared vision, then that can be a problem.
I don’t know. Just pure curiosity. Was that something that you noticed when you were hiring these folks or was it developed over time, kind of hiring, especially during COVID and having to do that over zoom is doubly difficult. So put it this way. Last year I was in the unfortunate position of having to fire two, not one, but two CEOs sorry, co.
Just because of that very thing, they, they they came in and they thought they knew best. And I guess, yeah, I’ve got an ego too. But it’s my company and I’ve built it successfully and this is the way I want it to go. So I’m happy to have a conversation, but if you know, the decision is we go a certain way and you insist on or not following that, then you’re probably not right for the company.
My best thing is, is given bonuses and promotions. And the worst thing in the world is having to let people go, you know, what this reminds me of is the challenges that we have when, you know, big personalities and big. We want people to have this level of confidence in it, but sometimes it actually gets in the way of us being the companies that we really want to be.
And our job is as these leaders of these companies is to make sure that people can disagree. But also come to align together. I kind of joke about it. There was a show I used to watch called entourage and they talked about let’s hug it out, being able to disagree, but then hug it out and move forward together is an incredible skill for any leadership team, but also any people that are trying to be adults inside the workplace, you know, comes back to what Kurt said before.
Babysitting adults. It’s really unfortunate that we have to, to babysit anyone inside of our businesses. Especially people that are senior executives, that that should be able to find a way to get along and move forward. But it is something that challenge that we have to learn to lead through. I couldn’t agree more.
It’s not a dictatorship far from it, but it’s not, it’s not a democracy either. I’m responsible for paying salaries then, you know, I get the final say simple as that
I saw that the smiles there, what are your guys thinking about this conversation of, of not a dictator ship and not a democracy it’s spot on it’s it’s not a democracy. And I think I completely agree, and I’ve seen this and also, so it’s a company throughout my career. It’s you, you need to put everything on the table and be honest and open and have those discussions and have different opinions.
And at the end of the day, when the CEO makes the decision, that’s what you rally around and you go, it’s a benevolent dictatorship name.
Okay. Try incredibly hard to give the appearance of democracy.
I want them to be. And like I said, I’m very lucky with my manager, my current manager, the team at this very moment that we’re all very aligned. So I don’t have a lot of these issues at the moment, but I’ve certainly had them. I think it’s leading somebody to the decision is the art of the whole. You know, I want to put just a moment here.
This is the reason why we have these conversations in our community of fast-growth leaders is knowing that you’re not alone because not many people would understand what that means. Even some people probably on your executive leadership team don’t understand what that means. And we all do. We, we, there was lots of chuckles and thoughts and agreement.
So Robert, I appreciate you bringing that up, but we all understand what this means inside of our businesses. And we want to make sure that we are able to move forward when there are disagreements. Once that, that rallying point is decided that we have to be able to do that. So all that being said we’ve got a couple of enemies I want to kind of go through that are different than what we’ve talked about.
So hopefully this will be helpful to many meetings that don’t drive the business. Does anybody feel like they go to too many meetings? Raise your hand? I don’t. Cause I have a small team and you know, we have a meeting almost daily for 15 minutes. That’s basically the, the structure of my team. But you know, we have six people.
But I find a lot of people that are in your positions go to meetings because you’ve always have, and that you’re not less necessarily letting them take over that ownership. It goes back to what Debbie said earlier is giving away the Legos, see how that’s related. Some of you are heavily involved in sales.
I get that. Some of you are really heavily involved in marketing or heavily involved in other aspects of the company. And it makes sense for you to be involved with in those meetings. But for some of those conversations, you don’t need to be involved for everything. Is that fair to say?
I also find that this is wonderful. There’s things to give up because you want to keep your finger on the pulse of everything. But I want you to think about this for a second. I study how leaders can inspire people to feel like owners. And one of the things that you can do is to be able to go to the person that really should be running the meeting.
I know. And maybe it’s, it’s something you already know that you’re getting to like go up and saying, Hey, you know what, this month I want you to run the meeting. I just want to kind of observe how this works. If everything goes smoothly by next. I won’t be coming to this on a regular basis. I’ll be, I’ll be getting updates from you.
I’ll be getting, you know, I’ll come when you need me to, when we move forward, maybe it’s once a quarter. But I want you to take ownership of this meeting. It’s a great conversation to be able to have when you can do that. Does that make sense? So you don’t need to go to every meeting. I will tell you one of my clients, this was years ago, he said he was an agency and they were growing really fast.
And he’s like, you know, we have too many meetings, we just can’t get the work done. And one of the things that they did and I, it just came as a Lark. I just said it like, what if you just didn’t have a meetings on Wednesdays? Cause that’d be stupid. That was his first reaction. That would be stupid. And after an hour conversation and talking to him, he came back and said, I’ll give it a try.
I’ll see if it works. First, two weeks were hard. People complained. Two months into it. He literally said, it’s our favorite day of the week. We’re able to get work done. It’s our highest attendance in the office. This was before COVID. Because people were knew that they could truly come in and use the tools and don’t have to go to status meetings and updates, all this bullshit that that was getting in the way.
And they have evolved that it’s no longer, no meeting Wednesday. It’s no meeting Wednesday afternoon and Monday afternoon. So they do no client meetings and nothing. I think about the time that they are able to focus on the deep work. Does that make sense? I’m not telling you to do these things, but you just, the thing I want to leave you with is a lot of time, what gets in the way of you prioritizing is just showing up to meetings that you don’t need to be at, and that you really want to give people ownership of those.
The second one is, and I want to talk about this for a second is the ineffective balance of long-term versus short-term projects. It’s a little frustrating when I talk to leaders who are know that their company can move and change quickly, but then the next words that come out of their mouth is I know I just got to put my head down and get the work done.
