Michael: Hello and welcome to the HaBO Village Podcast, where we talk about developing the whole leader for the whole business. I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: And I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: This is the podcast for entrepreneurs, founders, business owners. Leaders like you who are running companies.
Kathryn: Our goal is to encourage you, to give you practical tips and tools that you can apply today, and even more importantly, remind you that you are not in this alone.
Michael: Because we believe that you can build a company that is financially successful, fulfilling for you and your team, and avoid burnout all at the same time.
Kathryn: We know because we've done it, and we've been helping other leaders do it too for over 20 years.
Michael: Welcome to today's show. Let's dive in. We're here today and we're back. We've been on a hiatus from our podcast for a little bit because ... Why have we been on a hiatus?
Kathryn: Because we have been moving. We have been shaking.
Kathryn: We moved house for the first time in 24 years. By golly! You want to avoid burnout? That's real.
Michael: That's not an easy thing to do, actually moving for the first time in 24 years. We moved a few times even before that.
Kathryn: I moved 27 times before that. I was really good at it. And then, I wasn't.
Michael: Well, we're a lot older too.
Kathryn: And there's that.
Michael: You don't have as much energy. You're doing all the things. Well, we're usually doing the things, but we're out of ... We're going to talk about rhythms today, but we're out of our rhythms. It has thrown us completely out of our rhythms. Not only has it been so much work, but it's been exhausting in many ways.
Kathryn: Yes. Somebody recently said, "Move is a four-letter word." And I thought, "Yes. Yes, it is."
Michael: It's exciting. We found another house across town and it's quite a blessing. Because we're sitting there and we've got some more space. We spent 24 years, folks, with, yes, I am going to say it, one bathroom. And then, a daughter and her friends. We survived that for 24 years. But then, we now have three baths. Actually, we have four bathrooms on the property.
Kathryn: Yes. It's pretty exciting.
Michael: It's amazing to be able to choose where to go to the bathroom and have the freedom to go when you want. As opposed to go out and find a tree, if you know what I mean. If you live in a big city, you might not find a tree easily, but we don't live in a big city. Now, we have a creek in our backyard.
Kathryn: We do.
Michael: It's so cool.
Kathryn: It is a huge blessing. And it has completely thrown us out of rhythm. I think we're just at the place where we're starting to go, "Okay. What is my life supposed to be looking like?" As opposed to just, "What's right in front of me that I have to do?" That has launched us into this place of going, "How do we begin to talk about, with all of you all, how important rhythms and routines are in how you lead your company?"
Michael: It's super critical important. We've known this for a long time. We've done a lot of intentional work in this area. Partially, because Kathryn is an SP on the Myers-Briggs, which means spontaneous. I'm an NT. If you know anything about Myers-Briggs, our last letter is a P on both of us, which means basically we both flow with a lot of change and uncertainty and that kind of stuff.
Michael: We're relaxed when we're full of energy. When we're not, we don't flow as well. We've had to work really hard at thinking about, "How do you run a company and actually have intentional rhythms?" As opposed to wanting to do something different every time, because the old time is already boring.
Kathryn: Or, "I don't have the energy or time to document that, so I'm just going to do it. And then, I'll do it again later. We're just going to make this up as we go along." That is absolutely my default. Right?
Michael: Well, and we've done that a lot. We know how to go really fast, and we go really fast by doing some of those things. Let's see. I'm trying to think of the objections that come along. One of the objections is, "Why should I worry about it? It's working."
Michael: It has worked at many levels for us, but what we've learned is over time, if we want to continue to grow ... Because we've hit little plateaus along the way. Every time we hit a plateau, if I think back on it, we've had to actually intentionally build more systems, build more rhythms.
Kathryn: Rhythms and routines. Predictable things.
Michael: Routines. Everybody knows, we've got more people. You and I can't just rely on the old days, when it was just the two of us and we had that simpatico of knowing how to finish each other's sentences and knowing what needs to get done. We didn't have to finish all the sentences in that process, but it happened and we did good work.
Michael: Well, you add more people to that process, or new employees or different personalities, or you start running out of time. Because you and I, we don't communicate nearly as much about everything, because there's now too much stuff to put into a normal period of time. We used to be able to debrief, because there wasn't that much stuff, and stay on top of it.
