This week on The Growth Whispers we’re talking about a pandemic that’s sweeping the globe and is toxic. It’s called Mondayitis and it infects a lot of people and prevents people from building enduring great companies. The most challenging part is sometimes it affects us as the senior leaders in a company because we just get sick and tired of things within the business and unfortunately, we tolerate them for so long they become normal. We talk about 7 different causes of Mondayitis and what you can do to eliminate it or prevent it.
Is there a pandemic of Mondayitis in your company – if so, what can you do about it?
Episode 51 – The Growth Whisperers
The Growth Whisperers is a weekly podcast hosted by Brad Giles and Kevin Lawrence two advisors to mid-market businesses, one Australian, one Canadian, who each work with CEOs and Leadership Teams across the world with a mission to build enduring, great companies. Each weekly episode covers interesting situations and questions from the world of strategic planning, leadership development, talent and hiring in high growth entrepreneurial companies where real results matter.
Brad Giles 00:13
Welcome to the growth whispers where everything we talk about is building enduring great companies everything that you need to do everything that you need to think about to build an enduring great company. I’m Brad Giles, and as always joined today by my co host, Kevin Lawrence, how are you doing today?
Kevin Lawrence 00:32
I’m doing great, Brad. Except for the fact that it’s the end of the day in as dark you know, as the Yeah, I know it’s daytime there but I’m actually doing really well just had that a spring break with my kids are actually in the middle of it, but had some time off with my kids last week, which was fun. And looking forward to the show today as always.
Brad Giles 00:52
Yes, I mentioned to you just before we’re at the end of our summer so and spent some time at the beach, which has been great. Went to a football match yesterday with 38,000 people at our stadium here in Perth, a large football stadium and yeah, it was great to be back in a large crowd, you know, in an exciting match. Really good. One word open up. Yeah, one word open out or one phrase. So what’s mine for today?
Kevin Lawrence 01:31
I was thinking about it. my word today is persistence. And I’m going to read you something in a minute, which is my favorite quote on persistence. But I’ll give you the context first, so on. Late last week, my son Brayden, and I were up doing one of the activities we like to do called snow biking, which is a motorcycle with a snowmobile track on the front and a ski. Those are just a track on the back and ski on the front, and you go in the mountains, and you can kind of go anywhere you want. And it’s a lot of fun. So it took my son for the first time. He had tried one before but just riding it around, not like we’re doing so took him for the first time. We went on had a heck of a great day. It was awesome. He did great. My buddy was there with his son who also did well on his snowmobile, a traditional snow machine. And we had a great day, and you know, had the hot tub after had dinner hung out and it was all real good. And then the next day my son was sore, like sore like, his butt was sore because the seat keeps hitting your butt when you go over bumps. Uh-huh. And he didn’t want to go. He was just too tired to go in. And basically he couldn’t sit on the seat. So what he ended up doing is he mustered it up and he went and did it. And he actually had to ride sidesaddle meaning he couldn’t have his butt on the seat at have like his side on the seat is hurt too much. But so he’s riding this way, and then he’s riding this way. Anyway, so it’s persistence. And you know what I know one of the one of my greatest strengths as a human is persistence. It served me well. And sometimes I think I have more persistence than I do intelligence, although persisting has made me smarter because I’ve learned so much so I’ll share a quote. This was in my friend, a good friend of mine. I grew up with Steve Dale-Johnson. His father Rod, had this hanging up in his office. And this is from Calvin Coolidge. Those of you watching the video I’ve got it on screen. And Calvin Coolidge the quote is nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men or women with talent. Genius will not unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not, the world is full of educated derelicts. persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan press on has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Kevin Lawrence 04:11
that’s my word today, persistence, because it’s almost a mantra in my life. And last thing just on that, I watched the I rewatch the movie recently of Catch me if you can. And, you know, there’s a quote in there where the con man, it’s his father who kind of teaches them. And he tells a story about two frogs in a bucket of milk. And, you know, one frog drowns. And then the bucket of cream, sorry, and then the other frog kicks and kicks and kicks so much that he turns the cream into butter, and then hops out, which is again another story about persistence. So that’s a long word. long winded one word but persistence is the theme of the day in the week. How about you, Brad?
Brad Giles 04:59
Nothing, at all that is as compelling as that. Yeah. Last week, my word was spiral. Okay. And that was we are spiraling up every time we work with a leadership team, okay? A month, a quarter a year goes around, we want to be at a higher level as we spiral upwards. And then this week, as I’ve reflected, it’s really about confidence. And that’s the confidence that we get when we work with people in the long term. And it’s, you know, I just, I just really despise words like growth hacking, or phrases like growth hacking, because there’s, there’s something to be said for it being enduring. And the way to build that is focus on a long term things focus over a long term on the long term things. So yeah, my word is confidence.
Kevin Lawrence 05:59
Confidence. Yes. Love it. You know, Brad, what you were just saying, there’s something really interesting in that we’re in a world of quick fixes, take a pill for anything, take a shortcut hack this hack that. I mean, it’s great to learn those things. But enduring success is from layering in layers of discipline, and learning and progress. And, you know, and persistence and building confidence, and competence. But yeah, there’s so many people get caught up in it, you know, growth hacking sometimes reminds me of the get rich quick schemes, you know, those pyramid schemes that come along or anything else, and you know, and you
Brad Giles 06:38
know, who’s, you know, who the person who is, you know, who the person that gets rich? In a get rich, quick scheme. It’s the person that sold you the scheme. Exactly.
