The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines

Episode 7: Growth is a Grind: Build a Bought-In Culture

May 06, 2022 Scott Scully, Jeff Winters, Eric Watkins
The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines
Episode 7: Growth is a Grind: Build a Bought-In Culture
Show Notes Transcript

This week, we outline five simple steps to take in order to get the whole team bought in and create a growth culture. Take it from us, it took our leadership team 10+ years to grow our current company from 3 to 500+ team members. 

Eric Watkins:

Welcome to the grove show where we make it easier for entrepreneurs and leaders to grow their businesses. You'll hear from real leaders with real stories about their successes and failures. So you don't have to make the same mistakes. We won't break out textbooks or talk theory only raw stories from the front lines with actionable takeaways.

Unknown:

The gross show is sponsored by Heil sound, world class microphones for stage studio, broadcast and podcast. Find your sound it Heil, sound.com and five, Reggie, are your outbound sales campaigns not driving the engagement you're looking for? Revenue leaders rely on reggie.ai to write high performing sales copy that cuts through the noise and books more meetings. Want to see how it works. Head over to reggie.ai/gross show and learn how to put the power of best practices and AI into the hands of your sales team. Here's the next episode of the gross Show.

Eric Watkins:

Welcome back, everyone to the gross show. How are we doing today? I'm here with my partners in gross. I'm gonna mix it up today, Jeff winters.

Jeff Winters:

I don't know how to react.

Eric Watkins:

doesn't know what to say. I like routine, like routine pattern. I'm good. You're good.

Jeff Winters:

I'm off. I'm off. I went to a wedding this weekend. It's kind of a cabin to a wedding. But I'm refreshed. is my point. Was

Eric Watkins:

there someone famous at this? Is that why you dropped it? Right? That's private information information.

Jeff Winters:

Okay, I did give a speech though. And I went well. You gave a

Scott Scully:

speech in front of that in front of several that that one person you're mentioned, right. I can't mention. Do you see what you're up for now?

Eric Watkins:

How are you gonna give up? You gotta give it up again. Partnering growth, Scott. Yeah,

Scott Scully:

I went through a lot of growth this weekend. Did you? I did. We hosted after prom party. 80 to 100 kids that'll make you grow in a hurry. Do you recommend how much the kids have grown up?

Jeff Winters:

Do you recommend people host after prom? No.

Eric Watkins:

Jess house?

Scott Scully:

If I could change it, I would. But you know, we kept almost all of them safe. And yeah, no, I wouldn't do it again. But I think they had fun. And that's a special time. They were very happy with their spring break like party that they were putting on in my garage

Jeff Winters:

or Glassdoor reviews were good. Glassdoor. The school has this Scully house Glassdoor reviews are so solid.

Scott Scully:

She got several clutch reviews over party.

Jeff Winters:

Scully house reviews off the charts CEO ranking

Eric Watkins:

100% 100% Speaking of reviews or responses, Jeff, we've been getting a lot of feedback boy, Yeah, boy. Yeah. Ever since you dropped the soup cleanse, and the McDonald's and you're back and forth. A lot of people are scared No one cares if it asked him about the weight loss journey. They want to know where you're at. And how's it going? And how are you feeling? I feel like you're looking good. You're wearing black today. You're looking slim

Scott Scully:

these last 12 ounces.

Jeff Winters:

Go up and down. I do future sponsor by the way. A couple of things are about to happen. So I I went on this prolonged soup cleanse. It's it's miraculous. But future sponsor CRO lon I'm highly recommend. Everyone do it once. It is impossibly difficult. I came out of it. Totally new man. I only eat soup for lunch now to Trump. I don't think there's any doctors that give me your feedback on that. I think it's fine.

Eric Watkins:

How quickly did you put all the weight back on?

Jeff Winters:

Almost lost 15 pounds in four days. And it took me one day to put it back on. And that's what all you that's what all you people that don't like diet say it's stupid. I still felt great for like four days.

Eric Watkins:

So I think that's a good segue. Jeff has been growing the wrong way. And today, we're gonna talk about how you grow the right way. Because we've had some overwhelming response. You know, we're getting a lot of feedback on the podcast. And people want to know, what is our growth culture, they own a business, they work at a business, they want to have the similar success that we've had and be able to grow and sustain growth over the long haul. And it's not easy. You don't just magically wake up one day and say, I'm going to grow my business, you might grow for the short term, but to do it over the long haul. You need to be very intentional. You need to be very thorough and careful about how you do that. So let's start off with Scott. Why is it so good to be a growth company in the first place? Like what are the positives? What are you looking to get? And then what are you in store for like what are some things that you may You didn't see coming up front that yeah, you figure it out?

