Camille: Good morning, George.
George: Good morning.
Camille: I found another belief shift in the news.
Camille: Remember when we were talking about Jacinda Arden. The new Zealand prime Minister. Prime Minister, yes. Well, I found another, and now I guess, it's like how you buy a car and then that's the only car you see on the road all the time because Yes, you, it's like this. So
Camille: Now all I see are stories that are related, like, oh, there's another one. That's a good example. So this example is Marie Kondo. Her, she's the author of the Life tv. Magic Magic of Tidying Up. Yes. Spark Joy. A special, yes. So as a Plannedful Organizee type person, I loved her book, and we both loved her
George: book when we got it around the same time?
Camille: Yeah. Yeah. I did stuff too. Like my drawers are still organized the way Marie Kondo wants them to be organized.
Camille: The reason I bring her up isn't because of that, but because she had there was a story in the news about her that she just had her third child and she said she's given up on tidying.
Camille: the queen of tidying.
Camille: Exactly like what in the heck is going up? But I saw it and I just, I thought, oh, thank goodness Marie Kondo is also a human being and is admitting it. Yes. Because she basically was just like, look, I have three children now, and that is more important than the tidiness now. Yeah, that's what my life is like now.
Camille: And so it made me think about that idea of trade offs and this topic that I've been wanting to dive into more which is about going to extremes and how this works against us. And especially when we're not honest with ourselves about that that's exactly what we're doing. And I see this a lot when I talk about high performance, like building a high performance business.
Camille: Kinda my think, right? Like that's what I want for all my people. And
Camille: when I first started to talk about it, something interesting happened I wasn't expecting, which was how many people resisted the idea of high performance. So some people love the idea, but more people than I expected were like, I don't know. That doesn't feel good to me.
Camille: So there's these two extremes of how we might think about high performance versus not. But then there's just the extremes within how we think about how to build a high performance business.
Camille: So I wanna just unravel all of this and just talk about it so that we can reframe how people think about high performance. So that it's both achievable and desirable and just maybe more clearly understood, at least my version of it. I see.
Welcome to The Belief Shift. The show that explores what you really need to know about building a successful small business. I'm your host, Camille Rapacz, small business coach and consultant who spent too much of her career working in corporate business performance. And I'm George Drapeau, your co-host and her brother.
I'm a leader in the tech world, bringing my corporate perspective, but mostly my curiosity together. We're exploring beliefs about success and how to achieve it, but mostly we're bringing practical.
So you and your business can thrive.
George: You've already answered my first question outta the gaze, like, why did this come to you and why are we talking about this?
George: I have something that I want to mention I want to throw in here from just this week at our own sales kickoff conference and get your thoughts about it. But first, may I ask you a question about Marie Kondo and the story? Cuz I haven't fully read all the news about it.
Camille: Yes. I don't know. I mean, I haven't read it in detail, but yes, I have an answer if I can.
Camille: What? What do you wanna know?
George: So, I mean, I would characterize it if you look at a spectrum of like neat and organized to completely chaotic. She is way over on the spectrum of neat and organized. She's extreme about it and she's saying, okay, three kids, I'm not gonna do that. Does she completely pivot?
Camille: If she's gonna say her house is messy, who knows what that means from Exactly, from Marie Kondo's standpoint.
Camille: Yeah. So we might still walk into her house and be like, this looks amazing. What are you talking about? And I know people like that. That my version of messy is their version of tidy. So who knows?
Camille: What she was acknowledging was the amount of energy it took to maintain the level of tidiness that she was working towards.
Camille: That energy needed to go somewhere else now. Yeah, that's basically was the crux of the story. What was also interesting about it is that almost every headline I saw was celebrating that she was saying. The headlines weren't necessarily saying, oh, turns out she is a fraud.
Camille: Nobody can maintain that. Most of them Uhhuh, there are definitely articles that will say that cuz of course, of course. But most of the articles were saying like, good for her to, make this decision for herself. It was really more about she's just made a choice at this stage of her life to make this not the priority now.
Camille: Which for somebody whose entire brand is built around, that is a pretty big deal.
George: Yeah. Okay, cool. Interesting contrast to the, some of the articles about Jacinda Arder, which is how we started that conversation when the BBC started. Like she's failed! Really? Yeah. No. Yes.
Camille: But cool. Cool.
Camille: Which also I think, there's a level of Marie Kondo is just like she's not a politician. Like there's really no big stakes in taking her down. Yeah. Like there is a politician in the news. Good point. So point, it's a little bit of different, but yeah, I was surprised to not see more negative takes on that than I did.
Camille: What it really was making me focus on though, was just the idea of extremes and how we think about that. And even with that concept, I know people who don't like the idea of this Marie Kondo way of tidying up because they're like, if I was to do all of that, it's unsustainable for me and , da da da da da.
Camille: Well yeah, if you literally do everything she lays out, it probably is unsustainable for you cuz your whole brand isn't like hers to show you all the many ways you can be organized. But you could do two of them and it could be really helpful, which is was my experience.
