Speaker 1 00:00:07 Welcome to I see what you mean a podcast about how people get on the same page and stay there or don't, or perhaps shouldn't today. My guest is Eric Yens. Eric is a fellow HQ exec principal with a long career in executive positions, leading business turnarounds and transformations. Eric, welcome to the show.
Speaker 2 00:00:26 Thanks Lou. Thank you so much. And I'm very happy to be here. Thanks for inviting me.
Speaker 1 00:00:30 You're very welcome. I'm looking forward to our conversation. Give our viewers of the short bio on your, on your background.
Speaker 2 00:00:38 Well, I sort by, yeah, let's, let's keep it short and neat. Um, well just started with I'm Dutch born in Holland, but my parents took me all over the world. My dad was in the military, alleged one. He was in construction business. So we were all over the world. And uh, and then I learned to as a kid when I was two years old, a legend on as well to deal with different cultures, people, different environments. And, um, and that, that triggered, that triggered me to develop my own career later on. And I said, well, I can spend my last money to go abroad and learn about different people work with different people. And yeah, actually, um, the, the career in finance was the most easiest way to do that from that point of view because banks for international and I worked for different banks, Fortis, ABN, AMRO, um, in, in different roles in different countries. And, uh, basically all the roles were related to finance credit and lending on the one hand, but most important, especially the last 10 to 12 years about transformation of businesses, the crisis in 2008, 2008 financial industry,
Speaker 1 00:01:45 Interesting strategy finance, uh, banks are all over the world and that's, that's a great, it was a great idea.
Speaker 2 00:01:52 Yeah. In a way. Yeah. In a way it was also when young people ask me what to do. I said, well, this initiative, if you graduated from university whatsoever, either you create your own business or you start learning other businesses, but it's China, large multinational, for instance, that the hand it goes to the uni levers or the IBM's and whatsoever go conquer the world with them and learn from them, KLM, Delta, whatever the world. And then, and then, and then Rhonda yourself, that's first five or six years. And either you'll hang out there or you move on for yourself.
Speaker 1 00:02:23 Good advice. Good advice. Good advice for 20 something. So what are you doing these days that requires you to get people on the same page?
Speaker 2 00:02:32 So I, I look back in my career and said, okay, everything was related to finance, to lending and credit. And also to, especially the last 10, 12 years through to, to transformation, to sustainability challenges, uh, United nations, sustainable development goals, how you deal with the sustainability in the business. And the other thing is the other factor was technology. Yeah, because technology, the last 5, 6, 7 years, I started to really get involved in blockchain and crypto, et cetera. So I thought, okay, so the three parts technology, sustainability and finance, Hey, that looks like FinTech. So financial technology. And then I thought, okay, what can I do there? And I, and I put it all together say, well, the sectors I know best, especially in the transformation business I've been in. The transformation work I've been doing was actually related to the luxury industry. So luxury, and then two parts.
Speaker 2 00:03:33 What's the art industry on the one hand and the jewelry industry. On the other hand, <inaudible>, I'm in the jewelry business. And, and I thought, okay, let's focus on those two sectors within the luxury sector with the three skill sets I have and experienced, I have so sustainability and finance, et cetera. So that's what I'm doing. And I've been working on a recently on a, on a big funding project, working capital facility for advising and, and doing introductions for, for a company in Greenland. Um, and I've been working now on the sustainability related business in, in a lab grown diamonds, uh, which is I think a very interesting market, not only for the jewelry business, but also for, um, uh, industrial application of, of, of industrial diamonds.
Speaker 1 00:04:26 Well, let me ask you a question because that's a big sustainability, especially like that that's environmental sustainability, there's a lot of worker health and safety issues involved in that. Right. Okay. Those are big things to get people on the same page about. So what do you do and how do you, what does it mean for you when you're trying to get folks on the same page? What are you see? What's that challenge?
Speaker 2 00:04:49 Yeah, that's a good, that's a good point. And, and in the sector, the jewelry sector in particular, I've been active enough for the last 12 years and it's a very dispersed industry. Uh, there is a lot of, uh, polarization going on in, in between different countries and different organizations, et cetera. And what I mean about that, but we talk about sustainability. Everybody recognizes the United nations, global, global compact 17 sustainable development goals, but that'd be, and each organization wants to implement things like that on, on their own. And, and I said this at the moment, well, listen, why don't we combine and work together and, and work with the different federations to, to federate ourselves and to stop confusing the consumer, uh, for instance, on diamonds, uh, if you buy, if you buy diamond people almost say, yeah, it's a good diamond. It's a non-conflict Bimal because you're excuse yourself already.
