Marie Elena Rigo

In this episode of Deep Dive, The Futur’s Matthew Encina and Mark Contreras talk with executive coach, Marie Elena Rigo.

Deep Dive: The Pressures of Leadership
Deep Dive: The Pressures of Leadership

Deep Dive: The Pressures of Leadership

Ep
76
Mar
30
With
Marie Elena Rigo
Or Listen On:

The pressures of leadership.

In this episode of Deep Dive, The Futur’s Chief Content Officer, Matthew Encina, and Futur Video Content Producer, Mark Contreras, talk with executive coach, Marie Elena Rigo. They discuss their struggles with communication, leadership and the invisible pressure of working here at The Futur.

Marie Elena Rigo is a consultant, facilitator, trainer, and coach here in Santa Monica. She’s worked with several marketing agencies, social services, and mental health organizations to help transform executives into effective leaders.

With over 25 years of experience and a master’s degree in spiritual psychology, Marie brings a unique approach of her own to helping others develop personally and professionally. She mostly focuses on communication, self-awareness, and using experiences to apply skills to groups she coaches.

There’s no cut-and-dried method to becoming an effective leader, but Marie lends her expertise as to how you can start. She starts by highlighting one key phrase that opens the door to trust and collaboration between teams and leaders: “What are your thoughts?”

This simple question, when asked in an authentic tone, shifts a task from being just something that needs to get done, into an opportunity to learn what your team is thinking about. It’s important to show that you are listening and present to the conversations that unfold.

Oftentimes, teams are under the impression that the leader knows everything that needs to be going on. Conversely, sometimes leaders believe their teams already know everything that needs to be done.

This inevitably leads to miscommunication or loss of direction, but it can be easily avoided when there’s room for discussion and clarification.

Listen to the full episode to get a peek into the minds of our management team. In this candid conversation about what life is like under our roof, we reveal everything—warts and all. This episode is a long a one, but well worth the listen.

Hosted By
special guest
produced by
edited by
music by
Appearances

Episode Transcript

Greg:
Hey, it's Greg. We've got another Deep Dive episode from a while back that I think you're really going to enjoy. In this one, Matthew Encina and Mark Contreras speak with licensed therapist, Marie Elena. They talk about their struggles with communication, leadership, and the invisible pressure of working here at The Future.

Let me tell you, they get real in this talk. It's a very transparent discussion about what life is like under our roof, warts and all. This is a long one, but I think it's well worth a listen. So grab a snack, get comfortable, and enjoy our conversation with Marie Elena (chill background music).

Matthew:
[inaudible 00:00:38] these things. Um-

Mark:
Yeah, we call it the after hours.

Matthew:
After hours.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Like I said-

Matthew:
Because it is after hours, almost. [laughs].

Mark:
Not on my watch [inaudible 00:00:46].

Marie:
At least depending on what industry you're in, right? If you're...

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
Many industries are working till 10, 11.

Matthew:
Yeah.

Mark:
And then the after hours start at two AM, [laughs]. No...

Marie:
[laughs] Right, yeah. Well even for...

Matthew:
[crosstalk 00:00:57] They have shifts, they keep going. They go around the clock. 24 hours.

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
Yeah, then it's really hard to be, you know, empathic, and have good communication because you're so overtired, and your biorhythms are off, that...

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
You know, it's hard to be present, and be conscious about the way you're communicating.

Matthew:
Right.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
That's, that's super interesting, because I think about my, my father.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
My father, the whole time we grew up, he's worked the graveyard shift.

Marie:
Wow.

Matthew:
So he's worked from like 12AM, to six or seven.

Marie:
Mm.

Matthew:
And my mom, she worked during the day. So they were always apart. There's like, a little overlap where they were...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
In the, in the house at the same time, but they did that strategically so somebody's always home with us...

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
When we were young kids. But I know my father always had communication issues...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
And like, I think a lot of that rubbed off on me. He's a lot better now. He's retired.

Marie:
As are you.

Mark:
[laughs] [crosstalk 00:02:01].

Matthew:
But I know that that was something that's interesting because I never thought about how that might affect your, like, like your ultradian rhythms, or just like your, just your biology, right. Because your body is not meant to work from those hours necessarily...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (negative)

Matthew:
And it's used to getting the vitamin D...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Matthew:
And being productive during the day, so it's interesting. Like, my brain is just percolating now because I'm mapping it to him and my experience growing up, which is, which is... I don't know where it's going to take me, but it's what I'm thinking about.

Marie:
Well, what comes forward for me is like, your cortisol level goes up when you don't sleep, or when you're missing sleep, or you get poor quality sleep, or your sleep is off of a natural, like bio...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
Biorhythm or biocycle...

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
So, when that happens, it puts you into kind of, a stress response state...

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
So everything is kind of catastrophic, right?

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
It's like, you drop something on the floor and instead of being like “Oh, I dropped that on the floor” it's like “Oh my God, I dropped that on the floor!”

Mark:
[laughs]

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
You know, so everything is more intense...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
And you know, I even think about myself if I have a tough night's sleep and the way that I interact with my kids, right?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
It's sometimes a little short and, you know, I try to be conscious about explaining to them why...

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
And then, what's great about kids is they're, they're just so pure, it's kind of hard to be mad at them for any length of time.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
Um, so they kind of take you back to being present...

Matthew:
Mm.

Marie:
And for me, at least, it's about okay, well, I really need to watch what I'm saying right now because they're looking to me it's like with binoculars on.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Matthew:
Mm.

Marie:
And actually it's correlated to leadership. I'm reading a book right now that I really like called um, “Setting the Table” by Danny Meyer, Danny Meyer is a restaurateur in New York...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
He had like Union Square Café and Gramercy Tavern and Tabla and Eleven Madison. I don't know if you're familiar with any of those. But he's applying the rules of hospitality to business...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
And um, anyway, he talks about uh... in, in the, in the book he says many like, really wise things about leadership and management. One thing I really like that he says is when you're hiring, you should look for 51, 49% EQ technical ability...

Mark:
Hmm

Marie:
So sometimes when we are hiring we are look for people who are really competent and great at their craft...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
Verses have strong interpersonal skills...

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
And when he's hiring, he looks for the flip...

Mark:
I see.

Marie:
It's 51% EQ...

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
Ability to, you know, relate to people, interpersonal communication skills, things like that, and then 49% technical ability.

Mark:
Mm.

Matthew:
Mm.

Marie:
And um, and that's, you know... it's a better recipe because you can always teach them on the technical stuff.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
The other stuff is a little bit, it's a little bit harder.

Mark:
Right.

Matthew:
Right.

Mark:
Right.

Matthew:
So in that book, or in his restaurants, does he have a process where he is able to teach EQ, the empathy, the self-awareness? Is he able to teach those soft skills?

Marie:
Well he has uh, he does what he calls rounds, similar to the way a medical doctor would, right?

Matthew:
Mm.

Marie:
So, cause he has so many restaurants, he would go around and...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
To each restaurant and make sure that he is at each one at least a certain amount of time during the day.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And I think his philosophy is this thing called gentle constant pressure. So, that there is, you know, a reminder always of what the standard is, and then everybody understands what the standard is, and that there is an agreement about it. I think he uses the word expectation, but the way he describes it, I would say it's an agreement when he does the hiring that people are on board with providing a level of service that is different than maybe what they would get elsewhere.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And, another thing I love about that book, he says there's this distinction between hospitality and service. Service is the delivery of, of a product...

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And hospitality is the way that the delivery of that product makes the recipient feel.

Mark:
Mm.

Matthew:
Hmm.

Marie:
And with leadership, it's the same. It's like, you can say something to someone and give them direction, and there's a difference between just telling them to do something, like okay I need you to go, you know, bring in 7.5 million dollars with the revenue this month, versus really delivering it so that you feel empowered like...

Matthew:
Mm.

Marie:
To be a part of the process and the larger, the larger whole of the organization.

Mark:
I see.

Marie:
Right?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Mark:
But what does that look like? So if you're to deb... disseminate some type of um, you know, request to an individual rather than just saying here's the goal, you should do it...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Mark:
Like how do you make that more um you know inviting to the person so that they can participate?

Marie:
Yeah, I think it's about inquiry.

Mark:
Okay.

Marie:
So one key phrase that's really helpful in any conversation is: What are your thoughts?

Marie:
It sounds so simplistic and if you're stating something and you want to make it a conversation versus a monologue, you invite someone in to the conversation by saying “Well, what are your thoughts?”

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Okay.

Marie:
And you have to say it in a tone that's authentic.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
That you really do care...

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
What they're thinking about...

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
Because so much of what a listener takes away is less about the words and more about the inflection, the tone, the volume, the body language, the eye contact. Those kinds of things are much more powerful. It's actually only 7% of the 100% pie...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
Is actually the words...

Matthew:
Hmm.

Marie:
54% I think is bone, uh, tone, volume, and inflection. And then there's the body language...

Matthew:
Body language.

Marie:
And then eye contact.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
It's really interesting. So to invite someone and say what are your thoughts.

Mark:
Okay.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And then as you have that conversation, even if you have different opinions, and you're in a position where you need to make a decision and send someone off with a goal, you have to find a way to ensure that they understood what you want them to do.

Marie:
So, many times what happens in situations like that is a boss will say to someone, okay I need you to do this, and the person will go, okay. And they may even be writing something down in their notebook, and you know, the boss will go on, or the leader will go on and on about what needs to get done...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And they nod, right?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And then, okay great, meeting's over.

Mark:
Right.

Marie:
And then off everybody goes. And they come back and typically it's, they have different um, some... they bring back something different than what the request was.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
So in order to make that happen differently, it would be, so here's what I need you to do. And then the person, you would ask, it's called reverse active listening.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm.

Marie:
So the person sitting there um that's taking in the information might say okay. And if that happens, then the boss's responsibility is to say, okay tell me what you heard.

Mark:
Mm.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And then the person can repeat it back...

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And if there's any discrepancy in what the person is saying, then the leader has the opportunity to jump in and say actually, let me clarify that.

Mark:
I see.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
And from there you can make an agreement, set some markers, milestones, and then that becomes a process of accountability.

Mark:
I see.

Matthew:
Right. And I think it can work the reverse way too.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Right, sometimes uh people who work under a leader expect them to have all the answers, but sometimes the leader will also assume that everybody understands what is being said.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right.

Matthew:
So this tool works both for the leader and for the person receiving it, who is receiving the order. So, actually I just wrote about this today, where when I do critiques, I do it this way. Um, I will observe something, it's like I feel. I feel this way because.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
I feel this way because of this specific things. What I recommend we go is do this, and here's why, because I feel like it needs to address this goal or mas... or something that we're aiming towards, so that's how I realign. But at the same time, a designer or artist or somebody who is working with me can use those same tools if I'm not being clear.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
So if I say, you know, I want this to be more exciting, they could turn around and ask me those same questions. Well, what do you mean by exciting?

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
What part of this should be exciting? Is it the speed, the tone? The colors?

Mark:
Right.

Matthew:
What does that mean to you? And then how will we know when we get there? So it's kind of like a double...

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
A two-sided thing...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Where it doesn't like, I think leaders have to be really good at empowering their team...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
And setting the example for sure, but I think you as a, you know, if you're working underneath many, many layers, you still have the ability to get clarity on goals and, and, and work on your own communication skills because these are the things that are going to make you more valuable and move up.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
Well and that reminds me of leaders that lack great, clear, directive communication often need staff underneath them who are willing to manage up in the way they are talking about.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
So, if they're in a conversation about what, setting goals or on a project...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
That the staff will say, so if I'm understanding you correctly, you've said X, Y, and Z. Is that accurate?

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
So that the...

Mark:
You kind of just put it back on.

Marie:
So that the the leader can, it's like they summarize...

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
And I do this in every conversation I have with a... you know, whether it be a client or you know an organization is after the meaning, I will go ahead and summarize, so this is what I heard. Tell me if it is accurate. Did I miss anything?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
So that I'm making sure that whatever I heard is actually what they meant.

Matthew:
Right, right. And that's a form of showing that you were listening...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Matthew:
And that you were present.

Mark:
Right, right.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
So, I just wanted to take a moment here to introduce you because I know we just dropped in live here and you know, I just wanted to give a little bit of time for us to warm up on the conversation, but also for audience members to come in, so this is our after hours series. I'm not Chris Do. Chris Do is not here,

Mark:
[laughs].

Matthew:
So we wanted to try something a little bit different. Uh, today we have Marie Elena, and uh, maybe you want to introduce yourself to the audience, or introduce yourself to me. You don't have to look anywhere.

Mark:
[laughs].

Matthew:
I know, it's weird.

Marie:
Yeah, well I'm happy to be here and I met Matthew through a client of mine at [inaudible 00:12:24] an agency who uh spoke very highly of him and just thought we should meet um that we would hit it off, and of course, when I first came to have a conversation with you, we thought it would be like half an hour and we ended up talking for two hours.

Mark:
[laughs]

Marie:
So, that was great. Um, I'm a leadership coach, trainer, and facilitator, and I work with helping leaders become conscious and effective. And that's my goal and I focus a lot on communication and self-awareness and really using experiences to apply skills. So I might teach or train a certain group of people on different modules within a leadership curriculum and then coach them one-on-one um maybe twice monthly to make sure that those skills are getting anchored, and then they come into the sessions with problems, challenges, things that they are dealing with in the workplace...