Kevin Lawrence 06:50
I know. It’s awesome. Anyway, so let’s get into our show today. So we’re talking about persistence and confidence. Interestingly, those things go very well together. Brad, you got an idea? I can see it on your face. Please. Tell me this is going to be awesome. Hold on, ladies and gentlemen, He is so excited about what he’s about to tell us. It’s gonna be awesome.
Brad Giles 07:12
Yeah, so persistence and confidence. Great way to start. But one other point, as we begin is that it’s now a year since the pandemic began. Yeah, so it was a year ago, pretty much today or this week, when all of the major things like countries closing their borders. Everyone was absolutely in panic mode, trying to figure out what is going to happen. The cases were escalating, there wasn’t a new normal. So yeah, the pandemic, it’s an interesting subject that we’ve got today, because the pandemic a year ago was kicking off. And as we were talking about this subject, which you know, is Monday is Mondayitis is actually a pandemic in itself, if you let it run free, if you don’t use the appropriate quarantine mechanisms, if you don’t use the appropriate safety mechanisms in your organization. Monday, itis can become a real real problem.
Kevin Lawrence 08:21
Yeah, and it creeps up on you. And that’s the challenge with it is that it starts to weigh you down, kind of like a cloud hanging over your head, and then the head of your team. And then your whole division, sometimes the whole company, it kind of creeps up on you. So yeah, that’s what we’re talking about today. Mondayitis and we’re not talking about, you know, the Monday is that our good friends that might have a problem with alcohol or some other substance have, or it tends to be Sunday night, they hit it too hard and don’t make it to work on Monday. Although it is a similar thing when there’s some sort of psychological tension or distress that makes you not want to come to the office. So we Brad did some very important research. We went on to the internet and we looked at this thing called the urban dictionary. It’s a very it’s um yes, it’s kind of like the Harvard of urban dictionaries. I’m sure it’s a very credible source. I should probably yes, but this is people’s opinions on it’s it’s not a word. It’s
Brad Giles 09:21
just there’s a lot of very funny definitions on there. There is Yeah,
Kevin Lawrence 09:27
yeah, we picked one suitor for us. I really wish someone had written here is Mondayitis from you know from urban dictionary. It’s a feeling of weariness, sadness, apathy, and general distress that many individuals feel when starting the Monday morning workweek. This feeling is usually enhanced after a large weekend Now, also to hold true to our friends in the Middle East and other places that run a different calendar. In a place where you work Sunday to Friday, it would be Sunday it is right? Not Monday. I For people that work on a different calendar than we do in the West, but the point of it is it’s just it’s basically dreading going to work for whatever reason, and people either showing up unenthusiastic, like not happy to be there, not fully energized, ready to go and hit it first thing in the morning, or actually calling in sick, which we call it in the West. And what do you call this, calling in sick over in your part of the strange world there
Brad Giles 10:26
we would call if, if you’re due to come to work if it’s an assigned workday, and you decide not to because you don’t probably have the motivation. Let’s say if you’re really sick, then you’re sick, right. But we’ll call it throwing a sickie.
Kevin Lawrence 10:44
Throwing a sickie, I like it. So no matter what, and look, and here’s the thing, we want to say, you know, Brad and I are both big proponents of mental health and taking care of yourself. Sometimes you need to, sometimes you need what we call it, we call a mental health day, or just taking it sometimes you just need an extra day off for yourself to recoup, or to deal with some personal affairs 100%. okay to do that. We’re not saying not, we’re saying when it’s a chronic problem, where people either don’t come to work or don’t want to come to work, which is the bigger thing, it’s they’re actively showing up, but they’re disengaged. That’s what we’re talking about today. And as we’re saying, it can be, you know, pandemic like that it can spread throughout the company, and have almost a malaise and lack of enthusiasm, or, or lack of desire for many people.
Brad Giles 11:34
Well, what we’re really interested in is when the Mondayitis occurs, because of the company. So yes, out, we should alcohol or party too much, or you need a mental health day. That’s not because of the company. But what about when people don’t want to come to work because of the company because of things that are happening, that’s what’s really interesting. And that’s what can become a real problem, certainly, in terms of attracting and retaining a players.
Kevin Lawrence 12:08
Because it’s a symptom, that you’re you’ve got things happening in your company that are unhealthy, or not consistent with it being a place where people really want to show up, and they’re excited to get to work and do their best work, ie the intrinsic reward is outweighed by the pain and punishment they get from being there. So it’s a symptom. So yes, people have their own personal reasons. But we’re trying to get to the fundamental business reasons. So a couple things here, as we kind of dig into this is that this does tend to impact some people more than others. And what we know is, you know, people that are a players generally, are more likely to push through challenging situations that actually clean them up. So what we’ve seen a players are less likely to suffer from this, although there’s a certain point where a players will be less tolerant and move on, ie, if the company isn’t going to become a great company to work with. They actually may choose to work somewhere else. Yeah. And that’s at a certain point, they’ve had enough. I’m out.
Brad Giles 13:18
Yeah. And we obviously don’t want to get there. And that’s one of the reason that we’re talking about it today. How can you identify is Monday is a problem with in your organization? And what can you do about it? You know, there’s a saying that A players won’t work for B players. And the B employees C players, okay. So it’s a slippery slope, that suddenly you think things are going well. And then a year or two later, you’re going down the track, and you think things have changed so much around here. And all you got to do is take your eye off the ball of trying to attract and retain the top 10% of people in your industry trying to get the best people, suddenly you’ve got a handful of bees. And suddenly those people if they’re hiring or hiring sees, and then you’re like, this is a completely different company. And then people start saying things like, gee, I can’t wait till the weekend. That’s going to be really good at the weekend.
