Understanding Your People

0:00:24.9 S1: Welcome to another episode of Behind the Dreamers. I’m Jennifer Loehding and we are talking to the creators, the magic makers, the achievers, and the dreamers. These are our friends. These are your friends and they are living the extraordinary. My guest today, super excited to welcome her on, says she has made it her life’s work to grow the kind of teams that inspire, influence, and innovate brand experience. She knows just how powerful teams can be when they feel psychologically safe and invested. And she knows just how crucial that is to any organization that wants to rapidly grow and expand. This is going to be a fun one today. But before we bring her on, we have to welcome her. I say welcome. We have to do a shout-out to our sponsors. We have to welcome them, too. But we have to do a shout-out. All right. So today’s episode is brought to you by Walt Mills Photography. If you are a creator needing post-production, consultation or promotion, Walt Mills is your guy, whether short films, YouTube films, photography work or a new headshot, he can help you find a solution to meet your needs.

0:01:27.2 S1: To learn more about Walt and his work, you’re going to want to go to photosbywalt.com. We also want to give a shout out to our friend Chris Klo of Upbeat Media Productions. If you are in need of turnkey special event production, Klo is your go to. You can learn more about him and his work at upbeatmediapro.com. All right. So it’s time to welcome our guest to the show today. Jennifer Thornton has developed her expertise and talent strategy and leadership professional development over her exciting 20 plus year career as an HR professional. She has led international teams across greater China, Mexico, the UK and the US to expand into new markets, managing franchise retailers and developing key strategic partnerships, all while exceeding business objectives and financial results. The rapid growth of her consulting firm 304 Coaching has been largely due to Jennifer’s unconventional approach to building innovative workforce development solutions for companies who are facing breakthrough growth and accelerated hiring patterns. So welcome to the show, Jennifer. Excited to have you here today.

0:02:36.8 S2: I’m excited to be here and it’s going to be a ton of fun. I know you have so many cool things going on there.

0:02:42.2 S1: I’m like reading all that and I’m like, she’s been to China and to Mexico. I always love the bios because I find out so much fun stuff about people and it’s so neat to see, you know, how people have taken their work and it’s just taken them to all these great places and meeting these great people and stuff. So I think that’s just the fun part of this is getting to know you, your journey and what you’re doing. So we’re excited. So I want to open this up because I kind of want to start off, I think, a little bit about your background because you’ve been in HR for like a really long time. So you’ve got a lot of knowledge in that area. And so I think let’s open it up with that and tell us a little bit, our audience, how that HR has come into this new, you know, this what Jennifer’s doing now with her 304 Coaching and how she’s helping her clients.

0:03:29.5 S1: I actually I did do our lead HR teams all around the world and have a ton of HR background. But my early days of my career were was actually in operations and the sales part of operations. And I haphazardly ended up in HR. I didn’t think I was going to have an HR career. I was always going to run operations. I was always going to run sales teams. But what I found early on in my career is I got my results in a way that most people didn’t. Most people were highly competitive and they wanted to be number one and they wanted all these things that you think of a high-performing sales team. I wanted to build great teams and have a ton of fun and help people develop and help people hit their goals and the results and all of these things. And so I was kind of one of those things like which one of these doesn’t belong. I was a top performer, usually performing every year the top one, two. I, you know, to this day can say I’ve never missed my comp, L.Y. numbers. I’m always, you know, I was always landing my numbers, but I did it in a way that no one else did it.

0:04:28.8 S2: And what my leader started to notice is I was just really good with the talent. I was really good at identifying, finding, maintaining, developing, and that is where I performed very well. And so I was fortunate that I had a leader that said, you know, I think we should move you into HR and then you can do this and help everyone. You can do it for everyone and not just your team. And so that’s how I ended up in HR. It was by accident. And I think that’s what gives me the approach I have now is that I don’t look at HR from a classically trained position. I don’t look at it as, you know, policy police or some of that old school HR stuff that we, you know, sometimes pops up. I look at it as you have a business objective and the only way to deliver that is to build a really high-functioning team. And how do we take your business plan and your talent plan, put those together and create the results you want? So that’s, you know, why I think that people come to us for help is because we have a different viewpoint on how to lead teams than your classic HR group.

