Speaker 1 00:00:07 Welcome to, I see what you mean the podcast about how people get on the same page or don't, or perhaps shouldn't today. My guest is Andy Robinson. Andy is senior advisor and vice-president of the resiliency and disaster recovery practice at hill international. And he's also a long time federal government consultant, colleague and friend, Andy, welcome to the show.
Speaker 2 00:00:27 Good to be here.
Speaker 1 00:00:28 Thank you. I'm looking forward to our conversation. Why don't you give listeners a short bio about yourself?
Speaker 2 00:00:34 Sure. So I started, uh, way back when with a Xerox systems and I actually was a computer science grad and did programming, if you can believe that and systems analysis, design, and design systems for NASA, the insurance industry, et cetera. And then from there I moved into a gardener group and I actually managed the east coast for them and, and consulted on matters of it. Yeah. And I did it some, a long stint with ICF and was a senior vice president, worked a bit for RG and other, a small business. And now Matt hill international.
Speaker 1 00:01:18 So, so a mix of some it work coding, right? Software development and management consulting that I knew you had
Speaker 2 00:01:25 That's right. That's right. It started off really with the w with the coding. Cause then I had a really good understanding of business process and most of my work was in automating those various business processes, even to the extent where I was automating the long shot of the shuttle and what engagement with, uh, NASA, there was a real interesting project. Actually. I, it was right after the, uh, uh, challenger, uh, crash. Yeah. I went down there and lived, uh, right off base, uh, Xerox send me down there. And, uh, we worked on, uh, you know, a new preamble to the actual what's called the LCS, uh, launch command sequence. So it was interesting. And we, we, uh, actually were part of the solution and we're getting the, uh, shovel program.
Speaker 1 00:02:14 I didn't realize that you're, you know, you're vice president of resiliency and disaster recovery. I don't think I realized that that thread ran back that far. That's really what you were doing and that thread, that thread in your work.
Speaker 2 00:02:26 Yeah, that's an interesting point actually, because as I look back through throughout my career, it was like, I was a very pivotal moments to career history. I was pulled into disasters or things cause something going very wrong and something monumental and, uh, the same, the same way I got pulled into Katrina and, and other events like that, uh, Vola, et cetera, it was just like, and it wasn't a, a great career plan on my part.
Speaker 1 00:02:57 It just turned out that way. Ah, that's interesting.
Speaker 2 00:03:01 Yeah. Yeah. I think it was more a result of, Hey, there's the guy who knows process and systems and has been engaged in high pressure situations. Let's get him to see it. Oh,
Speaker 1 00:03:13 That makes the apartment all make sense. That part makes sense. You're pretty cool. Under pressure. We've talked about an interesting idea that hasn't come up yet in a podcast. The idea of knowing where you're headed, being on the same page with yourself as maybe a prelude or a prerequisite to being on the same page with others. So tell me more about your thinking on that.
Speaker 2 00:03:34 Well, I think in life, uh, you can go through a career and, and a heavier job progression, be a result of expectations that others put on you. And I think it's, I think I've had this epiphany more than once in my career and it's, uh, I think it helped me pivot from one industry or one type of, uh, engagement to another. And it's really, it's really getting out of that mode and really sort of determining what expat expectations do you have of yourself and reevaluating where you are and is this really where you want to be and are you headed in the direction that you want to be going in? And I've done this, you know, I've had to do this on, on several occasions. And I think as I continue my career continue to think of, of all of those. Got it down pat, as, as to how you, uh, take stock of life and, and reevaluate, you know, those expectations.
Speaker 1 00:04:40 Well, you know, that's a big issue there, a big topic. We couldn't spend some timeline being on the same page with yourself, knowing where you're headed your own expectations that has to do with things that are personal, like what you want out of life. Maybe, maybe ethics and morality, maybe, maybe more career-related it spans a lot of ground. Let me ask you this question and just see where this goes. There's a funny line about our careers are all make more sense when we look back on them, then when we're looking forward, right. And we see the patterns, we see the threads. Did you have a feeling along the way of what was right or better? So it's like playing that game of when you were a kid and you were looking for something and someone told you, you were warm, you were, you were called, did you have that feeling of something that felt more right or felt less right as you were making career decisions. And did you tune into that and try and sort of be guided by it like a guidance system? Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:05:37 Yeah, I would absolutely, uh, absolutely had that feeling on several occasions. In fact, that that probably precipitated, uh, my departure from certain industries and uncertain companies based on this sort of, you know, you get this feeling that you're not right with the universe and that you're not, you're not being true to yourself and you're getting up and going to work and you're really not liking it. And it's really not you and you really don't want to be here then, then, then you really got to say, go home and night and, you know, have that talk with the wife and, or, you know, just make your decision that, Hey, um, I'm going to make a change here. Something got to give. Yeah,
Speaker 1 00:06:28 Let's talk about it. I have to, I have to, let's talk about that. Some, because it's as important if you're in your twenties, your thirties or forties to be true to yourself, but maybe it's a little bit more, maybe there's some challenges that differ in your twenties when you're younger than when you're older. Maybe not that's we can, you can challenge me on if you want, but you know, I remember being younger and having some career aspirations. And then what I thought of most, I think what I focused on most of the time was, did studying something or learning more about something or a certain position advanced the career aspirations. That's not necessarily a, one-to-one like a correspondence between career aspirations and what you're talking about. There's not, there's not necessarily a one-to-one correspondence between one's career aspirations and being true to oneself. They can't align and we want them to, but they don't automatically. So you have to find a, that sort of make that. And maybe when you, when I was younger, I wasn't as clear on that. And, and you may be folks listening to this, our episode. We're, I mean, I'm 61, we're at a point in our career where we, we, we ought to know more about those things, know more about ourselves in those ways
Speaker 1 00:07:45 And harder when we were younger. So how'd that work for you?