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
That then we can pause, slow the conversation down. They have time to think and process.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And then explore different points of view, different ways to resolve an issue that they may have done differently in the past.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
I see.

Matthew:
Yeah, I think it's interesting that there's even a profession or position like yours, but it makes total sense because if you look in an organization, usually the employees look to the leaders.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Matthew:
But where do the leaders look?

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Mark:
Yeah.

Matthew:
They might look to the owner, but just, no where else to look or seek in terms of well, what about me? Because I think a lot of leaders, I think the good leaders are very selfless...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
And they're not selfish.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Right, they're the ones who are being good servant leaders...

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Who are giving so much of themselves, because they know if they allow their employs to be the best version of themselves, that is the most productive for the company, right. That's the best way they're going to scale all the... everything that's good about that company. But at the end of the day, you have the leaders, well, who's the support for them?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Mm.

Matthew:
And so it's interesting. I think that's the reason I wanted to have you on because some of our audience, they're in this position.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
You know, either they're right in the middle and they're kind of getting pulled in all different ends, or there are such high expectations of them, and I feel this quite a bit working here, um where they have to deal with these types of pressures and there's not necessarily another outlet where they can either vent to or seek advice or comfort or try to figure out well what do I do now that the pressure's all on me.

Marie:
Yeah, and I think that a lot of leaders are, it can be very isolating because you feel like you have, you're often privy to information that other people are...

Matthew:
Mm. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
You know, less aware of, um and it can be, it can be a lonely space.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
And just as professional athletes, you know, the coaching profession came out of athletics and sports and acting. That's where it, you know, it originated. And if you think about it, professional athlete, they would never be without a coach. Right?

Mark:
Right.

Matthew:
Right, right.

Marie:
And leaders, for some reason, if they arrive at a certain level in their career, um some of them feel like, well why would I need a coach?

Mark:
Right.

Matthew:
Mm.

Marie:
And really what the answer is, is like, that's the best time to have a coach.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
Because you're kind of by yourself at the top of the pyramid and, and now, well, in theory you are.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
I like what you said about servant leadership and sort of flipping that pyramid upside down and saying, and, and I do share this with a lot of my clients, and this is how I approach my work, which is how can I serve?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
How can I serve you? How can I serve today?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm.

Marie:
Um, what can I do to serve this organization? And I encourage my leaders to think the same way, which is, if you have multiple staff underneath you, they're not there to serve you. You're there to serve them. And it's a really interesting shift in a lot of people's mindsets.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And it takes a minute to understand the value of that. And I'll never forget that there was um, um there was uh a client that I was working with that I was given a lot of feedback from his staff and I had to put together the feedback in a format that I use, which is a productive format for feedback. It includes the feedback itself, an acknowledgement about the person...

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
The value or the benefit to the person if they implement the feedback, and then what skill or training they need to, to make that feed, feedback, or to make that change. And so, you know, I was, I was... I presented the feedback to the, this point, um, is the president of the organization, and a few weeks later I was meeting with one of his direct reports who was a VP, and the VP said I think he's making a lot of progress.

Marie:
And I said “What makes you say that?”

Marie:
And he said “Because when I was meeting with him one-on-one, he said 'What can I do to serve you?'”

Matthew:
Wow

Mark:
Ha ha.

Marie:
Yeah, and I was like, that's so cool. I had an impact, you know?

Matthew:
All right.

Marie:
And I think that kind of question is so powerful, right?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Because it makes the staff feel like they're so important...

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
To you, that you would serve them, as a leader...

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
And that it does flip that hierarchy thing...

Mark:
Right.

Marie:
On its, on its head.

Mark:
And you were talking about vulnerability, so uh that really plays into that servant leadership because to the people that work for you, when they see that vulnerability, it's like, okay well now I don't feel like you're just a boss telling me what to do. I can have voice and you'll listen. I think that's how um you know a good leader should kind of carry themselves, but something that's difficult to learn.

Marie:
Well it's also difficult if you have a lot of leaders that are ego-based, right?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So we talked about this I think before we went live...

Matthew:
Mm.

Marie:
And how much ego can um be a detriment to leadership.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And true leadership is about being humble. I think you used a different word Matthew, but I'm, I'm thinking about the vulnerability part that Mark mentioned.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
So, that's showing that you're not perfect. You have flaws, you do make mistakes, and you're willing to talk about it.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Right. And what that does is it models it for them, so then they're willing, and a... they feel like it's possible for them to make a mistake and it to be okay. And then you, that translates into a culture of learning...

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And growth, versus everything has to be perfect and if you don't get it, you're out of here.

Mark:
Right. Not a dictatorship.

Marie:
Right. So the vulnerability part is so important, and it, and you know, in our society for years it was thought of as a weakness, and really in my perspective, from a leadership perspective, it's a strength.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
If you're able to do that and show vulnerability, that's a really, really important leadership quality.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). How do you advise someone that is maybe more soft-spoken to be assertive in that way but still carry, you know, that vulnerability? Because me myself, I feel like I'm a little more soft-spoken,

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
But I still feel like I can improve how assertive I am when I talk and um explain things to people.

Marie:
Mm. So tell me more about that part, that last part about you feel like you could improve on becoming more assertive.

Mark:
Right. Um, maybe it comes mainly from my approach. I think I'm a little bit more soft in delivery...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
In how I talk, and I think that's just my upbringing...

Marie:
Uh-huh.

Mark:
Uh my parents were very kind of um, you know, very open and comforting.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
You know, they weren't very um, you know, demanding and kind of directing, I would say, so, that was, you know, in our household. But for myself, I feel like when I'm speaking to people that I'm trying to delegate work to...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Um I sometimes have trouble trying to be very clear and assertive about what is expected...

Marie:
Mm.

Mark:
And what the need is.

Marie:
Yeah, and I think, I just want to acknowledge you for being a quiet leader first and foremost...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Because I think quiet leaders are undervalued in our society. There's um there's a misperception that the loudest voice in the room is the most intelligent...

Mark:
Right.

Marie:
Or the most important, and what I've observed is that the people that are quiet, are speaking when they really have value to add.

Mark:
Mm.

Marie:
And, you know, in terms of delivery, it's really, it's really about just being clear and setting up those agreements with whomever you're giving that direction to. And I think that you can do that in whatever way feels authentic to you...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And if your way is more nurturing and you know calm and quiet verses assertive and directive...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
You gotta own that. That's, that's a really positive influence in the environment.

Mark:
Got it.

Marie:
And you know, is there any, is there anything inside of you that feels like you're giving them an out by being... is there less of a... a goal-oriented uh expectation on the table? Or is it... tell me more about the softness part.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Maybe it's more in how I carry myself when I speak rather than the thoughts and ideas in explaining what that goal is. So maybe it's more, like you said, like, um... I come from a more nurturing...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Kind of background, so I think that's the way that I carry my voice...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
And my tone. I think that's maybe the bigger part of it, but when you were talking about tone and delivery, you said that's a large percentage of how people accept or listen to the information that they're um...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
That they're taking or giving. Um, so I...

Marie:
So do you think it's a problem? Because I see it as an asset.

Mark:
Mm... I guess, cult... maybe traditionally it's seen, like you said. It's, it's not seen as um, you know, the typical way that leadership is done.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
So I uh, maybe that's just my opinion of it...

Marie:
Turn it upside down...

Mark:
And just, yeah. Okay.

Marie:
I say go for it, you know. Be, you know, you have to be who you are.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
You have to be authentic. So there's, you know, if there were a question about a lack of clarity in the actual thing that you were talking about or the delivery of, you know, if it's unclear expectations where people aren't understanding you or thinking that there's not a hard deadline on something...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Because they know that you'll be nice to them...

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
If they don't make the deadline, is it that? Or is it...

Mark:
That's part of it.

Marie:
That is part of it.

Mark:
Yeah, yep.

Marie:
Okay. So then tell me a little bit more about the question. So if it's someone that you give a deadline to, and they think, well that's just kind of a quasi-deadline because he'll be okay if I don't get it to him by, by Tuesday.

Matthew:
[laughs] Right.

Mark:
[laughs].

Marie:
Is that what you're talking about?

Mark:
Yeah, maybe it's part of being clear on the exact deadline rather than, cause you know, we set internal deadlines for ourselves.

Marie:
Yeah.

Mark:
And there are also hard deadlines, especially when it comes to some larger projects or when we have more stakeholders.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Um. I guess the question would be, um yeah, how do I become more clear about an actual deadline when we still have internal deadlines, or you know, self kind of directed deadlines that we put there to be ahead of schedule?

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And holding people accountable to those internal deadlines?

Mark:
Yes.

Marie:
Yeah. Well, you know, part of that is the agreement...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
That you make with them versus the expectation that you hold of them, so if you say to them, you know we have these deadlines and you all know what they are, they're all in the calendar, take a look at the calendar...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
It's more about some, some staff will be fine with that because some people do just deliver ahead of schedule or on time, and other people need more markers, they need more check-ins from their boss or leader...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
To make sure, and then you have to build in the time, if there is a problem, right? So if you have your internal marker as a Wednesday, and you know it's a person that typically comes back and there's going to be more work to do on that particular thing...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Then you have to set a different marker for that person, for that staff.

Mark:
Okay.

Marie:
Right, you have to set an earlier marker and do a check-in. So it may require at the beginning...

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
For you to be um a little more hands-on, and one of the traps that we can fall into as leaders with staff that are maybe new or require more follow-up is us doing all the follow-up as the leader.

Mark:
I see.

Matthew:
Mm.

Marie:
And we want to avoid that too. We want to teach and train them to manage up to us.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Right, so it's like, you can sit with them in the room and say, so here are the, here are the internal deadlines that we want to hit. What do you think would be a good uh date for us to meet in advance of that first internal deadline.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And then they're telling you versus you telling them, and what that does, is what? What do you think that does?

Mark:
You've empowered them.

Marie:
You've empowered them.

Mark:
Yeah, and then they feel like they have some control over the situation and not just, I have a task that was given to me and I have no control over it.

Marie:
Yeah.

Mark:
Okay, I see.

Marie:
So that can be really powerful because it's self-accountability.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And then, you can say to them, so what can I, what can I expect or what can we agree to, and by when?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And they can say okay so I'm going to get, you know, I'm going to get you that draft of you know that piece or that product by um by Tuesday because the internal deadline is Wednesday. And then you can say okay well uh what will that look like?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Are you going to email me? Are you going uh, should we set up a meeting right now? So you're going to keep probing using inquiry to get them to give you what their agreement is...

Mark:
I see.

Marie:
They're fully bought in the process. That's empowerment.

Matthew:
Mm.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
Does that make sense?

Mark:
Yes, a lot.

Marie:
Yeah, is it helpful?

Mark:
Yes.

Marie:
Good.

Matthew:
Yeah, I think that um reflects a lot of what we like to teach on the channel here, especially when we uh, we use it in the context of sales, right?

Marie:
Ah.

Matthew:
If you're saying it, you're selling.

Marie:
Uh-huh?

Matthew:
If they're saying it, you're closing.

Marie:
Mm.

Matthew:
So it's kind of the same concept but you know, if you're looking at deadlines or agreements in the office, it's the same thing. If you get the other person to say it, they are bought in, and they are agreeing, because they are the ones who had put themselves up for that versus if you are the one who's just telling, they might be resistant to that thing. So it's, it's kind of, it works across the board. It's not just in sales and it's not just in management...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
But it's just in life.

Mark:
Communication skills in life.

Matthew:
Communication, period. Right? Mm that's interesting.

Marie:
So what are some of the challenges that you have been having Matthew?

Matthew:
For me? Um, since we've made this big change over from client services, working with uh um you know, big agencies and different clients to now working at The Futur where we are autonomous...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
We set our own deadlines and goals and schedules, like, we can do whatever we want, when we want type of thing. It's like it was a huge shift in the company culture here.

Marie:
Mm.

Matthew:
At the same time because we have almost abandoned client work at this point because we are trying to make this venture work as this brand new start up in the content education space, it also requires us to make things happen.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Where instead of like we're answering to a client and a client is saying oh I need this by this time. Now it's like, well, now we have to essentially print money.

Mark:
Mm.

Marie:
Uh-huh.

Matthew:
We have to learn how to make money, make our own way, and that's been a good and fun challenge to do.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
The challenge that I've personally had is there's so many things to do.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
There's a hundred things to do. So what I've been working on is trying to figure out how to prioritize those things, but it's hard to prioritize those things in an environment where it's filled with constant improvers. Especially on the leadership side where, this is really driven by Chris Do, who is the founder...

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
And he's at the top and he's like an amazing person because he's an educator first. So generous with his time, and he's a constant improver. You know, he's a INTJ.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
So he looks at everything, and instead of evaluating work and say good job, he'll say oh you know what would be better? If you did this, this, and this. So next time, you can do these three things and improve it.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Like, that's just his personality. But I think there's two things that are great, you know... there's a thing that's great about that, which is it pushes everyone, it drives everyone, and that's the community. That's the culture here.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
But at the same time, for me, when is enough, enough?

Marie:
Mm.

