Scaling Businesses with Healthy Teams

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Zach Montroy, SPHR, Founder & CEO, The Intention Collective, shares his insights and strategies on how to scale businesses with healthy teams.

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Zach Montroy, SPHR, Founder & CEO, The Intention Collective, shares his insights and strategies on how to scale businesses with healthy teams.

Zach is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience in organizational strategy, people operations, and leadership. He has helped companies of all sizes achieve their growth goals and is passionate about helping leaders create high-performing teams.

Keeping your team healthy while scaling is challenging, and you often have to choose between focusing on culture or growth. Let’s learn how Zach helps clients achieve both simultaneously so you can grow your company with a healthy team you’re proud of.

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Damon, the enthusiastic host, extends a warm welcome to Zach and the audience for another exciting episode. He starts the conversation by expressing interest in Zach’s journey and how he arrived at his current role as an executive coach, organizational leader, and team developer.

Zach reveals that his journey began at a young age, working at a toy store as a teenager and quickly moving into leadership roles. At 17, he faced a moral dilemma when asked to fire an entire team due to suspected theft. This experience ignited his interest in ethical leadership.

Despite challenges, including a toxic boss later fired for embezzlement, Zach persevered and found mentors who shaped his leadership style. He gained extensive experience, eventually founding The Intention Collective, where he combines his expertise in organizational scaling with a passion for developing leaders and fostering employee well-being. He aims to help organizations grow while nurturing healthy teams and exceptional leaders who understand their unique contributions.

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Agreeing with the guest, Damon recalls his difficulty firing people in his early 30s. He asks about Zach’s strategies to break through skepticism and foster a sense of genuine enthusiasm and optimism among both teams and their leaders.

In Zach’s view, senior leadership must build trust and encourage organizational vulnerability. Zach’s strategy involves initially working closely with owners and the leadership team to address their issues and demonstrate their commitment to the process. This modeling and commitment at the leadership level are crucial for ensuring that these principles are not perceived as just another passing trend within the organization but are deeply ingrained and genuinely believed by the senior leadership team.

The guest traces back to family upbringing, where vulnerability was often considered a weakness. He references Brene Brown’s definition of vulnerability, which centers on embracing uncertainty, taking risks, and being willing to be seen while putting oneself out there. In leadership, this vulnerability is a potent demonstration of a commitment to team success rather than a leader’s need to be right.

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Damon steers the discussion to Zach’s work with executive teams and inquires about the insights and feedback.
Zach reveals one of the significant realizations his teams experience is to understand that most people genuinely do their best at work. However, the leadership team often realizes that if desired results aren’t achieved, it’s likely due to their lack of clarity about the company’s identity, goals, expectations, and the necessary investment in their team members. This recognition makes them embrace the challenging aspects of leadership.

Damon praises that vulnerability isn’t about being weak but having candid, accountable conversations to achieve outstanding outcomes.

While talking about curiosity and the commitment to getting things right, Zach clarifies that vulnerability isn’t about disclosing personal information or crying at work but about being empathetic, humble, and focused on the well-being of others. Zach contends that true courage often involves vulnerability, and he challenges anyone to name a courageous act that didn’t require a significant level of vulnerability, as he’s found that the two are closely intertwined.

Damon discusses Zach’s work in helping organizations scale with healthy teams. He inquires about whether Zach’s approach aims to balance growth and culture.

Zach responds with the need for straightforward organizational design and responsibilities. He believes teams must understand their roles. The guest also underlines the significance of setting a clear direction, creating a vision, and breaking down goals into 90-day sprints. Moreover, he explains that his “system and soul” methodology focuses on balancing systems and human aspects within an organization for a robust and healthy environment.

To give the audience a better idea of helping teams, Zach shares a success story of a client experiencing burnout and limited growth due to their control over the company. By helping them define their ultimate goals, empower their team, and provide clarity and autonomy, they transformed their organization in just 90 days. They established a leadership team, set clear goals, and improved their understanding of individual contributions, resulting in significant growth.

They shifted from having $10,000 in their pipeline to over a million dollars by focusing on the right priorities and putting suitable structures and people in place.

Damon agrees with Zach’s point about businesses reaching a point where restructuring is necessary.

Zach rejects simply asking for trust without a foundation of trustworthiness. He cites John Gottman’s perspective that every team interaction is an opportunity to build or betray trust.

Likewise, the guest advises making small deposits into the figurative “Trust Bank Account” through actions and character, although a single wrong move can result in a significant withdrawal. He suggests leaders should be cautious when asking for trust when they can’t provide complete information.