They’re not willing to look at the long-term. They’re not really willing to look at the deeper work that has to be done for them to be better leaders or for them to change the culture of the company. They’re looking at how do we increase sales this month or this quarter? Those are the short-term projects.
How do you guys balance the difference between long-term and short-term projects?
Let me keep preaching EOS. Cause that’s all I know, but we do anything that lasts a quarter as a rock. Anything that lasts seven days, is it today? Back to prioritization every Elton that we have our weekly meeting, which is why I didn’t raise my hand. We don’t have too many meetings anymore. Just one a week.
We basically have to prioritize those to dues and rocks and more. And then of course we have a one-year three-year and ten-year goal as well. And so everything’s just a bigger version of itself in terms of prioritization, but that’s kind of, yeah, we’re, we’re looking for, you know, 20% of the work that can get us 80% of the way there quickest.
So. I I’ll kind of chime in on this. I, I kind of had the advantage that my business is seasonal. And so it, you know, right now we’re, we’re in kind of the weeds of things and at least operationally speaking. And so for myself, I will actually this time start planning and looking at the year, and then also looking at, you know, probably the next three years and how things are going there.
And then as far as the team, when, once things slowed down around December, at least for the operations side, December through April, we kind of start to focus on obviously tackling some of the stuff we would like to implement for the year. And also things we need to think about going, going forward. So it kind of ebbs and flows back and forth like that.
So just, just my thoughts on that. We’re a managed service business and our industry changes just constantly. So definitely a struggle with years. We have to have all hands on deck to address short-term things. You know, we’re working on longterm things in the background. So that gets kind of bifurcating our teams a little bit where there’s, some people are always working on more long-term.
And then having bandwidth ready to jump on the problems that are either client specific or industry specific that pop up in the short run and sort of how we deal with it. And it’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it’s planning for the chaos. That is the short-term thing. Some,
I wonder jump on that. I would agree. I completely agree Kurt. And I think the, we do a similar thing, but we have a platform and you need to be ready for things to happen and you need to be ready for client issues and all of those things. And then it’s the key is sort of making sure those two, those two groups are connecting and that the long-term team knows what the short-term issues are and the short-term team knows what the long end goal is and make sure that it’s all tied together.
The thing you said there, Kurt planning for chaos fast-growth companies is. Is that just any company, but fast-growth companies really have to, a lot of chaos going on. Is there anything specifically that you’ve learned or that helps you manage that chaos? I think accepting it as a piece of it. If you’re surprised every time a fire pops up, it’s going to be a lot more stressful versus I know there’s going to be a fire tomorrow and the next day and this and the other thing and just expecting it and taking it in stride.
I think it’s, it takes the right people in an organization that can live with that level of, I guess, chaos, to some extent, but just making sure your team knows that there’s going to be fires and that’s part of the regular aspect of life versus, oh my God, we’ve got this fire drill. It’s not a fire drill when you’re fighting fires like firemen and fight fires, that’s what they do for a living.
And if you can kind of set your folks up to understand that and be very honest with people during the hiring process of, we just run faster than most companies. Find it may not be the right fit for you. You’re going to have to kind of come to Jesus with somebody a few months ago, or a month ago, she ended up leaving a couple of weeks later, which was the right thing.
But it’s because we had an honest conversation about the pace at which we go, and it was fine when we left as friends, just cause it wasn’t the right fit for that person. But I think there’s an element of setting. The expectation of this is going to be chaotic or busy or whatever the right languages that you use.
But if you set the expectation, it’s not fires anymore. It’s just the pace that you run that, you know, just to put this in context, talk about fast growth. Kurt’s company was number one, two years ago on the Inc list. And so it’s honored to have him here today and they were honored at the Inc conference.
The last one I went to, I don’t know, it’s probably the last one that you guys went to as well. But if you really looking for, to learn from someone who has a lot of cases, Was it, was it 38000% that you guys did when you 30 or 30? 6,680. I’ve got the in three years. All right. So here’s the thing that I love to talk about the most inside of what gets in the way of you prioritizing your work is not really taking your self care seriously.
Does anyone here feel like they need more sleep? Okay. How important is taking care of yourself as it relates to the growth of your company? Do you guys see the correlation Jane? I could go on for hours about this. This is something I recognized a couple of years ago. So now I’ve, I’ve got three hours every morning that apart from this woman, obviously where I’m either in the gym or in the sauna or kickboxing or.
I’m big into into growth hacking growth hacking and stuff like that. So, yeah, nutrition, it all makes a huge difference that a couple of three years ago I was absolutely exhausted. But now I’ve got, I’ve got the energy of a teenager. If anyone wants a once by plan, I’m very happy to share it, but it starts with habits.
I can recommend a book, atomic habits, just whatever it is that you want to change atomic habits as a, as a mechanism to help you make those changes. And from there, you can literally build, do whatever you want to be able to do. So so yeah, for me, that’s like personal health and care. And the rest of it just, just falls into place.
You can get so much more done in a day if you’ve set yourself up properly with the right nutrition, right. Fitness and the right mindset. Do you guys get that? Is there some level that anyone kind of argues with the right nutrition and working out that doesn’t have an impact on your business? I even gave up alcohol gave up alcohol and I take it your English.
So that’s probably, I live in America. So that sensation isn’t there. So you’re still English. Yeah. We have a recommendation on it. I’ve had James clear on the show before, if you guys want to go a little bit deeper into that without reading the book atomic habits, it really does highlight the power of doing small things that will change the way the life works and the energy works inside your business.
There’s a lots of little hacks that are inside that interview. Really taking yourself care seriously is a very important piece to you showing up for your best self. You can’t be the best leader. If you’re overwhelmed, if that’s the common way that you show up every day, there’s no way that you can lead your team to where they need to be.