Matthew:
So I have a hard time because I feel I should be, you know, juggling 10 balls in order to keep up with someone like him, in order to keep up with this environment that we have here, but at the same time you know, I fry out.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
There's certain points where I'm burning out and I know I don't necessarily have to. He's not the person to be like, I need 10 of these by this day. He's not like that. It's just like this invisible expectation, so I feel like constant pressure all the time to deliver, and I'm setting all these crazy expectations for myself based off of what I assume he might want, or what the other people are doing here.

Marie:
Mm. So I heard a couple of things in what you shared. One is that with the organization moving from the type of work that was client-based and service-oriented to now, it's all internally-driven...

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
Content, that it's really more um intrinsic motivation that you have to employ versus extrinsic motivation, right?

Matthew:
Right.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So the clients telling you I need this, and then you deliver.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And now it's like, intrinsic. You have to come up with the motivation yourself.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Now it's like intrinsic. You have to come up with the motivation yourself.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And it sounds like constant improver-

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
... has, uh. you know, this drive, this drive to be better and, and that you've internalized that-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... along with parallel to your own, um, drive-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... for doing great things, always having to do better. And the question that comes up is what's enough? Is that what I heard?

Matthew:
Yes.

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
That's the question. When is enough enough? And it never feels like it's enough. And I enjoy-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... the things I do, but, you know, at the end of the week or sometimes at the end of the day, like today-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... it was a very challenging day for me. I'm exhausted.

Marie:
And so you mentioned that there was, um, an assumption. You used the word I... you know, "I don't even know if I need to be doing this much because I'm assuming that he wants me to do more."

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
"And at the same time I, I just keep doing and I don't even know how to prioritize it." But I'm wondering-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... it, it... about that assumption in there.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
It's like what is, what is the connection between what you think that Chris wants you to do versus what's driving you-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... to do more and always achieve more, drive more, take on more projects.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Se- uh, several things. I think one is trust.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
I feel like he's entrusted me with a lot of people here-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... to be responsible on the company's behalf.

Marie:
Okay.

Matthew:
So, you know, act in the company's best behalf no matter what you're, you're doing. And I don't... He doesn't really care how you do things.

Marie:
Uh-huh.

Matthew:
He just cares about the results. Like we get something done. "I don't care how we get there," like that's his personality.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
So there's this immense level of trust-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... but also that's the pressure that's on me, right?

Marie:
So you feel the sense of responsibility.

Matthew:
Right. I'm, I'm holding his baby, his, his company.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Like I got to make sure that it's going to survive and do well. Because like I mentioned earlier, this is the first year where we- we've pretty much not done any client work-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... anymore because we want to focus on building the second company. But to make the second company happen, we really have to sprint, we have to grind, and we have to meet our goals at every quarter.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
And it's tough. It's not like before. It's very, very different. But again, the... How we get there is kind of up to us.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
So I think that's what's driving a lot of it. I feel the sense of responsibility-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... for this thing to happen.

Marie:
So you mentioned that sometimes at the end of the day you feel fried-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... or at the end of the week.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Um, and that it's exhausting. And I know you shared with me that you were out sick with the flu, which totally took you down, right?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And so I'm just wondering how your body is reflecting back to you. What is enough? Do you have any insight?

Matthew:
It feels like I'm... I've gone above and beyond.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
So my energy level right now at this moment is quite low.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
And, um... So my body is telling me you need to take a break.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
But then I look at the to dos and how do I balance that.

Marie:
Yeah. And you also mentioned that it's a sprint because you have certain goals you need to meet trying to get this new company off the ground.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And so the question that comes forward for me is that how long can you continue sprinting, right? So is there, is there, uh, an opportunity to pause and to think about this as a long game-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... or as a marathon-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... and knowing that if you sprint the first 13 miles-

Matthew:
You're never gonna finish. (laughing)

Marie:
... it's very hard to get to go, you know... to mile-

Speaker 1:
Right.

Matthew:
Absolutely.

Marie:
... 26.

Speaker 1:
26.

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
So where are you in that process? What's... You know, we've been sprinting for how long now?

Matthew:
For this whole year.

Marie:
For the whole year.

Matthew:
Yeah. Like probably-

Marie:
So six months?

Matthew:
Yeah. Probably started at the tail end of last year. And then we've just been sprinting nonstop, which is like quarter to quarter. And we've hit all of our goals and it's been-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... fantastic, but it doesn't feel like that's enough. We can ease off the gas-

Marie:
And it still doesn't feel like it's enough.

Matthew:
It feel like that.

Marie:
Wow!

Matthew:
Yeah, yeah.

Marie:
So... And it doesn't feel like it's enough to you or to Chris or to-

Matthew:
Both.

Marie:
To both.

Matthew:
To both.

Marie:
And you're certain of his feeling about that?

Matthew:
It's because of the conversations that we have.

Marie:
Uh-huh.

Matthew:
The conversations are not, "Guys we've done it."

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
It's like, "We did great this quarter."

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
"But next quarter is even bigger."

Speaker 1:
Bigger, yeah.

Matthew:
Right? Like, "We can't iterate. We have to innovate."

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
So that's the... that's also this like we can't just take baby steps. We have to look at how we're going to massively transform this again-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... and again and again. So that's, that's the challenging part. And the thing is we've done it before. We've done it many, many times-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... and there's plenty of evidence of that.

Marie:
Right.

Matthew:
Right? It's through these sprints. It's through these like I'm going to do a Hail Mary and look, we've succeeded. Run a Hail Mary again, we've succeeded. So there's plenty of evidence to show that we can do that. So it feels both great, but at the same time it's like now we're halfway through the year-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... and I also feel exhausted. I don't know if I'm going to finish the marathon if I don't change something pretty drastically.

Marie:
What do you think needs to shift?

Matthew:
Possibly the expectations a little bit. I think the expectations of what we need to accomplish-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... next quarter and the following quarter. But at the same time I know sandbagging it and-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... pu- like kind of pulling the punches makes me feel like if we don't put in the work now-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... we're not gonna be here five years from now. We're not gonna be here next year if we don't put in the work now. So there's kind of like this feeling, this understanding that we have a, a sprint to do right now.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
It's like a proof of concept that in this year-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... 2019, if we could do zero client work and be self sustaining and profitable-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... that this is a good model for the rest of the trajectory of, of our company. But it's, it's tough.

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
And this is why [crosstalk 00:36:09]-

Marie:
And it makes total sense.

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
Like with any startup or with any- anything that you're trying to get up off the ground, there's more-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... there's more input required at the beginning.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So fair enough, right?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And you have to balance that with what your ability to continue to sprint is-

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
.... your personal ability.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
Right?

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
So it's like I hear that the organization needs to do that-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... for an extended period of time. And then you personally have to look at yourself and say, "Okay. Well what's my capacity?"

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And I also heard you say that it's not enough to just create, you have to innovate.

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
Right? And so innovation takes what? What does it take?

Matthew:
Time and expansive thinking.

Speaker 1:
Yeah.

Marie:
And how do you get to expansive thinking?

Matthew:
Apace and challenging the, the norm.

Marie:
Challenging the norms, space.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Then the time to-

Marie:
So.

Matthew:
... let that percolate

Marie:
... if you're feeling exhausted and burnt out at the end of the day, is that where innovation comes?

Matthew:
No.

Marie:
Where, where does it come? Like how do you feel in your body when you feel like you can do your best innovating?

Matthew:
When I'm bored.

Marie:
When you're bored?

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
So when you're, when your body is quiet or your mind is quiet.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Uh-huh.

Matthew:
[crosstalk 00:37:27]-

Marie:
And what does it take to get there?

Matthew:
Um, space, just like being away from things, saturating my brain with a lot of input.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
So if I understand what the challenges or problems are and then just let my brain kind of simmer on that-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... usually that's when the good ideas will come out.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Yeah. So just the, the space, like a lot of intense saturation of information-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... and then the space to process it.

Marie:
So it sounds like what you're describing and 'cause I keep thinking about the sprinter, right?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So literally the sprinter with the big like, you know, leg muscles.

Speaker 1:
Yeah. (laughing)

Marie:
... [crosstalk 00:38:04] sprints-

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
... and then they stop.

Matthew:
Right.

Speaker 1:
Right.

Marie:
And then they recover.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
And then they sprint and they recover. So it's like you with saturation and space, saturation and space.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
What I didn't hear you say was saturation, saturation, saturation, like continue-

Matthew:
No, no.

Marie:
... the process. And sometimes our bodies will tell us like-

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... like the flu will show up and be like-

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
... "It's time for space." (laughing)

Speaker 1:
Yeah. That's your recovery mode right there. Yeah.

Matthew:
Right. It's forcing you. It's benching you.

Speaker 1:
Yeah.

Marie:
And so I think, I mean if, if I'm hearing you correctly, it's like your own body can be your barometer for that-

Matthew:
Right.

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... for your answer to your question on what is enough and when is enough [inaudible 00:38:40].

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
But you maybe would consider... I want to avoid saying the word should, right?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
This is a judgment.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And it might be helpful to pay attention to the signs and signals to avoid getting to the place where you're flat out.

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Right? So a sprinter world, take a lap, walk, lap or, you know, a break-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... versus like sprinting so hard that he just collapses on the ground and can't get up and-

Speaker 1:
Right.

Marie:
... and run again for two months.

Matthew:
Right.

Speaker 1:
Yeah. Then it's too late. So you want to-

Marie:
Then it's too late.

Speaker 1:
Like you're saying, you're... You want to catch those signs before you hit that point of break-

Marie:
Exactly.

Speaker 1:
... so that you don't fall into that.

Marie:
Yeah. And your, and your body is one way. I mean, it's just certainly true for me too. I have... get migraines if I'm under too much stress or pushing too hard.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And in psychology we do this process called gestalt, which is you actually dialogue with a certain, um, part of yourself, right? So I did a dialogue with my migraine-

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... and the migraine was saying back to me and literally you get up and you put, you put your migraine invisibly in a chair. You have a chair and you're sitting in a chair, and you literally sit back and forth, like you get up and move your body into the chair to become that aspect of yourself. And you see what insights show up. And for me it was really about, "I'm your barometer." So if you sense me like showing up, you have to check. Like do, do a check on what's going on, and can you slow things down in certain areas.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
It doesn't mean you have to stop.

Matthew:
Right [crosstalk 00:40:07].

Marie:
But where is it that you can maybe pull back a little so that you can push ahead to finish-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... the race to get through the ribbon?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
You know, where can you draft a little bit, if we use a cycling analogy, right?

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
It's like you're not going to give up. You're not going to get off your bike.

Speaker 1:
Yeah, yeah.

Marie:
But where can you draft-

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
... and have someone else carry a little. And it is a team right here, right? I mean, you're-

Speaker 1:
Yeah, yeah.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
You're part of a team and if the whole team is sprinting the entire time... Like Lance Armstrong couldn't do that.

Speaker 1:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
Or maybe he could, but I don't know. Most people can't.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
Right? It's like if you're human you have to rely on, you know, rely on the people that are around you too-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... to, uh, be able to... It's like a relay race [crosstalk 00:40:53].

Speaker 1:
Take the baton.

Marie:
Yeah, take the [crosstalk 00:40:54]... that's what I was thinking.

Speaker 1:
[crosstalk 00:40:55] for the lack of it. Yeah.

Marie:
The analogy of it.

Speaker 1:
The analogy, yeah.

Marie:
It's like when you- when you're having this phase of a company where it's so fast paced and big growth and innovation all the time and, you know, creating and, and just doing things at a pace that's, um, maybe longterm won't stay the same. It's like how do you set up your team-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... so that one person doesn't end up, you know, injuring their Achilles.

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Right. Right.

Marie:
What happened, uh, today, I think they announced that, right? The-

Matthew:
Yeah. That's a- that's an interesting thought I think because in my position, and I'm sure other people feel this too, I feel immensely responsible-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... for the team and the outcome of the team. So if somebody performs poorly-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... that's on me.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
And I have to report that to the big guy-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... you know? So I think part of it is selfishly or maybe defensively I take on more-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... to make sure that they can still succeed. You know, it's like they can't fail because I'm helping them. Wherever there's failure, I'm going to fill in, wherever there's a gap I will fill in. And I think that's how I look at a lot of these situations where I'm not always wanting to like... I'm giving you full responsibility of this thing you take that. I try here and there, but I think that like the, the core of me still feels like, "Hmm, I don't know if I can interest everybody to do this part." I feel guilty. It's too much work for everybody-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... and I couldn't possibly offload this to another person. I feel guilty-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... for doing that because I've been on both sides of the table-

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... both as a freelancer receiving o- orders and stuff and just have a lot of empathy for people who are receiving orders, and at the same time now I have this... you know, I'm sitting in this seat of power and I have, I can give everybody all the work, all the stuff I don't want to do, but at the same time I feel guilt-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... because of that.

Marie:
So can I ask you a question?

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
How is it that you know what their experience will be? So you're saying you feel guilty giving them this work because you sat in a position that was similar.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And the position was similar but the people are different, right? You are different than maybe someone else-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... that's doing that job now.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
So it's like how do you know that that work is too much for that person?

Matthew:
I don't know all the time.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 1:
Maybe deadlines aren't met.

Matthew:
Um, yeah.

Speaker 1:
... [inaudible 00:43:36].

Matthew:
Like that could be one measure. If I have tried and experimented and-

Marie:
Uh-huh.

Matthew:
... it's taking two, three, four, five times as long as if I were to just do it. There's that... also that efficiency-

Marie:
Right.

