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Why You Need Agile Leaders in Your Business with Chuck Mollor

Published by Summit Marketing Team on 12 Apr 2023

The Virtual CPA Success Show: Episode 78


Are you a leader within your business or do you manage a leadership team? In today’s marketplace of in-person, remote, and hybrid business, the ability to be agile within a leadership position is more important than ever. But what does it mean to be an agile leader? In this episode, Chuck Mollor, author of The Rise of the Agile Leader: Can You Make the Shift?, explains how leaders need to navigate rapidly changing business paradigms, while cultivating dynamic teams that get results.



[00:00:00] Welcome to the virtual CPA success show where we're 100% focused on helping service-based businesses achieve success. Are you a business owner interested in learning how to scale your business? Has your business reached over $1 million in annual revenue? Then this podcast is for you.

[00:00:18] Jamie: Hello everybody.

[00:00:21] Welcome to today's podcast. Really excited about today's guest. We had a really good conversation prior to hit and record, and I know that conversation's gonna continue. So I'm excited to chat with Chuck Muller of MCG Partners and let's welcome him to the show. Welcome to the show, Chuck.

[00:00:35] Chuck: Thanks Jamie. Jody, nice to see you guys. Yeah, I did enjoy our free conversation for a couple of minutes, but I'm happy to be here.  

Jamie: Great.

[00:00:44] Jody: Hey, you wanna just, well, real quick, Chuck, can you, and after you tell your, talk a little bit about yourself. I know you're an author and wrote a book and I'd love for you during that introduction to kind of talk a little bit about that, if you don't mind.

[00:00:54] Chuck: Sure. Jamie, do you, anything else you wanted add to that or? 

Jamie: Nope, that was Jody. Words up. 

Chuck: I’d, I ask the three of us we'll be doing that often, I think. So yeah, I started my career over 35 years ago mainly in management consulting and did spend seven years in corporate America as well.

[00:01:11] And I kind of know, got through the ranks of where I eventually became the CEO and ran a global firm. . And then after being acquired twice in one year, and you can't say that very often in one's career, but it did happen . Yeah, I kind of decided to start my own firm 15 and a half years ago.

[00:01:26] And in that decision I also became an executive coach and advisor. So as a firm we do a number of things, executive coaching, leadership development, management training. We do a lot of work around change, a lot of work around culture. . So we're kind of a full service firm, do a lot of work around talent, talent management.

[00:01:42] And then to your point, Jodi, I wrote a book just recently. It's called The Rise of the Agile Leader. Can you make this shift And interesting enough, it, I actually wrote the book before Covid. It was published during Covid. , which was my choice, I guess, . But you know, the interesting thing, it really became very applicable during Covid because of [00:02:00] all the issues facing organizations and leaders.

[00:02:02] And the point of the book really were two things. What's the future leadership, which really was already happening before Covid. Covid just accelerated that. And the other part of the book is to provide a roadmap for any leader at any level to how to get to that next level. So that was my goal for the book.

[00:02:20] Jamie: Great. So let's just start with that. So I, obviously we understand what the word agile means, but explain overall like what are the main concepts of the book and kind of what, what a reader of the book should be looking for, getting into it.

[00:02:31] Chuck: Sure. So there's a couple, I think, really important things.

[00:02:35] One is really to understand why leadership's changed so dramatically. Again, COVID just accelerated that, but it was already happening. So cycles of innovation are getting shorter and shorter. Right? We live in the Amazon world today where we want everything in our our doorstep the next day after we purchase something.

[00:02:52] Our attention spans getting shorter and shorter, not just because we're getting bombarded by social media, because our interest of something new and innovative is getting shorter. And you know, we're getting tired and bored of what we have today, right? So the cycles innovation are getting shorter, have been getting shorter for a number of years, but think about the pressure that puts on organizations.

[00:03:15] Another good example would be. Really the competitiveness of how it's just become so much more intense that the intensity of change is constant. And we used to talk about change management as like a methodology, as an event. It's no longer event. It's what we live day to day, right? And it's not just change, it's the intensity of change.

[00:03:36] So another sterling statistic is how that's impacted businesses suggest in the Fortune 500 alone, and it's even higher in terms of the turnover of the impact in the organization smaller than that, but between say 2000 and I think it was approximately 2011 like over 50% of the Fortune 500 don't exist.

[00:03:58] A combination of being out [00:04:00] of business mergers and acquisitions. And if anything, that cycle is gonna continue to increase. So when you think about the biggest companies in the world getting impacted that substantially, think about how it's impacting everybody. So, that notion of change, intensity, chaos, cycles, innovation.