Speaker 2 00:05:46 But if you buy an iPhone, nobody knows whether that was labor child labor or environmental issues whatsoever. You don't think about it. Right. Right. So, so we said, listen, if we have that common goal to make sure that, that people realize that that buying a diamond and diamonds do good for those of people worldwide, because they make the livelihood of it. And then I think we have to come and go and work together towards a common goal. So yeah, I've, I've been aggregating that and building bridges between the different organizations with that common goal. And then you see people, I think cross-references in participating in other's boards or accrediting each other's organization. And, and I did that by, by doing well, basically what I'm, I'm good at putting the people together and say, Hey, what's our common goal. And how can we make that happen? Same thing, for instance, in, in, in blockchain,
Speaker 1 00:06:39 Let's give out that so far, the common goal there. Um, I heard that as a marketing common goal, a branding common goal, um, it could have been much, much more, but that's how I heard it. So tell me more about what that goal meant to them that you were trying to get them to.
Speaker 2 00:06:55 But the common goal is, is to establish and hands, consumer trust in the product. For instance, the jewelry industry, nobody needs to worry. Nobody needs a diamond. Nobody it's a Ruby. I mean, yeah, you need bread and butter and water and whatsoever, that's what you need, but Germany is, there's a luxury, right? So, and if there's a little question about the luxury and we seen it in Aperol, we've seen it in leather. We seen it in, in, in forestry that people set on the buying it. So you have to create and build the trust. That is the common goal. So there's on the one hand, the common goal by doing things right. Better organization and better industry for better world. And at the same time, yeah. Make sure does the economic viability over there and, and the
Speaker 1 00:07:41 I, that, that, that desiring to present the public with an image that they could trust would require some behavior change. So what were the conversations like when you had to convince people to look at, I don't know, their profit and loss differently or their, their timeline differently?
Speaker 2 00:08:00 Yeah. Well, the different ways. Um, I think, I think there are always people who say, well, I don't believe in it. And I, for me, it's tick the box exercise. Otherwise I can't sell to Definity or sickness or whatsoever. Um, but, but, um, you started to, to find those people in, within the industry who would think alike or know that that is the right thing to do. That's the one thing. So you, you start creating champions ambassadors and, and connect those. So as an example group, so create that, that, that, that pool, rather than the push, the second thing we should do is try to provide tools. Uh, I mean, if you just can start, start talking about sustainability and SDGs and ESG and C S R I mean, that's, that's, that's a world we live in for, for people who are in that business, but you have to explain what it is.
Speaker 2 00:08:52 So start educating what it is. So make people less afraid of it, but, but have a common understanding. So education is, is key and then tools like blockchain. I mean, you can say that the industry is sustainable from a source perspective, mind to market is clean, which you better prove it. And technology is there to prove it. So people don't have to be afraid of, of yeah. All kinds of exams on audits or whatsoever. Now with technology, you can prove that the industry has the right Providence and the right transparency and, and yeah. Is, is, is an open and modern industry. So, so I think that is what we try to do in the conversation we have with the,
Speaker 1 00:09:32 You and I talked to in our prep call about, you said that you think people are more willing to change, then they're often given credit for that resistance to change is caused less by change them by how leaders and organizations handle it.
Speaker 2 00:09:46 I agree. I agree. And, and, and I think first and foremost, I think modern leadership is, is not what we used to know from, from the old, uh, I tell you, and I'm the boss and, and, and, uh, no, I don't think it works like that. And anyway, not, not in the organizations I worked with. And, um, I, I was successful with then when I got appointed as a leader, uh, for, for the different teams over the years in the transformation business, uh, for, for the banks, um, I I've the first a hundred days I, I served and, and I, and I looked at, at what's what was motivating the people in my team and, and how, how they were dealing with issues. How do we deal with our people? How do we deal with their clients? And, and from there, I sort of painted a picture saying, Hey, is this the team I want to move forward with?
Speaker 2 00:10:38 Or do we need to make changes in the team? And, and, and, um, yeah, and then I had very Frank and open conversation those first, a hundred days per saying, Hey guys, this is sort of direction. We are going with the business, but it's on the sustainability area or strategic wise, whatsoever. And, uh, are you on board with this? I on board with this and, and where we are going, we don't know <inaudible>, uh, because we are in the transformation phase, we have an ID, but we don't ever go, but I want it to put your shoulder on that. And at the same time, I think that also look at the composition of the team, whether how sustainable it was from, from, from, uh, from, from agenda perspective, diversity of perspective. And so I made a lot of sales. I always insisted that within a short period of time, half of my team was consisting of women, not just bankers and a suit, uh, but, but, but basically a very diverse team with different nationality, different, different genders, et cetera, extremely important. And, and, and from there, you just start creating an excitement in the team saying, well, Eric is a good guy, but, and he makes himself pretty drillable because he also says, I don't know where we going. We have a direction. So we build together that future. And we're good. Yeah. And I'm a facilitator for in that process.