Kathryn: Well, it was an open door between our two offices. Now, my office is across the building from yours.
Michael: That was like 15 years ago.
Kathryn: Right? Those days.
Michael: What we wanted to talk about today, as we move into this whole new season of our podcast. Just the things we're called to as we work with leaders in development and all this stuff. We're doing things that are very unusual at Half a Bubble Out. Some of them are very normal and standard. We're running a business. We have customers, we have employees, we have HR. We live in California. We have extra HR.
Michael: Yet, those things are normal. But there are ways that we package our products and our services and the things we do in a couple of our companies, especially at Half a Bubble Out, that is very holistic, which is uncommon. We live in a world where you don't have one doctor, you have specialists everywhere. We have been taught for decades that we hire specialists to do this, and this, and this, and this.
Michael: Most of those times, we think the specialists can come in. They don't need to know anything else about the house. They don't need to know anything else about my car. They don't need to know anything else about my body. They just look at that, and that system itself is going to diagnose. Give them all the answers. They can do it, do the work, and get out. Sometimes to a certain level that works. But again, over time, what you come up with is a Winchester Mystery House.
Michael: Those of you who don't know what the Winchester Mystery House is, it's a house in San Jose, California. It's actually a tourist attraction, because these people were a little crazy 100 years ago. They kept building and adding onto this house. Literally, there are hallways and stairways that run into walls. That go nowhere. At first, it's like, "Hey. Here it is. Here it is." But without a master plan, all of a sudden, you're like, "We just spend a lot of money and built something on this house and it doesn't fit the rest of it."
Kathryn: It doesn't go anywhere.
Michael: It doesn't work. In business, we can do that, where we can add pieces and parts. And then, we're like, "Well, why are we hitting a ceiling?" Sometimes the ceiling is because there was no master plan.
Kathryn: Well, and it's interesting. Because you back all the way up to the things that we talk about when we're talking holistic. When it comes to rhythms, routines, systems. The things that we're going to be talking about. I'm just reminded, based on a conversation I had yesterday, with a leader of a client ...
Michael: Leader of a company?
Kathryn: Leader of a company. Leader of a client. The president of a company that we work with of how important having a master plan that includes your mission and vision stuff ... Because that becomes part of your routine. It's that checking back in, "Are we on course? Is this taking us in the direction that we wanted to go? Or is this somehow derailing us?"
Kathryn: The importance of even having that in place. We were laughing, because for some of us, the vision, mission, that stuff ... We love that. This is what we do. We love this stuff. Other people are like, "I just need to get work done. Don't bother me with this." He happens to lead a group of people who really just want to get the work done. Just being able to reorient. To understand the importance of these foundational pieces that create the rhythms and the realities that you work within is really important.
Michael: Somebody's going, "What are you talking about? This holistic stuff and everything else." The point really of that is, as we talk and move forward on this podcast, we're going to be talking about a lot of unique things. Today, the subject is rhythms. Rhythms in your company and the power of them and everything else.
Michael: But the reason we're talking about this. You're like, "Well, wait a minute. You develop whole leaders for the whole business. Are you marketers?" If you've listened to us for a while, "Are you marketers? Are you leadership coaches? Are you business consultants?"
Kathryn: Yes. Yes.
Michael: How do you square that for people, Kathryn? What's the simple way for somebody ... Some people right now are going, "I get it." But what's the simple way of just being able to go, "How does this fit?"
Kathryn: It's the million dollar question. How do we simplify this? When we talk about developing the whole leader for the whole business and all of these different pieces that often get siloed, or you bring specialists in, or whatever else. It really is about the fact that every part of a business touches every other part. And as a leader, you are overseeing and shaping an entire system. If you're not thinking about that system as a whole picture, and if you don't have people that work with you that think about the whole system, it can start to become really fragmented.
Kathryn: It becomes a Winchester Mystery House. Because this department's doing this and that department's doing this. This one's not talking to this. The standard easy thing is the rift that happens in many companies between sales and marketing. Because they're not thinking about the whole system. They're just like, "I'm going to do my thing. I'm going to develop what I think is cool." They forgot to ask marketing, "Do the customers actually want this? Do they think that's cool?"
