At the ripe, young age of 23, I found myself leading a team of creatives for one of the top three cycling catalog companies in the nation. Looking back at that time, I certainly could have used more experience in team management and motivation to get the most out of my team. Or at least some additional investment in myself to become a better leader.
But, like many 23-year-olds, I am sure that I figured I could knock it out of the park on my own. Did I get the job done? Sure. But there was a LOT more tacking than optimal (to use a naval metaphor.
I made lots of mistakes: from micromanaging, to making constant changes in direction, to failing to find resources for those activities I could delegate. That’s how most of us learn to lead.
But there is a better way.
On this episode of Relish THIS, I had a great conversation with Chris Hutchinson, the CEO, Founder, and Abundance Influencer of the Trebuchet Group. His company helps purpose-focused leaders learn to work more effectively with their teams, get their organizations’ visions and actions aligned, and ensure that everyone is working as a team toward a unified goal. Using another naval metaphor — everyone is rowing in the same (and correct) direction.
Culture alignment, letting go of perfect, and how leadership coaching creates improvement in other areas of one’s life were all on the table during our conversation. Chris and his team at the Trebuchet Group do amazing things to help lay the foundation for organizational — and personal — growth for those looking to get their teams working as a unit.
I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.
Think about the impact you are making and if it is working for you. If not, take action if it is not fully satisfying.
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Yeah, that we, one of the sayings we have is that organizations go as far as their leaders can grow and let go. And it’s sometimes growing to those uncomfortable places. And sometimes it’s letting go of something you really liked to do. But it’s no longer serving because other people need to be able to do that.
I’m in that boat. There’s things that I love to do in client delivery. And I know that’s holding back our organization a little bit as we scale. And so figuring out how I can let go of those things. And here’s the other trick, I guess, or maybe thing that we do is I do this for clients. Like where else could you get the same sort of satisfaction, but it’s not in the same role.
So I have a lot of hands on projects at work at home that I spend time on. So I don’t do too much hands-on stuff at work.
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Now here’s your host, author and marketing specialist, Stu swine Ford.
Running a team can be really hard and keeping everyone or encouraging everyone to row in the same direction can be a challenge. And that’s what my guest today. Chris Hutchinson, CEO, founder, and abundance influencer at the trebuchet group. Does he helps leaders? Get a better understanding of how, of what to let go of, of how to motivate and how to get teams aligned.
Um, we had a really amazing discussion that, uh, that just went through all of the ins and outs of being a leader and how bringing in a coach to help with your. Can actually help influence other aspects of your life. Um, this is a really fun episode. Chris is a great guy. Um, his team does amazing work. I hope you really enjoy the show.
Here we go.
Hello, Chris, how are you doing?
I am doing great. I can’t believe the warm weather we’re having here in Colorado.
Yeah. It’s bananas. This actually will drop in February, I believe of next year, but yeah, it’s unseasonably warm weather. In fact, my wife was just across the street from our house and came across two or three. I’m not sure what the number word was, but I have a. More than one, that number of bears over there. Um, as she was walking the talk. So the bears have not yet gone into hibernation up here.
Um, well that’s yeah, we don’t have the bears here, but it’s just a bit warmer and probably in February, when we’re listening to this, everybody’s going to be like, yep, we’re in the middle of snow.
So. Yeah, it would really be nice to get some because it’s very dry up here right now.
Definitely. So, when you come here?
Yeah, we are, well, I am located up near Nederland, Colorado, which, uh, my house is at about 9,000 feet here in the woods. Um, so normally this time of year, it is significantly. Um, chillier and, um, snowier than what we are experiencing here in November. Uh, or I’m sorry, it’s December today. Uh, December of 2022. Um, whew. Yeah. Um, but, uh, but yeah, that’s where, that’s where we’re currently currently. You know, doing, doing our podcasts things. So how about you guys? You’re down the hill a little
We’re down the hill where we’re what 5,000 feet. So a lot lower than you in the front range of Colorado on the Eastern slope there. So it’s yeah, Fort Collins is it’s sort of a nice place to be. Most of the time we’re looking for snow and cold at some point here
At some point, we’ll get it. I hope. Well, tell us about the trebuchet group and how, what you guys are doing in the wonderful world of helping purpose focused leaders.
Uh, oh, that’s so cool. I really feel privileged to be able to work with people who are purpose focused, whether they’re team members or leaders, or the whole group, trying to figure out what in the world are we doing here? Um, we were frequently talk about how we’re basically helping leaders and teams work better together. And there’s no organization that needs that more than a purpose-based organization. Cause we’ve gotta make that great impact. Um, one thing that’s kind of interesting right now, I’ll just, I’ll sort of share a perspective I’m seeing and we’re helping a lot of people with this is with the, I would say, um, clarified, lack of control we have in our lives. You know, if it was just an assumption before, everything’s great. It’s all normal. Everything’s fine. And that’s been really disrupted a lot. Um, people are feeling the need for a lot more clarity and control at work because the rest of their lives, aren’t doing that. So sometimes that’s leading to people collaborating and working well together. Sometimes that’s sort of the crap bucket where everybody’s just trying to pull up on top and, and pull each other. So, um, there’s some organizations that we’ve talked to and the conversation kind of sounds like this, or like Chris and team. We’re wondering if the place that we were headed towards. It’s still the place we need to head toward, you know, it’s, it’s still, the location is it’s still the outcome that we’re going to get because either got dented or we’re having a harder time getting there or whatever, is this a, is this a reconsideration of our mission? Even as people are reconsidering, whether they should stay there or not.
And then when they, when you say, okay, we don’t know where it is and by the way, and they kind of pull in a little closer and a little quieter and the leader. We don’t know if we’ve really engaged everybody fully in this. I mean, we thought we did, but now we’re realizing that some people aren’t feeling as welcomed or as the belonging to the organization, as much as we believe they were.
Or we know that the problem was there and now it’s just shown up more whatever, but we’re like, how did we really make sure that everybody’s fully contributing to the mission so that we have complete commitment and buy-in to where we’re headed? And then there’s a little pause and then they stepped back a little quieter, kind of off to the side. You’re leaning over and they’re like, how the hell do you lead in this?
