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4 Strategic Things Your Company Needs to Do Right Now [Podcast]

Episode 102: Michael and Kathryn get very real about the challenges business leaders are facing during this crisis and break down the 4 strategies that will help you navigate chaotic waters. If you are feeling lonely, confused, or fearful right now- take a breather, and get some clarity by giving this episode a listen.

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In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover the 4 things business leaders need to focus on right now during these unprecedented times.
  • Find out why context matters in a world that is changing daily.
  • Get Michael and Kathryn's advice on how to adhere to your vision while preparing to pivot.
  • Learn how to create powerful moments for your team that build trust (even if they are working remotely).
“Having a Passion & Provision business allows you to thrive in the good times and it allows you to survive the bad times."
- Michael K. Redman

"You cannot eat toilet paper!"
- a 101-year-old friend of Michael and Kathryn's.

Take the Leadership Blindspot Quiz

 

References:

Patrick Lencioni

 

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Michael:
              Hello and welcome to HaBO Village Podcast, I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And this is the podcast that actually helps business leaders like you build companies with the Passion and Provision strategy so that you have companies filled with more profit purpose and legacy. And in today's world that's needed even more. It's-


Kathryn:
               Yeah, I met this incredible season that we're in that is unprecedented that no one in our lifetimes ever seen before. How do we do this?


Michael:
              How do we do this? It's changing, it's shifting on a day to day and we are pivoting right now with the podcast to just try and talk about really contemporary issues that are affecting us today and to try and really say, "Okay, how do we help you?" If you're joining us for the first time we've been in business 18 years doing consulting and marketing for small and medium sized businesses. And we really have seen a lot we've gone through a couple of different recessions, we've seen a whole lot of other aspects in business and right now we're seeing it in not only an unprecedented time, but it's a time that's scary, it's a time that is uncertain and it is a time full of opportunities for some and other businesses and other industries and other niches are just like trying to do what they can to survive right now.


Michael:
              And it really is a moment where we need to figure out how we're going to survive and move through this, especially in certain industries. So we're going to talk about a few things today as we kick off kind of a COVID-19 series of what does it look like during this time and what does it start to shape up as? Nobody knows the future completely. But there are indicators and I think we've seen some things and heard some things that we can talk about really clearly today.


Kathryn:
               Definitely. And part of it is we want to figure out how to be helpful to you, I mean, there's a lot of information coming at you all the time. So how do we as people who are just wanting to help our tribe contribute to this in a way that's meaningful and provides you hope and perspective and ideas for a pathway forward.


Michael:
              So today we're going to talk about four things. We're going to give you four concrete things we want to speak about in the next 25 minutes or so. And the first one is really when anything significant happens, any kind of significant shift or change happens. There's a few kind of standard operating procedure, things that you really need to do. You'll see them in any kind of disaster training, you'll see them in war training, you'll see them anything else. When something can come along and totally shift your environment.


Michael:
              The first thing is you want to stop and take a look around. You want to get out of danger as quick as possible, but you really want to take a look and survey the situation. Has anything significantly changed? Has the landscape of where you are significantly changed? And so you take a stop and you take a look around and go, "Okay."


Kathryn:
               What is the context in which I am now functioning?


Michael:
              And some of you may ever even heard the old sentence staying where something happens, drop, look and then move and assess where you can go and know where your exits are. We're going to kind of talk about that a little bit, so we're going to talk about context and then we're going to talk about?


Kathryn:
               Your strategic plan and what this could mean for your strategic ... That's a really hard word.


Michael:
              It is a hard word.


Kathryn:
               [inaudible 00:03:17] Words are hard. Strategic Palladian and we're going to talk about that.


Michael:
              And it's how it's important to evaluate that right now. I said, and this is one of those times to really evaluate it and then we're going to talk about moments.


Kathryn:
               How do you create moments during this season, in a work from home environment, what are some opportunities for you?


Michael:
              And part of the moments that aspect is okay, we've taken a look around, we are looking at our strategic plan. Where do we need to go from there, assess the environment, where do we need to go from there potentially building a plan, maybe shifting our plan? And then what are some things we can do? These last two things are things that we can do very specifically.


