144: Running Remote – How to Lead Effectively in a Remote Workplace with Liam Martin

Ep144 Running Remote How to Lead Effectively in a Remote Workplace Liam Martin TalentGrow Show with Halelly Azulay

Today we are witnessing the significant rise of the remote workplace. In fact, it has been predicted that 50% of all work will be remote by the year 2027. This means that many leaders will need to learn how to effectively manage remote teams in order to stay relevant and excel in the workplace of the future. In this episode of The TalentGrow Show, co-founder and CMO of TimeDoctor.com and Staff.com Liam Martin joins me to share leadership principles for the remote workplace. Listen to get Liam’s best advice for building engaged and productive remote teams and to discover great tools and resources you can use for developing and implementing effective processes. Plus, find out why small remote businesses need to start acting like large ones very quickly in order to survive! Tune in and be sure to share with others in your network.

ABOUT LIAM MARTIN:

Liam is the co-founder and CMO of TimeDoctor.com and Staff.com. After graduating with a masters in Sociology from McGill University, Liam opened a small tutoring company which grew to over 100 employees, and looked to solve a problem with remote employees not reporting accurate work data which turned into Staff.com. He consults on outsourcing and process design and is passionate about how to gain insights into the inner workings of how people work.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:

Here’s Liam hard at his remote work in Egypt, with the Giza Pyramid as his backdrop. Photo courtesy Liam Martin. Listen to his remote work tips on ep144 of the TalentGrow Show podcast with Halelly Azulay.

Here’s Liam hard at his remote work in Egypt, with the Giza Pyramid as his backdrop. Photo courtesy Liam Martin. Listen to his remote work tips on ep144 of the TalentGrow Show podcast with Halelly Azulay.

  • Liam describes interesting statistics about the trend towards remote workplaces (5:35)

  • How do you successfully manage remote employees and teams? Liam lays the groundwork for his way of thinking (7:43)

  • The importance of building processes, and why small remote businesses have to act like big ones very quickly (11:06)

  • Liam recommends a great resource for remote businesses: GitLab (13:04)

  • Bringing higher levels of engagement to your team (15:23)

  • Liam offers additional suggestions for keeping remote employees engaged and productive (17:47)

  • An example of how technological software advances have contributed significantly to the growth of remote work (19:33)

  • Focus on the output, not on the input (21:41)

  • Valuable tools and software Liam recommends for remote work (23:01)

  • Something all remote employees should be required to do: a speed test (23:14)

  • Halelly clarifies Liam’s take on the best methods of communication (24:48)

  • Liam suggests an app that may be a good alternative to Slack (28:20)

  • What’s new and exciting on Liam’s horizon? (29:15)

  • One specific action you can take to upgrade your leadership skills (30:35)

RESOURCES: 

Transcript:

Episode 144 Liam Martin

TEASER CLIP: Liam: We see these very successful companies, and we’re talking billion-dollar remote companies that are starting to pop up, and they all due processes or they all implement their method of working and they’re all very different from one another. Some people believe that video calls, as an example, are absolutely critical. Another just as successful company says, “No, video calls are really bad. They make people feel uncomfortable. Audio is the best way to go.” Other people say, “Asynchronous communication is absolutely the best way to go for long-term productivity in remote work,” and then other people say, “No, as synchronous as humanly possible. Everyone being able to be in contact with everyone else instantaneously is the best form of work.” There’s all these major differences and I kind of just came to this very interesting conclusion last year which was all of them are successful, because they are implementing remote work, but no one actually has the solid tried-and-true playbook for remote work.

[MUSIC] 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: Hey, hey, TalentGrowers. Welcome back. I’m so glad that you’re here. I’m Halelly Azulay, your leadership development strategist here at TalentGrow and this is the TalentGrow Show. Today’s guest is Liam Martin who will be talking with me about how to create more opportunities for more people to work remotely, given that that is the trend of how things are going anyway, and how to make the best of it by leveraging better processes, better communication, incentivizing different things, getting more people engaged and happier and more productive at work and we even talk about things like the Giza pyramids in Egypt and Bali. I hope that you enjoy this chat with Liam. Let me know what you thought about it afterward as I am always seeking your input. Without further ado, let’s take a listen.