Camille: I can do a few of them and it's really helpful. That's the idea I wanna get to is when we think about high performance. We think about I have to do all of the things and I have to do them all the time. And we forget that we're humans and that's just not possible. So what does it mean to think about high performance differently.
Camille: To not think about it as these extremes, but as the, what's my balance and how do I, okay. How do I swing in and out of these extremes in the way as I build a high performance business? Okay. That's what I really wanna talk about.
George: So this immediately brought to mind something I heard. We had our annual North American sales kickoff this week, and in one of the keynotes, the keynote speaker was talking about performance and execution and how we need to get better this year and stop being un-disciplined as a Sales Force . And he was using the example of the Navy Seal.
George: and it's a great example. It was a very interesting story to tell about how they window down from how many people applied as less than the 10th of a percent of the people actually get there. He had a different point. He was talking about leadership, but he also talked about execution.
George: And they are obviously an extreme, extreme high performance and they spend a lot of time, most of their time training, so they put basic skills into muscle. Awesome. All great, but it's totally an extreme. If you're using that as your example of how I want to perform, you are not gonna get there because that's not a useful focus if that's your actual goals, like I wanna be as efficient and effective as Navy Seals.
George: Well, even within the Navy, ,you're weeding. 99.9% of the people and that's, you're not gonna, so the, that's not useful. I think a lot of the people think about high performance, they look for examples like that, and nobody makes the connection that I think you're making here.
George: Like you don't have to be that extreme to be high performance. The other thought it brings to mind is something we've talked about before, this quote from the movie shooter where mark Walberg plays a sniper and the quote is, slow is smooth and smooth is fast, which to me really resonates more like it's got a more chill vibe.
George: You're gonna get high performance, but you don't need to be all extreme crazy about it. Yes. Slow, smooth, and smooth as fast.
Camille: So, yeah, those are both really good examples of where I think we can get high performance wrong. Because context matters.
Camille: So when you're taking that Navy Seal, versus a salesperson like these are not the same types of humans. Making that connection, I understand why they do it, but I think it's where we can get tripped up in, if we specifically talk about a small business, trying to be high performing, the strain of that or what we see the world define that to be what we think it, it's being defined as for us, can just feel unattainable.
Camille: Like I'm never gonna do that. And so we give up on it. Or we push away from it instead of leaning into it.
Camille: So that's really what that you're getting at the heart of what I wanna focus, I wanna talk about some examples, but before we get into that, and we just wanna ask you, George, if I was to say, okay, we're gonna build a high performance business, what descriptive words come to mind?
Camille: Like, how does that sound to you? High performance. Your business is gonna be high performing and that's what we're gonna do, business owner.
George: That sounds, one of the two words that come to mind is awesome and a rarer. The first two. True. True and true. Relentless or unrelenting. Yeah. Mostly what's coming to mind is the connotation of not relaxing.
George: Unrelenting is a good word in my mind for when I'm thinking about. I don't think of the word balance when I think of high performance.
George: Teamwork is high performance. If I think of the more positive connotations that should be there for high performance.
George: Flow is another. Like that Hungarian guys concept of flow. I'll look up his name. He's just unpronounceable to me.
George: He's the one who introduced us to the concept of flow that like when you lose yourself to your activity. Flow high. Performance and flow, I think are a great linkage. That is not super stressful.
Camille: Those are great. You took it even further than I was expecting, so thank you.
Camille: Because there's all sorts of different ways that we can think about high performance, and one of them is there are some just definitions for a business that make it high performing. Okay. Okay. Whether it's efficient or highly productive or even just that, it has good flow. Like the business overall can also have flow.
Camille: Yes, there are aspects to a business that make it higher performing that we should all aspire to want to achieve, and yet there's also an aspect of high performance that's up to you, the business owner to define.
Camille: Because how far you wanna take that is up to you. The harder definitions is where I think people tend to get. It feels relentless to them and they're like, that's not why I'm doing this. I do not, no, that's not who I am. I'm not in this to have this just relentless feeling of wanting to drive my business.
Camille: But there are other people who are maybe more towards the workaholic side who they actually, that that's really exhilarating for them.
George: Yeah, it's adrenaline junky people.
Camille: Yeah, exactly. They're just pushing themselves to these extreme levels to be a high performer.
Camille: But it's all in response to this high performance concept in how we think about it. And I, I don't know. I always think it's interesting to think about why people, not that we should, get all psychological here when we aren't experts on that, but. I'm curious if you have thoughts about why people go to one side of the fence or the other on this.
Camille: Like why do some people love this idea of high performance and other people really cringe at it?
George: Man, that's an awesome question. I think about a lot of things about how people behave. I've never thought about that one. Let me think. I can see why a adrenaline junkies lean on it cuz high performance connotes excellence.
George: There's all kinds of rewards that come to that. If you can get there. You can think about, I can do more with I day. If I'm high performing, I can get more done, I can achieve more, I can make more money. I can be all this like, that I can see that the positive connotations attached to high performance.
George: I can also think that if I've never been excellent, like in school, I didn't have fantastic work habits. I'm just normal person and somebody's putting high performance on me, I could see where I would recoil it. I'm like, man, I've never been that way and I don't know. I don't want that. I'm happy with my life.