Kathryn:
               So the first day, and we may do these out of order so-


Michael:
              Well it's fine.


Kathryn:
               Creating moments and then the other one is building trust, building on the trust you already have, and then continuing to build trust with your clients.


Michael:
              So the first two points are big-


Kathryn:
               Big picture.


Michael:
              Big picture.


Kathryn:
               Then a couple of just-


Michael:
              And more tangible things and more tactical things. So we actually have some stuff because we want you as leaders, we want you to be thinking from a leadership perspective of big picture strategy, what needs to happen, how do you direct the ship, how do you guide your people? And then what are a couple of things that right now you can do and then we'll talk about some of the things that we're going to be teaching on in the future really soon here. So let's talk about context.


Kathryn:
               Let's talk about context. This is a weird context we have.


Michael:
              It really is. So you and I were talking this morning, one of the biggest things that I think is important for us all to remember in business is literally in the United States, we've been at this about 10 days.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Everything is so early, so understanding, I mean it's interesting as you read various different perspectives, right? This is the time where there's a lot of opinion pieces being put out and it's not that they're not based on good thinking and all of that, but it is a lot of opinion. So how you tend to think about the situation can become formed by who it is you're listening to. But I think the biggest point you're making, Michael is it's early we don't know a lot. And so how do we, in this context begin to navigate when there is so much unknown?


Michael:
              Well, for those of us in Northern California, this is our second major situation.


Kathryn:
               I know, I was reading this morning, when do we get back to the normal of 2019 and I was like our 2019 up here was anything but normal.


Michael:
              Well for people who are new to the podcast or may not remember it was only about 18 months ago, maybe less 17, 16 months ago that we had the campfire that burned down Paradise, California, which is literally one of our suburbs.


Kathryn:
               Yeah November of 2018, November eighth. So-


Michael:
              So at that point, I mean we lost almost 15,000 homes and-


Kathryn:
               And a bunch of businesses and-


Michael:
              I mean basically the town was wiped out. So we as a County and an epicenter in Northern California, which is a lot of rural agriculture, we experienced a huge shift. Very interesting because I feel like we were prepared a little bit because we've seen some systems and things that come from major tragedy and so we're just seeing this at a global level now. And one of those things is in something like this, there are massive shifts and changes happening very quickly. For instance, when we started seeing maybe three weeks ago, less than 21 days ago, we started seeing the major sports teams say we're not going to have anybody in the stadium. And then they started canceling things like March Madness. The Masters, all those events, which to me right now feel like about three or four months ago-


Kathryn:
               [inaudible 00:06:46] like it does, it feels like a lifetime ago, doesn't it?


Michael:
              But-


Kathryn:
               Like gosh.


Michael:
              We've only been back in town about a week and a half. And we were in Colorado and Colorado declared a state emergency where you were on the road for business and it was the week before that. So all this is within 10 to 20 days, America has radically-


Kathryn:
               Depending on where you're in the country.


Michael:
              Shifted. One of the last times we saw something so significant of a sweep on this was really world War II. And the last time we saw great depression or a significant recession like that, the Great Depression changed the way we did things as a country. The Great Recession 10 years ago, 12 years ago, changed the way we did a lot of stuff. But even when I was talking to my grandparents who went through the Great Depression, they were saying that the Great Recession really wasn't anything close to what the Great Depression was.


Kathryn:
               Access to resources, significantly different than it was back then.


Michael:
              The poverty level was really quick. Now, what you see now is you see something that has swept across the country so instantaneously, so quick, and it's shifting and it actually is just incredibly at the moment it's taking out the hospitality industry. There's one of the places that it's really, really damaging. Restaurants, traveling, hotels, all of that stuff. It's-


Kathryn:
               Airlines.


Michael:
              The last hotel we were in. We are small little conference of maybe 60 people. It felt like we owned the whole hotel. It was crazy. And so-


Kathryn:
               And any organization that has traditionally been built on gathering people and that's a lot of businesses, a lot of businesses are built on people coming together and being together. So all of those kinds of industries are affected.