Speaker 1 00:12:01 What I'm hearing you say is you were a lead, you were the team lead for the transformation effort. I'm thinking that the executives were seeking some, some true transformation. If you weren't, you weren't going to work for somebody who was going to put a veneer on something you wanted to help change something. So the values that they had values that had to do with transforming the organization, or in some way, whatever it was, um, to make it different and stay different,
Speaker 2 00:12:29 It was, it was finding the values and motivation of the individuals in my team and saying, but what is this? It keeps you ticking, right? And then when you come home in the evening with your family or your friends, or whatsoever, what have you done today to make the difference? So what is really excuse me, and what is really making you tick and what is really making you that
Speaker 1 00:12:55 I like that because it suggests that there's some pent up desire in them to do some, to make something different or better.
Speaker 2 00:13:03 Exactly. And that, instead of me telling them what to do, they came to me saying why I have an idea of what shall we do there. And, and, uh, shall we do this? So I, I created that, that, that, that, that, that pool from their side. And, and, and, and you know, what, one of the things I learned as well, actually from, from my, my previous boss, I always want to learn from a boss. I need to learn from a boss. Otherwise I can't work with him or her. And, and what I learned from, from, from a very good boss, I had, he just, he always asks questions. And I must, I was growing up in, in, uh, in, in those days in environment that the boss knows everything, right? Yes. And, and he tells what to do, right? No, but this was a boss say, Hey, Eric, what about this and this?
Speaker 2 00:13:44 And I thought, well, that's a pretty simple question. I mean, why is he asking me? Because he knows, I know he knows, but no, but he wanted to experience, you want to have the dialogue in this case and, and checking out also a little bit, okay. How is Eric thinking about this? So I learned to ask questions rather than telling him what to do. And we created an excitement in one of the business I was in, it was ready for sale. I mean, people said, well, where are we going? <inaudible> where are we going with this? I said, I don't know. But, but, but I only, I do know we have to do our stinking best to saying good Dutch. We have to really do our best to create our own future. And if you do it as well, there is a future.
Speaker 1 00:14:26 You did, you didn't know specifically, but you had a general aim.
Speaker 2 00:14:30 Yeah. Well, listen, I mean, there was a general aim. It's not like, okay, let's, let's get started, but that was a business which was ailing in terms of results, the banking business in general, this was an issue it's such a, so, so the bank said to me, Eric, well, go there and check out the strategy. What are we going to do? Are we going to close it down? Yeah. As a business and or are we going to sell it? Are we going to keep it all options for open? Okay. So after my first hundred days, I said, well, that's interesting. And, and I went back to my bosses to the board. I said, well, I think, I think we should keep it. And we should make it, make it a huge success, but we have to do a lot of change. There's a lot of transformation. We have to probably reduce a lot of number of staff. We have to say goodbye to certain clients, et cetera, et cetera, but we've gone to make it a healthy business. Yes. And it suits for that strategy. And, and, and, and everybody got excited to do it. Okay.
Speaker 1 00:15:30 What was the narrative? I always think in terms of triggers and narrative and behaviors, I like to think about how those things work together. So my question is, what was the narrative that you heard? What was pent up? What were people hoping to do, trying to do that you could catalyze because you determined that they were up for it and it was viable. The change was viable.
Speaker 2 00:15:53 I think what, what, what we created again was always that common goal. So I want to make sure that people start speaking at the end, send language with respect to the common goal. And, and I heard my people say also, Covad he's question why I heard them telling that to their people in that teams that, that they will also feel, and they'll say, well, we just came out of the management team and yeah, we look at our strategy, but there are different options. Uh, but this and this will be going to do. And so that whole thing, that whole, uh, that narrative was, was, was, was filtering down percolating down into the organization. And I think right now.
Speaker 1 00:16:34 Right, right, right, right. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And I asked, because I use a framework for understanding situations that includes triggers, narrative and behaviors, and how I look at them independently. And then I look at how they operate together. And one of the things that I do when I look at narrative, I focus on very specific words and phrases that people use. And I want to understand, well, I look for the energy around those words, is it which way is it going? Is it for something or against something? And, and, and, and what's the, what's the, the strength or the valence of it, is it, you know, weak, medium strong. And I just want to know, because it tells me what something means to somebody. And if I want to understand more deeply, I know what to ask about. If they're using a word or a phrase repeatedly, or they emphasize it, or they have facial expressions, you know, non-verbals, that tells me it's something that matters to somebody.