Kathryn: That's just one of many illustrations within a company of putting together a system where you're actually looking at the big picture. We're a little weird. We have a hard time. Part of it is background. The way we think. The different things that we've done. But it's really hard for us to look at a business and not think about the whole business and the whole leader. You bring all of who you are to work, and you're responsible for this entire system of things that's happening. How do we help you learn that? How do we help you deepen your own leadership skills for that entire system? That was incredibly succinct.
Michael: Incredibly succinct. It was beautiful.
Kathryn: That was practically an elevator speech.
Michael: If I had sound effects, I would be hitting the applause button right now. Yay.
Kathryn: That is an elevator speech in a 35-story building right there.
Michael: I like that. I think that's true. And so, as we talk about these things, let's just jump into the topic today about rhythms. How do you define a rhythm? Let me back up just really quick. The reason we're talk about this is rhythms in your life lead to ... Basically, they're important because of they make things more efficient. They make you more productive.
Michael: This is what we talk about. When people talk about systems, building systems in companies and, "Systems are leaders' responsibilities." The reason you do that is these are rhythms. A system is a rhythm. An SOP is a rhythm. They help create efficiency, productivity. They actually build culture. Especially, if they're the right rhythms. The wrong rhythms ... There's negative rhythms. We'll talk about that a little bit.
Michael: There's a dark side to rhythms, but the positive side to rhythms. These are the reasons we're talking about them. Because they actually impact our companies. They allow us to create this dream company that we keep talking about. More productivity, financially more successful, people are growing and feel fulfilled, and there's less burnout. How do we define, at a more detailed level, a rhythm?
Kathryn: Obviously, you can't use the word rhythm without thinking about music. It is that regular, repetitive ... This is just the way we move. This is how we move. Everything in our lives has a rhythm. Everything. How we walk has a rhythm. How we talk. Tone of voice. The way that you interact with people.
Kathryn: Everything has a rhythm. We're designed that way. Our bodies are designed to respond to rhythm. We have circadian rhythms. Sleep things. We've got hormonal rhythms, which we won't be talking about on this podcast. We've got all of these things in our lives that are all based on rhythms. Rhythm is the repetitive way that things happen. The things that are just ...
Michael: Now, rhythm is a bad word to some people. Rhythm means, "Boring," to some people.
Kathryn: Or, "I don't have any rhythm. I can't keep a beat."
Michael: Right. I've got nothing in rhythm. There is nothing consistent about my rhythm. "The only thing consistent is my inconsistency," as some would say. I think sometimes rhythm is a bad word to some people. For instance, listening to a drummer. I'm a drummer. You know this.
Kathryn: I do know this.
Michael: Not all the people out there ... I'm a drummer and a percussionist.
Kathryn: If you've been in our office, you have seen the drum set and the congas.
Michael: The congas. Yes.
Kathryn: You might have a clue.
Michael: I love rhythm. I studied music in college for a little while, before I realized that was not exactly what I wanted to get my degree in and spend the rest of my life in. But as a drummer, nobody likes to listen to a drummer practice. I'm not even sure other drummers like to listen to drummers practice.
Kathryn: I sure as heck don't like to listen to you practice.
Michael: No. It's one of the problems you have, because it's a loud instrument. Especially, a drum set. It's very loud.
Kathryn: It's that thing you buy your brother's kids just to tick them off.
Michael: My parents wouldn't let me do that, because there was an acapella. We were an acapella family. My dad, especially. And so, when I wanted to play an instrument ... Early on, I said, "I want to play the drums." He says, "Well, if you're going to learn to play an instrument, you need to learn to play a real instrument."
Kathryn: Poor drummers take such abuse.
Michael: And then, there's a gazillion drumming jokes. The point is that drumming is full of just rhythms. We play and lay down the rhythm in a song. By itself, it is boring. But as soon as you start putting the melody to it, as soon as you start putting a baseline to it, as soon as you start putting harmonies to it, it becomes a song. Human beings across the planet, we thrive with music. So many of us.
Michael: We listen. The radio music industry and Spotify and Pandora and all those types of things are ways that we get music into our lives and into our cars. They tell stories. Part of the power of that is a rhythm underneath it, while the rest of everything else lives on top of it. In a business, we must create these rhythms that seem mundane and boring. SOPs are not fun for most people. There are a few unique individuals who find great joy in building an SOP, and then just doing it over and over and over again.