Michael:
              Okay. So first thing about this whole context thing is us to remember we need to breathe deep and just especially as leaders, we've got to keep our heads above us even when everything else is spinning. If they're spinning in your business, if they're not yet, like in our marketing industry, we learned in the Great Recession 12 years ago that when things happen, it's a delayed effect to us. Our clients don't want to let us go, but our clients, oftentimes at marketing they'll take enough heat and then they'll let us go. So they're taking the brunt of the front of the wave and then it catches us later. So right now we're fine, but we know that this potentially could catch up to us as a company.


Kathryn:
               And it means we have to pivot and be creative and even work with our clients to figure out how to help them be creative and pivot. That's our job, right? So yeah, it definitely is going to affect everyone.


Michael:
              Another thing about context, there's been a lot of talk about us just if we can just get through these 14 days or 21 days and everything else and settle down, it'll all be fine and everything will go back. And I have to confess that probably up until this last weekend, Sunday, maybe Monday, I was really thinking way more in that mindset of we're just going to have to settle down for a couple of weeks. It'll be fine, it'll be tight, you'll lose a little revenue and everything will kind of start to come back really quickly once we get past the incubation point. But what we've started to talk about in our side and some of the networks that we have that are, I think some really, really, really bright minds in business around the country and even some internationally have been coming together and talking about what this is doing in their business and what they're seeing.


Michael:
              And when we step back and look at history, there are cycles in history and one of the things without getting too deep into the science and everything else and all that, the way we look at time is either chaotic or linear or it's cyclical. And one of the things that happened when we went into the enlightenment phase as we came out of just nothing was connected to nothing and the gods were all angry. And really that was kind of the social, why is this happening? Oh because of, and there's no cause there wasn't as enough cause and effect in history because history also wasn't being tracked as well.


Kathryn:
               And the interconnectedness of everything wasn't a part of the conversation at that point.


Michael:
              You started to having, after the enlightenment, you started having this idea that the history actually had implications and there were cycles. And then there was a concept or historically that people were tracking history, they were talking about everything else, but they believed you couldn't get out of the cycle. And then there became a linear concept that actually allowed people to say, we can always change, we can change things, and you look at the last 150 years of the industrial revolution forward into the technological revolution and what you saw was people thinking, "Okay, we can always change everything. We have so much control over our environment."


Michael:
              And there's some really good stuff written on one of the books is called The Fourth Turning. And turned on by Steve Writer, our producer, and he came along and said, "Okay, you should read this book." And we'd read another one called The Pendulum and I'm talking about this now. I took this little, what sounds like a left turn because I want to set context. There are so many things in history while we've never had a pandemic like we have now and the economy hasn't been like it is and we haven't had the interconnectedness and there's lots of people saying none of these things have existed.


Michael:
              We really have had similar things happen to the country, there's things that we can pull from history. And The Great Depression was one of them and also the world War II, which most of the folks that were in world War II, remember world war II? Many of them were gone now they've passed on. So we're in this unique time in history where we don't have, what we have is books. We don't have a lot of people saying, but I remember this, we've been to here before. Now, funny thing, we have a friend who is 101 years old.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              And-


Kathryn:
               His daughter posted something that he said the other day we were just laughing because he was just commenting on the toilet paper issue in the frenzy. And his comment was, "You cannot eat toilet paper." And by the way, there was a time when toilet paper wasn't even a thing. So people get over it. There are leaves outside.


Michael:
              You can use a shower head and you can use a rag and a wash the rag, there's all these different things you can do-


Kathryn:
               Oh my gosh I was dying.


Michael:
              But his point was, if you're going to hoard something, hoard food. Because he remembers also when you could be hungry. Right? You can't eat toilet paper. I love that quote. He said that like three or four times and she was direct with him.


Kathryn:
               You cannot eat toilet paper.


Michael:
              You cannot eat toilet paper. So why do we talk about historical changes? Because there's some things we can learn about it. One is one of the historical things, it's a cycle is about every 10 to 12 years we have historically gone into a recession. And while lots of people have said over the last year and a half, we're not going into recession, the economy is too strong, look at how great it's doing. Well, it has proven to not be a giant that can't be killed.


Kathryn:
               And there are a lot of people who were predicting recession even prior to the virus.