Speaker 1 00:17:35 And I want to know more about it. It's the doorway in it's easy doorway. And I always thought about it in terms of the energy around the energy, around the word or the phrase, what it means to them. But I never, I never knew about management drives and even do, I looked it up after we spoke. And it's not. So now that we're talking that I'm realizing you're onto something big with the idea of knowing what energizes, so what energizes somebody then is also what motivates them and what rewards them they're motivated to do something.
Speaker 2 00:18:07 Right. Absolutely. Because, and those strange programs, I mean, I also made it very clear, okay, this is, this, this the states we, we worked on, we worked on it together as a team, people who didn't want to join or didn't want to stay whatsoever out. So we're in it together now. And, and this is what we're going to do. This is what I expect, what you expect from me. And, and, and, um, and at the end, there's the goal maybe. And by that that's, that's, that's, that's, that's monetary, whether that is this pride and, and, and honestly, or what service or got different, there are different motivators in that, but the most important motivator for the people was not that money in the end, right? Not that money. It wasn't, it was the self-esteem and the self-respect and learning, and experience and, and creating a, an additional value for themselves by growing through certain processes.
Speaker 2 00:18:58 And it that's, that's the philosophy we had. So we, we were sure that we were speaking the same language, but the same goals and, and, and create the same anxiety and, and, and, and positive anxiety and energy. And we, sorry. And we needed to have a burst of words, so something which everybody understands, and it actually became pro bodies. And, and, uh, you need to have a tagline. And in the other program of other transformation business, also a point I did was we call it the program smile. So, so, which was a program on its own. So everybody started recognizing we are into something. Yes. And, and for bodies or smile, or, yeah. That's, that's that's yeah. We, we, we use, I use that with my different teams in, in, in, in different situations.
Speaker 1 00:19:48 So that, that concept became imbued with meaning for those folks and possibly different kinds of meanings at different levels or different if you're in the center of the organization or you're out at the periphery. Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:20:00 Yeah, yeah. Meaning and, and involvement, meaning and inclusion, meaning, and, and, uh, yeah. B being part of being part of change and, um, and, and equals when people are confronted, getting back to your question component was changed. They, they, if they don't know, they sort of, oh, let's see what's happening. Especially if you look at different cultures, I did this from India to Switzerland, to the U S to UK, to Luxembourg, uh, Singapore. So you have to, to, to filter this kind of approach is also physically to different cultures.
Speaker 1 00:20:38 Oh, sorry.
Speaker 2 00:20:39 Yeah, no. And, and, and, uh, and I think that is, that is, that is something which, which I think is key to success as well. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:20:47 If you introduce the concept of change to an organization, some people might have an approach motivation toward that. Maybe they just, by makeup, they like change change. They see opportunity in it. They're ready with something they're going to move toward it. Some are going to have an avoidance motivation. They're going to back up something and say, whoa, wait. And
Speaker 2 00:21:07 Then there's a on there.
Speaker 1 00:21:08 And there's a lot in the middle who are neutral for, or maybe they're just not sure. I want to know, is it going to be work? Is it going to go, well, it's going to go badly. This, this, this, this, this Jen's Yen's guys got a hundred days. Let me see what he does. Let me see what right now. I want to wait
Speaker 2 00:21:22 And see, wait and see.
Speaker 1 00:21:23 Fair, fair. Fair enough. Okay. Fair enough. So people have a reaction like that, and let's say that they watched you for a hundred days. You did a number of things over that time, for those who wanted, who were ready for a change and wanted to have at it, you probably found ways to encourage that for those who were undecided, you probably found ways to talk to them or listen to them. I want to know what you heard, that you could address that you did address. People were more people were ready on that hundredth day than they were on the first day. And perhaps the diversity I wanted to come back to, perhaps the diversity was part of that too. If they saw you compose a diverse team and they saw you not have all the answers, you did a lot of things there that would contribute to people getting on the same page. Wow.