Matthew:
... and then going back to the responsibility of-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... me making sure that I'm taking care of our baby here-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... and being smart with the resources that's entrusted in me. So if I know I can do something in half an hour-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... versus if I give this to, you know, a, a junior person here and then they take five hours to do the same task-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... what is... How do I approach that? Like what's reasonable there? Do I make them, that person go through that experience-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... of doing it and spending five hours? Then yeah, they might learn, but I also have the guilt now of am I spending our resources wisely.

Marie:
So I'll say something-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... and then we'll talk about... I think this is a really important issue that you're bringing up. Guilt is optional. The guilt is optional. How does that land for you?

Matthew:
It is... you're right. It is optional. I've tried to think about what that means. The guilt is optional for sure-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... because the extreme opposite side of that is being ruthless in terms of... So maybe I'm looking at that as an extreme. It's black or white rather-

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
... than shades of gray whereas like if I do that maybe it's kind of ruthless of me to make them do this shitty job, you know, make them do this maybe not so glamorous thing. I feel like it-

Marie:
Is there anyone that might enjoy doing the not so glamorous thing?

Matthew:
Potentially. I don't know. It-

Marie:
Does everyone view it as a shitty job?

Matthew:
I, I don't know.

Marie:
I mean, if you think back of like you mentioned there're some people, this is the- their first job out of school.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
And they're, they're, they're just here to learn and absorb everything that they can.

Matthew:
Right. Oh, right-

Marie:
It's like but hearing what you're sharing is just there's a lot of assumptions, right? [crosstalk 00:45:37]-

Matthew:
There is a lot of assumptions and I think it's just, um, mapping to my own personal experience.

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Right? So I, I do make assumptions. But I'll give you one example. Like let's say if I have our crew here and we do a shoot, and then, you know, they spent all day-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... setting something up, physical labor. Physical labor is not something that we technically think of in, in this like design creative-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... space, but there's lots of gear and equipment just to make all of this happen. So I make them work for many hours and then we're all done. Yeah, I'm exhausted. I was here recording the stuff, but so were they.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
And then now I feel shitty if I say, "Oh, can you guys clean this up?"

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
That-

Marie:
So what could you say instead?

Matthew:
Or I try to clean up with them, right? It's like, "Okay. It's house lights on. What do we need to get this done?"

Marie:
Right.

Matthew:
I feel less guilty like that, but-

Speaker 1:
But if you're chipping in and be-

Matthew:
[crosstalk 00:46:26].

Speaker 1:
... a part of it, yeah. Like yeah.

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Yeah. So that's how I try and balance that. But, you know, there's, again, there's... That's one example of where I know I can jump in and at least be side by side rather than dictating, "You guys clean it up now."

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
"That's not my job."

Marie:
Well, there's such... You know, there's, there's a lot of compassion it sounds like that you have for your employees, which is a really valuable trait, leadership trait, is having-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... compassion and really trying to understand what their experience is.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And then there's also this fine line where we start to project what we think their experience is-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... versus what their experience actually is.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And one thing that I'm, you know, I'm aware of is that I, I have less energy now at almost 50 than I did when I was 20. So if someone asked me to stay late and clean up after the long day at 20-

Matthew:
Right, right.

Marie:
... and this is when I... back in my PR days and I worked at an agency-

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
... we worked a lot of hours, and then we used to go out and, you know, either with a client or would just... with the team-

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
... and we'd just have drinks and-

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
... I'd get home at midnight and, and, you know, I'd be... get up the next morning and go for a run or whatever.

Matthew:
Right [crosstalk 00:47:33].

Marie:
Now, like that's not the way it is, right? (laughing)

Matthew:
Right, right.

Marie:
So I have to remember that like what my experience is now isn't necessarily what that person is experiencing.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Like they could have a different level of stamina. They could be a night owl-

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... like my daughter, right? I might want to be in bed by 9:00. She's five and a half. She wants to go to bed at 11-

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Right? We just... We, we, we have to be mindful of that like projection of our own stuff onto our staff.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And then there's this other really important thing that you brought forward, which is a really hard leadership question, which is when do you lean in when you have staff that are less experienced than you are? And I would guess, I'm not a doctor, but I would guess it's similar in teaching hospitals, right?

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Where it's like at some point you have to solo on a surgery.

Matthew:
Right. (laughs)

Marie:
Right? And it's like when as a leader do you know when that person is ready? When is that trust there?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And how close do you have to be to the process-

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Marie:
... to ensure that you're going to keep the baby intact in your arms-

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
... um, and still allow them to learn and make a mistake and grow?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And I get asked this all the time-

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... and it- it's really situational, right?

Speaker 1:
Right.

Marie:
It's like you have to know your staff when you have a little more leeway, a little more time, a little more resources or you're willing to invest a little more resources.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And so maybe it's not the person who's going to take five hours to do the job when you could take 30 minutes, but maybe there is a person that might take two hours.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
And you let them go through and learn that all the way to the end-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... so that they can get that full experience.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And that's a tough call as a leader.

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And just when you have to constantly be thinking, "Okay. Is this one that I should lean in on more or pull back? 'Cause I want to pull back 'cause I want to see them elevate. I want to see them grow."

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
"I want to see them learn this process. They have to learn how to do this thing. I can't always swoop in and do it for them."

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 1:
Right.

Marie:
Even if it saves money, even if it saves time.

Matthew:
Right.

Speaker 1:
Or in the long run theoretically it should save time, right? If that person-

Marie:
Yeah.

Speaker 1:
... can carry on those skills and then learn to do that thing quicker.

Marie:
And that's the idea, right?

Matthew:
Right.

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
You're, you're training up... I mean, as leaders, we're always looking hopefully at a succession plan, right?

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
We want people to be growing and leveling up, if they want to be, right?

Matthew:
Right.

Speaker 1:
Right.

Marie:
So that's like Kim Scott in her book Radical Candor. I don't know if you know that book.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
It's great book.

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Um, she writes a lot about Google and Apple and her experience and time there.

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
But, you know, she talks about rock stars and superstars, and some people really are fine doing a slower growth trajectory. Those are the rock stars. They're very stable in their job. They're maybe, maybe focused in on a technical craft or skill and they want to stay, and kind of, they want to grow but it's a slow and steady and less steep growth trajectory.

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And then there are the rock... uh, the superstars.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
And those people want to leap. They want to jump. They want to get to the next title or the next position fast.

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
So they want to, you know, they want to be challenged regularly-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... and they want to be that task of like, "Okay. We need this done in an hour. And I know last time it took you three."

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Um, so you as a leader have to know like who on your team is a rock star, who's a superstar? Who do you have to keep challenged with those big leaps and jumps-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... and who just wants that slow steady growth and learning?

Matthew:
Right. I think to that too, how do you know when one person is one or the other?

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Because I feel like, um, some people here feel like they are the superstars.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Like they, they want to be challenged often.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
And maybe it's just out of boredom that the... the complacency of, you know, refining and spending the time to perfect a particular trade or craft-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... um, it gets boring to them. So they look, they see actively, "Give me more responsibility. I'm willing to do this. Let me do this." And then every time I know it's new for them and they'll try-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... and they'll try, and they fail.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
And then they fail hard. And then I have to be the one to pick up the pieces. So it's, it's also, I know that that's part of my responsibility as a servant leader is to help them out through that process. But at the same time, it's also a balancing that, right? Like I... balancing somebody's personal growth.

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
I feel responsible for every single person that I work with here. So if I don't give them the time or space to fail and grow then they're not gonna, they're not gonna do that. Also, if I don't give them additional energy, energy I don't have yet to help them and teach them through that process they're also not going to get there. So there's all this thing where I feel like so much of me is being pulled both and like, "Well, can I trust them with that thing?" And then, "Well, if I trust them with it, I have to hold their hand. I have to give them more." And then it's like, "Oh, what about the 10 to dos over here?" So it's this reoccurring thing of, again, it's like I, I feel like I'm spinning a lot of plates and then-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... I'm spinning plates on top of those plates. Then that's what those feel like... I, I again, I have a lot of compassion. I care a lot about both the company-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... and then the people that work here. So it feels like those things are just stretching me in very different ways like Silly Putty, you know? It's just like getting thinner and thinner, but it can.. I can do it. I can-

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
... do that but-

Marie:
But for how long.

Matthew:
But for how long. Right.

Speaker 1:
Yeah.

Marie:
And, and at what cost?

Matthew:
Right.

Greg:
Hey, Greg Gunn from The Futur here. That's right. It's me again. Now The Futur's mission is to teach one billion creatives how to make money doing what they love without feeling gross about it. Now, maybe you're in school, but you feel like you're not getting what you need. Or maybe you're like me and sold all of your internal organs to pay for private art school tuition. But, you know, it's been awhile and you want to sharpen up some of those skills.

Greg:
Well, unfortunately for you, we have a bunch of courses and products designed specifically to help you become a smarter and more versatile creative. Design courses like topography, logo design, and color for creatives go deep into the design fundamentals you need to know and command in order to be successful. Check out all of our courses and products about learning design by visiting thefutur.com/design.

Marie:
So the things that... The thing that comes forward for me with that sharing is this, this feeling of responsibility that you have-

Matthew:
Yes.

Marie:
... for your team.

Matthew:
Yes.

Marie:
And that it, that it feels really heavy and deep.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And if we look at the word responsibility-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... like if you define it for me, how would you define it? Cause you kind of defined it in your examples, but if you were to just take a step back and say, "What does it mean, what does it mean for me to have responsibility over this team?"

Matthew:
Uh, it means to look ahead and be aware-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... of things that might happen-

Marie:
Okay.

Matthew:
... dangerous things that might... Negative things-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... and making sure that everyone ne- people never experienced that.

Marie:
Okay. So let's pause there for a second.

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
Right? So reflect back to you what I heard. So looking ahead to what's there, dangerous things, what's ahead-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And making sure that people never experience that.

Matthew:
Yes. That's how I think about responsibility.

Marie:
That's how you think about it.

Matthew:
Right. And I think a lot of that is mapped from my parents.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
They were both immigrants coming here.

Marie:
Uh-huh.

Matthew:
And, uh, you know, they had nothing coming here.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
They worked really hard, saved every penny, you know, uh, and I saw them. Like I didn't appreciate it when I was younger-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... of course, but now and looking back it's like, "My gosh, they worked so hard to get everything that we, uh, have today." So I look at them and they've programmed me. Obviously they're by mom and dad. They've programmed me in terms of what the expectation is-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... to be responsible to your family.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
And this is my family over here. So to be responsible means that I have to work very earnestly, very hard, and look ahead and think 10 steps ahead to make-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
... sure that they're never gonna experience the hardship or ev- ever have to feel that... They never have to worry about stuff.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
I have done that for them and I prepared ahead of time for them.

Marie:
So are you open to an idea for consideration?

Matthew:
Yes.

Marie:
Do you think it would be possible for you to uncouple that concept of responsibility, the one that you got from your family-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... with the responsibility you have here for the team? Do you even think it would be valuable?

Matthew:
If it will help with, uh, me detaching from feeling like I am responsible for every single thing in here, uh, every speck of dirt, yeah, I'm, i'm open to that. I don't know what that looks like. So-

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Maybe we can [crosstalk 00:56:36] on that.

Marie:
So I'll just reflect back to you again-

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... what I heard, which is as, as a responsible leader I need to always be looking 10 steps ahead-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... making... looking out for anything that's dangerous and making sure that the team never experiences that.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). That's what I said, yes.

Marie:
So that's... That must be pretty deep.

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
Um, because from my perspective, if you're open to hearing a-

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
... a different one, and I'll just... I'll, I'll start with Stephen Covey's definition of responsibility, right?

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So Stephen Covey in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People says that responsibility is literally break down the word, um, and it's your response ability. So your ability to respond.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Right? And from my perspective, a responsible leader is one that allows its team to take risks and fall and make mistakes. It's like, I thought of the analogy as you were talking about looking 10 steps ahead and making sure nothing happens. You know, I thought about like just when my kids were little trying to walk, right?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
It's like they want to walk and I don't want them to fall on their face.

Matthew:
Yeah [crosstalk 00:57:50].

Speaker 1:
I was just gonna say parenting. (laughing)

Marie:
Yes. Smash their face in the ground.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
So it's like, "No, don't do that."

Speaker 1:
Right.

Marie:
And like so often you hear this if you go to the playground, like, "Be careful. Be careful. Stop, don't do that," whatever. And the reality, the kid just wants to experience it because the have to, they have to step forward or trip or do whatever it is to learn what that means.

Speaker 1:
Right.

Marie:
Right? So until we can actually experience whatever it is that you're trying to protect them from-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... we're never going to learn how to get through that, right?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So what I heard in your sharing was really that it's like you're more of a savior to the team and jumping in, swooping in to make sure that everything always goes right.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And I totally get it. It's like it's protecting the baby and then you have responsibility, and this is probably what a lot of leaders feel. It's like they have a responsibility to the organization and the person above them-

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... and then to the people below, and when is it okay to let someone fall and fail?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Because that's how we learn.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 1:
Right.

Marie:
That's feedback. And if we lack that and someone is always kind of saving the day and taking away all the, the roadblocks and the precarious, you know, things that are in front of us-

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
... it's like, think about touching a stove. Like I can tell you 500 times, "Don't touch the stove."