Michael:
              There were some, it wasn't a huge, I would say there was a small minority, but there were people who were doing it and they were looking at cycles. They were looking at percentages in markets and some more technical stuff in the financial market. But we have some financial planner clients that when we ask them how their people were doing, they were like, "We're fine because two months ago we reallocated everything because we saw the potential of this coming." So there were early signs in the economy it wasn't just restaurants being shut down and factories being shut down. There were other signs going on too.


Michael:
              And then what started happening in China, so we want to say, okay, that's meant to encourage us to say, okay, have we ever seen this before? Stop, look, this is bigger than a two week thing. What's the potential? I hope it doesn't lead us into a recession, but it could lead us into a recession. And-


Kathryn:
               Most people are saying it's going to.


Michael:
              And so let me ask you a question. You just said most people who are most people?


Kathryn:
               Well all the people I'm reading, which is I guess one of the points, right? All the people I'm reading are predicting that this is either going to be something that resolves quicker than most believe that it will. So there's that camp. And then another very sort of strongly growing camp that, and again, I mean I'm just reading how I'm reading, whether it's CNN or Fox News or articles from really bright people. That are saying this could be a 12 to 18 month reality.


Michael:
              It could. So one of the points I want to make right now, and thank you for being willing to go with me on this.


Kathryn:
               To take the heat on this?


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Go.


Michael:
              Folks, this is one of the things that Kathryn and I as partners, we both have our own perspectives, we're both listening to things and we're having discussions on this with some different assessments and assumptions. And we're having to have these conversations. Most people say this or these people say this and we're trying to fare it out ourselves. Okay, are most people saying this is going to be over quick? Are most people saying this is going to be a recession forever? And I'm trying to be very careful for us going, what do we know? We don't know a lot. There are people that we're choosing to listen to when we're trying to find informed advisers and articles and pull information. And we were plugged into folks that are always regularly watching the markets anyway and trying to move ahead for the next few months, if not 12 months.


Michael:
              So I feel like we've seen a lot of folks that have been tested, but I won't listen to most of the news because it's insane out there. Every time I turn it on, I'm hearing 500 million people trying to get our eyeballs so they can sell commercials so that they can stir up something because the media is right now folks remember, be careful what you're listening to. The media is a business, it's a business. It is not a nonprofit that just cares about airing good news. And people will say, and reporters will say, and agencies and companies will say, "The public need to know this. This is news."


Michael:
              No, this is a great story because it's got shock value and we can report with whatever and then people are glued to it. People are glued to the TV in their cell and commercials. So just be careful that that doesn't mean everything you're hearing is wrong. It just means that there's a lot of-


Kathryn:
               Motives aren't all pure.


Michael:
              The motives are not all pure at all by any stretch of the imagination. And there are still reporters trying to ... It's a very competitive industry and they're still trying to make their mark and move up the chain.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Well and I think to speak to something earlier and just to be super vulnerable when it comes to mindset. One of the fun things to navigate as a leader, Michael is a born optimist. He just naturally thinks and finds the good and the positives and the silver linings and that is the way he's put together. And I am super, super grateful that I am married to an optimist. I am not an optimist. So it is much easier for me to see what isn't and I have to really, as a leader, I have to really fight that and I have to make really different choices than you do because I gravitate towards empathy and towards kind of being scared for people-


Michael:
              Are you saying I don't gravitate towards empathy?


Kathryn:
               I am saying that like I'm going to cry.


Michael:
              He's a cold hearted bastard.


Kathryn:
               He's a cold hearted bastard. No, it's not that, but there is I think for leaders even to try to realize it and wrestle the mindset. Because if as a leader, I'm falling apart, which I feel like I am on a podcast right now, which is super fun for me, then I'm not going to be able to lead well, I'm not going be able to encourage my clients. So how do we in the context of even how we're put together as people and have grace for one another, encourage one another, keep walking forward and realize that there are silver linings? There's also a lot of grief and a lot of loss and so the context is just a really interesting place to be. And he's grabbing me Kleenex because he's sweet. So, okay, how about point number two? I don't know are we done?