I say that with just complete sincerity. I know I’ve been there my foot before with my company and my, you know, driving hard. And there are times when I need more sleep. There are times when I don’t work out and I can feel all those impacts. There’s times when I’m not choosing my food wisely. All of those things factor in to you creating space for you to be the best leader you can be.
Do you guys get that in theory? Not in practice. What, what gets, what’s the thinking that gets in the way Kurt of you taking care of yourself? All the other people have to take care of from the work folks, to my wife, to my kids, to family, to I’ve just got to get more shit done in a day than most humans can.
And so the way I do that, it’s not sleeping properly. I mean, I sleep enough for myself cause I figured out what that is. It’s about six hours and that’s fine. It’s not four hours. So it’s a reasonable amount and that’s just sort of the way that I am able to work. But a piece of that is my sanity of, I need some period of time after I’m done working and everything at the end of the night.
And often it’s from midnight till [1:00] AM is just my sanity point. And so I’d rather be awake and have my sanity for that hour, then sleep for the extra hour. So sleep is maybe a little bit different, but to just not enough hours in the day, otherwise it’s very real. What do you do with that one hour? Kind of anything reading, reading, some random article I say for myself, watching John Oliver on what’s on ESPN, just any random thing.
It’s not like I would love to tell you that I sit there and I meditate for an hour. You know, it’s just having a beer watching ESPN. I don’t know it. I will tell you, because I think this is this part of my story is related to this. And to take the hot seat off you. I’ll just kind of share with, I used to work all hours of the day and night.
When I ran a business before this business I was younger and I had to work till midnight sometimes. And I did that in certain seasons of life. And that worked for me when I got into this business and I needed to show up for my clients 100%. I could no longer do that effectively. I didn’t have to because my business is not seasonal.
It is very consistent, which I love, but it is also you know, some of the boundaries I’ve set in place, which we’ll kind of get into in a second, but one of them is that relates to what Kurt has said is I used to feel guilty about watching stupid TV. I used to let it eat away at me because I would watch an hour, sometimes two hours or something just to turn my brain off.
And I realized that it actually provided benefit. Maybe, maybe it doesn’t work for you. Maybe it doesn’t entertain you, but it provides a little bit of escape for me. And I watch something funny or stupid or whatever it is that I want to watch with my wife usually. And know that’s not the best time we have together, but it, we’ve kind of trained ourselves to that turns off our brain.
And every time I break that rule, I have to pay for it. And I’ll tell ya, last night I was re updating this, these the slides that we have here and what we’re talking about today, and this is conversations playing through my head. And so past nine o’clock I was doing a little bit of work, which is a rule that I have is not to work past nine o’clock and I couldn’t go to sleep till midnight or after, because it wasn’t, it wasn’t the work.
I only worked 30 minute. But it was that my brain kept working when I was trying to unplug and go to sleep. And I didn’t get that little bit of TV after that. And so my, my, my brain just kept working. And so I ended up pulling up my phone and finding something I could do. Without disturbing my wife, I will tell you there’s many different ways you can take care of yourself.
But if you say that your working out your nutrition, your massages, your time to, to really recharge, isn’t important to your company. I would argue with you all, all day long, that your ability to take care of yourself so you can pour into others is critically important to the business. I remember reading a quote once.
Jeff Bezos said something about senior leadership. You know, CEOs, a lot of people get it wrong. They feel like senior leadership of a company should be, you’ve got to work even harder and harder and harder. His, his mindset is I expect my senior leaders to be the least hard workers of everything.
Cause I expect him to think more than anyone else. And to do your best thinking, you gotta make sure that you absolutely are prepared for that time and not overwhelmed and, and trying to catch up on, you know, zero inbox or whatever. It may be. All those things don’t really matter. The end of the day. It may make you feel good for a moment, but you gotta work on the most valuable work for yourself.
It’s all this helping you guys. Robert said it well though. Three hours a day is a lot Robert in the morning. Well let me share something. So I ended up burnt out and on a depression medication. That’s when I started to take it seriously and yeah. I’ll say two to three hours each day. I’ve I have not taken a prescription drug for some time now.
Not for anything. It, it makes a huge difference. I’ve got energy for, I get more done in a day. If I spend those two or three hours in the morning doing what I need to do for me. And then in the evenings, it’s another habit I switch off by seven, eight o’clock and yeah, it’s either crap TV or some, some awful game on my phone or something just to switch my brain off and then I can go to bed.
I sleep like a baby.
Robert, thank you for sharing that. I think that’s wonderful and applaud you. And it’s so nice to have this conversation and hear people do exactly what I do and have that shut off time. And Jean, it really, it really resonated with that. I call it at home. I call it shutting off my brain and if I go too far, I call it, I missed my.
There is a window of time in the evening that like, if I, I had got to go to bed in that range or I missed the window and then I’m up for the night. And one other thing that I think Jean, that you said was really, really resonated with me is more time for thinking I w I actually wrote a blog called welcome to the C-suite stop doing and start thinking.
Cause it’s really hard, especially for I’m an operations person. So people who come up through the ranks of operations, your job is to get shit done. And it’s a, it’s a leap when you go to the C-suite and you really have to help your team understand that, that, that is their job is to think. Yeah, pick a couple brains around here because I, I feel I’m pretty good at like, I feel like I get my sleep disconnect and have a good routine of working out, but I think the challenge I have is it just, it just doesn’t emulate to my any of my leadership team, you know, they’re, they’re great people, they work their butts off, but I I’m, I’m really resonating with a couple of what you guys were saying, like getting the stop, like doing, doing and thinking.
And I just kind of like to pick a couple of brains if that’s okay for you and are feeding. Yeah, go ahead.