[00:04:19] The impact it has on, and then also add the factor now of turnover. You know, we've heard about the last year and a half the great resignation, you know, this churn of people moving around in corporate America, the impact of, of the virtual workforce or the hybrid workforce. And now of course, the pressure by CEO is wanting people back in office and some of the conflict that exists there.

[00:04:41] The pressure of how do you maintain a healthy culture and work environment. When you have this workforce that's virtual or hybrid. So, the pressure on leaders today is greater than ever. Oh, no. By the way, let's factor in DEI. Let's factor in, you know, woke, woke culture and all the other factors going on in social, especially in the US. It's more of a US think cultural phenomenon than it is in other parts of the world.

[00:05:07] But there's so many external social factors. And then internal factors that leaders and managers have to deal with that really didn't even exist five years ago. So that's enough. I can keep on going, but it's more than just give context of why is this important? Because how do we prepare managers to be effective when it was already hard enough five years ago?

[00:05:28] But think about it today, it's actually a whole new world and it's harder than ever. 

[00:05:35] Jody: Yeah. A lot to unpack there. I mean, we live in a world right now where ou dynamics of our company has changed. You know, we were brick and mortar for, oh, probably, well, from 2002 to 2013, so about 11 years, and then we made the shift and went fully remote.

[00:05:51] You know, we're the first financial companies ever to do so. and really kind of built our name about, hey, we are fully remote, hire anywhere in the world, or you know, and then grew and we can service clients all across to the pandemic where everybody's tried to catch up and tried to figure it out.

[00:06:09] You know, we'd already developed a really strong culture, you know, we've already did that. And so for us, going through the pandemic wasn't a huge issue for the folks that were with us before the pandemic. What we found is that the folks that we hired right before the pandemic and during the pandemic, I would guess we don't have any of those folks still on the team, maybe one or two.

[00:06:30] Not many because there wasn't that, there wasn't that connectivity. And it wasn't until we started with our retreats back, you know, cuz we used to have retreats every six months where we'd bring the whole team together and it, it was more of a, hey, a bonding thing. It was, you know, it was the, it was the water cooler time that we just never had that opportunity throughout the year.

[00:06:50] And we. Not having those retreats, really. They couldn't get that connectivity. They couldn't get that best friend anymore. And that's when we started losing 'em. And since we started implementing the retreats back, I think we've only lost just a couple people, you know, with that, you know, a couple, couple that we decided to part ways with in the one or two that decided to part ways with us.

[00:07:07] So it's been a really dynamic shift in the learning thing. On the importance of culture when you're running remote. And then to fast forward to April when we went and merged with a larger accounting firm, and that's not remote. You know, they've got some folks that work remote, you know, but not to the extent where they don't have a place to come back and meet a client.

[00:07:28] You know? Cause we're fully remote, we don't have any anywhere to go. Right. And you know, and it's kind of neat being in that hybrid environment now and kind of seeing, hey, how can we take that hybrid environment. Maintain the culture that we've established over the years and grow and maybe, you know, let the mothership, you know, the Anders, let them figure out what's working and what's not, and really kind of help them as they, you know, try to do something very similar.

[00:07:52] So it's been a kind of a ride for us. I can imagine what the stats that you've got with companies that have tried to do this before. I'd [00:08:00] love to hear some insights on what works and what doesn't work. 

[00:08:04] Chuck: Well, I mean, your example is a really great example and I would say for a lot of organizations that are smaller size, which we do a lot of work with as well.

[00:08:12] And we work, as I mentioned to you guys earlier, we work with, you know, startups all up to the Fortune 500 s. We do a lot of work with smaller organizations as well. And the biggest challenge, especially in small organizations, cuz let's face it, a lot of managers are very hands on. , you know, man managing is sort of like a side job and the challenge we have and that's always been the case.

[00:08:33] That's nothing new or we all know that. And across industries by the way, it doesn't make a difference what industry you're in, right? So the biggest challenge for that, the caveat with that is Jodi and Jamie, is that you can't afford to do that anymore because if you're a manager and you're mainly managing a small percentage of your job, cause you're very hands on in the business.

[00:08:54] you know, because of hybrid, because of virtual, because of all the challenges we just discussed, you have to be more invested in managing and create more time to manage your people because, we could debate the pros and cons of being virtual versus an office. And I went virtual as well, a hundred percent.

[00:09:12] And consulting, that's not a new concept in consulting, but like you, we get together at least four to six times a year. . I bring people, my core team, at least I bring in my you know, and we do that in person, to your point. But a lot of organizations are the luxury of doing that. And if you don't have a luxury of being able to bring people in to create that connection to your earlier point, which by the way is best practices.