0:05:30.6 S1: Yeah, I love this. And you said like a couple of things there that are really resonating with me right now. OK, so that I’m hearing the nonlinear and we always talk about this on this show, how our paths sort of go a different direction. And you said, why did start out in HR? Right. Well, it’s funny how that always happens. You know, we find we’re doing one thing and then we sort of navigate into this other piece. But I think the beauty of that is that you’ve gained all this knowledge through all of that. And you can take these different things from the different areas and you’ve been able to pull them together into this, whatever, you know, what you’re doing now. So I think that’s great. The other thing that you really resonated with me and when you were talking about it, I actually started getting chills is when you were talking about the teams, because I think I shared with you that I came from the network marketing side of things. I was in that organization for twenty three years. And so that is all about team building and creating culture. And when you talk about numbers, you know, this was one of the things and within the organization that the groups were very, very different.

0:06:24.4 S1: Some of them were very much driven by relational building. And how do we create a spirit of core and community and move people this way? And others, it was all about the numbers. It was how many quotas are we meeting? And it’s driving me crazy because like you, I believe that things, things, people stay in organizations because of culture and community. People, especially women, they will work in companies because of community and culture. Right. And so what I’m hearing from you, I really like this whole idea that you’re kind of bringing it all together and recognizing that, hey, if we want to keep these companies engaged, we have to do this on a different level than just looking at a spreadsheet and numbers. So kudos to you on that. I love it. Yes, it was it’s it’s interesting.

0:07:09.3 S2: I was always in retail, started out actually working in the mall. You know, that’s what I always wanted to do. I wanted to go work in the mall because I love to shop and, you know, dreams come true. And that’s what I did. But little did I know it would take me all around the world and leading all these big teams. But but yes, the career is definitely not linear.

0:07:29.0 S1: Yeah. Well, and I think to hear I noticed I was looking over, you know, like your website and some of the things that you talk about and communication. And so, you know, maybe for some of our listeners, because there are people listening to this and some of them are actually, you know, in corporations, they’re they’re the employer. Some of them are going to be the CEO of the company and they’re looking for the talent. Right. And then there’s the people like me myself who are the solo entrepreneur that we’re still dealing with people. Right. We still have to outsource and we have to find the right people. And so what does that look like from your perspective when you’re, say, working with these teams? Like what do you what is some maybe some tips that you give them when they’re trying to find people or maybe just on the communication level? I think that’s huge. So, yes, so when we’re trying to find people for work, we have to get incredibly creative in today’s world. You know, gone are the days of a linear job. This is what, you know, you will do. This is what it will look like.

0:08:23.2 S1: These are the dates and times in which you will execute this work. Right. We’re used to get, you know, kind of those kudos for, you know, how many hours we spent in the seat. You know, if you were there before the boss got there and still sitting there when the boss went home, you were the best employee ever. No one ever noticed if you actually got any work done in that time period. And so in today’s world, we have to get incredibly creative and meet people where they’re at and think about looking at it differently. So, for example, in my own business, you know, we have eight people on the team and none of them are actually full time because a lot of them have other side hustles, other interests. And I purposely built it that way because I wanted to find individuals who were really, really good at what they did and allow them to only do that. Now, I could have gone out and hired four full time people that did a whole, you know, list of different things. And chances are, 50% of the time, they would disappoint myself and themselves because they’d be doing work they were no good at and work they didn’t want to do.

0:09:28.0 S1: But because of the way that we’ve structured it, our view is you do the work you want to do, you do it really well, you do it when you want to do it and how you want to do it. And you show up in your best self. Now, you think about a traditional office. How does that translate? You know, I’m very lucky of a virtual business. So it’s a little different. But in a traditional corporate environment, you can look at it the same way. You can look at, you know, is there someone that is so talented and 75% of their job, they knock it out of the park. Twenty five percent of it, they really struggle. Do you look at an offer that’s 32 hours a week so they still get benefits, but maybe they’re working four days a week and they’re focused on that 75% they’re really good at. There’s just so many different ways you can start to look at work in today’s world. Technology has changed that. You can look at obviously, you know, there’s enough podcasts that have talked about the workplace and blended approach and virtual. We don’t have to get into any of that.

0:10:23.3 S2: But it’s really about getting creative and thinking about who can do this work. Why would they want to do this work? How do I find them? Where are they actually at? They’re probably not on Indeed if they’re really good at what they do. They’re probably maybe even a consultant or at another organization and go out and try to find them. But then really get to know that candidate and find out what’s important to that candidate. And think about how you can structure something unique that delivers on all the things that they want so you get the best work out of them.

0:10:52.0 S1: Yeah. So what I’m hearing from you is really maximizing the effectiveness of the talent that you’re bringing on, finding their strengths and really using their time wisely. Am I hearing this correctly? Absolutely.

0:11:03.2 S2: And, you know, what that does is it decreases the stress for that employee. So if I know the only work I’m going to do is work I love and I’m good at, I’m not going to wake up and go, oh, I hope I don’t upset someone, someone today. I hope I got that right.

