At the core of any business leader is the ability to make thoughtful decisions. When a choice is on the table, How it affects the company, the company’s employees, and the company’s customers all need to be taken into consideration.
Unfortunately, when decisions are made without being fully thought out, there may be hefty consequences. On the other hand, when leaders aren’t able to make decisions quickly enough, opportunities can pass them by.
How can business leaders find the optimal balance for better decision making and an appropriate speed?
On this episode of Evolved Sales Live, host Jonathan Fischer sits down with Paul Epstein, highly successful sports executive and independent consultant, to discuss how to find the way forward when stuck at a crossroads, what it means to make good decisions, and ways to reset your mental framework so you can discern the way forward more effectively.
Don't forget to follow us on LinkedIn for more engaging sales insights and discussions! Happy watching!
Paul Epstein spent years as a highly successful sports executive leading the execution of billion dollar NFL campaigns and generating league leading sales results for multiple NBA teams. Paul moved on to become an independent consultant, advisor and keynote speaker is considered an expert in leadership development. Paul is also the author of the Amazon number one best seller for the book ‘The Power of Playing Offense’.
Check out the transcription of this webinar episode below!
Jonathan Fischer 0:04
It's time once again for evolve sales live. Welcome back. I'm Jonathan Fisher. In business as in any field, the ability to make solid decisions is at the very heart of leadership. But how can business leaders learn to make critical decisions quickly enough, before opportunities or competitors can pass them by? Well in today's show, you will learn key insights into better decision making how to find the way forward when stuck at a crossroads. How to define what it even means to make good decisions, how to reset your mental framework so you can discern the way forward more effectively. In short, you'll learn how to make better decisions faster. Our guest today is the perfect man to help us with this. His name is Paul Epstein. Paul spent years as a highly successful sports executive leading the execution of billion dollar NFL campaigns and generating league leading sales results for multiple NBA teams. Paul moved on to become an independent consultant, advisor and keynote speaker is considered an expert in leadership development. Paul is also the author of the Amazon number one best seller the power of playing offense. Paul Epstein, welcome to the show. We're thrilled to have you with us today.
Paul Epstein 1:10
Hey, Jonathan fired up to be here. Yeah, and
Jonathan Fischer 1:13
for our guests, guess what, you just got a free upgrade to first class, our other guests at a last minute emergency. And Paul is not only a fantastic expert, thought leader and author, he's also a real super solid guy to step in last minute like this. So thanks. Thanks on that front as well, Paul, oh, anytime. So we have a fantastic topic to talk about today. How to make better decisions faster. And I know a lot of our listeners are going to be business leaders at different levels, whether they're founders, CEOs, whether they're business development officers, and that is such a critical key. Talk to us about the insights you have to share, like how did you come to the Insight you're going to be sharing with our audience here just a minute about making better decisions faster, set it up for us if you would
Paul Epstein 1:59
100%. And actually, this is perfect timing. Because hot off the press literally one week ago, I hit send on the official book manuscript titled better decision faster. So it is now off in Publisher Ville. So this is you want to talk somebody that's coming in hot, you know, when you write 50,000 words on something that you feel that you've got some level of expertise in, but more importantly, how is it portable and shareable with the world so that everybody that applies, it can make better decisions faster? So the backstory, you mentioned the best selling book leadership playbook, the power of playing off, and so that was spring of 2021. And inevitably, you dive into coaching, training, consulting, you hosted a podcast around it, called playmakers. And you start to interview the who's who of Who do you understand to be the people, the teams, the cultures, the organizations that play offense, versus those that play defense? And what happens in the market as they're consuming and absorbing this playbook. The logical question becomes Paul, can you just distill it down, curate the number one differentiator, the number one separator of those that play offense, versus those that play defense. And there were themes, I call it the laboratory, if you will, I go back in the lab. And as I'm doing both qualitative and quantitative research, and again, just being a practitioner, in my day to day operating role wearing the hat said that I've already mentioned. And there were themes that started to emerge themes of intentionality, themes of decisiveness, themes of massive action, however imperfect, it may be, there were people that were always moving forward versus those that stay stuck on the sidelines, they're paralyzed at those forks in the road. It's just littered with stress and anxiety and decision fatigue and overwhelm. And so when I really put it on paper, I asked myself, well, action, whether to take action or not, in and of itself is a decision. So the lowest common denominator is decision making. That's the separator of those who play offense versus defense. But let's not just make any decisions, let's be intentional in how we make those decisions. So I'll share today a process in a system that I call the head, heart hands equation. And ultimately, that's it. The head art hands equation is the framework, if you will, of how we can not only make better decisions, but let's make them faster.