Scott Scully:

Well, I think, as we always talk about what's what's in it for us is, the larger we get, the more lives we can impact. That's, that's what our mission is to impact lives through growing sales pipelines. I think that, that anybody that is growing, if they don't love the opportunity that it can provide for their people, then I guess the only other reason that they'd be in it is for the money, right? The money will come, if you're in it for the right reasons. You know, there are a lot of things that you've got to be ready for, if you're looking to grow, you've heard all of the nightmare stories about people that put things in place start to grow, go about it, about it the wrong way, and they're immediately going backwards, or worst case scenario, they're going out of business, you've got to set up a culture. And the people have to be staged and ready to be able to manage growth. There's a lot that goes into that. And not only do you have to set up the culture, but you have to be fully committed to Growing Forever, if you want to attract the right people. If we're recruiting, and they're coming, I was just in a new hire class today, there's 12 of them. We went around the table, probably 10 of the 12 said that they were here for the opportunity. They wanted to grow their careers in one spot. And, you know, in order for, for us to be able to provide that for all the people that come here, we got to always be growing. And if we're doing that, you know, we've really got to get people ready for that. There's just a lot of different things that go on in that kind of culture, they've got to be wearing multiple hats, and they got to be able to manage the stress of the consistent change, they've got to put the company first. So there's just a lot of things we're going to talk about today, that just helps set up that environment.

Jeff Winters:

At the risk of sounding like my great uncle or something. There's the old cliche, like if you're not growing, you're dying. And that couldn't be more true in this day and age. Because if if you have a business, and you're not growing or you're not focused on growth, that then means you're focused on like staying the same. And I don't I don't think that's possible for very long, I don't think companies in this day and age at the rate of technological innovation, at the rate the world is moving, are going to be able to effectively stay the same very long. I think you're either growing or you're going backwards. And I think the pace at which you either grow or go backwards like that. That's, that's increasing. So if you are trying to maintain, and I think there are a lot of business owners out there who are either have a great thing and they're trying to maintain or they want a life, quote unquote, lifestyle business. I think that I think that's going to get tougher and tougher every day. So I guess my point is, if you're not in a growing business, you either are in or probably soon will be in a declining business. And that's not a spot you want to be in.

Eric Watkins:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think you know, you mentioned a couple of things, one, you need to be committed. So this is, this is something that's not easy. If it was easy, everybody would do it. And as soon as you sign up for it, you know, just in growing up in the organization, there's rapid change. And sometimes it's so fast, you can't even keep up with it yourself. But it's needed because of that growth, you got to have new systems, new processes, to be able to take it to the next level, we talked about the increased stress, because ultimately, you're bringing people you know, you set that new higher class, Scott, those people are here for opportunity. So it's not stress on if I don't hit this number, I'm going to make less money, it's stress on I need to create the opportunity for every new person who walks into this building. And then I think you're also you know, from a money standpoint, if you're doing it right, you're actually sacrificing short term profitability. And I think as a business owner, you need to be aware of that. Because to set your business up to grow, you really have to invest in your infrastructure up front. So you know as we get into this, one of the big topics and I would say it's the best thing that we do at abstract we've talked about it mentioned it in a couple of different episodes, but it is the foundation of a growth culture is vision. So painting vision for where your company's going, painting vision for what opportunity you have for your employees. Scott, what do you think is really important when it comes to vision?

Scott Scully:

Just mapping it all out, being able to show people where you're growing, you know, it's one thing to say that we would love to hit $100 million, it's another thing to say, we're going to hit $100 million, we're going to do it in four years, here are the positions that are going to come available from where you're at in your position, here's where you can grow. Here are the other positions that you can go into. Here's what those pay, here's how they're tied into the overall production of the product. Or here's how you impact the vision. Just people want to know that their work matters, and how their work ties into, you know, the results for the client or the overall success of the organization. So I think one of the things that we've done well, and we didn't always do this, something that we learned along the way, when from time to time, and we grew in the wrong way, we now are sitting in a spot where we know what to do going forward is just, we map out everything. Like it's it's literally like a machine. And it's got to just be running on all cylinders at all times. Every time we add a piece of revenue, or for X number of clients, we know that this position is created. You know, and as we grow, someone can just look at that map. And, and be super clear as to what's under the hood, and how we're going to get there. And I think that a lot of times people want to grow, but they don't have, it's like having a goal but not having the strategy to get there. Right. And if somebody knows exactly what their goal is, and they have the strategies in place, and they're their people tied into it, then it's easier for everybody to understand the vision and you will realize success.

Jeff Winters:

I think a pitfall here that a lot of companies could fall into is alright, we're gonna come out our goal for this year is $50 million. Yes, it's awesome. Great vision. So exciting killer growth. Last year we did 30. This year, we're doing 50, that's 20 extra leg go forth be great. That is good, but insufficient. And I'll tell you why. Because you gain so much from going 234 levels deeper than that and saying, Okay, here's what going from 20 million, or 30 million to 50 million means It means we're going to have 150 more team members like you, which gives people pride in the business, it means we're going to be able to service X number of more clients. And here are the and Scott just building on your point here are the specific job opportunities on a big screen in front of a lot of people that will be created when we get to $50 million. And what that does is it gives people the ability to visualize themselves in some of those positions, once we hit $50 million. And some of those positions are probably not positions that are even like what they are doing today. So I want to move into this other position. I know that that happens when we hit a certain revenue level boy am I going to work my butt off to make sure that I'm doing what I can to see that we succeed as a company so that we can hit these levels so that I can grow into these other positions. I think it's it's there's like a pitfall just go you gotta go 234 levels deeper than just saying we're gonna grow. It's great. You got to show people what that means.

Scott Scully:

share everything. Yes, people want to trust the organization that they're working for or within. And if you are transparent, and you're sharing your plans, then they're more more willing to step outside of the box and wear multiple hats and just work super hard to get the job done.

