Ep14: Optimize your leadership growth using the triangle of trusted advisors with Jonathan B Smith

Do you sometimes feel stuck or frustrated with your own and your business or team’s growth? Lots of leaders experience this, which is why they need a triangle of trusted advisors, says entrepreneur, author, and EOS Implementer Jonathan B Smith. I chatted with Jonathan about who exactly these three trusted advisors are and how everyone listening needs them. Jonathan shared very practical and actionable advice about how to scale this idea to any situation and budget, and how his new book, Optimize for Growth, can help you assess where to start and how to proceed. We also discussed the most common mistake leaders make and ways to avoid it, and Jonathan’s takeaway tip that you need to implement right away, at your very next meeting, to make a significant positive impact on your effectiveness.

What you will learn:

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  • Why lots of leaders get stuck and how Jonathan helps them break through their impasse with this simple model
  • What is the triangle of trusted advisors and why every person needs one
  • How you can execute on this suggestion regardless of your position or budget
  • What’s the most common mistake leaders make in managing teams and what Jonathan suggests they do to avoid that mistake
  • Why people are so afraid of difficult performance conversations and how to fix the common and highly flawed performance management systems that exacerbate that problem
  • Jonathan’s formula for assessing role fit and for performance feedback conversations
  • Why Jonathan is excited about his new way of helping clients do talent acquisition and how the process works
  • Jonathan’s action tip that you can, and should, implement right away – and at your very next meeting – to become more present and more effective
  • Halelly’s rubber chicken trick and why it worked but also backfired
  • And more!

About Jonathan B Smith, The Scale Up Expert

Jonathan B. Smith “ChiefOptimizer” is an entrepreneur, High Growth Business Strategist, and Certified Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) Implementer. He is Founder and CEO of ChiefOptimizer and former COO of an Inc. 500 company. Jonathan is an expert in working with entrepreneurs who are “stuck” and need help in scaling, getting market traction, or resolving global operation problems. Jonathan’s WHY is to Contribute to a Greater Cause, Have an Impact, Add Value. Jonathan’s true passion is helping growth oriented entrepreneurs build high performance leadership team and produce “Real . . . Simple . . . Results.”

A Track Record of Growth

Jonathan started his career on Wall Street at JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank. While at JP Morgan, he was tapped to develop a Performance Dashboard for the company. By the time he was 27, Jonathan left the world of finance to become an entrepreneur. His first endeavor into the entrepreneur space was to create a “paid for click” advertising company. Jonathan became an early adopter of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which led him to be known as “ChiefOptimizer.” As a result of his success in this field, he consulted for Google on helping them solve SEO issues around Google Ad Words.

His next venture led him to become the Chief Operations Officer for Wave Dispersion Technologies. Leveraging his expertise from his first endeavor, Jonathan helped grow Wave Dispersion Technologies from $500,000 to $15 million in revenues over the course of 5 years. This resulted in the company being ranked number 203 on the 2007 Inc. 500 list. As COO, he also developed business relationships around the globe and oversaw operations in the Middle East.

A Passion for Entrepreneurship

Jonathan’s interests have always focused on promoting entrepreneurship around the world, mentoring other entrepreneurs, as well as lending his expertise to non-profit organizations. He has served as an Ambassador for Entrepreneurship for the U.S. Department of State. He currently serves as an Advisory Board Member of Wave Dispersion Technologies, Inc. and is a former Advisory Board Member of RideScout, sold to a subsidiary of Daimler in September 2014. He is also an Outreach Volunteer for Leader Dogs for the Blind. Jonathan also received the National Man of the Year Award from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for raising the most funds in his community.

Jonathan is an alumnus of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and Inc. Business Owners Council, a disciple of the Strategic Coach’s Dan Sullivan. He graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA from the College of Social Studies (CSS), a multidisciplinary major focusing on History, Government, Political and Social Theory, and Economics, and earned a MS in Professional Accounting from the University of Hartford. In his spare time, you can find Jonathan flying, sailing, spending time with his family and hanging out with his dogs, Hero and Muchi. He lives in New York City.


