Creating Great Companies
Creating Great Companies
On this Business Round Table by Exit Your Way® we talked about creating business results with Michael Gidlewski. Michael helps business owners escape the activity trap and conquer organizational inertia helping business owners when creating business results they desire. Michael does this with his predictable and proven platform. Using this platform, his clients are able to focus on building a corporate culture that results in creating business results that allow owners to reach their desired goals and destination.
The round table begins by talking about business managers and how they need to understand that money is not everything when it comes to motivating your employees. Michael talks about how he was in charge of all of the salesmen for his company and was struggling to figure out how to motivate them to do better. He says he attended a 3 day seminar from a company called Success Motivation Institute. He learned about attitude motivation and individual motivation and that’s how he transitioned from being a leader to a people person.
Michael then talks about how when it works with companies he starts with figuring out the strategic plan for that company and why they are in business, what’s their core values. He then offers the teams and employees assessments, which really has an impact on what people should be in a certain seat in the company and who shouldn’t be. His assessments take around an hour and they figure out if the person has the mental capacity to do a certain job within the company. Getting the right people in the right seats in aq company is one of the main keys in creating business results and owner wants.
Download our free business valuation guide here to understand more about business valuations and view our business valuation FAQs to answer the most common valuation questions.
Michael starts with an overall strategic plan for where the company wants to go, then he transitions into individual assessments of the workers at the company to see where they can improve or where they need to be placed in the company. He then has the company really focus on what there goals are. Brainstorming the obstacles that are in your way before so you can figure out how to get over the obstacle will help a company achieve success within there affirmations.
Thanks to Michael for sharing his time and knowledge about creating business results.
Do you want to know if your business is ready for your exit or what you should do to prepare? Learn this and more with our business exit assessment here.
Damon Pistulka 00:02
All right. Hello everyone. Damon Pistulka here with the Aqa Roundtable. Got some music. You’re gonna be happy with me. I figured out how to do the music hopefully. All right now for that made today with me, I’ve got Michael Gidlewski. Boom, I got it right. All right on the money. All right, awesome, Michael. Well, today we’re going to talk about creating great companies and Michael helps helps business owners and businesses really understand how to utilize people how to understand their people, and, and those kinds of things to really create teams that work well and businesses that run run well. So, Michael, great to have you here. Thank you. Great to be here. Yeah. So, Michael, can you tell me a little bit about where you started? And what kind of got you into this? this line of work?
Michael Gidlewski 01:06
Yes, yes. I started in, in the sporting goods business, actually, in my dad’s retail sporting goods store. He had a dream him and his uncle. My uncle was a lifetime or life. Yeah, a lifer in the Marine Corps.
Damon Pistulka 01:21
we’re towing and Korea. And those two guys had a dream to to build a sporting goods store hunting, fishing, trap ranges, skeet ranges, outdoor shooting ranges, the whole nine yards. And so I learned business from unloading trucks and stocking inventory and purchasing, inventory and selling. And that business morphed from a little retail store into a wholesale distributor. And I spent 25 years in, I moved on from his business. He wanted to get rid of the wholesale part. Stay in the retail. I love the excitement of the of the volume of business, right selling more and more. Yeah, I’m doing to other distributors and spent 25 years in the wholesale distribution business.
Damon Pistulka 02:11
Wow. Wow. Well, let’s back up to the beginning. Did they ever have the trap shooting stuff with the Oh yeah,
they had Night Trap shooting. We had lights, and we had four or five track fields lit up at night. Monday night, which was Monday Night Trap shooting? Yeah. Yeah. Wow. It was pretty wild.
Damon Pistulka 02:34
I used that. When I lived in the Midwest. I did it with friends. And I would tell people, we would do it like most people golf.
Michael Gidlewski 02:41
Damon Pistulka 02:42
Yeah. And, you know, people would look at you strange when you went into into a store and you came out with a shopping cart of shotgun shells to because you were going out for the weekend. Right?
Right, right. That’s exactly that’s exactly right. Yeah. Fun times. Fun Time. So I’ve actually learned a lot in there. So where they sell in the normal hunting and fishing and or what what were some of the specialties of the of the store. The store was a generalist, so hunting, fishing gunsmithing, we had to gunsmiths on premises. The rifle range obviously drew a lot of people. We were in Asheville, which is at 25 miles outside of Philadelphia. So folks from Philly would roll out every weekend. Yeah, it was great. They that they just love to shoot targets and get on that rifle range and blow ammo away. Oh, yeah. A lot of you know, kids, you know, parents and their kids. It was a family outing for lots and lots of people.
Damon Pistulka 03:47
Michael Gidlewski 03:48
Yeah, I think that’s really cool.
Damon Pistulka 03:50
Yeah. That’s really cool. So were you were you a hunter or fisherman when growing up then? No, no,
no, I ended up working all the time. Yeah. I always I break my little brother’s chops all the time. Those two guys came along later, and they hunted and fish and they took advantage of all that. But it seemed like me and my dad. We were always working. And I remember in the summer it was like, Dad, I get a guy. We’re not busy. You can’t take a vacation now. And then in the fall in the winter. We’re up to our years in business, y’all. You can’t he can’t take off now. Yeah. Yeah. So I learned the the upside was a good work ethic. And the downside was maybe a too good work ethic. You know, a little bit on the work workaholism ethic.