[00:09:37] Is to find a way, if it's not gonna be five or six times, or even four times a year, at least minimum twice a year. Cause it is an investment. But you do bring that additional level of connection. But if you can't do that, but frankly, even if you are doing that, how do you create time on your calendar to make sure you're having deeper one-on-one conversations with your people?

[00:09:57] Because if you don't do that, you're never gonna [00:10:00] establish a level of trust in relationship and connection, which is foundation. Because without that, people are not gonna be vested. Cuz ultimately it does come down to that. And not just with your boss, frankly, all the key people you have to work with in your organization.

[00:10:13] How do you have enough one-on-one time where you're really getting to know each other because you don't have that water cooler conversation. You don't have that, Hey, let's work on a project and let's go into a conference room and get to know each other a little bit better, right? Because everyone's running from one zoom or video meeting to another and that's an epidemic across the world 

[00:10:32] really, not just in the US no matter what size of firm you are. And again, the only way that's gonna change is managers forcing that change. To recognize we have to work differently and differently in terms of, we have to recognize the value relationships and establishing them and checking with people, and frankly, not always having a set agenda

[00:10:53] on what we're working on, and frankly, that is the best practice that's out there. You've gotta pivot from that and you guys to also figure out ways to celebrate. And that is not just celebrating the big wins, but celebrating small wins, celebrating small achievements, progress. You know, celebrations are so critical in the world we live in the last two years.

[00:11:14] Some great research came out and I'll stop, let you guys bring up anything else. . It was around this whole notion of turnover. We've seen this huge turn last two years, as we talked about earlier. Well, it's fascinating you ask companies again, this is of all sizes you know, why are people leaving?

[00:11:30] Well, their top reasons were money, people were stressed out or burnt out because of virtual, you know, for a lot of reasons, because of pressure on family and kids, and those are really the top reasons, right? I mean, I'm sorry, mental health, right? The anxiety of dealing with being virtual during covid.

[00:11:48] but you at, when the employees were asked why they left, their top two reasons were, didn't feel appreciated, didn't feel valued. Okay. So complete disconnect, you know [00:12:00] from what employers are saying, why people are leaving when, and then what employees are saying. And, you know, we forget sometimes the basics.

[00:12:06] And again, it's harder to do that when you're working in a virtual hybrid world. How to make sure your people individually, but also collectively feel valued and appreciated. 

[00:12:16] Jamie: And it's, I think the interesting thing is about it being virtually is it's just more intentional. You know, I think as a manager or director here at Summit, you know, I spend a lot of my time in meetings, right?

[00:12:27] So I spend a lot of my time. One-on-one check-ins or with some of my leadership groups. And so I look at my time and I look at my calendar and I'm like, well, I really need to work on this one project, but I need three hours to do it. Then I look at my calendar and there's no three hour breaks. There's maybe one hour break here, one hour break here because I spend so much of my time.

[00:12:45] Intentionally meeting with people. And I think that's a lot of what it takes. And so I appreciate you saying that. Is that, that's, as a manager what I, what I should be doing is making sure I'm checking with the people and maybe not having as much time for those projects, because technically as a manager, maybe that's not where my, my job duties should be.

[00:13:00] And so I'm a little curious if you can expand on that, but also I appreciate you saying that you know, the agile environment is what a lot of companies are dealing with. I always kind of felt like it was everywhere I worked. Everywhere I worked was always changing. You know, I say, I always say about Summit, it's like the weather.

[00:13:14] You know, if you don't like the way things are going, just wait a couple months cuz things will be completely different. I think that's how we operate, but I'm always telling my team, it's like, that's how it is everywhere now. So I want you, if you could expand on kind of those two things is a. how much actual

[00:13:28] work, you know, detailed work should a manager be working on, and then b. like, you know, the, just kind of reemphasize that, you know, there's, there's very few environments out there nowadays that are, that are steady state for long periods of time. 

[00:13:40] Chuck: Yeah. And the industry is, to your point, that typically didn't have a lot of change.

[00:13:44] Right. That are more methodical by nature. And you could argue that accounting, for example, and professional service firms are typically pretty good example. They have a kind of a set formula of how they work and how they operate. You know, good financial services bank in particular are a pretty good example.

[00:13:59] [00:14:00] Even though that industry is going through major disruption right now, what could even argue that the concept of a bank may even exist five years from now?

Jody: I personally agree.

Chuck: Right? So there, that's an industry that, it's a good example one hand, but it's also going through major disruption right now.