TalentGrowers, this week I have Liam Martin. He is the co-founder and CMO of TimeDoctor.com and Staff.com. After graduating with a Master's in sociology from McGill University, Liam opened a small tutoring company which grew to over 100 employees and looked to solve a problem with remote employees not reporting accurate work data, which turned into Staff.com. He consults on outsourcing and process design and is passionate about how to gain insights into the inner workings of how people work, which is why I asked him to come on the TalentGrow Show. Liam, welcome.

Liam: Thanks for having me.

Halelly: I’m glad that you’re here. Before we get started talking about how to manage remote workers and how to get people more engaged and productive, I always ask my guests to describe their professional journey briefly. Where did you start and how did you get to where you are today?

Liam: My history, which you kind of touched on a little bit, really started in grad school. I was going to teach. I was going to get into academia. That was the plan, anyway. I ended up dropping out of grad school, primarily because for about seven years I’d been a teaching assistant, but per the very first year I was given the opportunity to teach a class and this was kind of the thing for me. This is seven years of undergraduate and graduate school kind of coming to a culmination and it started with about 300 students. Ended up with less than 200 by the end of the semester, which is very bad. I got a 3.2 out of 5 stars on my professor reviews and some of the worst reviews in the entire department. I remember going into my supervisor’s office and saying, “I don’t think I’m very good at this,” and he said, “No, you’re not.” I said, “What do you think I should do?” And he said, “Well, you’ve got to get pretty good at this teaching thing, because you’ve got to do it for the next 20 or 30 years before you really get to do things that are pretty fun, so either get better at teaching or figure out something else to do.”

I literally threw a master’s thesis under his door, got out of grad school. Thankfully they were able to give me a master’s by the end of this entire process, and I was out in the real world and that’s how I started the tutoring business that then ended up turning into really what I’m currently working on now, which is TimeDoctor.com, and Staff.com, and running remote. We realized that one of the biggest problems we had was trying to very clearly identify how long a remote worker worked on a particular task. This was a big issue for my tutoring company because I would bill 10 hours for a student and the student would come in and say, “I didn’t work with my tutor for 10 hours. I worked with him for five.” And so then I’d have to go to the tutor and ask the tutor, “Did you work with Jimmy for 10 hours,” and the tutor would say, “Of course,” so I’d end up having to refund the student for the five hours and pay the tutor for the full 10. This was destroying the business. TimeDoctor was a perfect solution to that particular problem. Basically, how I ended up getting really deeply into technology businesses and, by extension, remote teams.

Halelly: This is what you do now? You’re running both companies?

Liam: Yes. I co-founded both TimeDoctor and Staff.com with my business partner, Rob, who is the CEO, and then off of that we really started to get very excited about remote teams. We have almost 100 people located in 32 different countries all over the world, and I would never build a business any other way, other than remote, for me. We started this conference called Running Remote, which is specifically focused on building and scaling remote teams, which is the other passion project that I’ve been working on the last year and a half. Kind of for me, it’s a very exciting time that I think we see in work at this point, because we’re seeing this phenomenon of remote work being deployed at scale, finally, in the market. I personally project that a significant minority of all work will be remote within the next 10 years. How we’re going to move from approximately now – 2017 numbers we had 2.1% of remote workers in the United States working full-time remote. This year it looks like it’s in the high 3% or almost moving at an exponential scale, so I project, and there are other studies that project 50% remote work by 2027.

Halelly: Wow!

Liam: If we’re at 50% remote work, that’s going to be a complete change to how we do our work. We’re really trying to analyze that and try to figure out how to make that transition as easy and as efficient as humanly possible.

Halelly: I definitely see this with my clients, when I’m working with a variety of clients. More and more of their employees are working remotely. More and more of them are letting go of physical real estate in order to save money and change the way that their office works to have hoteling, where people no longer have a particular desk that’s assigned to them and they work from home sometimes and so on, so I know that a lot of the listeners are probably dealing with having to manage and lead remote teams, so I was hoping that you would share with us some of your favorite tips for how do you successfully manage remote employees and teams?