Damon Pistulka 04:45
Yeah, I understand that completely. Well, that’s cool. That’s cool. It’s a win. You can grow up with family like that in the business. I think that’s kind of special. We don’t hear that often. You don’t hear that often. So yes, yes. Very cool. That’s interesting stuff. So then we move on into the other wholesale distribution kind of businesses. And then what were you doing there?
Primarily, General Manager responsible for the entire operation, right running the entire operation. My first company after I left my father, they were struggling around five, 6 million, I took that to 20 million in five years, and then just worked for different distributors that the business was was was shrinking, it was, you know, it consolidate. So larger distributors continued to buy smaller distributors, and I got caught up in all that, it seemed like every three to five years, would buy us or, and then and then I’d be working for another company. But it was a lot of fun. I learned a lot. I learned a lot. I learned a lot about unions, and everything is just unbelievable education.
Damon Pistulka 05:59
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So um, you would correct me if I’m wrong, but you do a lot with people assessments now and personalities and things like that. So what Really? I mean, I don’t I don’t really quite see this shift from, from leader to people person.
Yeah, well, it’s an interesting story. Because I, I had, the entire operation was run on an override, if you will, the salesman did better. They got an override, I was in charge of all the salesmen, they do better I get an override. It seemed like everybody had little bonuses, and all the way all the businesses were structured, right. So I was always trying to figure out how do I motivate my guys, and my goal is to sell more, sell more, sell more, sell more. And so on add in Success Magazine, this goes back 25 years ago, for a company called success motivation Institute. And, and all three of those words resonated with me, because I wasn’t were successful, couldn’t get my people more motivated and sell more, they might end up in an institution. So I I called them up. And they said, Oh, yes, we’re having a seminar, a three day seminar on this whole idea, and why don’t you come down. So they did it flew to Waco, Texas, unbeknownst to me, it was a franchise opportunity.
Damon Pistulka 07:27
but it was great. I learned a whole lot of stuff. And I said, I’m buying the franchise, and I left there buying a franchise. And I got started, I stayed in the wholesale distribution business, using these materials to see how they would work. Right. And it was a whole different concept. I learned about attitude motivation, which is internal motivation, intrinsic motivation, we have to find out what motivates individuals. And I never do that. I was just throwing more money prizes at my people. So that’s how I got into it. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 08:04
yeah, that’s, well, you know, and I think, realistically, yeah, most managers think about, Oh, yes, the people and stuff like that, but very few ever get into the level of that you talk about, and we’ll get into that a little bit more. Because when you look at a manager that’s got to manage a department or a business, there’s so many competing things, right? They don’t really quite know what all they should be doing and looking at. And I think, as you said, we often think it’s just money, but it’s not always money. And a lot of times correct me, correct me if money is not the main thing? No,
no, no, that’s what I found out. Years and years later, that money wasn’t the main thing. And I was starting to dabble in assessments when I was in the distribution, because I was looking for the slight edge. How do you get the right Jim Collins, right? How do you get people on the bus in the right seat? And so I was searching out even then to try to have that slight edge.
Damon Pistulka 09:10
Okay, so you’re already kind of looking at them to go, maybe if I did something better with my people or understood them or got them moved around to the right spots? It would help us a lot.
Right. Right. Right. Very cool. When I found these assess, I’m blown away today that every business owner doesn’t use assessments. I mean, you think about a miss hire. course you’re 50 Grand 75 depending on right,
Damon Pistulka 09:36
the ugly Yeah,
it’s an ugly, ugly end to spend a couple hundred dollars on an assessment. It just blows my mind how they sometimes they just honored it. Or I hire sports people and ex military you know, they get these boxes and like there’s great people out there. All over the all over the world that maybe You weren’t ex military, or sports wasn’t their thing. And they just get boxed into these these ideas and concepts, which blows me away. Why would you want a validated instrument to help you? Let’s say that’s the end all be all, but certainly gives you the slight edge.
Damon Pistulka 10:16
Well, and the other thing that I’ve found and realized in my own hiring in the past is that you don’t want to hire the same people as you. But those are the people that we connect with the best in an interview. Yeah, they’re probably not the right person for the position.
Right? You get a bunch of Yes, men? Yes, yeah. Yes, that’s a great idea. Damon, what is everything? Yes, let’s go. Let’s go, Hey, you’re right.
Damon Pistulka 10:44
Yeah, you know, especially if you’re if you’re more of an entrepreneurial leader, and you need some detail oriented people that are going to be task based and get it just you you hire somebody that’s more like you as an entrepreneurial leader, you’re hosed. Right, like, they’re going to come up with all these ideas, but never get anything done.
Right. Right. You need all different, all different kinds.
Damon Pistulka 11:09
Yeah. So when we look back over the years of doing this, um, explain some interesting situations you’ve gotten yourself into?