Kathryn: I am not one of them.
Michael: We need those people. But what's important is to realize that if we as leaders build these rhythms into our life like a drummer laying down a beat, and we can do that as a leader in our company ... Then, once it's set up, it's fairly automatic.
Kathryn: Much like, to stay with the drumming analogy, learning to use four different limbs at the same time is not a simple task.
Kathryn: It is fraught with the reasons people don't want to listen to drummers practice. Laying down those rhythms, laying down those initial foundational things is not easy. Sometimes it requires effort and consciousness and a repetitive decision to keep making those things happen until they become automatic.
Michael: Well, we talk about building habits. Habits is a really important part of this whole subject, because there's been some great books written on habits. The Power of Habits, and some other things out there. We've heard things like 30 days or 45 days to build a habit and get it ingrained and everything else. What I know is that helps start a rhythm, but it doesn't actually ... When I carry on a rhythm, a pattern in my life, and I go for 30 days, it starts to become comfortable enough that my mind and my body aren't resisting it.
Michael: It's an easy habit to break. The reason it's an easy habit to break at 45, 50, 60, 90 days is because it's not ingrained enough. Without thinking about it, if you haven't delved into the subject, you think a habit is a habit is a habit. I like this chart we found that talks about the difference between habits, routines, and rituals. It talks about the fact in the sense of habits are the start of these rhythms and patterns. These consistent patterns in our life.
Michael: Routines are a habit that has become more ingrained, more solidified in your nervous system, in your mind, and in your life. And then, a ritual. We rarely use the word ritual in our society. But ritual is the next step, in the way this author is describing it, of how deep and integral something is and how regular it is. Why do you think they're using the word ritual? Is it religious, spiritual stuff? Is that what we're talking about?
Kathryn: No. By the time you've put enough effort, enough mindfulness, enough consciousness and intentionality towards something becoming a ritual ... Ritual is a powerful word, because it starts to say, "This is who we are." If I have a ritual in my life and you know me well, you know it. "I take every Friday off." I wish. Let's pretend.
Michael: Right. Right.
Kathryn: This is a ritual. This is something that defines the way that I do life. Or defines the way that I do business. Within businesses, you increase the effort of moving habits into ... What's the next word?
Kathryn: Into routines and ultimately into potentially rituals. Then, those things become ingrained like, "This is who we are."
Michael: This gives us language to talk about the deepening of these rhythms, these patterns in our life that are going to be powerful in your company. Now, one of the reasons that we talk about the patterns in the company is ... All right. Let's be very specific. We have a pattern. Example. Every Monday morning, we have a staff meeting. A lot of companies do that.
Michael: Some companies do it on Tuesday. But a lot of companies, at some level in their leadership ... For us, we're a small enough company that everybody is involved still at this point in the Monday meeting. And so, all of a sudden you have a Monday staff meeting. There are certain things we do within that meeting.
Michael: We try and adjust it and change it, to make it more effective and efficient. But invariably, it's our two hours a week that we're together to really go, "Let's start the week off. Let's talk about any major issues on the calendar. Is anybody out this week? Are there any important clients coming in this week?"
Kathryn: All of our clients are important, Michael.
Michael: My apologies. They are. Are there any clients coming in this week? Are there any new prospects coming in that might be different than a regular client? And then, this was interesting. Because we just had this intern from Italy join us. Really neat young man. Going into his fourth year in college studying in England.
Michael: I was really impressed with this guy. I was impressed with him because he was smart, but smart doesn't always impress me. Matter of fact, I want you to be intelligent and wise and everything else. But polite, appropriate, emotionally aware. I was impressed with how ...
Kathryn: And teachable.
Michael: Teachable. How much he had these other characteristics as a 21-year-old.
Kathryn: 20, 21.
Michael: He started college at 17. He and I were having a conversation about that. But one of the things that he noticed as he was reflecting with his education and where he'd been and stuff. First of all, he has been at one of the top economic schools in the world. One of the top in England. He talked about the fact that it's college and you have good professors and bad professors and all those kinds of things.
Michael: I was wondering if he would find value working for a small company like ours. Because they're usually not trained for small business. They're trained for large business, unless they're going to do a startup. He found a lot of value here, but one of the things that stood out the most to me was he commented on our staff meetings. And how, when we got to the second part of our staff meeting, the question that I typically ask, some version of it is, "We're going to go around the room now. Where are you stuck? What help do you need to get unstuck?"