Speaker 2 00:07:48 Well, um, I would, I would say that it came down to a couple of factors and you mentioned one a little bit earlier. It can come down to, you know, are you working for a company that you trust the management and, uh, respect what the company's doing and it's going a direction that you support or not. Yeah. And on a couple occasions, I've, I've had to say, um, I don't know about those companies going where the leadership's taking it. I think I need to, uh, sort of open up my, uh, paradigm and think about other careers and other companies. And I've usually I've taken that, taking that step and, and exited and from those situations. And I think you've gotta be smart about that because you just gotta know for whatever reason that the chiefs for you has moved. Now, it could be a lot of reasons. It could be, yes, the leadership is getting to meet their numbers and they're doing strange things, or it could be the market's changed, right? The product line is not right. You know, whatever it is, it doesn't really matter a whole lot. Does it? I mean, you, right. You sort of figure out that for you though, this is not the right place anymore. And you've when the universe tells you that, uh, you'd be wise to wake up and make the move. And anytime I've delayed live, I've regretted. It
Speaker 2 00:09:27 I've regretted it. I only wish I knew sooner.
Speaker 1 00:09:31 So alignment. That's a really good point. Alignment of one's values and principles in work. So to the team, to the unit you're in to the company is a great way to think about maybe a kind of a good, effective measure you could ask yourself, do I see that alignment? Am I, is that alignment missing? Uh, and I think that's a great signal for lack of a better word or cue for yeah. I'm in the right place or I'm not in the right place or I was, and it's changing cause that hasn't
Speaker 2 00:10:02 Been changed. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:10:04 And then, and then that causes us to ask ourselves questions about what we want next. So if we think there's a misalignment, we know we might look for a better alignment somewhere, but we also reached points in our lives where maybe what we, what we value or principle. I don't want to say our principles change. I don't think that's about what we value at an, at an extra job or a next next phase of our career could change. Yes. Earlier in our career, we might've valued learning opportunities or exposure to things that have been a, might've been a salary that was attractive, but you know, you get a couple of moves into your career and you start to maybe refine what matters to you. Next, you might want a leadership opportunity. You might want to learn to manage people, right? So those things evolve over time and then you'll look for opportunities to match that. It's interesting. Cause you still could piece something together that isn't entirely, uh, you gotta walk that true to yourself that true to yourself. Point that true to yourself. The question and answer is always got to be the, the ultimate one. If I do this next thing for, for re reason XYZ, am I, am I, is that what's best for me? Am I being true to myself in some larger maybe cosmic way?
Speaker 2 00:11:24 Yeah. You know, uh, I think some of it is a very conscious thought that that you're keeping these things through. And then some of it is, is just sort of the, the gut that's telling you, Hey, now's the time. Now's the time. Open up your, your horizons and start to think about, uh, where you might fit next and, or in some cases, and I made this conscious choice. You want to, you want to think about where the economy's going or other worlds going, what are the new technology trends, et cetera. And as Wayne Gretzky said, skate to where the puck's going to be, right. And you'd be better to get there sooner than the others. And I've been fortunate in, in being able to sort of judge that and, and oftentimes, uh, do that. And I think that's, that's part of managing your career smartly ride.
Speaker 2 00:12:30 You can have all these reasons back at the other company, but they really don't matter. You know, for whatever reason, it's just not there for you now. And so now you've got to think about, okay, I'm going to make a move because that, you know, my gut, my head whatevers, or my manager is telling me this, this company is no longer. Right. Right. And so you have to think about, okay, well where's, where am I going to get escape to the, to the pump and figure that out. And you'd be better. Again, again, don't I would advise younger people to don't sit around, crying over spilled milk or playing the blame game or watering was, I thought it's really, in most cases, as I see this as a manager and in my career, it's a good thing that's about to happen to you. Right. It's, it's a good thing. And, uh, you just got to, you know, get to the other side, you've got to take that step through the door and get to the other side and get it figured out. And then you're, uh, you'll be so much happier.
Speaker 1 00:13:40 I'm going to say this. I'm sure you would agree. It's probably always smart to do a little after action review on something. Right. Right. This is, uh, you know, let's just, you know, let me, let me re let me just size up the situation for what I think I've, I've learned. But, but, but that's very different than getting stuck on something or dwelling on something or letting the negativity, the negative feelings and that energy, that negative energy that comes with blaming or mourning, like you might've thought it was your ideal job and something changes on you. And you're like, well, there's nothing better coming my way, but that's not true if you think of it, if you have that mindset, you, you hamstring yourself. But if you, if you say, well, it was good for X, Y, and Z now. Yeah. I'm always, I always like to, for myself, wonder how can I parlay that into what I do next? Right. What can I launch? What can I step off of this to what happens next? And that's what you're saying is the, the beauty of that moment.
Speaker 2 00:14:41 Well, it, it is. And I would also say that, how do you do that? Right? I mean, how do you, how do you sort of reinvent yourself if you will? And there's, so there's a lot of, you know, uh, there's a lot of lessons I've learned in that area and I would, I'll fill out just a couple. One is I, I wanted to, uh, I love to company and I wanted to do just straight up consulting on various topics. And I said, you know, what do you want to consult on? I felt that through us that, you know, cyber security pretty moral in the systems era. So I, uh, I, you know, destiny small upon me and I got the opportunity to do a seminar on, on bright talk on cybersecurity. So, you know, boom up and I put that on LinkedIn or several places like that.