Well, it’s interesting to see when you’re when. So we start typically, not always, but we’ll start with a client feels they need to start right. And typically, it’s saying strategic planning, looking at the whole, you know, the big picture, 30,000 foot view, what’s your B hag? What’s your purpose, what the big guy behind why you’re in business, your core values and really drill down on those core values. core values, think people think that core values are like, honesty, integrity above above, you know, a few things. And they, they slap them up on the wall. And it’s, it’s that’s not it, they have to be lived values, right? Look at Enron. Enron was a great example of a there they have four great values on the wall there. Yeah, well, I don’t know who put them on the wall. But they weren’t live value. So anyway, one of my first client early on, we went in, and we did all the assessments. And we what we started with strategic plan, that we do the assessments to find out who’s in the room with you, first of all, so that we can add a little bit better insight into who we’re dealing with as human beings. And then, so we went through a three day, ramp up, wanted to grow his business, love the the the assessments, you said, let’s do them on the rest of the company, 20 people in the company at the time. And it was it was phenomenal. how, you know, as he looked at those people, as somewhere in the right spot, and somewhere not in the right spot, the wrong seat on the bus, and he was able to move some of those people into the right seats. And some of the people after we went in with some training and development, trying to develop some people, productivity programs, leadership programs, whatever, they realized they were in the wrong seat and left on the room. Wow. Yeah. So that company today is grown four times their original size, and their bottom line is probably 10 times that. The when I started working with him,
Damon Pistulka 13:35
yeah, but they’re a great client clients see the guy who has to do most of the work in with the clients I’m involved with? They do. Yeah. And they wanted to do the work. They wanted to grow the company, they they take assessments real serious. They don’t hire anybody without putting them through a battery of assessments.
Damon Pistulka 13:57
Yeah, well, I think if you do, and when we talk about assessments, these aren’t hour long tests either. How long does one of your assessments take somebody to do
the longest one takes 45 minutes to it? Okay. So they do they do. Now some of the other ones are 10 minutes, 15 minutes. But yeah, one take sentence mental aptitudes to six mental aptitudes. So do they have the mental capacity to do the job? And then 10, personality dimensions, job match job fit, you don’t want to put someone with add in an office. That is that he or she has to sit at a desk all day and do customer service calls or whenever they’ll go nuts, right?
Damon Pistulka 14:43
And then to validity scores, which is really powerful. I haven’t seen very many assessments that have validity scores to let you know if the if the if the candidate is telling the truth or not.
Damon Pistulka 14:59
Yeah. Yeah, I’ve seen that before and other ones where they, but only one, where they’ve said something similar to that is are you know, what’s the weather telling the truth? They’re talking about? Are you working in your comfort zone? It was already different than that. Yeah. Let’s back up again. So when you when you look, because I skipped ahead, my question, When, when, when you go in and we’re looking at this 30,000 foot level, right, what is the very next thing that you want to do with that organization? So we’ve looked at the 30,000 foot level. Now, is it that you want to start doing assessments on the key? The key executives or management team, you start there? Or what do you really start with something like this,
we always start with the with the assessments, especially if we’re leading into a strategic planning session, or a big goals session, it actually doesn’t matter what we’re leading into, we’re leading with with the assessments, because that we then after we do the assessment, we give them the feedback on the assessments. So they also start to learn the different communication styles of everybody else on their team, right? The The, the values of the people, the how those other people interact. And that’s very powerful, because we all have different communication styles. And if I don’t understand them, and I don’t adapt my style, let’s say mean, you had different styles, and I’m adapt my style to your style, or vice versa. This could be a disconnect. And it could be a pretty serious disconnect. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 16:45
yeah. So So the main benefit of that first
assessment, and the sharing of the results is better communication among the executives. Absolutely. You see, the light bulbs go off like crazy, bing, bing, bing, oh, that’s why that person, you know, is very assertive or aggressive or very short, right? Or that’s why that person has to tell the backstory in the backstory of the backstory, right? Or that’s why that person is so detail oriented, and just loses their mind when the people that work for them aren’t detail oriented. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 17:22
Yeah. Well, that’s okay. So in that instance, there when someone’s very detail oriented, and they’re talking to somebody that’s more conceptual and entrepreneur, entrepreneurial. Do you think that helps them then to understand where the information is coming from? Or I should say the person receiving information, does that help them a lot to?
Absolutely, if they’re both have enough awareness to start to flex their own style. So if each person says, You know what, I’m going to flex my style more into your style, and you more into mind, we can have a more effective communication. But some people are just hard asses. And they’re like, that’s just the way I am. Yeah. Yeah, that’s the way you’re hardwired. But you can modify, and certainly you want them. If you want better results, you want to learn to modify your communication style. Yes. Why wouldn’t you want to do that? But really, I just at the end of the year, did a big communication assessment with a company, maybe 20 managers, and one of the managers was this in the disk model, hi, C, just and very task oriented, no people orientation whatsoever. All tasks are a tester. And they had him managing people. And, you know, as we’re, as I’m going in just asking questions, and it was obvious that he just wanted no part of managing people. Yeah, I talked to the owner. And they found another job for this guy, that he was all about doing tasks and projects, and not really having to deal with people. He is thriving in that job. He’s doing great for the company. And he’s doing great for himself because he doesn’t have to, like he just couldn’t understand why people couldn’t do it as perfectly as him.
Damon Pistulka 19:25
Just it’s just like, I don’t understand, like, I like it’s logical. It’s common sense. What do you mean, you get thought the I cross the T perfectly?
Damon Pistulka 19:35
Yes, yes. Well, and that’s, and that’s, I mean, it’s that happens. Different things like that, but different personality traits with every single person in every single position, right? And every single relationship, I don’t care if it’s work or home or wherever. Right? And so what are some Other things that you see that really that that you go, when people do the old aha thing? And they do it, what are some of the, you know, the common things that you go, man, this is this is really cool when this happens?