Speaker 2 00:22:14 Correct. And, and you have to do it yourself. You, in a way, for me, I'm a very patient person from that point of view, I like to see all this, the best in people. I hate confrontation. I like change. I like are like growth. I like innovation. I really have problems with, with, with, with fights and negative energy. I really lose energy on that. Um, and, and after, after that first period, like, okay guys, this is where we go. I realize also that, that a lot of managers spend a lot of time on people who are not onboard. So that means that sometimes I see managers spending 70% of their human resources and management time on P to convince people who are not on board. Yeah. Rather than, and then only 20 or 30% of the time, we would have people who are on board
Speaker 1 00:23:10 And people don't want to be convinced. People don't want to
Speaker 2 00:23:13 Be. No, no, exactly. So that's this changing and what service. So I said, Hey, was a trouble. I said, this is where we go. I was open-minded. We changed things. We changed the team, et cetera. Or you're still not on board. You had all the chance to get on board to climb up and jump on board. If you're still not on board, you have to go better for us, better for you, whatever sequence you have to go. And, and we can't spend more time and energy on you to convince you and, or create an environment where you feel comfortable. You have to go. And then people's all that stuff. No, it's not, it's fair. It's fair for them. As far as for us and most important, it's fair for the rest of the organization. So yeah. And then, and then people left and you, you do need to rotate your team to create a change and getting some fresh people from outside, but also very important to get younger people from inside.
Speaker 2 00:24:04 People said to me why he said he or she is a young young girl or young man, young boy. I said, well, what can we lose? Give gifted gift? And the thing is what I just said, I'm over 60. So we think, we think everybody's a young kid. Now, somebody 30. I know when I was 30, I wasn't running a company was a CEO of a company. So, so right now you think it's 30 year old, the young kid? No, no. Come on. So, so getting that next generation, that, that opportunity. So don't be afraid.
Speaker 1 00:24:36 I know a little bit about the research on that. What the research shows is most important in organizations is a diversity of thinking. So in as much as a diversity of thinking is associated with gender or associated with ethnicity or associated with age, right? That's when those that's when you compose the team, that quote unquote looks different. What you're really trying to do. Now, this is what the research is saying. You told me your experience. What you're really trying to do is compose the team that thinks differently. They can come together and share the different points of view and vantage points on things to create something that no one person alone or no subset of them would likely have created.
Speaker 2 00:25:16 I completely agree. And, and it is extremely difficult, especially in those different cultures. Um, because I know for instance, in us Pilcher in those days, uh, I don't know that for maybe number of time that when the CEO of, and Emma went to the U S and, and doing this kind of inclusive approach with respect to strategy and, and, and leadership and results, then he left and his management in the U S would say, what is going on? I mean, that's not a soft approach. He didn't yell at us. He didn't yell at us. He didn't say these are the targets he did. So they were completely confused here. So, so because, because that's, that's, I mean, yeah, that's, that's a different way, and I'm not saying it's bad or right or wrong, but he, he missed completely and there's years ago, it's like now, but he missed completely the fact that there's a local cultural component and habits. So you need to understand that if you, if you do, if you're on India, I spend a lot of time in India. If you, what, what, what we try to do sometimes is imposed the Western values culture into other values and cultures, right. It doesn't work. Right. I mean, I mean, and, and you have to get it back to the diversity. You have to be very, very clear on, on what the impact is of certain decisions. You make, the sort of publication you made, et cetera, et cetera.
Speaker 1 00:26:43 So how did you build, what did you do on teams that were diverse to build trust?
Speaker 2 00:26:47 Um, but what I used was a tool called called management drives and, and, uh, management drives, I think it's, I think then you can Google it. It's, it's, it's a tool I'll be using now for different managements and different management teams, different transformation process. I was where, um, it's actually already related to something I said earlier in this podcast, you can have a questionnaire from management drives as an organization where you fill out what gives you energy and you fill out what's what, where you lose energy on. So, and when I said I lose energy on conflict and I gain energy of growth and excitement and innovation. Um, other people gain energy from, um, checking the numbers and, and, and ha ha have the right controls, et cetera. But other people get a lot of energy from working together as a team, et cetera. So management drives is, it is a very comprehensive, very clear tool to develop the view on your team as a whole, but also on the different individuals to know what is driving each other, what is driving each other as an individual, as a team.
Speaker 2 00:27:56 So when you do that exercise with management drives, you share that information, the scan of how your team looks like a team, very orange, you have all kinds of people who want to grow into other develop and innovation and change, et cetera, where you have a very blue team, which is only about the numbers and controls, et cetera. So that's one, and then you shared those individual results. And what I said, I'm very orange and yellow. I want to do that. So I changed, but I, if you do it on the individual assessment and you share that with each team member, and I shared my first profile of, I must the first she had a profile and its arc. Yeah. So it was a whole recognition there. Yeah. That's Eric, typical Arab, yellow, and orange. He always wants to change. And that's a remark which comes from a blue person who happened to be the CFO in my team.