0:11:16.8 S1: I hope they like what I gave them. Right. All that like head stuff that creates fear and decreases innovation. When people get to do the work that they’re passionate about and focused on what they’re really good at, the mental clarity of the work just becomes better and people are more likely to continue to do it. Yeah, I love that, Jennifer. And I think that is so important because I don’t know about you. I mean, you’re out there working with a lot of people out in this, probably in this corporate sector, and there’s a lot of people that really don’t love what they do. I mean, they do this eight to five grind or whatever that is. They have show up because it’s really about how many hours are we punching to get this to make sure we’re getting the salary on the clock. And, you know, and from a coaching perspective, and I know you’re also a trained coach with IFC. And so you understand the other side of this from the coaching perspective where we look at this and go, your life is not fulfilled when you’re doing things you don’t enjoy doing, when you’re not matching your talent with your passion.

0:12:12.9 S1: And I even go as far as to say, you know, in alignment with your core values and what’s important to you in life, you’re not living fulfilled. I mean, that’s just a very chaotic life, you know. And so I really like that you’re mentioning this on here because I think it’s you and I are kind of doing similar things, but kind of different at the same time. But we’re sort of resonating that same message about being effective, you know, not just from the employee side of making sure you’re looking for the right thing to do so that it’s in alignment with what’s important to you. But also from the employer side, make sure you’re being effective where you put your people. Am I getting that right?

0:12:48.3 S2: Absolutely. Being effective where you put your people. And then you think about what when you hire great people to do great work in a way in which they want to do it. Think of the stuff you now no longer have to worry about. Your turnover goes down. So you spend less money and time on recruiting. Now you’ve got more time back to you. Then people are doing better work. And so they’re not doing work they weren’t meant to do. So there’s less performance issues. So that takes time off your plate. When people are really excited about what they do, they want to collaborate with people who do other things that are adjacent or partner. So they’re better collaborators. Less drama, more time to your plate. And so I think sometimes we don’t realize that when we get creative with how we hire people, because it feels weird. It’s awkward, right? It’s like, well, this is not how we’ve always done it. And how is this going to work? And our head gets full of all this stuff that might not work instead of all the stuff that could work. And what we don’t recognize is when we lean into something that’s unique and different, it actually clears time off of our calendar to do even bigger and better things as an organization.

0:13:55.6 S1: This is great. So is your suggestion, I think this is kind of a question I want to know. So is your suggestion in this, I’m obviously thinking that it would be to find the people right from the start, like do this from the very beginning. But let’s say you’ve got somebody in an organization because we know this happens. We’ve got an organization of people. We find that somebody is probably not really thriving in the place that they’re at. We sometimes employers don’t know that. Let’s have that conversation. Right. Because maybe we just need to move somebody. You know, do you find that? What does that look like?

0:14:27.2 S1: That happens all the time, and especially happens sometimes often in early career. So someone’s early in their career. They, you know, some at some point in their life, they were told this, you’re really good at this. This is the job you should have. Or, you know, my parent did this. My their parents did it. So I’m going to do it. And they’re mismatched. They don’t even know they don’t fit. And so and I see that I’ll talk to someone. I’m like, well, why did you choose this profession? Well, that’s all I knew. I didn’t know what else you could do. And I’m like, oh, my gosh, endless. There’s endless ways to make a dollar in today’s world. And so when you think about those people who are mismatched, there’s two things I would go down the path with. Number one, are they mismatched because they’re struggling in your culture? And so maybe there is cultural differences that you want to help work through. Or is there a true lack of skill and passion for that work? And it’s important to know the difference because, you know, if the culture fits, they’re really good. Everyone enjoys working with them.

0:15:27.4 S1: Then maybe it is right to say, you know, what else could you do? You know, if if this job wasn’t here tomorrow and you could make your own job description, what would it be? I love asking candidates that if you can make your own job description that paid you what you needed to feed your kids and live a life you want, what would your job description be? I mean, that question alone starts to tell you what’s important to that person and what they love to do and what they’re good at. And so then if it’s a culture mismanagement, you know, sometimes it’s not going to be a culture fit. And we manage through that. But the other thing is sometimes people say they’re not a cultural fit because they do this or they do that. And then I go down the path of, well, is that actually a strength that’s being mismanaged? And so oftentimes we get this feedback of, you know, you you know, you’re you’re too you’re too black and white. You’re too rigid. You got to loosen up and not be so rigid in your decision making. OK, well, the opposite of that is a highly detailed person in a highly detailed job where they need to be highly detailed.