On Damon’s request, Zach discusses the role of coaching in helping leaders reflect on their behaviors, particularly micromanagement. A coach can provide an external perspective and ask essential questions, prompting leaders to assess their actions and motivations. Trust and vulnerability are interconnected and require ongoing attention, which requires rebuilding a Jenga tower. Good consultants lead this process by helping leaders understand where they might hinder transitions or hold back their teams, encouraging curiosity and growth.

As the show nears its conclusion, Damon asks Zach about the scenarios where his assistance provides the most significant benefits to companies.

The guest believes success is achieved when everyone in the team is in the proper role. Success is also characterized by a continuous learning and growth environment, pervasive trust, and a deep understanding of each person’s contribution to the company’s goals.

Damon concludes the show by thanking Zach for his time.

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Damon Pistulka, Zach Montroy

Damon Pistulka 00:01
All right, everyone, welcome once again, the faces of business. I am your host, Damon Pistulka. And I am excited for another awesome episode today, because we’re going to be talking with Zach Montroy. From the intention collective, about scaling businesses with healthy teams. Zack, welcome.

Zach Montroy 00:23
Thank you so much, Damon, I’m excited to be here. Excited to get to chat this afternoon. Yeah, it’s

Damon Pistulka 00:29
gonna be fun because I was going through your information prep and getting ready for this. And, you know, there’s a couple of things that you said that really hit home to me. It’s, it’s a lot of business leaders think they either have to choose between pushing culture or growth. And you say, Nah, you can do both of that. And you can keep your teams healthy while scaling. So it’s gonna be fun talking about this today. I

Zach Montroy 00:57
can’t wait. I yeah, very, we’re very passionate about that, for sure.

Damon Pistulka 01:02
Awesome. Awesome. So Zack, we always like to start out by learning more about how you got doing what you’re doing today. So let’s just start back aways and tell us kind of your progression into into, you know, figuring out that you want to be this executive coach, organizational people, leader, Team developer, and helping people like that.

Zach Montroy 01:29
Yeah. And yeah, I’ll try to keep the story concise. But so I grew up in a pretty lower middle class home and knew if I wanted to go to college, that meant I needed to go to work as a teenager. And so, in Pennsylvania, you could go get a work permit at 14. And I thought, well, I’ll go to the mall and get a job. You know, it’s what all the cool kids do. Got a job at a toy store. So I thought, you know, as a 14 year old making 450 An hour like, jackpot. Really interesting set of circumstances at 16 got the opportunity to be an assistant store manager and that required going through leadership training. Yeah, probably some not great decision on you know, whomever’s part that was but get, you know, had to go through leadership training. And so that meant watching some VHS tapes. As a senior I had finished high school early. So I only had one class during my senior year. So I got to work full time, they gave me my own store as a strong major, which again, crazy, why would you do that? Give a 17 year old extra. Wow, that’s awesome. And my first job, they told me, I needed to fire the entire staff. And I was like, wait, what? How do you do that? And the advice I was given, oh, you should just bring them all into a room and fire them all at the same time. Someone is stealing. We can’t figure out who it is. So just fire them all at the same time. And I remember thinking like Mike and you were 17 years old. Yeah. And firing like grown adults. At this point, dude, I’m like, this does not feel right. That something about this is not right. So I mean, it was it was you know, just a gigantic dumpster fire, but got, you know, worked really hard, tried to be as nice as I could and also like meet goals in college work full time and probably for the most toxic leader on the planet. In fact, one of his pieces of leadership advice was you need to sit in a higher chair than everyone else so that they know that you’re the leader ended up getting fired by him, found out he was he was embezzling money I found out about it confronted him was walked out. And so for me, that was you know, I think it was like 22 years old. And really a crisis point of like, leadership sucks, like, this is what I want to do. But then had the opportunity to work for some really amazing leaders and was given some other opportunities to lead but got really amazing mentorship was given opportunity, but was invested in and was given a coach, you know, who, you know, I thought at that point, I’m, you know, I’m in my late 20s I know what I’m doing and really helped me understand I didn’t and I had a lot to learn and needed to grow in emotional intelligence and, you know, got to lead some amazing teams was in an operations role. So got to lead all of staff for some organizations and really put strategy to the vision and about six years ago, was given the opportunity to get to do that with a bunch of different teams through consulting and really have in in founding intention collective really paired together. How Do we scale and grow an organization and at the same time, develop exceptional leaders who are leading those teams and leading those companies to a place of health and of employee wellbeing, where every person on the team understands with great clarity, their unique ability and genius, and how that should be used, how that can be used to grow the company and really fulfill and meet that the mission and vision of where the team is trying to go. So that’s probably a really long way,