Because I don’t have the vibe. I used to feel the casual connections have to be formalized or they don’t happen. You know, I’m trying to figure out what do I do when I have employees that have needs that seem like they’re really in conflict with the organization. You know, if I gave everybody this thing I’m doing for this one employee, we couldn’t run. And the same time I want to keep them and I want to help them. And so there’s a lot of turmoil for leaders and figuring out how to what’s my role in this. So everybody’s engaged. So we’re going to the place we need to go.
Right. Well, there’s certainly has been a lot of upheaval over the last couple of years, you know, not only with the global pandemic, but, uh, but just kind of socially, it feels like there’s, um, a lot of things going on, which I would argue are, are, you know, many of them are very good things. Um, And it’s always interesting when there’s this kind of a big movement that then, then kind of, we settle into it and it, and it seems right now that we’re kind of in the movement, part of that, of that trajectory.
I totally agree. I think these are really good things. And again, it’s a lot of times organizations figuring out that we weren’t quite as good as we thought we were. I’m one hand is very grounding and helpful and the other hand is really disorienting and it can feel like, wait a minute, are we doing the right thing? And so some clients are getting to double down on what they’re doing and they feel like people have leaned in harder and that they are. The purpose is more needed than ever. So they feel very validated and some other ones that are kind of like, gosh, what do we do? I mean, we do some work with higher ed and on one hand, they’re like, of course we need this education. And then there’s a lot of people like my teenage kids that are. His school really helping, you know, it just, it’s been so hard to do this and what am I really going to learn about this? And how’s it gonna help me in my life. So incredibly important society shaping questions. And then really, I think it boils down to okay, in the circle of this organization and the boundaries here, what are we going to do together? And so we’re really lucky to be able to work with people in all those areas like around strategy and clarity and what are we doing together? Not that we tell them the answer, but more help them develop the. By talking with each other and understanding things together, helping the team work better because they’re like, yeah. How do we really show up in a way that everybody belongs and is fully in there? All their differences are, are all meshed together to get our best together and then supporting leaders through coaching and. To help them be more resilient rather than this is the way it’s like, how do you be resilient? How to develop a resilient team in an organization because this isn’t, the last changes can happen.
Right. Exactly. Yeah. It’s really interesting to, to kind of see how. You know, the, the, the idea of leadership, how it has evolved over, you know, even in the amount of time that I’ve been in business, but certainly you have, you know, kind of this legacy group of leaders who. Brought up to lead a certain way. So that tends to be their style. And, and we’re, we’re really, you know, in this era of, of, you know, the workforce and, and, and all of the future leaders are kind of thinking, is this, is this how we want to continue to do things? And so there’s this huge kind of change that’s going on and how, you know, how to navigate that when you were brought up to, you know, You know, this is your job. You go to your desk and you sit there and you work and you don’t complain and you go home and then you come back and do it again the next day. And that’s how, that’s how it work, work works. And then, you know, things are, things are evolving a little bit.
Yeah. Yeah, I agree. And I think the purpose driven leaders are purpose driven organizations and leaders are I think, at the forefront in some ways I believe if he went back and talked to people who had really amazing leaders and teachers, they were the one. That did these things that we see are needed all the time. They would deeply respect and trust you. They would understand your story. They’d point out things that are your strengths, that you don’t know our strengths cause they’re normal for you. And they wouldn’t capitalize on those. They’d help you have the path to go through that. So in some ways we’re kind of, I think it’s just taking the crust off the top or whatever, and really getting down to what is so important around interacting with each other towards some kind of. Benefit and goal for that to help everyone. Yeah. I mean, one way that’s just total common sense on the other way. I think you’re right. That it, that I think that maybe that was that way a long time ago. And then when people got authority and more people and more communication, they were like, Hey, you know, let’s just tell them what to do. Leadership is about direction. It’s about pushing. It’s about. And my book, I used the analogy of the marbles. If you were playing marbles?
I have it’s been awhile, but I hope the concept. Yeah.
So there’s like a string.That’s a big circle and you got these little marbles and you get these really big marbles to the shooter, and you’re supposed to try to knock them out of the circle or to a certain spot, um, using the big marble, do that a little marbles, the way to win the game is that you knock it and the little marble stays where it’s supposed to. And you’re good. Right? So a lot of people, I think. Even in some of my military training, although not all of it, it was around you do the right kind of action to somebody shoot that shooter at them and they go to the place they’re supposed to go and they stay there. Leadership’s done. Right. You just do that to everybody. And I, in the, in the book that I wrote five years, I talk about, it’s really more about if you play a game, it’s about skipping stones on a lake and the idea was skipping stones to win. It’s like how far out can you get that thing? How many skips can you make it happen? So that’s around setting up as a leader in the right way to get the gut right. Kind of angle and know myself. And then if I do something this little nice flat round stone hits the pond. Which is probably another person it’s going to impact them. And if we do that, right, we go impact the systems in the business. And then that goes to impact the clients and their clients and their clients. And it goes on and on until the thing’s just hovering over the water and that’s more and oh, by the way, it’s not the stone really it’s the energy and parted through those ripples that affects every. Right. And that dies down and you need to pick up another one. It’s a constant redoing of leadership, constantly working on that. And if you do it right, I think it can be a lot of fun. And I get energy back from it, from the ripple. That’s right. It kind of reminds me of a quote. I’m getting this a little bit wrong, but it’s the essence is there is that the best teachers are the ones who realize that there are, there are always students and, um, you know, just that concept of we’re always, you know, there’s never like an end point.
You’re always working on yourself. You’re always, you know, trying to, trying to do a little bit better. And, um, yeah, I totally agree. It’s like if, you know, like people that like. When I help somebody learn something, I learn a lot more about it myself too, to get to that point. And I know my team recently, they were saying, because they were looking like, okay, five, 10 years.
We’re really looking out there, which might be retirement age for me, I’m 55, just had a birthday. And so maybe it’s 10 years, maybe five don’t know. Um, and they said, well, you sort of do you get energy by just sort of sitting there and partying this wisdom since, you know, you can tell I’m enjoying sharing this with you and we’re interacting.
And I, and I kind of said, you know, if that’s all it is, I would really not like this. Right. If I’m able to share that and learn at the same time, right. I love it. I’d love to do that all the time. And I would not, I wouldn’t want to get the place where I wasn’t learning and doing that. Cause it, it just energizes me to have this sharing and we end up with something richer than either of us start.