0:16:33.9 S1: And so if you try to you can’t you can’t make someone they are and take away their best quality at the same time. And so we go down that path to our opportunities, actually the opposite side of a strength that we need to learn how to manage better. And so you start to kind of really ask those questions. It’s interesting what comes back versus, oh, this person isn’t performing and they need to go, which is the easy way out. But not a way that works in today’s world when there’s more jobs and people. Yeah, I think it’s it’s really about the exploration. I think you’ve got to ask good questions when you agree. You’ve got to get the questions out there, because I feel like there are a lot of people that do that. They automatically assume somebody is not fitting well. And instead of going in and exploring and saying and I think you mentioned raised two very good questions there about whether it’s a strength, a skill set over here or a culture issue. And I think, you know, when you get back to the culture thing, too, you know, I feel like if you have solid core values, if your company has strong, solid core values, that should be pretty evident in the very beginning in the interview process.

0:17:33.2 S1: Right. It should be. These are our company values. And does this person align with those company values that could save a whole lot right there. But I think you said some really good points to determine, you know, what are we looking at here so that we know how to position this person? But at the end of the day, it’s the questions. It’s it’s it’s getting having that communication with that person. Absolutely. And it’s it’s not this assumption that they’re not doing their job. So something is wrong with them. You know, I kind of think about like when you go to the doctor, they ask a lot of questions. Right. You could say, well, I seem to have a cold. Well, do you really have a cold? What is it? You know, they they start to really dig in and figure out what what’s what is underneath the symptoms. And that’s what we have to do with performance. What’s underneath the symptoms? The poor performance is a symptom of something. And when we get into that, we’re allowed to start to think about is there an opportunity to do something with this person? Or is it not a match?

0:18:29.1 S1: That does happen. That is life. But I think too many companies are quick to say goodbye to really great people because they don’t take the time to really, you know, diagnose and look into it. Yeah, I agree with you on that. Good stuff, Jennifer. So, you know, this has all been great information and hopefully, you know, some of our listeners because like I said, we’ve got kind of a broad range of different people coming to the, you know, to the forum here. And so this has just been, I think, great for all levels, because like I said, even as the entrepreneur like you yourself, you’ve got people that are working for you. And this applies just as it does to the big CEO of a big company, you know, so good stuff. But I always like to ask, you know, the stuff behind the scenes, too, because I always say, you know, it’s the inspiration. And you said something earlier about, you know, not matching like you do something because you just always have done that or that’s all you knew. And I always joke and tell everybody I studied accounting in college, which I find so funny because I thought my mom was an accountant and I thought I was going to be a CPA.

0:19:28.1 S1: And that was what I was going to do. And then I somehow got to the tax law part of accounting and decided, no, not my calling just wasn’t my thing. And I tell this joke, you know, I tell me I certainly joke, but I tell this to people all the time and they’re like you in accounting. I say, well, I’m not dumb. I’m not dumb. I know how to do numbers. I just don’t enjoy doing them. So anyways, good stuff. OK, so I kind of want to talk a little bit about you as the entrepreneur because you’ve done some incredible things. Like I said, I love what you’re doing with this company and I love that you brought the coaching and your HR and all these operations, background, everything together. So I want to ask you, you know, what is maybe been like when you were making this transition into maybe, you know, going from the corporate side into your own entrepreneur space? What do you feel like has been maybe the biggest challenge you had to overcome to get everything kind of on your on your on your time, on your space?

0:20:22.8 S1: Yeah, I think, you know, the biggest challenge was probably knowing when it was the right time. And I know everyone will say, you know, jump before you’re ready and all that. And yes, you know, that is true in some in some instances. But I really had to work on my self-confidence. I had to work on who I wanted to be in this chapter of my life. I did a lot of work on me before I ever thought about how do I work on a business? And I did that just because of where I was mentally. You know, I was burned out. I had an incredible job. I loved my job. It was so amazing, but it was exhausting. It was definitely a 24 hour, seven day a week job. And I was just, you know, at a certain chapter of my life. And so because I did that work, which was not fun, it never is working on yourself. I feel like when I launched my business, the clarity was there. And because of that clarity, my business honestly felt like just fun. It’s never felt like work. It’s never been like, oh, I have to get through this to make it successful.

0:21:34.7 S2: And, you know, all that stuff we’re told as entrepreneurs, we have to suffer and it has to be hard. No, it doesn’t.

