143 Transcript

143 The One With Jack Altschuler


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welcome to scaling up the podcast where
we’re scaling up on knowledge so we
don’t scale up our systems
hello scaled up nation Trace Blackmore
here the host for scaling up h2o and
nation we have a bunch of water related
conferences that are coming up but
because of the new normal a lot of these
conferences are being held online so I
want to make sure you are in the know so
you can plan to attend these conferences
that you normally would have to have
travel to and all the expenses that
occurs with that now maybe you can try
some of these organizations from a
virtual sense to see if those
organizations are something that you
should get involved with on July 13th
through 16th the Texas Water Conference
which is normally in Fort Worth is being
held on a line so that might be
something that interests you also the
association of California water agencies
conference has moved online that’s going
to be July 28th through 31st storm com
is still being held as far as their
website says in Seattle Washington
August 17th through 19th the water
reused symposium moved to an online
format September 13th through 16th and I
just checked it out and the water pro
conference is still stating that they
are going to meet in person in Phoenix
Arizona
September 14th through 16th and then of
course the conference that I can’t wait
to attend the association of water
technologies annual conference is still
going to be held as of now in Louisville
Kentucky September 30th through October
3rd so if you are planning on going I
know that they are still selling tickets
I will definitely be at that one and if
you’re gonna be there I hope you come
find me and give me some show ideas give
me some information about the show just
let me know that you listen I love it
when you come up and say that weft Tech
which is another one I’m going to try to
attend that’s going to be October 3rd
through 7th in New Orleans and then of
course our friend James McDonald a
couple of years ago introduced
industrial water week that’s going to be
October 5th through 9th we are going to
celebrate each and every day all the
areas of industrial water treatment
every year we do something special
during this week this year will be no
different so stay tuned for that and I
think we will have a lot of fun together
now all the things that I mentioned are
going to be on our show notes page so
just simply go to our show notes page
you can click on those items they’ll
take you straight to those organizations
pages where you can learn more and folks
I really think this is a golden
opportunity where you can go to a
conference at a fraction of the cost
because you don’t have to travel and you
can start learning what these
organizations can offer you and what you
can start offering these organizations
well as you all know an organization
that is very near and dear to my heart
is the Association of Water Technologies
and I was president of the AWT back in
2011 and our guest today shares the
title of a WT past president with me now
he was president in 1995 and his name is
Jack Altschuler
and Jack has owned a water treatment
company he has sold a water treatment
company he’s been involved with the AWT
board folks he is one of us and now he
is on version 2.0 of his life
and he is helping other leaders get
further faster to succeed more to help
figure out what they need to do to
become more effective I know you’re
going to enjoy this interview with Jack
all Chillar my lab partner today is Jack
Altschuler of fully alive leadership
Jack thanks for being with us on scaling
up h2o Tracy I’m so glad to be with you
thanks for inviting me well it seemed
like for a while we always had some
reason where either we had technical
difficulties or scheduling conflicts it
took a while but we’re finally here
we’re finally doing this couple of
persistent guests like you and me that’s
how it works
I’m glad we’re together now I as well
and I’m really excited about this
conversation because what you’re doing
now is is helping people in leadership
but you have a background in water
treatment so I think you have the
perfect mindset of what US water
treatment folk need to hear when it
comes to leadership so I’m really
excited to have this conversation today
that’s great I’m glad to help any way I
can well let’s get started so the
scaling-up nation can appreciate you as
much as I do
can you tell us a little bit about
yourself
sure I began well I’m a Miami of Ohio
graduate my my first job out of school I
was working for a water treatment
company a regional company in Michigan
as a field salesman I was there for two
and a half three years and I thought hey
I could do this I started my own water
treatment company ran that for probably
20 years and after that it was trying to
move on to something else and I
facilitated round tables of CEOs
focusing on such things as the
leadership halfway through that I
started doing leadership keynotes and
workshops and I’ve been doing that ever
since
which I’m curious so you got into water
treatment and apparently there is life
after water treatment
knew no one told me but I’m curious how
did you get involved in water treatment
you know what I just
I remember being interviewed for that
job as a salesman and I was just
fascinated I got a little techy streak
in me and just looked like a wonderful
opportunity at the time it was kind of
funny it was almost a bait-and-switch
because the guy who became my boss did
the initial interview and he made it
sound like I was going to save the world
from pollution what we do we do that
right I thought oh here I come to save
the day I mean that’s really how he
presented it and I bought it so it was
just just very attractive to me and like
I say I’ve got a techy streak in me and
just really enjoyed the chemistry of it
the hardware of it and most of all is
the interaction with the people and you
and I share something that a lot of
people do not you and I are both past
presidents of the Association of Water
Technologies mm-hmm so I’m curious how
did you get involved with the
association of Water Technologies and
then what was that like I was you know I
was doing what most water treaters are
fat in fact most small business people
do I was just running there by the seat
of my pants
and was really isolated I had attended
the International water conference in
Pittsburgh once or twice and found it to
be entirely dissatisfying and then one
day I I through I don’t know what means
I heard about a WT back then a WT held
conferences in conjunction with the
international water treatment know what
our technologies whatever it’s called in