Kevin Lawrence 14:21
And that’s a really big problem when you’re the CEO and owner of the damn company.
Brad Giles 14:26
Kevin Lawrence 14:27
was recently having a conversation with a CEO who has Mondayitis is Tuesdayitis, Wednesdayitis, Thursdayitis, and Fridayitis is he hates his freaking company. And we start digging into it. And I was talking with him about this as we’re going through it. It’s like he’s got a whole bunch of the wrong people. He doesn’t like most of the people that work for him. That’s a problem. He actually put somebody else in charge of a lot of it. And this person I, I’m suspecting was not on culture probably doesn’t even care about culture and based on the people decisions. So yeah, it’s almost like the new CEO hired a bunch of people. And, and most of them are mediocre, but a bunch of them are mediocre. But, you know, the CEO is talking is I don’t like these people. I don’t like what it’s like, in my company. I don’t these are not people I’ve had to spend time with. That’s I explained to him, Hey, by the way, that’s not how it’s supposed to be. No, you’re actually supposed to like the people you work with and want to work with them and believe in them and feel energized from the work you do. So yeah, this guy doesn’t just have Mondayitis, this he’s got like everydayitis. He’s the owner of the company. And you will make the change he will. But it’s sort of goes both ways. It can be from the owner to their team or a leader to their team, or a team to their leader, it can go either way. But the most important thing about this is it’s damn contagious, like this new variant of this, you know, bubonic plague that we’re dealing with our world right now called COVID. And, yes, thank you for the technical term. Yes. You know, but and truly, it’s like, for example, this CEO, I’m sure he’s not having the greatest influence on his team. He’s not showing up with a lot of love and joy and engagement, it’s going to spread through the whole company, the company probably would get dirty. There’s a saying that, you know, the CEO, sneezes, and the whole company gets a cold.
Brad Giles 16:47
Kevin Lawrence 16:48
So that’s good to see. But, but the thing I really want to say is, also, on the weekend, I was talking to another entrepreneur, Everywhere I go, I know, I’m always talking to different entrepreneurs, and not in the weekend. Last week, I was talking to this entrepreneur, in between our fun times. And, you know, we got the chat going about labor unions, and I don’t know what it’s like in every part of the world. But, you know, labor unions were started, you know, probably 100 years ago, when people died at work regularly, because things were not safe. And people were not treated well or taken care of. Yeah. And today, most companies are quite good. But it’s almost like that this Monday, itis that can spread like crazy between people can almost, you know, is a reason why I guess in some parts of the world where labor unions are there, because when workplaces become toxic, people don’t feel respected, or valued, or whatever it happens to be, it creates this, people start getting frustrated. And if nothing changes, they look for an external source, maybe to drive some change, ie a labor unit. We had one company that we worked with that and most entrepreneurial people don’t want labor unions, like most, you know, four don’t want unions in their businesses, because it’s, it’s, it adds additional cost from an ownership perspective. And, and I there’s sure there’s
Brad Giles 18:12
but it adds an adversarial partner.
Kevin Lawrence 18:15
Exactly. And that takes a lot of energy to manage well, and is not always for the benefit of the people or the company. So anyway, you know, and we’re not even here to say whether, you know, some people believe in I’m like, the best thing, you know, on the side of the fence that they tend to add an expensive adversarial partner. But in this company that they almost brought a union in, and we had to work like heck, well, there was an a-hole of a plant manager. The manufacturing facility was getting toxic. People were not being treated, right. And in many ways in our debrief. It’s, you know, we and I include myself because I’m an advisor. So we earned that labor union coming in to tell us to smarten up. We had, we had screwed up, we had had some of the wrong people treating people the wrong way. And the union’s there to say, hey, that’s not okay. Which, at the end of the day, they were able to turn it around. But it was basically the whole plant was starting to have Mondayitis because the plant manager was such a jerk.
Brad Giles 19:20
You know, Jeff Bezos has got this saying, which is your margin is my opportunity. Okay, so he looks out and he looks at the industries where there are healthy margins. And he says, your margin is my opportunity. And what I’m hearing through what you’re saying there is that if you have a weak culture, if you have a toxic culture, if you have a culture where Mondayitis is present, perhaps that is the labor unions opportunity. Like they see that as being this is our opportunity to go in there. And to fix this from their own perspective. We could win pay rises, We could get in there. So yes, yeah. It’s almost like chaos theory where if you run a toxic workplace, eventually, there will be a third party or something else will come in to try to rectify that.
Kevin Lawrence 20:22
They will. And you know, some of your best people will leave. So look at the end of the day, you know, these are problems that come into our world. And we got to be careful because we don’t want this to become a contagious thing that spreads. And it does, and it comes in bit by bit. And then we get a wake up call, and we do something about it. And our job should be to be proactive and stay ahead of this. So yeah, let’s dig into some causes we got, we got seven main points, which we have here, which is we look at what are the causes, and then we’ve got some solutions.