0:21:40.6 S1: No, it doesn’t. It does not. And so for me, the upfront work before I took the leap was the most important part. And the hardest part of starting a business was working on myself. Yeah. And I think you did something that, well, and I think you and I, that’s where we’re similar, because I feel like what I do now is really because I did the work on me beforehand. You know, and I think that’s so important because I think a lot of people and again, I think it’s OK to jump in. I think if you’re going to jump in, you need to own the consequences. Right. And I’m all for because I’m like that. Sometimes I jump in and I have to land face first and I get back up and I learn from it. But I’m also OK owning those consequences that come with that, both good and bad. And so I think that, yes, you can reduce a lot of that if you are willing to do the work. But it has to be on you because I think a lot of entrepreneurs go in and they don’t realize that really everything that they need to build their business is within themselves.

0:22:38.3 S1: They have it all there. Right. They think it’s another hack, a widget, a Facebook page, a group, a business card, a fancy website. They think it’s all these things. And yes, we need those. But really to achieve anything, you know, I don’t care if you’re running a marathon or you’re operating a business. I’ve done both so I can say this for real. They both require internal work. They both require you to work on yourself to sustain that journey. So I think that that says a lot about your character as you’re as you’re bringing your business forward to the forefront. It’s not just, hey, let me show you what I can do in the talent space. But let me show you how you can also be an effective leader because I’m doing that work. I’ve done it on myself.

0:23:22.3 S2: Yeah. And I think that when a leader, whether they’re in a traditional corporate job or as an entrepreneur, if they haven’t done the work on themselves, they spend way, way too much time blaming others. And because it’s really so I always say blame feels good. We blame because it feels fantastic. If I can blame someone else for my problem, I no longer own it. I can sleep well at night. Not my problem. That’s yours. Blame feels fantastic because it’s just giving up all your self-control and putting it in someone else’s hands. But when you’ve done the work and you are a leader, no matter where you lead in small, large, medium, nonprofit, I don’t care where you lead. If you find yourself in a high level of blame and a high level of it’s everyone else’s fault, then I would say you need to start working on yourself because people who have done a lot of work on themselves and under have that confidence to take ownership of situations and instead of blaming, jump in and help figure it out. Those are the leaders who are having the most successful careers and businesses. But it’s one of those kind of telltale signs of a leader who needs to do some personal work is when they spend their entire day blaming others for what’s going on.

0:24:35.2 S1: Yeah. And that’s a tough conversation. Do you ever come across and this I think this will just be kind of a fun question to ask you because I don’t know about you, but we’re coaching people and they’re human, right? And we know you and I, I’m sure, you know, I’ve had to sit back and kind of listen to my clients. And it’s almost like I just want to say hello, like you need to do some internal work, right? But we can’t say it like that. You know, we have to be very careful about how we we put that forward, you know, and sometimes it’s funny because you’ll have those conversations where you’ve said something sort of in roundabout ways over and over and over. And then the light bulb goes off, they get it and they’re like, hey, I have this idea. And it’s like, OK, you know, the belief revision has happened. Something you said finally has gotten there. And now it’s their idea. They can adopt it. Right. Like it’s theirs. They can take it. But it is it’s hard to have that sometimes have that conversation to say you need to do some internal work.

0:25:28.0 S1: Well, and there is some neurological reasons why it’s really hard to and one of those is some research around the addiction to being right.

0:25:36.5 S1: And so when we think about an addiction, so we understand what addiction is, right? We know that the more sugar, shopping, you know, substance, whatever it is, the more we get, the more we need for that same high. And they’ve done research around leaders who have to be right. And we all know those leaders. All of us have had those leaders. We’ve all been called in as consultants with those leaders. And they are right. And there is no changing their mind. You could hand them a blue crayon and they would say it is green or whatever. There would be like they don’t care. They’re just right. And what happens over time and it usually happens to really high performers is they just constantly are right in the room. You know, and for years and years they get promoted because they know so much and they’re right and they’re right. And then they get to a position where they’re leading organizations where they’re not into the details as much. You can’t be the world moves faster today than it has ever moved. So you it’s you’re it’s impossible to be an expert now because as soon as you’re an expert, the next day new technology shows up and you’re leading people to do work that you don’t know how to do because of that position you’re in and you’re leading broad instead of deep.

0:26:47.6 S2: And so if you hold on to that addiction and you’re always right, then it’s really hard to take ownership. It’s really hard to hear what’s next for your organization. It’s hard to hear your customers. Almost impossible to hear your employees. And you really create this culture where the only truth that’s possible is what the boss says is even. And I’ve watched companies just go off the ledge and every employee knew it was going to everyone was rowing that boat off that ledge. But they had no other choice because the boss wouldn’t, you know, we would say wouldn’t listen or, you know, was this.