Delegation. I mean, delegation is always a ton of things to giveaway to Lego’s thing and getting your team to do that. I’ve had some more junior folks kind of step into senior roles and it’s been really challenging to get them to let go and let other people do. Great advice about that one, but just encouraging people to learn the lessons that you probably learned in eight lean didn’t realize you were learning, I think is really important.
And it just forcing delegation of like, no, you cannot do that. Make this person on your team, do it. Like, I’m not going to let you do that. I made somebody do that last week. He was like, no, I’ll just do it. I’m like, no, you’re not doing this. Make XYZ other person do it. And I think it helps. I don’t know he’s getting better, but it’s not easy.
And we’re not all the way there. Yeah. Kurt I’ve done the same and you have to train their muscle. You have to get muscle memory for them in terms of doing that. Absolutely. Another thing we do is I ask our executive team, but also our senior leadership teams to sort of that next level down to block off time.
Like we literally, you can’t have meetings 24 7. You’re not going to get anything done. You need to block off that time to think. And as an organization, we’ve also started to implement something called a deal, drop everything, and learn time to really have the entire organization focused on learning and carving out a couple of hours each week, or, you know I think when we did some math to figure out exactly how much it is.
So some people do that in small chunks. Some people do it, you know, they block off an afternoon, but what’s your, what’s your time to learn and focus for us. You know, I’ve got this thing about working smarter, so nobody and I mean, nobody is allowed to come to me with a problem unless they’ve had a think about it.
And they have come up with at least three different options on how they might want to tackle that particular problem. And other times I’ll say, well, why don’t you think about that? And come back to me, you know, folks now recognize that, ah, they, they need to do that as a habit that they need to get into.
And that’s that’s made a huge difference. So at least we can have a discussion about potential solutions then rather than them looking at me saying, well, you’re the boss. You you’ve come up with something. And then secondly, just a slight tangent every Wednesday, and this sounds extreme, but every Wednesday I blocked the whole day and that’s my day for working on the business and not in the business.
So it’s blocked. Nobody can book anytime on a Wednesday for me. This is when I take time to think about the authors that I want to catch up on some of the training that I need to do personally, some of the bigger, more strategic issues that, that need some attention. That’s my Wednesday for me. It’s non-negotiable, unless it, unless the company’s burning down, you can’t call me.
You can’t do anything. I’ve got the day. So I’ve got some, some authors I’ve got, I’m happy to share that particular favorites of mine, but they encourage me to think. That’s when I do my best thinking on a Wednesday. And from there, I’ve now in a position where I’m able to. I positioned the business for sale.
So just, you know, where going through that process right now. So without that day of working on the business and thinking about things, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t be put it this way. I wouldn’t be looking at the numbers that have been thrown at me right now. I think the business would be the worst for me not having spent those Wednesdays over a period of time.
You know, what I’ve noticed is a lot of people have resistance to something like what Robert just talked about. I’m taking Wednesday to work on the business and think and visualize and, and craft vision and set goals or whatever it may be. Maybe it’s just looking at the challenges and the roadmap forward.
All of those things seem like it’s busy. You know, it’s, it’s not productive time in some, in some shaping her mind because it’s not going to reflect at the end of the day or at the end of the week that you got something done. But if you don’t have that time, no one else in the business is thinking about it the way you are.
No one else is focused on the future, the way you are. And that’s probably what Robert spends a lot of that time doing. In my opinion, we all have to make time for that as CEOs. And this is part of working on the most valuable work, the most valuable work for your, your business is that thinking, not just the doing and not just going to meetings.
So we could go on and on about the, probably this one topic, there’s a few more things we want to cover. I’m not going to go into the details of this. I, and I can give you guys the slides after this is done, or I can actually cut out just this piece where we talk about your time chart, but the idea I’ll explain what these, these categories are, but for you to rate yourself on your time, I’m going to go backwards from this freedom.
How many completely free days do you take where you’re not thinking about work? You’re not even emailing people. A lot of people don’t even take weekends. I think we need time to recharge and, and we need space. We need to have vacations where we’re not working. I took two weeks off. I just came back yesterday from a trip to Vegas, which I don’t like Vegas, but I was mostly in Colorado for a week.
And it was a family trip. So it’s very different than a, than a vacation because vacations just with me and my wife. I don’t know if you guys know the difference. Family trip is very different energy than vacations but free days or where you’re not working at all. And so if you really rated yourself on, do you have enough of those to truly give you the balance in life that you need and to recharge, then you’re going to give yourself, you know, strong.
Or epic. If you don’t have enough, then you have something you’d probably want to work on personal time means time to, you know what Robert said, taking two or three hours in the morning to recharge and really go to the gym and sweat it out. I do the same thing. I, I have personal time that I build into my calendar.
Do you, so you’ve gotta be able to see where you are on this chart, family time. If you got here and you didn’t have the family that you’re in the connection and love, I would argue that you’re really not on the path that you want to be on. Are you truly giving or family time? The best of you are the worst of you?
I know that’s a big question, but if you’re exhausted at the end of the day and your kids want you to play chess with them and you don’t have time for it, don’t have the energy, something you really, really, really need to think about leadership. Time is the time to develop others. It’s not about getting the work done.
I have one of my clients recently sales leaders that he’s trying to develop in a go, he goes, we meet every week for an hour and we talk about the pipeline and I go, but that’s not leadership time. That’s just working. It is literally just going over where the prospects are. What’s going to close. What’s not going to close.
What’s getting in the way, who are we hiring next? That is not leadership time. That is collaborating and working with this person to get them aligned together. I suggest another meeting where you just talk about their fears or their what’s getting in the way of them truly taking ownership of this work.
You guys see the difference between leadership time and just work time. Visionary time is the time to think back to Robert again, that time to truly look at the future. What is, where is this industry going? How do we make sure we stay ahead? How do we disrupt ourselves? All of that, you gotta be able to rate yourself.