Pittsburgh because that was big enough
to draw lots of water treaters and if a
WT held their conferences in conjunction
with that they’d get better attendance
all right I gave that a try I showed up
there and was suddenly rubbing elbows
with other water treaters like me and
the elbow rubbing conversations were
phenomenal and just one
a wonderful bunch of folks and we were
just there helping one another really
how do you deal with this what are you
doing that happens and they they it was
just wholly wonderful and I attended
each of the conferences or conventions
after that not not too long after that I
got asked to sit on the board and me was
in various positions there and wanted a
president of the Association which of
course added another dimension to
participating in AWT with a wonderful
sense of service and to have some
influence on what we did and how we did
it awesome well thank you for all the
work that you did I truly believe that I
am successful as I am because of some of
the opportunities that the Association
Water Technologies opened up definitely
I would not have the mentors that I do
today had I not been introduced to them
at the AWT so it is a tremendous
resource and I really appreciate people
like yourself that were in the very
beginning that created what we now know
and use well let me just play off what
you just said for a second I want to
pick up on one word in particular
Mentors because I I had exactly the same
experience there were people who had
been doing it longer than I was and
everybody had some piece of wisdom I
didn’t have and they were so not just
willing but eager to share there are
times when each of us hit some hit some
rough patches and Holy Smoke is up just
so valuable that somebody who’s been
there done that
and also cares right I can’t tell you
how many times I have called one of my
mentors and the two that come to mind or
Jay farmerie and Bruce Catterick senior
and I say you know guys I’m having this
issue and they go oh heavens don’t do
that you’re gonna have this issue right
they avoid me going through the same
catastrophe that they went through and
they’re able to point me in the right
direction
and you know if and then I also have
people that call me that consider me a
mentor it’s a it’s a two-way street and
I’ve gotten it from both too
erections and I can’t think of a better
opportunity not only to get information
but also to share information right and
you can extend that too I want to want
to make it really clear we’re talking
about water treatment and and the
association of water technologies and
and that’s wonderful and everything
we’ve just said extends to any venue I
know and I’m thinking about your
listeners who aren’t water treaters but
but are businesspeople looking to create
success make a difference and all the
things that the small business people do
and everything you just said applies
regardless of what their business is
absolutely I had my business mentor on
the show before his name is Tim Fulton
he was episode 22 but I meet with him on
a monthly basis he comes over he looks
at our financials he asked how things
are going in the business but what he
does he asks questions and it’s not that
he knows anything about running a water
treatment business but he knows about
business and he also cares about me and
you put those two things together and
he’s able to ask questions in a way that
I’m able to see the problems at a higher
level than what I was looking for are
looking at and then I’m able to solve
them yeah I cannot say enough good
things about the mentor mentee
relationship yeah it’s wonderful and
actually it’s interesting that you just
touched on wonder the fully alive
leadership practices that I present my
keynotes and workshops and that is about
asking questions and specifically ask
great questions a fundamental piece of
human beings there’s human being 101 we
are wired when we see a problem to solve
a problem when we’re asked a question we
want to come back with an answer solve
the problem it is it’s an existential
thing with human beings it’s a survival
instinct but here’s a problem when we
answer questions when we solve problems
for other people it’s actually
disempowering to them and it doesn’t
bring out their best and and and you
know what would
had the first AWT exam forgetting what’s
the name of the CWT the certified water
technologist yeah I said for the very
first one got the highest score and it
stood for I don’t know three four years
until some guy with the size of brain
the size of Delaware came by and blew me
away but I was I was a pretty smart guy
and people would come to be not pretty
smart guy I knew a bunch of stuff and
people came to me and I was the Royal
smart person and I really got puffed up
presenting my really smart answers and
clever solutions and and it took a while
before I figured out that I was actually
doing a disservice by doing that I think
that a leaders primary job is to bring
out the very best of their people which
is to say it’s not your job to be the
smartest boy or girl in class it’s your
job to make everyone else the smartest
boys and girls in class you know I love
that you said that because one of the
positions that I now have with the
association of Water Technologies so
there is life after being on the board
is I work with the Education Committee
and we put on training for other water
treaters and that is the mission that we
have and we have trainers that do better
than others it always boils down to what
you just said it’s the trainer’s that do
exceptionally well are the ones that
aren’t worried about making themselves
look smart or what other people think
about them when they leave the room it’s
them worrying about how the other people
leave the room and how much information
they have when they leave I I couldn’t
have said that better I think I want to
steal the way you say it for how I say
it please please please do look at this
this is about bringing out people’s
wisdom their creativity their brilliance
and everybody’s got it but when leaders
answer questions solve problems for
those who look to them for leadership
what it says is you can check your brain
at the door I’ll do all the thinking for
everyone and now I don’t care how smart
someone is you’re not smart enough to
have the best answers and solutions all
the time we need the best from our
people when I was facilitating round
tables of CEO I had a CEOs I had a
speaker who came in from Alaska really
interesting fella and he asked the group
why do you hire people will you hire
people for and and the answers were what
you can imagine I hire my accountant to
do my accounting I am the salespeople
the cell he says no you hire people for
their brains for their thinking for