I was excited to get my copy of Optimize for growth - go get a copy too!

I was excited to get my copy of Optimize for growth - go get a copy too!

Jonathan’s company website, www.chiefoptimizer.com

Jonathan’s book, Optimize for Growth: How to scale up your business, your network and you

Jonathan’s blog, and the specific post Halelly mentions

Connect with Jonathan on Twitter, LinkedIn

Jonathan mentions some examples for peer advisory groups: EO, YPO, and Vistage. He also mentions SCORE as a resource for free mentoring/coaching from retired execs. Halelly mentions that the idea for Master Mind groups was mentioned all the way back in Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. Here’s a good overview of the concept in Forbes.

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Announcer: Welcome to the TalentGrow Show, where you can get actionable results-oriented insight and advice on how to take your leadership, communication and people skills to the next level and become the kind of leader people want to follow. And now, your host and leadership development strategist, Halelly Azulay.

Halelly: Welcome back to the TalentGrow Show. I’m Halelly Azulay, your leadership development strategist and this week’s episode features my friend and colleague Jonathan B. Smith. He’s an entrepreneur, authored, certified EOS implementer and founder and CEO of Chief Optimizer, where he helps entrepreneurs scale up beyond startup. But this episode is not just for entrepreneurs. This episode is for everyone, because Jonathan shares a really wise idea that he describes in his writing and his book about the triangle of trusted advisors. He talks about who those three trusted advisors are, and how every single one of us not only needs them, but can totally afford them. Because there are a lot of ways to scale this to whoever you are, wherever you are in life. I think that you’re going to really enjoy that idea. We also talk about his book. In the podcast episode itself, when we recorded we were talking about how the book is forthcoming, but I’m excited to tell you I have a copy in my hand. It’s on Amazon. It’s an eBook but also a softcover book called Optimize for Growth, and you should definitely go get yourself a copy. Jonathan helps people get more control over their business and life, and I think that you’re going to learn so much from him because he shares really actionable tips. So check out this episode. Thanks for tuning in, and as always, go and leave me comments so I can make the next episode exactly what you want it to be. Thanks.

Hi everyone, and welcome back. This is Halelly Azulay, and this is the TalentGrow Show. This time I am very pleased to present my guest Jonathan B. Smith. This is a guy I am really happy to introduce you to. He’s an entrepreneur, an author, and a certified EOS implementer, which I think that you’ll learn maybe a little bit more about what that means. It’s a system for entrepreneurs to stay on top of their stuff. Jonathan is the founder and CEO of Chief Optimizer, where he helps entrepreneurs scale up beyond startup. And in his very impressive resume, you will also learn that he formerly was the Chief Operating Officer of an Inc. 500 company and helped scale that business from $500,000 to $15 million in five years. I am very impressed by that. I met Jonathan through a mutual colleague of ours, who suggested that I speak with Jonathan and I’m really pleased that she did. And Jonathan and I have actually shared a few conversations about running an entrepreneurial business and leadership, and I wanted to make sure that you got a chance to learn a lot about leadership from Jonathan. Jonathan, thank you so much for joining me on the TalentGrow Show and welcome.

Jonathan: Thanks for having me. Glad to be here.

Halelly: Great. One of the things that I want to make sure we do before we get into the meat of the conversation is for people to get a sense of your professional journey and it’s always very hard to put it into a brief format, because you’ve done so much, but if you could encapsulate where you’ve been, how you got to where you are today in just a couple of short minutes, I think that would be really valuable.