Damon Pistulka 05:32
not just, yeah, super cool, super cool. And we’re gonna get back to a couple points because this is i BOD, I can totally relate to the story. Awesome, awesome, awesome. And then he says, he’s waiting to meet that coach of mine. And I’m gonna tell you that really, that really is a key turning point, when you find that mentor, that coach that person that can really help you see the other side, because man, you had some pretty well, pretty crappy experiences at 17 years old. Having to fire people, I can still remember when the first time when I had to do that with a lot of people, and I was in my early 30s already, and it was super gut wrenching, you know? Yeah. And so that had to be that had to be quite an experience in when, and then having the turnaround and building and, you know, not working out decent after that part of it, but then having this toxic leader in college? I mean, at that point, you had to just be going, this is not, you know, what, where, where are the real people at? Or is this a dream? Or what’s going on? Or is this really what it’s gonna be like?

Zach Montroy 06:47
Yeah, I mean, at that point, it was really this crisis of, well, I, if this is what leadership is about, I’m not signing up for that. So I just want to go be a doer, do some work and avoid leadership at all cost, I don’t want to be around leaders, I certainly don’t want to be a leader. And if you know, I mean, that that’s where we self protect, and build up all that armor, because, you know, if I do this, or if I put myself out there, I’m gonna get hurt, I’m gonna get fired. I’m gonna, you know, fill in the blank. But yeah, so, you know, then it’s taken years to sort of dismantle that. And I think for me, it’s now having the empathy to understand, you know, why? Why do some people show up to work every day, really protected, and not willing to give their whole hearts to the work? Well, it’s probably because they’ve been hurt in the past,

Damon Pistulka 07:42
that you made a point there that I think really is, is awesome, and probably why it makes you even more effective as you’ve got that perspective, from what really stinky leadership is light, that allows you to really put yourself in the place of people that are really not ready to put their holes them themselves into what they really are doing and get into it with the team like they could, because of those experiences. So Oh, my goodness, oh, my goodness, this just, this is just going to open up Pandora’s box of questions I can tell. So I’m just gonna go right into it. So when you’re in this in a company, you’re talking to people? I mean, what are some of the things that you have to do to try to open up these people? Because some of these people are just like, cross arms? You know, that? I’ve heard it before? Oh, yeah. Here we go. Again, you know, the negative flavor of the month? I mean, what are some of the things you have to do with the teams and the leaders of those teams to get that to the point where they go, Wow, maybe this really is gonna be different?

Zach Montroy 08:58
I think it I think it it always starts at the top. And what I mean, there is modeling vulnerability, and the willingness to build trust has to start at the top. It it doesn’t really work if you flip it the other way. Because if if we’re asking people, you know, on the front lines to be building trust and be vulnerable, but leadership is not willing to do that you can’t create a safe environment for people to function in. So I think in one of the things that we do when we start working with teams is we we don’t roll out the work to the entire company right away. We start specifically with the owners, we start specifically in almost exclusively with the leadership team, because there’s a lot of oftentimes there’s a lot of stuff that they need to work on and they need to figure out and they have to start owning, and the team has to see that they are willing to do the work. before it’s ever going to catch on before anyone is going to actually believe this is something worth doing something worth trying. And it’s not just going to be another flavor of the month. But it has to, I mean, that has to be modeled. And not only modeled, but really, truly believed at the core of the senior leaders of any team for to take hold in the organization.

Damon Pistulka 10:25
Let’s go let that sink in a minute. That was so good, man, that was so good. Because I think this is 100%. What doesn’t happen in a lot of companies, they say, Hey, we’re gonna do this. And they don’t they just assume that the the owner, the founders, the CEO, the executive team, the or the, whatever the highest level leadership team is, is going to, they’re all together. And myself, personally, we went through this with a client, just. And it took us over six months, and a lot of meetings for us to just clarify the mission and values of the company. And I’m not talking, you know, but it’s off site, three, four hours. Think about it off site three, four hours, you know, because you really, you really don’t have that true engagement amongst that core team. But when you get it, you start to feel it. Right when you when you feel that and that’s why people thought we were crazy when we started. And I’m not I’m not great at this, right. But but we started, we knew we had to start somewhere. Right? And we knew that we had to feel what we were working on. Because once you feel it, that helps you to supersede a lot of other negative things, because we’re in this together to do what we really should do. And yeah,

Zach Montroy 11:59
what I mean, what you’re talking about is connectedness, right? As humans, you’re we’re hard. We’re hardwired for connection. And I mean, I don’t I mean, I, I’m not saying this with research backing me, but I don’t think you can trust someone without being connected to them or having some sort of connection with them. So if you’re going to work on mission, you’re gonna work on future, certainly, you have to trust one another. And you’re never going to get to trust without connection and vulnerability with with one another, or whatever it is that you come up with is not going to end up being meaningful.