Speaker 2 00:28:50 And the board person gets energy from, from, from, from, from the figures and Hey, it's yellow because it's too much change, you know? And, and that's, that's the kind of, to create a, kind of a, a game out of it that, that later also, when you had those sessions with the team about management drives and the different colors, then, then my CFO was, for instance, that's such a yellow remark and I'm sorry, I can't deal with it. So any conflict or potential 10 of any potential conflict or tensions can be discussed and brought to the surface in a very open your murderous, but, but very clear way, because for me, it was a signal from him. Oh, shoot. He's right. And I better check a couple of things on the figures. And is it really true? But I'll say, yeah,
Speaker 1 00:29:39 I was wondering how you used the knowledge of each other's, what drives each other second. It might be the case that, that helps you respect that person more. And you know, they're not the only blue person in the team or the there's others. Maybe it develops some respect for, okay, there's something valid to that, to that. I don't pay attention to so much, but somebody should know
Speaker 2 00:30:03 Exactly. And, and I had a, I had a very good experience, a good example from that. I had one guy that seed in my private bank thing, pod, and I was trying to, uh, I was responsible for the global investments. We were running a $60 billion portfolio for, for, for the bank at that time. And we were merging and that was before 2007, we were merging different banks. And so I was unresponsive for everything would have it on investments within that bank, advisory funds, et cetera, et cetera. But we were a group of eight different banks coming together. And everybody had his own, had his own CIO, chief investment officer, everybody that has his own investment strategy. And now what, and, and I was taught by the board. I was in the board, but, but a fellow board member said, Eric, you have to make one investment policy, one strategy, et cetera.
Speaker 2 00:30:52 So, so, and then we had people from Luxembourg, from Switzerland, from, from all over the world. And, and I thought, okay, how, how, how are we going to do that? But I used that management drives and one of the guys in my team, uh, he was a very, I thought he was a very difficult guy. He was never saying anything. He had body language from here to Tokyo, but I have a piece he's constantly in, in, in, in not even saying it, but this, you knew the language, I knew something was wrong. And, and he made
Speaker 1 00:31:20 Sure his message was clear,
Speaker 2 00:31:22 Oh yeah, absolutely hands for this hands, et cetera. And I think, oh my God, how am I going to deal with this? And, and we did the management drives and he mustn't reluctantly sharing his profile and he was purple. And he was the first purple color person in the team from about diversity, who I met over the years with this, with this management drives tool. And, and I said, well, that's interesting. And what is purple? What is the typical that he gets energy from, from he's got drive from, from, uh, rituals, family, huh. And the old company. And he's the, the, the, the, the nights, the, the, the sort of really deep, um, history and, and, and values and, and family tradition, tradition, very much tradition. And, and he, he lost energy. He lost, he's losing a lot of energy on those guys who, blah, lying and whatsoever like me, and because I'm too orange too, too, too, too, too, too noisy.
Speaker 2 00:32:23 And then we started to establish that, and I had, had had a coffee with him and shared that we went through the profile, my profile, his profile. And I didn't realize that he was one of the most valuable person in my team because he was so different. He was so different. And then he realized, well, maybe Eric's not such a bad guy. And he's made all that he says is, make, make some sense. And he's, he's complimenting me and he's complementarity for my skills and view, and maybe we can work together. So he'd become a true partner in that team. And I started to ask him questions, what do you think about it? And then he was happy and open and, and supported enough from, from his, the, to share his point, knowing that I would listen to him. Yeah. And that, yeah, I think that's, that's, that's a very, I think a very good example. So just, don't just, just think that, that, you know, but, but make sure, you know,
Speaker 1 00:33:18 I did, I was a young, a young guy was in working for the government and I was in graduate school at the time. And I was on a team. This is back in TQM days. Okay. So now they, they, they, at the time of that and the operations in this branch, I was working in, we're going to become more, we're going to apply TQ and principles. And there was a guy there had been there a while in the branch who was not very, he acted very old. He wasn't so old. He acted like an old curmudgeon. He really did. And I, I had signed up to be one of the folks to help organize the effort. And I approached him to contribute and to participate in, he had zero interest. You just about threw me out of his office, but I knew that he knew things we would want to know he'd been around for a while.