Michael Gidlewski 20:13
do, first of all, just what we’re talking about that awareness in, in, in the different communication styles. The other aha that goes off for this one communication assessment. It’s only 15 minutes that and values, right? They, when they get their feedback, they’re getting like a 4050 page report back they the people cannot they go, Oh my god, I can’t believe that I was on a computer for 1015 minutes and got all this feedback. It is absolutely like me. I mean, it is striking me to take now every once in a while shows it’s at the time, man. I said, Well, we have the spousal test or the best friend test. Are you married, you have a spouse or are not go go take this assessment home and give this to your spouse or your best friend, ask them to read it and ask them to tell you if it’s like you or not. Every every time they come back the next day, my spouse and that’s exactly like me, and then she could have saved me the money from spending that on that assessment.
Damon Pistulka 21:16
Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s it. That’s just it to what that? That right there. That example? And I’m sure it’s happened to you a lot. Yeah. Just to that person should mean that they need to really open up and look at themselves a little better.
Absolutely. Again, if you don’t have self awareness, and you’re at least trying, you’re you’re in trouble.
Damon Pistulka 21:42
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s very difficult, I’m sure for some and, and you know, and people that, especially as you’re, you know, if you’re a business owner, some I’m sure there’s a lot of apprehension to change some of the ways that they do things.
Michael Gidlewski 22:01
Right. Right. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Damon Pistulka 22:04
Yep. So, so Okay, so we’re sitting here now, and we’re doing this. We’ve done the assessments, my team is it seems to be working together better. We’re doing our planning. So what would be the next thing that you’d be helping a business like that do?
Yeah, one of the things that’s interesting comes up a lot is when we start to do the planning, you start to talk about B hags, big, hairy, audacious goals, but also just goals in general. Right. And, and they, they they keep thinking about, like, the budget, the budget, you know, what did we do last year? 10 million, 20,000,025, whatever. And we’ll add on, what do you think we can grow? I think we can grow 5% 3%. And they just do that formula? says no, no goals are what you really, really want to have happen. to So versus a budget. You know, what, yeah, you need budgets, and you need those. But where do you really want to go with this business? And, and goal setting is a process. I think that’s, that’s where a lot of a has come into, because a lot of people think that, you know, they take the old, three by five card, right? this a little bigger than three by five card, right? They write their goal on there, and then they put it in their back pocket. And then that goal becomes it’ll look at it and it just becomes a pain in the ass because it’s in the back pocket here, right? Yeah. But there’s a real process to go through. First of all SMART goals, which isn’t usually new to people. But then why do I want the goal why see the goal important to us personally into the organization, right? And really drilling down that Toyota five why’s Why is important yet, then what are the obstacles? Why don’t you have it already, if that’s what you want? So brainstorm the obstacles. Ryan, I believe how Holliday wrote a great book, I’m just reading it’s called the obstacle is the way and I’m like, Oh my God. He’s got one of our gold planning processes. Because Yeah, you identify the obstacle, then you identify as, then you really get into the brainstorming part. We’re really, really in obstacles time management, taking a half day time management course is probably not the solution. And you might have even taken that in the past, right? So really drilling down to get the most and the best creative idea so that we get the solutions then the out of the solutions come all the action steps right. And prioritizing them action step 12345. The most important and then obviously tracking and measuring. I don’t care how you track and measure whiteboard flip chart dashboards, really results.com results bi you know, software with blah, blah, blah. I don’t care just so you’re tracking and measuring, and then your affirmations and visualizations who else needs to know the goal. But the most important four letter word in a goals program that a lot of people miss is the word next, and e x t. Next, always knowing what to do next we might we start out with a goal in January, we might not know all the action steps that we need to roll out to achieve that goal. However, we just need to know what to do next. Yeah, and they keep rolling out in front of it just like a car right at night. How far can you see with the headlights on? hundred yards? That’s all you need. You could drive all the way across country all night. With those headlights on you. You don’t need to see 3000 miles in front of your it’s 100 miles in front of you or even a mile in front of you. Mm hmm. A couple hundred yards is good. And you just keep moving forward.
Damon Pistulka 26:05
Yeah. It is really interesting that you say that a lot of people get mixed up in that.
Michael Gidlewski 26:12
Damon Pistulka 26:14
They really do.
Yeah, yeah. And it disconnected, really big disconnect ICS with culture, that how powerful culture is and how getting the right people having the right culture fit is going to be. And I saw this in sales, even when I was in the wholesale distribution, I put up with sales people sometimes way longer than I should have, because I thought they were you know, they were the heavy hitters. But you can think of think of the heavy hitters in a lot of sports, right? They’re not the team players. It’s all about them. And then their their ego, maniacs and stuff. So, you know, team plays and pays a lot of money. And they still don’t win the Super Bowl or the World Series, because the players not a good fit.
Damon Pistulka 27:02
That’s for sure. With the team. It is it is interesting in how that works is it’s you can take well, and it’s the old, the old Oakland A’s. You know, with Billy Beane Moneyball I mean, it’s totally that is, you know, a good good team players teach him how to play you know, play for average, you can go a long ways. Right and, and then again, it just reading the email again, and that talks so much about the system and and you know, uses the McDonald’s as the example for develop your system, develop your system, develop your system, so that average average people can can do great things, and he will have a great company, like you can read that. I think what you’re doing is, you know, with your you’re getting people communicating well, you’re getting the goals set, obstacles identified with I’m sure they’re you’re talking about, okay, how are we going to get around these obstacles and get people working on that and in and like you said, Get those into incremental steps. So okay, we’re going to go down to the corner, and then we’re going to take them right out or something in the way we’re going to go to the other side of the street, and then we’re going to continue down that direction. You know, and just those kind of things like you’re saying, where we don’t need to know that we’re going 100 miles, right, you need to know, where are we in, you know, where, like you said, as far as the headlights can see right now, this is what we’re going to do. Right? Right. I really like that. I really like that analogy with the headlights because so many people get stuck on the long term. Right? Right. They’re like, okay, we’re gonna be here at the end of this year, boom, you know, and we’re focusing on that. Well, you need to keep that in the back of your mind. But But today, where are we going? And where are we going after that?