Jonathan: So when I came out of school, I thought I was going to be an entrepreneur, and my dad managed to go bankrupt. So, not knowing what I should do, I went and got a degree in accounting. I actually have an undergraduate degree in liberal arts, and I have a Master’s degree in accounting and a liberal arts degree undergraduate, so I can use both sides of my brain. Worked at Arthur Anderson as an account for a couple of years, realized that’s not what I wanted to do. Worked on Wall Street for a couple years, and then transitioned to my entrepreneurial journey. Built a web development firm and saw that get crushed in 2001 with the dot-com crash. Learned search engine optimization by hand, because more people were calling for search engine optimization in 2001 than they were calling for web development. Ultimately used those skills to create my 500 business called Whisper Wave. And a couple years ago I transitioned to becoming an EOS implementer. At this point I’m helping other entrepreneurs get what they want from their business, to scale up beyond startup. So I don’t tend to work with startups. I tend to work with scale-ups, who are businesses from about $2-15 million, with 10-200 employees that are growth oriented, open-minded, appreciative, respectful and frustrated and want some help to break through the ceiling and get to the next level.

Halelly: Very cool. And it’s really nice to hear, I know that you are very clear about who you want to work with, and the way that you describe it is really easy to understand. From a marketing perspective – I am not an expert of marketing, but I am a student of marketing – and so that I think is extremely valuable for people to kind of know if they fit the description or not. Recently, I follow what you put out through LinkedIn and through your blog, you publish and share a lot of knowledge, and one recent blog post that you wrote was really interesting about how every CEO really needs to have a triangle of trusted advisors. And so most of the people that listen to this podcast, I don’t think, are CEOs. Although maybe they are entrepreneurs. They’re usually going to be people who are in a leadership position within an organization, or that are aspiring to become leaders, and want to take their leadership skills up to the next level. And I think that a lot of what you wrote in that blog actually applies to any leader in any profession. I would love for you to share a little bit about that with folks, the three trusted advisors, and maybe help connect that to people in leadership positions everywhere.

Jonathan: Sure. So, in working with over 50 entrepreneurial businesses, what I’ve found is the best businesses I work for, he best CEOs I work with, they have three different types of advisors. They have a coach or a mentor to help them with their personal issues. Just help them become better versions of themselves. Someone who has actually walked in their shoes before them and can actually share the experiences and the mistakes and the opportunities for growth, without having to share that level of basically … they don’t necessarily want to share that with their team but they can share this with that coach. They can have a trusted relationship there.

The second thing I’ve seen is peer advisory. So peer advisory in my mind could be a group like EL or YPO or Vistage. Those are groups where you sit down with eight to 16 people a month and talk about basically you have a trusted board of advisors who are generally in non-competing businesses or non-competing geographies, and they actually are able to share their experiences with you, as you go through the process. But what I’ve also seen is that within organizations, for example if you’re a general manager of an operation within – and there’s a bunch of folks who run offices across the country – there’s a great opportunity to share the wisdom that you’ve found or share your experience. So any kind of peer group, where you’re sitting with peers and you can help each other get to the next level, I’ve found that to be really helpful.

And the third thing is an operating system. So, if you have a coach who is helping you personally and you have a peer group that’s helping you network and come up with new ideas, you have to have some way of onboarding those ideas with your team. So I call that an operating system. It’s a means of executing on the strategy you’ve created. If you just come back from your peer group and you just tell your team, “Gee, we should try this new thing,” the team often will push back and say, “We have so much already going on. We don’t want to hear anything new.” An operating system allows you to basically compartmentalize and prioritize those new ideas and actually figure out how to execute on the two of 20 that are great ideas that are going to move business forward. So that’s what I call my triangle of trusted advisors.

Halelly: And that’s really, it seems to me, like every person just actually needs to have that, right? I mean, you don’t have to pay an executive coach. You can find a mentor that will work with you without any charge. You don’t have to pay $1,000 a month or whatever some of those organizations cost. You can find some kind of a mastermind group, a peer group, that is people who match you and volunteer to meet with each other once a month. And certainly, creating some kind of a system to help operationalize your ideas and your strategies is something that pretty much anyone can incorporate. So, those are such, I think those are such good ideas. And I find that – including myself – most people don’t really have all three in place, if any, right? They just sort of do their best, but they kind of go with the flow and maybe improvise through life and through their challenges of leadership. Do you find that to be the case?