Speaker 2 00:15:32 And so you can go out there and build yourself a brand. Yeah. Right. And, and then with that brand, take that forward and start to, uh, talk and meet people in those industries and, you know, find your door into that industry. I didn't come out from thinking about it. No one comes out college trained and ready to advise NASA or ready to step into a leadership role in Katrina or any other thing. Right. So you're always constantly training and retraining and reinventing yourself in order to get to the skills loves. And there's no schools that teach you to be a COO or CEO, et cetera. Right. That's just accumulation of experience that you picked up and others that identify, you can do this job and boom you're you're in. And I would, I would, I think that people can advance their career if they take the ownership of reinventing and constantly training themselves. And I think that's a key to keeping your career on track as you see it. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:16:40 Yeah. I think it's key to keeping yourself fresh, meaning that you're, you're informed about what you're doing and you're doing it. Well, I liked that notion of reinvention. I want us, I want to dwell on it for a minute, but I wanted to add to something you said, which was what you were talking about. No. Who comes out of college ready for certain, those certain things. Actually, as we probably go through our careers or relationships in life relationships, right. Being a parent, you know, we're, we're always, probably one step behind what we wish we knew when we needed to know it at that moment.
Speaker 2 00:17:14 And
Speaker 1 00:17:15 So there's always a learning curve, right? Some of them are big parenting is big. Of course you have years to do it, but, um, you can take positions in, uh, uh, same company. So switch companies, you could take, like you said, you could take roles you're not entirely prepared for.
Speaker 2 00:17:30 Oh
Speaker 1 00:17:30 Yeah. So what's interesting is if you're not prepared for some of the, let's say there's some, uh, technical subject matter expertise that you, uh, what I had become, uh, when I was a COO, I hadn't been one before there were things about being a COO. I didn't know. I think it's interesting to think about what do I have that enables me to pick up on that. So let's talk about that a little bit, because you've done this probably several times. So what did you think was your foundation as a person, as maybe a leader or manager, but certainly as a human being that enabled you to go in and start to pick up what you needed to accumulate to be good in that role, but you didn't have on day one or day 100. Yes.
Speaker 2 00:18:17 Yeah. Yeah. For me, I think one thing that I look and part of this is personality. Part of it is acquired skill sets. But when I get introduced to a new situation, first of all, you got to imagine they didn't put you in that situation because everything's running perfectly smoothly.
Speaker 1 00:18:38 Good point.
Speaker 2 00:18:40 I have never, I've never been challenged with an easy softball job. I, um, I'm still looking for that. I've yet to find it or be, or be offered that job. So everything, you know, everything I've gotten is, you know, we just fired this guy and, or, you know, performance is horrible or, you know, whatever the issue is. And so I've always sort of gone in and tried to understand, first of all, have the organization get to the spot that it's in, uh, then start to think about, well, where did, where can it go? And usually those are related because if it ends up in a dead end, then it probably was targeting the wrong place to go. Right. You know, for, for many, many years in, you needed to figure that out. So I like to listen and talk and discuss for a long period of time and then sort of okay, reinvent the strategy, the direction.
Speaker 2 00:19:45 And maybe in some cases, the organizational culture to get you there and, and begin to communicate that to people and get people bought into that. But if you don't do that pretty quickly, you'd come in and you just try to ride the tide for what's been going on there forever. People are gonna say, well, you didn't, you didn't turn this organization. Yeah, yeah, of course. Right. Yeah. And so understanding that, I will say, I've got, I got some great training at Xerox about the leadership and management, and they really had some wonderful people to teach you, you know, how do you go in and turn an organization on? And I did it at Xerox several times. So when I went to other organizations, I pretty much knew it was, it was almost like a formula. I knew what to do in order to, to turn things around.
Speaker 2 00:20:34 And I would tell you, one of the first things you do is you clean up all the systems, all the records, all the BS, you get, get your systems and performance numbers straightened out as, and usually there's a lot of junk in there and you gotta throw out the junk and start over and say, this is where we are, right. This is had this have this moment of frankness brutal honesty with the organization says, look, I filtered through all this. This is, this is the way the situation is now. Yeah. I've had some ideas and I like to work with you on your ideas. And I think we can, we can get this pointed in the right direction. Yeah. Who wants to talk?
Speaker 1 00:21:14 Well,
Speaker 2 00:21:16 Funny story, once I took over an organization and it was bad, it was the numbers for that year. There was no way to get them turned around. And I said, um, I told the group, I said, you know, we're not going to make our numbers this year. I'm not sure that, you know, we even have all the right people to do the numbers. I said, but next year we're going to be number one, not just in the region, but in, in the world, we're going to be number one and electron, and I saw the look on people's face and some people are scoffing and laughing and some are like, okay, how do we do that? Well, I made a lot of decisions in that, in that one to two minute period of time about who stays and who goes and next year and the year after we were, we were number in the world. We did it. Yeah. Because I was, I was left with the people that thought we could and got rid of the people that thought it was a joke.
Speaker 1 00:22:12 Usually we could take us, take over an operation that needs, oh, we can always improve it. Operations, always improving organization. But when you take over one that's in, in, in, in need of it, there are people in it who want to do better. There are people in who want to enjoy their work more who want to enjoy going to work more, who want to enjoy what they contribute to something more, get more out of it. So they're ready to put into it. Yeah. They're eager for someone to take over. Who's going to take them in that in a direction that they can get behind. And so that's what you did. And like you said, you know, sometimes there was a moment in time for somebody that they weren't a good fit and they wanted something else and they wanted to go three degrees left and you were going 15 degrees. Right. And that's okay.