0:27:25.9 S1: But it’s really this addiction to always being right and needing that dopamine hit and needing to be the smart person in the room. Yeah. And it’s interesting that you bring this concept up because I’m in the middle. I think I shared with you I’m in the middle of building a program right now and I have been working with a mentor since a new mentor. I’ve had a lot of them, but I’ve been working with another one since November of last year. And we’ve been studying one of the things to the program. We were studying about the Keegan, Robert Keegan. I don’t know if you studied him, but he talks about the adults, stages of development and talking about when you get into that, you know, the transforming mind, self-authoring mind, you get all the way up there and how you have to sort of as a leader live in a paradox. Like you have to be okay being wrong. And I remember watching a video in this program about Bezos from Amazon was saying that he would never want to be a politician because once they say something, they have to stick with it. They can never change their mind.

0:28:17.5 S1: Right. We’re not allowed to change our mind. So if you think about that as a leader, what you’re saying is 100% because we get into this place where if we change our mind almost to it may even look like we don’t know what we’re talking about because now we’re changing our mind from a previous. Right. And so we always have to stay on this. I’m right. So I love what you said because yours is the science of that with the addiction thing. But also I’m looking at this whole thing about adult development and how really when we’re moving up, we should be okay being wrong. We should learn to be okay with that, you know, and it is hard. It is hard. It is hard. It is. It is unless you get to the place of saying it’s not about being wrong. It’s about there’s been new information presented and I and things have changed. And that’s the difference. You know, when I work with people who I suspect may have some addiction to being right and, you know, need to be in this ultimate control position. And, you know, we work a lot on language because the how we view words changes our chemical reaction.

0:29:20.0 S1: And, you know, if if I’m wrong because of how I’ve been programmed, that means I’m in trouble. That means I have failed. That means all of this bad stuff. So why the heck would I want to be wrong? But if I said, you know, I like that idea because you brought more information that I was unaware of. And now I have more information. I see your point. It’s the same thing. But my brain looks at it so differently. But it is the exact same thing. And that’s what the language of leadership is so important because we create someone’s thoughts around language. And, you know, people who have a lot of that tendency to be right or people in high power positions. One of the things I always teach them to say, because they’re like, well, I’m just not going to listen to any old dumb idea. And I’m like, you don’t have to. But one of the things that I coach them on is when someone brings you an idea and you don’t like it, but they are passionate about it and you’re like, OK, they’re passionate about it for some reason. I got to know what that is.

0:30:23.5 S2: Then you can say, hey, I don’t see it, but change my mind. And that opens up this conversation with this person who has all these ideas can go, oh, my. Well, and they can share and they can help you see something that’s possible. And you also haven’t shut them down for future ideas because that’s what happens. Right. You have a great idea. Your boss doesn’t like it. Then you have a second. Your boss doesn’t like it. So guess what? You have no more of good ideas. You have you have taught your team not to bring you ideas. And I don’t think any leader wants to do that. But we do that with our language. But if you say things like, hey, I don’t see it, but change my mind. You’re opening up for future conversations or making telling someone it’s OK to think different. It’s OK to bring new information to the plate. And it’s interesting watching teams as they start to open up and reduce fear of being in trouble or fear of failure and they start experimenting. They start talking about what’s possible in a way in which is celebrated. It is fascinating to see how things move forward in an organization like that.

0:31:30.4 S1: Yeah, those are all excellent points. I mean, as you were as you were talking about this, like I could totally see all this playing out because you have somebody who is a creative person coming with these ideas. And especially if they were shut down when they were younger. Talk about, you know, adaptive challenges and limiting beliefs that are coming to the table. Right. You’ve got this creative person with ideas coming to the table and they’re immediately being shut down with their ideas. That’s going to revert old feelings for them and shut them down completely. But also, I like what you said about from the leader perspective, just new information was presented because it now gives the leader the opportunity to take some accountability for their behavior and say, look, I can be wrong. It’s OK. I don’t have to be right. But there’s a different wording. Now, I’m thinking of this a little bit differently because I feel like, you know, if the and I don’t know, because I’ve been on both sides that I’ve been on the other side where I’ve been shot down in the idea. And I’ve also been on the leader side where I’ve been, you know, like dead set on my idea.

0:32:27.6 S1: I don’t want it to change. Right. I think we’ve all kind of been both ways. And I think, you know, looking at that from a different light and saying, it’s not that I’m wrong, but maybe there’s something new that I didn’t see that I just didn’t know about. So, yeah, show me what you got. I don’t know that I see it happening, but show me what you got. I’m open to I’m open to listening. And because the world is moving so fast and it’s become so complex and complex and complex and just emotional and, you know, life’s just a little bit a little bit more honest right now.