Jonathan: I find that they almost fall into success or failure. They just fall into it. So, interestingly, some of the highest performing executives that I know have a coach or a mentor. So like for example, the Small Business Administration has a program called Score that retired executives help coach other businesses through. And when you say you don’t have to pay a coach, it’s true. You don’t have to pay a coach, you just have to find someone who cares enough about you that you can have a confidential conversation about some of those demons you’re dealing with in your head and you think you’re the only one and the reality is there’s lots of other people who are fighting that battle too. And in terms of the peer network, it even works in terms of like small groups at church are a form of a peer network. Or a Meet-up group that you just find online is a form of a peer network. The peer network itself just needs to be small enough that you can get to know each of the people in the group and you can trust them, so that you can share at a more intimate level than you would in a larger group.

Halelly: And not to put you on the spot, but was it Dale Carnegie that wrote this, or it was in the How to Win Friends and Influence People … no, no.

Jonathan: Yeah, that was Dale Carnegie.

Halelly: Or Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow? Which one of those, I think one of the classic books suggests that you have some kind of a mastermind or a peer advisory group, going back like, what, 100 years? Such an important concept.

Jonathan: This is not a new idea. This is just an idea of how to organize it in a different way and how to think of it a little bit differently. So all the sudden that conversation you’re having with your coach from football or your father or someone you just have trust in the world, that could be your mentor/coach relationship. And it’s just a matter of reframing how you think it and being disciplined about putting those pieces in place. And one of the things I say is it’s a continuum. You don’t necessarily start with a coach and then go to a peer group and then go to an operating system. It happens somewhere. I’ve had clients who’ve started in each area, and the idea is that we just want to strengthen all three, and that’s actually how you can break through the ceiling.

Halelly: And you’ve seen some amazing results with some of your clients, right? Once they implement a system like this, with your help, it really just completely takes their business to a new level.

Jonathan: That’s the goal. My goal is to basically put my clients in more control of their business and their lives, and secondly increase the value of the business. So I have had a number of very significant financial exits and I’ve actually also seen clients where husband and wife are getting along better and family members are getting along better. People decide to leave and choose a different path, but that new path actually works better for them instead of struggling in an untenable situation, so I’ve just seen amazing growth on the parts of my clients.

Halelly: Such important work. And I know that you’ve recently put it all together, or a lot of what you have into an eBook that is coming out very soon, or maybe it will probably be out already by the time that this podcast hits the airwaves, right? Calling it Optimize for Growth: How to Scale up your Business, Your Network and You. So tell me more about the book. I’m so excited about it. Who is it for, what is it about and what problem does it help the reader solve?

Jonathan: Well, it was originally written for my target market client, the one I described earlier, which is a high-growth business, growth-oriented business, 10 to 250 employees, $2-15 million in revenues, but like every entrepreneurial venture, you never really know who the audience is until you publish the book. So as you and I, for example, today started having this conversation and your market is not necessarily entrepreneurial CEOs, but the book still works for an executive in a corporate environment who is looking to scale themselves up with a coach and a peer group and an operating system to execute. So it’ll be interesting to see how it evolves. Originally it was written for my target market, but we’ll see what happens.

Halelly: Very cool. And so how is the book organized, or what do you think is the main way that it’ll help people?

Jonathan: The way it’s organized is first and foremost, it just talks about the general problems that people have in terms of hitting the ceiling. The fact that you’re having people problems. How do you deal with all of those people issues and decide who is the right person in the right seat? It talks about profitability. There just doesn’t seem to be enough. What do we do about that? Systems. We can’t get people to follow a system. Why won’t they follow the systems? We’ve tried lots of stuff and there doesn’t seem to be a silver bullet – why is it not working? And you’re just so frustrated and looking for a solution. So it’s really written around that concept, and then saying, “Hey, there’s actually these three pillars that can actually help you.” So I’ve actually had clients where I’m involved with entrepreneurial operating system with them and I’m saying, “You really need a peer group. You keep calling me with these issues and at some point I come to a point where I don’t have enough experience in that area to help you. Go get a peer group of 16 other entrepreneurial executives and they will help you. They’ve been through something similar.” Or I say, “You personally need some growth in this area. I really think you should have a coach and they can help you get there.” So it’s built around those three pillars and then it basically has an assessment in it to basically say how strong are you in each of those pillars and based on that assessment you can actually make some decisions about what area you may want to improve first. Because isn’t life all about prioritization and limited amount of resources and energy and then figuring out where you can get the greatest gain and the least amount of effort? So that’s why I put the assessment together.