Impact. Time is about getting the word. Working on your most valuable stuff. This doesn’t mean your email. This means you actually are getting the work done. It’s necessary for you to move forward. You guys see in this chart and how, if you, if you figured out where you were on this, I randomly put this in here.
You might know what you need to work on. And if you guys want this, just let me know. And I’ll, I’ll share it with you. The kind of curious, what are your best time management strategies?
And it will tell you guys, we need to be a little bit more succinct here because we’ve got a few more things to go through, but I am, I am kind of curious when you think about time management, what works for you? Time blocking works for me. In case people don’t know what that means. What does that mean to you?
You know, setting aside the specific time to do this specific thing, or, you know, if it’s planning, setting aside that time to do the planning or whatever, and then, you know, limiting it to that time as well, so that it doesn’t run on for longer than it. Should. I love that. I know when the example is you do gay men, is you you do RFPs mostly once a week.
Is that right? Right. Yeah. Got that Tuesday morning time blocked out for that. And most of them happen then. Okay. Perfect. What else is working for you guys? Time management.
I guess I’m just extricating myself from as many meetings as possible. So we kind of talked about that earlier. I used to be in sort of way too many meetings and I just, unless I need to be there, have just taken myself out of things so that I can address whatever pops up on a daily basis, I guess. Okay.
So I, it’s almost the other way around is I cleared my schedule to be able to address things that pop up versus blocking things in my schedule. More. That sounds weird. I guess. I don’t know
anything else that you guys want to get out. Thing on only the things that only I can do sort of building on all of that. What are the, what are truly the things that I have to do that other people cannot do? It’s back to the whole delegating and making sure that you’re focused on.
Sometimes it’s hard to write all this stuff. The, probably no surprises in here for you guys, anything that you guys do that might be odd or kind of counterintuitive that you feel like we could learn from
all right. Let’s look at this kind of curious, how many of you raise your hand? If you have a, to do list,
I’m like the only one that doesn’t have a, to do list. Do I want to have a, to do list? And then I look back and I didn’t do the things and let’s do lists. So it’s really a source of stress. It’s a Stressless, is that fair?
I used to be big into planning and to-do lists and I stopped. Maybe I read something or heard it, but I just stopped doing it. And I, I do different versions of sometimes I, the bottom of this is the list of three, which is what are the three most important things you need to do? The bottom, the very bottom of this, that the MIT is what’s the most important thing.
And I put these concepts in there cause these things that get floated around but they all work to help you stay focused on what you’re doing. Do you guys do like a, a list of three or a most important thing because any of those? Yep. I do. Which one do you do? Robert? The list of three. So those three most important things.
And I make sure if I get nothing else done that day, anything else is a bonus, but I have to do those three things. I think of learning I’m horribly I’m disciplined today is really what I’m learning about disaster. Well, that’s one reason why we have these conversations. I, you know, if it works for you, it works for you.
And so this would just, these are just concepts that are floated out there. I’m just going to say Kurt, I think you’re doing okay 1000%. But we also know that that you have to change over time. Maybe you have to get a little bit more organized or maybe a little bit more disciplined, whatever the word is.
There’s always a level of growth that we have to be clear where we are today and where we’re going to the core of my coaching work with clients is literally getting them to understand how are they being today versus how are you being to be the leader that you really need to be? I know Robert talked about his morning routine.
Does anyone else have a morning routine that not to share the whole detail, but just like that really gives you the energy makes you start the day real well. Yeah. During the pandemic to give context pre pandemic, I work in downtown Boston. I live outside of Boston. It’s the worst traffic ever. And I would leave my house before five o’clock in the morning today.
Sure. I’m here before six. And with the pandemic, I started a routine of sitting on the front porch with my husband and having coffee for half an hour. And that sort of the bookend of the beginning of my day, then doing a workout. And at the end of the day, because he called me out for working too much. At the end of the day, we have sort of like a mini cocktail hour on the sort of like, it’s the, it’s the way to bookend my day and have parameters while working remotely.
Cause I was just working all the time. And what percentage of the day do you start out like that during the Workday? You mean out of the five days a week? Probably four to five, depending on the week. Awesome. Yeah. And you find what works for you and that, and that. I think that’s, what’s really key key here is in the morning routines is some people, it doesn’t work to work out in the morning.
I get it. I do Brazilian jujitsu at night. And so days when I’m doing Brazilian jujitsu, I may not work out in the morning, but I do love my morning workout. So my routine is not always the same, but I do have a routine. Does anyone not have a routine? They just kind of get up and kind of do whatever happens in a shocking turn of events.
I’m not great about it all the time. During the school year, it’s a lot better because we take our kids, I’d say three plus three or four days a week while we’re kids at the bus stop. And my wife and I will go for a walk for about half an hour or 40 minutes when it’s not a thousand degrees in Arizona.
So that was actually a really good thing that happened during the pandemic. It was a great way to. Start the day connect with her, which was fantastic. Most the rest of the time, it’s just sort of whatever’s happening. It’s [7:00] AM and I’m on this today versus, you know, whatever was going on the day before.
I don’t know. I don’t, well, I appreciate you being here and, and I think that walk, if you really just say that gives you energy, it’s something that I would protect. Yeah, for sure. And it became something that we will carry through past the pandemic. It was one of the best things that we did for us, for health, a variety of things.
It was really good. So I was grateful for that. That’s the idea of being intentional about what really serves you. And we’ll talk about energy in a second, but what gives you energy? Is anybody doing anything like end of day, that we could learn from, do you make out your list of three at the end of the day for the next day, is that what you do?