Yeah, because we’re looking at we’re looking at the long range, right that your angle? What do I need to do today, and this week, to advance towards that goal. And that’s why breaking it down into the very micro action steps. What do I need to do today? And also, one of the biggest challenges for business people and entrepreneurs and CEOs is you get sucked into the operations. It’s like this, this this magnet, right? That, that just sucks you back into the daily operations over and over and over. So CEOs, business owners are not taken. The number one challenge is not taking time, think time to step back and really think In fact, for years, I had the top CEO high payoff activities, right. And I always said, planning and goal setting was number one and division and communicate, but I’ve changed it to think time is number one, think time, turn everything off. Take A blank pad and a pen, not a key stroking and typing into the computer. Because writing, crystallizes thought and crystallized thought motivates action. So it’s the it’s the hand writing part. And just thinking, just, you know, ask yourself some really good questions and spend 45 minutes to an hour, answering them with no interruptions whatsoever, when they don’t realize either, I think far too many times is every time we are interrupted, wherever that interruption comes from an individual, a ringing, Ding, and flashing email, text, whatever, right? in the world that CEOs and business owners live in, they, they’re not assembly line workers, they’re they’ve got brains, and they need to use those brains. And every time we’re interrupted, and when we’re in knowledge work, when we’re in thinking deep thought, thinking work, it takes us 15 to 20 minutes to get back to where we left off. Yes, that’s huge. That is frickin huge. Yeah, I wish I would have known some of this stuff when I was in the wholesale distribution, because I always used to say, Oh, my office store is like a Macy’s revolving door. Salespeople, managers, you know, whoever coming in and out all day long, I would go get a new office, nine o’clock, 839. It wasn’t a real early bird. But I’d stay late. Everybody leave by 536 o’clock, between 6pm and 9pm, I would always be amazed at how much quality work I can be done. I’m like, wow, I was here for, you know, 10 hours. And in three hours, I got more work than I did all day long. Mm hmm. Because they didn’t know how to delegate it into how to keep the door closed, maybe not for eight solid hours. But you have to have quality think time.
Damon Pistulka 32:03
Yes. And that’s so key. I, I work with that on some of our clients, you know, as as we go, it’s, it’s interesting to see that the path that we use it eggs a year away is very similar. We don’t get into the people, the assessments and those kind of things. And really, it’s, we help some with the goal and the annual plan, but not to the detail level that you do. But we do talk with the owners a lot about and the executives about that thing time that time just to think, and it’s almost funny sometimes. When you ask someone, well, what do you think? What do you think? And and they give you a common robotic answer. So no, what do you think about this? How does it feel? What are your thoughts to really get their mind engaged around something? Because they actually said they’re so sucked into, I have to make a decision? Because somebody has asked me a question, right? And that’s not where your mind needs to be to get the most valuable ideas for your business a lot of the time as as you move up. And I’ve always said that, as you move up, you need more time away from the business. Yeah, as owners, owners, if they can spending half their time away from the business is more valuable to them in the long run, if they’re using it, you know, where they can think? And really, what are the next stages? What are the things that we should be doing, thinking about the markets, and there’s so much that’s more valuable, then, you know, if I’ve got a plumbing company, or I’ve got a manufacturing company, and I’m in the plant, or I’m helping people with whatever, that’s the you provide the value of one person by doing that. But as the owner, if I can think that, and I can engage 100 people in that activity that generate money for my company, I just created 100 people’s worth of revenue from that. And that’s, that’s where that thinking time really go blows up. Because you can, you can create the big ideas, and not just the ideas, but the big actions that can can really take your company to different levels.
Michael Gidlewski 34:18
Yes, true. So true.
Damon Pistulka 34:21
And I’ve got I’ve actually got a couple people I’ve known for many, many years now that it’s that started do that. And it’s, it really has changed their careers, from the standpoint of not not being in that is not in the business all the time.