Jonathan Fischer 4:47
Framework and the process is exactly what I want to give the listener today. But I want to back up just a little bit further. How are most leaders making decisions right now and what it would be? How's that missing? The Mark talked to us about that.
Paul Epstein 4:59
It's very scattered or, if you were to pull interview survey 100,000 10,000 people, what's your go to process for making decisions? You're gonna get a litany of answers, some people are going to rely more. So it's kind of that left brain right brain, if you will, I think we all have a default setting. And it's not bad, there is no better or worse, I'm not going to knock either side, I fall more on the emotion side, other people fall heavily on the logic side, there's other people that are very much into gut and gut feel which I in the head, heart hands model, where I really think about head being your mindset, heart being your authenticity and hands being action, I always get the question. So where does gut fit into that? And the answer is gut false closest to heart. It's kind of that motional piece, it's that, that feeling that you can't always describe. But there's a hunch, and there's a knack. And the greater the life experience you have, the better at these gut decisions you have. So here's the beauty of it. When I call it the head, heart hands equation, its head plus heart equals hands. And so notice I said Plus, there's two checkpoints, it's not one. So what I'm doing is, if you're heavier in the head, you're a heavy logic person. With the equation you cannot ignore your heart, you cannot ignore emotion you cannot ignore feel, because its head plus heart, its head and heart. And that gives you a signal for whether you should take action versus the inverse. For a guy like me, I'm a big emotion guy, I'm a big feeling guy, I lead from my heart. But the equation would force me to logically check in with my head and say, Do I think this is a good idea, so that I don't just trip on myself and focus solely on feeling. So that think plus feel comes to do that's the head plus heart equals hands. And here's the beauty of it. It is very much a if I had to simplify it. Imagine you're at a traffic signal. And we all know that there's three possible variables, there's a green, there's a yellow, that's a red. And so when I think about this, head and heart both on board that's a green light to take action. One is on board, it's a yellow light, and you try to solve for the gap, either the head gap or the heart gap. And then when neither the head or the heart is on board, that's a red light. And so you asked me what the problems and the challenges are with decision making. For one, I think there's a lack of awareness. And awareness is the core of EQ. We've all heard it there's three layers of awareness, awareness of self awareness of others, awareness of situation, they all matter. And then you layer on top of that emotional management. And to me, that's a person that either has high EQ, mid EQ, low EQ, and so the table stakes and the gaps if you will, of what I think leads to poor decision making a lack of awareness. B, there's a gap in ownership. You know, Jocko willing road Extreme Ownership and can you own not just the good and not just the right decisions? But can you own the bad? Can you own the controversy? Can you own the adversity? Can you own the setbacks? Can you own the hurdles, and the obstacles, all of that? It's just character building one on one. So I think leaning into that ownership piece of all of life is critical. And then the last one would be intention. How many folks are being intentional? As they enter each day? Are they being mindful of how they show up? Are they tracing back to how they make decisions? How they take actions? And is there a process or a system? Or do they just go with how they're feeling in the moment, go with what they think to be true? Go with what they think is going to be the crowd pleaser? Do they just want to surround themselves with Yes, people? Are they over indexing in the marketplace or on external circumstances? So you could see how much complexity is in this space of decision making. And that's why I wrote the book. I'm not trying to confuse people. On the flip side, I'm trying to take something that has been overly complex. And I'm trying to just create a very clear, simple methodology and framework, head heart hand equation. And I believe that when we apply it, it's a life of more greens, head and heart fully on board. Now that we're conscious, we stop running reds, and most importantly, most of business and most of life lies in the yellow. Well, I'm writing a playbook on how we can navigate and conquer that messy middle of yellow.
Jonathan Fischer 9:42
A love that. Well, it really sounds like this, this gap between the self awareness and the intentionality. It's probably more common than a lot of busy professionals will even be willing to admit even to themselves. I would wonder like you get in there and you think you're on point, right? You think you're caring about the right things? You're bringing some no Do you think you're bringing bringing your A game? But there's there's a gap there as well. I'm a little bit interested to bring that out as well. Are there some ways that I can know Hey, I'm, I think I'm in this but maybe I'm going through the motions, what are some red flags that I might be looking at if I'm the listener?