Eric Watkins:

I think you hit on a good point there too, that vision is as good as it is real. So if I can't see it, if I can't feel it, you know, ask the deeper questions presented in a way where I exist in that state. One thing you said, Scott, when you stated the goals, it's not, we're shooting to hit $100 million, it's, we will hit 100 million and this is what it means for you. And then that person like you said, Jeff can visualize not only are they in that role learning these professional skills, but what's their life like? Right Are they are they working maybe a couple less hours making more money having more balanced buying that house they want taking the vacation they want like that is the painting the vision and I think that's that's something that you know, I think is driven all of us, right?

Jeff Winters:

Think about this of US workers who left their job in 2021

Scott Scully:

Here, here comes Here's he's gonna drag

Jeff Winters:

the stat man 63% cited no opportunity for advancement as a major or minor reason why 63% And by the way of that 63% I bet plenty of them left positions where there actually was opportunities for advancement, but the company never told them.

Scott Scully:

I agree.

Jeff Winters:

You must be sharing over and over and over again, what the next job and the next job and the job after that might be because you cannot leave people in this bucket that think there's no opportunity for career advancement, they're gonna leave,

Eric Watkins:

not to go all Inception on this, but it goes back to the point we made in the beginning, that if you're not growing, you're dying, right? And if you don't have a future for your people, they feel like they're die. They feel like they're just rotting on the vine. Right, just waiting for this biding their time. And that's not what that's not what makes it organization productive. And that that doesn't, that's not a desirable future for employees. I mean, I wouldn't want to work here. No, if there wasn't any opportunity, no, yeah, in how many we all want to grow, how many companies would be successful if they could just retain their talent over a 10 year period, right, there's so much talent and growth that is given up on in a lot of it, I think they just assume it's inevitable, versus, you know, trying to recreate that. So painting the vision, huge, huge. Now you had the vision to have the position they want to get into, but they don't have the skills. They've never done it before. The next key part of this is developing our people. How do you have consistent development within the organization? Jeff, why don't you you kick this one off for us.

Jeff Winters:

So I'm going to start with why you have consistent development. And the reason you have consistent development, yeah, there's going to be positions that open up as you're growing quickly, that you want people to develop into. But here is what all growth companies find, in addition to that people need to develop into the job they currently have, at twice the scale, people need to develop into the job they currently have at twice the scale. So if you're the VP of Customer Success, at a $10 million company, you're going to be the VP of success, potentially, at a $25 million company. And those friends is are two completely different jobs. Completely different VP of sales, the same thing, VP of sales and a million dollar company versus the VP of sales at $25 million company completely different jobs. So development is so critical. And if you're a person at a high growth company, if you're an individual contributor, or a manager or a leader of VP, you need to know that you need to be developing because you're about to be in a different job that you don't have to apply for one year later. One year later, you're in a different, completely different job that you didn't have to apply for. But you're being evaluated against, you're now being evaluated against the VP of sales at whatever revenue level company you're at. So the development, like why you need to develop Yes, there are going to be other jobs that you may want that will open up more quickly at a growth company. But the like the the cool, like there's a neat aspect of people developing knowing that they're going to be in a bigger job with the same title they have now, in a year.

Eric Watkins:

That's a great point.

Scott Scully:

You know, just commenting on that, you have to be as a business owner, okay, with everybody not, you know, along for the journey at every level, it just happens. There's somebody that's good being a VP of sales at 10 million, that just can't get there at 25. Of course, we're going to have the development in place to get them there. But not everybody's going to get there. And then that's when the difficult decisions come into play, because someone's been really loyal up to that point. But they just can't play that higher level role. And, you know, there's a lot of times where you can get them into another role where they're satisfied, and just as excited, but then there's times where there's ego that gets involved, and you can lose people and you got to try to have that happen is that, you know, not not frequent way. But you have to be okay if it does if you really want to continue to go north. And that's really hard. That's been one of our harder deals in just growing the way that we've grown.

Eric Watkins:

I think this brings this kind of loops us into a really important part, which is how we make decisions. And it's something we've initially, you know, recently really developed but making decisions as what's best for With a client company and the people, because when you get into that situation, and I'm managing Joey and Joey doesn't make it to the 25 million level versus the $10 million level, I don't make my decision off necessarily what's best for Joey, I make my decision on what's best for Joey, what's best for the company? What's best for our clients, and what's best for the 12 new hires that just walked into the class. And if Joey has been a part of this culture along the way, I'm Joey's a made up person, by the way. But if Joey Joey is a made up, thank you. Thank you for the clarification. It's on our T shirts. Looking at me like

Jeff Winters:

Joey. Yeah, so he's furious right now.