Michael: Remember him talking about that? That stood out to him because of two things. One, how much we were caring in his mind. I didn't think about it like this. How much we actually cared about helping each other. And two, how it wasn't punitive that we might be behind or stuck somewhere. I don't know how punitive we are, but it's not like, "You're screwing up. You're behind."
Kathryn: We're not asking the question so we can be like, "What the heck is wrong with you?"
Kathryn: We're asking the question so we can go, "How do we help you get unstuck? How do we make sure that we know if there's anything that is being blocked and why it's being blocked?" How then we unblock it.
Michael: The thought behind that is, that is a regular thing we do every week. Some version of that. It's one of our rhythms. It's one of the things that our staff depends on. Because we believe that you can go fast alone, but you're going to go far together.
Kathryn: Well, as we were talking about this, I said out loud to you before we started this podcast ... I think one of the things that's true is, "There is power in predictability."
Michael: That was a really good saying.
Kathryn: Thank you. You wrote it down and everything. I felt very validated.
Michael: I did. I was like, "Wow, that was really good."
Kathryn: I was like, "Hey. That's good." But the power in predictability is that if I know that something is going to be happening, and I know it's going to be happening on a regular basis, it decreases my stress level.
Kathryn: I think of the example of you have a regular Tuesday morning meeting with our office manager, who between the two of you really oversees our staff. Makes sure everything is moving along as it should. Because of that regular Tuesday morning meeting, Vicky doesn't have to tell you everything instantaneously as it's happening. She doesn't have to worry about not having a moment to find you.
Kathryn: There's some predictability built in to the routine of knowing, "This is when we're going to get together. I can hold that concern or question until then." It decreases stress. It allows us to focus on other things, which is really great. When you said earlier, "Rhythm, routine, ritual." Those are bad words to some people. "That's going to lock me in a box and be boring."
Michael: You're an SP. How do you feel about it?
Kathryn: Well, I think there's something very counterintuitive about rhythms and habits and rituals. They're difficult to establish. Especially, for someone like me. But once they're established, they create freedom. That's really actually pretty counterintuitive. So this thing that I do every day creates more freedom. You know what it does?
Kathryn: When something has been ingrained that actually makes your life easier, whether it's an SOP, or a regular meeting that you need to have. Whatever that thing is. It actually decreases stress. It gives you freedom. Because you don't have to focus on making that thing happen or reinventing it every time. It just works. There's just so much power in that.
Kathryn: And as much as I can resist creating rhythms anywhere in my life ... As I've gotten older, as I've settled in, it's like, "I can't actually live without them." In these seasons. Like this last season where, because of some things in our personal lives getting just tossed upside down. I would call it, "Chosen chaos." It made keeping rhythms at work harder. That affected everything for me. How I work, how I feel about work, how confident I am in being able to get stuff done. All the things.
Kathryn: I think there's just incredible power in predictability. Knowing this is how it's going to work. For our staff, as we're leading our staff, there's power in predictability. "I know this happens. I know this is the way we do it. This is who we are. This is how we function. I can count on that." And then, that gives them the freedom to do the things they need to do and think about other things. Because it frees you up when you're not having to work really hard at the things that should be just foundational.
Michael: Well, one of the things that happens that I like. I've heard some teachings this last couple years on how many calories the brain burns. Basically, if you're not familiar with this thought or idea, your brain is burning a lot of calories. Your brain actually burns a significant amount of calories of percentage of your calories per day. There's all kinds of things going on. A lot of thinking. A lot of energy.
Michael: When we lose energy or we're tired or we're not nourished enough or anything like that, you can feel your brain getting sluggish. Your thoughts getting sluggish and your response time. Maybe your reactions are poor or something like that. Those are critical. Well, when things are uncertain, then we actually have to spend more brain calories. That type of thing uses up more energy.
Michael: It also requires us to move in and out of, "Is this the right thing to do? Is it not the right thing to do? Is it going to get the results we need?" It can lead at times to analysis paralysis. We get into that and your people get into that. They get into that decision.