Brad Giles 21:02
So number one, they could actually just be sick, they could actually be cooling in Monday. And this is not only about people who are having the day off, let’s be very clear about that. This is about people who are almost actively disengaging on on a Monday right there. Now, if you’ve got high vacancy rates on a Monday, or people who are away on a Monday, then that could be an extreme cause, but this is just people are disengaging on a Monday. So number one, they could actually just be sick, or they could be tired from just partying too much on the weekend, or having too much fun. Or, you know, maybe they went on a trip away. I remember when I was younger, I used to race cars, and we’d be racing cars at night. And you know, we’d be getting home at two in the morning or something like that, after having a full day’s work and a full day’s racing at night. Either that for a day or two in a row. And plus, we’d have to drive off into the country to do it. So you know, you can be pretty exhausted. So it could just be that they’ve got a really active social life outside of work. And, yeah, that’s interesting to know, as a leader.
Kevin Lawrence 22:17
Interesting. I had a flashback there, Brad. I remember being out all night partying with my friends one night, and then rolling into work the next morning and going I don’t think I’m in the condition to be at work. And, and just do. And, you know, we’re still showing up, I was not the type of person that would call in sick, but showing up. But yeah, not with all my faculties as for sure. So yeah, that could be caught, they could have just learned that there are people that are so committed in their personal life, their person life is so busy, there’s no there’s not a lot of energy left for work. So that’s you know, so the solution to that is, you know, just have a conversation with the person, right? You can if you notice the pattern, Hey, what’s going on? I’m noticing, you know, what can we do to have you ready to go bring in your best foot forward Monday morning, for some people, you know, there’s a Sunday night routine that people do like I often do to get ready for a great week. Or there’s things to set you up to win. And that’s where coaching and, and offering guidance can really come in with your people.
Brad Giles 23:25
And that’s a really important point that I picked up that you said through that you approach the situation as a coach and not a manager. Okay, so we’re trying to encourage managers to act like coaches or to be coaches not in what we do not external advisors or coaches. But if a manager was to deal in a management type thinking manner with an employee, they’d be saying, if you come back to work like this, again, you’re fired. But what we’re saying is, what can we do to help you? This is a question because coaches ask questions, what can we do to help you arrive at work, so that you’re in the state to be productive and to deliver the results that we need as a team and that you’ve committed to? So very different approach to approach it as a manager instead of a coach? And we’re advocating for the coach style approach where you’re asking the person questions. Yes. And
Kevin Lawrence 24:27
so people wouldn’t have had role models or experience of sometimes. And if they’re early in their career, they might need some guidance, let’s just say, cool. So the second one, is they’re sick of dealing with their aihole boss,
Brad Giles 24:39
Kevin Lawrence 24:43
I don’t know if you ever had one of them. Yeah, you know, I had I’ve had a couple clients that were like that. I actually I had a boss I couldn’t stand when I was I will not name names. But I remember she I had a previous Boss, that was amazing. And then they brought this new person in, and I could not stand her. And I think it was mutual. She couldn’t stand me either. But we gradually warmed up more over time. But having a boss that you don’t like, is about as dreadful as it can get.
Brad Giles 25:20
I know, a client that I work with a CEO, he told me a phrase maybe a month ago, which was, which was pretty, which has really stuck with me. And that was that hurt people, hurt people. Okay, and it seems so simple. But I thought back when you asked that question just then and I thought, yeah, I had a boss and, and this boss many years ago, he just was an angry person. He just, he just felt like, the only way was to shout, not at me at everybody. The only way was to be angry. And, and he took delight in, in causing people embarrassment, or, you know, on happiness he just took and I just thought instantly, I thought you know what, he’s just a hurt person in some way. And he’s that’s how he’s playing that out. And so the people yeah, they used to, fortunately, it was a situation where you didn’t have to interact with him all day. It’d be once or twice a day. But yeah, we would want to do anything at all to avoid that person. Everybody would. So yeah, I think that I think that this is number two, but it’s probably one of the biggest issues is, is a boss has a job to do. Let’s be fair, right? They need Yes, hold people accountable. They need to get productivity out of people at an acceptable level. That’s their job. But what I found, what I observed through my career is that there’s no, that is only on the job training. It’s very, very hard to find a cause or some way. Yeah. So this is how you transition from being a worker to being a supervisor, to being a manager, and how you handle people, it’s all on the job. And many people have this vision of Well, I’ve just got to yell because like my dad, you do whatever it is, whatever they roll more, or a
Kevin Lawrence 27:34
manager early in my career yell that was a role model. I’ve worked with a lot of bosses that were jerks that we’ve had to stray note and coach them I had, I was talking with another entrepreneur, but this last week, he’s very successful, but his team is having a hard time with them. And he’s stuck in this growth, because he doesn’t know how to manage high performing leaders. Managing frontline technicians is a different skill than hiring or leading sort of high performing leaders. It’s very differently and there’s my favorite quotes is that, you know, it’s leadership is getting people to want to do what must be done. Yes, management meant management is getting people to want to do what must be done. And that’s a skill. And if you aren’t highly skilled on this, people, you know, people are gonna have a hard time working with you. And that’s why, you know, as we were prepping for the show, one things we talked about is, you know, this is wonderful book called multipliers by Liz Wiseman, that has you be able to self assess whether you’re a multiplier, which is you multiply talent, or a diminisher, or you make people stupider and smaller. And at the end of the day, it’s not rocket science to figure out who people would rather work for. Not only do multipliers attract talent, and grow talent, because people want to work with them, because they’re there. They’re coming from a place of belief and respect. And, but we all can have, you know, diminishing tendencies, we can all be a bit of that a hole boss sometimes and not even know it.