their creativity you can get a pair of
hands to do any job what that’s not
enough we need to bring people to bring
all of themselves and one net the way
that happens is for leaders to get out
of the way and let them be the smartest
of them they can be in fact I’ll say out
another way one of the classic mistakes
in business is to take the the the
highest producing sales person and make
them the sales manager the sales team
leader and it always always always fails
and the reason it fails is because of
the difference between being a leader
and being a doer which is what the wine
sales people are for example when we’re
at one word do or where I draw about
maximizing our success I want to sell
more because I’m gonna get more that way
but when you’re a leader it’s not about
being but not about all about yourself
it’s about making everyone else
successful the leader success comes in
making everyone else successful your
comment reminds me of the book the
e-myth where you know I think he uses
the plumber as an example in that book
and the plumber gets tired of working
for somebody else and he’s this expert
plumber and then he applies what he
knows as a plumber but he doesn’t know
how to run the business so the business
doesn’t doesn’t go that way so we’re
obviously talking about what you are
doing now so audience I want to
transition over that Jack is now he
helps leaders be better leaders and
again as I mentioned at the top of the
show you have a very unique perspective
because you didn’t only run a water
treatment company it was a very
successful water treatment company and
now you’re helping other leaders and all
industries
be successful so I’m curious how did you
make that transition and what are you
doing now well yeah the transition
really came – it’s a human being thing I
ran my business for 25 years and lots of
fun along the way challenges some really
rough spots and I eventually got to the
point where I was doing the same things
I had done but it just wasn’t fun
anymore and I wanted to I wanted it to
be fun and there was a deeper thing
behind it as well and it really matters
to me to give back to make a difference
for other people and for a while I
rationalized well listen to people in my
business and jobs and their families are
better because of that I’m helping my
customers and all the ways that we help
customers and and I told myself that but
at some point it just stopped working I
needed to be much more direct in helping
people and and I just decided it’s time
to leave this party I don’t know what
I’m gonna do next but it’s time to move
on
so I’ve sold the business and spend some
time looking into what I would do next
and wound up in that executive
Roundtable facilitation business at the
time it was called a group chairman
working under the auspices of tech the
executive committee it’s been rebranded
as Vistage this B is tage International
and I had three round tables of CEOs for
10 years and somewhere in the middle of
that I just got this bug about
leadership I just had some insights that
I really hadn’t had before some clarity
about what makes for great leaders
partly by hearing wonderful speakers who
came now to my group partly by by by
coaching all my CEOs and hearing what
they had to say was it was a marvelous
learning experience and I just had this
sense of you know if I put this together
the right way I think I can help some
folks and so I put together a workshop
and I started delivering that workshop
and it’s expanded of course into the
keynotes but at some
along the way it was just too much to do
both through the facilitation of
roundtables of seeing nose and doing all
the speaking I was doing and it was
trying to pick one path not both paths
and in a transition to full-time
speaking so that’s how I got where I am
and it matters to me to give back to
help people to make a difference so
that’s what I’m doing well that’s
awesome and again something else one
other thing that we have in common I’ve
been involved with Vistage for eight
years now
and you yeah so that’s actually where I
met my my business coach Templeton
fantastic and Tim sounds like he has
transitioned like you have he has
stepped down from being our chair he
still has some some private clients but
what he’s doing is he’s trying to go and
work more one-on-one with leaders and
he’s speaking with other groups about
how they can do more in leadership so so
there you have a small world how about
it well your message is being fully
alive your company fully alive
leadership right that can’t be just name
that I want to talk about you know what
that actually means and the message that
you share with others well here’s the
overriding overriding message it’s about
how leaders influence their people and
they influence their people by it more
than anything else by the way they show
up so I’ll give you a negative example
of that when when the boss comes walking
in all grumpy maybe was cut off in
traffic maybe the dog bit his ankle on
the way out the door whatever it is when
the dog comes in grumpy everybody sees
it everybody knows it and it just sends
a chill of fear down everyone’s spine
you know did we lose the big customer
are we going down am I gonna get laid
off they’ll talk around the water cooler
is not happy talk and the point here is
that people always notice how the leader
shows up and a study that was done just
a couple of years ago they it was
published in the Harvard Business Review
blog about what makes for a bad boss
again we’re in this inverse world for a
moment what makes for a bad boss the
number one reason American employees say
my boss is a bad boss
is failure to inspire owing to a lack of
energy and enthusiasm and to put that
into just more common language my plus
is the slug and it bums me out so I
don’t like slugs yeah exactly exactly I
mean would you want to follow somebody
who was kind of lifeless and
disinterested and uninspired and Steamer
herself and I suspect you wouldn’t want
to do that and it’s the same thing for
the people who look to you or me or
anyone for leadership we want our what
we want our leader to be to have with
some enthusiasm for what we’re doing I
want to be inspired by your boss and if
you show up like a slug it doesn’t work
so well but if you show up with energy
and enthusiasm I’m all about it so this
fully alive thing it’s not just some
esoteric notion that you have some
feel-good touchy-feely realm if this is
hard hard impact stuff but the boss
shows up with energy and enthusiasm
if the boss shows up fully alive which
is to say right here right now president
prepared to be here and no place else
guess what so will I and that’s how all
the good stuff happens I interviewed