Right. Right. It is so it’s it’s hard to comprehend. Earlier when I said I, you know, I was sort of a workaholic. I got that from my dad. I joined the Strategic Coach program, and I was in that program many many years. And Dan Sullivan talked about three days totally free, disconnected from the business and I It was, it was on comprehendible in my brain, my brain vacations were I’m a prolific reader, this 4000 books here, I’ve read about 70 80% of them. My goals are read them all. But I would take a stack of business books, you know, on vacation. And that’s not vacation. That’s still work. So I learned. And so I that coach program was a full day program. First time I flew out early in the morning, went through the program all day and flew out that night. After that, I said, This is stupid, that I would fly in Sunday morning, spend all day prepping for an all day Monday workshop, and then fly out late Monday or Tuesday. And it was powerful. When I started to use it. I gotta tell you, this book, I just was turned on to this book, by Joe polish. It’s called the road less stupid by Keith Cunningham. This book, absolutely will be in the top 10 books that I recommend to any business owner. And he really really talks about this thinking time, a lot of great ideas in here, but years and years of him making mistakes and learning from them. But yeah, it’s it’s, it’s, it’s hard for people it was hard for me like, you gotta be doing doing go faster, faster, faster. Now my mantra is slow down the go faster, think it really through, really create, look at what you want. I work with I’m working with a new client about a month ago. And I have the first exercise I do with him is called the freedom exercise. Because what do you want personally out of your business? What are the freedoms and stuff? Right? Yeah. So it gave him the exercise. He did it. We came back the next week. I said, What did you What did you get from that? Or what? What were your insights where you learn? He said, it took me I forget what his exact words were like 25 years to get to that point like, like, if you would have had that exercise 25 years ago, it gave him such clarity on why he wanted to create this business and everything is pretty powerful.
Damon Pistulka 37:21
Yeah, that is the when he talked about the freedoms from the business I you know, that’s that’s the thing. Oh, Andrew, Andrew Cross is on the chat. He’s asking what the book is. So I will
Michael Gidlewski 37:35
the road less stupid,
Damon Pistulka 37:37
Andrew? Yeah, the road less stupid. And I’ve got that written down. I think from the last time we talked, I’ve got I think I actually have it on my audible list too, because I think it’s on Audible, too. Yes, it is. It’s the what you just said is probably the hardest thing for for someone that starts a business to do is really understand that. If you are working all the time in the business, right, you will not create the business you want. You’re going to create a, a you’re going to create a prison for yourself. That’s what you create, because you can’t leave because it won’t work without you. And, and you and you don’t and you want to leave because you went into business to do something different than work, right? Or work at a job. But that’s what you do. Yeah. So what you’re saying is very relevant to almost anyone listening here that’s in business. I mean, there’s a and and this is again, and as you say reading, I do a fair amount of Andrew reads a lot and a lot of people do. But I was thinking about this again, in the E myth where he talks about, you know, we’ve all got, as you start these businesses, you got the three people, you got the technician, you’ve got the entrepreneur and you get the whatever else it is that three, the three in there. But you know, we’ve all done that when we start a business, if you start a business, you’re the technician. And he talks about it and that thing, and you really need to get out of that if you’re going to get anywhere. And when we’re when at Asia your way when we’re talking this and we’re in the last five or so years of business ownership. It’s critical. Because if, if you Michael are the core of your business, what is your business when you leave?
Right? Right? Absolutely. It’s nothing. Right, right.
Michael Gidlewski 39:35
Yeah. Yeah, you have
Damon Pistulka 39:38
to do what you’re saying and how you’re helping people is one of the things that they may not even be realizing is their business is much, much, much more valuable. When they can move away and think and derive those larger actions. It’s way more valuable when it can run without them.
Right? No question about it. And that’s, I think You were talking about a haws and wow moments. Those are some of the moments that go off after a while with working with clients because they don’t see that right where they’re workaholics are going to continue to work. And I just, you know, through Spaced Repetition over and over and over repeating like you got it, you got to work on the big picture, you got to take time away from from that business. You can’t be in the weeds all the time and making that shift from the weeds to the big picture. Once they get it, then they really understand that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now I understand.
Damon Pistulka 40:34
Yeah. Yep. Yep. So as you’re going through this process, they’re starting to hit the aha moments. And you’re, you’re you’re going down the road, they’ve laid out their goals for a year. What do you typically helping those those companies with at that point, when they when they say, okay, we’ve our planning is done, and we’re moving forward.
It’s really results management, then monthly, or quarterly. So this is the plan. These are the goals. This is the B hag, what are you doing every day and every week to get to that B hag. So creating the key performance indicators or KPIs right there metrics, we want as many leading KPIs as we can get, rather than lightning light, you know, today, the eighth of September, looking at August sales, too late to do anything about it, or anything that happened in August for that matter, we can’t go back. But if I’ve got great leading KPIs, the eighth of September, if I’m, if I’m running behind on my daily KPIs, I’ve got three more, three and a half more weeks to turn it around.
Damon Pistulka 41:41
really driving that, and then develop after this to developing the leaders and the managers, most of the of the, you know, mid sized companies and stuff their managers have, or their MBAs, managers by accident. They were the best Dewar or technician, or whatever. And the owner said, You’re now a manager. And this this, this person, this man or woman, who was a phenomenal technician, maybe computer programmer out on the shop, floor, whatever, doesn’t know anything about managing people. So they say, well, we’re going to give you the wonderful world famous half day management program by Freddy Pryor. And now you will be the best manager in the world. And we just don’t, where there’s not a lot of stickiness and a half day program. Yes. So all our again, processes are over a period of 10 sessions, 12 session, whatever spaced repetition, tie in the goals and tying the KPIs, mentor, manager and and be the facilitator. It’s, it’s a, it’s a process. And it just it just a little thing in the process, hammering managers to be a good finder and give good positive feedback. They’re looking for anything going wrong, and they’re jumping down there people’s throats. It’s what most people learn, right? And they don’t realize that it takes six to eight positive feedbacks to offset one negative. Oh, it’s
Damon Pistulka 43:39
Yeah. And when you start giving people positive feedback, they’ll they’ll do whatever you ask them, you know, with it morally, ethically, I mean, people what did Mark Twain say I can live for a month on a on, you know, a good compliment.