Paul Epstein 10:15
Yeah. And so one, let's start from this place. Let's a I've got a fun fact, and I did not know this before doing all the research. But the fun fact is gonna lead to a little bit of what unveils a response to your question there. So Jonathan, this is the fun fact. And for everybody listening in, did you know that the average US adult makes 35,000 decisions a day? When I f 35,000? Again, makes 35,000. Now, let's think about this logically, the majority are, of course, on autopilot. I turn left in the driveway, I brush my teeth. Decide what gas to put in the car, please. You do not need a head heart hands equation. Right. But But now let's drill in. Yeah, no wonder there's paralysis by analysis, right? Yeah, yeah. So there's a couple types of decisions from the big to the small. Let's start with and by small I don't mean by importance, I actually think it could be the inverse. Because the reality is we're not making mass critical decisions every single day, some of us in higher stress, higher pressure environments, believe that we are, but the reality is, there are some days that there's not a life or death decision you're going to make. So two types of decisions. One is the moment by moment. And so the way I would think about that is mindset, energy, attitude, that comes back to the intentionality that comes back to intentionality. Am I managing my energy in an intentional way? Hey, some really crappy thing happened in the morning. But I have an important meeting with an investor of founder in the afternoon. And so how do I dust myself off and show up at my best, that's going to take intentionality, that's going to take awareness. And so there are these small by size, but big by impact decisions, then, when we zoom out, there is a smaller quantity of decisions we make in a day. So in sports, I have to use a bunch of sports metaphors, because that is the world that I know MVPs, our most valuable players, I call these your mvpds your most valuable decisions. And those are those critical forks in the road strategy A or B time spent on X or Y. This is how you choose your priorities relationship in my in or out, do I do the deal or not? And you could see how is one of these decisions gonna make or break your business or life? Likely not. However, the compounding effect of being intentional about your meds, that is the separator between the business that will boom or bust, the leader that is revealed versus load? All of these things have these massive, massive implications. So that's just a greater way of understanding that when I wrote the playbook, yes, it's for mvpds. It's also for how you're showing up each day, because that's going to give you the clarity, confidence and consistency, consistency that you need to be the best leader possible.
Jonathan Fischer 13:28
The mental game so critical. Well, I want to delve deeper into that in just a moment. First, a reminder to our live audience. Hey, everybody, this is live for a good reason, we want you to participate. This is your chance to bring questions and get them answered right here right now with our expert guests. So go ahead and start putting those posting those rather over in the chat. And when we get to the bottom of the half hour here, we're going to veer over into zoom some q&a and get you some great actionable insights. Also, it's worth mentioning, we are powered by a fantastic platform, one of the most important decisions any leader has to make is how to add to your team, you need to add new team quickly some really great professionals that can work from anywhere in the world. overpass.com go there, create a free account, you can get pre vetted phone professionals to become SDRs, AES customer service reps, whatever you need, you can find them, interview them and hire them in days instead of weeks. Check them out overpass.com. So Paul, going deeper on this. So the mental game that you get you get some really great insights, I'm feeling that sports executive background, definitely coming into into the fore here. Do you have some stories where some of the leaders you worked with or maybe in your own experience, you've been able to apply some of the insights to kind of set it up. And then we're going to kind of get into the nuts and bolts of how the listener can begin to act on these.
Paul Epstein 14:45
Yeah, so here's the beauty. I'll share not only about a couple of other leaders, but even looking in the mirror which I believe can be the greatest teacher of the mall, especially when we're learning are willing to learn from the bad things that didn't go our way. And so I reflect back on sports and You know, there's folks that I would consider to be phenomenal decision makers, phenomenal action takers, phenomenal leaders, and they usually fall in a similar bucket. And then there's quite the opposite. And just like a relationship, I always joke that you got to date some crazy to find the one. And that's why, you know, early in your career, you work for a couple of bad companies, bad leaders, bad cultures, but it teaches you what not to do. And then eventually, you find the good side, and you're like, Oh, let me hang out in this new space. And so a couple of stories that come to mind because my biggest decision personally was taking the Jerry Maguire like leap out of sports, people thought it was massively courageous people think that I'm this massive risk taker. But the reality is, it was on the heels of me doing some internal work, I found my y at a leadership off site retreat when I was head of sales for the San Francisco 40, Niners and that internal look, that understanding of knowing who I am, knowing my why knowing my values, and using those as anchors and as filters to drive my daily decisions and actions. That's how I started to be the practitioner of like, why am I credible to speak on decision making an action taking a just like most people, I've made a ton of bad decisions, and I'll own that, but I also have made life