Liam: Unfortunately, we don’t have 72 hours or 500 hours to be able to discuss this. It’s actually a really interesting and complicated problem. The thing that I’ve recognized from “running remote” is that we see these very successful companies, and we’re talking about billion-dollar remote companies that are starting to pop up, and they all due processes or they all implement their method of working and they’re all very different from one another. Some people believe that video calls, as an example, are absolutely critical. Another just as successful company says, “No, video calls are really bad. They make people feel uncomfortable. Audio is the best way to go.” Other people say, “Asynchronous communication is absolutely the best way to go for long-term productivity in remote work,” and then other people say, “No, as synchronous as humanly possible. Everyone being able to be in contact with everyone else instantaneously is the best form of work.” There’s all these major differences and I kind of just came to this very interesting conclusion last year which was all of them are successful, because they are implementing remote work, but no one actually has the solid tried-and-true playbook for remote work. Which is interesting. I can give you a couple of tips, but to be honest with you, I think that those tips will probably change within the next few years, because no one really knows what’s going on. Which is a really exciting time inside of remote work.

For me, I think probably the biggest one I’ve found recently is a lot of people that start with remote work, they don’t actually end up hiring people that want to work remotely. There are so many people that want to work remotely right now and we’ve run into this problem – I had a candidate a few months ago that we ended up looking at for a hiring position and it was a complete failure in terms of our company culture fit before we actually short-listed a candidate, and in the first part of the meeting, he discussed how he thought that remote work was really stupid and that he doesn’t want to work remotely and that he can absolutely sell our software to remote teams but he doesn't really believe in the product. Kind of got rid of him as quickly as possible, and I literally said, “We don’t need to go any further. This isn’t going to be the right fit.”

Halelly: His filter also doesn’t work well either!

Liam: He was an amazing salesperson. He probably would have been a very successful salesperson, and would have sold a ton of that software to customers, but it just comes down to a culture issue, which is do you want to have true believers with you? For us, we really focus on having those true believers, and communicating that in what we do and what we stand for. Our mission statement is we want to empower people to work wherever they want, whenever they want. That feeds into all of the different products and conferences and all these things that we do, is making sure that we empower everyone on planet Earth to be able to do that type of activity. I actually think within the next 10 years, we will have accomplished that particular goal. At least in part we would have helped facilitate the process and connected to process.

The second biggest thing I see inside of failure flow among teams is building processes. So building processes are really important. I constantly say that in remote businesses, small businesses have to act like big ones very quickly, because operational processes are kind of not really documented inside of a small business. If you have less than 100 employees, as an example, inside of your organization, and they’re all in the same office, a lot of the way of doing things are kind of just learned through osmosis. But when those 100 employees are 5,000 miles away, equally, you can’t learn that process through osmosis. So what you need to be able to do is you need to be able to really operationalize all of your different processes. Discover them, digitize them, deploy them on some type of platform. If you want to use something free, I would suggest you use Google Docs. If you want to use a paid product, one of the best ones I’ve seen right now is Trainual, which is a fantastic product to be able to operationalize all of your processes. And then you need to deploy that to your entire team and figure out exactly what is going on, see how they work and basically refine those processes as you move forward. That’s something that a lot of people kind of find boring and I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty boring process to be able to build process inside of your business, but once you have those structures in place, scale is much easier than what you would have thought of before. A lot of companies that are kind of at let’s say the 10 to 20 employee range, that are even in person, or on premise companies as we like to call them, or if you’re remote companies, they’ll start to see this phenomenon where they start to slow down and they don’t really know why they’re slowing down, and it’s because they don’t have processes properly documented inside of their business. Remote businesses absolutely have to do it.

For anyone that kind of just wants to jump all of that, go and check out GitLab’s handbook. GitLab has I think almost 400-plus remote employees right now and if you just type in GitLab handbook into Google, you’ll be able to find their entire team handbook. All of their operational processes. What they stand for. How they use tools. Their anti-harassment policy. Their security. How they run a demo for a client. How they do their get repositories. Absolutely everything is in there, about 3,200 pages, and GitLab encourages people to literally steal their processes.