Yes. So, yeah. I don’t do that much with end of day planning. I kind of like leave it all out there and I’m done. I wake up in the morning and I want to have a fresh mind, so I don’t do that end of day stuff. My end of day is like watching some stupid TV. The end of the day, I, I, I can’t go to bed until like, I know things are in the right place.
So I do, it’s not inbox zero, but like I need to run through and make sure I’ve gotten all of the things moved around that needed to be moved around. And they’re going to get emails at one-on-one. I’m not asking them to do anything, but I just need to advance the ball here and there. So I guess that is my end of the day that we could clear the deck.
A little bit of things are in my court. I want to make sure I heard you well, you send emails. I do. And I know you’re not supposed to, but I don’t do anything normal or right. But like my team knows that I’m not expecting them to respond to. It’s just, I need to get things moved around and advance the ball.
And that’s just the way that we work. Okay. This I won’t, I won’t play with, if your team knows and you set this intention, this is not done it too, but you know, it, you know, wake up in the middle of the night kind of thing, but maybe look at it. And the first thing in the morning, whenever you check email you guys understand the dangers of emailing in the middle of the night, right?
Everyone does. We’ve had very express conversations about it and there’s different people on my team that, you know, there’s the [5:00] AM people. I’m a [1:00] AM person, not a [5:00] AM person. There’s people in my team that are people getting up, you know, attacking the day. And that just doesn’t work for me.
And we’re very honest about that. And th that, there’s not an expectation around that. It’s just what works for me. There’s an interesting thing that’s developed through COVID, which is the power. And I’m probably can’t spell this word, asynchronous
asynchronous work. Right. And that’s what Kurt was just talking about his best time of working, maybe till two midnight or whatever, before he picks up and read something. And so he may send an email at that time and someone may pick it up at five because that’s the best time they work and things can flow when people have their attention.
That’s right. For them. That makes sense. Right. But a lot of companies have never made space for that asynchronous work. That’s the reason why there’s too many meetings because they feel like, oh, we need to get together. We need to be face-to-face. Do you guys have seen a benefit through the COVID or on this power of asynchrony?
That’s the reason why tools like slack and project management tools allow us to stay connected without having to be in meetings all the time. And those tools are pretty powerful. We haven’t talked about anything specific and I don’t know if, if you guys have a couple of things that you could share on your calendars, what do you do on your calendars to make sure that they’re working?
And I call this a system because it’s something that will help you improve over time. What do you guys do there? I block off particularly during COVID. I try to have it be an hour. It often ends up being 30 minutes in the middle of the day. That is to hold, just to reset. I am definitely the [5:00] AM person, not the one I am person.
So I start early and I find it’s very helpful to have that point in the middle of the day. My assistant knows that that’s my, if I see if it says, hold you don’t. The whole time
you guys understand that? Yeah. W we operate in a similar way. We have an internet based team calendar. Everyone can see everyone’s sign. If they choose to you, don’t have to, you can select your views. But if, if the, the first word in mine is block in capitals it’s, non-negotiable, you don’t try and book me at that time.
Love that I will share with you one of the things that I’ve done calendar wise. I had to go back in time to figure out what, what was a normal week. And this is probably not even that normal I color code my calendar so that I can see exactly where I’m spending my time. I have my clients in red. So stuff like this clients, I have podcasts interviews and.
So that did four or five that week and potential clients then green. It helped me see exactly where I’m spending my time. And if I showed you my calendar today, you’d see it. It’s there. Know exactly where I am. Today’s client day. I just came back from vacation. So a lot of, a lot of conversations coming up next color coding.
Your calendar is a quick way to truly look and see how you’re spending your time. My team actually knows how to color code it for me. So I have some does anyone not have a VA? Okay. Okay. You know, you know what they say about not having a VA, right? If you don’t have a VA or someone, an executive assistant, you are the executive assistant.
I hired a virtual office manager that starts in two weeks, so three weeks. So I’m getting there. I, I much prefer to deal with my own cannibal. It’s just something that was done and I totally get that. I just, I have a lot of reschedules and things like that. So my team knows when you know the rules behind this, and that’s really part of this understanding to build a system email systems quickly.
What would, what would be the things that you’ve learned at that help you with your email?
Does anybody try to get zero inbox? Nope, not zero, but whoever’s laughing. I mean, like I said, I use it as my, to do list and by the end of the day, if I can scan through and know that I’ve advanced all the balls, that’s I guess kind of how I keep score from my to-do list a little bit, and I will email myself things to do.
Cause I know that. So I guess if you keep it to do list, it’s my inbox. I email myself constantly of send this, do this, whatever it is cause I’ve got a nice list and I can archive it once it’s done. So maybe I manage it to do as different. And I’ve got a personal one and you know, my personal email, I know it’s a personal things to read this article work.
You have to take care of X, Y, Z meeting or whatever. I will say that I recommend not doing this, but if it works for you, absolutely keep doing it. But usually your email list is a collection of other people’s to dues, and it doesn’t allow you to work on the most valuable projects, if it is your way of keeping things organized.
I totally get that because I’ve, I’ve tried that system before. It didn’t work for me. But if it’s not my to do, I just thought that I guess it’s off my list. Like I know that I’ve done whatever I had to do with that one thing, but it’s not on me to do. I just, it’s not my inbox anymore. You know what I mean?
I used to do that. Oh, sorry. Go ahead, James. The archive is one of the best features I think of, of my inbox is the ability to just take it away from where I am. I can always search it if I need to, but I could just, just completely archive things. What are we gonna say, Debbie? I was just going to say Kurt.
I totally used to do the same thing and I actually use one note for that now because it’s on my computer, on my phone, wherever I am, it can be like, oh yeah, crap. I have to do that. And it has a little checkbox and I have issues about being able to check things off, like makes me feel better. So that’s very helpful and it’s centralized.