Damon Pistulka 12:38
Yeah, exactly. And like you said, it’s you have to be vulnerable enough, all the way through in the executive level, to be able to recognize that we’re not perfect or recognize that we’re human that that we we are learning and trying to be better and modeling it because otherwise nobody believes it.

Zach Montroy 12:58
Right in it. I mean, I think, in that such a piece of leader, I mean, I think vulnerability is such a concept in leadership that most of us were never taught. I mean, it, you know, probably going back to family of origin. I mean, certainly that’s true. In my case, oh, you’re taught that vulnerability is weakness, we’re taught that it’s disclosure or crying at work. And I mean, that’s not vulnerability at all. You know, I always go back to Brene Brown’s definition of vulnerability, vulnerability is uncertainty. It’s that feeling of risk, it’s that feeling of not knowing, and yet showing up with the willingness to be seen and put ourselves out there. And in in leadership, I mean, that’s a really powerful, I think display of we’re here to get this right, as a team. It’s not about me being right.

Damon Pistulka 13:55
Yeah, yeah. And your example from a while ago, when you had a leader in college that said, they sat in a higher chair than the others, is it just, I mean, that is just so was higher sign of toxic leadership, but just just the calling card sign, you know, when he all the way from self appointed parking lots to you know, whatever it is corner offices or or, you know, whatever the the things are that not necessarily just having an office on the corner, but you know, those kinds of things. So as you’re, as you’re starting this journey with people, you’re working with this executive team, and they’re they’re starting to get some of this. What are some of the realizations or some of the comments that you hear back from them?

Zach Montroy 14:43
Yeah, I think I think some of the biggest the biggest aha was that we see our I think, for most teams, this is true. People are doing their best right there. They’re coming to work every day. I think by and large, most people on our teams are doing the best that they can. I think for most leadership teams, one of the big aha was is if I if I’m making that assumption that people are doing their best, but we’re not getting the results that I wish your desired, it’s probably on me, not on them. It is probably because we have not been very clear about who we are about where we want to go about how we’re going to get there, about the contribution I hope to see from you, in the investment of where I’m going to invest in you what I hope to see in return, the commitment to having, you know, tough, hard, tricky conversations, I think that there’s most of the time a big realization that, you know, there’s, there is a high bar and high mantle that comes with being a leader. And if I really want to see results, I have to be willing to do the work. And that’s not fun. It oftentimes is not fast or easy. And I love the saying embrace the suck because sometimes that is what it is in leadership. And in I think if if truly truly transformational teams and exceptional leaders have the the foundational understanding that we are here to serve the work. We’re here to serve the people. We’re not here to be served. Yeah. Oh,

Damon Pistulka 16:42
just think about that. We’re here to serve the people and serve the work. That’s the way leader should do it. It’s, though, yeah, go ahead. Sorry.

Zach Montroy 16:55
Was it No, I Sorry for interrupting. I was just gonna say the minute we, the minute we are, we believe, you know, consciously subconsciously said or unsaid that we’re here to be served or that it’s about us or that we’ve arrived as a leader is the the nanosecond that we need to get out of leadership? Yeah. Very people to work for? Oh, yes.

Damon Pistulka 17:21
Yes. Well, we got we got a we got a bunch of comments in here that let’s let’s just hit a couple of them quick here, Shane, stopping by nothing like the realization that your job is easier than your staff to see when he nothing like the realization when you take a leadership that your job is easier than your staff. life changing moment. All right. Cool. You know, it’s it’s interesting. Got to change the cultural identity to make it better from Nathan. Thanks. Yeah, that’s, that’s good. And then this, look to Lysa they sell first this is this is something I mean, there’s even been, I can’t remember the person’s name. Now. One of the one of the famous SEO guy that wrote about it, he says, you know, it’s 100% on you. Failure is 100%. Yours if you’re a leader, no matter what, it’s 100%. You and you just made me think of that, because it’s exactly right. It’s someone I’m gonna be talking to that about with a leader or CEO that nobody talks about, like, there’s a week it’s, it’s like, Listen, if someone’s not performing it, eventually it comes. Yes, there can be some extreme cases where someone is totally, they just they’re checked out, whatever, not even, they don’t even tend to do anything. But that is such a minut possibility in life that you have to assume that you haven’t done something and continue to try to do what you can do. And that is love that. The other thing you said to that was awesome, is when we start saying the word vulnerability. People think some people think, soft pushover something like that. But it’s not the case. You said tough conversations via and that is that I think that’s the real learning that some of us have to make is that vulnerability means we’re able to share our yes we aren’t perfect Yes, we aren’t as but and we also then get this to share our expectations of people and hold them accountable for what they do. In a human the see a with good, good intentions. good human being a good human, human fluid, right and it’s not that vulnerability does not mean you’re going to be a pushover in any shape of the word sense form nothing. You can still get get great things done.