[00:14:14] but I'll give you a perfect example, Jamie. I remember talking to a few CEOs and banks as Covid was hitting probably a few months in when the reality was sinking in that, you know, holy crap, this is not going away. We gotta change how we're running our business. And banks historically have never even thought about working virtually and the several banks have CEOs I spoke to that did.

[00:14:36] You know, all said, I, we had no idea we could do this as well as we did, and if anything, we're running our business better in this model than in person. And I'm not even sure we want to go back. Now, of course, for a brick and mortar, you know, aspect that customer facing aspect, you still have to provide those services.

[00:14:54] But I could tell you an industry that historically would never even dreamt of being virtual actually really saw some great value in that. And you had a couple of questions built in. And then the other thing I would say, going back to your first question around time and where managers spend their time is, honestly, it's one of the biggest things that I've been talking about the last couple years.

[00:15:15] It's not new, because managers in all organizations, especially when you start moving up in your responsibilities, one of the hardest things to do is letting go of where you spent your time previously. Yeah. So, you know, one of the words I used the word shift. in my book, not only in the title but in the book pretty often because it is about shifting.

[00:15:34] We have to always be recalibrating. And let's face it, COVID's forced us to have to recalibrate. Cuz as a manager you can't operate the same way anymore. Not just because of the virtual, you know, impact as we talked about in terms of the workforce, but frankly, again, where you're spending your time are, what's your focus on, on retention?

[00:15:53] What's your focus on culture? What's your focus on not only checking with people, but developing your people and doing that [00:16:00] virtually is very, very different than doing that in person. So I think you hit the nail on the head, Jamie, that is a manager and we have our comfort zone. There are some managers

[00:16:08] that have a hard time letting go of getting involved with day to day. And frankly letting go of being, of being in the know. Right. Because when you're very hands-on, we, some of us have that tendency of wanting to be in the, know what's going on day to day. Well, you've gotta be comfortable letting go of that.

[00:16:24] And trusting your people and delegating to your people, empowering your people. Again, not new concepts, but in the world we live in today, it's more critical than ever for managers that really need to do that. So I talk about this exercise very often. It's a different context today because of the impact of Covid and everything we're talking about, but for all those managers that are in denial out there including your audience, , I have a very simple exercise.

[00:16:51] And by the way, there's not an executive I've ever worked with that went through this exercise and said, yep, I knew exactly where I was spending my time. So the exercise was very simple. Print out your calendar for the last three months and categorize where you spend your time, because guess what? Our calendars don't lie, right?

[00:17:07] Yeah. We can say, well, I had a couple anomalies in there in terms of a week or two. Sure. But in general, the last two or three months is gonna be pretty consistent about where you spend your time. Categorize it and then come back and say, okay, are you spending time where you need to? How much is externally focused?

[00:17:24] How much is with your customers? How much is it in the marketplace? Thinking about the future of your business, what your competition's doing, how much is your people developing, managing, connecting, establishing relationships, building your team build, you know, building your culture. And you know, there's not a leader out there that comes back and says, yep, that's exactly where I want to be.

[00:17:45] Now I get it. You know, there's pressures of the business. There's pressures of the day-to-day things come up. We all have to deal with the crises and all the issues that come up. But there's an opportunity for managers to take much greater ownership of where they spend their time and [00:18:00] again, disrupt their own calendars and start delegating more effectively and say, Hey, do I have the right workforce?

[00:18:06] Do I have a strong number two? , do I have a person who can run the day-to-day so I can spend my time doing some of these other things? Depending on, you know, what level you're at and what your business is. So there's all kinds of things that you have to take a step back and truly evaluate, not only your time and where you spend it, but you have the right organization structure, you have the right people, do you have the right skill sets?

[00:18:27] And you know, unfortunately, when you're scrambling day to day to get things done and respond to your customers, respond in the marketplace. A lot of leaders are not being proactive enough. you know, they're not creating time for self-reflection and to be strategic and again, , you know, the drive into work or the drive to the supermarket or you know, in the shower thinking, that's not, that doesn't count.

[00:18:55] You know, having Tom on your calendar to truly think, to truly plan, to truly reflect that's really missing. It's a crisis in management today cuz we're all running hard. , you know, then you add families and boards and activities and hobbies and vacations. You're like, where do I have time? But, you know, we could control manager time.

[00:19:16] I actually think the time management, you know, aspect is more critical than ever. It's probably more of the hottest topics and will continue to be the hot topic for the next couple of years because people just don't take enough ownership and a lot of item has to do getting outta their comfort zone where they wanna spend their time versus where they should be spending their time.

[00:19:34] Jamie: Yeah. . 