changing positive decisions. So now I get to study, what do those decisions have in common? And that's what started to inform the head heart hands equation, that's where I say, Oh, the ones that worked out where the green lights my head in my heart, were a hell yes. Oh, those things that derailed, almost derailed my career, those things that took me years to recover from, I was running red lights, I was not checking in with my head and my heart. And then where I'll share with other folks more external stories, because I think these are a the most life changing and impactful and be I think green and red are pretty much an awareness game, you can read the playbook, you can read a blog post of mine, after I get a lot of better decisions faster content out in 2023. Once you know what a green light is, and what a red light is, you're going to attack more of the first you're going to populate your life in business with more of the first and you're going to stop running the second, more greens, less reds, that's the game plan. And you probably don't need me in your corner the rest of your life for greens and reds, but the yellow, that's the tricky part when either your head or heart is not on board. So a couple of examples. One all share is. So imagine this, you're you have a leadership audience lot in the tech space. And a lot of folks that are in charge of personnel, they're in charge of hiring and firing. And in my case, I've probably hired recruited onboard 1000s of people over the course of my career, some decisions on talent were phenomenal. Others were the exact opposite. And a ton fell in between. So you start to study that I when I lead sales teams, and I think of other leaders and other hires have talent. Think of that person that was an ultra high performer. They were an ultra high producer. But and you probably already know where I'm going with this. They were toxic in the locker room, their energy, their attitude, just somebody that you did not love being around, but they sold the most widgets, or they were the best at their craft. And so the head heart hands equation, this is a yellow light, because your head says keep them on board because of their production and performance. But your heart says this is not a person that I want to be in my company are on my team for the years to come. Like if they were on my team in five or 10 years. It's almost a depressing thought. But you still keep them around. Why? It's a scarcity mindset, it's thinking you can't replace them with somebody that could be a green light. So where I really think this yellow comes in is if you hang out too long, where your head is on board, and convinces you because of money or whatever other factors come in. But your heart knows that they're not the right one, that long term yellow is just as deadly as a red, a long term yellow, where your head is in and your heart will not change. It's not this person's not going to magically be different tomorrow, nor are you going to change your heart by tomorrow, or long term yellow is just as deadly as a red. That's one insight. Flip it What if your heart was on board but your head is not? So again, let's let's say we have some entrepreneurs listening in right now. We got a lot of founders and we always hear the word of mission. You don't start a company I would argue that any single person entering the gates of Shark Tank, there is a deeper purpose. There is a deeper mission. They were mad about the mousetrap of yesterday so they created their own for today. Their heart is all in but maybe, man this thing hasn't taken off. So maybe the head gap is purely financial. I know many folks that they pour or their soul into a nonprofit venture or to a cause, or a philanthropy. But again, there's just this hurdle, and usually the hurdles in the head. And for that type of a yellow, what I've seen from other leaders is, that's the good yellow, the opposite is very deadly. I already mentioned that the hard onboard yellow, you stay in that fight, you stay in the fight, because purpose, the deeper mission is the cornerstone of resilience. When you get knocked down, when all of these hurdles and setbacks and inevitable adversities hit you. The reason you get up off the mat is because you give a damn. Because there's deeper purpose, there's deeper meaning you believe in the impact, you want to make a difference. You want to leave people in places better than you found them. So you stay in that fight, because your head can be improved. Maybe there's a limiting belief that's getting in the way, maybe you need to talk to a coach or a mentor, maybe there's an advisor that can logically kind of help you improve the situation. But the hard part You already got your heads in. So that's the good yellow, and that's the yellow, where I've seen others, when they stay in the fight, that yellow ends up turning into a green.
Jonathan Fischer 21:13
I think it's so powerful, because many times when we feel that ambiguity, we read it as just one category of a of a thing. And we just put it in the same bucket for kind of like later consideration, I think is what we made, we've had to do to compartmentalize that in a different box. But what you're saying is, that all belong in the same box. If you're ambiguous about this set of factors, you can't ignore that this set of factors. Make sure that you take decisive action on either way, I guess is what you're saying. But do so appropriately. The ambiguity of decisions, you're calling that yellow, I like that, like this green light, red light yellow is a methodology or rubric that you're using. So when you're on a yellow kind of decision, what if it's in the middle somewhere? Like what if you actually aren't really sure like, are you? Because sometimes we fool ourselves? Like we think we really care about a thing? You know, I could come at it from the opposite side and say, Well, I'm not taking action on it. Am I? Do I really have a passion for that? Like what's going on there?