Michael:
              Let's make sure context is important and let's summarize the first point. There's a lot going on and to make quick decisions on how it's all going to pen out we don't know. But what I do want you to know is the landscape has changed. I know you know that but let's really acknowledge this is probably not going to be a quick resolve. So it means that we're not just hunkering down and surviving for two or three weeks. We've got to be able to think about strategic plans. So-


Kathryn:
               I was thinking about the saying on the way to work, what got you here won't get you there and thinking, wow, well that's never been more true.


Michael:
              Yeah. And when you're in a situation and a building is on fire, you may have two or three exits out of a building normally. What happens is when this fire hits and you drop and look from a stop, drop-


Kathryn:
               And roll.


Michael:
              And look and roll, that's if you're on fire. Let's assume you're not on fire yet.


Kathryn:
               Let's assume I'm not on fire yet.


Michael:
              Stop, drop and look, because what quite frankly, what is happening is what we automatically assume were three different exits out of the building are three different options we had available to us in our business. We may not have all those available to us right now, so we need to assess that and that's the first one of contexts. Now, once we've assessed that, we need to start figuring out and taking a look at our strategic plan. We're going to do a training later this week or first part of next week on thinking about strategic plans. We talk about it with our clients, we talk about it in our upcoming book.


Kathryn:
               We talk about it in the course.


Michael:
              So it's a big thing and we separate that from your vision and where you're going. And with that strategic plan, we want you to think, okay, grab your strategic plan, hopefully you've written it down. If you haven't, now's a time to really start thinking about it and especially if you have some free time or you have some open slots down your time. I want you to start documenting and writing down the best you can a strategic plan. If nothing else, where are you going at the top of the page and then start going, okay, what are my options? Because you have to start evaluating is your strategic plan ... Is the strategic plan we have today in the market, the one we've had up til the Corona virus, the COVID-19 is that the one that can move forward? Can we take pieces of that? But we need to now as a nation and as business people across the nation, I don't remember a time where in our lives where we've all needed to do it at the same time.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Well, and the other thing that occurs to me, and I think we'll do another training on this, which I'm telling Michael now and he hasn't heard about it.


Michael:
              You should write it down.


Kathryn:
               But the other thing that I think matters is going back to your vision and your why, it's probably never more important than now. Because that part of who you are, why you do what you do, the people you serve, what you're trying to solve in the world, those are the things that help you move forward when things get really, really hard. So I think just a reminder on that will be really important because your strategic plan is how you get there. But the fact of the matter is the obstacles come along that are unintended, unexpected, external influences change how you get there. So now we have a boulder in the way, how do we navigate around that? And that's the strategic plan. Is that day to day operations? How do we adjust that? Now we're all working from home. That's a very different thing.


Kathryn:
               Is my business equipped well to work from home? Have I provided what my people need for that to happen? Those are all strategic plan things versus that longer term, gosh, I really care about and I have a passion for what I'm doing. So how do we navigate to keep moving forward with the vision?


Michael:
              Yeah, absolutely. So we've got a stop, drop and look, we want to assess our assessment to assess our plan and if nothing else, okay, I'm not voting for you changing your plan right now. We don't know enough in our market in the world to say, "I'm going to change my plan this way because this is where it's going." It's way too fluid at the moment. What we need you to do is be really familiar with it and start evaluating what is working at the moment, what do you anticipate are going to be some challenges if the current trends move forward. And then just get it fresh in your mind because as we start to look at these things, as things start to settle out over the next, I mean literally right now they're changing on a day to day basis, we're just trying to figure out what the latest infection rates are.


Michael:
              And then as we get through this, the next three, four, five days, week, two weeks, three weeks, you'll be at least ready and poised to start making some assumptions and testing them. And you might be able to start testing them right now. Some of the peer groups that we have nationally, I was on a listening to a call this morning and just listening to some of them that have been doing things, two of them did product launches and things are changing significantly.