Zach Montroy 19:59
Right? I mean, It’s a commitment to being curious, right to showing up and realizing I probably don’t have all the information here, right. So I’m gonna get curious and dig in. And, you know, go going back to you know that in Brene. Brown says as well, with the commitment to getting it right not being right. You know it, it’s so interesting, especially when when I think about vulnerability, someone came up to me one time, we were teaching on vulnerability, they’re like, Okay, I’ll have Kleenex in my office, and I’ll like, try to cry more at work. And I’m like that, that is not. That’s not what we’re talking about here. It’s not disclosure. I mean, if that. So I’ve met a lot of leaders who are, you know, disclose a lot about their personal lives and are not vulnerable at all with their work. And I’ve met a lot of leaders who are very vulnerable with their work and disclose very little about the personalized, so it has nothing to do with disclosure, it’s about being curious and about being empathetic, and humble, and having a focus on, you know, devoted to the well being of other people. And that means you lean into hard conversations, that means that you’re curious, in that you’re courageous it vulnerability is, I would say, probably the strongest mark of courage. I mean, I name something that you’ve done, that’s courageous, that didn’t require a tremendous amount of vulnerability, like, I’ve never had anyone be able to answer that question.

Damon Pistulka 21:33
Yeah. Well, it means you have to be willing to realize you aren’t perfect. You have to be willing and willing to do the things try to do better and better to be better, because you’re never gonna be perfect. Right? It’s, it’s so great. So great, man. So when, when you talk about going in and helping people, really scale businesses with these teams, you know, we come back to, we’re going to be pushing for growth pushing for growth, and we see burnout or or we’re going to be working on culture, and we’re not going to really be doing growth as much. Are you talking about getting them both? And kind of explain the framework? And how how that happens?

Zach Montroy 22:20
Yeah, I think you have to get really, really clear on what it is that we are going to be committed to doing. Right. And I think that that starts with, you know, the I love the the saying you are perfectly designed to get the results that you are achieving. What’s the design of our organization? What what is it that every person on the team? Does every person on the team understand with great clarity what they’re responsible to do responsible for? Do they have the autonomy and the resources to do their jobs? Well, are we investing in them? Are we keeping track of the right metrics? Do we know with great clarity and certainty, you know, I love Christmas, Chesney’s, that idea of leading versus lagging indicators. You know, profit is always a lagging indicator, what leads to that? What what it? What is the fuel behind our economic engine as an organization? You know, are we doing our meetings is the cadence of how we’re holding one another accountable? And what we’re working on? Is all of that, you know, where it needs to be? Where are we going? Why are we going there? What’s in it for the team? How are we going to get there? What’s the what’s the vision? What’s the long term play here? And are we really reverse engineer? Is that doable? You know, the, the leader who’s you has a million dollar company, and in five years wants to be a $5 billion company. No one’s gonna believe that. So there’s the you know, chart out a course that is doable for your team. And then we start to reverse engineer a plan and start working in 90 day sprints that you know, we’re painting with great clarity what’s going to get done. And when people can make that when people can make that connection and understand how they contribute to that we end up having a really strong organization, and then we start to work on what’s the ethos of the environment? How are we operationalizing our core values? Do we have people that we’re investing in from a leadership perspective? You know, we’re we’re cultivating an environment to problem solving it. We use a methodology called system and soul. And it’s a framework and operating system that really helps business leaders prioritize the systems that are going to move us in the right direction while at the same time investing in the heart and soul cabling side of our company and organization.

Damon Pistulka 25:05
Very cool. Very cool, because I know you see a lot of leaders that are focused on systems or people and you really do need to be focusing on both as you go forward. So, as you’re doing this Can Can you recall specific client challenges without, obviously you’re referring to a client, but that that were like, This is really cool, what I’ve seen happen here, and kind of before and after, or how they’ve got through it, or, you know, just some of those experiences will be awesome.