somebody on episode 44 that was a
chick-fil-a franchise owner his name was
Daniel Perry and he said that was the
most important part of his day when he
drove up to his restaurant and was
getting out of the car he had to make
sure that he had a positive mindset he
said that he called it awake and he said
whatever he carried in with him had a
wake behind him and every one of his
employees was going to get caught in
that wake and he wanted to make sure
that it wasn’t negative because then
everybody has a bad attitude that day
and they’re wondering what’s going on is
the store sales down am I not gonna have
a job tomorrow that’s right so let me
yeah so what are some of the ways that
you would suggest to the people that you
work for that so now you’re talking to
me and all the business owners out there
we’re now in our cars and we’re getting
ready to get out and walk into our
companies what should we be thinking
about
well let me put it this way and the
message is be here be right here right
now and and it has huge impact I mean
you know when someone is talking with
you and you’re talking to them and
they’re only giving you half of their
attention you know they’re thinking
about something else
while you’re talking and I’m guessing
you don’t like that very much
we human beings want those we’re with to
give us their full attention while
they’re with us and that that’s just
another piece of that fully alive thing
let me put it to you this way and repair
in a Zen – question pair the first
question of the two question pair is
where are you and the answer is you’re
here wherever here is that’s where you
are we can all take ourselves someplace
else in our mind we do it all the time
but we’re not there we’re here so where
are you you’re here then the second
question of the two question pair is
what time is it what’s now it’s right
now it’s yesterday before is gone the
future isn’t here yet all you have is
now in fact all you have is here and now
we have a way of absent in from
ourselves from that and nothing good
comes from that really for the leader
who’s driving to work getting out of
their care what should they be thinking
about think about being right here
thinking about walking across the
parking lot because that’s where you are
that’s what that’s what’s happening now
when you say hello to the receptionist
on the way in say hello and be there and
mean it it’s about being present with
people and I will extend that further
nothing ever happens in any other place
or any other time it’s always happening
right here right now it’s where
everything happens and that’s how great
leaders show up in my keynotes and
workshops I’ll ask for a volunteer and
talk about a great leader they’ve had
and there are a few things that are that
I hear three in particular that I hear
consistently my great leader was this
way the number one thing is when they’re
with me they’re right here with me
regardless of how many other things
we’re tugging at their sleeve when they
were with me they were just with me so
that’s what great leaders do that’s what
we’re listening
should be thinking about as they walk in
from their cars how can I be right here
right now just focus in and be right
here you know the beauty of that is the
simplicity of that and you’re right
everything that happens happens now but
we’re worried about what’s happened
yesterday the the phone call that we got
yesterday at 3 o’clock that we’re still
trying to make sure that that we can
resolve the future of how we’re going to
resolve it but everything that we’re
doing today the people that were
ignoring are not giving our attention or
even worse are half attention to
pretending like we’re listening to them
that’s where the damage is done or
that’s where the success starts that’s
that’s exactly right the best were the
really strong relationships are built or
that’s where they’re destroyed I’m
trying to remember when you spoke at the
association of Water Technologies
conference I saw you us in the audience
I think we were at the Broadmoor was
that right well I remember when we were
at the Broadmoor but I don’t think I
spoke when we were there I think were
stumped like okay so I’m forgetting
where we were but you did speak with a
WT no I was there I got that part right
yes we did and during that I do remember
that you asked for an audience member to
come up on stage and they did exactly
that they explained all these things and
it was all about how they felt I
remember not too long after that I read
a book about Walt Disney and that was
the theme it was about all the other
leaders that he created in his
organization and they were all talking
about how Walt made them feel and as a
result they were able to be successful
at what they did exactly so you know a
AWT we we had a convention in Orlando on
the Disney property and they arranged to
have a service Disney style seminar in
the morning I think the day before the
convention started and I will tell you
it was all about
what can we do to him so that our guests
that is to say people coming to the park
for the day have the greatest experience
so that they get the the very best from
their experience here that is to say
punch it feel going to Disney and
universally people walk out of there say
honest is wonderful and it was all about
how the Disney folks made people feel by
being there yeah if you had on your list
that you wanted to go to a theme park
and it was just a theme park you
wouldn’t pick Disney because that’s
probably the most expensive theme park
that you could go to yes but if you
wanted an experience or if you
interviewed people that went to another
theme park versus they took their family
to Disney you’re paying for that
experience that’s why it’s probably more
but also you’re getting what you’re
going for if that’s what you’re looking
for
yeah well and they do an exceptional job
of that well they do it you know what
actually it’s a it might be useful to
flesh that out just a little bit during
that service business tile seminar that
they put on one of the things that would
they set up was to imagine that you’re
one of the people at the booth where
were selling tickets that people who
come into the park for the day imagine
it’s mom and dad and the kids and they
have saved for 50 weeks to be able to
bring the kids to Disney World and the
day is 59 degrees and drizzling it is
exactly what they didn’t want and they
come up to you at your booth and dad is
gonna buy the tickets and he is grumpy
he is unhappy he’s complaining to you
though weather stinks this isn’t what we
wanted how would you handle that as the
person in the booth are you asking yeah
yeah well I would think most people in
most other companies was their job is