0:32:57.2 S2: You know, helping leaders understand how to go out with a with a statement and not feel like I can’t change my mind. Right. Or get them to understand that if because a lot of times what will happen is people a leader will be like, I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know what to tell these people. So they hide and they tell them nothing. And so then it’s like, you know, everyone’s like, you know, walking around like, what do I do? But you can say things like, I don’t know what the future holds. The decision we’re going to make today is this. But please know as the situation or time or whatever it is progresses, be ready for change management because we may have to change our strategy. But based on what we know today, this is the best decision we can make. Be open to change management. And that allows that leader to go out and talk. Yeah, this is good, Jennifer.

0:33:46.5 S1: It’s all good. So, all right. Well, you’ve been amazing. I think you saw you’re just you’ve got so much knowledge there. And I think it’s great. Like I said, you’ve been able to bring your different worlds together, you know, your HR experience and you’re the other side before the HR and then take your coaching and kind of mesh all that together to help these leaders be effective. And so I want to ask you one final question. This is back on the entrepreneur side of things because like I said, you are one, you’re your own entrepreneur. So you said a lot of good advice for leaders and even, you know, some of the people on the other side that are maybe on the employee side of things. But like I said, I want to target in on the entrepreneur side. So any final advice that you would maybe give to a leader that’s kind of maybe they’re starting out right now and they’re kind of looking to find those people and they’re just struggling a little bit to, yeah, find those quality people. Any last minute words of wisdom you want to share? Well, always tap into your network.

0:34:41.7 S1: But we know that, you know, good people know good people that know good people. So always tap into the network and be okay to find like if you have about 10 hours of something that needs to be done. Go find someone who has the best, best resume that does that full time at another organization. Reach out to them on LinkedIn and say, hey, have you ever thought about being, you know, a contractor on the side? I have about 10 hours worth of work. You look like you have exactly the experience I need. You know, would you be open to, you know, working part time and you can do the work on nights and weekends or whenever is right for you.

0:35:20.2 S2: But if you ever were curious about a side hustle, I’d love to get you started. And that is how I have found a lot of really great people is because I had a very small job that only was like maybe 10 hours a month. But someone was willing to do it on a side hustle and it allowed them to have multiple income streams, allowed me to meet people if they were good, then they knew more good people. But again, you’ve got to get super creative on how you find talent to put in your business.

0:35:48.2 S1: Good stuff. All right. Well, this is great. You’re awesome. I love what you’re doing. So I want to do a couple fun questions with you. This is always my favorite part because now we get to get like, okay, we’re not going to talk any more business. Now we’re going to talk about the fun stuff. This stuff that the stuff that makes us human, right? The other parts of us. All right. So, um, let’s see.

0:36:05.8 S2: Very first question I want to ask you first concert you ever attended. Oh, John Cougar Mellencamp with my aunt. Oh, my goodness.

0:36:13.3 S1: Was that here in Texas or elsewhere?

0:36:15.8 S2: It was in Oklahoma. Um, but yes, my aunt was always and it still is one of the funnest people I know. And I was hurt. I was probably too young to be hanging out with her and her friends at a concert, which is why I always remember it.

0:36:29.4 S2: That’s so fun. Yeah, that’s fine. I love that. I love this question because you know, I find out some funny things about people like their first concert. Some people get on and they’ll be like, I’m dating myself right now. So fun. Yeah, I was to tell him, I was telling him, I think it was my husband, I was telling him the other day that, like my first concert that I think I went to was when Dirty Dancing was out and I was in middle school. But then like my real first concert I went to where we like had no parental, you know, supervision was at the summit in Houston, we went saw Motley Crue and Skid Row. Oh my gosh, that’s like my dream concert. Well, actually Rats was my number one and then Motley Crue was right behind it. So you and I need to go and yeah, put on some music and grab a bottle of wine. Yes, I’ve actually seen Motley Crue one other time I think at the Gexos.

0:37:15.7 S2: I’ve seen them twice and I’ve seen Bret Michaels several times and like I have this whole list of like, you know, people that I’ve seen. I was a total hairband girl. I was all about the hairband. Absolutely. And again, yes, dating myself but hairbands were my thing. Awesome.

0:37:31.7 S1: Awesome. All right, so let’s see favorite because you’ve done a lot of traveling with your work and stuff so favorite destination spot.

0:37:38.7 S1: Oh, Hong Kong. I love Hong Kong. I’ve never been there. It’s fantastic. All right, and favorite book. Do you have a favorite that you like?