George: I no. Don't whine. I'm exhausted just hearing about that now. I can imagine. Or if I've never experienced this, if I've never experienced high performance. I've never been in a situation where I've been part of a high performing team or something. I don't know what it's like. I don't know what it's like.
George: And that's scary because it's unknown. Maybe that too, I don't know. What's the answer, Camille? What's the answer?
Camille: I mean, I think these are all good answers? I think it's a combination of these things. I also know that they're for some people they've chosen to actually start their own business because they struggled in the normal paradigm of work.
Camille: Because they have some health issues or they have some, mental health issues. Yes. And these can be just simple, straight up things like, they have a D h D , and so they can manage these things and they're working through these things, but it still makes what's expected of them in a regular job is just really difficult. So maybe they, it means that they tend to have a really slow start in the morning so they can now build a business around the fact that they're more of a, I work later in the day than earlier in the day person. And so I think that's some of it too. And so those people definitely are like, I'm not in this for high performance.
Camille: I'm in this just so I can actually be the normal human that I wanna be. Yeah. Without all that stress or that expectation that makes. Yeah.
Camille: So I think there's a bunch of reasons. I think there's a bunch of reasons, and, but at the end of the day, I do think it comes down to Bo on both of those sides, we're doing ourselves a disservice, including like the, the adrenaline junkies or the people rebelling against us by not defining it for ourselves.
Camille: So even is as a business owner or even as a leader in business, not defining what it means to you. Again, there's a definition for a business of, obviously it needs to make money. Or it's yes, really a well-performing business, but underneath that, there's all these other things to be defined.
Camille: And I also just like the idea of it can be both. And so I like the idea that for me, a high performance business is difficult, but it's also fun. It is a little exhausting, but it's also fulfilling. Yeah, it can be stressful, but it's a very different stress than I had in my previous job, and it's exciting.
Camille: There's positive stress. Where I'm like, I'm a little stressed out, but I'm also, I, I'm high energy about it. I'm excited about it. Yeah. So I think the negatives and the positives can come together to create, that's a tension you actually need in order to be able to perform and do the things that you need to do. And I think we sometimes forget that.
Camille: We either think, oh, just building a business is just gonna be hard and exhausting and stressful. Or we think it should be fun, fulfilling and exciting. And if it's not either one or the other, in our heads it gets harder to manage. Because we're little meaning making machines and we just want like it to be this or that.
Camille: That's our brains try to simplify everything. Yeah.
Camille: So before we have talked about that a business is here for one purpose. It's to make money. Yeah. How you do it is up to you. And that's where I say that definition of high performance is important for you to define that.
Camille: That means all the little things in your business. Again, you can measure the outcome of how much money I make. Okay. That is also not a measure you typically have control over. But it's an important one to measure, and you're gonna do all that you can to make the money you wanna make. But there are a bunch of other things about your business that measure whether it's performing well or not.
Camille: Yeah. And these frankly are the ones you typically have more control over. And they're about all the other parts, which is, what work am I doing? Yeah. Who are my customers? How much time am I spending in it? Who's on my team? I get to make lots of these choices. If I'm really clear about what that means in terms of, and that is what high performance looks like to me.
Camille: I work with these types of customers. I have this type of a team. Then you start to see where that all makes a difference in your experience of the business.
Camille: Ultimately, what we're trying to do is make this whole business of running a business a little more joyful. So it's not always just stress and grind all the time.
Camille: It can be fun if you really lean into creating the fun. Yeah.
Camille: I probably spend too much time looking at what people talk about in building businesses and cuz I like to find the stuff that really annoys me. I don't know why, but I do that sometimes.
Camille: That's the only reason I exist on Twitter is just to see what annoying things people are posting about running a business. Oh, I know. I don't respond to any of it, but it does, it's good fodder for conversation. So yeah, sometimes I see these extremes, like they talk about it like it's an extreme sport.
Camille: Like it's building a business and so it's like you're supposed to like, , like get up two hours earlier than you everybody else. It's like, get up before the chicken's due in order to work on your business. Yeah. As not a morning person that sounds miserable, by the way. Ah, me too.
Camille: There's also that term we all know, which is always be closing. Always be closing. Also awful. Don't do that in your business. It's not a good idea. Build relationships. Don't just always be closing.
Camille: Some people say, , you should do this all on your own. Like, you should just bootstrap up and build this business on your own and don't get any help.
Camille: Don't get any fun. Don't borrow any money. Don't go into debt. Yeah. I mean, to me that just means you have a horrible business plan if you don't have one that can, borrow money where you need. Yeah. Not that people should go into debt, but if you have a smart business plan, then that's a smart move. So that's a weird extreme.
Camille: And then just little things like you gotta be posting on social media 20 times a day. Oh. That just makes people run away from marketing. Cuz I mean, I literally have business owners who are like, I can't do that. I can't do that social media thing. So I don't think I can have a business.
Camille: Oh, it's heartbreaking. Yeah. Not cool. Ah, not cool. So these extremes are like chasing people away from the idea of what it takes to do a business. Cuz they've made it sound like every starting a business is like, I have to prepare, like I'm going to the Olympics. Well, you don't have to, your business doesn't have to take you to the Olympics.