Eric Watkins:

But back to my point, before I was rudely interrupted by Jeff, if every step of the way, we have been reinforcing this growth culture, Joey understands. And we want to put Joey in a spot where his skills are best suited and to be successful. But I think, you know that that's a good point, you do also get to a point where, you know, there may be some years where you grow by 20%. And there's so many different individual contributors that we have to turn into leaders. And that initial step in development is such a big one. Like, what do you think are are some ways that we've been good about getting those initial leaders develop? Scott,

Scott Scully:

I think one of the thing, um, of course, we have litmus courses in place for different positions, we've got leadership training from our human resources department, we there's just a lot of things that we're making available for people best practices, and each in each area. But I think the thing that really positions people for success going forward is when they get into multiple positions, when they're, when they're playing different roles. And they're getting used to change. Like, just around our organization, people move desks, frequently, they go into different jobs. And along the way, over over, you know, we have people that have played eight to 10 roles in seven years. You know, when we do our vision meetings, we're always talking about the people that have just cycled in and out of those positions. That's actually where the biggest development comes from, in my in my opinion.

Jeff Winters:

If I could go back in time, and, and thoughtfully plan out my career, I would want to start my career at a company that churned out first time leaders, because that's the hardest job to get the hardest job to get, is I've never been a leader. And now I want to come to your company and manage people like Well, that's, that's, that's hard to do that. But as soon as you've done it once, then you can always be a leader. And so if I could go back in time, and for any people who are early on in their career, who are who are listening to this, figure out a way you can get yourself into leadership, because if you're working at a place where they churn out do an awesome job of minting first time leaders. That means a they're growing and B, they're good at B they're good at it. And to get people, Eric, just to answer your question to get people from individual contributor to first time leader, those first, those first time sort of generally, frontline leaders are so important to the business, they're so crucial to making sure that individual contributors and frontline staff are feeling good. They're making the clients feel good. They're making other people internally feel good. You have to pour into those people, those people need more development than you would think. Because most of the time folks that are managing first time leaders have been leaders for a long time. And they take a lot of the basics for granted basics, like how do you have difficult conversations with employees? How do you talk about compensation? How do you do reviews, like you have to train and practice and all that stuff. And I think as far as growth culture goes, if you're gonna have a lot of first time leaders, you got to make sure you have a training process, training processes and protocols for it. And and that's, I think, a big part of the success of the growth culture that we're talking about that's going on here. I

Scott Scully:

think somebody that has experience leading, has an easier time managing or leading a group of people where they haven't necessarily done that activity. I think the young leader you know, the people that we're putting into leadership positions because of our growth. Because they've, they've, they've been in that seat, or they've played multiple roles before they got into a leadership position. They have a better understanding of what those folks are doing and it makes it easier because they're not as tenured in leadership to have success. You know, the person that's been a leader for 10 years yours can probably come in and use those best practices and be a pretty good leader without knowing all the ins and outs of the people that they're leading. But if you're growing and you're in your building from within, the best thing that you could do is move them into different positions and do it frequently to give them an experience.

Eric Watkins:

I agree. And I think the one thing we do from a culture standpoint is we have a, we have a unified however it started, I don't think we really intentionally did it. But no one ever feels like they arrived, we have a constant development state where everyone wants to continue to get better and better. And it's okay to not be that good today, because you're going to continue to work at it and get better tomorrow. And we primarily promote from within probably 90%, I would say, if not more. And where we lack in experience, we make up in loyalty, and we make up in institutional knowledge. And those two things are hard to put a price on. So if you can develop internal leaders, they're worth the risk over the long haul, to develop some of those soft skills over time to be able to get into that spot.

Scott Scully:

You everything's easier with a talented person on the team, everything. process can sometimes fall down, just just a lot can go wrong. If the right person is in a seat, you get the right person and in a seat, if you've got an environment for growth, and if they can see the opportunity, then they come and they stay.

Jeff Winters:

And it's magnified by leaders to do anything. I mean, the to borrow to borrow was saying from Jocko willing no bad teams only bad leaders. Yeah, like, I wish I wish I had known that and subscribe to that earlier on in my career.

Scott Scully:

You know, it's, I'm glad that you said that. When I'm sitting with in our new hire classes, one thing that I do bring up, though, is and it's kind of shocks people, but I'll say, I have a request. And that is that when you go on your team, you're well aware of the fact that you may be part of the development of your manager. We're like, What the hell are you talking about? Like, well, you're all here for the growth we try to promote from within, that may mean that a leader gets there, maybe even sooner than they should. And if you're involved in something during the day, and you don't necessarily love it, or if you want a different kind of communication from your manager, have the courage to talk about it, bring it up, say hey, I know what you want. I know what you're trying to get out of this team. Here's what I would love when you're managing me. And I think that that's a big deal that people understand the kind of organization you're creating the fact that we're doing whatever we can to develop managers. But you're also going to ask them to be patient, as people are learning in and be part of their development, which is kind of a weird thing to think about that you're asking individual contributors to help develop managers, because one day, they'll be in that spot. And they would appreciate the same thing. I think that's a big part of growth culture.