And I never tried to get to zero inbox cause it’s impossible. But I do try to keep like the things that are flagged and need to kind of go get followed up on within the week. And I’ve tried all these things. I’ve tried getting up and being more in person. I’ve tried making to-do lists. I’ve tried that.
I use Google keep for awhile. Just looking. I still have that thing on my phone. Doesn’t work. I try to be this organized and wonderful. I’m just not, I don’t know. I would S I would kind of say you don’t have to be as organized as you think. I mean, as a CEO, you’ve got to work on the most valuable work, and it’s usually not in the to-do list, right?
The most valuable conversation that you’ve got to have with someone who’s not aligned and not on the shared vision, that’s more important than getting to zero inbox periods. That’s why I take Wednesdays. I couldn’t agree more, but Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Yeah. Other people’s to dues and operational type shit.
Wednesdays, no, no email, no, nothing. Just, what do I need to work on? Love that one thing that we do in our, I have, again, an executive assistant who goes through my inbox is we use the stars that allow us to determine what the priority of something is. And there’s three colors inside of Google. One’s red, one’s green, one’s yellow.
And so red tells me it’s an action item. Now I went and found some of these things. We also do a pretty good job of using tax. So that I can quickly scan through this and they’re literally tagging things so that I know what’s most important
and you may be using a different system, but this is what has worked for us. And I, I do, I have some training programs that go a little bit further into this that I give to my clients. I don’t sell any of these things individually, but all about email and calendars, I told you I’d bring something up.
The difference between successful people and very successful people. Is it very successful? People say no to almost everything. Can anyone argue with that? This goes back to, to this word focus. One of the things that has heard Warren buffet talk about. It really. He goes, when I first started my investment business, I kind of like, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do everything I wanted to do.
And so I kind of made up this number and I think the number was 15. I would have 15 deals that I would do in my lifetime. And so if I only had 15 deals, is this deal special enough to do? Now we know that he’s done. He’s had, you know, what, 50 years or something inside of this, this career, he’s done more than 15 deals.
But he looked at every project. He had said, you know, I’ve got just a limited amount of space. Does this qualify? Does this really fit? And that’s the way he’s looked at his life and his growth. It’s probably something we could all learn from is saying no to more things. I want to quickly look at this. There’s a difference between time management and energy management.
You guys get that right? You want to make sure that you understand this one question. When do you do your best critical thinking and decisions? Do you guys know when that is for you guys? Robert is probably Wednesday for you. What time on Wednesday is the best, absolute, best time for you to think about things critically.
I’m a more of a morning person. So, so my kind of energy wanes a bit throughout the afternoon. So if I, that my, my top three items still comes into play on a Wednesday, but I have a different list of things that I need to look at. Yep. So more strategic things. So yeah, number one gets tackled first. So that’s the most pressing thing that I need to think about that at that point, is anybody not an am person for, for their thinking
Kurt? When is, when is your best time to think tends to be at night when everybody else is just doing. It’s both honestly got the shower is probably my best time to come up with random things and think about things like truly, if I get to be in a shower, it would probably help more of my life. But then at night, just cause there’s a piece to the whole thing.
And I’ve, you know, once I’ve kind of advanced the ball, gotten all my things done, taking my family stuff, taken care of what other people needed from me from work. It’s that like 10 to [1:00] AM time is when I can just sort of think about things and work on things myself. I commend you for being able to do that and that doesn’t work for me.
But knowing your best time to think is very important. You probably don’t have to protect that very much. Cause it sounds like the family’s going to bed and you’ve got that time alone. Us morning people, we have to protect that time to think. Debbie, you probably know what I mean. Like it’s very easy for you to be able to sit down and maybe do email or process something.
But if you’re tying to think is in the morning, you want to protect it on your calendar. So that makes sense. Yeah, it does. And I have the extra bonus of not just taking a shower, but makeup. I find I have a lot. I have a lot of good thoughts while I’m putting them in. Yeah, we got to have that time. Debbie, it looks like he uses a little makeup Curt.
So time when you do your best thinking, and I’m not going to go into this, but I will. We’ve talked about this a little bit. Understand your boundaries. I added this kind at the last minute. You want to be real clear about your boundaries? What I mean by this is when do you stop work? When do you truly unplug so that you don’t miss the window?
Like Debbie said, when do you take meetings when you make decisions? You got to set up these boundaries so that you’re not just reacting to the day, you’re actually proactive in a way that really supports you to bring your best energy, your best thinking and your best self to these moments. I was just going to say, I think what I just described as my best time to do it as maybe not my best time to do it at the time that I do do it.
And so I’ve convinced myself as my best time to do it in all honesty. So I think it’s a reactive honesty answer. Not probably the proactive when it should be honest answer. Yeah. I, I mean, I would encourage you to really think about that because the best time to think you’re going to have the most clarity and the most energy to in that moment so that you’re not just overwhelmed.
If it works for you, it works for you. But I appreciate you sharing that with us. I’m going to go through this really quickly because we’ve got eight minutes left and I always end on time. Making the shift a big part of your time is about you shifting the way you think about things. What, what you just talked about is, is really a belief that you have, you know, lived with.
And a lot of people have beliefs that they can’t get much done if they work out in the morning. We’ve all looked at this and Robert shared with us, you know, his, his routine. I know that you can change the way you think, but it’s hard reflection. Time is very important to be able to do that. Reframing, understanding how to, to really gonna disconnect things and look at things differently.
Challenging any old beliefs and expanding your percent perspectives are all very difficult to do by yourself as one of the values of coaching is one of the things I do with my clients, but you’ve got to be able to do that. Mean, could I say something about reflection there, so, yep. And underestimate the power of, of a gratitude practice and also meditation, a couple of things that work really well for me, I expect they’re not for everyone, but that’s part of my morning routine is just as, okay, why I’m here, I’m breathing, you know, getting into a kind of gratitude mindset is, is, is key for me.