Paul Epstein 22:09
Yeah, that I love this. Thank you for bringing this up. I'm going to get to that in two seconds. But where I, where I believe that we land is this, because I speak a lot about purpose. And how it ties back to this is I think that's too big of a place to start. So what I tell people to do is they reverse engineer it. Don't start at the Northstar that's too big. I'm the wind Monday guy. I'm the wind one day one decision, one action at a time, make things portable, that folks can win create progress and momentum. So where it answers your question is this if we don't start a purpose, and where do we start? Well, what's before purpose purpose? Before that you find something that you're passionate about, I don't really even know what I'm passionate about. Okay, what's before passion. And here's what answers your question, curiosity. So if you took it now, in the logical order, curiosity, sparks passion, can unearth purpose, but it's in that order, you don't start at purpose, you start with curiosity. So if I'm in my early 20s, I'm deciding, hey, I got to experiment in the job field, because I want to figure out what career path I want to wear, I want to figure out what I'm called into, let's start at the lowest common denominator. And so to your point, sometimes there's not a clear green, yellow, or red, sometimes you just don't know. And if that's the case, then you can handle it one or two ways. I think, in my case, where you say, Well, you got to take on some jobs to figure out what the right ladder to climb is. And then once you climb a ladder, you got to ask yourself, is it leaning against the right wall? You know, so that's going to take some experimentation, that's going to take some swings and misses. But when you hit, you also have to be aware enough to step into that. Yeah, versus I do think that. Okay, here's a good analogy. All of us have probably gone through some think tank type exercise where we put 50 posts up on the wall, it's ended right now, end of year planning, and what should we prioritize for next year, and there's 50 possible things. And so with my framework, I would tell you to get to a green, yellow or red, only move forward with greens, peel and just trash the reds, but the yellows, the other approach is this. Sometimes you're in a position where you can hold off on the yellows, but other times you need to step into them. So I just think that's where awareness comes in. And I would say, if you can create a situation for yourself, where you can identify a green and do that in lieu of a yellow, then you can just truly the decision is not to make the decision. So indecision can be intentional. I think when Indecision is accidental, or when it's caused by paralysis, that's a difference. I'm not paralyzed by that. Post it on saying, No, I can fill my 365 calendar or we have enough cooking in our lab. We have enough cooking in our company. If we don't need to tackle those yellows, that's intentional decision making to not move forward. So that's kind of how I would break that down is some things you do need to move into curiosity and experimentation and others, you can be on the sidelines and just say, like, here's a real example for me. All my business and thought leadership right now is primarily to a b2b audience. Awesome. Well, guess what? I'm a proud father of a soon to be two year old. And so the more and more that he's knowing what's going on in the world, trust me, there will be books in my future. I will write books for kids, I will develop the leaders of tomorrow, not just today. Am I doing that tomorrow? No. Am I gonna do it? Hell, yes. When am I going to do it? I don't know. It's just on my roadmap. So that's it. I've made the decision. But I'm being intentional that tomorrow is not the right time for action.
Jonathan Fischer 25:54
I love that. Well, let's see if we can recap then. So if I'm a listener, and I want to really begin to implement on this, I love I love the overall framework you've laid out, give me the process. Now, in a recap, fashion 123 steps, what do I do,
Paul Epstein 26:08
the way we make better decisions faster, is we apply the head heart hands equation. To define them. Head is mindset. Heart is authenticity. Hands are action. So when you're deciding whether to take action or not, there's one of three outcomes just like a traffic light, green, yellow and red. When your head and heart are on board, that's a green light, take action, when only one is on board, that's a yellow light, you try to solve for the gap. If neither your head nor your heart is on board, that is a red light, you should not take action. So at those critical forks in the road at those sometimes paralyzing forks in the road, you now have a framework that within seconds or minutes can get you to a green, yellow, or red. And that's via the head heart hands equation.
Jonathan Fischer 26:55
Love it. Great stuff. Well, I know that the listener is gonna want to take this conversation further. And Paul, you got several really neat ways that folks can do just that. Talk to us a little bit about what you've got on tap for us.
Paul Epstein 27:07
Yeah, well, the cool thing is, so while the book will be launched in q2, q3 of this coming year, what I wanted to say is, there's a couple of precursors to it, because how could we possibly make better decisions faster if we didn't have clarity, and have confidence. And so with my partners at the Y Institute, this was an assessment that was a life changer for me, I've now been sharing it with the world. And this is a free gift for all of your listeners. So I know we'll put this in the show notes. But I wanted to gift to everybody listening in a complimentary why assessment, it's a five minute tool, and it helps you know who you are. It helps you know how you think how you operate, it helps you be a more effective decision maker, because now you have that clarity, and you can be more confident. And at the end of the road. We're better decision makers. So why institute.com backslash purpose is the URL. I know it's up here right now as well. But that would be a gift that I just wanted to share with the world. And of course, any opportunity to connect Paul Epstein speaks.com Best way to find me can find more info on the book there, all that good stuff.