Halelly: Oh good. Well, I think people will love, generally people love assessments, but that’s very helpful because it is sometimes really overwhelming. So you know that you need help and all of the things sound like, “Yes, I need help with that and I need help with that,” and so you don’t know where to start and if it feels really too much then sometimes people get into paralysis and they do nothing. So I think you’re right on for putting that in there and helping people kind of prioritize and start somewhere instead of trying to do everything.

Jonathan: Just do something. That’s usually what I say. Something!

Halelly: That’s true. Oh, so helpful. Well, when you meet with a lot of these leaders of fast, explosive growth companies, I know that as you just said, they have people problems. And of course that’s something that is near and dear to my heart – not problems, but people – and a lot of the time that I spend with my clients and in organizations and on the podcasts and on my blogs is trying to help leaders deal with the people side of the house. How do they optimize their teams and how to make sure that their teams are productive and motivated and effective and in your system, I know that having the right people and the right seat on the bus and having the right team and managing it is something that you definitely pay a lot of attention to. Are there really common mistakes, maybe one, two or three mistakes, that you find that leaders are making in their approach to running a productive and effective team? And what do you suggest that they do with those mistakes? What typically works?

Jonathan: What I see is that leaders often kick the can down the road with their most challenging people. So they’d rather ignore the issue than actually get to the heart of it and have the difficult conversations. So what I find is that I have this saying, I’m like, “So are we going to deal with this person this quarter, next quarter, or the quarter after? Because we’re going to eventually deal with this. We’ve now spent how many times talking about this person and the fact that you can’t get them to do what you ask them to do?” So I see it time and time again, basically avoidance or the ostrich syndrome. Let’s just ignore it and hope it gets better.

Halelly: Definitely. And that is so common. Why are people so afraid of it?

Jonathan: I think a lot of people are afraid of confrontation, and they don’t have a structured way to have the conversation. And they don’t have a structured way to measure people. I often find that the performance review process is highly, highly flawed. Because it happens once a year and we haven’t necessarily set people’s expectations going on during the course of the year and had those conversations, so one of the things we do in the office is we have quarterly conversations. And we have quarterly conversations and we are very clear during those conversations – here are our core values, here’s what this company exudes, it’s how we hire, it’s how we fire, it’s how we promote and how we report. And here’s how we feel you’re doing relative to those core values. What does that mean? We’re saying when you come in the office, are you fully engaged? Are you good with the clients, etc.? So what’s the core values that we call right people? What did we expect you to do this quarter, like what are your goals? We call those rocks for the quarter. How did you do on your rocks and your performance? We’re going to hold you accountable to it and hopefully you’re going to achieve what we set out to do. And the last piece is what’s your role? We’ll get real clear on what your role is – here are the five things you have, as opposed to a lengthy job description that’s three pages long and we’re never quite sure if you get all of them or if we go through 100 item checklist, we can check the list but the reality is no human being can actually deal with a hundred checklist items and make sure they’re done on a day-to-day basis.