Camille: It could just, take you to the state championship or whatever.
George: What this reminds me of just now, another real life business example, and maybe we can talk about this for like 10 episodes, Elon Musk taking over Twitter. He talks to his, before he fires two thirds of the company or after he does, he tells the remaining people, if you're gonna be on board, we are gonna go extremely hardcore for the next X number of months.
George: I don't remember what it was, but like, we're gonna go hardcore, be warned. This is how it's gonna be if you're gonna be on this team, which is another example of this. And certainly not the only way to go. Not the only way to get high perform.
Camille: Correct. There are people who follow him religiously because they so believe that that's the only way to do it.
Camille: Yeah. Like, oh, he's, and that's what that company needed. It needed this level of discipline and drive and blah, blah, blah. No, that is not the only way to build a successful business. It is his way and it has been working for him so far. And I guess he's okay dealing with the crazy that he creates around himself.
Camille: But you have to choose how you want your business to run and not just follow these other people. He didn't do that all bootstrapping, by the way, let's also be clear about that, cuz that's also a myth about Elon Musk that he came from. Nothing. Exactly.
George: And also each of his businesses, well at least SpaceX and Tesla, have come within days of bankruptcy.
George: So very highwire act. Yeah.
Camille: Believe how you want your life. And he wasn't like the inventor of those things either. No. No. So that's not to say he didn't make smart moves, but I think he just gets more credit for stuff than people think he did that he didn't do. Yeah, but back to the point. Yeah. Yeah.
Camille: Sorry. We could spend all day talking about Elon. Sorry. It's
George: like episodes 30 through 42,
Camille: Elon. Oh my gosh. Kara Swisher already does that, so just go listen to her podcast. She's got him covered very well.
Camille: Back to though that high performance business. Yes. People like him, I think, are doing all small businesses a disservice by setting that as a potential example of what you need to do to really create this like amazing killer business, and it's just not true.
Camille: You just don't hear about all the other businesses doing it a better way because that's not news. But all these other businesses are doing it differe. Doing it better in my opinion. I would not stay at Twitter if I was still there and he told me that, I'd be like, see ya.
George: Yeah, me too.
George: Wouldn't wanna be, ya.
Camille: Yeah. So I thought maybe it would help if we talk through some of these examples that I see, okay. These actually come from questions that people have asked me about, well, how do I know if this or that? Okay. Or examples where I can see them struggling with these extremes and they aren't understanding it. And so I thought maybe this conversation would help people to think, oh yeah, how's that showing up for me and my business, and how would this reframing help me elevate the performance of my business or even just myself?
Camille: Example number one. I don't know how many of these we'll get through, but we'll go as far as we can go. Okay.
Camille: And so example number one is on one side of the fence, there's the follow your passion group. Do what you're passionate about. And then on the flip side, it's just the follow the money.
Camille: Yeah. So the passion part is, , do what you love and nothing else. And the money side is, that's the only measure for success. That's all that matters is doesn't matter how we got there, it just matters what that bottom line looks like. What I wanna say about this is being passionate about something does help you stay motivated.
Camille: However, yes, follow your passion is not great advice for building a business because not everything you're passionate about can be translated into a viable business. And just because you love it. And you create something you think is awesome, doesn't mean there's actually a market for it, and that matters.
Camille: Yeah. So you have to fit that passionate thing into the context of what does the market for this look like? So you can discover and create a passion for something as well. And I really think that's a better approach to, instead of follow your passion, it's like create and discover. And this made me think of I was like, I wonder if you have this in your past, George, where you have realized you became passionate about something that you didn't really expect to happen.
Camille: Wow. And it could be either in work or in life in general.
George: Wow. The two thoughts that come to mind immediately are not exactly that, but I'll share one. I've got computer science degrees. I've been in the software industry my whole career and I'm very lucky that I love it. And I've always loved science and engineering since I was a kid.
George: But when I was applying to colleges for undergrad my main thing was to look for schools that had good programs in both computer science and music, because I did not know which of those two majors I wanted to pursue.
George: We grew up doing music. We're good at it. I was competitive in a couple of different instruments and did it a lot and I loved it and I thought seriously about being a music major. But when it came down to it, I was pretty clear with myself that I loved both. Again, luckier than most.
George: I didn't just love one. It wasn't a pure passion versus follow the money, but when it came down to it, I love computer science. I love music. One of these has a much greater chance of making money, and that's what tipped it for me. So I majored in computer science. I did music in college and grad school, but I stopped for a while and focused on the computer science.
George: I went that way. So I followed the money. More than I followed my passion. There was this balance. And I tried to keep in my life some of both, so I didn't have to completely pivot to just money and no passion like I saw a lot of my friends do. That's the first thought that really came to mind.
Camille: Yeah, that's a good example of you did have that benefit of both. I think a lot of people feel like they don't have that, or maybe they haven't made that connection. Yeah. But it is so important to understand whether your passion is also going to sustain you financially. Yeah. If you're turning that into a business.