Jonathan Fischer 28:13
Well, great stuff. Paul, you got a really neat angle on things coming from that sports background. I know a lot of a lot of us can identify with that. There's a lot of commonality between the elements of success in both worlds business and sports. That is for sure. Well, we want to go ahead and get into q&a. We've got some questions now. On tap and keep them coming audience members. Let me see if we can pick a couple here. So here's one for you from Dennis. He's asking, you know, I'm about to train five people next week in a new initiative. What are the top three things I should make sure are ingrained? So this is a way to apply through one's team? Great question.
Paul Epstein 28:52
Yeah, great question. So first of all, all leverage the head heart hands equation as a potential thing that you can ingrain there, but then all kinds of zoom out? And also, can we leave the question up? It'd be great. That way, I can come back to it as well. So I would say this, what is the why of the training session? And so, you know, oftentimes, like so as a sales guy myself. And when I was from an entry to executive level in pro sports, I used to just train solely the what, or the how, and then I started to realize when we're not clear on the why, so why are we stepping into this training session? And also, who are the people in the room? What are they motivated by now I can speak their language. And that's why this why assessment is so key. I literally share with everybody I work with, from a from a client side to a team member side, because it helps me know how they're wired. And so rather than just train all five people in the same way, sure if we're just going to teach them the blocking and tackling of the tactics, that's fine. But you also need to understand that a lot of the problems that we have in the workforce right now. So zoom out a couple of years back, you had this great resignation. Now even worse than that you got quiet quitting. And we've, we've had for 30 years, we've had disengagement challenges that one out of three people really cares about what they do two out of three people don't. And so, literally, we're getting 2030 40% of that person, they don't even really want to be there. But we ignore that. And then we train them and whatever it is, and there's no stickiness, there's no staying power, it's paycheck over purpose. So I guess what I'm saying is not to diminish whatever we're going to train folks in, but we have to understand who's in our locker room. And that's where we need to know their why we need to know their personal and professional motivations. And then we customize, and we tailor our language. So now we can connect on a deeper level. And if they were for whatever reason disengaged, now you can be that Ambassador that gets him back to the Engage side.
Jonathan Fischer 30:54
Love that. Here's actually another good question coming to us from Joshua, what do you think's the best way to support your salespeople and teams to grow professionally, I mean, at the end of the day, your leadership traits are traits that all professionals need.
Paul Epstein 31:08
Love it. For one, I would say, focus on the whole person, especially in a quantitative area of business, like sales, where there's always a scoreboard and that's the home that I've had for a long period of time. I think back to folks that I would do anything for versus folks that, that they paid me enough, then I would do something, and then there's a massive gap in between them. And the difference is that second person that I wouldn't do anything for, it was an exchange of services. It was it, there was the income and production. And it was kind of this back and forth volley, because I knew that they looked at me as a producer, and that was it. But then there were other leaders that looked at me as Paul, the whole person, the relationship, they cared about me. Beyond work, they delivered the feedback that I needed to hear didn't always want to hear. And so what I would say is help them grow as people bake professional stuff into it. But if you were to do a session on mindset, if you were to do a session and bring in different types of thought leadership more than just sales and selling widgets, it's all about how can you help the whole holistic person because I think of this as work life balance is a fallacy. It's a myth. I believe in work life integration, especially in the last couple of years, work and life are fully integrated. And we're lying to ourselves if we think differently. And so the reality is, how can you help them in other areas of their life. And so you know, a good example is one of my buddies, his name is Greg Scheinman, he has a cohort of coaching that he calls it the midlife male, and he works with many other folks. But he calls it the success. And so from family to finance, to have fun to food to fitness. And that may sound like it has nothing to do with business. But the reality is, the person that's getting helped in all of these different areas is going to have higher well being higher well being leads to higher engagement, higher engagement leads to more production. And this isn't some manipulative game of let me pretend to care about the whole person so that they can produce more No, this is I genuinely care about the person. And so I'm going to train them in areas that are outside of the functional part. Because now that's how we build the bridge. And that's how there's loyalty and commitment, which, frankly, is a gap in the workplace. So you can be the outlier when you actually care about the whole person.