Matthew:
Right. (laughing)

Marie:
But you won't understand why-

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
... until you touch the stove.

Matthew:
Right. (laughs)

Marie:
And then you will never touch the stove again.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
Does it make sense?

Matthew:
It does. It does.

Marie:
So now tell me about your, your... Tell me your thoughts on the idea of responsibility. Are they the same? Are they still fixed in that category of-

Matthew:
No, that, that makes sense. You... Especially using the analogy of young kids.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
That, that makes total sense to me.

Marie:
And in many ways, your team is like that, right?

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
A lot of ways it's like leaders are the parents, and this will be the book I write at some point in my life. (laughing) It's like Parallels of, of leadership and parenting.

Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
You know, leaders are the parents, and the team is, is, is... They are the children, right?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
The team is, is, is, there are the children, right?

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
They're learning how to do things.

Speaker 2:
Right.

Marie:
They're new at it. They have less experience than you do.

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And the goal is to have them learn.

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And I almost said, the goal is to teach them, and then I stopped myself.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Because really, teaching is didactic, right? But learning is really like, experiencing.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And then having it be so integrated that they can then go do it on their own.

Mark:
Right, right.

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
There's a big difference there, and again, it's like it goes back to the, like, when you're selling and telling them like this is what you should buy versus them saying they want something.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
That's ... The parallel is exist in the situation too.

Marie:
It's like the push pull, right?

Mark:
Exactly.

Marie:
You want it to be a pull. You want learning to be a pull experience rather than a push experience.

Mark:
Right.

Marie:
Or as I, I kind of vision, visualized it when you were talking about it is you like swooping in like and making sure that like everything is just so so that they can like-

Speaker 2:
Right.

Marie:
Succeed and-

Speaker 2:
They can land perfectly.

Marie:
Yeah, do a perfect landing.

Speaker 2:
Every single time.

Marie:
And you know, it's, it's admirable and it's, it takes a toll on you.

Speaker 2:
Right. Yeah.

Marie:
And it's also detrimental to them, their learning. And that's one way that I thought about it, uh, in terms of being able to let some of that go.

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So you know, sometimes, uh, I'll get offers to, or requests to do just certain types of trainings, and I might have, you know, kind of done them for a very long time, and I know I can do them really well and probably better than the next person.

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And I've, in the past, done this reflex of the ask. Like oh of course.

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And recently I've kind of paused and part of it was like this responsibility like oh I don't want to leave them in the lurch.

Mark:
Right.

Marie:
I want to make sure that they have someone to do it, and I know I'm the best person for the job.

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Right.

Marie:
And then I started thinking about the fact that there are a lot of people out there that want to get their feet wet to do this kind of thing.

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So it's beneficial for me to let go so someone else can take on that job and practice it and get to do it really well, and then I can focus on other things that I really enjoy.

Speaker 2:
Yeah.

Marie:
And that challenge me.

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
So let me ask you because I'm not a parent yet and you are. With those experiences you see, your child running down the street, it's like oh they might trip or sharp objects. There's corners. Hot stove. Do you allow them to make those mistakes? And then how do you respond to that when they do fail or fall or get hurt?

Speaker 2:
Good question.

Marie:
It's so scary. (laughs) To like, to have that, and it happens like 100 times a day as a parent, right? It's like you drop a kid off at school, you wonder if like they're gonna be okay. Like my whole thing is about the sunscreen. Will my kid get, you know, skin cancer? And I like try to tell him to put the sunscreen on, and he won't put the sunscreen on.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
And he hates the sunscreen, and you know like those kinds of things, there may be smaller examples of things that aren't immediately detrimental or dangerous, but-

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
There are plenty of things that-

Matthew:
Thinking 10 steps ahead.

Marie:
That could be. It's like we have the conversation about the car seats so. I've got one kid who's almost nine, and one that's almost six, and my kid that's almost nine doesn't want to be in a booster like that lifts him up. But if you see the, you know, and he's not required by law to be in a booster, and it's 500 times safer if he is. So it's like we have this conversation over and over again 'cause he wants to be like the kid that's not in a booster-

Mark:
Yeah, I'm a big kid.

Marie:
Anymore. I'm a big kid.

Mark:
Yeah. Right.

Marie:
And I'm saying to him well you know, he's, he's old enough that I, and my daughter is too, that I can say to them, "Listen, I'm not gonna fight with you on this. I really want you to know the information. Here's the information. It's 500 times safer for you to be in that booster seat than to sit in the seat without the booster because it lifts you up to a certain degree so that the seatbelt falls over your chest. So that if you were in a car accident, the seatbelt wouldn't go to your neck or to your abdomen and hurt your internal organs."

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So I try to explain it to them in a rational way, and then I have to say to them, "Now you can make your decision."

Mark:
(laughs)

Marie:
Now what my son usually does ... He, he's, he's gone back into the booster. Um, like that-

Matthew:
Oh interesting.

Marie:
One time when he felt like he had the freedom to do it, he would like try it out. Now fortunately we didn't have the learning experience of being in an accident. That was great that we didn't have that, but it's interesting that my daughter now, she's kind of popping. We have three. We have like a, a built in booster, then we have the other booster which is a little higher, and then the full on back booster.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And she kind of is bouncing between, um, among the three of them. But she tends to be more risk averse. So she usually goes into the most safe car seat. Whereas my son is the opposite, and part of my just is like you know, you can't ... At some point they have, they have to make their own decisions. So it's the same with leadership and teams. It's like you're, you're trying to give them as much information to succeed as possible. And at some point, they're gonna be out in the world without you, and they're gonna have to make their own choices. You won't be there to catch them before they fall.

Mark:
Right.

Marie:
And we hope that when they do fall, they'll fall gently, or they'll have taken a different road or path because they have all the information available to them.

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So when you look at your team, what do you want for them in terms of their growth? Do you want to save them? Do you want them to grow? Do you want them to fall?

Matthew:
I want them to grow.

Speaker 2:
For sure.

Marie:
Uh-huh.

Matthew:
I want them to be the best version of themselves as possible.

Marie:
What do you think will get them there?

Matthew:
Providing them information. I think that's helpful. Illuminating the way I think and why I think that way. And then setting up expectations for them, or I ... Agreeing on expectations-

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
With them. And then having some form of evaluation or measuring what has happened post experiment, post test.

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Right?

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
And finding, finding little projects or places where you can test this out, right?

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So maybe it's like a portion of a project that you're gonna let them kind of take the lead on. You're still gonna be there, and you're gonna do all the things you said. Like you're gonna give them a context. You're gonna provide as much information as you can about what road blocks might show up for them, and then you're gonna tell them if something shows up that I have, you know, left out here, you're gonna come to me, and we're gonna talk about it.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). So in that sense it's less risk it seems like if it's just a portion of a larger project or, or task.

Marie:
You're mitigating the risk.

Mark:
Right.

Marie:
Not eliminating it.

Speaker 2:
Right.

Marie:
And I think that that's the key thing that I was hoping that you would see in me reflecting back your language around I never want them to experience it. I want to look at all the possible dangerous, precarious things and get rid of all of those so that they never have to experience it.

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Versus maybe telling them what those things are, and if they experience it, wow then they'll learn.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
It's, it's different than when, you know, uh, someone's in there doing surgery, right?

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
Like we're in different fields.

Matthew:
Right, right.

Marie:
Thank goodness, right?

Mark:
Yeah, life-

Matthew:
Not life or death.

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
For sure, we're just pushing [crosstalk 01:07:28].

Marie:
And that, you know, you think about it as, as expansion. It's like how much can you expand that rubber band a little bit more each time? Give them a little more runway, a little more leeway. And what that does is it serves them, but it also serves you.

Marie:
Because you get to start to step away a little bit more and the better they get at it, then you are stepping farther and farther away so that you can focus on the other plates that you're trying to keep up in the air.

Marie:
'Cause as a leader, that management of the team is only one part of your job. Is that helpful?

Speaker 2:
It is. I have to look at the day to days and then just start mapping those concepts-

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 2:
To there and thinking about that. So I gotta think, gonna think about ways to remind myself of that.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 2:
So that I can be more mindful when those moments happen.

Marie:
So what would be one thing that you could do so that you avoid jumping into the old pattern?

Speaker 2:
You know, my first instinct is to throw somebody into the deep end.

Marie:
Uh-huh.

Speaker 2:
But I don't know if, again, it's like is that mitigating the risk, or is that just like allowing them to learn the fastest way possible? So if I said tomorrow I'm off this project, this is all you. The success from here on out is up to you.

Marie:
Well that would be like me telling my kids, "You don't have to, you don't have to be in the booster seat. And by the way here are the keys." (laughs)

Speaker 2:
Correct. Right.

Marie:
I know you're only nine but go ahead and drive. (laughs)

Speaker 2:
Right. So again, it's kind of black and white-

Marie:
It's extreme, yeah.

Speaker 2:
It's very extreme, and it's, it's hard for me to [inaudible 01:09:10] that, the mitigated risk part. So that's the part I haven't quite formulated yet or how much hand holding should I do.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 2:
Versus how much do I want them to learn, and you know, in that environment.

Marie:
Well it's such a great opportunity for you to grow right there.

Speaker 2:
Yeah.

Marie:
You know? I mean this is really, this is like a key leadership challenge.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And you get to apply this starting ASAP, even tomorrow.

Speaker 2:
Yeah, for sure.

Marie:
And to just pause. You know, maybe that's the thing is that whenever you are, if you notice that you, you want to swoop in and just kind of handle it if there's a problem, you can just take a minute. Say okay, is there a way to do this differently?

Marie:
And one thing is that when we get stuck in that polarized thinking, it really, uh, it inhibits our ability to think of multiple options because our brain has already polarized it.

Mark:
Right.

Marie:
So one idea is to ask someone else what they think, right? So you can go to Mark, and be like, "So Mark, here's, you know, I'm trying, I'm trying to step back a little bit from, you know, the swooping in and saving of the team on projects. You know, I'm really stuck. I don't know if I should just walk away from the project, or if I should do my old way."

Marie:
And then Mark, you could say, "Well have you thought about this?"

Mark:
Just to get a second opinion from a peer or, or even someone else.

Marie:
Anyone. I mean anybody that would be outside of your world, they're gonna have different glasses on, a different lens-

Speaker 2:
Right.

Marie:
A different filter. And so they can see it more clearly, and we want to try to interrupt the pattern.

Mark:
Right.

Marie:
Right? If your pattern is to swoop in, then we wanna try to stop that and say okay, what can we do differently this time? And if I feel stuck and I can't think of anything, let me ask someone else.

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I like that.

Mark:
Too a point I feel like you do give, you know, a sense of responsibility of people without taking the full burden of responsibility too, and I see that, you know, when you're, um, overseeing a lot of the video projects when, you know, you're working with Chris to help delegate information back to us. Like I think you do give that to some people, so I don't think it's black and white in that sense either. Um, but from what you're saying, maybe it's slowly giving a little bit more like of that rubber band or the elasticity.

Marie:
[crosstalk 01:11:39].

Mark:
Um, where the other people can kind of, you know, take the training wheels off.

Matthew:
Right. You know the thing is, I haven't quite had the same friction within myself with my previous business, and I think the reason why ... Like I was pretty good at delegating. I had much larger teams who have much higher stakes.

Mark:
Right.

Matthew:
In terms of revenue and, and you know, what's going on. They're just that much more responsible for clients. And I think the difference was that because I had done that for so long, things are temporized, right? You know, there's, there's clear processes. I know when the beginning and the end of something is, and I think with our new business, it is very different. Everything is new.

Mark:
Right.

Matthew:
So we do a lot of things for the first time for the first time, and we look at those situations as like I'm still figuring it out as a leader. How might I direct my team if I don't even have the answer yet? And I try to open it up, but I also find that, you know, giving, bringing too many people in loses the focus and dilutes, um, you know the resources here, and they have to be very smart and strategic, and like, let me do my small experiment, figure that out, and then once I formulated a repeatable processes, then I might scale out the teams.

Matthew:
So it's, it's because we have gone through this big transition where we're still trying to figure out our daily processes and working that out, that I feel like I reverted back to this like ah, I have to save everyone. I have to plug all the holes from where we're leaking in this ship. You know what I mean? And that's, I think that's where I'm going through that right now. And I think that's, that's, that's how I've felt.

Matthew:
'Cause again, a year ago I did not feel this way. Two years ago I did not feel this way. And it's just a recent occurrence because this is brand new. Everything is brand new. But I still carry the legacy responsibility of I should know it all, and I should be responsible for the team and make sure that we do very well. So that's, that's why I'm having these personal challenges that, you know, it is the first time that I'm saying it that we are making these observations about myself and the process and the differences between who I was as creative director a year ago versus who I am now. It kind of looks the same because we're in the same building, same people, but it's not the same.

Marie:
Everything's new.

Matthew:
Everything's new.

Marie:
And so your, your learning curve is, is steep.

Matthew:
Yes.

Marie:
And therefore the team, team's learning curve is steep too.

Matthew:
Yes.

Marie:
And what I heard is that you were able to establish processes and systems that work well because you would run an experiment, evaluate, and then establish the system. So, and that gave you confidence to let the team then do it because there were systems and processes in place.

Marie:
So I just want to reflect back to you, like you've done that before, you'll do it again.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
You are doing it now, it's just about recognizing that you're kind of in the experiment part.