Yeah, exactly. And yeah, I think you said it really well is when I can go and teach something, I’m actually learning that much more about it. Um, then I would just even being taught that thing. So it’s such a, it’s such a cool dynamic to, to be able to experience that. Really live in that space where you’re, where you’re able to kind of be a, you know, somewhat of an influencer, but see how influenced you all are in that space.
I have been tremendously influenced recently by clients who are, uh, asking for different things. Um, Sharing different things. I think stepping into the, the whole space of how do we help everyone contribute fully and feel like they’re fully valued, which is around equity and inclusion. And do we have diversity of thought and.
The backgrounds we bring. And so we get a richer solution. Um, those are that that’s a really funky place to be. And there’s lots of, sort of, uh, I don’t say landmines, but sound traps and you get stuck here, there, or you can avoid something that you should go through. And I, I’m continuing to learn in that.
And I’m, I figured when I’m finished learning, that’s when you get the pine box out and I’m pre I hope so. Yeah. I hope that we can all continue to learn throughout our lives because there’s certainly always something. To, you know, to, to be kinda interested. I hope so. What, what’s your process there at, at, at the trebuchet group.
How do you, how do you, uh, engage with, with new new clients and, and what what’s the what’s that engagement look like? Yeah. You asked good questions. I just have to say that really good thoughtful questions. I can just tell the intentionality, um, Yeah, it depends on how they sort of show up. And in general, it’s that, uh, some of these kind of word of mouth or something heard, Hey, you should go, go have a conversation with them.
Maybe they might be able to help you with something or you’ll just walk away with some clarity. I love when people walk in and Hey, that’s what I was told. So I think that the first thing is really to kind of sit down together. Sometimes it’s over zoom now and, um, hear about what are they. What are the dreams?
What are the hopes? What are the possibilities that really the organization would like to have? The leader would like to have a lot of times it’s like, I see this possibility and we’re not quite there. So talk about, well, what’s happening at the moment and what have they done so far to try to get there?
Um, and then, you know, it really started collaborating at that point to say, well, what could be the possibilities or how important is this for you? Is this just a nice to do? Or is this something really critical and what kind of energy, what sort of time? Those are the first biggest things. And then if there’s funds, which usually there’s not a budget cause people don’t plan for like system breakdown or, you know, uh, let’s see, my team stops working as well as I’d hoped, even though before it was great.
So something. You know, something’s changed. Right. Um, so we really talk about that. And then we collaboratively build a, like here’s some of the tools we have and if we arrange them in this order, we think we can step you through very frequently. It’s it’s starts with the team. It’s not only a safe place.
It’s also a good place because then. We can find out, does the team have the skills and ability and willingness to kind of wrestle with the problems frequently? They’re not as strong as they could be, and we have these problems. So if we set up a situation where we’ll have an offsite, or sometimes it’s online meeting where we kind of explore these things together, build some trust to get clarity and figure out what we might do next.
So it’s this combination of. Doing it at the same time. Oh, by the way, we’re talking sideways with the leader in the background to say, what space would help the team move into? You know, is that something you’d let go of is just something you’ve grabbed onto? How can we change the conditions of the team then can step into this as well, so that you can say leadership, coaching or coordination.
Um, that’s a lot of what we do. Yeah. We basically run the process together, checking all the way through. I encourage, we encourage leaders to say, Hey, wait a minute. Is this where we’re supposed to be going? I think we should change, like in the middle of this. If they feel it, we should be able to do that, to help them.
And the team know that they’re in control of what’s happening. Right. We’re doing it together. And then at the end, we, we sort of have a, you know, okay, here’s the information that we heard the team present or bring together. And we bring that back and say, here’s the next steps that we can see these first two, you do yourself.
The third one we can help with. So it’s very much an open collaborative process. And that’ll be for the goals of that year or we’re working on a project, or maybe we really are trying to reshape our culture and we’re trying to figure out how to do it. So that all is different levels is usually where we start.
Sometimes that’ll spawn ongoing coaching. Sometimes he will just come in and say, look, I know I’m the limit on my team. I want to be a better leader where I have some people I want to help develop. How can we, how can we improve? Which sounds amazing. It’s so cool too. No, when people kind of get there and they’re just like, and it’s not a deficiency lack, like I’m not good enough.
It’s more like I see possibilities and I want to equip my people and myself for this. And I’ve heard you can help with that, which is just a yeah. Having that self-awareness of, of, um, really knowing where one strengths and weaknesses lie. Um, you know, I think that’s, that’s a hallmark of a really great leader where.
You know, if, if, if I know that I need resources to help me doing these three things, but I’m really good at, at these other things, then that allows, that allows that person to stay in that kind of, I mean, I’m sure you’ve heard zone of genius before. Um, But, you know, stay in that area in which they’re actually, you know, creating the most positive impact for their, for their organization and, and kind of get out of their own way.
Yeah. That we, one of the sayings we have is that organizations go as far as their leaders can grow and let go. Yeah. And it’s sometimes growing to those uncomfortable places and sometimes it’s letting go of something you really like to do, but it’s no longer serving because other people need to be able to do that.
I’m I’m in that boat. There’s things that I love to do in client delivery. And I know that’s holding back our organization a little bit as we scale. Right. And so figuring out how I can let go of those things. And here’s the other trick, I guess, or maybe thing that we do is I do this for clients. Like where else could you get the same sort of.
Satisfaction, but it’s not in the same role. So I have a lot of hands-on projects at work at home that I spend time on. So I don’t do too much hands-on stuff at work. That’s great. That’s really cool. I need the satisfaction and I want to do it, but if I do it here, I’m taking it away from somebody else. I mean, Yeah.
I mean, I’ve seen people get really creative with this, where, um, for example, I know someone who, who ran an agency, uh, kind of like relish studio that, um, that he had been a creative his entire life. And then it kind of grown into this leadership role and then decided to start his own agency. And. And, but he really still enjoyed the creative stuff.