Zach Montroy 25:45
Yeah, we, I mean, I can think of a number of experiences, but one client in particular, we started working with them in the I mean, they had grown a good and healthy company, but they the the weight that was on the owners shoulders was getting to the point where they were experienced, they were getting to the point of experiencing tremendous burnout, and resentment. And the people on this, their team couldn’t, you know, they they really sort of hit this leadership, or this growth lid as a as an organization. And when we went in, I mean, one of the big things that we helped them do was fig, what, where are you going? Like, what’s the ultimate goal here, you have some really qualified people on your team who are not empowered to lead, you’re really, you really are kind of being the lid on the ceiling of your company right now. What does it look like to loosen, control and provide clarity and provide autonomy and really empower your team to lead and really help drive understanding of what’s most important and how their contribution is going to help you get there. And so, in 90 days, they went from having no leadership team to having a fully functioning leadership team. Wow, they went from not having goals to having clear, specific, measurable goals, every person understanding their contribution. And it was like jet fuel was poured on their company. And I remember at the end of the 90 days, they ran into a huge problem with their sales pipeline. And they felt like, man, we’ve made all of this progress on how we’re running. And I would say if they had not done that work, that that event would have probably annihilated a lot of what that company was and where they had grown to. But they were able and positioned to tackle that problem with great clarity, with certainty with vulnerability, encouraging, I mean, in a month’s time, basically went, you know, from having $10,000 in their pipeline to having over a million dollars in their pipeline, because they were able to focus on the right things, they were able to put the right structures and people in place to get after the most important issues in the organization. Whereas all of that would have fallen on the owner shoulders, and probably would have just walked away from it at that point.

Damon Pistulka 28:29
Yeah, and this is one of the things you talk, you talk about, at certain points, businesses will get to the though, they’ll get to a point where they need to be restructured. And I don’t mean from we’re firing everybody and starting over or anything like that. But just rethinking about, like you said, the owner in the beginning has a tremendous load, because they’ve got to do a lot of everything. And as the business gets bigger, they do need to be developing that team, and passing off the baton on certain things all the way through, to be able to allow that company to continue to grow. And, and you know, and that’s where it comes back again to metrics. So if I’m going to pass off to you that the sales role today, Zack that we’re going to, you know, we know you’re going to know what what success looks like for you and and that’s what we’ll talk about, we’ll talk about problems and to allow that leader now that leader is going to do something else that that is going to help the organization to could continue to grow rather than I can only work so many hours a day because I’ve got all this load, and it takes all my time. And there’s no more time.

Zach Montroy 29:40
And I think that there that is you are exactly right. And then it’s very profound, and yet it requires a lot of courage and a lot of vulnerability. And I think you know what you just said there what, then do I then then we find another area to focus on It’s gonna help grow the company and move us towards that destination. I think there can be a lot of fear in that right? Like, oh, yeah, I’ve gotten really good at this thing, or these things that I do. And this grew the company to this point. And, you know, I mean, one of the biggest fears in the workplace is fear of irrelevance. And I think every founder, every CEO goes through that. And, you know, you get to that point where it’s either you hire someone who’s better than you at that area, and you hide, you know, as Dan Sullivan would say, you hire the right who’s and let them figure out how, or you make the decision to cap growth and stagnate as a company as an as an organization.

Damon Pistulka 30:45
Yeah, and you? And when you do that, the fear of irrelevance, I think you said it well, there that you and if you don’t see that, if you can’t, and that’s why I think coaches are really, really helpful in this situation. Because, like you said, I’ve been in this business for 10 years, I’ve been grinding like this doing everything. What’s going to happen if I pass all this stuff off? What am I going to do then? And and, you know, and to help them see what that looks like and how they are just leveraging those people, those people’s knowledge and skill set to be able to do more, do more with that business rather than somehow becoming irrelevant? Yeah, yeah. So good stuff. Well, Shana, another good question here. The personal costs of being a leader, leader. Now, I think he’s, I don’t know when he’s in the last part of this, we are gagged often cannot explain or tell our side of the story due to personal confidentiality. Yeah, I think, you know, there’s times when leaders are put into into situations that are no doubt challenging. And, and it is, it’s, it’s not for the faint of heart.