Michael Gidlewski 44:03
in transactional analysis language stroke deprived that we don’t get enough good positive stroking in our life. So if a manager does that, oh, my goodness, the employees will, will grow. It’s like a flower around water, sunshine nutrients to a plant more than it gets to yes or no.
Damon Pistulka 44:31
And the thing you are talking about is age old right, is I just put it on my phone because I read the book by Dale Carnegie, you know how to influence Yes, for Win Friends and Influence People or something like that. But the other thing was written like in what was in the 40s or 50s. It was a Yeah, like, it’s like way old. But, you know, I’ve got a friend of mine, that’s a very litigious follower of it, and you You would be amazed at the things that he can do by doing it. Yeah, it is just absolutely amazing. And he practices and practices on it and and that and, and you know, he’s not it’s cross. It’s a cross. Yeah. Very educated people. Yeah, factory workers, office, normal office people, technicians all across the board. But as you’re saying, When you find the good, and you really take the time to help someone be better in the right way, rather than tell them why they’re what they’re not doing, right, or why they’re not doing things, right. Yes, it’s amazing the difference you can get. Yeah, it really is. That’s cool. That’s cool. Because you because quite honestly, we’ve we’ve been a lot of us have been programmed to find the negative.
Michael Gidlewski 45:59
Right, right. Right. Right. Right. Yes.
Damon Pistulka 46:02
And that’s, that’s, while that is important, we need to identify, but then when we address something, we have to address it differently. Right. Right. do get the desired result. So yeah, and brought up
that that’s a great book, Dale Carnegie, there’s a lot of great stuff out there. That’s, you know, Carnegie’s 80, maybe even 100 years old by now, Napoleon Hill thinking grow rich. Do you think about a lot of these core principles go right back to the great. The Greek philosophers, the Old and New Testament, the Bhagavad Gita, right? The meat is this stuff is ancient. And it’s timeless. But people are they don’t want timeless man. We live in a world they want the newest, latest greatest. And I see this stuff all the time. Thought Leader, you know, Google okrs. Yeah, they’re big goals, you know, but they just change the name. And then everybody wants to jump on the OKR bandwagon I see people coming out with SWOT analysis is solid, you know, work shop to go through strength and weakness, to the threats. Yeah, we don’t do squats anymore. We do. And then it just, if you looked at synonyms for the four words, they came up with the synonyms or SWOT, right, but everybody’s so hung up on, I gotta come out with some new, you know, stuff. The, the timeless stuff is timeless, for reason.
Damon Pistulka 47:37
Well, and in, you bring up a point, most of the businesses that we work with, and it may be the same as you, it’s not the, the, you know, brand new idea that really makes the exponential difference in what they’re doing. It’s consistently executing what they intended to execute for the last 20 years. Right, but executing it, and then executing a little better and a little better, a little better. Yeah. And, and you know, when you start talking about KPIs, simple things, just simple things, like if you’re if your sales aren’t going, right, well, how many, you know, how many touches are your salespeople doing with your prospective clients? How many prospective clients so they have to talk to every week? You know, work on things like that, that are very basic and very simple. Yes, your messaging needs to be right. But on the other hand, if you’re talking to enough clients, and your messaging is okay, you’re still going to be pretty good. And, and you know, and those are the kinds of things that I think that we see over and over and over is the important basics that you’re doing. By doing the assessment, the communication part, making sure people understand they’re communicating, right. And then when you you lay down the planning to go, Okay, this is what we want to do. And here’s our, here’s our goals, what we really want this to look like, and then lay down the the KPI so you’re looking at a weekly basis with these leading indicators of are we getting enough, you know, swings, you know, at bats, are we getting to the plate enough to get tried to try to sell our product or service or, or get enough people on our website to sell enough widgets? You know, those are the kind of things excuse me that they really need to need to be looking at. Not so much as to here’s a new platform that we’re going to launch. It’s going to change the world.
Michael Gidlewski 49:40
Damon Pistulka 49:41
As you said, even in these books and the the theories we’re talking about, sometimes it’s it’s, it’s working with what you’ve got and making some modifications to make it work better and you’re going to get a lot farther, a lot faster.
Right. And we look at you look at Vince Lombardi, what a great football Coach, coaching teams that weren’t, you know, players weren’t making 510 $20 million. One, I don’t know how many Super Bowls and before two Super Bowls, right. And he just focused on the basics over and over and over the basics of every team that played against them. Watch the pregame films, right and they know who’s going to do what. And yet, Lombardi’s team beat them over and over and over. I was fascinated. When I was in the distribution business. Lombardi was just a guy, my hero, and I read about him and studied him. And that the the guys, some of the guys, Jerry Kramer played on his team, and he made a lot of videos afterwards, like training videos and stuff. So I sucked all those up, but most of them boardies players. Will all the players needed to have a career after they were Yeah, yeah. Did you get paid enough to write? Yeah, no days? Yeah. Interesting fact is that almost every one of those players were phenomenally successful in normal, average, businesses, restaurants, building, beer distribution, whatever. Because of these basics they had internalized, and they grok them, they live the basics day in and day out. And it’s a it’s amazing to see that.