He just knew that, that, you know, a, there were other people who could do that job and be, um, you know, he needed to be focused on some other things, but he, he went ahead and created a seat in his organization as kind of this part-time, um, creative, where there were, you know, Blocks of time a week that he was going to be focused on that piece because, because he did enjoy it and he was still really good at it.
Um, And, and so, you know, I don’t think you have to always think about giving something up completely. You can get fairly creative in terms of how you, uh, how you approach things. Yeah. I have served people doing, that’s a great example. I love that. Where, where they, um, carve out some time and space for that.
I think the people that do it really well. Take the responsibilities of that role in that role. And don’t let him blur into the others can inform, like I’m noticing because I’m working hands-on with clients or something like that. It’s like, Hmm, this could be better, but don’t step into CEO role again and go, well, we’re changing this.
Just bring it up as here’s something I noticed. I wonder how other people are feeling about that. Yeah. Yeah. It’d be, yeah, it is interesting. Cause at that point you’re, you are kind of wearing two hats, but if you can, yeah. If you can divest that CEO role out from that piece of just say, you know, I’m just going to do my thing and, and um, you know, maybe bring up some ideas, but, but I’m not the senior.
Uh, I’m not going to step on the, you know, the senior designer. Toes for example. Exactly. Yeah. And then, you know, maybe just, you know, I think, I think when it really boils down to it, I I’ve been getting a lot of sort of reinforcement from the universe. That curiosity is the key to successful leadership and probably interpersonal relationships too.
But, um, Just being curious about, well, so what, what does this do for us or, Hey, what was the intent that you had when you said that’s not gonna work? I’m, I’m just, I’m trying to understand. And it allows people to not judge themselves and instead of being the place where they can show up around possibilities and think about what could be better going forward, rather than feeling like I’m wrong, I’m bad, you know, that shame.
Yeah, I know it’s easy to hit even though you’re trying to be helpful. People can go into it. I can’t go into it. Yeah, sure. I mean, we all, we all learn and grow due to failures when the opportunity to, to fail. Um, and, and I think that that’s one of the challenges of leadership is, is allowing your team to, to maybe not, not necessarily be successful.
I mean, obviously. I want people to, um, you know, drive the bus off the bridge or something. But, uh, but as long as, as long as these are our learning opportunities, I think that that that’s, uh, a challenge. You know, so many leaders come from this entrepreneurial mindset as well, where particularly in the, in the early phases of, of, you know, building an organization or a, or a business, you know, we are wearing all the hats.
And we have an idea of how we would do things and, and it’s, it is very difficult to kind of let go of, of those items that, uh, that you need to start filling, you know, getting those hats away. Um, so it’s just, uh, that’s, that’s a real challenge for leaders. How do you, how do you recommend people? You know, what’s the.
What’s the exercise that you recommend for leaders who are in that, in that boat. Yeah, there’s, there’s a lot, there’s a couple of different ways to get at that. And it’s really key. One thing is thinking beyond, so I have this position, I have this, you know, there’s benefits to it. There’s payoffs, even for the things that drive people crazy.
There’s a payoff to you, whether you wouldn’t do it. But, but thinking about putting yourself into the future and asking three questions, what are the outcomes that you want to achieve in your life? You don’t yet have? What are the outcomes you want to avoid in your life? That might be on the way or when.
So that whatever that future is, it’s almost like going to the future coming back. And the last one is, what outcomes do you want to preserve that you noticed? I said, outcomes, not methods. So it’s not like I love this program or whatever. It’s like, I like being physically fit and I want to preserve that.
Or I like the energy that, that gives me to play with my kids or, you know, whatever the thing would be. It’s and then putting those into a bucket. I’m looking at him saying, what are the non-negotiables, what are the outcomes that I’m not going to say no to? What are the nice to haves? And then there’s kind of the rest.
And if you look at the non-negotiables and you have a couple of achieves, a couple of voids, a couple of preserves at a high level, for whomever you care about whatever you put them on a list, it becomes, um, sort of a screen, a filter that says if something, if I’m going to do something in my life, Like step away from the business.
Is that going to, how does that help the direction that I’m going or not? It might be, Nope. I’m never going to step away. They carry me out, whatever, because when I looked at does these things for me that that’s a choice, you can do that, or it could be now that, you know, what if I just stay here and sort of decline, that’s going to violate a couple of these criteria that I have, or it certainly won’t have.
So what are other options? So that, that’s one thing I that’s on the kind of the look ahead piece right here right now. I don’t remember where I saw this. It was an Adam Grant or a Dan pink, or one of these guys who are just fabulous at taking information and distilling it down to here’s a thing that can help you.
Right. And I think it, I, I want to say it was the 80 or 85% rule. This is hard for somebody who has very high standard. But it’s essentially looking at something that’s produced and saying, is that 85% of what you think it needs to be? Right. And letting. If it’s at 85, not trying to add the extra 15%, very hard for me.
Cause I’m also trying to help mentor people on. I don’t want to say, well, you need this. Right. But instead, what I’m trying to do is when I stepped back, I said, let me ask you a question. I mean, it’s good. And let me ask you a question about this piece that I think could be, maybe it could help it a little bit more.
Right. But actually, as I can, as I apply that to myself and look at something and go it’s 85%. Yeah, that lets me, let go of that. Need to put that extra piece on there. The person’s going to feel better about what they’ve done. I’m getting out of the edit mode. You can see how that kind of helps, but it’s just ensure you got to just kind of it’s for me, it works for me.
Like put the bar down a little bit and say, you know what? They’re doing great. And it’s sufficient for the business. It’s not a problem. Move on. Yeah, it’s the whole a perfect is the enemy of done concept, right? Where, where you can spend, you know, a thousand years trying to try to tweak something to get it perfect.
And it’s never going to be, um, because you know, as soon as you finish that book or, or, you know, finish writing that song or launch that product, there’s always going to be something that you’re like, oh, I wish I’d made it. I wish I’d tweaked this here, but you know, but it’s done and it’s out there and it’s, and it’s actually.
Um, you know, making. You know, making waves or, or not. And, but, but ultimately you accomplish something and, uh, and, and you didn’t just spend the rest of eternity kind of tweaking it. Yeah. I think the best feedback is when you put something out in the universe and then adjust, you know, it’s like, Uh, ready, aim, fire refire, or, uh, you know, there’s a lot of things in there.