Speaker 2 00:22:58 Yeah. That is life. I mean, and I've, and I've had the conversations that, uh, companies where, you know, they said we're going in this direction. And, and, you know, they made it clear that, you know, I wasn't, I wasn't going to be going in that direction with them. And I, I was like, you know what, you're right. I am not going to go in that direction. I am that I take this opportunity to leave. And, and, uh,
Speaker 1 00:23:27 It just occurred to me. I want to, I want to mention it, especially for someone who's in that situation, maybe right now, where they're listening, it's really important that you, you look up over the situation and it'd be careful not to personalize it in a sense that you have failed.
Speaker 2 00:23:43 Now,
Speaker 1 00:23:44 I'm not saying someone, we can't know someone did or didn't fail in a particular situation, but there are some things that are the word I think of structural. We're talking about things that are structural in nature. If the organization's going to become more of something, less of something else, and that's not a fit for you, that's not a flaw, that's a fit issue. And you must be careful not to say that, to think that you failed because you don't fit. Those are two different things. If you didn't fit because you didn't try or that's different, but if you don't fit because things are heading in different directions, this is an opportunity that in a hard time, it's an opportunity for you to find or create a better, a better fit. Yeah. Let's go back to a little bit of reinvention because it's a thread or a theme that would, I think necessarily run through change over time in a career.
Speaker 1 00:24:41 Uh, it might also run through relationships over time and not a work relationship, personal relationships over time. You know, you had some amount of reinvention you do of yourself when your kids are infants and preschool and elementary school and middle school and high school and grown, you know what I mean? There's different. You have a different relationship with them. Something that I've always been interested in. And there's some research on this and you might be aware of is the idea of curiosity. If you can, if you have, if you're curious by nature, I think that helps. If you're not curious by nature, if you can cultivate a little bit of curiosity for yourself about circumstances because they change all the time. You know, you've said this before, almost at the beginning market forces change technology changes political or, or regulatory schemes can change. So many things can change in any sort of business ecosystem that organizations and people in them find themselves constantly operating on the environment to see what happens and the environments operating on them. And you see what happens and you adjust, then you keep moving forward because you know where you're trying to get to things, make you move off of that path. And you either got to adjust to stay on the path or adjust the path. That's a constant sort of conversation. I think if you can remain curious about those changing variables and factors and you, you might be able to mine them for value or for information or for use.
Speaker 2 00:26:11 Yeah, I think, I think, uh, curiosity is, is one of the prerequisites to, uh, solid problem solving. And, and if you think about it, it's actually advice. My father gave me, he said, you'll be successful in business. If you're a good problem solver, that's surely what the whole world wants all. And I was like, no, that advice was pretty spot on. He gave that to me many years ago later, but, uh, ITO. So I think that the curiosity is sort of the preamble to the prompts on, right. You're, you're finding out, you know, what's, what's going on here and why is it this way? And who says, it's, this is the way it should be. And can I test that is that policy, is that law? What
Speaker 2 00:27:04 We've been through all this before and says these numbers, can I understand the source of these numbers and who put, you know, so curiosity is, is a very helpful, helpful, uh, attitude to have. And there say there's a technique called the five whys. Right, right. And I'll, I'll go into it right now. But if you can look this up on the internet, but it's a great way to tell me, tell me, why is this the case? And why, why is that the M tact? And why was that the result? You know, uh, again, you can learn this from the internet, but there's a, the five whys is a great way to express your curiosity. I love that point.
Speaker 1 00:27:45 Yeah. And to not settle for an answer that could be more superficial than answers that exists to get something deeper, especially if you're talking, especially if you have a conversation like that with a team where different members of the team understand different things about a situation, right. Somebody who might understand the coding and somebody might understand the customer and somebody might understand the supply chain, right. And, and teach person that's a con that's sort of a complete world or the center of, and they look at things that way. So it's interesting when you get a conversation going amongst a group of people with different areas of expertise, maybe Myers-Briggs types, or other kinds of differences, how those, why questions get answered. Yes.
Speaker 2 00:28:33 Yes. Well, and how
Speaker 1 00:28:36 You put them together sometimes can integrate or connect things.
Speaker 2 00:28:40 No, I, I th I think the, um, expression of your curiosity and using a technique like the five whys and, and thinking about the interconnections and, and, uh, the origins of, of the answers, the theory is if I'm not mistaken, is it by the time you ask the five why's, so you're, you've got the answer to your problem. So I think it's a, uh, it's a spot on point that says, Hey, this is, it all starts with curiosity. Basically.
Speaker 1 00:29:09 Let me ask you this question. How have you, okay, let me ask you, I'm eating right. There's a preamble to the question. All humans, all, all, maybe all beings, certainly human beings. Sure. Like some predictability or some consistency in, in, in our environments. And, and I don't know how much we have, or I've ever had, but on a much we have these days, so it can feel disorienting. It can feel troubling, it can feel unsteady and it can feel stressful. So how have you over time now, here's the question? How have you over time threaded that needle, so to speak or walk that fine line between no, I can be, open-mind having a mindset of openness and curiosity and questioning without, and then make decisions, make a plan.
Speaker 2 00:30:00 Yeah. So I was going to say, ultimately, you got to make a decision, right? So I like to open my mind and solicit the, uh, input from the right people. The people that I respect and think can teach me about this subject and lots of these people that work for you, right? Not people that you work for, and you're trying to gain as much understanding of the situation as you can, because they're closer to it. Usually they have more information. And I think, I think people really enjoy the management using them in that fashion. When you say, Hey, give me, give me five minutes on this and bring me up to speed on what you think the issues are and how we should best approach these. And if you get that kind of input, no matter what your decision is, if you solicit that kind of input, usually you get people through, you know, he asked me, I said, you know, he didn't go in my direction, but yeah.