So what we actually do is break it down to what we call get it, want it, have the capacity. That’s how we figure out if people are in the right seat. Do they get it? Does all the fiber and all the DNA in their bodies get what it takes to do that job? They either do or they don't, and if they don’t, it’s okay, they just need to be in a different role. Do they want it? Are they willing to do what it takes to win? Do they have the capacity? Are they trained, do they have the time, do they have the emotional capacity to do the particular job they’re in? Get it has to be yes, want it has to be yes, and capacity can be yes or no. If it’s no, we have to be willing to put the time in to in fact train them to that capacity. So, we do that quarterly, and then by the time we get to the annual review, no one is surprised. Everyone knows where they stand. So that’s what I found with people and if you structure the conversation that way, it makes it a lot easier. It’s a program decision, it’s clear how it’s going to happen, as opposed to, “Oh, gosh, we have that difficult conversation and I’m not sure how to start it.”

Halelly: Yeah. Oh, and I can’t agree with you more about the way that many companies are doing performance management is just so ineffective and if you do wait for that annual surprise conversation, both sides are dreading it, both sides hate every minute of it, and it doesn’t have the intended effect at all. So I agree with you and kudos to you for creating that kind of structure. I think that’s something that probably helps your clients a ton and I think that the listeners here can really implement a lot of insights from that. So thank you for sharing it. And, so I know that working on a book is a very big deal, having done it a couple of times, and so congratulations for being one of those people who actually wrote a book instead of wanted to write a book. That puts you in probably the top five percent or the top one percent. And now that that’s behind you, I imagine that you’ll be launching into book marketing mode. But aside from that, what is new and exciting for you? What’s on your horizon – a new project or new research or anything that you are really excited about right now?

Jonathan: So I’m certainly excited about the book, but the book is almost done, so I need something else to wrap my head around. One of the things that I’m pretty excited about and I’ve seen consistently an issue with my clients is talent management. So the topic is, is the war for talent slowing your growth? And actually helping my clients figure out what the model is to do talent acquisition. Because what tends to happen, I see in my leadership teams, is, “Oh, we need to go hire this person. Let’s take this really successful salesperson and we’re going to make them spend their time going to find the right person for that job.” And the reality is I put a process in place for how to deal with that talent acquisition, which goes from marketing the job to doing the phone, the screening the resumes to doing the phone screen to having interviews to onboarding that person and what we’ve found is the biggest limitation in the process is how our clients define what they want in potential candidates. Because the recruiters I’ve talked to have said, “We’ll bring the people based on the profile you gave us,” and then you start interviewing people and you start changing the profile -- which extends the amount of time it takes to get to people. So I’m working on that and kind of excited about is the war for talent slowing your growth?

Halelly: Wow. So that’s a little bit of a new area of expertise for you, a little bit … it’s obviously related to what you’ve been doing, but it takes a deeper dive into this one aspect. And I think that a lot of companies really do struggle with this, how to get the right people. That should be very helpful. So kudos and I look forward to hearing more about that. So one last thing before I ask you to share how folks can keep in touch with you, I really try to make sure every one of my guests shares at the end of the podcast conversation is a specific action that you can recommend that listeners can take today or tomorrow or this week that they can do, something they can do that will upgrade their leadership skills. Based on your expertise, and your experience, what do you think is one actionable takeaway that people can implement?

Jonathan: So I feel that in the world of constant interruption, taking the opportunity to enjoy the silence is really important. So the idea of … it comes in a couple different ways. One is take a clarity break – go for a walk at lunch, go for a bike ride on the weekend, you know, take vacation. Take the time to go away so that you can just give yourself a little bit of space. And in conjunction with that, turn your cell phones off when you’re in a meeting. Put it away and be present when you’re in that meeting. And the people who work with you will be most grateful. I can’t believe when I’m in corporate America now, you’re sitting there and everyone is on an email while someone else is talking – it’s the ultimate, “I don’t really care what you’re saying, I just have to be in this meeting.” Do you want to be a great leader? You need to be present. So that would be my thoughts.