Brad Giles 29:09
And that’s and that’s, that’s such a fantastic concept from Liz again, there was Liz Wiseman’s book multipliers, where, where some leaders multiply the smarts of some people to give it a slightly different phrase or perspective, and others shut down the smarts of other people. And then and so if you have a diminisher boss, which is shutting down the smarter people, rather than multiplying the smart if you have that type of boss, it can be a real drain as a person under the diminisher boss. And we actually spoke about a very similar concept a couple of episodes, which is the concept of a genius with 1000 helpers. I think that was Episode 49. For us, where, you know, if you are the helper or one of 1000 helpers, to use the phrase, under a genius, it can be really, really demotivating and could ultimately contribute to you not really wanting to go to work every day.
Kevin Lawrence 30:18
Yeah, I guess it can be melted, mentally exhausting. So, point number two’s sick of dealing with their aihole boss. And that could be you in ways that you don’t even know. And if you have those kinds of people on your team, which sometimes we do, your job as a leader is to is to not allow those people to keep that behavior going. Because it can become contagious and mess up the whole culture. And it starts it can become almost acceptable to treat people that way, or just drive a lot of people crazy. So let’s go on to the third one. So the first one is they’re actually sick or tired, just oh, they’re over, you know, they’re exhausted from their weekend. Second is their a-hole boss. Third is sick of the work being so damn hard. And there being so much friction in the systems and or just a nightmare to get things done. And whether it’s because your business has grown, and there’s complexity, whether it’s because your software systems are clunky and messy, whether it’s because there’s so many mistakes, they have to keep doing things over and over again, or whether it’s cuz they don’t really have the resources to do the job. Somehow. The work is a hell. That’s the that’s another reason why people wouldn’t show up. They’re not gonna they don’t want to show up to hell, first day on Monday morning.
Brad Giles 31:37
What we’re specifically not saying here is that they we’re not saying that they don’t want to work hard. That’s not what we’re saying. What we’re saying is that no, we make it hard for them to do their job. Because I make it harder for them to work hard. We make them yeah, yeah. It’s like, if you talk to them, and you and you, you know, and they talk about systems that don’t make sense, like, why do we do that particular process? This doesn’t make any sense. Why are we doing it that way? We complete these forms. And they don’t end up going anywhere. There’s, there’s no point to it. And often we always have
Kevin Lawrence 32:20
Brad, but that’s the way we’ve always done it. That’s why we do what we’ve always done it that way.
Brad Giles 32:26
And if that’s what you’re saying, like there’s a whole episode that we can talk about that right? Number one, be humble and always try to find a better way. This is very common. And I don’t want to single out a employer. But this is, but I will. But this is very common in government bureaucracy, which is people find it very hard to do a good job because the size of the you know, the bureaucracy protects itself. And there’s a lot of work that gets done for no real purpose or reason or outcome.
Kevin Lawrence 33:10
Yes, and, you know, bureaucracies, build systems to protect themselves from really incompetent people. That’s why bureaucracies exist you have. So instead of dealing with the incompetent people, you build cumbersome systems and duplications and 14 sign offs, and three approvals and all kinds of stuff. Instead of dealing with the core people issues, that’s a whole other episode on bureaucracy, but we don’t even want to talk about it that much. But yes, you end up with the systems. And that’s why many companies that we work with, I know with you, they will have many of their there’s their execution plans are about streamlining and improving systems. And it’s not just Hey, we’re gonna buy a new software package. Because that’s just a way to spend more money. It doesn’t necessarily, you know, if you’ve got a crappy system, and then you automate it, you’ve automated crap. Like it doesn’t heal, you need to improve the systems, streamline them remove friction, from the perspective of the user, not the perspective of head office, getting the reports, but the people in the field doing the job. And it’s, it’s a forever project, just to continue it at that at the frontline team level through the whole company to keep streamline to make it easier for people to do great work.
Brad Giles 34:31
Yeah, there’s one team that I work with. And they thought that they were going pretty good. They were pretty confident. But I got a bit of a sense that what was being said at the leadership team level may not be exactly the same at the level below them when we got to what was really happening. And so we ran a workshop and I asked them the question as a group, the say there was about 20 people in the room. And I said, So tell me, what’s the, what’s the one thing that prevents you doing your job better? And so we went around the room and everyone got to have a say, and they’d be one thing, one thing. Okay, what else? What else? And we went as far as we could, we had this massive list of things. And then I said, Okay, so we got to vote on one. What’s, what’s the one, we drilled it down to one thing. And then, so we got this one point. And it was that in the business, they had all of these processes and flows, that would work. But it was incredibly frustrating, because other people could disrupt that process in the workflow, if you know what I mean. So sales, people could come in and say, I’ve got this urgent job, I want that to jump in, like at the front of the queue. And so that meant that they couldn’t trust the deadlines that they talk to customers about to get things out. And the whole workflow was being completely disrupted. And it just kind of evolved over decades into that system. And everyone, all of these 20 mid level managers say like, this is just driving us crazy, because we can’t trust the system that we’ve got, we don’t know where our customers job is. Because someone comes in with like a three day or five day project and plugs it right in front of at any point. Like we it’s, it’s, it’s completely terrible. Now, now, all the leadership team, they didn’t really even know that this was such a big issue, or the number one issue. And that was incredibly demotivating. For these mid level people who had to fight these barrels on a constant day with the people who were the customers who just wanted to know when is my, when is my product going to be ready.