Speaker 2 00:30:54 But I appreciate, I appreciate the, the, uh, the interaction that, uh, he afforded me. And so I think, I think it really gains buy-in, you know, when you do do that kind of solicitation and it gains a good understanding on your part before you have to make that assertion, but ultimately management has to make decisions. Now, occasionally no decision is also a decision. Sure. You can, you can delay it. Or you can say, look, I'm not going to make this decision till it becomes more clear. We get further down the road or the performance is better or whatever, then we'll make those decisions. But that is also a decision as well.
Speaker 1 00:31:33 Yes, it is. Let's talk about getting on the same page with others and ways that you, there's a way in which you bring yourself, Andy Robinson in a very personal sense to a role so that you enact the values and the principles that are central to you or, or, or, or, or core. And so that I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I think I know the answer, how you'll say, answer this question so that you feel in sync with yourself or right with the universe in what you're doing. And you're probably trying to create a place where others do too, and that might not work for everybody, but you want to create a place where people can feel that way in the space. And if they don't that's we already talked about that. So how do you, how do you approach management or leadership so that you can, you can be true to yourself in a role that you have, which might also have other expectations for you.
Speaker 2 00:32:31 Yeah. So I think in, in order to give management and, or your, or board members, or for whoever, a good understanding of you and how to communicate with you and what to expect of you, you've got to, you've got to sort of have this peace with yourself about, you know, I, here here are my expectations of myself and, and really be true truthful to that. And I will tell you, I tell, I'll tell you the biggest mistake I've made in my career. And, and, you know, it's been a great career, but I, I don't have too many complaints, but I swish, I didn't never ask, uh, friends, peers, my network, et cetera, what their expectations were of me, or really gave me their expectations. And usually, you know, they were sort of limiting and narrowing, and this is who you are. This is not who you are, et cetera.
Speaker 2 00:33:34 I should have, I should have never really paid that much attention because almost by definition, it's so weird, but it, but you've, you've run into this before. I'm sure, but others can have, I think they project themselves onto you and, and they, they don't necessarily want to, uh, how can I say this in bolding you to go as far as you can go, because they believe in you all a hundred percent and they're your biggest fan. It's a lot of times, even from your friends, I mean, even for your friends, they don't, and, and even family, right. Even, even family as well.
Speaker 1 00:34:18 That's well said.
Speaker 2 00:34:20 And I think it's it, it's, you know, this is where you can pick up your self-limiting beliefs from your immediate, immediate family and associates and, uh, and peers. I was fortunate that I had enough friends and family that didn't have those expectations.
Speaker 1 00:34:38 unfortunate.
Speaker 2 00:34:42 Yeah, no, I, I think, I think a lot of them don't make, I've often times worked in sort of poverty situations and inner city, and, and I'm on a board that does work in Haiti and Haiti. They're there. The jealousy factor is unbelievable. It's amplified in Haiti. It's I don't mean to say it's that way here or the U S but, but, uh, that is a phenomenon that I've noticed that it's just, you gotta put that, uh, just garbage, put that behind.
Speaker 1 00:35:14 Yeah. So your expectations for yourself are what guide you, and you make those clear to your team and to your, to your people that you work for. Right? You're you're saying I'm going to, I'm going to manage, I'm going to lead in this way or to these things. These are my expectations for myself. You talked earlier about getting advice from people, but at which I think we need to, that's just part of how we learn, but putting two and two together, if you're having a conversation with someone and you're getting their, their thoughts on, on, on a situation you have to watch for their own limiting factors. Yes. Because you don't want to think, well, I asked Andy and I respect Andy a lot. And he said, I should be careful with this. And so I guess I better be careful. Well, maybe, maybe not, certainly not. Maybe, maybe not because Andy said so, but maybe I gotta think about what Andy said and why he said that. Right. And decide if that applies to me.
Speaker 2 00:36:12 Well, and in a lot of these lot of times, I was, I would say, uh, when, when you hear that from, from people and, and I'm not saying they ignore it necessarily, I'm saying, don't let it define You. No, no. Why are they saying that? And maybe it's useful information. Did you consider, you know, you put the category, well, that's a risk factor for this decision. I need to mitigate that. Thank you very much. Is it going to stop me from making this decision or changing my career or redefining the brand of the company? No, no. I'm not gonna let that, let that, uh, you know, those, those, uh, uh, self limiting beliefs extend to me,
Speaker 1 00:36:59 Take a minute, adopt them. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Which means you have to be clear on what you want, which is part of your, really what we talked about this before. It was your, it was your main point of being clear on your place in the universe, clear where you're headed without that. You don't have much,
Speaker 2 00:37:14 No, you don't need it. I'm going to tell you that you will, you'll need it. And there'll be times in your career when things get hard, right? If, if you find that you haven't been, you know, sinked up with yourself and, and, uh, you'll oftentimes be in a position where the skill sets don't match, match up with the, uh, with the task at hand. But I think if you say, Hey, this is the kind of leader I'm going to be. These kinds of decisions I'm going to make here are my expectations of others. And when we get to something that's, that's difficult, or, you know, are we going to play the blame game or are we going to, you know, uh, stop and turn back or retreat, et cetera, no, we're going to sit down. We're going to deal with these issues, continue to press for problem solve. And probably at the end of it, be a better team, uh, down the road and, you know, quitting, giving up those types of things. No.