Halelly: Oh my God, it’s such a pet peeve of mine, and here’s what I find, actually. I see this all the time and I talk to people about it. So what happens is first of all, not only is it important for you to be present, but it’s also important for you to model the proper behavior. And so actually what’s happening is the opposite, which is people come into an organization, especially people who are newer into the professional arena, and they have a certain set of rules in their mind about how to be courteous and how to be professional. And I’m pretty sure one of them is if you’re in a meeting with people, you’re supposed to pay attention to people in the meeting, and not to your device. And then you notice that the people, the other people in the room – especially if the leaders are doing it – in a way, it sends this message. And I hear this all the time from people who say, “It seems like that’s what everybody does. It seems like it’s okay. I didn’t think it was okay, at first I was really surprised by it. But because it seemed like that’s the way we do things around here, then I kind of joined in.” And it just sorts of exacerbates the problem, because everybody becomes so entrenched in the behavior, it’s so much harder to pull back from it after you’ve created a habit.

Jonathan: Yeah, we say as goes the leadership team, so goes the rest of the organization.

Halelly: Completely. I had this one – I’ll tell you a little story – one time I was facilitating a Congressionally appointed commission that had two days to make really important decisions about the report that they were going to submit to Congress, and these are eight people with huge egos, huge resumes. You know, each one of them thinks that he or she is the most important one on that commission, and they had to listen to each other and come to agreement, with 50 of their senior staff sitting in the back of this room. So we made a ground rule and we knew that they would be on their devices all the time, because they’re very important people and people contact them all the time. So how would they be present for two full days and actually give their attention and their brainpower so we could get this decision done, and for them to actually do what they needed to do? And so I made a ground rule that you’re not allowed to be on your device as I often do in these kinds of facilitations, but we made it a little bit more interesting than just making it a ground rule on a flipchart, and I brought in a rubber chicken. You know, those gag gifts. I brought in a rubber chicken and I said, “Whoever is seen pulling out his or her device and using it, the chicken is put on his or her desk. And you guys get to monitor that.” So they were peer policing, and they loved it! They just loved giving that chicken to each other, and in the end it backfired because they were trying to talk to me in the breaks about taking the chicken home to their kids. You’re not supposed to covet the thing, you’re supposed to avoid it! But it worked. So maybe we can make some kind of a rubber chicken rule across the corporate world. And maybe then all our problems will be gone.

Jonathan: I hope so.

Halelly: Well, it’s been fun talking with you Jonathan, and I think that it’s been extremely valuable. I know that people listening have learned a lot from you, as I always do. And so where can they learn more about you and how can they stay in touch with you before we wrap this up?

Jonathan: So it’s www.ChiefOptimizer.com. Chief Optimizer on Twitter also.

Halelly: Very good. And I will have the show notes on the same page when I publish this podcast, so we’ll link to your website and to your book and everything else. I really appreciate your time. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge. And I hope that you make it a great day Jonathan.

Jonathan: Thank you Halelly. I appreciate it and I hope everyone stays focused.

Halelly: Yes. You always sign your emails that way – stay focused. All right people, stay focused. Take care.

Did you love it? I love how very practical Jonathan is. I think that he really breaks things down in a way that makes sense, and is easy to implement and I hope that you’re going to go and take action, that Jonathan suggested there at the end – enjoy the silence. Take some time and space again, and for goodness sake, turn the cell phones off in meetings and be present! All right everybody. Just like we said in the episode, stay focused, and check out the show notes where all the links can be found to Jonathan’s book, to Jonathan’s website, to Jonathan’s blog, to ways to stay connected with Jonathan and did you know that you can stay connected with me? That I have a free weekly newsletter that goes out that’s easy to read? It’s very quick. It always has an actionable tip. It always has links to the podcast, to my blogs, to where I am, to things I’m doing, and lots of insights you can use. It’s very fast to read. People are telling me that they like the humor and kind of light touch to it. So if you’re not getting that, let’s change that. Go on my website, sign up and I hope to see you on the next episode of the TalentGrow Show. And also, on the next issue of my newsletter. Thanks for tuning in. I appreciate you. Make today great.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to the TalentGrow Show, where we help you develop your talent to become the kind of leader that people want to follow. For more information, visit TalentGrow.com.