Kevin Lawrence 36:59
So and it’s a massive project to go and streamline that, like, yeah, don’t dig into it, because it becomes a beast. Right. And they become so I we have one in a company we’re working with, just like what you described, we’re and we’ve gotten good people that want to be accountable for stuff. Interestingly, the person that has taken the most accountability and run with it is the wrong part of the business to run with it. So not only do we have to streamline the process, we have to shift where accountability sits for different things in different decisions. And there’s a whole bunch of change management required Never mind figuring out a better way, and being open to changing the old, but then dealing with it the resistance that you’re going to get and the and the people’s pride that will be bruised. But those things are critical. So that, you know, the the the advice that we would leave you with on this is, you know, systems critical systems that allow people to do a good job, because people take pride in their work. They need constant improvement constant for the until the end of time. And you know, you just got to make it.
Brad Giles 38:08
Yes, feedback, people who are using it,
Kevin Lawrence 38:11
yes, from the user. So the final thing I’ll say is, if you’re it wants to go and streamline the process, or someone from the corporate office wants to go and do it. That’s real sweet intent. But they’re not the one who has to use those systems every day, you have to have the voice of the users in every conversation. Because those other people have good intentions. They’re just disconnected from reality, or they have different priorities. So let’s move on, shall we? They know the next one, number four. And this is also very common, and I have experienced this, but they’re sick of working with a toxic person on the team, or the whole damn team is toxic. Usually it’s one, one or two that start to contaminate the team. And it’d be there’s dread and I don’t leave a few Have you ever been in a meeting or a situation where you dread having to go into a certain meeting, or working with a certain person because it’s just gonna be a headache?
Brad Giles 39:11
You know, 1% of the population is psychopaths. 15 to 20% of the jail population is psychopaths. In companies, about 3% of people are psychopaths. And the further that you go up the ladder, the higher that percentage increases. So that means if you’ve got a company of 100 people, statistically, you’re likely to have three psychopaths in the business. Now, that doesn’t mean that you do maybe they’re not attracted to your industry or maybe you have an effective hiring and onboarding process. It’s going to filter those people out. Yes, but we all have to work alongside tough people and you Yeah, when when we’ve got a toxic person on the team, like, it’s just like a virus it spreads. You know, misery loves company. We’ve heard that saying before. And yeah, we’ve got to understand through things like the net promoter score, the employee Net Promoter Score component of that, or other employee satisfaction surveys is a good way to begin to understand what is actually happening. And when you see those things dip, that could be a real problem. But you know what, I don’t want to work alongside a psychopath, I don’t want to work alongside a toxic a player or a C player, like, it just drains my energy, and it makes me feel like I don’t really want to go to work today. And that’s what most people would feel in this environment, in this on this item
Kevin Lawrence 40:53
100%. And so as a leader, we have to keep an eye out for it. And watch out for those toxic people and don’t promote the toxic people. Right, that’s one of the things that we do is, you know, ideally, quarterly talent reviews where we review the whole portfolio of the most important leaders, all the leaders are the most important ones. And just make sure that they fit the culture, and they perform well. But it’s the ones who don’t fit the culture, and we know who they are, because there’s always problems and drama with them. But our job is to not allow them to keep their role. And definitely not to promote them with that bad behavior and deal with it. Because at the end of the day, creating a great work environment is a setup for creating great work. And if you don’t have an enduring, great company, you have to have an environment where people can feel good now. And sometimes people go toxic, we just, we just got to be on it, and not allow it or you know, encourage it by promoting it. So toxic people to toxic teams, you know, we got to be there to help them, make sure we manage it and don’t allow it.
Brad Giles 41:55
And most of the time when you let someone go for performance related cultural issues. In other words, they’re not performing according to a culture if they’ve toxic, everybody around them is going to go thank God for that. Like I know, they’re like, why didn’t you do that religion ago, it’s a massive relief for everyone around them. And there’s no one thing that
Kevin Lawrence 42:18
we you both you and I are fierce with the companies who work with people that are toxic, ie they don’t work, play well with others, according to your culture. Give them a given feedback, let them step up. If not, thank you for your time. Like, you know, and and and sometimes it takes a bit of time to create a an appropriate exit a respectful exit, if that’s appropriate, which it usually is. So yes, don’t allow toxic people’s people sustained leadership or management roles, don’t promote them.
Brad Giles 42:47
So on to the next one, this sick to their stomach of dealing with a conflict or an embarrassing issue. Now, this could be with another team member slightly related to the last one, but perhaps not, maybe there’s a conflict. This could be with a project, it could be with a customer, it could be with a supplier, but it could be with something else. But this could be something in the workplace some issue. That is that is just draining their energy way too much. Now, maybe it’s just Well, you know what, that’s your job you need to deal with it. Or maybe it could be that this is such a big problem that I don’t know, you, you as the leader need to step in, I think about one of the entrepreneurs that I work with head they had a very large project. And on this project, they had a fixed price component to do their job. But their client had do and charged component. Right? So the client object sole objective was to make this thing last as long as possible and to draw out any issues so they could get as many hours as they can sold. Whereas my client, they had a they were we want to get in there and we want to execute it. It was just I didn’t necessarily know that at the outset. But it was just such a draining exhausting.
Kevin Lawrence 44:26
Yeah, they were set up to calculate conflicting priorities or what a wind looked like to each of them actually would create it would crater engineered a conflict.