[00:19:36] Jody: Yeah. It's hilarious you mentioned that. Cause we just had this conversation with one of our CFOs that I don't have time to do this or I don't have time to do this. It's like, well, time is the one thing you have control over . You control your time. Yes. You know, it just depends if you wanna sit down and actually do it.

[00:19:50] Because you hear that from, you know, you hear that from accounting, accounting people you hear, you know, Hey, I don't have time to teach that person how to do that. I don't have time to do this. So it's like, no, you just [00:20:00] don't prioritize it. Right. You know you have time to do it. You just don't prioritize it.

[00:20:03] Chuck: Yeah. And that's what comes down. I think it's a combination of that and more Jodi. Right. I think there's some people that are not prioritizing, they're not holding themselves accountable, they're not owning it, but it's also mindset shift. And honestly, it's also a skill development.

[00:20:18] There's some people who simply do not know how to do it. And I mean that in a very respectful way. I mean, we're talking about very smart, very accomplished, very hardworking people. . But when you have one formula for how you do your day, and I'm talking holistically how you live your day, it's really hard to break out of that when you just don't know how to do it.

[00:20:39] And we become sort of a, and I don't mean this in a negative way, but we kind of, sort of a victim to that. Cause that's what we know. This is our formula of how we live our life and what successes for us and what our comfort level is. And it's not that easy to make that change, but it is change and it's a huge issue.

[00:20:57] Jamie: I'm curious with how much does the hiring process or even the promotion process play into that? Because I think historically what the promotion process has always been is this person's a great doer. Let's turn 'em into a manager. Like, this is our best performer, so now let's turn 'em into a manager so they can teach other people how to perform like they do.

[00:21:14] Now, I'm curious if you think that that's a flawed process for promotion or if that process works, we're just doing a bad job training that person from one step to the other. 

[00:21:22] Chuck: Well, I think you both can answer that question, right? I think we all know the answer to that question. That's a, you know, and not, I'm not saying it's not a good question.

[00:21:31] Of course it is. And again, you know, we all know that hasn't really changed in 50 years, right? Or longer or ever since we really came up with a formal, you know, modern corporate structure. We always, you know, and here's the irony, right? Because in business, that is the model. Take your high top performer 

[00:21:49] and turn into a manager. in sports, which we can actually argue is probably the most performance oriented business that we know of. Your best performance [00:22:00] don't become managers. The best managers, the best coaches become managers, right? You know, a good example, and I'm out dating myself a little bit here.

[00:22:08] Tommy Lasorda, right? Tommy Lasorda's, you know, baseball career lasted, you know, a couple of days. He's, you know, and he's down to, I'm talking about professional baseball man level, but he is considered one of the best managers in the history of baseball. You could go to any sport, by the way, and come up with an example of that.

[00:22:25] You know, there is not one good head coach in any professional sport that was a great player. . And if there is, it's really an exception to the rules. So in business, 

[00:22:36] Jamie: I do have to beg, differ cause Larry Bird was a great coach, but I'll just, I'll just start. , 

[00:22:40] Chuck: that's debatable. By the way Jamie. That's debatable . I'm a Larry Bird fan.

[00:22:45] That's debatable how great he was. But very debatable as a fan. But again, you're right. I mean, we haven't broken that model yet. We haven't been able to break that model. Take your best performer and making the managers. . You know, the good news, I think that if there's any change in the last 20 years is that more and more companies are taking their top producers or performers and finding individual career tracks for them.

[00:23:09] So if you're the best scientist, if you're the best technologist you know, at least in some of the, what I call more technical professions, you know, whether you're in consulting or any industry, now, there are, you know, fellowships or individual roles where you can be that subject matter expert. It doesn't happen every function.

[00:23:29] Right? Meaning perfect examples or the rest of the functions, operations, finance, HR, you know, you still to rise up to a very senior level. You still have to be running that organization, and we all know that they're very, very smart people that are running those organizations at the C level that should be managing people.

[00:23:47] But it happens all the time. That's why they get coaching. That's why they get leadership development programs, management training programs we all need it. But there are some people out there that frankly were just a top producer that either aren't [00:24:00] interested or frankly, or don't have the mindset or the skillset to be managing others.

[00:24:05] We haven't broken that paradigm. We haven't, 

[00:24:08] Jody: Yeah. Coaching, you mentioned coaching oh, it was about five years ago. We invested money and basically hired a coach to coach our team. And since then we've added additional folks to do that. And I would say, That's probably been one of the best investments I think we could have ever made at the time and didn't realize it.