Jonathan Fischer 33:40
Yeah, I mean, now, I'll ask a follow up question to that. Do you? Do you feel that's obviously a challenge we need to take on? I think people are definitely hungry for authenticity. Yeah, we live the moreso now that we are being geographically separated by circumstances, you know, we're hungry for connection, it's just a very, it's a basic human need. And we want to have some relevance that has something to do with people in our lives. So there's a lot going on there. Is there some peril for the leader who wants to take that challenge on can you kind of get into something equivalent to the friendzone where it can also it can almost be become difficult to then now call for accountability? Like, where's that balancing point? Well,
Paul Epstein 34:17
yeah, great question. And let's be very direct here. And a specific is probably a better word friendzone would mean that all we focused on was build relationship build a relationship build a relationship and it's a lot of hugs and kisses and all that stuff. What I'm suggesting is yeah, sure, look, build a relationship you know, have a beverage if that's your style, like do the stuff that like you would know that you know they like to do and if you'd like to do it game on awesome, but I'm not saying to go all in on that as an example. You if somebody All right, if I knew that somebody, maybe I manage a young sales team and maybe half of them are not financial literacy is not a strength you know, like they could you Use a little bit of so what if I had a client? What if I had a mentor that was a wealth manager? And what if I brought him or her into the office just to share 60 minutes of practical ways that we can better manage our money and our wealth to accumulate a more wealthy lifestyle. If that was the case, I'm not giving them hugs and kisses, I'm giving them access to resources that has nothing to do with friendzone. I'm just adding value to their life in ways that I know would be meaningful to them. And or if I know that, hey, you know what, we we work so much we're sitting around and our physical health is falling apart? What if I created instead of team building being a night out at the bar, it could be something that was in you know, you did a bootcamp experience. And you say, Hey, folks, it's really important that because kind of the Dallas Cowboys philosophy, the Deion Sanders, it was when he said, when you feel good, you play good. And when you play good, they pay good. So focus on that, right. And so you know, I'm given some examples that are a little scattered, because I want folks to know that you need to speak their language. Now what's most important to you, it's what's most important to them. And so know where the desires are, ask them, ask them and customize the approach. And that has nothing to do with being their friend. The last thing I'll share is feedback. If you care about people, and this actually goes against the friendzone, you're going to tell them, I said this earlier, what they need to hear, not what they want to hear everybody on this call right now. We've heard in a performance review, we've likely heard the exact same thing from two different people. But one you knew cared about you as a whole person. The other one you knew did it. And they say the exact same words. And with the first person, you're gonna say, Man, that was that was tough. Thanks for telling me but like, man, let me go dust myself off. Like that was not a pretty conversation. But thank you for telling me the hard truth. I need to get better. Versus the second person. What an eighth hole. They said the exact same words, but you know, they don't care about you. So it's really it's giving that hard truth in the words of Kim Scott, the radical candor. And I think that can be a phenomenal principle to lead by.
Jonathan Fischer 37:21
Yeah, love that. A good follow on maybe you can add a few a little extra color to the same issue. lipo pack is asking how can basically how can you reduce churn, right? What are some ways you can make certain that your team feels like they have a home for long term career?
Paul Epstein 37:34
Yeah, a lot of this stuff is integrated. So I'll I'll give a diverse answer all the stuff that I've shared in the past 510 minutes. So our ways you can reduce turnover, though, because what I will say is this, besides the, I mean, look, there's going to be some folks that look at things very logically, and they would leave a $9 job for $10, they would leave 10 for 11. So there's no need for me to comment on that I'd focus more on the human side and the people side of things that are controllable, because maybe we have constraints on things like what I just described. But what people are really lacking right now is a lack of belonging. They don't feel they belong in the team, the company, the culture, there is no tribal effect. And so I would just toss it back to you to say that, what would make you feel like you belonged. And whatever you think, would draw you in and create that stickiness, and commitment and loyalty and reduce turnover. And the same things that will reduce turnover by the web, are also great recruiting tools. So what works to attract talent works to currently engage talent works to retain talent, it's all the same stuff. I'll leave with one other thought as well, I think this is a really cool one. And everybody should go through this exercise. Think of the greatest leader that you've ever had, in any walk of life. It could be a parent, it could be a coach, it could be a mentor. It could be somebody in business, whomever, think of that person. And then ask yourself, what did they do? What were their actions? What were their behaviors, and imagine I'm at a flip chart here, we're doing a training workshop and ask you for one or two years word responses. So you say things like, they listened, they cared, they had compassion, they challenged, they inspired they, and you just keep rattling them off. But go through that exercise and write down 1020 30 words of what that greatest leader did. And if you get stuck on one person, go to the next greatest leader, go to the next greatest leader until you get 20 or 30 words and mark my words. That is your job description. If you want to stop losing talent, if you want to inspire teams, if you want to take your culture from here to there. Then we have to act and show up as the greatest leader that we've ever had. Because when I ask somebody else that question in five or 10 years You want them to think of you. And when you do those things, when you listen with empathy, by the way, top five answer 90% of the time, I've asked this to over 10,000 people in workshops, listening is the most common response that finishes in the top five words, every single time, like it is phenomenal. My theory is, it's so rarely practiced, and so sought after. So if everyone in the world was a great empathetic listener, it wouldn't be in the top five. But it feels so good to be listened to, and seen and validated and heard and recognized. But most people don't feel that, and therefore they don't feel like they belong. And therefore they quietly quit, or therefore they're disengaged, or therefore they, you see where I'm going with this, all of this stuff is connected, but I can't I don't have a one for the great resignation. I don't have a one for quiet quitting. I have a wand to act as the greatest leader that I've ever had in my own unique, authentic way. And your problems will largely diminish or go away if you're consistent with those behaviors.