Brad Giles 44:35
Kevin Lawrence 44:36
yeah. So these stressful situations exist all of the time, and they’re always there. And our job is to try and help one minimize them, or the way things are set up and look for, you know, conflict that is there. And then secondly, once we do see it conflict or an embarrassing issue, how do we get it on the table quickly? resolve it quickly. And for example, with conflicts, the number one solution is to get both of the parties with the cliff conflict into the room with us a more senior person and talk it out. Period. Yeah, like talking to them individually. That’s only good if you’re gonna then have a joint conversation. And a lot of people make conflicts worse by Oh, what did you think, oh, what did you think and trying to broker a deal? versus get them in the room? And, and get them to work it out? That is it and fast? Like Don’t let it faster? Don’t let it fester.
Brad Giles 45:46
And so number five, they are sick. No, no, no, no, we’re on to number six, excuse me. They are sick mentally, and they can’t handle the thought or muster the energy. So about the amount of work that they need to do the first item was around, they’re physically exhausted or sick from the weekend. But here, you know, they’re just having mental health issues. I think we’ve spoken a few times before on this podcast about everyone experiences mental health issues to some degree. And it’s often not a case of well, you just need to toughen up, you know, just hard enough. Get a bag of concrete, Kevin and eat that bag of concrete, toughen up, and you’ll be fine.
Kevin Lawrence 46:30
And then is that an Aussie thing? concrete and you’ll be fine. I’ve never heard that one.
Brad Giles 46:36
Yeah, I don’t know if it’s an Aussie thing. I have certainly heard it before. Really? Yeah.
Kevin Lawrence 46:43
But as a taste, how does concrete? Have you tried it?
Brad Giles 46:49
I haven’t. But I know that it can be quite acidic when you get it on your hands. So I imagine it would be quite painful to eat. Not that I’m going to try that.
Kevin Lawrence 47:01
Okay, but the poor thing. And we’re not advising you. I’m just quite curious about Brad’s story. But yes,
Brad Giles 47:06
yeah, so what we’re really saying is it everyone, this is an everyone, everyone has a body and a mind. And sometimes the bodies can be unwell. And sometimes the mind can be unwell. And, you know, like, it’s a perfectly normal part of being a human, we need to work through these things. So if, if that’s the case, like we need, we need to just identify that sometimes you’ve got really fantastic team players who are going along, and then suddenly something dips, maybe they’re having problems at home, maybe this, who knows what it could be. During the COVID crisis, we often saw a few times we spoke about giving them a free pass, you know what, like, this is such a terrible situation, maybe we just need to give them a free pass for their performance or coaching issues, coach them around, and then you know, support them and move forward knowing that that’s inherently who they are. They’re just dealing with a tough situation. Thoughts on this, Kevin?
Kevin Lawrence 48:14
Yeah, well, in my book, your oxygen mask first one of the chapters while there’s a chapter on mental health and helping you to recognize when you’re mentally cooked and exhausted and burnt out, and you’re gonna have a version of Monday, itis when you’re like, that happens to all of us at times. And if that’s the case, he has two things. One, if it’s really bad, like, you know the orange or red zone on the mental health continuum, you know, seeing a psychologist is usually the best advice as a way to help unpack those things that are that have cooked your brain. Secondly, is what I call resilience ritual. And sorry, the other one is your doctor, you know, I go to a naturopathic doctor, when I get burnt out, he helps to reset my system and get me back on track psychologist helps you to unpack the stuff. So those are two things. But then there’s another chapter. In this chapter three, it’s called resilience rituals. What are you doing? and Brad, you mentioned the body in the mind, what are you doing to rebuild your resilience? Sometimes you actually have to have a recovery period to rebuild your strength because you’ve just worn yourself out depleted yourself. So there’s no for body mind and spirit. What do you do and it’s interesting, as I’ve been talking to lots of people that have had a tough time in the last year and been very worn out and falling into this where they didn’t want to go to work or their you know, deal with whatever is the amount of people that got burned out because what they used to do for their own resilience changed. Some places gyms were closed, you know, you couldn’t have dinner parties with your friends, you couldn’t do a lot of things. And so figuring out what you need to do for your own resilience is critical. It’s why I bought a motorcycle last year I needed to get out and move because I could see the with the way the rules were wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the other stuff I would do. And I knew I needed to do some different things to stay strong. Point being, is that when you are mentally burnt out or cooked, you typically have to find a reset yourself. And you know, because you might not be having the best impact on your team and such as well. But reset yourself. So, you know, take care of your mind, body and spirit, potentially psychologists potentially a doctor or naturopath or whatever it is that you use.