Eric Watkins:

Sure. And that's a great lead in to the next one that we talked about, which is changes in the DNA, then being adaptable, being willing to go to a team with a new manager, someone who was recently promoted and to be able to adapt to any situation and ultimately be successful. It is 100%. Part of what we've done to be able to get here, I'm sure any company that's grown, you don't grow without change, it's stressful, it's hard, you're gonna get a lot of shit for it, that you change all the time. And you do this and you do that. And over time, you're gonna get better and better about how you do change. But unfortunately, the number one thing you got to establish up front is how do we have a culture where we not only are willing to handle change, but we're also able,

Jeff Winters:

I think this is so hard to do. But, in my opinion, the most probably the most important thing we're going to talk about today because if if you don't set up the company to understand, as you're growing, there's going to be huge changes, then everybody's going to be surprised and resist change. And when you're growing this quickly, the enemy is resistance to change. So we started our business eight and a half years ago, one of our values was embracing change, not like I'll deal with change not I'll put up with change. I'm going to embrace change. I want change because you know why we have changed because we're growing as companies go from a million dollars in revenue to 5 million to 10 million to 20 million shit breaks. If shit doesn't break, you're not growing and if you don't change when shit breaks, then you're not going to be Be able to accelerate to the next level of growth. The whole company needs to expect change, the whole company needs to want change. Because if you expect change and you want change, then you will deal with it better when it inevitably comes. Because if you're growing, it has to it absolutely must.

Scott Scully:

Yeah, I totally agree, you hear our more tenured team members talk about just how things have changed our process enhancements, things like that. They have to be playing on that field. But one of the things that I would encourage people out there to do, especially at a certain size, is to then start putting in change process. Because the weird thing is, they get so used to change. This is a thing, that then they just start changing everything. Right? Right. We're just laughing about this the other day, like, they are so good at dealing with it, that when they get into another position, even if things are pretty set and going well, you're going to want to put your stamp on it, you're going to want to change some things crazy, you're used to doing that along the way. So it's incredible that they're able to do that. But then at a certain point, you want to make sure that the process is in place. So that the right changes are made and it isn't changed for the sake of change. But it's changed for the sake of growth.

Eric Watkins:

How funny is it that there's a tipping point? It's like, everyone's resisting me when I'm trying to change. Everyone's resisting me. Wait, what happened? Everything's changing. Everybody's changing it. It's so funny.

Scott Scully:

By the way that was directed at me, Jeff

Jeff Winters:

dives wondering, I

Unknown:

am me, it's like Facebook,

Jeff Winters:

like the Facebook mantras, trying to look it up for us. And if they had move fast and break things, yeah. And then like, they broke so much shit that they had to like, change it to like, move fast and break things. I don't know the exact same but like, but be careful. You know, it's like, and that's that that's where you get to it's like, move fast and break stuff in the beginning for a while. But then it's like, okay, well, we've moved fast and broken a lot of shit. Like, let's not forget all this stuff. We move fast and broke before that we fixed it. Let's not break it again, I think is

Scott Scully:

there's a lot of shit coming out of my mouth that I've never said in my life before about consistency and slowing down changes. You talk about that, though? I think that's important. That's, that's what I'm bringing up here is that get your people ready, make sure that they're adaptable. And that they can change and wear multiple hats, but a certain stage at a certain size. Especially when all these incredibly talented people are causing so much to happen. You just have to develop a process over time where when you are changing, you have to go through the change process. And again, it's changed for growth, not change for the sake of change.

Jeff Winters:

But you have and you've said this to me, you have consciously slowed down. When you say like you were rolling 100 miles an hour new idea, let's do it. Let's Remi not irresponsibly. But you have like consciously made the decision to slow yourself down, right?

Scott Scully:

In certain areas. Absolutely. And I think it's because 12 or 13 years in, there's a of course mistakes, we made the land on something that really works. And if it's really working, we shouldn't change that thing. You know, the things that are you're changing are the things that aren't really working. Yeah, we're doing a lot of that as you're in the first few years. So I have I think you're right, I'm bringing up more often on a daily basis. I'm bringing up, I have more language, suggesting we shouldn't change that. As opposed to early on when it was we should change that. The fit? It's weird. It's weird growth for me, for sure. To

Jeff Winters:

improve is to change to perfect is to change often. It's not a stat but it is a quick look at you know Winston Churchill and most people don't change quickly enough early on in the business lifecycle as they try to achieve incredible growth. Like there's a tendency to wait as opposed to change. Do it. Figure it out, move quickly. In the beginning, especially.

Eric Watkins:

The only thing that kind of reminds me of that is from Elon Musk, not to out quote you but I'm made out quotes. It's a competition. He Well, you know, he said the number one mistake engineers make is creating efficiency on code that doesn't need to be there in the first place. And I think that's something when you're growing and you're creating you get addicted, it's changed addiction. It's a real thing like you, you get addicted to moving so Fast and seeing the impact of your change, all of a sudden you're making changes on changes where something underneath didn't need to be there. So slowing down and getting that perspective, I think has been much needed for us and it's had a huge impact

Jeff Winters:

that actually reminds me of the quote did he did he?

Scott Scully:

Did he tweet that

Eric Watkins:

he tweeted that he tweeted that? He's gonna be he's gonna

Jeff Winters:

actually mean a lot of a better quote that reminded me

Eric Watkins:

that actually, we're

Jeff Winters:

all right. No more quotes out quoted me. What a jerk.

Eric Watkins:

I'm sorry, man. I'm sorry. I still think your quote was better Winston Churchill. Great quote, very shows. You're a history buff.

Jeff Winters:

Now I well read. You got a quote, I got a quote. I got a quote. Like, what? Why is your?

Eric Watkins:

Alright, so check. We talked about change.

Scott Scully:

You want to stay out of your lane

Jeff Winters:

ass?