Matthew:
Yeah. It's a very big experiment.

Marie:
And having some compassion for yourself, right?

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
And, and being, letting it be ago to, to fall sometimes. Right? I mean is that, is that the culture? Like it is okay to, is it okay to make a mistake here?

Mark:
I mean we talk about accepting your failures and learning from them. It's a big part of the culture, but I think a lot of us, personally, we just, we don't want to fail. We're just always trying to push to, to win, or to complete. I think that's part of the culture. But we don't look down on failure.

Marie:
Yeah. Well maybe it is about shifting that mindset. And part of it's like you to decouple it from if you've had an upbringing that's really pushed you in that direction. I have a client that's going through that right now who's just really, really just scared to fail. She's like trying so hard. She's burning out. She's just, you know, it's just not an option for her. And that kind of thinking is just really I think long term it's hurtful to the person who's living in it. Right? Because it's so much pressure.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And I think a far more productive way to live is just having a learning orientational life and being like okay, there are gonna be some things that are gonna go a little bit haywire here. And I'm okay with that, right? And to have that be the culture, not just to say it but to live it. Like what does it look like to live that?

Mark:
Right, right.

Marie:
And make that really one of the, the core values.

Speaker 2:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Because you're gonna learn from those experiences. You know, we look at all the CEOs that are successful, they say that like the reason why is because they've had such huge, massive failures.

Mark:
Right.

Marie:
That they've, they've learned so much from that. And you know, the mindset shift can be a hard one, and it's an important one. Because if you're always focused on getting it right, it's really taxing.

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
Right?

Matthew:
It is.

Marie:
And you know that.

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
I don't have to tell you.

Matthew:
Yeah. I think it's, it's just 'cause we're in such a results driven environment here, and it doesn't matter how you get there, as long as the results are there, so.

Marie:
But what are you teaching? Like what's, and in terms of the content. 'Cause like what are you trying to teach the-

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
Creative professionals out there?

Matthew:
Well that's the biggest part. Like I think that's so much of what we do. 99% of the stuff we do is free. We put it out there. We share openly, transparently, but to do that, we have to have funding. We have to be able to support ourself. So if we're not, you know, selling enough, well we sell courses. We sell premium products that are, you know, above and beyond what we put on the channel, and that's the 1% of stuff that we spend our extra time on.

Matthew:
We love giving for free. We also have to run a business, and if we don't make any money, we're not here tomorrow, then non of this like free goodwill that we get to put out there, it won't exist at the scale that we want it to exist. So it's also that. It's like we spend so much time giving away free stuff. That's like and now we look back, I don't know how we're gonna make money, and we don't ... Like some people are very business oriented here. Like I would say Ben, he's very business oriented. He's very good at like I know the thing we can do. Boom, boom, boom, and then we just printed money tomorrow. It's like problem solved.

Marie:
Oh, this printing money thing.

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
Can you do that for me?

Matthew:
(laughs) It's, I mean it's surprising. It's, it's astonishing how many times we can do that. Wherever we look, it's like we have a deficit or there's a hole ahead, and then magically we put our heads together, and then we solve it.

Speaker 2:
Instantly.

Matthew:
I don't know how it happens.

Marie:
[crosstalk 01:18:22] not magic though. What you're doing is you're talking about really you're creating opportunity-

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
And creating income and resources exactly when you need them.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
So if you know you can do that, just trust that you can do it.

Matthew:
Yeah, but that is the curse of the knowledge too. Because I know I can do it. I know I can do more. I know I can make more money for this company.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
But when is it enough? Because we always have stretch goals, wanna do more. So I will give you an example. It's like I'm responsible for a lot of things here, managing a team of editors, also on the business side trying to figure out products for sale, products more effectively. So my head goes into like all the contents, the free stuff that we put out there. I love making that stuff. Like I'm so energized like working with the team, making cool stuff, and then seeing our audience respond to that. They love it, fantastic. Makes me feel good.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
But we still have to make money. So turn around, okay, what do we have to do to make money? And then I'll, you know, Chris will pop it so like how are we doing on our business bootcamp? 'Cause we set an astronomical goal.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
No where close to that goal. And I feel guilty. You know, so busy having fun over here, that I forgot to be responsible over here, and this is on my plate, and there's no one else to blame except for me. Now I have this feeling, I have to do both. 'Cause it's like I've made the team effective here. What we're doing is great here, but at the same time, have to be responsible over here.

Matthew:
So again, like that's one example of where get very deep at the things that I love, I'm very passionate about that I know have to be responsible to allow these things to happen. So I have to do the hard work, this other stuff.

Marie:
Yeah, and I just think there's an opportunity there for, um, well there are two things that you said that struck me. One was that you set an astronomical goal, and I thought to myself, well why would you set an astronomical goal? Why wouldn't you set-

Mark:
It's the ethos.

Marie:
A realistic goal.

Matthew:
(laughs) [crosstalk 01:20:27].

Mark:
It's to go get our ethos.

Matthew:
[crosstalk 01:20:34].

Marie:
So I mean, the thing is about goal setting is that it's really, really a diminishing to set a goal that you can't reach. I know this, I share the fundraising committee for my kids' school, right? And we set these really lofty goals every year, and we don't come near to making the goal, and it has such a, a negative impact on the morale of the community.

Speaker 2:
Right, absolutely.

Marie:
So whereas next year what we're gonna do, we're gonna actually lower the goals and make them more realistic. They're still stretched a little, and it will be so different I think in terms of if we either hit it or almost it versus like oh my gosh, we didn't even come close to hitting it.

Mark:
Yeah, it's like so psychological at that point.

Marie:
It is, right? Psychological.

Mark:
You're trying to fill a cup with water, and it's like you don't see it. (laughs)

Marie:
Yeah, and then, you know, on the still, on the psychological part of it, it's like what I also heard Matthew saying is that here's the stuff over here I love to do, and here's the stuff over here that I have to do.

Speaker 2:
Right.

Marie:
And so it's like how can you change your relationship with the stuff over here? Can you make that fun? Is that, can that be interesting to you?

Matthew:
I do find that fun. I can make it that fun when I look at it as a game, everything is a game to me, right? And that's how I, I treat my life. Anything I can accomplish I can ... I have that mindset. I know I can do it, but at the same time it's like when I get in the groove of something, it's just hard for me to do the context switching. And it's like okay well I gotta do the thing I'm not so passionate about right now, and this, all this idea that I find myself getting into these grooves of momentum which I love. And when I'm in the zone, and I have the momentum, my gosh, I'm just like firing on all cylinders and like 20, 30, 50 things are coming out of me. And then when I have to switch the gears and then do the other things, it's like okay, it's a putter. It's a little slow like dut, dut, dut, dut. Trying to start up the engine over there. It's a little bit tougher so.

Marie:
And does the engine ever get going?

Matthew:
It does. It does when I have to shut everything else off over here and focus on this other thing. So it's like context switching, you know, I know there's a tax to that one. You're, you have so much momentum so that's just very, very hard to do at times.

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
And just to keep those things balanced, right?

Marie:
Well 'cause I guess I tell my kids like it's like yeah, there's plenty of things that, you know, I know you really love to play basketball all day, and you still need to go to school, and you still have to spend time brushing your teeth, and you know, like taking a bath.

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
Or shower. Like you have, there are certain things that you just have to do, and I think it helps if you just shift your mindset. Think like oh, think about it as a game. I love that tactic. That's good. Like how can I make this fun for myself? And then it's about time management and really structuring and being disciplined about how much time you need to spend on each thing in order for them to be successful.

Speaker 2:
Right.

Marie:
So if, if there really is this, um, is it 50/50? I mean what do you think it is in terms of your responsibility? How does it, how does it break down?

Matthew:
It feels like 50/50, but the time I'm dedicating is more like 70/30.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
But I know it should be 50/50.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
And so for me, it's just I think I'm having a difficult time prioritizing the many things that we can do and others here are pretty good at just saying no. And I'm not great at saying no right now just because, again, it goes back to the feeling so responsible for many things that it's hard-

Marie:
Well what if you just changed it to not yet?

Matthew:
Not yet, that's a good (laughs). Not yet.

Mark:
That's a good one. Yeah, 'cause, you know, shutting it down.

Marie:
Or maybe later. Let's put it in the affirmative, right?

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
It's like ...

Marie:
That's, it's a hard, that's a hard one. Boundaries are, are tough and as leaders, you need to have healthy boundaries in so many ways. Like whether it's people demanding your time, um, when to shut off work and when to keep working because I think a lot of leaders could relate to the fact that you could work 24/7, right? 'Cause your brain is always going.

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
That's the same for me and my business too.

Mark:
Right.

Marie:
So it's like where do you, where do you establish boundaries in, in your, your work and your life that support you being able to sprint and finish the marathon?

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
It's like what does that look like for you, and how do you learn to, how do you learn to say no in a way that feels like it's kind, clear, supportive, that you've let the person feel heard. You know, there are ways. This is a problem I think in a lot of, a lot of agencies that are service oriented businesses where you're client comes and asks you for something, and you course want to say yes.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And you know, maybe they, they give you a brief and a budget, and then you say okay, and then you go back and you think to yourself, there's no way this can be done for this amount of money. Um, and it's like so a lot of people and organizations will just do it anyway, and they either burn people out, or they suffer on the profit margin. Um, instead of just going back and having that conversation and saying it sounds like you want to really do all of these things, let's look at what the real costs are to that and figure out a way to either scale back the scope of work or increase the budget.

Speaker 2:
Right.

Marie:
Or maybe it's on timeframes. It's like wow, that, that's such a great idea that you have. I really want to implement that. Let's look at that in one month. Come back to me and remind me that we should look at that again.

Matthew:
Right. That's the challenging ... That's, these are things I'm working through. I'm glad we're surfacing these because I think in the client service business, there's a detachment. They're over there, and I'm over here.

Mark:
Yeah.

Matthew:
So I'm really good at saying no to them.

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Like I'm-

Marie:
But now it's your baby.

Matthew:
Right, exactly. There's no emotional attachment there. It's like the work is the work, and I'm very objective there. But now that it's all internal, it's our baby.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
It's very different.

Mark:
Yeah.

Matthew:
There's a responsibility to just like you as a parent to your child. You do have an emotional attachment, and it's hard to severe that or be completely objective in moments. So that's how I feel about this new business, this new venture. But these are things that I know overtime I can develop, and if I am actively working towards them. It's just, you know, I got thrown in the deep end, and I'm trying to swim. I'm trying to figure out.

Marie:
But so you know how to swim, and that's what I would remind you is that you have the muscles built already because you said when you were doing it with a client, you knew how to manage that well and have those boundaries, and it's just now that the emotional attachment is there, it's become murky. Right? So the water's murky, but you still know how to swim. You just have to activate those muscles again and start to apply what you already know to this environment even though it's internal.

Marie:
'Cause in many ways, that would be a really healthy way to look at the situation. 'Cause otherwise it gets very mashed, right? You start kind of becoming one with the business and like living, eating, breathing in. Like there's no separation.

Mark:
Right.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Do you experience that too, Mark? Or?

Mark:
Um, little bit. I guess-

Marie:
Or do you have a different challenge?

Mark:
Um, well yeah not, not so much in this area since, um, in this company I'm new to management for, you know, the past 6 months. I've had some leadership roles in past jobs too, but here it is a lot different since we are our own client so. Um, I see what Matthew's going through. Me personally, I haven't experienced it as much.

Marie:
Uh-huh.

Mark:
Right. But what I do see, um, is the culture that we have here starting to build since we are a new company. We have new faces. We've shifted from really it's been a complete pivot from, you know, the old, the old culture and old people. So something that we're seeing here is like this turn of the company culture and really trying to learn what that is, and you know, how do we, you know, facilitate like an easier kind of, uh, more open and inviting culture here when that hasn't really been, you know, here for a long time.

Marie:
So the old culture was, how would you describe it?

Mark:
It was a lot more lively. I mean there are more people here working. We had a lot of freelancers in out, depending on the projects. Um, there are more full time people. Um, now, you know, we are hiring a little bit more. So there are more bodies here.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
But, you know, people are starting to, you know, learn who each other are and how we work together. Um, I do see that maybe we need to just have more sort of like team building type of activities. Um, I've experienced that in past jobs. You know, some were great, some were a little cheesy, but um-

Marie:
Which ones are great?

Mark:
Which ones were great? Um, lot of active kind of like ... I like sports.

Marie:
Uh-huh.

Mark:
So anything that had to do with anything active, I liked. Um-

Marie:
Did you guys go like zip lining or something like that or?

Mark:
We, yeah, we did a lot of stuff.

Marie:
Just play basketball?

Marie:
The zip lining or something like that or we used to play basketball.

Mark:
We've, yeah, we did a lot of stuff in my past jobs.

Marie:
Uh-huh (affirmative).

Mark:
Yeah, so, yeah, it was, it was, you know, it had budget. I think that was a big part of it too.

Marie:
Uh-huh (affirmative).

Mark:
So we had an allocated budget monthly for our team to do things.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Here, you know, we do have budget, um, but we have little time I feel like.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Um, but just wanted to get your take, since you've worked with so many companies, big and small, um, as us being a small bootstrap company, what kind of advice would you give, uh, to kind of it, you know, steer that co- company culture with activities and that type of stuff?