Michael:
              And what's happening and how are they reacting? And nobody's really sure we know what happened in some of these things in the business, but we don't know exactly why or where to pivot to. So you want to be fresh looking at your strategic plan and if you don't have one, you need to start at least diagramming and getting down on paper. What have you done up to this point? What's been the way you've strategically run your business for the last 12 to 24 months that's been working? And then let's start evaluating that. Okay, so look around, assess the context, look at your strategic plan. Now let's talk about some actions, some other things we can do besides just looking and thinking about our strategic plan. We want to go into moments, right?


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Let's talk about moments first and then we'll wrap up with trust. So one of the things that I think is super valuable is figuring out what is worth celebrating and how do we create moments that are worth celebrating, right? And it doesn't have to be big things, it can be little things. So one of the things that we did, I think it was, I don't know end of last week when we knew that for sure sheltering at home was going to be a thing, is that we have a tradition in our office that we buy M&Ms and we always have M&M's peanut, M&Ms, right?


Kathryn:
               If you happen to like anything else, you get to bring it yourself. But we always provide the peanut M&Ms. So I went out on Amazon and I bought a bag of peanut M&Ms for everyone in the office who I know likes peanut M&Ms. I actually broke my rule and I bought different things for people who didn't like peanut M&Ms. And I had them all shipped to their homes. And it's a tiny little thing. It was like seven or eight bucks a person. And yet it just absolutely delighted them.


Michael:
              It was a great idea.


Kathryn:
               The funniest one was that I sent her office manager gummy bears, because she's like not a huge M&Ms fan and I thought I was sending her a bag of gummy bears like this with I'm holding my hands just a little bit apart with a few snack bags in it. And it turned out that I actually sent her this like box.


Michael:
              You sent her a case.


Kathryn:
               A case that had-


Michael:
              Gummy bag.


Kathryn:
               Yes.


Michael:
              Bags of gummy-


Kathryn:
               It had bags that were half pound bags-


Michael:
              These are things that you'd buy at the store on the rack.


Kathryn:
               Yes.


Michael:
              Next to the groceries next to the-


Kathryn:
               Her texts to me was-


Michael:
              Register.


Kathryn:
               "I have gummy bears to last me throughout the apocalypse."


Michael:
              The photograph was hysterical.


Kathryn:
               Classic.


Michael:
              It really was.


Kathryn:
               So that it's a tiny little thing and you have to figure out what works for you but that's one thing. Another thing that we did was we've talked lots on this podcast about wrap. The fact that we do wrap from four to five on Fridays. We did our very first zoom wrap last Friday.


Michael:
              I thought it was going be horrible.


Kathryn:
               I thought it would be like 15 minutes and nobody would talk and it would be weird. You know what? We were there from four to 5:15.


Michael:
              Yeah, I will-


Kathryn:
               It just kept going.


Michael:
              At 5:02 I was like, "Okay, they're going to want to be done now." But-


Kathryn:
               And you know[crosstalk 00:26:56]


Michael:
              But they're not going anywhere.


Kathryn:
               It's just the funniest thing and everybody brought their own snacks to wrap, but just really interesting to just kind of keep some of those traditions moving forward.


Michael:
              Yeah. Totally.


Kathryn:
               So creating the opportunities to celebrate and if you are not used to being a remote work environment, the other thing I really would encourage you to do is find at least one time every day to connect as a staff. Even so Patrick Lencioni talks about the 10 minute stand up. Do your 10 minute standup meeting, do it on zoom, but just connect with your people and find what are the things that can be celebrated. What are the things that we can do even to create moments for our clients that are worth celebrating. So we've talked about the power of moments-


Michael:
              We talk about the power of moments a lot.


Kathryn:
               We do, and this is a season where those kinds of things I think are just critical to us maintaining some momentum and some positivity in the middle of it all.


Michael:
              People, there's a lot of uncertainty, there's a lot of, there's some fear, definitely as business leaders we are concerned, but there's also stories left and right of people who were literally being laid off. I heard an estimate this morning that some people are thinking that we may go from a two or 3% unemployment rate that we've had before the virus to a 20%. Well, let's say they're wrong and it's 15%, it's still-


Kathryn:
               [inaudible 00:28:20].


Michael:
              10%, it's still tragic overnight. And so there's a lot of people that are just nervous, they're scared because there's a lot of companies who are, they're not just saying, Oh well, we'll work remote. That's not even possible.