Halelly: Interesting. So it’s GitLab?

Liam: Basically GitLab is a development repository website, so it’s a place for people to work on code together, and then GitRepository is basically just a bunch of code all in once place. GitLab handbook, type it into Google and you’ll be able to find their handbook. I’d say for me, even though I’m definitely a nerd on this kind of stuff – I was up until 3:00 in the morning the first time I actually checked it out, because they cover everything and they’ve made it all open source, which is really great.

Halelly: Thanks for sharing that resource so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch. Earlier you said that to many people, this seems like a tedious, laborious or maybe boring process, but I just want to remind listeners that there are some people to whom this is like candy. That’s the good thing about hiring different kinds of people for different kinds of jobs. If you’re a very small company, you probably don’t have someone who is just dedicated to this, but as you grow you can actually assign this to someone who enjoys documenting processes. It’s a really cool thing to be able to do.

Liam: Yes, I’m not one of those people.

Halelly: Me either.

Liam: It’s like pulling teeth for me. But as you said that, I thought of three or four people in the company that love doing it. We actually create a bit of an organic feedback loop on that which is any process that needs to be improved, you can go ahead and do it because there’s editing rights inside of all of our documentation and then before a new process goes gold, the people that work on that process vote on those changes, those improvements. We literally give out cash prizes for people that want to improve the process. There’s a couple kind of eager beavers inside of the company that are constantly analyzing and improving processes because they get cash bonuses for it, which is great for us.

Halelly: That’s nice. You’re incentivizing the kind of behavior you’d like to see and you’re making maybe something that could be seen as tedious something more exciting.

Liam: And profitable!

Halelly: I like it.

Liam: I mean, if you get $100 for rewriting a process document outside of your general work hours, we have hundreds, if not thousands, of these operational processes and we do different payouts for different types of ones. One that we just did recently was reorganizing our search engine optimization processes, and that took probably two months for us to really kind of go in there and reanalyze everything. The other thing that we do is we make sure that that is paid attention to by the team. So if someone doesn’t actually implement those procedures, we tell them, “Do you have a better way to do it? If you do, write it down, and maybe that will become the new procedure. If you don’t have a better way to do it and you’re just being lazy, this is a problem and you need to pay attention to the processes.”

Halelly: I like it. You’re also in a way creating more engagement and more involvement on all levels of the team, by allowing and making this editable and giving access to everyone, rather than people saying, “I have an idea, but no one asked or let me.”

Liam: Yes. This is something we see with new workers quite a bit, that are coming into the team. Let’s say you have a team of eight or nine people and then we have another person that’s added to that team. We’ll see an interesting insurgence of new information but then that information would be in an on-premise company – which is what we call businesses inside of an office – and remote companies are the ones that are remote. In on-premise companies, that information really isn’t formalized, but through this process that information is constantly formalized and very clearly documented so that we can all take advantage of it equally.

Halelly: This is one way that you can help get people engaged and keep them. I saw that you’ve written about other tips of how to keep great employees and keep them more engaged and productive. What are a couple of other suggestions you have?

Liam: Keep them happy. I think that is probably a really big one. One of the biggest things that you can do, to keep your employees happy, is give them remote work agreements. That is the most requested perk for Millennials right now. Anyone that hasn’t had or has not implemented a remote work agreement, you’re going to have a lot of difficulty talking to the sub-35s. It’s going to be a big problem for them because they’re looking for that type of freedom of movement that on-premise companies at this point just can’t provide. The next generation, what are they called?

Halelly: Generation Z.