just to sell them a ticket and they
would sell them the ticket
I imagine that Disney is about creating
the experience and they are
prepared for this grumpy guy coming up
to their window they’ve already talked
about it they know what to do and their
job is not only to sell them the ticket
but make sure that they got the
experience that they plan for in that 50
weeks of savings right right and in fact
here’s what the Disney people are
trained to do when dad’s there and he is
just man he’s so upset the weather
stinks are gonna chilly all day and wet
and the ticket person is trained to say
I’m sorry I I understand I’m so sorry
all you can do is care that’s it you
can’t change the weather from your
ticket booth much but you can care about
their circumstances and it makes
everything better and that experience
that you mentioned gets better instantly
for them they walk out of there with
that dead
well how do you make them feel you make
them make them feel that you’re terrible
and it’s kind of come from a genuine
place but but to put it into other terms
in a business terms it’s the same
message the tower’s wife’s organization
is a global HR consulting firm and they
do an employee engagement survey every
year and what they found is the number
one driver of employee engagement is
belief that the boss cares about them
that’s the biggest driver of engagement
it’s how do you make people feel and the
and the best thing you can do is to let
people know that you care about them
yeah I was just reading something in eat
magazine this week and it said you know
people will leave jobs for more money
all the time but it’s very rare that
people will leave when they feel purpose
and when they drill down into what
purpose was it was they felt a
connection to that organization and they
felt that that organization cared about
them and that was the root for that
connection there you are exactly right
purpose matters it absolutely does but
even with great purpose boss if you
don’t care about me you know what I
don’t care about you so much here but if
you do care about me
I almost certainly care about you and
what the studies have shown is that that
translates into
action you care about me so I care about
you and the last thing I’d ever want to
do boss is to let you down I’ll do
whatever it takes if you’ve ever had a
great leader you know what I’m talking
about
you don’t want to let that person down
absolutely
Jack I got out my notes when we started
talking and we said hey let’s do it this
podcast together when I went to your to
your training your keynote that you did
for AWT and I looked on the notes and I
saw a big theme that you had is you know
what we’re talking about today but I
think one of the reasons that people
don’t do what we’re talking about today
is you say that stuff just gets in the
way and you talked a lot about stuff and
how to handle that stuff so I want to do
this stuff it really means a lot to me
but all this stuff is getting in my way
what do I do
well let’s differentiate first the stuff
that gets in our way that it focus on is
a specific kind of stuff everyone has
obstacles drop in their lap everybody
does in the water treatment business
it’s anything the next electronic gadget
that wants to take your way your
industrial water treatment business and
and okay you will deal with those things
and if you’d like to talk about talk
about that I’d be glad to but the the
stuff that gets in our way that’s
actually more powerful than that are the
self-imposed obstacles that the boulders
we put in the middle of our path and and
the key to dealing with them to getting
them out of the way to removing the
obstacle is to recognize that they exist
we human beings have a way of sucking up
various self-limiting notions we don’t
even know it’s happening
so here’s here’s an example it’s the I
can’t story yeah I read the books –
there’s Hill I can’t there’s just I will
and I won’t and that’s great and it’s
true and we still I don’t know how it
happens the world has some methodology
that puts the I cut messages into our
heads and we don’t know what’s happening
it’s it’s an insidious thing
it’s just happening and it gets plants
if you know I just put it on a simple
basis I can’t lose that extra 10 pounds
I can’t find the right person from the
position I need to fill I can’t deal
with my brother-in-law’s drinking
I can’t whatever the story is we have
this assumption of I can’t and we
disempower ourselves the trick to
getting past that is to recognize that
it exists because once we verbalize it
to ourselves it’s no longer on I can’t
story we recognize it for the fraud that
it is there no that way it’s not true
that’s not true that I can’t deal with
my brother-in-law can’t find the right
people I’m just gonna have to do some
things differently but I can do them the
only question is will our will right and
once you’ve uncovered that I can’t stir
it it will transfer over to will or
won’t and you’ll know the best answer
for yourself instantly we always do the
trick is taking some time to think about
how am i limiting myself so that’s it
that’s the kind of obstacles that I
focus in on and really at the end of the
day it’s always about uncovering some
self-limiting story can you give us an
example of how you would work with a
client or maybe an attendee at one of
your conferences that’s struggling with
that what I what I typically do in my
workshops is oh I’ll use myself as an
example tell them that really
significant I can’t story in my own life
and how uncovering it made all the
difference and then I’ll set them to
work thinking about well what does the I
camp story that limits you and I’ll just
we’ll just pause for a while and me
whatever number of minutes I look around
the room and everybody’s done writing
down there I mean whatever they
discovered then we’ll pick it up again
and and talk about it and and is it
really true that you can’t and of course
the answer is always no sign it’s not
true either tell myself that but no it’s
not true that I can’t so I would work
that way I’m not doing a lot of
one-on-one coaching any longer
but but when I did do one-on-one
coaching and we would do an exercise
just like this we would poke at that and
we’re we’re these self-limiting stories
come from is not important what is
important is what will you do about it
what actions would you take and we focus
in on what we what what the individual
can do to make things move in the
direction they want them to move when
literally put together an action plan
now you mentioned specifically that you
have first-hand knowledge of some of the
issues that plague us water treaters do
you mind talking a little bit about that
you know Trey said what I mentioned one
before they were in my time with AWT