Camille: It also made me think the other day I meant to tell you that I had started playing the piano more again. Oh, awesome. And I was curious, I'm like, I wonder how often George practices or plays piano, how often do you play?
George: Since Avi, not much at all. One of my New Year's resolutions was to start playing on a regular basis again this year, and we actually got the piano tuned.
George: That was a gift from my wife, I mean, yes. To get the piano tune. So it sounds beautiful. Well, I've played a little
Camille: I need to get my piano tuned. You wouldn't be able to tolerate it. It sounds awful.
George: Oh, it's gonna feel so good. It's like getting a makeover or a car detailed. The same feeling after.
George: Yeah. It's gonna feel great when you do that.
Camille: I gotta do it. It was interesting when I opened the piano up and got the music out. It had a smell that instantly took me back to, yeah, a home on Ling Bloom. Just like, oh, I'm, it's like I'm in my childhood again. It just, all of that. Yeah, it was really interesting.
George: Did one of our old pet cats also climb out of the piano when you opened it up?
Camille: No. Thank God. That would've freaked me out. So listener cookies, I have our old original piano from childhood in my house.
Camille: I love having it, but then I'm like, I'm not really playing it. So anyhow. Back to so passion versus passion versus money.
Camille: This advice of do what you love and the money will follow, that's a good example of like, you maybe could have made money with the, you'd followed the passion of music, but you knew that was a much harder climb.
Camille: That was much less guaranteed than following the computer science. And that whole idea though, that if you just do what you love and the money will follow, that's not a strategy for building a high performance business. So ignore that advice anybody who's hearing that out there. That's just really not how it works.
Camille: But you can find things that you love about, and this is what I really encourage my business owners to do, is find stuff that you love about your business. Like what do you care about? Because you do need that motivation because this is hard. Building a business is hard, make sure that there are ways that you are approaching this business that you actually enjoy.
Camille: Otherwise, it's just gonna be a long slog. You're, it's gonna be hard to do, but money is the core purpose of the business. It's just not the only measure for success. So make sure you're figuring out what else are my measures for success in this business that matter to me personally, and find that passion in the work while being smart about the money.
Camille: And this is why I say it's a balance. It's not either follow your passion or follow the money. You gotta merge these things in the middle. You gotta work some passion or some something that you love or get are fulfilled by into the work. Cuz if it's only about the money, you're gonna become miserable.
Camille: And if it's only about the passion, you're probably not gonna make enough money to sustain it.
George: Yeah, probably not. Sometimes. Yes, for the most part, no.
Camille: Yes. I mean, some people do it, they get super lucky. It totally works out for them. But those are, some people win the lottery too. And those are the people who are out there saying, follow your passion and you can be successful like me.
Camille: And it's like, no, that's horrible advice for most people. Like, yeah, it's, it, it just is.
George: We've touched on a little bit on whole backlash against meritocracy has been the only thing gets people where they are and people completely ignore the major factor of luck and circumstance.
George: So some of these people, they've worked hard and they had a bunch of luck. Maybe they didn't recognize it, they sure didn't acknowledge it, and that's not helpful to everybody.
Camille: Absolutely. We have touched on this before, but yeah, that idea of how much luck. And, how much that plays into your success is so undervalued in terms of just an understanding of, this is why I say like, those outcomes of your business that you want, they're out of your control.
Camille: A lot of it is dependent on luck and what happens in the world. Like we said before, is there a pandemic? Well, surely that's going to affect my business in a way I don't have any control over . So yeah, you ultimately just don't have control over so many things, and I think it's really freeing when you acknowledge that and you realize, oh, I don't have control over that, but I do have control over these other things I do have control over whether I prepare for the unexpected.
Camille: I do have control over, and I actually hear this a lot too, where people say, well, we can't plan for the unexpected. A lot of what is unexpected, you actually already know. This is why we evaluate risk. Like people say, well, I don't know when X Y Z's gonna happen. Yeah, but you do know it's gonna happen.
Camille: So you could prepare for when it does. Or that there's a potential for it to happen. So there's a way to prepare yourself, both for bad luck and good luck, I guess is what I'm saying. Yeah. Get ready for the, like, bad luck is gonna hit you, but also be ready to take advantage of when the good luck stuff comes by.
Camille: Absolutely. And for some people, they're just in a position to experience more.
George: Yeah, that's called, okay. Follow the passion versus following money. Yeah. Yeah. Makes sense. So that's a big one.
Camille: All right . Number two. This is the idea of long-term vision versus near-term planning. Yeah. Oh yeah. So I actually heard somebody talking the other day about how there's no point to having a long-term vision or a plan or goal for yourself.
Camille: And I thought, I, I think that misses the point of having one. Because having one isn't to send you on a direct path. That never changes. Yeah. But I think that's what we think of it as. Like, I'm just gonna go someday be the C E O of X type of company and that's gonna be my job. Okay. I think setting that out there and then seeing what you discover along the way and what you might discover is, oh, I don't want that at all now that I know what, I know.
Camille: I'm changing my long-term vision because that one doesn't make sense anymore.
Camille: But having one is a way of sorting. So for me, it's like I'm gonna start going down this path, and now I can start seeing the things I do and don't like about this long-term vision I set for myself.