Speaker 1 00:34:10 And so I knew that he had knowledge that would be valuable in where, where could this go wrong? And so for a while, he sort of patronized me with answering some of those questions. Uh, then he started showing up at some team meetings, which were publicly announced that he would sit at the back on the wall. And over time, he actually, he actually began to participate more. But it was for the very reason that you said, which was he had something valuable to contribute. The only, the trick was finding the way to tap into that. And not everyone contributes the same. So if you don't see somebody, like, I'm more like you enthusiastic energetic about it. Uh, you don't see someone like that. You see someone holding back and you think, ah, forget them. No, don't forget them. Find a way to connect them.
Speaker 2 00:35:01 Yeah. And the risk is what I find out when it did these scans with, with, with management drives. And of course, everybody is participating voluntarily. And, and, uh, on this, because again, you open up, you open up to your colleagues, you open up to yourself, which is, it's just challenging. But I also learned that I was, I had a habit of, of collect similar pipe versus Iranian my theme. Right. Some diversity, whether it's college I'm or whatever, but, but I like people who are orange and yellow, if you know what I mean, in terms of
Speaker 1 00:35:34 Your energy, that feeds off of each other. That's
Speaker 2 00:35:37 I get the energy
Speaker 1 00:35:37 From. So it's logical, but that's very dangerous because if you end up with a team with all the orange, yellow people, I mean, you go everywhere except, except where you want to go. So you need to have the green people, th the purple people and the blue people, and also the red people and always had this. And he became my COO, I can't mention the name, but if he is that he will recognize himself, but he was this, he was always saying yes, but yeah. So we said also the sort of, Hey, you're allowed to say, you're not allowed to say yes. Offer. He always said, yeah, no, but no, this, and I said, no, you're allowed to say yes. So stop saying, no, we don't, we don't have the word. No, he'll say yes. But, and, and, and he was always, he was always, and what was grumpy and complaining, but, but we started to make jokes about it. Now you have XYZ and there's this, uh, this there's a rap thing coming in when he gets his, his ride. So it, it, it, yeah. Created and created a good, yeah. It shows respect when you, it shows. So, so the communication style could be off-putting grumpy or, you know, um, solid, uh, you know, so, but my communication style could be off putting to somebody else.
Speaker 2 00:36:54 So my mind, for sure, if you,
Speaker 1 00:36:57 If you, if you, if you, if you can get past that and you say to them, no, no, no. I want to know what you think. Cause I want to take it seriously. Then you show respect for their them in a different level. You're, you're not letting the communication bother you showing respect for their knowledge and capability that you want. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:37:17 And if you have grit, step thing in a federal relationship as a leader, but also the relationship between the team members, you can move mountains. You, I mean, what we have done with those different teams and, and, and, uh, whether it was in the banking side for, for, in Switzerland or with the hedge fund business I had with, for this, for all the other businesses we had to transform after the crisis and during the crisis. I mean, I mean, yeah, I mean then, then you can really can move mountains. And all of these businesses, there were actually paused to be rundown, winded down or whatsoever. I said, no, I'm not giving in. We're not going to wind it down. I can do it if you want, but that's not, that's not creating value. So all the businesses we decided to keep I was involved with, we decided to keep energize it.
Speaker 2 00:38:08 And we turned around and sold it to two different banks and other organizations, because I can't give up on people. But at the same time, sometimes if you want to sell a business and you really have to transform it, you also have to go and, and tell the story to people, sorry, your, your office is not included in, in Europe. Your location is not included in the deal. And then again, I don't want to mention that. So yeah, I went to an island in the Caribbean where, where work is, is not just work. Work is life. There is a lifetime employment. It's not lifetime employability on those islands. It was lifetime employment. I had to tell 60 people, 55 people on that island that they lost their job. Yeah. And that'd be great with the class, the shock, the shock, which was there, everybody for almost 70 years.
Speaker 2 00:38:55 Wow. 60, 50, 55 people is, is direct is, is 500 people indirect and thousand people either. Yes. And, and that has a huge impact, but what people said, Eric, and, and, and I, I went there for a week to organize everything together with my head of HR, for my team. And I stayed at the, on three weeks to make sure everything happened. And this said, Eric, I mean, yeah, you had to take a decision to, in this whole transaction. We understand that, but we hate it. But the fact that you're here, you tell it and you don't send anybody else, but you are here. I, you stay longer. You you're part of us. So yeah, it's, it's, it's a horrible situation, but you took the initiative and to come here and to, and to, and to deal with it yourself. So yeah, you have to stand for your troops.