there were multiple iterations of the
latest gadget and it was impacting
businesses there’s no question about it
there was but there was one of the
things that I noticed is that people’s
reaction was oftentimes some some form
of the sky is falling go tell the king
and it simply wasn’t true yet yes it
will have some impact but nobody is
going to go belly-up because of the
method the next water magnets it’s it’s
a matter of picking ourselves up and
okay things have changed I’m gonna have
to be more aggressive about acquiring
new customers so it’s about the
recognition of the challenges that we
face and making a positive decision to
do something about it rather than
wringing hands and what was me so to put
it in Stephen Covey’s terms to be more
proactive rather than reactive right
exactly
you’re a natural reaction to a threat is
to defend maybe attack but definitely
defend and typically that’s that’s not
really useful it’s it’s kind of like
dealing with a challenge by downsizing
more and more cut expenses cut expenses
cut expenses
I mean cutting unnecessary expenses
obviously it’s a good business practice
but cutting all the expenses as though
that’s going to save a company no it
just just stretches out the pain until
what’s the the Hemingway response to how
did you go bankrupt slowly then suddenly
right so I’m curious is that are we
wired that way that we take everything
negative is is that a defense mechanism
yeah yeah yeah well it is it is it’s a
defense mechanism it’s a
self-preservation mechanism so in terms
of leadership the key is to be
self-aware enough to to be aware that
yeah I may have a fear response at times
that doesn’t make that the best thing
for me to do to sit and be afraid to be
protective maybe the answer is to get
out there and and further out on the
limb where there’s where there are more
apples hanging I there’s a national
protective thing we have we have a way
of of wanting to protect ourselves our
tribe whatever it is but fear is
typically not a good motivator it often
leads us in the wrong direction in a
self-destructive direction my biology is
not very good and I’m trying to remember
I read a book and I can’t remember what
it was named but they were talking about
the physiology of the brain and how fear
comes from a certain part of the brain
that allows us to basically says yes
that’s fear I need to run so I can make
sure that I live tomorrow and there’s
nothing else that happens in the brain
where if we can get past that we can
actually move it to another part of the
brain I can’t remember what those two
were called but that’s where creative
thought comes from and if we stay in
that fear then we’re never getting
creative about how we’re going to solve
the actual problem that were fears pull
of right the amygdala is the part that
you’re talking about there you go the
great stem it’s the it’s commonly called
a reptile brain it’s the oldest part of
the brain it has only four functions and
fight-or-flight was one of them it’s
dealing with a threat I mean there there
are times when cavemen had to
yes that’s a saber-toothed tiger he’s
going to eat me if I stand here and
there but there’s no time for that
rational thought we need to move right
now and so the amygdala
what’s our brains with the with these
slight messages literally a ten times
the rate that our rational brain can
evaluate and rationalize and well let’s
see if I do this well heaven if I do
that this other will happen there’s no
time for that so the amygdala is
designed to get us into action right now
and and it’s very very powerful now
translating that though into modern day
life and leading a company we can have
those responses the problem that we have
is that there’s only one thing there’s
either fear or not fear if there’s fear
it’s an existential reaction we react to
everything
it’s either fear or it’s not so it
doesn’t have to be a saber-toothed tiger
back to the original example it could
just be the next water treatment gadget
but we always react with our fear in the
same way and and and the issue is to
force ourselves to be rational and to
deal with things in a sensible fashion
and in no way isn’t easy I mean when
you’re in the midst of an emotional
argument for example how rational do you
think you can be do you think do you
think there’s any chance I could talk
sense into you then of course there
isn’t we have to get past that that
knee-jerk fight-or-flight response in
order to be rational and it’s a leader I
hate to say this this is so mean but
it’s the truth when we agree to become
leader we give up the right to fall to
pieces and to go running in circles and
back to what I said before the screaming
the sky is falling go tell the King no I
think that’s fair
we are responsible for other people
beyond ourselves and if we can’t lead
then we don’t deserve the title of
leader yeah yeah my programs are Troy
Tracy I use some movie clips and one of
the ones they use this from the movie
captain Phillips
and then there’s Somali pirates have had
boarded this merchant vessel that’s
unarmed a captain Phillips stays
clear-headed and gives instruction to
his crew over the intercom now what
would happen if instead of saying giving
them rational instructions you know just
don’t don’t let them know with the with
the critical items on the ship are and
stay hidden until help help arrives if
he instead of that he falls to people
and screams oh my God we’re all gonna
die and that just doesn’t work well so
the message here is be there confident
capital the leader has to be the
confident captain all times that I mean
all the time even when it looks like
there’s no solution the people following
that leader need to know that their
captain is confident in them we don’t
have a solution now but what I do know
is that we’re just the people to figure
this out got a B they’re confident
captain you don’t get the fall to pieces
when you’re the leader I can’t help but
thinking there’s some listeners out
there thinking okay well this is all
great stuff but it’s not necessarily for
me because I’m not the leader of the
company and that makes me think of
another guest that I had on I think he
was episode 36 it was clay Scroggins he
wrote a book called how to lead when
you’re not in charge in his book was you
might not realize it but you’re in
charge of a lot of stuff so everybody
out there is a leader and this applies
to everybody it does leadership will
move it’s that just formal positions
sometimes it’s the quietest person at
the table who’s been listening taking
things in and finally speaks and it’s
one of those like that old commercial
the EF Hutton thing everyone listens
everybody quiets down and listen as to