Camille: And then I can choose to change it, but thoughtfully. As opposed to just bouncing around. And this is why it's important in a business especially, is what is this long-term vision? So this long-term vision is like, what is my strategy? What's my long-term roadmap? What are these bigger goals that I want to achieve?
Camille: And then there's the near term plans, which is like, what are my immediate objectives, the actions and steps that I gotta take now? And the idea of moving between the big picture, thinking into the near term, taking action, your ability to go back and forth, I think is really the name of the game in business, period.
Camille: not just being a business owner, but I think as a leader, that is a huge strength and not a lot of people are good at that because they're either really great at the big picture thinking, but they're not good at like, how do I make it happen? Or they're really good at like driving and taking action, but they easily lose sight of, or don't even really have a big picture, like, why was this so important? They don't have good clarity about that.
Camille: And it made me wonder if you have any good examples, George, of anyone who is either good at one or the others. Like I always think about the typical leader who's a great visionary, but they're just not good at follow through. And it's one thing to be a visionary, not good at follow through and know it until you build a team around it.
Camille: Yeah. But I also know leaders who are that, and they don't think they're not good at executing, but they aren't. Yeah,
George: I have many, many examples. And you just illuminated something for me again I hadn't thought about before, which is like you and I when we were talking about this, setting up the podcast, talking about management and business examples that we see expressed in big enterprises and in small businesses. And here's another example where in big enterprises, when we do corporate personality sorts and training exercises and all that stuff, we talk a lot about which one of these are you. But we never talk about how train people to have elements of both in your tool set.
George: We get to the point where you acknowledge, oh, you're a visionary, you're an execution person. Go find the other one and never say you have to fill in any of their gap. Now, that's different from saying you have to be perfectly balanced to both, but that's not what you're saying.
George: But I can't think of a training I've ever seen in 8 million years of being in the industry where they say, look, we're gonna identify which you are and we're going to help you understand how to incorporate some of the other aspects. If you're visionary, how to be more tactical. If you're short term how to think more long term. I've not seen that they should follow you and take a workshop with you.
Camille: Yeah. As you're saying that, I'm like, oh, I could do a whole workshop on that. Because where this first came up for me was when I was doing the lean performance improvement work and we were talking about how do you develop good, lean leaders is what we called them.
Camille: Leaders who were able to demonstrate all the leader behaviors and coach their teams on how to be a continuous improvement type of organization. Okay. So that involves a shift for many leaders in terms of how they approach their teams. Huh. But one of the shifts that it would require for many of them and this was something that I was surprised to discover, which is how many leaders aren't system thinkers?
Camille: So we think about the business is a system. So if I change one thing here, it's gonna affect other things elsewhere. And a lot of leaders weren't thinking that big, they were just thinking about their piece. And so in in lean performance improvement, we talk about the value stream, which is all of the steps that happen from beginning to like end, which is at the point of the customer.
Camille: And all the things that have to happen along the way, which means this process is going through more than one department in an organization. Now, for a small business owner, you're not thinking about departments, but you are thinking about there are many aspects of your business from when you onboard that , client, you provide those services, then you're, you're invoicing them in, you're getting paid by them in some way.
Camille: You're delivering the service. Following up after the fact. There's all of these pieces that you have to put together. There's this whole stream of value that you're bringing to your customer that is a systems thinking approach, as opposed to, my job is just to deliver the thing. And I don't worry about any of the other parts of this process.
Camille: Well, your customer doesn't experience things that way. They experience the entire system as what you provided for them. Which is why if there are billing issues, this is where companies will get a bad rap and people won't wanna work with them. Even if their product is amazing. If there's billing issues, we're immediately like, Ugh, they're a pain in the butt.
Camille: I don't wanna work with them. Because that part of the system didn't work. So you have to pay attention to all of it.
Camille: So thinking about this from a systems perspective is so important. And I recognized how many leaders really struggle to do that cuz they've never been taught. And it was like once they could see it, they couldn't unsee it.
Camille: Which was a great thing is once you could see your business or your role in the company as part of this bigger system, it creates connections and collaborations that you didn't have before. And it really is the way you level up the performance of a company is by making all those connections. Hmm.
Camille: So as a small business owner, you're doing the same thing by, I have a big picture vision of what I want my business to meet, and then I can pay attention to all the small moving parts within that system to bring that vision about to, to realize that vision.
Camille: And this is the struggle too with whenever I'm trying to do strategic planning, I often have a room that's mostly people who got into that position because they were really good operators. But they're not good strategic thinkers. Yeah. Or nobody's ever really asked them what they thought strategically. So they can go there, but you haven't asked the questions.
Camille: Wow. Yeah. I don't think that people have to become equally good at both of those things. Most people tend to be good at one or the other. But recognizing which one you're good at and then trying to fill in those gaps, I think is the more important part of this.
Camille: And again, it gets back to sometimes I really have to think big picture and then other times I have to get down into the weeds. Yeah. What I need to do is find a balance of doing both of those things.