Speaker 1 00:38:16 So, so, right. So you're on the same page with your self. You're clear on where you're headed. You're clear on your expectations. You're clear on your values. You're clear on your role. What's it mean to be on the same page with others, for you,
Speaker 2 00:38:32 For me, it's comes across and is most evident in your communications with people when you have that. And I always believe in, uh, in a weekly one-on-one planner review with my direct reports, and when you come to the table and you start to like, execute, let's do this, let's do this, let's do this, let's start knocking out things. And, and it's based on a strategy that you built together and you have your quarterly goals to achieve that strategy. Uh, and you're knocking those out as well, that the organization just starts to pick up momentum. And it's felt in this free decor. Obviously soon after the numbers look good, uh, clients are starting to say good things about your employees start to say good things about you. Competitors and partners are starting to want to partner with you. And competitors are starting to fear you in a, in a certain sense. They don't compete with you and less opportunity because Andy's going after this one or whoever, whatever company is going after that, then you know that you're, um, you've got the machine working, uh, on occasion referred to it as the machine. And I, you know, that some, some people think of that as being derogatory.
Speaker 2 00:39:59 Yeah. Like, like in a, a good to great the fly wheel, but with the fly wheels working, yeah. Life is good. Right?
Speaker 1 00:40:10 So part of it is, it's a hard to describe part of it. Isn't feeling as an energy, or there's a vibe, there's a wavelength. You feel like you're on in sync with each other. I think that comes from individuals feeling like they're valued in the team. So what they're contributing to the team matters, it adds to what the others contribute. And that's how the team there is. I really do think there is a, uh, an experience of the whole being greater than some of the parts or something that comes together in a way that is multiplicative. Maybe not additive, you know, when we work well together when we work well together. Yeah. I think that what you described is very personal. We're talking about a work situation, but that doesn't lessen how personal this is. It's that esprit de Corps, if you, if you've ever had that experience, it's, it's very energizing. It's just, it's in you, it's in your gut. I think largely we're past the point of thinking that that, um, people are only cogs in the machine and they can be replaced and they do a job. And that's, there's more to it than that when you're that I think good.
Speaker 2 00:41:21 Uh, I would say w when, if we want to call it a machine, the morning, the machines working, it feels like a team, right? It feels like you're, you are, you're almost leaving home to go home and you don't feel any, uh, uh, better or worse. You're going back and forth. They all I'm dreading to go at all. No, you, you you're you're home. Cause you got things at home and now you're excited to go to work the next day. That's when it's really clicking for people and there's no dread involved. If we're finished, shouldn't be there. Doesn't have to be.
Speaker 1 00:42:03 I think when I think there's something to that feeling, uh, that esprit de Corps that is at the level you're talking about, that's a higher performing team, but has to do in the literature. They would say it has to do with shared knowledge and shared intent.
Speaker 2 00:42:20 Yes. Yes.
Speaker 1 00:42:22 So if you build shared knowledge because you genuinely are communicating with each other about what you know about a problem or a solution, and again, from different perspectives, whether it's it budget HR or customer supplier from the different perspectives. And you're creating a group knowledge out of individual knowledge, a group knowledge from the individual experiences that people have, then you really are creating something novel and unique. It's it's, um, it's, it wouldn't exist without those people doing the things that they did. It doesn't, it doesn't exist anywhere. It isn't on the desk. You know, it's not in a, it exists because people have those conversations and create that shared knowledge. They use that shared knowledge to go past that and have shared intent. You get to the point where they operate differently. Let's just assume that every team member operates with every team side by side all day long, every day, over weeks and quarters, not like a football team, American football team, they're not side by side, the different parts of the country, right.
Speaker 1 00:43:30 Have different jobs and maybe report to even different of different chains of command. But when you get to the point where Lou says, wait a minute, just found out something about the customer. Andy would want to know that, right? When you begin to have enough awareness of what other people, what matters to someone else on the team and why, and you share, and then you share information or you help out to say, Hey, you didn't know this. You need to know, cause it's going to impact you. And let's talk about what we do in the team here. Yeah. That's, that's a high level of functioning and performing in that field and we described it esprit de Corps.
Speaker 2 00:44:08 Well, that causes me to think that when you have the shared knowledge and shared intent, that you then are able to cheat achieve the shared trust. Yes. And once you have the trust there that, uh, I can't be all places at all times. Well, I know that one of my team members out there is that they're asking the right questions and they're feeding back the right information that I need to have good point. And then you have your, your, the trust on your team, uh, is in place. And that, to me, a very, very big word and, and definitely is that look back and, and companies and careers and management that I wanted to work for. Um, plus the word trust, you know, do they, do I trust them? Do they trust me? And is it there? Yes or no.
Speaker 1 00:45:02 If you don't, if you work with people and feel like they don't have your back, you can only be careful and cautious. And you really only need to get me to get out of that situation before
Speaker 2 00:45:13 Crucially,
Speaker 1 00:45:14 Because, because you, you, you know that many things could become risks or you're not sure how much of a risk things could be. So you just, if you're not, if others don't have your back, you, you just sort of hunker down and try to avoid being causing a problem or being a problem when you know, your team members have your back. Yeah. You, you th th the energy's different. You can just kind of free up and yeah,
Speaker 2 00:45:39 It's so different. I mean, it'd be, you know, if it's, if, if you don't trust or people don't trust you, something bad is going to happen, and I guarantee you, it is going to happen. And then when you trusted each other every day, something good happens almost every day. Yeah. I remember some of my best days. And with some of the companies I work with, uh, when we had this, when we achieve this level of trust, it was like, wow, we're, we're something great is happening every single day. And it really did. And it wasn't because I was doing it. It was because other people that built the trust, not knowledge in tint or out there, and it's a force multiplier as, as they say in the DOD world. But, uh, that's so what's,
Speaker 1 00:46:30 What's a w we were lucky enough to experience that we cherish it and we hope to recreate it. What helps make that happen? So we can, we can, we want to build trust, but what's helped what helps build trust. We want to have shared knowledge and shared intent. What helps create those things that you've used in your experience?