Zach Montroy 31:58
No, no, in it. I mean, I think even kind of going back to what changes said there. I, you know, when you’ve probably heard this a million times to just the leader who’s like, you just gotta trust me, right? I can’t tell you everything that’s going on in this situation. You just got to trust me. And I mean, I’ve sat on the other side of those leaders, and I’m like, You have done nothing to earn my trust. I have zero trust in you. There is $0 in the Trust Bank Account. Yeah. And you’re asking me to trust you within your withholding information? Absolutely not. There’s nothing there’s there. No, Wharton, there’s no trust here. So I think, you know, John Gottman says every opportunity is either an opportunity to betray trust or to build trust. And I think when we think about that, as leaders, every opportunity that we have with our team is either an opportunity to be building trust to be putting money into that bank account. And there’s nothing that we can do that can add, got, you know, a big deposit. It’s very small deposits over time. But there are those moments that take, you know, the the gargantuan, you know, withdraw out. Yeah. And so I think we have to be really careful about that. Like, I’m asking you to trust me, I can’t give you all the information. And hopefully, we’ve done the work of building trust with them that they can say like, okay, and I know Zach’s trustworthy, I can trust his character, I can trust what he’s done in the past. And trust that he’s giving me all the information that I can’t that he can right now. Or they’re saying, you got you got nothing? And I don’t try? Yeah,

Damon Pistulka 33:39
yeah. It’s like, you’re just beating me alive, right to get me to do what you want me to do? Or

Zach Montroy 33:45
do Yeah. Or you’re just saying that so that you don’t have to have the hard conversation?

Damon Pistulka 33:49
Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. I mean, you just got to be building that trust all the time, every day as much as you can, because there will be. There will be times when you do have to draw on that account. Right. Right. Yeah. Now, this is David David mentioned something here, which is really this is something I think a lot of founders have trouble with, when they first start this, they can hire some very talented people, and they should have trust in those people. And they’re hired to do their jobs. But they have trouble letting go. I have trouble letting go that it’s hard for the people to do the job, they can innovate. But I gotta believe as you’re working with people and doing what you’re doing with this executive teams, you’re helping them resolve a lot of those. Those challenges those leaders do that.

Zach Montroy 34:42
Well, I mean, like you, like you just said and I’m sure Tim and you do this in your work. As a coach, you get to kind of step back and say why are you why are you what’s going on here? Like why are you micromanaging this person right now? are like, do you really As you’re micromanaging them, or does first they don’t realize that has you’ve lost trust, like, you just can sort of like call that it’s sort of like that buzzer you know, the game that has the loud timeout, like you get to like, yeah, get the buzzer and say like, can we let’s have a reality check here of what’s going on. And then you talk, then you can talk through it. Because I mean, yes, there’s implicit trust, but like trust and vulnerability build off of one another. It’s sort of like rebuilding a Jenga tower. And I think when you have a coat, when you have a good coach, when you have a good consultant who can come in and say, Alright, CEO, you said, you need to transition out of sales. And that’s not a switch that we flipped, that’s a transition. But you’re kind of holding the transition back. Do you realize it? And what what do we need to loosen control here? Where do we need to provide better? What’s going on? We get curious.

Damon Pistulka 35:56
Yeah, yeah, it is. It is. So as you’re going forward, and helping companies do this, you gave us a great example about a company with with, you know, found they were working on things in their backlog was low, and they were able to turn it around fairly quickly. What are some of the typical scenarios, where you see how you’re helping people offer the most benefit?

Zach Montroy 36:26
I, it’s, it’s pretty qualitative to me. And I’m definitely more of a qualitative guy than I am quantitative. I think when every person on that when you when you can say we have 100%, right people in the right seats on our team, and they are all leveraging their unique genius, for the good of the company. And they feel like we’re investing in them, they know. They know that we care for them, you know, they care for us. We just have this environment of, of continuous learning and growth. And you know, trust is pervasive. I think the results come. Because that’s not a comfortable environment that requires a lot of work that requires a lot of vulnerability that requires a lot of attentiveness. That, to me is success when every person understands with deep clarity how what they do contributes to where we’re going as because that’s what’s required in order to grow in scale. Otherwise, it’s not sustainable. It’s not healthy. And it’s going to it’s going to come back, it’s going to dip back down.

Damon Pistulka 37:50
Yeah. Yep. How much? How much of the the challenges that you see coming into clients, because they don’t have the right people on the bus?

Zach Montroy 38:08
I will say often. And I don’t think I think oftentimes, they they don’t know that they don’t have the right people on the bus. Yeah. And the people on the bus don’t know that they’re on the wrong bus. You know, I, I mean, we’ve seen some people, some great people go like, hey, great people. Yeah, thank you for providing this clarity. Like, this is actually not what I want to do. Yeah. Awesome. How do we how do we help you leave? Well, how can we sort of last you in this transition? Like it every place is not for everyone. And there are seasons too. So again, clarity is our friend community, you know, clear communication is our friend. I have never heard anyone say like, oh, that leader communicates too much, or oh, they provide too much clarity in this organization. Like I’ve never heard that said. So I think when you get to clarity, people begin to say, like, yeah, I this is I would love to be here, I would love to contribute to this or, you know, maybe this isn’t the right place for me. And then we start to say like, Who who is on the team? Are they in the right seats? And are we like, are we going to be vulnerable and having those conversations with one another?