Brad Giles 50:30
Yeah, and so I guess the advice around that one is one thing that you mentioned, which is the mental health continuum. So as a leader, we’re a big fan of this tool. You can google the phrase mental health continuum, and it’s a spectrum from healthy to unwell. And it says, It asks to look for the behaviors, the observable behaviors in an individual in our in this context, who may be a part of your team. And it asks you what number of these behaviors are they experiencing where on the spectrum, and then it kind of advisors what to do. So you know, there comes a point where if they are unwell, as you said, we want to send them to a psychologist to help them to work through that. And then it could be a bit of time off or whatever it is. But the mental health continuum is the tool that we recommend, if this is what you suspect in this area,
Kevin Lawrence 51:34
for sure. And you know, and then if you need professional help, just always get it, there’s experts for that when you have a medical emergency, you go to the hospital, and when you have a mental emergency, you should go to a psychologist. Yeah. Awesome. So then number seven. And this is another case, and it’s no slightly different from the others. This is just an when, when people are tired of feeling like sick and tired of feeling of failure. And they know they can’t win. And you know, they want to crawl into a hole, or they’re out looking for another job now. And if these are people that were mis hires, and you as a leader or company made a bad choice, you know, it’s probably great that they’re out looking for another job, and then maybe calling in sick to go to a job interview or do the resume or who knows. But it’s also a sign that if you have people that are failing and floundering and you’re not dealing with it, you’re not doing the best for your people it’s like, and that’s not that you put them under misery you’re supposed to, you know, when people are failing, are you having the conversations and helping them to get back on track. And if you come to the realization that this isn’t likely going to work, you know, they’re there, they’re not going to love this job or thrive in this job, you’ll have a conversation with them about making a change, we’re adults, you can talk with them about going and finding a job somewhere else, or maybe transferring to a role that would be more appropriate for them if one exists in your company. So just people failing, and that doesn’t feel good. Everybody wants to be proud. Everyone wants to do good work, right? Most people want to do good work and feel proud. And that sometimes it can be us letting them down as a leader because we’re not helping them to succeed or to move
Brad Giles 53:20
well as later on a scale of one to 10. If you’re thinking about an individual, how would you rate them in terms of their understanding of how to succeed in the role? So if you’re giving them yeah, they understand like we’ve given them everything training and training and coaching and training. And we’ve, we’ve, we’ve documented the systems like we could not do a lot more, well, then that’s interesting, okay, maybe they’re just not the right person for the job. But if you’re giving them a four, or five or a six, that’s a different conversation. And that really comes back to you as the person’s leader or manager. Because as the person’s manager, you need to get them to understand how to succeed in a role if they don’t understand how to succeed in their role. And that’s kind of on you. They are, you know, they are there to do their best work. If you’re not telling them, this is how to succeed. It’s a real, real problem. So it couldn’t actually be on you. And then there in terms of opportunities to resolve this. That could be a case of, you know, maybe it’s early days there, you could reignite your onboarding program. Or maybe you could just begin with an overall training program or something. There’s some way to get them to understand their role more or even some one on one coaching between the two of you.
Kevin Lawrence 54:52
Yeah, you need to remove the variable of them having the right leader because if there are a couple of layers down from you, you don’t know Know how much they were trained to the coach, take a salesperson, you know, if a salesperson hasn’t spent a lot of time doing role plays with their manager, especially a new salesperson. And they haven’t done a whole bunch of shadowing with salespeople and haven’t had, whatever the proper training and development program is in your company, they could be an amazing salesperson, but without the right training and resources. And that’s why we like to always do a double check before we assume that the person is no good. Have we done right by them. And then we can sort of say, hey, maybe this isn’t going to work, which is, you know, that’s what a performance improvement plan is, or a pip as they call it. It’s to map out, okay, here’s the things you need to do to win. Let’s figure out how we can help you with these things. What are you going to do? What can we do? And then let’s get back to winning? Yeah,
Brad Giles 55:49
Kevin Lawrence 55:51
the theme of this today is if we go back to the initial is, you know, is there a pandemic of Monday this in your org? And if so, what can you do about it, and we’ve gone through and, and looked at this, you know, this thing where people just don’t want to come to work, or if they do, they’re coming partially engaged and not fully excited to do their best work. And we’ve talked about how it’s, it can be very contagious, and what it could, especially if you’re the CEO, but it can be very contagious, if it starts, you know, spreading all over the place. And it becomes the default of the culture, which is a not a happy place to be. And we had some points, Brad, you want to kind of walk through one of your things.
Brad Giles 56:36
Number one, what causes it, it could be that they actually secretory they’ve had a big weekend. Number two, they’re sick of dealing with a whole boss, their boss is not making their job easier or better, it’s actually making it a lot worse. Number three, they’re sick of the actual work being so hard to we’re making it through our systems and processes, we’re making it hard for them to do a good job. And for the sick of the toxic team members, or the toxic people that are on their team, and that they’re like, you know what, I’d rather be anywhere else. And five there, they’ve had enough they seek because they dreaded, they’ve got a conflict, or an embarrassing issue. It could be a project could be a client, it could be something that they’ve committed to doing. And it’s embarrassing, or it’s tough. And it’s you know, it’s a terrible state that they just have had enough of number six is that they’re actually there, they’ve got mental health challenges. There’s this sick mentally, and they’re, you know, they’re not operating at their best. And then number seven, of course, they’re sick of feeling like a failure when not helping them to understand how to succeed or giving them the support that they need to succeed. So yeah, if Monday itis is a challenge for you in your organization, a couple of good ideas there and what to do with it. But you know, the thing that you definitely can’t do is just let it continue to fester. We want people to come to work, excited to come to work that you know, they’re not going to dread the Monday they’re going to go cool. I’m looking forward to a good week not be like, gee, it’s Monday lunchtime. I’ve only got four and a half days to go. That’s the worst scenario
Kevin Lawrence 58:31
that is not building an enduring great company for yourselves or for the people you work with. Awesome. Well, thanks for listening. This has been the growth whispers podcast with the awesome Brad and Kevin sharing our ideas of how we can make things better. And always trying to make things better for us and the people that we work with. So for the video version, go to youtube.com and for Brad evolution partners.com.au and for Kevin – Lawrence and co.com. Have an awesome week.
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