Speaker 2 00:46:51 Um, there's, uh, there's a couple things. So one of the things I like to do as almost as a leader, when I first take over an organization is, you know, sort of barrier soul, right? I mean, they've got to get to know who you really are, and you can do this through, you know, sharing a values, uh, various things like that. I like to spend a lot of one-on-one time. I like to do a lot of, uh, management by walking around. And I like, like to relate to people personally. And I like to, for them to get to know me personally and what I, uh, like, you know, what my fam it looks like , I like to get to know theirs and, you know, where did you go to school? And, you know, those kinds of things, and, uh, really build up the, what I would call the, the equity and the trust account.
Speaker 2 00:47:45 Right. And you put a lot, uh, you put a lot of effort into that, uh, over time. And, and then after a while, they'd say, you know, I'm telling this guy things, he's not, he's, he knows he's safe, he's safe guard. And he's relating to me, he's falling up and asking. And I like to do that with people, you know, I like to get to really know them. I like for them to know me. And if you really that's sort of first base, if you can get there to first base, and then you can move on and say, no. Okay, great. Now let's, let's think about what we're here to, to, you know, conspire on, uh, what, what, what work issues we need to talk about and what looks, what does success look like? And, you know, talk to me about that and things like that.
Speaker 2 00:48:32 I haven't mentioned it yet. I'm surprised we got this far, but I, I like to have people in team think of metrics as being a big KPI guy and a key key process indicators, but bringing that into the equation as well, and saying, you know, let, let's keep score. We want to keep score and our success, and this is how we're gonna go to do that and celebrate that, right. It doesn't always, you can't always celebrate the weight to celebrate on the big win. You gotta celebrate on doing the right things, you know, leading up to that, that pick lab. And I think over a period of time, people, people say, you know, this guy, he's, he's a personable guy and likes to win, and I can, I can win too. And he's going to teach me and help me de great.
Speaker 1 00:49:22 Thank you. That's a great answer. Starting with bare your soul. Like you said, one-on-one time as my walking around the personal touch is not for everybody, but that's okay if it's, if it's not, well, either find a place with it or the exit, as we talk about what we're trying to accomplish, what our expectations, mine, yours. I love the idea of the measurement because we have, we have, might have measures given to us, right. And we might not be able to ignore them, but we might also measure other things that we know matter to the team and accomplishing those things can be highly motivating. And you want to have that conversation, like you said, what are we going to measure? Because it matters.
Speaker 2 00:50:10 Yeah. Well, there's a great, I think this comes from the, take you in a side of the house and quality a quality has various schools. Yeah. Uh, one that I, uh, I don't say one's better than the other. They're all have their different applications. Some are, some are great for manufacturing, lean six Sigma. Some are great for business and business processes like TQM et cetera. But I would, I would tell you, I think this comes from TQ. M is it is it's, it's critical to get with metrics it's critical. And KPIs is critical to get people to understand that there's several measures that are sort of the preamble to success. And those are called process managers measures, which means you gotta do this first. We'll take the simple sales process. You, you to identify X number of opportunities in your pipeline. First, we need to do that by March.
Speaker 2 00:51:14 Okay, great. Then we need to qualify these by the next quarter. And then you need to bid, you know, these by the next score. And then you end up with our measure or result measure. And so getting people to understand that, look, we are going to be able to celebrate right away, but, uh, you know, on the result, but you know, we're gonna, we're going to take some solace and we're going to get each other out of boys when you do this process, make this possible. Great. You're doing a great job here. We're, we're, we're on the path to success. And then obviously you got to get them into buy in that these are the right process measures and that they will in fact result. Yeah, exactly. And so getting that buy-in is critical. Okay.
Speaker 1 00:51:57 Well, Andy, we've been talking, we've covered a lot of great stuff. Is there anything else that you, something come to mind or something you want to talk about that we haven't gotten to?
Speaker 2 00:52:06 Yeah, he hears there's. Yeah. There's just one thing I would say is, so, you know, when we take these right-hand turns in your career, how do you do that? I mean, you could ask that question and I would, I've done that as we talked about a couple of times down. I think I'd, I think I know the answer.
Speaker 1 00:52:28 Can I ask you a right-hand turn? Right-hand turn being significant or the idea of, uh, a right-hand turn like a 90 degrees is you're making a big change. A few degrees. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:52:42 And then
Speaker 1 00:52:43 Go ahead. How, how have you managed those?
Speaker 2 00:52:46 Let's say that I made the decision that I leave this company, I'm leaving this industry or whatever. A great book that you should read is written by Richard Rohr, who is a a month it's called falling upward. And he basically talks about the maturity that comes with falling. We have the, the awakening moment in your life that it didn't turn out exactly like you planned, uh, on the day you graduated from the school that your career, or are you headed this moment? Uh, or a, um, maybe it's even a better word, the way you thought your life was going to turn down is not the way it's going to turn out. Right. And everyone should have these moments in their lives. But when you have these moments, a few things I, I think are, can sort of get you through. And one thing I like to do is get right on the health thing.
Speaker 2 00:53:51 Just, you know, cause if you don't have your health and this, this sounds trite, but it really is true. If you don't have your health, you can have all the money in the world. It doesn't matter. You feel crappy all day long and money won't fix that. You've got to, you got to put that on first base, got know, eat, right, get your sleep, exercise, stretch, whatever it is, whatever you need, but you've got to put health. Number one, nothing makes up for that. If you don't have that. So that's, I do that. And then I, then after that, I like to sort of, and on the last scan of the world to say this, Lily, you're probably gonna jaw drop, but I actually, I actually now meditate, which is a, you know, a, a pretty big stretch, but I learned it from my wife and I saw the results that had with her. And I said, you know, I could use some of that right now.