George: I agree. I can think of people at work who are very good at near term exceptional, and if I manage and work with them, I will have to pull them back and say, okay, time to step
George: You're fast twitch executing, but you're going off in a direction that's not right anymore. Can I help you remember context and can I help you think about that? There are a few people, a very small number of people I know who I think are fantastic, who are able to go back and forth between both long-term and in the moment detail.
George: And I love working with those people, but they are rare.
Camille: Yeah. It is rare to have people be able to do both of those. I happened to be one of those, and I didn't know it. I just assumed other people saw the world the way I did. And I didn't know it till I was working at actually trying to coach and teach these leaders in this way of working and thinking that I started to discover like, oh, that's why they're resisting there. They don't even know what I'm talking about.
Camille: So, being able to bring them into that. And once then they could see it, even if it wasn't their normal mode, it definitely changed the way that they thought about things. It really opened their world up in a way that they, they weren't expecting.
Camille: It's something that you can teach. Yeah. People can learn. I agree. Something in both those ways.
Camille: Whew. This is good. We're gonna run outta time to get through all these. This might be a two-parter. We might have to make this a two-parter. What do. Yes, absolutely.
Camille: Let's do one more and then we'll hit the other ones and have some closing stuff. In our next episode. Look at us
George: with the two lines just for the audience. We've got three of these. Camille has a list of 38.
Camille: So we will be talking about these all year long. All we're gonna do. Don't tempt me, man. I could do.
Camille: All . So let's just do this one more, which is okay. It's very much related to the previous one, but it's a little bit different.
Plans vs Actions
Camille: So I do wanna call it out as its own unique either or. Which is plans versus actions. Okay. And I've definitely have people always wanting to understand like how much planning is enough planning? Which is a brilliant thing to ask and people should always be asking that, especially if you're like me and you tend to lean more towards planning.
Camille: So planning is the prioritizing, choosing what not to do, making the actions really clear, making the timing, the schedule of when those things are really clear, who's responsible for them, all of those things, going to making a good plan.
Camille: The actions are then just the stuff. . It's, I'm gonna actually go execute and I'm gonna start checking stuff off the list. I'm making progress on the plan. It's also the way that you test that plan and learn how to improve that plan. Okay?
Camille: So the plan helps us establish the priorities and ensures that our energy isn't going into the wrong tasks. Make sure we're working on the things. But too much planning is a way to hide from taking the risk of doing the actual.
Camille: So it's easy to put a bunch of stuff on paper and say, I'm gonna do this. It's another thing to actually do it, especially if it's something you haven't done before. Feels risky, scary. Yes. So the actions are gonna get the work done, and they also make us feel super successful. Like I did so much work today.
Camille: I am winning. Yep. But really the most valuable part of taking action is the thing I think we most overlook, which is that that's where the learning happens. Hmm. And if I don't learn, I'm not gonna learn nearly as much from making a plan as I will from taking action on the plan. Cool. Absolutely. And that's how the action helps me improve the plan.
Camille: Cuz I go do stuff, I learn things and then I'm like, Ooh, I can make this plan better now that I know what I know. Okay. And that's that whole cycle of improvement, ? Yeah, absolutely. But the plan is necessary. Then some people are like, well, why do I need a plan if I'm just gonna go do all of the stuff? Well, the plan is that baseline of here's what I expect to happen.
Camille: And then I go do things. And something other than what I expected is what happens every time. So then this is what actually happened, and that gives me a gap. So now I have this gap where I can say, well, I thought this would happen. This is what really happened, and now I have something I can improve on.
Camille: Why did that gap occur? And how would I do it better next time? Maybe I had the wrong expectations. Yeah. Or maybe I had the expectations, but I approached it the wrong way. Those are, that's how you get to the, asking yourself those questions is how you get to improving it and doing it better. So that's why you need both of these things.
Camille: You don't wanna have a bias toward action only, or a bias toward overly planning things. Because at some point there's this disappointed, diminishing returns on the plan. Yeah. You have to find the balance between these two.
Camille: And so typically I address this one by just telling people, look, planning is the work. It's really not different if you say planning. Yeah. Just say this is action. Yeah. Then the trick is finding just the balance in both of those.
Camille: So my question to you, George, are you more of a bias toward action or do you go to planning first?
George: Actually when I think about how it works for me, I almost always start with understanding is my first thing to do. I try to learn or understand what's the context for what's going on, what's the vision? Try to assemble a vision of what's happening. I can't really get started until I have some why, some understanding of what's happening. Then once I go to, from understanding, planning more sometimes more planning, sometimes less planning, but some reaction to that vision and then action.
George: That's usually my order, if that makes sense. And I'll have a story to tell you about this if you don't. Please do. Started a Red hat. My first boss was this guy named Gus Robertson. Really great guy, super charismatic, brilliant guy. annoyingly charismatic except he's so charismatic. You can't even stay annoyed like that.
George: Yikes. Hi Gus.
George: But he had us together and did one of these personality sort exercises at one point and scored us along a bunch of criteria. How competitive are you? How much of a learning person are you? There were a couple people who came out clearly as competitive.