[00:24:27] You know, at the time we thought, boy, this is a big cost. You know, we're spending $90,000 for this person to come in and coach our team on a regular basis. You know, that's a lot of money that we could be spending on other things. And in reality, I think, and Jamie, you can correct me if I'm, if you think otherwise, but I think it was the best investment because it not only

[00:24:45] helped them coach and it wasn't a technical coach, it wasn't helping 'em teach 'em how to do, read a financial statement or teach 'em how to do a tax return or anything like that. It was, you know, how to handle, how to deal with people, how to deal with peers, you know, how to deal with clients because again, , you know this, it's such a foreign concept for an accountant to be a good consultant.

[00:25:07] And then, you know how you throw 'em out there. How do I, how do I do this? How do I deal with this? It's a foreign concept working remote, you know, at least it was back 10 years ago. Now it's become more and more a reality. You know, how do I work remote and, and deal with the life? , you know, work life balance, if you wanna call it, you know, with taking the kids to daycare or something like that, and still working at home.

[00:25:27] You know, how do I deal with that? And the fact that we could have, we brought that individual on similar to yourself, to coach and help the team out, not just the executives, but the entire team I think is win. And I'd like to get your, kinda, your feedback. I know it's kind of a loaded question there, but I'd like to get your feedback on some of the

[00:25:46] wins that you've seen, you know, some of the, you know, that, you know, by coming in and really helping organizations out.

[00:25:51] Chuck: No, I think it's fair and I appreciate the fact that you recognize the impact it can have. And you're right, if it's the right [00:26:00] person and focusing on the right things the ROI of that is unmeasurable, right?

[00:26:04] Because not only does it impact the effectiveness of each other and how you manage conflict, I mean, again, that's another really hot, juicy topic, right? because again, especially in the US and this was before covid, we were becoming so conflict diverse. That, you know, everyone's walking in eggshells.

[00:26:19] And then you add, you know, the Me Too and all the other woke and other aspects culturally that have impacted society in the US. Everyone's afraid to disagree. Everyone's afraid to step on someone's toe or lose their job because they're not now in the majority. And you know, there's some extreme examples of that, frankly.

[00:26:38] So when you think about, again, team effectiveness, how do you have healthy conflict versus unhealthy conflict? How do you create a healthy culture? How as a team can you be high performing and make effective decisions and value each other and communicate effectively, deal the risk effectively, deal with change effectively, and all the things that make an effective team.

[00:26:59] But if you get the leadership team to really understand themselves better and understand each other better, and then help them navigate that through the organization. It just not only impacts retention and performance, it impacts the overall health of your business, how you work with customers, how you retain those customers.

[00:27:15] Because you know the concepts of employee engagement haven't changed in over 30 years, which really we're talking about, right? because if people feel going back to feeling value and appreciated, but if people also feel connected to who you are as a business, they identify with the business, the overall purpose and strategy of where you are, where you're going, that gets 'em to go beyond the minimum requirements of your job.

[00:27:36] That's what we want. in any size business, right? We want people who are gonna wanna be here, they're passionate about the work and they wanna go beyond the requirements. And that's what's creates a healthy organization. Retention of clients and expansion. Your clients. We practice the same thing in terms of our business and my employees.

[00:27:55] So it's really critical to create that right environment and. If you're not, even if [00:28:00] you don't, if you don't recognize at any stage of your career, including if you're owning a business or running a business and your team at your level, that we always need you know, development. We always need external best practices of how can we be more effective and how we deal with some of the biases, right?

[00:28:16] Because going back to virtual Jodi and Jamie. Their managers and I know it doesn't make a difference what level, how much experience, or little. We have biases. There's some managers out there that simply feel, and you're right. You know, virtual's not new. We talked a lot last two years.

[00:28:31] Like it's this new thing. Virtual's been around for many, many years. It's not new. But there are managers out there that feel, if I can't see the work you're doing, I don't feel comfortable. You're performing, do not doing your job. It's amazing. I have four kids. One of my daughters is working for, I won't name the company, but it's a pretty large company.

[00:28:54] Very sophisticated. They have a virtual workforce. They literally have software that monitors her when she's on her computer and literally, okay. Cause there's this biasness of, you know, if I don't see you, I don't know if you're working, if you're doing your job or you're being productive. And so there's a lot of issues in terms of how we get managers to understand what success is in managing people virtually versus in office.

[00:29:23] Not just in terms of performance and productivity and progress, but also in terms of advancement, in terms of getting visibility on projects, all the things that you want when you're hungry and you're young and you're talented, and you're smart and you're eager. And if you don't get those opportunities, you're not gonna stick around.