Speaker 1 00:54:49 I liked that. I liked
Speaker 2 00:54:50 That. And it really does. It really does sort of sorts your mind out and actually quash the negative thoughts that you might have as you make these tumultuous decisions and this, you know, these right-hand turns and in your life. And then I also think these are great periods of time to really reset your financial goals and, and revisit that and get your house cleaned up in order. Because I I've experienced life. That guests who does the best job with, with your money is, is usually you. And you need to spend some time on that. And those, these are great periods of time for that. And then after that, then after you get all that, that sort of Gulen, then yeah, let's spend some time thinking about what's next and slow it down there. Do these other things. These are more loose or more important than life over the longterm and slow it down and have conversations with people and take your time. And, and while it might be an anxious period of time, a little bit,
Speaker 1 00:55:57 You know, any that's I was taking some notes here. I didn't think of it until you said those three things. If one's facing a right-hand turn, a momentous decision in your life, those, those kinds of things you described being in disorder, or if you've not, if you're not paying attention, they become very severely constraining. Yes. All right. So if you're facing a tough decision, you don't, you, you, you have more flexibility and maybe more options. If you have these things in order, you might a few less flexibility or fewer options. If these things constrain you and to take it one step further, keep these three things sort of in mind, like the night stars, like navigation points, your health, mental, mental health, and mental wellness, then meditation and, and, and, and your financial goals. Because if you keep them in order, you have more, I think, room to maneuver in your career.
Speaker 2 00:56:59 Yes. Your mind operates better because you've taken care of the important things in life, right? And I'm not at all inferring that, uh, by, uh, the, on the financial side, that that's, that means, you know, you're money hungry, no, quite, quite, quite the opposite. You're almost, you're almost saying, you know, I've, I've taken care of my finances best everything's set up correctly, et cetera. I know how much I need to make, et cetera. And then you put that out of your mind, right? You're, you're comfortable there. I've done a little work now today, and I've got a great night's sleep, et cetera. And I spent some time meditating and communicating with the universe. God, what, you know, w w w two, whatever belief system, your attic and, and Hey, now, now I'm ready to go for the day. And I can, I'm going to, uh, think about, you know, myself and where my career's going, because I've, I have, I've gotten my house in order.
Speaker 1 00:57:58 That's a good way to put it. What I like about it is you said about the first one is something I think applies to all three. Now you said about health. Nothing makes up for this. If you don't have it. And that's absolutely true. I think if your mindset's bad, nothing makes up for that. If you have a bad mindset and if you're, if you're in financial disorder or disarray, not because something happened to you, but because you've let it get bad, you you've harmed yourself. If you take care of these three things, all work decisions, I'm going to say it this way, your work decisions can be, you can see them more as needs to ends. And what I like about thinking about them as means to ends is you open up more possibilities of means in ends. Yeah. Right? Like you said, sometimes you found the next job. Sometimes you consulted for awhile. Yeah. It, there means to ends. If you're not, if you don't have these things in order, you don't, you maybe you're, you're confused about the means and ends or you're working on the wrong means and ends, you know what I'm saying? Or you feel like there's just one. I got to get it because everything depends on it. That's not necessarily true.
Speaker 2 00:59:04 Yeah. And I think there's the other component too, that maybe I've been, I've been guilty of in the past. And I don't want to do it again is is, is you, you know, your work, your work, you're trying to get ahead in life here, you know, you're squirreling money away and you think, but you're really not. You know, if you go back to, uh, uh, the parable, the talents, you're not really, you know, doing your self service with, with some of the, what you've been afforded and you really should, right? I mean, it's not just the financial part of it. I'm not talking about just putting money away or buying a Rolex. I'm talking about, you know, charitable giving and gifting to children and things like that because therein lies, uh, something that, that really, uh, uh, creative to your self esteem and in belief that you do, you're on, you're on the right path in life, right. Uh, and without that, you're like, Hm, you know, what, what is mom
Speaker 1 01:00:11 That brings us back to where we began? This is could lose. You could lose your way to being true to yourself. If you lose these, if you lose sight of these things,
Speaker 2 01:00:21 You gotta, you gotta make sure that you're settling up with the universe and, and executing your part as a citizen in it.
Speaker 1 01:00:30 That's right.
Speaker 1 01:00:33 You said settling up. I like that. By the way, is that accounting? That's a, that's a great place to end our discussion because I think our whole discussion has been maybe what that book encapsulates, which is it's very personal things and how they apply to the business world and a very different, or not, not apply to much of life. I don't just mean to limit it, but we were talking about, you know, I work situations and a fresh take on getting on the same page. So I've enjoyed, I've enjoyed this conversation, Andy and learned a lot. Thank you.
Speaker 2 01:01:08 Well, thank you. I also learned a lot and I, I enjoyed the conversation. Likewise, living on always do enjoy having conversations with
Speaker 1 01:01:18 Thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to do this with me and sharing your thoughts and I'm sure it's going to be a fun podcast for listeners. Thanks again.
Speaker 2 01:01:27 Great. Stay in touch.
Speaker 1 01:01:28 Okay. Likewise. All right. See you later. Bye-bye and that's how we see it. My friends, I want to thank Andy for recording today's episode. You can find it at, I see what you mean dot Casto stock com. Plus all the usual places, send suggestions and questions through the app. Subscribe and give me a five-star rating unless you can't. In which case, let me know why and join me next week. When we take another look at how to get on the same page and stay there, unless you shouldn't.