what that individual has to say and he
gives a completely new and most useful
perspective on how to deal with whatever
we’re dealing with and what direction to
go and in that moment that individual is
the leader I don’t care who’s standing
up in front of the room with a flipchart
marker in his hand that individual is
the leader in that room in that moment
we affect people in so many different
ways and leadership moves around so I
like to kind
of how to be a leader even when you’re
not a leader or whatever the title of
the book was it’s it’s not about formal
position it’s about being you with
people and sometimes each one of us
steps up and we’re the leader Jack you
working with leaders I’m sure you have
heard of what I’m getting ready to bring
up well I just came from the association
of Water Technologies conference in Palm
Springs and the year before that when it
was in Orlando we were talking about the
same thing I’ve had guests on my show
that have talked about this issue but
what I’m what I’m referring to is we
have different generations working in
the same workplace and we work in that
workplace differently I think the
majority of water treatment companies
are probably baby boomers and Gen Xers
and they look at work ethic differently
and the tools they use differently and
then we have this new group called
Millennials that are entering the
workforce and they’re not necessarily
communicating well together I’m sure
that this is a topic that you’ve dealt
with before and I’m curious what have
you heard and what advice do you have
for the scaling up nation on how we can
deal with it better yeah well yes I do
in my keynotes men workshops I’ll ask
people what their biggest leadership
challenge is and this is one of the
biggest ones it comes up every time I
asked the question and and it’s
basically how to deal with Millennials
the the boomers and Gen Xers who were
very much like boomers just don’t know
how to deal with them you know I’ll ask
people put your hand in the air if if
Millennials are our alien beings from
another planet and everyone laughs of
course and they put a hand up and the
answer is no they’re not they are
generationally different but there’s
nothing alien about them the experts on
this I know expert I’ve heard this from
experts there is something like five
different generation types and they just
recycle and the Millennials are one of
those types and they value
the same things as the other generations
but they put different emphasis on the
different things so for example doing
meaningful work everybody wants to do
meaningful work but it’s more important
to Millennials to do meaningful work
than that of the other generations that
are you know the workforce now so you
better let your people know that not
only are they doing meaningful work but
here’s how they contribute to something
good happening you better do that or the
Millennials will go someplace where
someone does do that for them so you
want to retain people let them know how
they contribute to something good
happening I talked before about this ask
great questions peace well there’s a
companion piece that goes with it and
that is listen really listen seek to
understand
listen solely for comprehension listen
all the way through what someone has to
say and that means you don’t check out
how halfway through what they’re saying
to formulate your response and yes we
all do that but but listen all the way
through we human beings like being
listened to
we really like that so so just because
that that cellphone buzzes don’t check
to see who’s texting you just leave it
alone it’ll be there for you when you’re
done with a conversation but when you’re
talking with someone listen to them as
they are talking seeking to understand
that will do a couple of things one is
they’ll get the message you care about
them because you’re really listening to
them david oxberg says it this way
there’s being listening to is so close
to being loved that most people cannot
tell the difference it’s that powerful
we human beings like being listened to
and and there’s so much good that comes
from that you want your Millennials to
care about your business well you’re the
leader you go first you care about them
first that’s where the power is then and
what that will do is to let them know
that you understand them and care about
them and they in turn will likely care
about you so respect show Karen just
listen it’s one of the most powerful
things late leaders can do jack we’ve
covered a lot of territory here I am
curious what is the one thing that you
want
to make sure that the scaling up nation
gets from this interview Tracy it’s just
so elegantly simple here it is
wake up wake up you’re here right now
stop being reactive and being proactive
you have it in you to do it it’s just a
choice and you’re gonna have to be awake
to do it so wake up and recognize that
we’re we’re wired to have knee-jerk
reactions to things and you don’t have
to do that wake up wake up and I’m sure
you have woken a lot of our listeners up
there thinking wait a second that sounds
like me I’m worrying about yesterday I’m
not in today I need to do something
about it and I’m sure their listeners
out there that want to find out more
about what you do and how you do it what
do they need to do to find that
information now thanks for asking you
know I do I do
keynotes for associations I work with
executive teams whole companies doing
both keynotes
and half-day leadership workshops to get
in touch with me it’s just really so
simple you go to my website fully alive
leadership calm that’s it you’ll find
that the contact tab there just go there
and shoot me a note then I’ll respond
donation for those of you that are
driving please keep your hands on 10:00
and 2:00 I will make sure to put that
information on the show notes page so it
will be waiting for you yeah thank you
I’m not interested in anyone dying just
already on the web web address come on
safety first well Jack I’m not quite
done with you yet the scaling-up nation
has a few lightning round questions for
you so are you ready for the lightning
round
I have no idea we’ll find out all right
let’s see how it goes so you now have
the ability to go back in time to the
first day and actually you have the
ability to do this twice because I’m
gonna ask this two different ways one
you’re gonna go back to your first day
as a water treaty and I want to know
what advice do you
of yourself and I also want to know if
you could go back to your first day
where you were facilitating groups and
discussions like the ones that we had
today what advice would you give for
that the first part of that the lesson
that was it was hard learned but the
lesson that I learned is it’s all about