Damon Pistulka 51:27
Yeah, yeah, it really is. It really isn’t everyone people understand that, that, you know, making plans and then working towards executing them. Is the it’s the backbone in most successful businesses. Yes, you know, and if you do nothing more than that, you’re going to be a lot farther down the road. You know, we were we were talking with I forgot Walters last Walter Crosby. Talking with him a few weeks ago, maybe a little bit longer ago, he was talking about sales management and the importance of having a sales process. Right. And I think this is one of the areas where people don’t look at very often. And he was saying that just having a sales process, you’ll sell 10 to 15% more.
Right, right. Right. I was talking to one of my clients and we’re doing a little bit of goal setting work with the sales team. I have so many goal what what is your goal for referrals?
Michael Gidlewski 52:32
And, and that was like dead silence.
You got to be asking for referrals, quality introductions, whatever you want to call it, you got to be getting introduced, you do good quality work your your clients really do like you. And it wasn’t part of the sales process. No one had ever really encouraged them or taught them to ask for good quality introductions.
Damon Pistulka 52:57
Yeah. Well, and then how do you educate for that, but that’s a that’s a great point of, of the sales process, or any process really is to? You know, just just do it, follow it. And if it doesn’t work, change it
from school. Follow it. Right, right, right. Yeah, absolutely. Japanese saying fall down seven times get up eight. Yeah, good. bluesky say fall down. 77 get up 78? Yep, just keep failing forward. Just keep, you know, I mean, learn from the failures. But, man, that’s the that’s the only way you’re gonna grow. That’s, that’s for
Damon Pistulka 53:39
sure. That is for sure. It really makes it makes a huge difference. You know, and, and when you come back again to it, I want to get off on a completely other topic. But as you as you do this, right, when you’re helping people and you’re looking at culture, they the one thing you have to do is encourage some failure. Yes, yes. Pushing to the limit of failing once in a while not being successful all the time. And learning from it, because if you’re not, you’re not moving forward fast enough in anything, really. And that’s, that’s one of the things I think that you know, just the B hags that you talk about, you have to have those because you’ve got to go okay, how are we going to, you know, and there’s all kinds B hag 10 x, or you know, like the same thing, it’s all a bunch of the same words put together differently. And that the end result is the same. If I if I want to try to climb Mount Everest, and I get to climb Mount Rainier. Well, I still find a pretty big mountain at the end of the day, rather than rather than walking up the hill and my and my neighbors. Yeah, you bet. And that’s, that’s really what I like about about those kind of things and laying them out there. So yeah, um, you know, Michael, it’s been awesome talking with you again, we’re coming up on about an hour here. And it seems like it’s been 10 minutes. It does. It’s such a natural conversation with you on your knowledge about people and assessing them and the leadership and and, and then helping them helping them. The team really put together those plans and execute them to really create a business that the owner wants. And that and the people are happy to work in and really have a good time is awesome.
Yeah, that’s awesome. You bet you bet that the Japanese or the Chinese have great saying, may you live in interesting times. And we certainly are living in interesting times, then there’s gonna there’s a tremendous amount of every adversity, there’s a seed of equal or greater opportunity. And I think sometimes it’s, it’s difficult to see that, yeah, these are challenging times. And some people are really, down and out. And I’m not minimizing that at all. But boy, I see all kinds of other upsides and successes and people pivoting and doing things and that are just, they’re taking advantage of opportunities that are there. I don’t mean, you know, buying up all the the hand sanitizer when it first happened, and then selling it for, you know, $60 for $2 bottle or something, I mean, real opportunities in like, how do we move and take advantage of the adversity that we’re in?
Damon Pistulka 56:25
Yes, well, it’s it’s as you said, it’s, there’s opportunity in almost every failure or challenge we run into, and, and it they’re hidden A lot of times, and 10 times they hurt so bad that you really don’t want to admit you learn anything from it, but but in the end, they really can, you know, and you do see that you see that all over and I agree 100 100% that, you know, personally and and what I see around us, we we see these opportunities opening before us. I think that, you know, COVID has been a real horrible time for a lot of people. And it’s it will continue to be challenging. And in in those challenges, though, I think we look at that look at you know, the example of us, right, we met because COVID gave us more time to be in doing things like this. And through Kelly Robinson, we met and when we got to talk and now we’re doing this in, in the kind of learning from each other on the calls outside. It just these kind of things may not have ever happened.
Right? Right. Absolutely. Absolutely. Look at the whole video thing, the zoom that what we’re doing? Yeah, we’re we’re busy with clients. We’re busy in the operations too, right? Yes, we’re meeting with clients doing plans and all that zoom is freed up so much drive time. It’s unbelievable.
Damon Pistulka 57:55
Yes. Well, I was telling somebody the other day that you know, it literally, I use Google and Google wouldn’t mail email me at the end of every month. And it would say, well, you spent 80 hours in the car this month, you spent 70 hours or 100 hours. And I’m like, That’s crazy. And now last month, Google said I spent two hours in the car so that was like a good but but for clients and for us. It’s time that we can use we can use for clients and we can use for ourselves so it’s all worked out. Yeah, never sure. Well, Michael, it’s been awesome to get you on and I just thank you so much. Miko again, lucky. And what’s your company name again? I won’t make sure every guy’s that right.
achievement. Unlimited. Yeah, he’s meant unlimited.
Damon Pistulka 58:48
And we’ll have Michaels Michaels contact information in with a video you can reach Michael on LinkedIn. And just so happy to have you here. Thank you so much. And thank you everyone for listening. Very well. We’re out for now.
Okay, great. See you later. Bye Bye. Take care.
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