Eric Watkins:

No, I will get no stats, no quotes. No, I got a quote. But I will talk about

Scott Scully:

your gums a transition.

Jeff Winters:

Yeah, that's what you do. Transitions analogies,

Eric Watkins:

someone's got to keep this thing on task. People don't have three hours reminds

Jeff Winters:

me of a quote.

Eric Watkins:

Jeff's feelings are hurt. I don't know if we're going to be able to go on with the show. But I know there's a million people out there listening right now that want us to continue. So we're going to try our best. When you change frequently. And, and you have a growth culture internally, what often happens is the company and the clients take a backseat. Because we're talking about this growth internally, we've painted the vision for our people. And this is what it means for you. And this what it means for you. And we do believe in that treat your people, right? Ultimately, they'll treat your clients right, which will benefit the company. However, you got to keep the company top of mind. So Scott talks about the way we make decisions. And that process of evaluating people, clients and company, and not just neglecting, like all this growth is great. But if if clients don't say front of mind, it's it's not going to benefit us.

Scott Scully:

Yeah, I think we were doing this for a long time. But we just didn't necessarily formalize it. And we, you know, we just call it a growth decision making process. And every single thing that we're evaluating, we look at the three legs of the stool. And we've been talking a lot with our team members about that. You know, Scott, I want to get paid more? Of course you do. Right, we all do. Let's evaluate what that looks like, for your position is that, of course, it would be good for you. Let's look at the budget. Is it good for the company? Let's look at the client, can we offer the same price point to our clients, if we're giving you and others in your position, that same raise or where we'd like to add email marketing to our solution? And in order to do that it's going to take this software and these lists sources and these people? What is that going to do? To our price point? Can we offer the same price point have the same level of profitability to just anything that we're talking about? We look at is it good for the person? Is it good for the company? And is it good for the client, the client needs us to provide a really good service at a certain price point, the company needs to survive, so that we all have jobs. And then of course, the person needs to feel good, be compensated fairly, be able to see growth. So it's just been interesting. And I really think that people are starting to understand. Like, if they bring something up, if they're asking it, some of them are actually pausing and saying I know, I gotta look at it. What's it for me? What's it like for the company for the client. And it's making difficult discussions a little bit easier to have, because they are better at evaluating not just for themselves, but for the other two. I think it's been an important step.

Eric Watkins:

And I, I like to when I deal with these situations, Scott hit on it, people are already adopting this. And then they're also presenting their solutions with all three legs of the stool. So, you know, they already know that you went through that thought process and one easy way to do it is okay, if the client was sitting here in this room with us, what would they think about this? What would they think about this solution? What would they say? And developing that skill in your people as they continue to grow and in play different roles throughout the company? It just creates their awareness opens up and, you know, really benefits the organization?

Jeff Winters:

Yeah. When you have growing companies, you always hear about how are we going to scale sales? How are we going to scale accounting? How are we going to scale facilities get more space? If you don't hear enough of how are we going to scale decision making, because scaling decision making is probably the most important thing, you need to figure out how to scale. Because if you're growing quickly, that means you have a lot of people making a lot of decisions all the time. And the faster you grow, the more people you get. And the more people you get the less involved in day to day decisions. We as entrepreneurs, and CEOs and presidents, as leader and leaders, are going to be so the best gift you can give to decision makers throughout your organization is a framework and this framework of okay, we're going to evaluate every single decision we make against the individual people at our business, against the client's interests and against the company's interests. It sounds so simple, but it is so powerful to give individuals in your business, the autonomy to make decisions, but to do so in a way that is consistent throughout the organization. And that's using this decision making framework. I think it's been a game changer.

Eric Watkins:

Yeah, I agree. The so we've gone through, you know, a lot of different points of the growth culture and some people out there might be thinking, well, this is boring, this is boring. Like this. I don't want to work that sounds really hard. I know, I have to work really hard. I know I have some vision. But man, the last point is super important. And you know, Jeff said, the third one was the most important, but you could argue that this one is as well. It better be fun, better be a lot of fun. It better be a lot of fun. And you know, we live by the work hard play hard mentality. We've done it ever since we started it's what actually brought me to abstract. It's been a part of both of our cultures. You know, what are some ways that we keep it keep it fun to work here, Scott,

Scott Scully:

we do about five times more probably of this type of stuff than the typical organization. But I think that that, that this is one of the biggest reasons other than the things we mentioned that someone might leave and then actually come back, like, oh my god, most, you know, especially the ones right out of college. It's like wait a minute, it's not usually this much fun at work. Right there. They're swinging back to abstract but everything from you know the gear that you're wearing, right right now, Eric and the fact that we have a store on site and people can go in and buy sweatshirts and T shirts and hats and just feel like they're they're part of the team that way. I think people miss wearing uniforms from high school or those people like Eric that made it to college. Eric had a college uniform. I did if we didn't. gongs, gongs going off when sales are happening, just the celebrations of people trophies getting handed out when they're aligning with work that aligns with our values, the monthly themes that we have in the fun, there's a long putt challenge that's happening. I think tomorrow at lunch that goes with our golf theme that is going on right now during the summer sales contests are put into that we've had a Ferrari for the top sales person and if you're on top and revenue, at the end of the week, you get to drive the Ferrari. You know, there's our company meetings are fun, the things we do with drinks and food. And there's just always something going on to to be able to take a break from all of this, really, it's super important work, but it's really hard work. So that we want to work really hard, but we play hard as well, our Christmas parties, our picnics, you know it could go on and on about all of the different things that people have developed to make sure that the folks are letting off steam as well.