Marie:
I'll just say, I mean, I really acknowledge you for focusing in on it, cause I think it's so important.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Like what I hear is that it's about engagement. I just like, how do you engage the people that are here in a way that's meaningful?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), right.

Marie:
And, uh, I try to, I try to stay out of the advice giving category and just be more of the a person who asks good questions, right?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Hmm, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So it's like, what do you think that the people in this organization, maybe the ones that are newer and the ones that are older.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
What would engage them? What would be interesting to them, knowing that there's little time available?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And some budget or no budget, you know, it almost doesn't matter.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
The money part of it is I think if you don't have budget, it's actually great cause then you get way more creative, right?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
If you do, it's like, "That's great too."

Mark:
Right, right.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
But what do you think they need?

Mark:
Mm.

Marie:
Like what would be the most meaningful to them?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Or how could you find out?

Mark:
Right. Maybe to start, it's having internal meetings to talk about it.

Marie:
Yeah.

Mark:
(laughs).

Marie:
(laughs) Is that great?

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
Like how obsessive question [crosstalk 01:31:49].

Mark:
(laughs) Maybe you should to talk about that.

Matthew:
(laughs).

Marie:
I know, but you could ask them [crosstalk 01:31:49].

Mark:
Yeah, yeah.

Marie:
And that's so powerful, because it's like they're creating the culture.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
They're having input, rather than saying, "Okay. We're going to go to our frozen yogurt run tonight."

Mark:
Right.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
(laughs) Uh-huh (affirmative).

Matthew:
All right.

Marie:
It's like, "Well, what do you want to do?" Like, "What would be fun for you?"

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Like I know when I was here before you had those, um, are they like dance breaks or something? Or is like the music came on and stuff?

Matthew:
Oh, yeah. We still have that five o'clock break.

Mark:
Oh, yeah.

Matthew:
Yeah, and music comes on and then we just play video games or do whatever, chill out this-

Marie:
Uh-huh.

Mark:
Yeah, play ping pong. Oh, yeah.

Matthew:
Simpler [crosstalk 01:32:21].

Marie:
And is this culture responsive to that? This new group of people?

Mark:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Marie:
So that's one thing that's working, which is this.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Yeah, that's carried over for sure.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So what are some other things? Like I know you said you can ask them, which is great, get them involved in the process. But do you have any intuitive hits on what might work based on what you did before in your old company?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm, celebrating sm- the small wins I think it could be a part of that.

Marie:
Mm.

Matthew:
Mm. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Um, you know, with us always trying to drive for big goals, it's like, you know, let's sometimes maybe sit down and just look back and appreciate what we did and what we've accomplished.

Marie:
Yeah.

Mark:
I think we could do that a little bit more.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Um, and I think we could all as managers take responsibility of that too. I don't think it's something that only has to come from, you know, Chris or the boss.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), CEO. Right.

Mark:
We're all responsible for that.

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
Yeah.

Mark:
Um.

Marie:
Yeah, and to make it a regular part of your world, whether it's monthly or quarterly or I think it's actually more important to do it regularly.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Quarterly seems even, uh-

Matthew:
Maybe too far apart.

Marie:
Too far, too far apart.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
But what you're talking about is so important, right?

Mark:
Right, right.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Because it's, especially with entrepreneurial companies that are building and growing so fast, so when do you pause to take a breath and look at what you've done?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
I remember that that line from A Star Is Born. I don't know if he saw the movie with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). but, um, she says he asked her to go on tour with him and she's like, "Oh, I have to stay here because this big producer wants to." You know, they got out a single, but now they wanted to work on the album.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And he says to her, "Listen to what you just said." And she's like, "What?" He said, "Listen to what you just said. They want to hear what you have to say. They're gonna... They want you to stay here to produce an album, like take that moment. Just let it in, take it in."

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
"Like that's a wind. This is something you've been striving your whole life for." So one way to do that with leaders is I use a process, um, that a woman named Nancy Klein who wrote a book called, uh, Time To Think, and then she wrote a second book called More Time To Think.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And you know, crazy times. (laughs).

Matthew:
(laughs).

Mark:
(laughs).

Marie:
So, um, what she created was a process called thinking sessions, where she usually does and with just two people. Where she'll sit with the person as their coach and say to them, "Um, you know, Matthew, uh, what would you like to think about today and what are your thoughts?" And then, you'll talk. And I would just listen for 45 minutes, actively listen, looking at you being fully engaged, deeply listening, caring about what you had to say.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm.

Marie:
And during that process you might just stream of consciousness, go round and round and round, but you'll have space to share.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
So in groups, and I did this with one of my VP groups, is that I would just do a thinking round, right? So I would give each person between three and seven minutes, depending on how much time you have. And one of the questions I would ask them is, "Share wins small or big."

Mark:
Mm, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And everyone just listens and holds a space for that person to really share. And if they can't think of a win, I say think of a failure and share the learning, which will be powerful for your team, especially if you're trying to get back into that culture of growth mindset and it's okay to fail and make mistakes. So what's really cool about it is that everybody has that space.

Marie:
And what was told actually recently, I just asked someone so well, you know, what did you think about the VP sessions overall? It's like, "You know, that first one we did was so powerful." It was like, "Do you remember that one where everybody shared a win?"

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And I said, "Tell me why." And he said, "Because I felt like I got into each person's brain. Like I got a little bit. Like I got to see inside of their head." Because people are just thinking stream of consciousness. They're not going to be interrupted, which is another great thing to kind of teach and experience and learn.

Mark:
Yeah, no pressure for them to kind of rush a thought or something.

Marie:
No, there's no pressure, just to listen and everybody gets this kind of the floor to share about a win, and so it's so powerful and it creates such a bond of intimacy with the people that are in the room, that it does create engagement and help with culture building.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), I see.

Marie:
And it's interactive. It's a little different than sports, right? There's lots of other kind of engaging things you can do that are physical too.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
But that's more of a mental processing connection exercise.

Mark:
I see.

Marie:
Do you think that, that could work here?

Mark:
Yeah, definitely.

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
It hits so many different things, right? It hits like, "Well, we're sharing wins, we're pausing, we're appreciating, we're thinking, we're taking time for ourselves. We're learning about someone else and their thought process and we're holding space for practice, Practicing the skill of silence and listening, and there's, there's a lot in it.

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
Right, right.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
It's very juicy.

Mark:
Yeah, that's how you really connect with each other on a different level rather than just a working relationship.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Right.

Mark:
Yeah. I like that.

Marie:
And you combine that with other, you know, maybe more physical things like your obstacle courses that you go do or you can take a hike well right here in Santa Monica.

Mark:
Yep.

Marie:
I think Santa Monica mountains or you know, those kinds of things that might be a little more on the physical realm.

Mark:
Okay. As long as it's not a trust fall, nobody does (laughs).

Marie:
Already done with that.

Group:
(laughing).

Mark:
We had to do that once. Yeah, that didn't go well.

Marie:
I didn't know it'd be hard for me too. Do people drop other people?

Mark:
No, it's just, it just felt, it felt cheesy.

Marie:
Yeah.

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
Yeah, that did.

Mark:
(laughs).

Marie:
The one that I like to do the most is the marshmallow challenge. I don't know if you've ever done that [crosstalk 01:37:56] it.

Mark:
No, I haven't.

Matthew:
What is that?

Marie:
You get, you get pieces of spaghetti. Every group gets a certain amount of spaghetti, a marshmallow, some twine and some tape, then you have to build a structure in a certain amount of time.

Mark:
Mm.

Matthew:
Uh-huh (affirmative).

Marie:
And it's really, really fascinating process, so it's super fun and interactive.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
But you learn so much about each individual strengths and how they approach a problem or whatever and it's just that.

Matthew:
Mm.

Marie:
I was talking about it today with, um, the woman I was meeting at that large organization I mentioned to you.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And she said, "Oh, my gosh, I love that team building exercise." And I said, "What's fascinating about it is when they look at the results." And like it's on, you can Google it and you'd find it. But when you look at the results of people that have done it over time, the people that do the best are preschoolers.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So like you have like preschoolers, like admin assistants, um, MBA students, CEOs it's like you know, the spectrum.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And the preschoolers do the best. Now, why do you think that might be?

Mark:
Hmm.

Matthew:
Is cause they're not close minded.

Marie:
Mm.

Mark:
Yeah, more open to ideas and helping each other.

Marie:
Yep.

Matthew:
Anything is possible or not.

Marie:
Uh-huh (affirmative).

Matthew:
They're not, they haven't been bettered down with 30 years, 40 years of life telling them things that they can't do.

Mark:
(laughs).

Marie:
Yep, exactly. And what are they willing to do in that process that would be different than maybe the other categories?

Matthew:
Fail.

Marie:
Yes.

Mark:
Mm.

Matthew:
There's no pressure in failure, because they don't know what that is.

Marie:
Yes and what they do to get the structure up and built is they build a prototype, it fails, they build another one, they learn.

Matthew:
Right.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And build another one. So it's iterative, right?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Because of the failure they learn and they get it right.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Most of my team actually, some of the, um, some of the teams that I've worked with have never gotten a structure up at all.

Mark:
Hmm.

Marie:
And I've had people with architectural degrees on my team.

Mark:
Wow. (laughs).

Matthew:
Wow. (laughs).

Marie:
Um, and so another big learning from is like, people will strive to build the tallest structure. And this maybe speaks to your point, Matthew, about like your astronomical goals and your, you know, the thing with the structure in this challenge is that the higher, because it has to be freestanding on a table.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Right?

Marie:
The higher you go, the harder it is for it to stand on its own.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
So with the preschoolers, they don't care about how high it is. They just want to get something up that works.

Mark:
Right.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
And there's some, there's some learning there, right?

Mark:
Right. Just get something, yeah.

Marie:
And there's some, there's some learning there, right. There's an insight in that.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
There's so much we can learn from kids and their perspective and that mindset before the veil comes down. Right? (laughs).

Matthew:
Right. All right. (laughs). Yeah, I think, I learned this. I heard this recently from a, um, a workshop I did with Duncan Wardle. He was the, uh, former chief innovation officer at Disney.

Marie:
Uh-huh (affirmative).

Matthew:
And he said, we have to learn to think childlike, not childish.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yes.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Right? So it's like just being open to that wonder again, where things are possible rather than what's not.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
So these are the things that I've been hearing lately. It's been percolating and it's like us talking about is helpful for me to just remap it to all the challenges that we're having here, be personally.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
And then, also looking at, "Well, it looks like there's a lot of different ways to solve this if we start looking at things differently."

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
So this is very revealing to me. Just having said a lot of these things now.

Marie:
And you might even like have some sort of an image that you put, you know, I don't know if there's glasses that you would wear as a kid, like you know, your younger version of yourself or was there a hat that you always wore, whatever that reminds you of, of when you were a child.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
And so when you have one of these situations occur, you think, "Okay. I'm going to put on, I'm going to put on my five year old glasses.

Matthew:
Right.

Mark:
Mm.

Marie:
Or I'm going to put on this like, you know, four-year-old hat and uh, and approach it from that perspective.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
And I would even say with the, you know, with your challenge, with your time management, with it's supposed to be 50-50, but you're really spending 70% of the time on the free stuff and 30% of the time on the business related moneymaking.

Matthew:
On stuff, yeah.

Marie:
It's like what, you know, what could you do from a childlike perspective? How could you, you know, use your x-ray five-year-old vision to make that fun and exciting and move that up to even 40 or 45%.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
(laughs) Right. Right.

Marie:
Mm, I see. I think we could accomplish that because we have, I mean, we have younger people here. So I mean for me personally, it's easy to act childlike trying to make child the childish.

Matthew:
Yeah, right.

Marie:
But, um, I, I like that approach and it really makes sense when you're kind of putting it in that perspective that, um, Duncan Wardle had mentioned it.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Well, that's where innovation happens, right?

Matthew:
Yes, absolutely.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
That's, that's the sweet spot for it. Because it's things that other people would think can't be done.

Mark:
Right.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
And a kid doesn't think that way.

Matthew:
Kid, exactly. Right.

Marie:
That's why they do, they rock that spaghetti marshmallow challenge, you know.

Mark:
Right.

Matthew:
Kids have the best imagination, yeah.

Marie:
Yeah and they're willing to fail, which is I think just one of the key lessons, you know, the whole conversation, just like, "How can we, how can we make that, okay?"

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), right.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
Not only for the culture here, but for, for you as a leader.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
Maybe a thoughtful question for you in the next few days.

Matthew:
Yeah, definitely something I'll be pondering and just processing. But it's, it's, it's surfaced now, which is great. So I'm self-aware of that, where before it was just feelings.

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Now, there are words, now there are things, now there's examples. So now I can start looking at that. This is my new game to solve.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), and that's the process, right? So something is unaware in our consciousness. It's a blind spot. And as a coach, this is part of what I do to try to draw these things out and make them more visible.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
You get the insight, you have that awareness now and then you can apply an actionable thing to it, right?

Matthew:
Right, right.

Marie:
A process, an idea, a system, you know, to make it real when the situation comes up.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Sure.

Marie:
So what are you guys taking away? Anything, anything really struck a chord with you? How about for you Mark?