Liam: Z is just off the chart. I think, and I can’t remember the exact spot that I saw this, but I think three out of every five of them are working remotely, so we’re talking about massive, massive numbers. It’s going to hit the general job market, as I said, within the next five to 10 years. Those people want to work that way. They want to work from co-working spaces, and then corporate America is starting to figure out that the old adage of basic picking up a multi-million dollar office to house, let’s say, 100 people is much more expensive than having a bunch of We Work accounts setup and you can deploy a We Work account anywhere on planet Earth at this point, as an example, and at a much lower cost on average than actually purchasing your own office. I kind of see it as about 10 years ago, it was insane to be able to use a service like Amazon S3, or Microsoft Azure, which are basically cloud computing apps that allow you to deploy software across a big server network. What you would do is you would build your own server rack yourself. Today no one does that. Everything runs on Amazon. Netflix runs on Amazon and Microsoft Azure. They all basically borrow capacity from much larger server firms to be able to work with them. Yes, you could actually have a cheaper go of things by setting up your own server racks and/or offices, but in reality, the overall ability for you to be able to put your employees anywhere on planet Earth, have them work from anywhere on planet Earth, and have them work in a really focused environment, the costs are fantastic. It’s really one of those things that I think we’re going to see probably not just changes in just direct technology application of remote work, but I think you’re actually going to see changes in the way that office space is deployed. I think probably you’re going to see – if we’re projecting 50 percent remote workers, which I wouldn’t necessarily discount by 2027 – by extension, I would think that there’s going to be a major drop in the amount of corporate leases within that same amount of time. We’re already seeing it right now. That’s an interesting phenomenon that I haven’t really approached that much because the amount of money in those corporate leases is insane. We’re talking just in the U.S., trillions and trillions of dollars. But we’ll see what happens.

Halelly: It’ll all change into co-working facilities, right?

Liam: That’s the idea.

Halelly: Interesting. Give them the ability to work remotely and make that a possibility. Any other engagement tips?

Liam: Just in terms of our team, we always give people some perks that really apply to the remote work environment. So we don’t care where you work or when you work, as long as you work. That’s basically our golden rule. We’ve had some people that just work for two days nonstop and then they take two or three days off, and then we have some people that work from 9:00 to 5:00, and then we have some people that work from 9:00 until 3:00 in the morning everyday and they’re really happy doing that, so don’t necessarily get dogmatic toward how people work. Just focus on the output, not necessarily on the input. Because everyone works quite differently, depending upon their profession and their own different personality types. Also, make sure you’re basically implementing the right tools. While I talk about tools, you need to have people and process also in place. It goes people, process, tools in that order. If you deploy a whole bunch of tools without hiring people who are actually good at their jobs and having processes for them to follow, you’ll just have a bunch of dumb idiots sucking cash out of your company coffers that don’t know what the hell they’re doing. It’s people, process and then tools.

Halelly: The tools serve the people and the process, not the other way.

Liam: If anything, having tools in place that can really change the way the business works, run by bad people, implementing bad processes, can actually damage your business even faster. For me, that’s an important thing. We use tools like TimeDoctor, obviously. We use Zoom, Storm Board, Trello, Base Camp, Google Apps for business is probably one of the most useful tools we use. We use Slack. We implement a policy – which actually was a big problem for me when I was in Cairo the last few weeks – which is if you don’t have 10 down and five up on your speed test, so everyone needs to submit a speed test from where they’re working to HR, and if they can’t get 10 down, five up, they’re on vacation until they find 10 down, five up. Because they can’t do a Skype call. If you can’t do a Skype call, you’re not working. We can’t get in contact with you. This has been a very interesting problem for me, in Cairo which was me actually ending up tethering on my phone to work with people. Which ended up costing me a lot more money, but it was all on me because I decided to go to Cairo.

Outside of that, just communication. It’s really important to just continue to communicate to people. My general philosophy is in-person beats video, video beats audio, audio beats instant messaging, and instant messaging beats email. So make sure you’re making as deep of a connection as humanly possible. We do team retreats every year where we bring everyone in, and that’s another kind of perk that the employees get, so they’re able to fly in to, last year we all flew into Bali. This year I believe we’re going to go somewhere in Turkey. I can’t remember where. I’m not even supposed to say where we’re going. Going somewhere, and that’s kind of a cool little perk for people because they get to go to a new country that they never would have been able to go to on their own.