George: One of 'em, we were supposed to guess each other. And I said, well, clearly your top three qualities are competitive, competitive, and competitive. That was pretty clear, from this one guy. But one of my top qualities was learning. I think it was the top quality. It was like learning is important to me. And then there were other, other things I think harmony, something like that.
George: And Guss, who was more of a competitive guy and strategic said, look, you're my chief technologist. But like what good does that do me if all you do is learn things ? And I thought, okay, Mr. Competitive guy. That's a great question. I don't actually, I don't likely talk about being competitive, but I also rarely lose. It's not worth competing, just beat everybody.
George: But I said, look, The whole reason is that I learned is because if it works for me, if I learn enough that I know what to do and I'm gonna give you better outcomes, I'm always learning with the purpose. I mean, I'm, well, that's actually not true. I learned just cause I enjoyed learning.
George: But when I'm clear minded, my learning generally turns into good plans for everybody and guidance and getting us toward the actions to take. So yeah, you want your chief technologist to be the big art learner, as long as you're asking him like, okay, now what do I do with that? I do enjoy making the learning practical.
George: What about you? How would you describe yourself?
Camille: Well, before I answer that, I wanna. Comment on something that you said because it made me think, oh, so many people think of learning as I'm just reading or sitting in a classroom, taking a class, or it's passive. And I think that's one aspect of learning, but true learning doesn't happen until you're doing a thing.
Camille: So I can read all day long. Yeah. Again, back to our, I can read all day long about how to play the piano, but I'm not ever gonna really learn anything about it unless I do it. I have to practice it. Yeah, so true. So I think that's one of those, you're labeled as a learner, they're like, oh, you're just sitting around studying a bunch of stuff, but you're not actually practically applying any of it. And you're saying I start with the learning and then how to practically apply it and there's like a feedback loop.
Camille: So for me it does start with, I think we're very similar. It starts with the big picture. I always, think about what do I really want to achieve here?
Camille: What is the outcome I'm looking for? And then working back to then, what's a plan that would get me there. And I think of the plan though, as like, it's a hypothesis. I think it's gonna get me there. I don't really know for sure. Yeah. But it is my best guess. Okay. And so I have something to follow now that's, And then I'm like, oh, now I can take actions.
Camille: Yeah, it, I mean, it ultimately is. Of course. It's never is
George: just, yeah, but I've never heard that's, that's an episode title there. Planning is a hypothesis.
Camille: There you go. Yeah. Which needs to be tested and then all the actions are, those are all the little experiments you're running. Yeah. Cool.
Camille: I'm testing it, I'm testing it, testing the hypothesis over and over and over again. And then I gotta adjust that plan if I'm like, oh, that's not really working out. So yeah, that's typically how I think about it. Which is why I, huh, think I like planning so much is I don't feel the pressure of it has to turn out this way.
Camille: I go like, oh, that'd be really cool if that happened. Let's find out. And then you go play it out and see what happens and see if you can make enough adjustments to make the outcome still occur, even when your plan gets off track. And that's really what the plan versus action. That's why I think of them as they should go together because they should be so tightly woven together.
Camille: I'm taking action and I'm replanning that it should all just be considered like the work together. It's all absoluting action in a way. You're very holistic. Oh, I thank you.
George: Yeah. Yeah.
Camille: Al. Whew. That was awesome. But we have more, and I think we need to talk about these other ones and it even made me think of another one to add. Not that I'm gonna drag this out. Cool. But, so 39 of them. Yes. Now there's 39 of them. So we'll hit two or three more to close it out in our next, I promise this will only be two episodes.
Camille: People, we won't drag this, we won't do like we did when we launched the belief shifts and go, holy cow. This is gonna take us forever to talk about. It's gonna be like nine episodes. No, I think it was only three.
George: We're not gonna cinephiles this.
Camille: Oh, but I do think about that. I love their two Parters. They're great. Someday we'll be just like them.
Camille: So that is it for this episode. We will pick this up in the next episode. Continue talking about two extremes that really have to come together when you find the balance of them and how that leads to high performance business. And then we'll talk a little bit about what are you gonna do with it people? That's awesome. Cause we always like to end with, what are you gonna do with it? Can't. Can't. I can't wait. Can't.
Camille: Thank you once again, George, for a fabulous episode, and if anybody has any thoughts for us, any extremes that you are thinking about that maybe you're, and maybe you're disagreeing, maybe you're like, no, no.
Camille: I really think this extreme counts and that and bring it, yes. Bring it. We would like the challenge so you can leave us a voice message.
Camille: If you go to the belief shift.com, there's a little button that says voicemail. You can leave us little voice message. Please do that. Or you can reach us on Instagram as well at the Belief Shift.
Camille: You can drop us a comment or a mess.
Camille: Do whatever you wanna do. The dms are open and over there. Just give us input. So just give us input cuz we really wanna hear what you're thinking about all the stuff that we are talking about, cuz it will help inform future episodes that you will like even more, which is the only reason we exist is for you to like us more.
Camille: That's all. We're here for . We just wanna be liked
Camille: Okay. At least as much as our mother does. Yeah. Yeah, . All . Thanks very much and we'll see you next week.
George: See you everybody.