Kathryn:
               It's not possible.


Michael:
              And yet they can't all just be at work. And then one of the companies in town here, they laid off, furloughed 140 sum people. So you're like, okay, wow, that's a big deal. So you want to do what you can to encourage them. Obviously we have our own concerns and fears as business leaders, but our job is we're leaders. If you're going to lead and lead well, you want to make sure you're thinking about your people and how do you encourage them? How do you give them moments to smile? How do you help change their mind for a moment? Help focus their thoughts for a moment and focus on little wins. Things that are good, things that are funny, things that are goofy. And one of the things that's happening in our staff, because we use Slack also-


Kathryn:
               Me too, use Slack.


Michael:
              And Slack is getting used more and I'm even using Slack more because it's faster and easier to communicate with our staff now is they're throwing memes around, and there's a point at which it's like, stop throwing so many memes around and get to work, you might want to say-


Kathryn:
               No.


Michael:
              But in the context in like this, this is how they're bonding, this is how they're blowing off steam.


Kathryn:
               And it's also they're maintaining some level of continuity because they were doing-


Michael:
              Totally.


Kathryn:
               All of that before, you just weren't in it.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               We weren't in it. And so it's a way that they're maintaining some level of continuity and connection that is normal in some ways.


Michael:
              So I need to discipline them about how much-


Kathryn:
               No you don't.


Michael:
              They were doing it beforehand?


Kathryn:
               No, no, no discipline required whatsoever.


Michael:
              I'm just kidding. I'll pick them later.


Kathryn:
               My biggest thing is I used to think it took a while to find the meme and I'm realizing it just doesn't. So it's a very fast thing, it's two seconds.


Michael:
              All you do is stumble if you're wandering around the universe, you're stumbling across the digital universe. You're stumbling across the left or right. And right now there's more than ever-


Kathryn:
               Oh, more than ever, and some of them are darn funny, even in the midst of the hard stuff.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               So that's the thing, is creating moments. So the final thing we want to talk about is building trust. When I'm saying building trust, if you have been leading your business well, if you have a passion and provision business or you've been trying to grow to be come a passion provision business, you have a level of trust that you've established with your employees, with your clients, with your vendors, and you want to take these opportunities to build on that trust, to continue, extend and communicate in ways that build and grow trust with all of those people. Creating a moment like what we did is one way of continuing to build trust. It's like saying, we're still who we are and we're still going to do what we can and this culture that we've developed is going to continue to move forward even in this completely different environment. That's a trust building exercise.


Kathryn:
               So it's going to be really, really important because we talk so much about speed of trust and the post trust era and how little trust there is in the marketplace. It's going to be super important for us to communicate in ways that build trust, that say, I am actually a human communicating to humans and that in this season that we become exceedingly human with each other and really connect in meaningful ways. So when I say build trust, part of what I mean is, you don't just want to be like all, it's going to be great, hype, hype, hype, because that doesn't feel authentic. So how do we communicate with hope and knowing that this is not the end game, that there's a future, that we're moving places, that we're going to pivot and adjust. We're going to help our clients pivot and adjust, but do it in a way that builds their trust and does it very humanly. So that's what I was thinking.


Michael:
              No, I think it's real important and remember, in times when communication is hard, you've got to be more intentional with communication, and when there are lots of distractions to communication, you have to exaggerate your communication more and you have to over communicate. So if you're in a situation where it's a really loud noise, you look at somebody very specifically, you make sure you have their attention and you may yell very loud because there might be a lot of noise and stuff going on in the room and chaos and you're trying to get their attention and trying to make sure they understand what you're saying because what you're saying is important.


Michael:
              In a normal environment, you might walk away, you might speak over your shoulder, you might just casually not make eye contact or anything else, and that's fine in a normal environment. In a trust situation, in the midst of this, remember that if you think about Maslow's Hierarchy, we have as human beings in America and globally actually, we've moved down, show this to the camera, we've moved down Maslow's Hierarchy. We are literally thinking about do we have enough food? Do we have enough water? Where are we sheltering?


Kathryn:
               Do we have toilet paper?


Michael:
              Do we have enough toilet paper?