And then when I, when I do need to push that mental reset button, just 10 minutes, 15 minutes of meditation, and I’ve done the right way, just, just, it just gives me energy for the afternoon. So that they, they worked for me. They might’ve worked for everyone, but I thought that was worth pointing out here.
I totally on board with the gratitude. And everyone knows what this is. Everyone knows the power of that focusing on what you have, not what you want. I want to make sure I understand the meditation. You do that in the morning or the afternoon. Whenever I needed a reset, when, when my day’s been particularly interesting and I’m feeling like I’m losing energy, then I just take myself away for 10, 15 minutes and just close my eyes.
I’ve got a particular podcast that I listened to and then I come back totally refreshed. It’s it’s amazing how that works.
The mindset shifting is the critical element that you have to do to be able to shift your time and shift your energy toward the most valuable work. It’s hard, but it’s necessary. One thing that was shared in one of these workshops a few weeks ago, I’ll just, this is goes back to delegating is he was having trouble letting go, letting go of his Legos.
And he was had a common belief that they don’t know how to do it, which was true. He goes, they didn’t know how to do it, but he shifted the mindset to think that people are awesome, that they can figure things out. And this is one of the founders of this conversation. And some people came up to me afterwards and was talking about the power of this, but he started to believe that people are awesome.
What happened at the end of this was he started delegating more and people started surprising him and how much they could do and how much they were providing value to the organization and how happy they were to do it versus they don’t know how to do it. Do you guys see that it’s a shift in thinking we’ve got to be looking for those opportunities and it’s hard.
I’m not going to go into the details of this. This is, this is, I wanted to bring some of the deeper work I do with my leaders, but I’ll just give you the highlight of this. If you want predictable growth, there are three big things that you need to get, right? You need to get the right. Team aligned, working together, shared vision.
You also need the right systems that are really protecting the company and moving it forward in a systematic way systems that provide predictability Kurt. You guys probably have a lot of systems in order to create the kind of growth that you have. And you also have to look at you. Those are the three things that really play into predictable growth.
What usually gets most of the attention is team gets number one systems gets number two and you might be getting number three. If I go back and think about what Robert has shared with us about his burnout and, and all the stuff that he struggled with, he decided to probably make himself number one so that he could serve the others.
Is that fair to say? You guys see this, the power of being able to look at this. I’m not, I’m not saying any of you are burnt out, but I do work with a lot of leaders that feel overwhelmed and feel like they’re heading toward a burnout and that they can’t get ahead of themselves. So one of the things you have to do is shift your identity.
You guys, none of you guys are down here in this place. You’re not going to doers anymore. And for some of you, you’re not the managers, but managing the work and managing the chaos is important, but you’ve got to meet, you got to move up. This, this kind of pyramid, you’ve got to become the better, the leader more times than not.
And eventually you’ll be the Visionaire. And you’re the partisan part about this that you have to understand is in order to get to the next level, you’ve got to let go of the identity. Do you, you were. At the previous level. Do you guys understand this concept of identity? It’s like if I said, you know, someone said I’m a dad or not a dad.
I am a dad. I mean, it’s just the way it is. It’s just part of who I am when you are the doer. That’s just the way it is. You’re the soldier down here. Can’t read that, but you get the idea. You’ve got to understand how to move from the next levels. So this kind of wraps up today. What’s the biggest insight you’ve got out of this so far.
I’m not alone. Yep.
I think that I’m not being honest with myself in some ways that I convinced myself that I’m effective in ways and that things don’t work for me, but it’s just that I haven’t prepped put in the time and effort to make them work as much as I should. I’m glad you got that from today. Glad you showed up Kurt.
Anybody have any other insights I can share? Like I need to take it care of myself a little bit more as I’m craving caffeine right now, lacking a little sleep. Perfect. Well, I am kind of curious if you guys have the chat function, which one of these would you like to be in the next workshop now?
Only my client’s car coming, but I’m just kind of curious. What, what, what are the challenges you’re dealing with? Do you want to do better one-on-one meetings you want to do be a better decision maker,
[understand the converse, difficult conversations or unshakeable confidence. What’s the most interesting to you guys?
I would say one on one little bit full conversations. Yeah. Okay. I would say difficult conversations.
Anybody else weigh in on this sign? I love them, but I’m sure I could be better at them. Okay. Perfect. Almost unanimous. All right. So I leave you with this. If you expect others to, to manage their time. Well, and to be engaged with work, you want to make sure you demonstrate that you want to make sure you become the greatest example in the behavior that you seek.
If you want people to show up, burned out, then go ahead and keep doing the things that make you burned out because they will learn from your example, you have to lead by example. This means that if you want people to show up and think for themselves and bring their best energy to work, you want to do the same thing.
You also want to demonstrate that you take care of your. That you take care of your family. All of these things are important for you to be the best leader you can be. You can continue doing what you’ve always done, and this will just be a blip in the moment, or you can let it shift you to play at a higher level.
My hope is that you want to play at a higher level. If I can help in any way, I’d love to help you. This is not a sales conversation, but if you think I can help you, you want to be a part of something. I’m doing conversations on a regular basis. Let me know. I’m trying to start a Facebook group around this.
I hate Facebook, but it is probably the best way to, to connect with other leaders. If you guys want to be a part of something, it’s it really is not that active. But I want to make sure that you’re aware of this. Any questions today? No, thank you for the invite and for the time I really appreciate everyone’s insights.
Today was great. Yeah, well, it’s right at 1130. I really appreciate it. We have these conversations every month and we, we do other things around this too. So if there’s something that you’re interested in, make sure you reach out. I’d love to talk to you. I’m good. Thanks guys. Nice to meet you all. Thank you.
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.