And I w you know, if you’ve talked to my team, if we had them on here listening, and like, you know, with their mics on, they would say, this is a work in progress for Chris. Chris has really, you know, on one hand, I love that we we’ve polished things and hone them to certain place. And it’s hard to let go of ensuring that policy continues out at the same time.
That’s, it’s plenty of things. Yeah, and it’s going to help everybody grow. And the other thing, it’s not like I’m going to look at it and go, that’s not good enough. If it’s not good enough, I need to step in and say, okay, here’s something that I think is vital. This might turn off a client. This might not help us.
This might sort of sort of damage our brand in some way that we don’t know now, but down the future, I need to say those things. And I’m like, here’s something I could see. How much do you think. And give that control to the person and then try to collaborate with them so they can go. Yeah, that’s a good point.
Or I don’t see that. Okay. Planted the seed if it comes up later. Great. If it doesn’t then. Well, and you’re probably going to make adjustments to it at some point anyway, so it can live in the market for, for however long. And then you bring out version, version three.one or whatever. We just, we just doing that.
I, we had a client. This is so cool. I love this story because I love that I’ve lived this story. Client came to us and said, we’ve had, um, we’ve taken. Our up and coming leaders to events. Um, and we’ve also done yearlong programs and we’re not really psyched with the results. We know you have this book and I’m like, yeah, it’s a self guided book.
You just take the book and just do it. Right. And they’re like, well, yes. And we want to create an environment we want, we want to have you, um, build out a nine month class or a long class cohort kind of thing, where multiple clients. Send their people to you and simultaneously they all work together. They cross pollinated, they learn this stuff together and they learn what it is.
What’s important about being a leader, how they can show up and help other people and how they can go make our systems better. And we’ll front load that we’re going to pay for the development of it in by four slots. Okay. Yeah. And so, and we had, here’s the two of the companies we think we want to have the cross pollination with let’s go.
So we had a cohort. I think it was, was it nine? It was nine, but it was nine months long. Just ended fabulous results. People are psyched was very reassuring and validating for me that yet we’re really helping people. A couple of our team members have grown because they’ve been the ones facilitating along.
Right. And we’re going to next year, we’re doing a larger rollout of the same thing with some small tweaks. And, uh, um, it’s kind of funny. Like I believe everybody can be a leader or is leading in some way, even when you’re just advising a peer or asking them questions. So we’re going to have a sort of a team version of it where it doesn’t say you want to be a leader.
It says you want to really contribute as part of the team and, and have a scaled back version of. The program where it’s only a semester long, they’re like 12 weeks. Okay. Where people can come in, learn about themselves, learn about how to be really excellent team members, not just do their job. Right. And then how do we work together to make this place home?
That’s what we’re going to be offering to those next year, too. And that’s another iteration and we’ll see you when you said 3.0, I’m like, yep. That’s awesome. Yeah. It’s interesting how there’s so much overlap and, and, um, you know, I’ve been in programs in the past where we talked a lot about, um, business.
Cause you know, everybody in the program was an entrepreneur of some sort and um, but there’s all these other components of our lives that are required to be in, you know, in, uh, either sync or. At least harmony with that entrepreneurial kind of pillar and, you know, you can kind of chop up things, however, however you like.
Um, and I, I guess I shouldn’t have said chop up because they are all part of, of us as people, but, um, You know, one of the ways to look at it was there’s the business life, there’s personal life, there’s family, and there are kind of friends and, um, and all of those, you know, if you can get all of those humming and working well together, um, that’s where like the true magic happens.
And so, you know, this kind of leadership training, it actually can, can inform. Other aspects of one’s, uh, one’s personality as well. And, um, so it’s cool to hear how you are approaching that. Not just looking at just the leaders, but the, you know, showing how, um, you know, other members of the team can apply this kind of con these concepts to not only their business lives, but, but perhaps elsewhere.
Yeah, I jokingly say in some of these, you know, uh, I’ll say, you know, kind of with a wink, wink in my voice, sort of, of like, of course these do not work with friends, family relatives, or anything like that. This is strictly business, you know, that we’re going to trust people and have challenging conversations to get to the heart of the matter and you know, and people laugh and it’s, it’s kind of fun when, when I hear people that said, yeah, you know, we did this thing.
And then I went home and was talking to my son. Oh my God, this is like, I’m not listening. I need to listen to what is important to him and validate that. And then he’ll be open to maybe what I might see different. And until I do that, I’m just talking at him, but that’s probably the way I was parented. I can change.
I can, I can, I can shift this. So he’ll have a different model going forward. Different possibility. That’s really cool to hear it. Cause I think, oh, one more thing I want to. Um, what was it? Three weeks ago? We, my team and I, we went down to Pagosa Springs for a real, that’s a hot spring place in the mountains, and we had some relaxation and some hikes, and we also did thinking and planning for the future.
And when I went in, I will, I’m just going to be real transparency. I was pretty nervous. We have people with really strong beliefs about what should be happening in the world and they don’t always completely overlap. Right. They, they there, you know, and I want them to do that and I want it to overlap as much as it can.
Uh, and I was a little worried that maybe we were actually moving all in different directions. So, so we went through this exercise to say, um, a lot of Simon Sinek and some other cool people who’ve thought about this. It’s like, what’s our core purpose. What’s our just cause what, what is the world that we want, where.
The things that irritate us a lot, the bother us about the world are not present. Right. And that’s what we do. Everybody says what pisses you off about the world and what would the world look like without that? And it was so cool. I don’t want to shout. Um, it was just awesome because we really came down to this and it just coalesced right in front of us without a lot of wordsmithing.
And we said, you know what? We all want a world where everyone can thrive. Collectively and individually at. Yeah, that’s amazing. And that, that is what all, you know, we’re going to have lots of different variations from this leadership program to coaching, to, you know, communications, to DEI work. All those things are aimed at that.
And if w if it’s aiming at that, we’re going in the right direction. And it was so empowering for me, went from fear to excitement because, um, knowing where we’re headed. Then I can let go a little. It’s not up to me to pull us that way. It’s up to all of us. And so now it’s a shared collective purpose and where we’re headed, I’m just pumped.