Jonathan Fischer 41:04
I love it. Well, one final question is about lots of golden nuggets you're dropping here. Paul, really grateful for that. We have a great question from ally Bell. I don't want to miss out on this one. He's asking, it's a good question to ask because it's easy to talk about these things as though we're all a bunch of Vulcans like Mr. Spock. And we're just, you know, looking at this analytically, it is an emotional game. I mean, business is tremendously emotional. And when you feel like you're doing the best, you know, and you're working your plan, and the plan doesn't seem to be working well. It can get under the skin of a leader. This is even at high levels. He talked to people behind the scenes, they don't often admit this. Can you share an insight? How do you break loose, you shared earlier how important mindset is, what's the way to break loose when it feels like you're just kind of getting under a little bit as a founder or leader?
Paul Epstein 41:50
Yeah, well, there's a great question. I would, I would get clear on why the idea is in these words not being executed successfully. And here's kind of the, we could answer that in 20 different ways. So let me isolate it to one thing. And this comes back to ownership. Because it's so easy when something doesn't work out to point a finger. It's so easy to your point to have that negative emotion and we're all human, by the way, guilty. I'm not pointing, I'm not deflecting here, I'm not saying that I am innocent in this space, I too, have had these negative emotions. And of course, we've all been a part of many things that were not executed successfully. And here's what I've noticed, whether it was truly on me, or if it was more on my team. And what I do know is this 99.9% of the time when I pass the book, when I put fault on somebody else, if I play the victim card, if I say woe is me, if I anything that lives outside of me that I get negative about, it has served me in horrible ways in the long run. Like it damages relationships, sometimes it leads to me not being at a place or welcomed at a place anymore. Sometimes I lose that political capital inside of an organization, whatever the negative outcome is, most importantly, it's fractured relationships, which I hate doing. And that's the regret I have, because I tried to put it on somebody else, or I blame the market, right blame these external circumstances versus when I owned it. I've been passed up, here's a real thing. Like one of the toughest parts, I detail this in my book, The Power of playing offense. It was this time where I knew that I was ready for that first senior level role that I was being looked at for. And inevitably, the organization went a different direction. And I'm leaving out a lot of color, because the time but it was the biggest gut punch that I ever received. And the person that got it, I was like, Oh my gosh, I know that's not the right decision. Like it's, I'm saying this years later. And as much as I wanted to pass the buck, and even my better half, she told me basically burn the bridge and burn the boats. But I stepped into it. And for some reason, I took the high road. And I asked myself instead of just this pity party, or this fu to the who I none of that. I asked myself, How can I get better? I was obviously passed up for a reason, whether fair or not fair, whether political or not, whether I don't know. And even if I asked, I'm not sure I would believe the answer. But what I can do is change myself. I can become a better version of me. I can ask myself what my weaknesses are, I can make sure that my C's turned into B's and my B's turned into A's or my A's turn into a pluses through intentional work and personal professional development. So I just went into a personal and professional development laboratory to work on myself. And that, here's how you get rid of negative emotions. I'll give attributes and credit to Ed my lead who's a thought leader that I love and follow. He says it is imposter The role of feel help less when you become helpful. It is impossible to feel helpless when you become helpful. So instead of the pity party, I started to help myself. And I started to help other people. And I started to just do things. And logically, it probably made no sense. But that's how I stepped into it. So I hope that that can be helpful inside for everybody listening in.
Jonathan Fischer 45:23
I love it. And you've been acting on that by helping us today on the program. Paul Epstein. Thanks so much for being such a fantastic guest, helping us learn how to make better decisions faster.
Paul Epstein 45:32
Now, thank you so much, Jonathan. And
Jonathan Fischer 45:35
thank you to our audience. Without you the show couldn't even happen. You've made a such a success. Keep it up, bring your friends, guests, come back and see us each Friday afternoon at the same time. And if you're listening during the holiday season, Hey, have a great holiday time with friends, family people important to you go make it count. Spend time making memories together. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next time.