Halelly: I want to work in your company. I want to go back to something you said – we don’t have a lot of time left – but do I do want to go back to something you just said. I agree in general and I do suggest to people also that communication is much richer and much more likely to succeed and less likely to fall into the very many traps that it includes when you do it face-to-face and video is secondary and then audio and like you said, I imagine you don’t say that all communication must go in that order? There’s probably some communication that’s more efficient in some kind of asynchronous mode, shorter or messaging or chats. Do you really need to get in person for all communication because that’s always better?

Liam: You’re right. There is a communication richness situation, which doesn’t necessarily apply to all situations, but I’m a sociologist by training, so this might be my own personal bias on this. When I can see, like if I say, “Hey, I would like you to do this really boring job for the next six hours. Can you do that for me?” And then if you just had it on email, you’d probably say, “Okay, no problem.” If you did it on audio, you’d probably say, “Yeah, I can do that. Okay, no problem.” But then if you’re on video, maybe I can see your nonverbal cues of you not really enjoying that process and you’re still going to say, “Yeah, okay, I can do that,” but I can detect there is some resistance that’s occurring. It’s just, for me, being able to get as much information richness from the communication that I’m getting as quickly as possible. With that said, you can do a lot of multitasking. I’m not a big proponent of multitasking –

Halelly: No, you can’t actually.

Liam: It’s great if you want to send someone a Slack message saying, “Hey, go do this,” and then I can get instantaneously back into my workflow, that’s at least the dream. A lot of data will support that that actually ends up taking away from your productivity. As an example, right now I have Slack and Skype and I usually keep those closed, outside of one single avenue of communication, which is we have an emergency room chat inside of Slack and if someone posts a message on that, that’s the only thing that will ring my phone. The emergency chat is like, “Server is down. We need to act immediately” or there’s some type of critical bug. That’s the only thing that I will end up getting a notification for, outside of my focus times, which are as an example, doing nine podcasts in a day in which the only thing I should really be doing is listening to you and trying to answer your questions as quickly and as efficiently as humanly possible. Outside of that, it really kind of pulls down my ability to be able to engage in that particular task. I agree with you, however, it is a slippery slope where you’ll get into this multitasked environment and you’ll just be doing 10 different things but none of them will get finished.

Halelly: Yes. Thank you for clarifying that. I think this is one of the biggest problems that we’re heading toward. I know I get asked by reporters all the time, people in my audience a lot, about this, because there isn’t – like you just described and showed – there isn’t a hard and fast rule of “always do this” or “never do that.” It’s very contextual. But it carries with it so many other implications.

Liam: There’s a fantastic app that you might want to try, which is a competitor of Slack, called Twist. It’s run by my buddy Amir, who runs a very successful company called Doist, which their first product is ToDoist, which is a task management app. He realized that there was a major problem with Slack, which was synchronistic communication was really destroying his ability to focus in on a particular task. He built Twist as an answer to that, which is an asynchronous way to communicating tasks across remote teams. It’s an interesting project. We have actually used it and we like it quite a bit, and for people that are more on that side of the spectrum, I suggest that you check out Twist.

Halelly: Awesome. This is very interesting and I would like to talk to you a lot more, but we’re running short on time, so before you share one specific action, I would love for you to tell us what’s new and exciting on your horizon?

Liam: I just went to Egypt. That was nice. I was able to see the great pyramids, which is an amazing structure, almost 6,000 years old, and realizing when you look at something that’s that old, and also realizing that it will continue to stand for another 6,000 years after I’m long gone, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a religious experience, but definitely an existential experience. That was only possible to me being able to work wherever I want, whenever I want. I do travel quite a bit. People tell me that I’m not necessarily a digital nomad, but I do travel six months out of the year because I like to enjoy these types of crazy places, like Bali – which I’m going to next month for Running Remote, which is the conference that we do every single year. That’s something that I always look forward to, because Bali is one of those places that is definitely, for people that have not been there before, it’s probably one of the most beautiful places on planet Earth. I like the tranquility of it, and the ability to be in a very beautiful place where you can also get a lot of work done.