You can hear it. Yeah. I mean, it’s amazing. Once when you can get everybody really. The same direction. Um, and, and if you don’t do that planning and you don’t know what that future aspirational state is, or your north star or whatever you want to call that. Right. Um, then you have the potential for, you know, everyone to maybe be rowing as hard as they can.
But if, if you know, if they’re not rowing the same direction, you’re just not going to get there. Yeah. I have seen boats where like in a larger organizations where engineering’s on one side, marketing’s on the other and they’re rowing so hard, they crack the boat and you’re like, what are you doing? And they’re like, well, the hole’s not in my side.
So I’m. You know, and they’re like, wait, wait, wait, do you hear what you’re saying? And they’re like, yeah, I’m worried about water there. Those suckers back there, I’m sorry. The holes in their side, you know, I don’t know, they’d have a problem, right. Instead of like, holy crap, we’re going to sink, you know, we gotta be together and it seems common sense.
And yet we get in these places where we get so competitive, sometimes some organizations were, but if you could go the same direction and pass that hole, there’s nothing you can. Right. Yeah. It’s fantastic. So you’ve mentioned your book a couple of times. Tell, tell us a little bit more about that. So my book is called ripple.
It’s a field manual for leadership that works with, with a double meeting leadership. And people that are actually doing leadership that’s effective. Um, I wrote that I started it thinking, um, I would put down some of my articles and things that I’ve written to help give some guidelines for, um, clients around.
I was seeing them put different things in place where they put a piece of a system from some book or something in one place of their business and then be something else in another. And I’m like, these are diametrically opposed that they’re not philosophically aligned or aligned in values. And I’d asked him, do you see this kind of clash between these?
And they go, yeah, but they’re both, they’re both successful. I’m like, well, it’s the integratedness, that’s going to make the difference. Right. I’m not judging it’s good or bad. It’s just, you’re there fighting each other to the point, not healthy tension, but actual friction and, you know, the engine is going to burn up.
Right. Um, so I kind set out at there. It takes six months to do this. I’m trying to remember when it was 2009, I think. And then in 2015, six years later, I got the book together and I actually gave you the beginning of the reason I called it, a ripple was because of the thing I told you about that it’s the energy and the ripples.
That’s the thing that makes the difference for leaders. And so when at, and then set, um, kind of talked about the ripples from inside out, and they’re sort of three main pieces. Two components each. So as a leader, uh, my ability to do things is influenced strong is proportional to how much I know myself.
It’s kinda like a duh, right then that kind of thing. But that’s, if I don’t know myself, I don’t think things are going to be rather challenging. It’s going to be hard to figure out where do I push or where do I pull or things like that. The second one is, um, leaders are judged more by what they don’t then by.
Okay. So it’s about being an action as leader. So the first one’s kind of being the second piece is sort of doing right. All right. So if I’m doing those things well, now I’ve done my setup. I launched my rock smoothly into the, you know, across the pond. Um, the third principle is really, uh, this is, this is the second thing is leading others.
Okay. So people discover their best selves through being respected by a leader. Th there are folks that can rise above horrifically, abusive situations, but for the most part, it’s when somebody says stew, that was amazing. You know, when you did that, here’s the impact it had on that person. And they’re going to be a better person over life.
And, you know, you should keep doing that. That’s where people just glow. Right. And I think that’s a response to me as a leader. To do that. I have clients that I talk to sometimes and I point something out and they’re like, yeah, that’s just, you know, whatever. And I’m like, no, no, no, wait a minute. You know, you chose to do that.
That was an active choice on your part. And he kind of, everybody does that. I’ll stop them again and say, wait, have you ever noticed anybody struggle with this? And they kind of get a wrinkled face and they go, yeah, it’s really weird. I don’t get that. Because it’s a superpower for them and it’s normal, right?
And I’m like, this is actually strength, you know, you’re not. And if you don’t know, it’s a strength, you’ll start seeing people’s inadequate if they don’t have it right. In most places and organizations and people are operating of an over application of a strength rather than a week. It’s usually too much of a good thing.
The cool part about that is you just let off on accelerate a little bit and you’ll actually get more effective, which is backward thinking, right? Why would I do that? If I let up on the accelerator while you’re driving on ice, you’re you’re going too fast. And so if you actually go a little slower, you’ll actually go faster.
Right? Cause you get more. Oh, wait. So then. And the fourth principle is, so if I really respect you, is that people multiply leaders power only as much as that power shared. Okay. So I don’t work with you and enable you to do stuff like we just were talking about that’s it that’s the limit on my power.
Right. Um, and then the last two pieces. So we got, I’m being in doing as a leader, I’m being in doing with you as a person, you know, and then there’s the kind of be and do in the organization itself, which is sort of the system part. So the fifth principle is organizations have designed to get the results that.
If you want, if you want different results, you’ve got to change the design. You don’t just like do it harder or faster. So it’s effectiveness. It’s really, are we doing the right thing? And then the final one that, um, and I’m trying to make this positive, even though people see it, negatively organizations generating waste are generating opportunities for improvement, right?
So that’s around efficiency and moving. Most organizations do this backwards. They’ll start with efficiency. Like, Hey Stu, we need 87%. This 82% is not good enough. You know, you’ve got to figure out what to do, work harder, do whatever. And you do everything. You can, it doesn’t get better. And it’s like, oh, silly us.
Um, it’s not efficiency. It’s actually effectiveness. We’re not doing the right thing. So let’s reorg let’s change the process. Okay, great. We try that. Maybe that doesn’t work, then it slides back to that equipping piece. I told you about like, I, I’m not really treated you like a person I’ve been giving you tools that really help.
That’s a why in the world could you do better? And then if I haven’t done that, do I see you as a person beyond like, as a person with unique skills and abilities that I trust you and enable you, or do I see you as a Cod? And then that part’s all cool. Most people can deal with that part. And then it gets personal because now it’s inside the boundary of me.
Am I showing up in the right ways to enable someone to do the right kind of stuff? And then do I really know who I am and what I’m. If you go from the inside out, it’s way more effective, but most people kind of go from the outside in. So let’s say for, to talk about that 87 82 number, then I’m not showing up well as a leader.