Jeff Winters:

I have a hard time being fun at work, because you drill

Eric Watkins:

so I don't know how our time is working.

Jeff Winters:

I know no it's not that I'm not fun person but like and I think people will relate to this but we

Scott Scully:

never call rose wife is Jeff actually is John actually

Jeff Winters:

she she did have an expectation. She she expected me to be an average father and below average friend,

Unknown:

but she never expected me. Oh, you're great.

Jeff Winters:

I love Charlie and well and the other one. He's the youngest. I don't know him that well. It's when you're at a growth company. You're always looking at the next goal. The next number when you're at a growth company, you're setting goals so high. Sometimes you miss them and you're still doing great when you're at a growth company. There's always something you can find that's wrong, or that could be better. And like for me, I just I know myself like I have to literally force myself to be like okay, we are going celebrate this thing that happened, because that is not. I keep doing this for long enough like you trick your mind into being like, okay, just stay in it like go to the next thing. What's the next thing? What's the next thing what you have to stop, or at least for me and maybe others out there, think I'm a psychopath or maybe some people relate, I have to literally stop and go, Wait a minute. This is great, what happened here, we need to celebrate this, we need to do fun things, people really like it. I have to force it. And there might be people out there who relate to that. You don't relate to that?

Eric Watkins:

I relate to it. Thank you, Scott relates to it, as well. And I think, luckily for us, we have people on our team who don't relate to it and keep us in check and make sure we're celebrating the more important things and recognition is the gas that fuels the growth engine. So if you there is no such thing as too much recognition. 100% believe in that, that is something that we do really well here. We company meetings, Vision meetings. I mean, we are constantly pointing out who's doing an incredible job who's going above and beyond for their clients. And I think we could do even better about it. We were talking about it. In our map meeting today. If you haven't heard that one, that's a little plug for the map episode, a map meeting with Scott, we were talking about recognition today. And I think that's where you find yourself in a growth company where you're talking about recognition for a substantial part of your meetings, it's that important.

Scott Scully:

You know, I feel like I've learned a lot about that, in being a parent growing up. There just wasn't as much of that, right? It was just an expectation, do your job. I don't have to tell you what's going on. I don't always have to. I'm not saying that people are expecting this all the time. But it's just like, you feel what you feel this is the job, here's what you're supposed to do, do it. That's kind of the way that it was. And honestly, that was kind of how parenting was. You're a kid and I'm an adult. That's what I want you to do. So do it. There wasn't any reasoning or discussion about it. But that's not how kids are growing up today. And and they want to understand what's going on. And if you tell them, No, they want to know why. And I've found in my parenting that if I spend more time recognizing my kids for the things that they're doing, right, that they drop their guard, and they're more apt to work on the things that maybe aren't going so well. But if I'm just picking on the things that aren't going well, I don't listen at all, I can't get through to him. So things that I'm trying at home, and sometimes not super successful. But getting a little better as I as I go. You bring them here and it works, right? Every time we're pouring into people, when we're doing that, and recognizing the super important work that they're doing. People feel good. And then they're working even harder, I think to be successful for the clients.

Jeff Winters:

The other cool thing about the frequent, and I'll say bad public acknowledgement is that it creates leverage for us as leaders, if we as leaders publicly acknowledge someone for doing something, then the whole, anybody who's reading that knows that that behavior is acknowledged and celebrated. And I should do that. That's good point. And so it's so critical, not only for the individual, because you're right, Scott, we have to continue to give positive reinforcement, because at a growth company, you're gonna get a lot of critical feedback, too, which is good when they're learning, like that's part of it. But also you can tell people in a way where you're not shouting at them, or in a way that is not obvious that hey, this is the behavior we want here. This is the behavior that celebrated here. This is the behavior that we expect of our people and good on this person and will be good on you when you exhibit similar behavior do similar things.

Eric Watkins:

Sure. And common sense of the day, it needs to be genuine. This isn't a forest manipulative effect. This is genuine feedback with as much detail as possible. So anyone that's not or that seeing that shout out can know what they need to do to replicate that to get the encouragement themselves.

Scott Scully:

I think that it's super important to get people. There's no way that if you're listening out there, you're not thinking about this. That's something extra for the I've got so many things going on. I really should go over and kneel down next to sue and tell her she's doing an incredible job. I'll do that tomorrow. Next day, you know, maybe by Friday, and that was actually the most important thing that that you could have done. Maybe Sue has gone by Thursday, like, you just never know, someone's got to understand the importance of the work and how much you appreciate them. And that should be the first thing that you do. Not one of the things that you might get to. And we've seen the benefit of that when we're doing a good job. And we've honestly seen the the other side of that if we're not celebrating people the way that we should,

Eric Watkins:

one of our rock stars here, and I won't say her name, just in case she doesn't want me to as it is Sue. Sue left already

Jeff Winters:

because God, Sue's gone. Joey's still here, Joe is

Eric Watkins:

Joe is on the way

Scott Scully:

up. Hopefully Joe is not a bad salesperson,

Eric Watkins:

the air that episode. Rockstar here has a folder, an email folder, filled with every positive email she's ever received. And in times of stress, or doubt, or whatever it may be, she goes to that folder, and she remembers all of the wins. So I think you just you just never know. And Scott, you've said things to me over. And I wouldn't consider myself that needs like constant encouragement. But just over the years, there's been little things here and there that just stick with you. And I think that's you just never know how important it is to people,

Scott Scully:

I say, I've saved some messages from people, you know, you'll get messages every once in a while, like this place has impacted me or my life has changed. And I've just saved those because it's why you're doing it's why it's why you get up every morning. So it feels good for for all of us.