Mark:
Hmm, I think going back to, yeah, the initial question that I had about just like being an assertive speaker.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
And, um, not thinking that if I'm a soft spoken person that, that doesn't mean that you can't be assertive or clear about explaining goals or feeling like you can describe something to an employee to get the job done.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Um, I think you were able to help me understand that, that's, you know, that's not the case.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
And that it can also be seen as you as a positive.

Marie:
Yeah.

Mark:
Yeah, that's a big thing that I picked up.

Marie:
And what would you, what would you like it to be? Like what if you, if you could like draw a picture of your ideal self and up your level of assertiveness by X percent, like what would that percentage be and what would it look like? Like how would you be different?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative). So what would the percentage be? Hmm. I mean, I could, you know ask for a hundred percent, you know, double it.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
(laughs).

Matthew:
(laughs).

Mark:
I- I really don't know. It's hard to kind of think of it that way, yeah.

Marie:
Well, so let's, let me phrase it a different way.

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
So what would be 50% realistic?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So if you, if you think on a scale of one to 10 what, how assertive do you think you are? One being the least assertive, 10 being the most assertive.

Mark:
So seven.

Marie:
So seven?

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
And what would you want it to be?

Mark:
10.

Marie:
You want to be a 10?

Mark:
Yeah, I want to be a 10.

Marie:
Okay. So you're not that far off, right?

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
So there's this like this little, this little jump, right?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So, and what would it look like if you were a 10?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Cause we know what it looks like as a seven.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
You've kind of talked about that. What would a 10 look like?

Mark:
Yeah, yeah.

Marie:
Like you're in a room, uh, you're in a conference room, there's lots of people and you're having a meeting, about I don't know, uh, next quarter in the astronomical goals that you're going to say.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
What is it look like for you to be a 10 in that meeting?

Mark:
I see.

Marie:
How is it different than you as a seven?

Mark:
Right. I think, what we imagine it should look like is like, you know, boiler room, very masculine like barking orders. But the way I'd like it to be is like, I think it's like Bruce Lee.

Marie:
Mm.

Mark:
And he's very sort of calm, collected, knows, you know, very clear what he wants.

Marie:
Yep, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
But doesn't seem like he's scattered in thought and, you know, direct.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Mm.

Marie:
And what helps you get to that place? So if you invoke your inner Bruce Lee, like how do you get to that place? Is there a, is there anything that you do in advance? Like is it requires, some people like to write their thoughts down in order to get to that place.

Mark:
Mm, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Some people like for me, three deep breaths.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Right. To like calm my nervous system down and just kind of get into a clear space. Is there anything you can think of that helps you get into your, your Bruce Lee place?

Mark:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Makes your Bruce Lee on your [crosstalk 01:47:14] inside? (laughs).

Mark:
Yeah, (laughs). A thousand push ups on one finger, you know.

Matthew:
On your laptop, you know, on your screen saver, seriously.

Mark:
(laughs).

Matthew:
(laughs).

Marie:
No, seriously. These are all external affirmations, right?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
To help you, help you get centered.

Mark:
Right. I think the times that I've felt that way, um, or when I've been more physically active and on a regular workout routine.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), uh-huh (affirmative).

Mark:
So I think yeah, the physical, physical will help the mental side, um, completely. Because in those times my mind was more clear, my voice a lot more resonant. It didn't feel shaky and yeah, my body felt better.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm.

Mark:
And- and my body felt better. I think that was a big part of it.

Marie:
So there's something about the physicality and you being in a regular routine of challenging your body and even getting it, the exercise that it needs that allows you to be more calm and steady and clear thinking in, in the workplace.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), right.

Marie:
So what are you going to do with that information?

Mark:
I need to make the time to hit the gym.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

Mark:
Do more physical activity. And I feel like I lost a lot of that, because I went through an injury.

Marie:
Uh-huh (affirmative).

Mark:
I was pretty active up until then, doing triathlons and then I stopped like 100%, and then I hit a wall.

Marie:
Hmm.

Mark:
And then, I felt like, all right, well where do I go with my sort of my career as a leader?

Marie:
Yeah.

Mark:
Because I felt like I didn't have that, you know, in my gut, because I wasn't being physically active. But now, I can put the time in. It's just, I have to add to make it happen.

Marie:
So there's a priority that you could place on your physical health?

Mark:
Right.

Marie:
And there's also, it sounds like another opportunity to, to know that you can still be a calm, collected leader regardless of if you're being physically active or not.

Mark:
Right, right.

Marie:
And then, just like this other idea that came up for me, which is like, even if you're not running triathlons, it's like if you know that that gets you into that space, what can you do before that meeting, right?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Can you do pushups?

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
Right. And this is what they used to do. Like my son had trouble focusing, right? So a lot of energy.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
My husband used to joke that he had, um, uh, what did he say? Wasn't caffeine running through his veins, but it was something like that electricity.

Matthew:
Right, right. (laughs).

Mark:
Okay.

Marie:
Electricity, since he was a baby and since he was like in my tummy [inaudible 01:49:43] and it was just like that.

Group:
(laughing).

Marie:
So when he was in preschool, they, they were like, he's having trouble focusing in the morning meeting. They have a morning meeting every morning at 9:30. And so one of the recommendations we got was to have him do heavy physical activity, heavy, not run around on the swings. So they had these huge tires at the school, big, big tires in the sand pit.

Matthew:
(laughs).

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And I forget why they got them donated or whatever, but they would have him move the tires from one side of the sand pit to the other.

Matthew:
(laughs).

Mark:
(laughs)

Marie:
And the result was he would be able to go into the morning meeting and sit and focus and be calm, and really present, because his nervous system had relaxed, right?

Mark:
Hmm.

Matthew:
I see.

Marie:
He wasn't in that hyperactive.

Mark:
Yeah.

Marie:
So maybe are there things you could do, you know, even kind of ad hoc, like in the moment or right before in addition of course, making time for yourself to go to the gym, right.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
Anything come up?

Mark:
Maybe it's, you know, taking a mental stop where, you know, I take a breath, it's... And I've tried meditation in the past.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Or maybe it's, I go into a room if I feel like I'm not, you know, myself or if I'm off.

Marie:
Yeah.

Mark:
Um, luckily we do have some exercise equipment here and quiet rooms.

Marie:
I was just looking around, like I'm not even staring at those things. I'm like, "Is that like a Gravitron?"

Matthew:
(laughs).

Mark:
Yeah, we got, (laughs) yeah, you got pull up bars, we got some weights here so

Marie:
Yeah, so you have the opportunity to like before you go into a conference room, to do some pull ups and push ups and-

Mark:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
Yup, there you go.

Mark:
Yeah, or maybe another thing is just, yeah to clear my thoughts. Just in being very deliberative, uh, deliberate about how I'm taking my notes, rather than...

Marie:
Yeah.

Mark:
I feel like I get scatterbrained too much, uh, if there's too much on my plate.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
So just understanding what I have to do and then prioritize. And then, once that's on paper, then my mind could be lot more clear in other things.

Marie:
Yeah, I think lists are underrated in general. (laughs).

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
You know, I think sometimes we think, and I've this totally fall into this category, where I think I can mentally hold it.

Matthew:
Mm, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And then, I realized that I get complete mental overload, because there's too much. Like I might have my work list and then I have my like what groceries we need or stuff we need for the household, what I need to pack for the kids' lunch. Like I have all of the stuff that is just, because I'm CEO of my company and my household.

Matthew:
Right.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So it's very, very like heavy mental burden.

Matthew:
Right.

Mark:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
And when I put it down in a list, like you say, just all of a sudden it's like, huh.

Mark:
Yeah, you kind of feel a burden kind of reducing.

Marie:
Yeah, then we get the, the next level of that, which is when you get, get it done and you cross it off, you get a dopamine hit and that's cool too, right?

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
Yeah.

Matthew:
Absolutely.

Marie:
So, it's like this.

Mark:
Yeah, can I make lists just to cross things off [crosstalk 01:52:27]? (laughs).

Marie:
[crosstalk 01:52:27], some people do [inaudible 01:52:27].

Group:
(laughing).

Matthew:
Make a list, then check.

Mark:
Yeah.

Group:
(laughing).

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), well that's cool.

Mark:
So yeah.

Marie:
So you can feel like you have some action steps and terms of helping yourself move from that seven to a 10 in terms of being an assertive, more assertive in whatever that looks like for you. And that's the reminder I wanted to say is that a quiet leader is still, still can be an assertive leader, right?

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And we need, we need more of you.

Mark:
Cool.

Marie:
I mean, there's so many times in a room of leaders, I just want to say everyone just be quiet.

Group:
(laughing).

Marie:
Right.

Mark:
Yeah, yeah.

Marie:
And little by little like one person speak at a time. And that's another thing too is that leaders like talk over each other and interrupt and, and it can be hard in that environment if he grew up in a way that was like more of a observe versus lean in and speak.

Group:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
When there's a lot of big personalities and loud voices, it can cause you to retreat and retract.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And it be great to do like with the thinking rounds is just establish a protocol where if someone's speaking, you hold the space and you let them finish.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And one of the things that I've been teaching to a lot of my clients by modeling it when I facilitate is saying, "Are you complete."

Group:
Mm.

Marie:
Before anyone else moves on, I will say, "Are you complete?" And they say "Yes." And then someone else can speak.

Group:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative), then you can move on. I see.

Marie:
So it's kind of like the version of a talking stick without the actual talking stick. Right?

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
The old time, yeah.

Mark:
Gotcha. Yeah, that's really helpful.

Marie:
Yeah, what are you taking away Matthew?

Matthew:
That I let go of a couple things a little bit more.

Marie:
Mm.

Matthew:
Uh, already seeing little moments just reflecting on the week where those things could have happened or I could do more of that.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
So I know there are things I can do there. I can empower people to have more responsibility and be okay with them failing, without having the pressure to feel like I am responsible for that feel guilty, for that or I have to report to somebody else for that.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
So those things are... I'm starting to realize those things. I think the other thing too that I'm actively and have been actively working on is trying to compartmentalize my life a little bit more and to say no a little bit more often though.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Tho- tho- those are the two big things I think just, lately just piled up in terms of the queue and I've been overwhelmed as a result of that.

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm.

Matthew:
And I've been overwhelmed as a result of that. But I think it's because I said, "Yes," too much lately, rather than saying, "No, maybe later." So those are, those are the key things that I've taken away and I'm just going to be needing to reflect on and continue to see where I might apply that.

Marie:
I like that. So saying no or having some clear boundaries around what you say yes to.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And you can of course do that in a clear and kind way.

Matthew:
Of course.

Marie:
And um, and then learning how to let go a little bit and release some of that sense of what I would call over-responsibility.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So there's being responsible as a leader. And then, sometimes as people, depending on our upbringing, again, we have a sense of over-responsibility, and that's what we want to release.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark:
Mm.

Marie:
Because we want to take responsibility as a leader. It's really important to say, "You know what, I messed up." Like, "I want to do that differently next time."

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
And that's great, because that's modeling that for your, for your staff too.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
So you want to take responsibility and we want to think about what the word responsibility can mean, which is our ability to respond in any situation.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
We have control over that.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
We have control over our response, no one else's response.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marie:
So, so that's great, to learning how to let go of the over-responsibility and step more into, lean more into letting staff team experiment be challenged, make mistakes and fail at a level that won't destroy the business. Right?

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), right. (laughs)

Marie:
It's just a fine line.

Matthew:
Won't close the doors.

Marie:
Right.

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
But you as lea-, you've been here long enough to know what that will look like. Sometimes it's just a matter of like, "It's just uncomfortable."

Matthew:
Right, right.

Marie:
So you have to get kind of comfortable with that discomfort.

Matthew:
Correct. And then, I think the big thing that we need to work on is the culture.

Marie:
The culture.

Matthew:
And playing more, right?

Marie:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Just understand what do people need and then, figuring out how to address that. Cause I know that's something that we need to work on and I want to bring that back, so that we're all productive, happy and enjoy coming to work every day.

Mark:
Right.

Matthew:
Yeah.

Marie:
Playing more. I like that intention. Like playing more and then finding out what they need is, is asking, inquiring and getting them involved in creating whatever it is they want this culture to be right and what it takes to get there.

Matthew:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), right.

Mark:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew:
Right.

Marie:
Cool.

Matthew:
Cool.

Mark:
Cool.

Matthew:
On that note, I think this is probably a good place to end. My body clock is telling me [crosstalk 01:57:53].

Marie:
Great.

Mark:
(laughs) It's been a long day for you.

Marie:
I acknowledge you. The boundaries and listening to that internal barometer is good for you.

Group:
(laughing).

Matthew:
All right. Well, thank you so much for sitting down with us in this.

Mark:
Yeah thank you so much.

Matthew:
It's my pleasure.

Mark:
And this has been awesome and thank you everyone who's been watching and and, uh, chilling with us.

Greg:
Thanks so much for joining us in this episode. If you're new to the Futur and want to know more about our educational mission, visit the futur.com. You'll find more podcasts, episodes, hundreds of YouTube videos, and a growing collection of online courses and products covering design and business. Oh, and we spelled a future with no E. The FUtur podcast is hosted by Christo and produced by me, Greg Gunn.

This episode was mixed and edited by Anthony Borrow, with intro music by Adam Sandborne. If you enjoyed this episode, then do us a favor and rate and review us on iTunes. It's a tremendous help in getting our message out there and you know, let's just know what you like. Thanks again for listening and we will see you next time.

More episodes like this