Speaker 2 00:39:45 You have to do it yourself. You have to spend in the state in the gutter and get out of it together with people. And no matter what circumstance, then I remember also a road show I did to the different offices. And I thought, okay, I need to get to have this recognition, whether that's <inaudible> or any other big, um, his energy. And, and I took the song off Katy Perry firework, which is a kind of upbeat song and not sure what everybody knows, but it's, it's pretty upbeat. They say a couple of years ago already, but listened to it. And, and it creates so much energy. So, so when I went to the different offices, it was playing everywhere and it became a tagline in the organization. Ah, yeah. Firework, firewalls,
Speaker 1 00:40:30 Uh,
Speaker 2 00:40:32 Simple things, but it unites and you work the offer, Hey, Mr. Firework, there we go.
Speaker 1 00:40:37 Yeah. Simple thing. Phrase, concept like that, but you've seen many, we've all seen many over the years that were empty. So they were slogans and then they don't have the same meaning and they don't have the same energy. So the challenge that you met, being able to make those slogans, make that say mean something real to the people who will use them. So if they said energy, if it was about energy, they, it was about energy for them. Not just for you saying let's be upbeat about this.
Speaker 2 00:41:08 Yeah. Correct. And because, because I mean, people are not fools and they know exactly whether this is a meaningful message or just, right. So you have to always combine what you have to walk the talk. Yes. You say what you're doing and you execute it. And, and I always hear back from people. Well, Eric, well, sometimes it's tough, but he has to be tough, but he at least consistent he's oh, he has always the same story. It's consistent story rather than was profile is one of them was prior work and it has to be meaningful. And, and yeah, I think, I think what I always did with my management teams as well, so you get together, okay. Looking back, what, what did, what were the targets? What did we achieve? What did we achieve? Why not? So, but it's also like that little boy, little girl comes home from school. And instead of having a whole list of A's and one C, so everybody's like focusing on that, see the bad rating rather than focusing on the eight A's and, and, uh, no. Oh, what happened to the C? I know you have to, you have to say to people out this as well, and where are the gaps? So, anyway,
Speaker 1 00:42:19 Well, it shows respect, and respect is a theme I keep hearing. And what you're saying, if you operated with some integrity, people could see that. So when you stayed for three weeks to help close that operation, you had, you showed an integrity. You knew it was changing your lives. You knew if there could have, if you could have made a different decision, you would have. Yes. But the fact that you gutted it out with them, at least in the transition, you didn't, you, like you said, you didn't send someone else. So you didn't show up for one day for three hours and make, deliver the message and then jet off someplace else, you stayed and probably saw those folks every day for three weeks. Yup. Yup. Then they, they respected that you delivered news. They didn't want to hear, maybe some of them couldn't find jobs for a while after that, but you were, but they know that that's not in anybody's control all the time.
Speaker 1 00:43:09 You showed respect for how you did it. I think that a big secret to your success has been that what you figured out, however you thought management drives. I don't know. But the idea that management drives focuses on energy fascinates me because there's a lot, there's so many models and methods, like you said, there's Myers-Briggs and there's disc and there's individual and there's team and there's organizational assessments, but energy's important because it's where people live right now, the heart and the gut. And then when they can tie, um, tie their, their, their knowledge and skill to something, that's driving them, man. That's the sweet spot. If that's changed, that's changed. If it's just steady operations, it's steady operations, or if it's incremental growth, it's whatever it is. I'm, I'm always asking what does it mean to be on the same page? And if you can get, if you could think about getting on the same people on the same page in terms of their energy, and you understand that energy comes from different places, people get energy from different kinds of things. And then you compose, you constitute, right? You, you make the, you create the situation where they can, they can contribute and tap into what matters to them. Uh, you know, I don't want to say it's foolproof, but how can you wrong if you're able to get that up, get to that point?
Speaker 2 00:44:34 No, I think, I think it's all about authenticity. Respect be genuine when you talk with people and when you set goals and common goals to, to make the change and to make it successful again. Okay. Let's go. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:44:50 Wow. This was a lot of fun. I learned a lot. Thank
Speaker 2 00:44:52 You. Well, thank you again for, for having me on that. For me, it was a lot of fun as well.
Speaker 1 00:44:57 We covered a lot of issues from different angles and that's what I like to do. Awesome. Take care. Have a good day. Safe travels.
Speaker 2 00:45:04 Absolutely.
Speaker 1 00:45:04 Thanks. Bye-bye and that's how we see it. My friends, I want to thank Eric for recording today's episode. You can find it on dos, where I host my show, where all the usual places that you listen to podcasts, send questions and suggestions through the app. Subscribe and give me a five star rating unless you can't. In which case, tell me why and join me next week. When we take another look at how to get on the same page and stay there must be shouldn't.