[00:29:38] So one of the biggest deficiencies right now, in a lot of organizations simply have not addressed this. They're like, oh, our managers can manage a virtual workforce really well, tell me exactly how. Right? So, investing in your manager's ability, their skill, their knowledge of how to manage a virtual workforce or a hybrid [00:30:00] workforce of in office and outta office, that's, you don't just show up and learn how to do that, you know, on the spot, that again, requires knowledge and skill.

[00:30:08] So again, it's still a huge debate out there. You know, very few organizations have really made that investment and the ones that have, it's really paid off for them. 

[00:30:17] Jody: I can't even imagine monitoring everybody's movements on their computers. I don't know what I would even do with that information. 

[00:30:25] Chuck: you know that 

[00:30:25] Jamie: multiple screens up, Jody, you'd have everybody else's computer up.

[00:30:28] You just sit there watching like Big brother 

[00:30:30] Chuck: And what? I'm surprised she's miserable and she's gonna leave. Yeah. I mean, surprise, right? 

[00:30:36] Jody: Because we give surveys to our team every quarter, so every, every three months, you know, we're shooting our surveys, how are we doing? What can we do better? You know, just basically getting, you know, getting scored so that we can help, you know, we can improve things.

[00:30:49] And man, it's been great for us cuz we, we can kind of figure out, hey, where we're falling down, what are our blind spots at? And I can't imagine what my score would be. If the trust factor wasn't there, cuz that's what you're telling me. You're telling me that they just don't trust their people

[00:31:06] And it's like hands working, remote hands.

[00:31:08] Chuck: You're spot on. You're spot on. And the one thing I just wanna quickly mention is like, those surveys are so important, especially if they're written effectively. Because if your employees are not engaged, don't feel valued, don't feel like they, they're trusted or don't feel like they understand your strategy and your culture and they, and, and they, and where we're gonna go and how we're gonna get there.

[00:31:28] Guess what? The higher the engagement scores are for your organization, no matter what size you are. , the stronger the correlation to higher financial performance. There's actually quantitative data that goes over 20 years that shows high engagement scores means high financial performance, low engagement scores means low financial performance.

[00:31:50] So if you're a small business and you're trying to say, boy, I love to figure out, you know, 15 employees or more, or whatever, 25, 20, and how do I, how do [00:32:00] I get stronger financial performance? We'll create an engaged workforce. And, you know, the, the strategies and tools out there are very straightforward and guess what?

[00:32:08] By doing that, you're gonna actually have greater financial performance.

[00:32:13] Jamie: Yep. Great. No, I think that that makes a lot of sense. And I know that, again, from the surveys we get back and the amount of time we put into 'em, it, it's definitely really important to us as a firm in how we treating our employees.

[00:32:22] So we are, we're getting close on time, so I'm gonna end with two questions. And so the first is something that we started a couple episodes ago, so we like to get off topic a little bit, and this is only a little bit off topic since we already started talking coaches a little bit. But I'm, I'm curious, I want both of you guys to talk about, , who your favorite sports coach of all time is and why?

[00:32:40] So I, I'll start with you, Jodi, then we'll throw it over to Chuck. 

[00:32:44] Jody: Oh. Wow. Sports coach and why? You know, I would have to be honest with you. I would go out outside of the coaches that you would be aware of, but, and actually go to a coach I actually had, and I wrestled in high school and with team captain, all that kind of stuff,

[00:32:59] And I would say that the person that was probably the most instrumental to me was a gentleman by the name of Bill Kble. And he coached my wrestling team for about three years, and he really developed, you know, the, you know, he pushed you beyond what he really thought you could handle, you know, physically, mentally.

[00:33:17] and I think it's really helped me throughout my entire life, you know, really, cuz there's a lot of times I think if I'd been pampered back there, maybe I wouldn't have actually tried harder to overcome obstacles that to now are just like a kind of a game for me. How can we overcome this obstacle?

[00:33:31] You know, what's, what do I have to do? What to get that next level? And so I would say Bill Kble. Rest in peace. You know, he passed away last year. But I'd say he was by far the most instrumental coach that I've ever been around. 

[00:33:43] Jamie: Great, great answer. And I was gonna hope that Bill could listen, but hopefully his family could listen to this episode and understand that how important he was to you.

[00:33:49] So what about you, Chuck? 

[00:33:51] Chuck: Well, you know, I have to say the same thing. You know, I had my high school soccer coach Mr. Arkin who passed away, and then also my college soccer [00:34:00] coach who's still coaching at my college. And that's a long time ago, by the way, guys. My sophomore year and he's still there going strong.

[00:34:08] He's probably gonna retire some me. He started his in his mid twenties to give you some context. So he is been there for a long time. He, you know, it's all about how you treat people. Echo what Jodi said, but I'm gonna go back to time of Las sort and that's not a coincidence why I picked him in my book too, by the way.