Halelly: Nice. I need to talk to you more about that. I would love to try to do that. Cool, very nice, and I will share, I think you had a picture of you working in front of the pyramids, so maybe we’ll put that on there as well. What’s one specific action that listeners can take today, tomorrow, this week, that can help them upgrade their own leadership or productivity skills, whichever attack you want to take on it.

Liam: I think if anyone is really interested in going remote or trying to implement a remote work policy inside of their company, whether you’re an employee or the employer, probably the best thing you can do is implement the processes that I’m talking about. Set up a Google Doc. If you want to go hardcore, go check out Trainual, and you can then go in, build a few processes around the biggest time sucks of your day, even go and steal them directly from GitLab. And then put them up in a document and share them around. If you’re the employee, your employer will love this, guaranteed. They will think, you will get brownie points, gold stars for this. If you’re the employer, you will start to be able to move your business forward in a way that you’ve never seen, never known previously, because you’ll have those processes in place and you’ll be able to start to scale out in a completely different way. That’s my suggestion for people. It doesn’t take more than an afternoon to be able to do it. Everyone skip Game of Thrones this week. Spend an hour, build some processes, and then share it with your team.

Halelly: I’m surprised to hear you think it takes only an hour. I feel a little bit pessimistic about that.

Liam: What I would do is, do my hack, go steal them all from GitLab, implement them, tweak them around a little bit. The biggest thing is to start. It’s going to be horrible, and you’re probably going to have to rewrite it later, but just getting stuff into a Google Doc or getting it into a process documentation tool like Trainual is the first step to really move yourself forward.

Halelly: I like it. Just start with something and iterate.

Liam: The first processes I ever wrote were for my virtual assistant that is still working with me after 10 years. It was the biggest time sucks of my day which is email, so I built some processes on how she should answer my email. Thankfully she still answers my email, up until today, and those couple of hours of my day I can do other things like be on podcasts.

Halelly: Very cool. Liam, thank you so much. How can people learn more from and about you? I bet they’re going to want to stay in touch.

Liam: Best way to get in touch with me is go check out our You Tube channel. Go to YouTube.com/RunningRemote. If you put a comment down there, I will get back in contact with you within hours. It is probably I think actually one of the under-leveraged social media sites that currently exists and I find it a very interesting way to interact. YouTube.com/RunningRemote. If you want to try a trial of TimeDoctor, you can go to TimeDoctor.com and if you’re interested in checking out Running Remote, go to RunningRemote.com.

Halelly: Super. We will link to all of that in the show notes. Any other social media places people should follow you or just You Tube?

Liam: I’m a little protective of social media, to be honest with you. If you want to check out Instagram, I’m @LiamRemote on Instagram. I don’t really engage there as much as I should, but I do post a photo every two to three weeks, usually when I’m traveling is when I’ll post up a video.

Halelly: All right. We appreciate you stopping by the TalentGrow Show and sharing some of your insights. Thank you.

Liam: Thanks for having me.

Halelly: TalentGrowers, I hope you enjoyed this episode. It was really fascinating to hear about Liam’s experiences with his companies and also all the resources he shared. Wow, right? I was making a list as he was tacking off one after the other of things that I need to go and check out. And of course, he also got me completely fascinated and interested in learning more about Bail. I’ve actually ben itching some kind of a mindfulness retreat or a little mini sabbatical, so this really coincides well with that urge that I’ve got, that desire or hankering. What did you get out of his episode? What kind of questions or insights did you gain? I’d love to hear from you. As always, I’m interested in your feedback. You can leave me a voicemail message right on my website, TalentGrow.com. The little black tab on the right side pops up and you can just click on it and leave me a message with feedback, with your insights, or with a question that you would like me to address, whether about this episode or in general, about any other topic. Of course if your audio is good enough and you give me permission, I could even play your message on a future episode of the TalentGrow Show and share this with other people who could benefit from listening to Liam’s experiences and tips. I’m Halelly Azulay, your leadership development strategist with TalentGrow, which is the company that I run and that sponsors this podcast. Thank you for your time today. I hope that you enjoyed it, and until the next time, 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.


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