Damon Pistulka 39:35
Yeah. Yeah. I’m curious because I, over the years and listening and watching people help companies like this or helping companies myself, you know, you spend a lot of time and if you and if you look at some of these systems that talk about you know, building great businesses, you can look at an EOS or something like that and and I I often go, yeah, it’s, it’s it’s great to, you know, kick things off. But if you don’t have the right people on the bus, we’re trying to drive a bus with bicycle wheels on it.

Zach Montroy 40:11
Right? You have people with their rear ends in like 12 different seats. Yeah, that’s not gonna work.

Damon Pistulka 40:16
Yeah. And you know, and I guess, and I really think that, when we talk about what we’re talking about today, part of the clarity that you’re bringing with people is is like, like you said, Damon, you you’re maybe not in the right seat in this seat over here might be really good. Or maybe you need to get on a different bus. And that is so powerful, because it allows the rest of the team. And if there’s somebody else that comes in, we’re Damon was before it allows us to move forward so much farther, faster.

Zach Montroy 40:48
Right. Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I think it’s pretty arrogant of leaders to think that, you know, people, people just need to be here be owners act like, owners, and I expect them to be here for the rest of their lives. Like, yeah, number one, if if you expect them to act like an owner, then you need to treat them like an owner. And secondly, you’re not General Motors, you’re not getting someone a pension for working for you for 30 years. So yeah, it you know, I mean, I think it you know, that I think that goes to two serving people, right? You know, I’m going to serve this person for as long as they, they, this is the right place for them. And they’re going to be better, and I’m going to be better because of our time together. I think that that requires a lot of humility and a lot of care for people.

Damon Pistulka 41:49
Yeah, yeah. I love it. I love it. You know, up here, we’ve got a, we’ve got a NFL coach in Seattle, Pete Carroll, a lot of people. Yeah, he does a lot of things not so great. But the one thing that he does, he develops people, he develops them. And when they go to another team and become a head coach or superstar, he’s super happy because they’re moving into the place that’s better for them at that point in their career. And I think when we can adopt that kind of philosophy and a business, like you said, it’s, it helps people exit gracefully into something that’s more a better fit for him. Yeah, rather than rather than it goes down a negative path. And we we can’t do it. It’s just that realization, that and helping them understand and helping them find the thing that’s about better for him.

Zach Montroy 42:45
And I mean, I think, fast forward to your retirement speech, right? I want people to say, I hope that they say, Zack invested in me, he was generous, you know, I’m better because of the time that I got to serve alongside of him. You know, he cared for me, he challenged me. But ultimately, he, you know, was focused on my success, not his success. And there, there’s a lot of leaders that that will not ever be set up. And I hope to the core of my being, that those words would be said about me because of, you know, meet my my investment in other people.

Damon Pistulka 43:35
Yeah. So cool, man. So cool. Well, Zach, it’s a pleasure talking to you. Yeah, it’s

Zach Montroy 43:43
been fine. You guys can using questions I can feel

Damon Pistulka 43:47
how you would be helping teams. And and just love it. Love the energy, love the passion. So if people want to reach out to you, what’s the best way to get a hold of you?

Zach Montroy 44:00
We Yeah, you can find our team intention. We’re on LinkedIn. I have an amazing team that publishes a lot of really great resources. So you can check out all those free resources on our site and find out a little bit more about what we do and how we help teams there.

Damon Pistulka 44:20
Nice. Nice. Well, Zach, thanks again. I really enjoyed it. And I want to go back and say, Shane, thanks for the great comments. Good to Great we’re talking about getting the right people on the bus. I bought thanks. You know, he’s talking again about trust a two way equation. Gotta build that trust. David. We run into this all the time. founders are visionary CEOs run companies. That’s a That’s a tough transition for some people to make sure that we get back I just want to make sure I got everybody Nathan. Thanks for stopping by. Thanks, everyone, for leaving the comments. Thanks, everyone. For for Listening even if you’re not leaving comments if you want to reach out reach out to Zack his website their intention dot CEO intention collective action collective dot deceit and Sorry got that wrong air button where you reach out to them and intention collective and we will be back again and we’re out for now Zack hang around. We’ll we’ll end up here. All right thanks, everyone. Thanks

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