[00:34:24] And I love a lot of coaches, especially my favorite sport teams, and I grew up outside of New York City, so, you know, the Bill Parels of the world was, you know, I was a big fan of , but you know, he was a great motivator, but he also had some really talented teams. If you really look at Tommy Lasorda 

[00:34:40] and the talent he had in the teams that won all those division championships and won the World Series, they were never the best baseball team. They were never the most talented. Well, his, his skillset was taking people that and get them to believe in themselves and get them to peak at their potential.

[00:34:56] And all these other sports coaches professionally above. Really, that wasn't their expertise. If anything, you could actually argue they were pretty tough on their people, kind of old school. And that works with some players and it doesn't work with everybody. Right. But what was, and I never was really a big Tommy sort of fan until I start, until I started reading about 'em.

[00:35:14] and I, the more I got to know about his coaching style and his personality and what he did with his players and his teams, the more I really admired his approach. Which is why I picked him in my book as an example, a very small example about a sports coach. So he was not, never, would've been my top choice unless I started really getting to know his

[00:35:34] approach, but, it's how we got people to believe themselves and how we got the most out of people. That's something I respected about him. 

[00:35:42] Jamie: Well, I definitely love asking questions like that so I get a little, our listeners can get a little bit of extra insight into our guests and know a little bit more about you.

[00:35:49] So with those, with those great answers, we are at time. And so let's give final thought to Chuck and then for you as well, Jodi. So what's your final thought for our listeners Chuck, that I can get out of this podcast?[00:36:00]

[00:36:00] Chuck: Final thought, I think final thought for me. , you know, don't stop challenging yourself.

[00:36:06] It's really easy to get comfortable, especially if your business is doing well. You got a great team. You're kind of content with your role. You know, the world around us is changing so quickly, so often. I don't say that to create angst or stress or anxiety or paranoia. But just to understand that we always have to be kind of pushing ourselves and stretching ourselves and frankly, thinking about our mindset.

[00:36:29] and what's changing for the future and staying open to that and be receptive to, to changing what we do and how we do it. So if there's anything I would continue to challenge people and ask themselves that question is, when's the last time you really thought about that? And create time for yourself, you know?

[00:36:44] That's probably my biggest suggestion. 

[00:36:49] Jody: Yeah. And I would say time is definitely a key. Time management's definitely a key, but I would say even more importantly, I think. , you invest in a coach like yourself, you know, invest in somebody that can come in and you can bounce ideas off of, Hey, things are going right, things are going wrong.

[00:37:05] It really, it's unreal. You know, the impact that, you know, that that's had to our team and I think, you know, for a lot of people they look at it as a cost center and I don't look at it that as all. I mean, I think it's definitely the reason why we've succeeded the way we have, why we've tripled our sales.

[00:37:22] You know, every, you know, every, you know, three, you know, double our sales every three years, you know that, and have the culture that we have right now. I can't imagine running a 70 person firm and not having the folks that we have on our team helping everybody else succeed. Cuz it, you don't get a chance to bump into somebody.

[00:37:42] you know, in the office or hang out in their office at all. You know, you've gotta be intentional with those. Jamie you mentioned earlier, and I think, to be intentional is to hire somebody that can, that's a professional in that area. Not somebody that just want to come in, but somebody that understands how people work.

[00:37:58] And the dynamics of [00:38:00] people coach people up I think, is so critical. And I think you know, that would be my biggest, my biggest point. It's definitely well worth the investment. 

[00:38:08] Jamie: Great. So with that said, Chuck, how can our listeners get hold of you? 

[00:38:12] Chuck: They can get hold of me through LinkedIn you know, Chuck Mollor, M O L L O R.

[00:38:16] They know they can go to our website and reach out to me that way or anybody on my team which is mcgpartners.com. Those are probably the best ways to reach me. 

[00:38:26] Jody: Okay. Yeah, definitely read Chuck's book, the Rise of the Agile Leader. Definitely. Good read.

[00:38:30] Jamie: For sure. 

Chuck: Thanks, I appreciate that.

[00:38:33] Jamie: Great. Well, I appreciate both of you coming on the show, and again, I know I have a lot of notes and I'm sure our listeners will as well, so I appreciate both of you guys. 

[00:38:39] Jody: Yep, thank you. 

Chuck: Thanks, Jamie. Thanks, Jody.

[00:38:43] Enjoy this podcast? Visit our website @summitcpa.net to get more tips and strategies for achieving business success.

[00:38:50] We are here to be a resource in this ever changing industry.


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