Cause I don’t really know what I want here. Right? Right. Well, it’s T it’s that kind of taking ownership over the leadership piece, um, where it’s like, if, if somebody is failing, then. There’s something that, that the leader could have done to improve their operation, their ability or their opportunity to succeed.
Yeah. Yeah. There’s, there’s definitely work. And, uh, um, I’m spacing the guy’s name, but a very famous guy who, who helped the Japanese? You, you may remember this. Um, gosh, I can’t remember his name, but he’s would talk about how that the problems were usually 80 plus percent of the system problem and not the person problem.
Yeah, it’s around the constraints or the rules or the stuff that the person was given. They did the best they could considering. And yet we usually punish the people around doing a bad job. So it’s kind of sitting back and saying, well, what are the conditions that we set this person up with? What if we change those?
And what if we move the trashcan instead of 40 feet away, put it right next to the workbench. Probably things won’t get dropped on the floor, probably. Yeah, it’s amazing how we can, we can make just those minor adjustments that actually create huge opportunity, um, in, in our, in our lives in general, as you know, not just, not just business lives is just, you know, it’s kind of like what you mentioned with your, um, you know, how you’re, how one is approaching, having a conversation with their kid.
Um, you know, if you could just. Take a step back and move the trash can a little bit, the, uh, there might be some, some big wins available there. Oh, I, you know, well, back to the thing, when, you know, I joked, you know, that’s just an work student that doesn’t work at home. It doesn’t matter. Right. It doesn’t, it’s not the same thing at all right now.
It is so what’s so cool is to be able to have people grab onto things that really make their lives better. Right? One of the things in there I have is a thing that says light their torches. So if I’m going to help, I should let your torch and it’s going to guide you in your direction. Not. Uh, hopefully they overlap for a while.
Cause I like you and we’re doing that stuff together, but ultimately I believe it’s my responsibility or calling to help you figure out what’s most important for you. And I wouldn’t want that to be something other than what we’re doing. And have you be trapped here. Right. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a really cool concept.
Actually. I love it. So what are, what are some of the things that you see in the nonprofit world in particular that, uh, that, that if you could just shine a light on this for most nonprofit leaders, it would, it would, uh, make huge differences in the way that they’re running those organizations. That’s it.
That’s a big question. Yeah, that’s a good one though. I mean, I think, um, there’s some challenges that nonprofits can face that other organizations don’t. Um, one of them that I see that I, I challenged gently and when I see it, not in a judgmental way is the belief that there’s sometimes can be in an organization.
The belief that if you really believe in this mission, you will, your, your suffering demonstrates your belief in the. Right. Could be PE could be conditions, could be that we can’t get what we need to get. Um, sort of encouraged and encouraged scarcity, I guess, which really, and I’m not saying you just like raise everybody’s salaries up or things, but I think the important part is saying what’s, if we imagine this over longterm, what will this sustainably be?
And the other question that I’ve heard people say is, and we try to, you know, like what if we worked ourselves out of it? Like, what if we took this and work, what would we do maybe differently versus the, the challenge of you get rewarded when you’re helping somebody that’s systemically having a challenge and you’re not really working on the system that’s causing it.
Right. So that’s that, that’s that building the hospital at the bottom of the river concept. Yeah. Instead of getting a prover and trying to fit, why the hell are people falling into the river? You know? Yeah. And that’s really hard. Um, we facilitated a conversation a number of years ago when a community and they were really looking affordable.
Housing is I think a problem everywhere. It’s a problem in our community too. And. The the, the convening group, which is a bunch of leaders in different sectors. So let’s have something where we bring people together and talk about this affordable housing challenge and what we might be able to think as possibilities.
And it was a little sad and revealing that when we got to the end, these 40 people, everybody, you know, we had small groups and came up with stickies and group things on the wall and came up and there was this sort of this small list of here’s the things we might be able to do. So to collectively. And at the end of it, everybody stood up and said, well, that’s nice.
And really the way we solve this as fund my organs. They were so, and that deep belief was propelling them and limiting them at the same time. It was that I’m I have the window onto the solution here and you just need to fund me and we’ll do it. And so there was no systemic collaboration enabled possible.
There was nobody was willing to sacrifice anything in, you know what let’s go upstream. Let’s invest in somebody else that may be getting this ahead of me and working myself out of a. Right. And so that’s a, it’s a, it’s a double bind, right? It’s, it’s great that these people are so committed and dedicated, willing to suffer.
On the other hand, if we don’t really look at things sort of collectively, we’re probably not going to do much more than sort of apply SAB or bomb to help people rather than really address the root causes of some challenge. Yeah. It’s um, the answer back, just let go, let go. That scarcity and, um, think about what you could do together first.
There we go. Yeah, it’s true. I mean, sometimes there are people who have systems in place that are just more effective or, or, or are addressing, um, you know, the root of, of that situation. And. And that’s the, that’s the direction that we all need to go. And it’s kind of a bummer. If, if you’re, um, you know, your, your, your organization is teed up to, to kind of solve a different part of the problem, but.
If the, if, if the root problem can come away, then, then your organization doesn’t need to need to be around anymore. I mean, that’s a little bit of a bummer, but it’s also, like you said, I mean, in the nonprofit space, there are tons of nonprofits out there that, that, you know, ideally they, they are able to solve that problem and not be needed anymore.
Um, and, and that’s an interesting, that’s an interesting concept because I think that, um, Yeah, that’s kind of a hard place to sit is that I’m going to, I’m going to solve this and then I’m going to be out of, uh, out of a job. But if we could, if we could move more effectively toward that or more efficiently toward that, that’d be, that’d be really great.
It is really tough because that. Probably the satisfaction of doing the work they’re doing is the reason they’re there. But if there’s no satisfaction in resolving a problem that goes away. So it is a weird catch 22 that can happen to a lot of organizations in the nonprofit world. Not all, some of them are doing root work and nobody can solve it by them.
It’s not like we just merge them all into one giant Borg of a organization. That’s going to fix everything. There’s a lot to be said for people experimenting and trying little things all over to figure out what would be effective. And that might run for 10 years really well. And then that’s, it doesn’t kind of work because the conditions have changed.
Right? So I think the probably, and this works across the board in any organization, if leaders fall prey to the, the role. And so. Tightly wound. Um, it’s very hard to accept criticism to see things beyond yourself. And, um, it just makes it really hard to move forward in a larger way. It’s about that leader growing, letting go, right.