Jeff Winters:

That is the best part of it. That's the rule, that's the best part of the growth culture is you're gonna look back and realize that, you know, in 30 years, somebody is gonna come up to you and go, Hey, I was a VP at your company. And I was four years out of school and I busted my button. My life trajectory is totally different. Because I was at your company that grew that fast, and gave me the opportunities that I had at that, at that age or at that point in my career. And now I am who I am. And I'm doing what I love to do, or whenever they have achieved that that's by far the best part of this whole thing. Yeah. And

Eric Watkins:

that when it gets tough, and when you're having the critical conversations, and when you're constantly trying to get people to improve and reach a new level. I think that's what what you need to keep in mind. You don't want to have somebody come up with you and 20 years and say, You know what, I had so much fun playing on my phone all day, when I was working for you back abstract. I can't tell you how much how little work I did and how, what few things I learned from you, thank you so much. No, you want the person to even to the point where hey, you were a little tough on me at times. But when I look back, I would not be in the spot I am today for myself or my family, whatever it may be. Without that growth culture,

Scott Scully:

people having looking back and making sure that it was an important part of their journey or recognizing that it was an important part of their journey. That's what you want, give people the gift of high expectations.

Jeff Winters:

And the cool thing about this growth culture is if you're if you got your head down, and you've got a great attitude, and you're in alignment with the values and you're delivering, you don't even know what opportunities could come your way. Like there's stuff that pops up at companies growing fast that, you know, we say we want to map it out. And that's great. But like at some point, if you have some explosive growth, there's stuff that nobody could predict or a new division or an acquisition that you could go be a part of, or run a piece of. Like if you that's the thing about the cool thing about growth companies, you might you might think you're in a particular area or a particular department, but if you are in alignment with the values, you got the right attitude, and you're delivering, forget it,

Eric Watkins:

how many people

Scott Scully:

got ownership, I literally started at the bottom really grew to the top and the first company like entry level position, just sales to sales management to President to 30% owner, because it was a fast paced growth company and because the people that I was eventually partners with the fact that they went and started other companies and went into those and started running those and I was left, you know, running the the the initial one that they had started, like that happens. That's why I'm here. And it's already happened a couple of times here with with people so it's

Eric Watkins:

well and how many people I can think of almost like 10 Off the top of my head where people said, You know what I want to do this position that wasn't created. We said, Okay, do this and this will give you that position. Like if we felt like it would bring value to the organization and, you know, they create something new and it's just where else you get you're not going to do that at a company that's not growing, right or, or is so big that the structure is so defined, there's you know, there's just not that opportunity, right And so we're gonna leave everybody with some a player action items every single week. To recap, the five most important things you can do to establish a growth culture within your organization is first number one, paint the vision, paint the vision for the company and the employees really map this out, make it real, how can they feel it and visualize it. Number two, changes in the DNA growth and change are synonymous, it's going to happen if you're going to grow you're going to change so making sure that you have a whole entire company that is willing and able to adapt to change. And then hold on when you get to a certain point you need to slow that change down a little bit and fix how you're doing it. Number three,

Scott Scully:

again, staring directly at did I stare did I stare Scott was personal. This is he's really getting personal today.

Eric Watkins:

Number three, three, develop your people. The easiest way to do it, I would say is promoting from within. And I don't know if easiest is the right word. I think the most motivating to your employees is to do it from promoting within. However, in order to do that, you're really going to have to pour in from a development standpoint to make sure they're ready to go. Number for clients and company. It's easy to lose sight and a growth culture of people are growing, people are growing, people are growing, make sure you're doing the right things for your business and for your clients. And do that by establishing this is the process we're going to make decisions and how we're gonna make decisions. And then the last but not least, it needs to be fun. You need to create a fun environment. And on that note, always be growing.

Jeff Winters:

Always be growing.

Eric Watkins:

Thanks for listening to the growth show. Leave us a review and let us know how we're doing or if there's a topic you'd like us to cover in the future.

Unknown:

The grow show is sponsored by abstract marketing group whose outsourced sales and marketing services provide you with everything you need to close consistent business for less than the cost of a full time employee sapper consulting. Let us schedule your sales appointments so you don't have to abstract cloud solutions leveraging the power of the Salesforce platform to solve complex business problems with straightforward solutions.

Jeff Winters:

I feel like I gave people the wrong impression about my fondness um, fun.

Eric Watkins:

More fun than me.

Scott Scully:

I've seen you be fun once

Jeff Winters:

not fun often, but I have been fun previously.

Eric Watkins:

Funny. Yeah.

Jeff Winters:

minds we have another quote