Kathryn:
               It's a big deal.


Michael:
              Is it going to be safe? That kind of stuff. And that's the general mindset of America right now.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, it's survival. Well, I have a job, is there ... Yeah. How do I pay my rent? How do I-


Michael:
              Where's my money going to come from? Yup.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, all of those things.


Michael:
              All of those things. And is in the financial stimulus conversation right now at the federal level and what does that look like? And somebody passed a law and I read something on the internet and are we eligible for that? And one of the things I'm thinking is do we need it? There are some of us that it's like we are in less need at the moment than other people. You and I are one of them or two of them. And so I think that idea of trust is going the extra mile to reiterate what you're saying and to emphasize it. Going the extra mile and doing extra things to help people feel safe and to help them with more trust.


Kathryn:
               Well, and in the midst of the frenzy, if you're able, one-on-one communication with your clients, with your key vendors, with the people that you do regular work with, everybody is getting mass communication. So what does it look like to just reach out and say, Hey, I am thinking about you today, checking in on you, how are you doing? Not asking for anything, just not transactional, just relational. So just trust building.


Michael:
              Yeah. It's really interesting. One of our business associates in Texas, Garrett, sent out an email yesterday with his calendar and he says they've been at home for awhile. And the way he was connecting with his people that we're all connected business-wise was, I'm at home, I'm getting lonely, book some time on my calendar and have coffee with me.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, nice.


Michael:
              It allows him to connect, but it creates another opportunity for him to care and that's what he's doing. He's saying, Hey, let's talk, let's connect over Zoom, have coffee over Zoom and see what that looks like. And we need those things significantly. And folks, I realize that some of you may need to lay people off. You may be in a situation where you just don't have the bandwidth to go much farther, and so you're going to have to do something. And then there's all these laws that have kicked into effect that may make that even more difficult and challenging for us, but remember to breathe. And if you care about passion and provision and you're listening to this podcast, you probably already are doing this, but I just want to encourage you, take a breath and remember how you can do it with the most humanity possible.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, be passionate, empathy.


Michael:
              And make sure that you, because we can do this as leaders, we can get into a place where we're just, fear looks different on us sometimes. Fear doesn't look like we're chickens with our heads cut off, running around, freaking out. What we do is we go into, let's just get shit done and we pull out and we start and we get super efficient and we get super focused and we just start doing stuff. And the human aspect starts to get cut because we're like, we don't have time for that, we've got to get stuff done. And we can forget that sometimes. And I want to remind you, breathe. This is an unusual time and it requires unusual humanity in the midst of it.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              Hey, we're going to continue to come up with content, please stay focused on the Half a Bubble Out Facebook page. We'll also be putting stuff out through the social media stuff HaBO Village, and we just want to encourage you and equip you and start bringing some thoughts and ideas, things that we're seeing, things that we're hearing from our peer groups around the country and things that we know are absolutely critical because the fundamentals of business are not changing. We've seen this several times before where everybody says the fundamentals change, they're not changing, but we want to help you remember. Let's pay attention to the fundamentals and then let's be flexible enough to adjust the current environment around us because we all want to have thriving businesses, and having a passion provision business allows you to thrive in the good times and it allows you to survive the bad times.


Michael:
              More often than that, that gives you better odds at all of this. So no promises, no guarantees, but it does definitely increase your odds when you can think about these things and you have people around you encouraging you and talking to you about what is wisdom in the midst of this. And we want to be one of those voices that you're listening to and we just so appreciate the fact that you trust us enough to listen to us. And in these tough times, we want to say thank you and we care about you and we really appreciate you.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely.


Michael:
              So for the HaBO Village podcast, I'm Michael Redmond.


Kathryn:
               I'm Kathryn Redmond. I might've cried on this one, but we're over it.


Michael:
              It's totally okay.


Kathryn:
               Okay.


Michael:
              No, you don't need to be over it. It's okay.


Kathryn:
               I may cry in the next one.


Michael:
              All right folks, have a great day. These are two humans-


Kathryn:
               Being [inaudible 00:38:09] human.


Michael:
              And we'll talk to you later. Bye bye.


Kathryn:
               Bye.