0:37:49.3 S1: Oh my gosh, so I, I read a lot of books, so a favorite is picking a favorite child. But let me think of one that maybe not everyone has ever heard or not heard of. Um, oh, there’s this beautiful book that no one’s ever I’ve never met someone who’s read it and it’s called the art of hearing heartbeats. And it is a beautiful, beautiful story across generations. So it just emotionally always stayed with me. And it’s not that common. So it’s it’s a little golden book out there that a lot of people have missed, but it’s fantastic. This is good. And people can listen and get books but you know what I didn’t even know that you read books I just assumed because you did coaching and personal development that you probably are like I am and you’ve read a lot of books. So I actually don’t. I don’t. Here’s a little secret. I don’t read personal development leadership books. I don’t read nonfiction because the stories of life and the stories of adversity and working through things and the power of resilience and grit. I think teaches me more than a book of do this.

0:38:56.6 S2: And so I actually am one of those people that don’t read those books.

0:39:01.2 S1: Yeah, no, and I would agree with you on that because that’s kind of how I’m building my program out right now because people learn a lot of people are visual and they learn by seeing things like that I do. I don’t read fiction as much but I do like watching. And what you’re saying I feel like we’re talking about the hero’s journey in the monomyth now you know like when we get into that whole thing and then that’s really what it is right it’s that overcoming adversity and coming out on top kind of thing but I think that’s great if you love doing that totally with it. And I think that’s what makes her so great. She loves fiction too. She’s always like, I will not read self help books I just don’t like him but she loves fiction.

0:39:33.8 S1: So, I read well and they’re all self help books it’s always, there’s always an issue and someone helps themselves and gets to the other side so they are, they are self help. There you go. Yeah, absolutely. All right, one last fun question it’s one of my favorites. What is in your Amazon cart right now. Oh my Amazon carts actually always empty it freaks me out when there’s a whole bunch of stuff in it.

0:39:55.5 S2: I’m always afraid to leave it in there. But either because they have tools right you, you can hold it in your wish list which is where it’s supposed to go. Right, right.

0:40:07.4 S1: I’m always afraid if it sits in my cart and I load my cart up then all of a sudden I’m gonna hit purchase and like there’s gonna be 400 things in my house. That’s so funny like I can’t I can’t leave it in there. I’m the opposite of you. I leave it in there and I’m afraid I’m gonna not push it through like I’m gonna need it and then I’m gonna get to the end and it’s not gonna be there so I will like set things up on the subscribe thing, and then I’ll get mad because they show up late so then I cancel them all again and I do that same process over again because I just want things to show up when they’re supposed to show up. You know what I mean like vitamins I have certain things not like everything like vitamins and stuff like that. So I’m the opposite that I’m just afraid I’m not so like when I want it, I want to get it done like right away because I just want to make sure I order it.

0:40:51.1 S2: Yeah, well I do I like if I need something I put in the cart and I order right is like super fast but nothing hangs out there I got it, I love to complete tasks and an open Amazon cart is a task I have not completed. She’s like I have not done that on the checklist we’re not going there. There’s nothing wrong with that hey there’s nothing wrong with that at all you’re just making it getting it done it’s a system right. Some of us, some, you know, my Amazon cart always looks.

0:41:13.3 S1: Well my son’s traveling right now so there’s nothing sitting in there but when he was here, I would open it up and I’d be like what are all these things in my Amazon cart like I’d have to hit the save for later save for later because I go to order, and all his stuff would come up in my list of stuff and then I’m like, there’s a couple hundred dollars worth of stuff here we need to move this all out.

0:41:33.0 S1: Yeah, I’m a firm believer that I don’t share my cart with anyone like that is that is my cart, and my responsibility and so yeah so no one’s been stuff in my cart. I got it I got it my own. That’s all right. Jennifer, you have been great today thank you for sharing like I said all your wisdom and little nuggets of knowledge with our audience I think there’ll be some great takeaways here but if our get you know our audience wants to find out more about you, you know 304 Coaching what you’re up to where do we want to send them.

0:42:02.8 S2: So you can go to our website at 304Coaching.com or you can continue the conversation and connect with me on LinkedIn it’s Jen Thornton at ACC.

0:42:11.7 S1: All right, we’ll make sure to when this goes out that we get all the links and the appropriate places so it’ll be good. All right, and we do want to say to our listeners of course if you enjoy our show please be sure you give us a rating both on iTunes and Facebook we can’t do this without you hit the subscribe button on the YouTube, and we want to leave you with our parting thought. In order to live the extraordinary, you must start every start begins with a decision you guys take care, be safe and be kind to one another. We will see you next time.

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