It’s like letting go of that. What I do is. The concept very much so. And, and some of the people that have the hardest with that is like a attended event last night. And there’s this group that gets first responders together, just kind of go out and hunt and fish and hang out because, um, it’s really hard to talk about meltdown.
Yeah, for them, it’s a taboo subject. Sometimes it could even get you fired and yet they desperately need to process some things that they don’t have control over people dying in front of them, even though they did their best. Right. So really hard situation. Um, and they, so that you probably can’t address the root cause there of the challenge from the work, but you can address how do we help people work through this themselves, right.
To the point where. They can be more whole people throughout this incredible work they’re doing. So it’s really cool that there’s organizations like that popping up. And, uh, we were talking about the people that show up and pulling the roll off and seeing themselves as whole beside that is, is a real challenge.
When you, you see yourself as a saver or a rescuer, but you’re unable to rescue yourself very. Tough. Yeah. I guess see how that’s a real challenge for people. And, um, and again, you know, just digging down to the root cause of that, if there were, if, if, if there were opportunities to reduce or remove the stigma of, of, you know, those feelings that, that most of, of that community is probably experiencing at least on some level, um, you know, then.
You know, then that could work, work that organization out of their role of providing that support group. But, um, but it’s, you know, it’s fantastic that they exist in this, in this moment. Um, as we continue to move toward, uh, the bigger, bigger fixes of, of that, uh, that particular, the people who are the guides that go out with the folks are retired first responders, and they’ve been there, done that kind of thing.
And so they can, and they know they’re not there to fix the people. There to help the people sort of work on themselves. I believe that they actually are addressing a little root cost because those folks that let’s say instead of at 60, when these guys were retired and sort of doing the guiding, but they’re at 30 or 25 or 27, if they are able to work through that, I believe that they’ll turn around and do that to the next person.
And so you start moving the barrier away from. You know, it’s okay to do this. And someday they’ll, you know, it’ll be like, Hey, it’s totally, it’s like, yeah, I got a flu. I got to go for my mental health checkup. And it’s pretty far in the future probably, but I don’t think that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep working on it.
And that’s. I mean, that’s just being human. Yeah. Well, if you can reduce the timeline on those cycles, then, you know, eventually it goes instead of a 30 year gap, it goes to a 15 year gap and then a, then a five. And then, you know, eventually it’s just part of the training when you’re, when you’re coming in, is that, Hey, this is going to happen.
It’s going to be unpleasant. There, here are the resources that we have to help you understand. How, how this works. I think it’s, what’s really cool. I mean, we’re talking about deep purpose based work, whether it’s in a non-profit or a profit based, or, you know, uh, Municipal organization, higher ed. You know, we work, we get to work with all of them and there’s always a purpose at the center.
Um, sometimes it might be a little covered up by other stuff, but there’s almost always, I want to make life better for people I want to, I want to have a good life for myself. And how do I do that for myself and others? As much as I can is I think at the core of all our offerings, I mean, they look like, you know, team building all this other stuff, but it really boils down to that.
How are we helping people be, be their best selves without the pressure to be perfect and make a difference because just by showing up, you really make a difference and that it feels like very, um, Core work. I have, I’ve had people say it’s spiritual it’s, you know, and I’m like, yeah, but you’re doing business stuff.
How’s this spiritual, I think we’re just at the place where people are being themselves. And that’s a, it’s a very, um, sacred place to be working with folks. I love it. I’m glad that you’re doing this work. It’s just, it’s just fantastic to be able to talk with you and hear more about what you’re up to and, and, and all the good work that you’re doing in the world.
And that’s great. I appreciate you being on the show today. Thanks. I appreciate you asking the questions to get kind of beneath the surface. And, uh, we don’t, I don’t normally talk about this kind of layer of stuff. We’re just kind of making things better, but our intention is to have the reverberations, the ripples continue to help people in their lives.
And so. Maybe there’s some folks out there like, huh, maybe we should have a conversation. It would be cool because we don’t judge. We’re just like, Hey, where are you? Where are you going? And I feel it’s an honor to be able to walk alongside people for however long it works. Yeah. That’s great. How can people find out more about you in the.
Sure. Um, a couple of places. So there’s tribute group.com. Um, if you don’t put the group in there, you’ll see some really cool medieval war instruments, but Mashiach group.com. And, um, that we have all our information on there. Probably there’s also a site that’s kind of dedicated to the book. It’s ripple leader.com.
That’s another place you can look. And, um, yeah, we have some podcasts and stuff. I’m so glad to be here with you. It’s just great to have your questions and your curiosity and your openness. It’s really. Well, I appreciate you being on the show. And, um, as you may know, if you’ve listened to any of, any of the past episodes, I really love having these conversations and talking with everybody and just learning more about how we can all be better, be better leaders in.
Every part of our lives, but I also want to facilitate action and you know, talking’s great. But what, what can people do after listening to the show today? What would you have people do to make the world a better place or make their lives a little bit, a little bit better? Perfect question. Um, well, I I’d love to have them just think about the impact they’re making and how that’s working for them.
And then take action if it’s not fully satisfying. So go talk to somebody else. Give us a call work with whomever you’re working with that can help you on that. I think believing that you can have an impact you want to have and going forward. Just massive. If everybody did that, we’d be, we’d be awesome.
We would be awesome. We’re already awesome, but we’d be way more. Awesome. Well, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me today, Chris, it was really fun talking with you. I’m excited to hear how things continue to evolve for you at, at the WCA group and, um, and you know, hope that, uh, hope that, uh, you can influence some more people here coming up as we, uh, go into 2020.
Awesome. Well, I it’s really an honor. I really appreciate being on the show and having the conversation and I’m looking forward to whatever we talk again, and maybe we’ll have you on my podcast or something. That’d be lovely. I’d love that. They’ll go the other way. That’d be terrific. Fantastic. Well, thanks for being on the show.
Thank you. Bye. And there you have it. Another great episode of relish this. Thanks again for listening, you can find past episodes of the firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember if you liked what you heard today, please subscribe and leave a review. Wherever you listen to podcasts. For more information on purpose marketing, grab your free copy of my book.
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