them it’s not about me it’s about them
how can I make things better for them I
mean it’s like that listening thing that
makes it better
for other people it also makes it better
for me but it makes it better for others
boy when I started in water treatment
I’d have been a whole lot less focused
on the techy stuff and far more focused
on the people I would serve so that the
second part when I started facilitating
the the most valuable thing is learning
the most valuable thing I noticed in in
facilitating round tables of CEOs are in
one-to-one coaching either way
the real value comes from saying the
stuff that’s hard to say asking the hard
question that might be rejected
somebody’s gonna feel bad by not even
like me if I ask this really challenging
question but that’s where the value is
when we tell the truth in that way so
the advice I would give myself or anyone
else in that position is be brave step
up save the thing that’s hard to say
because that’s where the that’s where
the greatest value lies what are the
last few books that you’ve read last few
books oh gosh I read a lot of of
nonfiction stuff I’m kind of a political
junkie so I read stuff like that and
sometimes I just read for fun Wow names
of books I like Lee branham’s book
re-engaged about engagement leaves it
just a genius about engagement well
Jackie you might not know this but
Hollywood uses the scaling-up h2o
podcast to figure out what their next
movie script is going to be so they have
listen to this they
in the action of writing a script about
your life who plays you your questions
came from Chase but but they’re fun who
plays me Brad Pitt well there you go I
think there’s there’s a lot to interpret
through that answer we think highly of
ourselves don’t we Jack my final
question then you are out of the hot
seat you now can talk to anybody
throughout time who would it be with and
why oh how many thousand names can I
come up with just I mean is there a
limit on this Wow ideally one it is it
is a limited show but you can come up
with one we’ll see how you do all right
try Galileo okay Galileo because he had
the courage to seek the truth and to
insist upon it very deep right he was a
very strong man you know you don’t get
it he was lucky that he even survived
what he did lose it was quite quite
inspiring knowing his story and he has
an Indigo Girls song named after him how
about well Jack I want to thank you for
coming on scaling-up age too I want to
thank you for all the scheduling issues
you dealt with for the technical
difficulties that you dealt with we
finally made it through that and it was
a great interview and I know for a fact
that you have helped many people out
there in the scaling-up nation
it’s very gratifying it’s it’s all it’s
all about that isn’t it how can we help
how can we give back how we hug and pay
it forward which I thanks so much for
coming on the show oh it’s great chase
thanks so much for having me
Jack thanks again for coming on scaling
up h2o it’s always cool when we
interview somebody that has a foundation
in water treatment but they’re in
another sector so we really appreciate
you sharing that perspective and you
know so much stuff that we can take from
that interview you know I met Jack years
ago when he was a keynote speaker at the
Association of Water Technologies now
when he was president in 1995 that was a
little bit before my time in AWT but I
did meet Jack at a conference I’ve seen
Jack a couple of times over the years
and Jack is just a great speaker and
he’s got a book – it’s called engagement
and if you go to our show notes page you
can see some more information on his
book and how to order it and folks I got
to tell you he’s just a really
interesting guy if you go to his YouTube
channel you can see some of his keynotes
he’s just really good at what he does I
can’t help but think about the seven
Habits of Highly Effective People as I
was talking to Jack and the three habits
that come out most of all habit one
being proactive folks we have a choice
to be proactive and not react to things
we have certain characteristics that
allow us to come up out of the
experience as it’s happening and we can
now choose what our response is going to
be now if you’ve read the seven Habits
of Highly Effective People dr. Covey
says that that proactive muscle will
atrophy
if you don’t normally use it so if
you’re not used to choosing your
response you’re just used to reacting
when something is to happen to you it’s
difficult to get that muscle trained but
if we take responsibility and realize
that we can
choose every action that we do I can’t
think of another thought that is more
empowering the other habit that I’m
thinking of is habit 5 and that’s
seeking first to understand before we’re
understood and folks I have to tell you
this is the hardest habit for me to
practice I don’t think I will ever
master it I am always practicing it but
I truly want to understand what the
other person is saying and I want them
to understand that not think that I’m
trying to manipulate them and what I
found is in a situation like that when I
ask somebody to go first
rather than them hearing my point of
view they’re able to get their point
across and then when I validate what
they’ve said by paraphrasing what
they’ve said are asking for agreement
and how I understood their statement
they’re now able to listen to what you
have to say and folks for those knockout
drag-out arguments that you’ve had with
people I am sure that once you’ve solved
it you’ve realized that you weren’t that
far off from center of each other so if
we can just learn to listen to each
other to understand each other I think a
lot of the issues that we have can be
solved before they get too bad the last
habit that I kept thinking about when we
were talking with Jack was synergizing
folks two people can get things done
more efficiently than one person can by
themselves now when you put a team
together that multiplies so synergy is
the product of two or more people
working together towards a common goal
and they can achieve more together than
they can by themselves there’s an
analogy that dr. Covey uses where two
two by fours in construction can
actually hold more
eight then the two can buy themselves
added together so when you translate
that to what we can do when we’re
working with each other when we
understand each other and the other side
understands that you understand them and
then we choose to be proactive when
stimulus happens to us I really think
Jack’s message hits home so folks I am
going to ask you that if you have not
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straight to you have a great week folks
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