Michael: Because if you've got a really great company, you're successful, everything's healthy ... In a general sense, people want to please you. There's moments where the ebbs and flows can cause more stress. There's more work. There's volatility going on in the world. Their rent is going up. Or their interest rates are going up on their mortgages. All kinds of crazy things happening right now in today's world.
Michael: All of a sudden, we end up not only burning more calories, which doesn't help, because things are unpredictable. That's why rhythms are so powerful is because one of the things rhythms do, good rhythms, positive rhythms, is reduce the brain calories that are being consumed. Because we only have so many day to work through. How do we focus on that?
Michael: The other thing that's interesting is the fight or flight. This fight or flight response. Most people think of fight or flight as a binary thing. It's either I'm in fight or flight mode or I'm not. Really, what we've learned ... We've known this for years, but it's really a gray scale. Imagine a scale of zero to 100. At one end, you have total fight or flight.
Kathryn: Total panic.
Michael: Total panic. Your life is threatened and you're trying to figure out how to survive.
Kathryn: You're staring at a bear. Oh no.
Michael: Oh my gosh.
Kathryn: Something has gone wrong.
Michael: Everything's gone crazy. And it's a real threat. And then, on the other side, it's the opposite of that. Total peace, total rest, total safety. "I am secure. I know what my surroundings are." The brain, especially the back of the brain, the brain stem area is looking all the time. We know this from seeing, "Are we okay? Are we not okay?" Consistency causes that to settle down and be at peace.
Kathryn: Well, and one of the things that we learned during the pandemic ...
Kathryn: Is that everybody probably on the planet was living at a heightened fight or flight.
Kathryn: Somewhere in that scale of zero to 100, they were far from zero.
Michael: Well, one of the discussions we had was there was that idea ... The concept was we might have been at 25% on that scale. The fight or flight chemicals were just slowly dripping in the back of our head. Your life wasn't threatened. But the uncertainty of, "How long is this going to last? How long do I have to stay home? Is this really dangerous? Is it not dangerous?"
Kathryn: And then, for a lot of people, there was even more threat. "My job actually is going away."
Michael: Somebody is sick and all of a sudden a healthy member of my family is in ICU.
Kathryn: Or if I'm in the medical profession and I'm having to actually serve. The nurses and doctors.
Michael: There was a lot of heightened stuff.
Kathryn: Incredible. Right? Constant. That constant adrenaline. Constant fight or flight. Those are just very real things that we were able to see in technicolor during the pandemic. The opposite of that and what we're talking about is ... When we have predictability, when we have routines and rhythms, it settles that fight or flight. It decreases stress.
Michael: This is why the medical industry in the ERs, and in triage situations, in the field in military ... The triage or the ER systems' protocols are so strict and so rigid, because everybody knows what they're supposed to do.
Michael: There is enough unpredictability in all of that they have to think and be creative in a unique situation, because they can't diagnose something or whatever. But the systems solve all the critical things. Somebody bleeding? I think that's predictable. I don't know.
Kathryn: Well, the systems mean I know exactly where to turn to grab this, to get this, to access what I need.
Michael: Here's the way we check a body when it comes in. A person. Whether they're conscious or unconscious. What's going on? Is there internal bleeding? Our diagnostics are quick. We see this stuff in systems in an airplane. Flight. The pilots. Words are hard.
Kathryn: Don't give up. Keep going. You've got this.
Michael: Those two people in the front of the planes that are in uniforms. All that stuff is like, "How do we deal with it?" And then, if there's an emergency, you've trained not a habit. You've not trained a routine. You have trained a ritual. When this alarm goes off, this is what you do immediately. You're making sure you're hitting the right things.
Michael: In a company, we might not be in those ... These are all companies. The airlines are a company. A hospital is a company. The military is an organization that needs to function. Life or death sometimes is on the line at all of these places. Your company might not be life or death, but you have these things where you can retard or slow down your productivity and profitability and problem solving and good judgment because of this. If you don't have good rituals and rhythms and SOPs and things like that.
Michael: We're coming at it from rituals instead of talking about systems and SOPs today, because rhythms are less clinical of a language. They also apply to human beings. Systems don't usually apply to human beings. We've got companies that have human beings for customers, and we have human beings for employees, and we have human beings for vendors.
Kathryn: No way. It's humans.
Michael: I know. It's humans.
Kathryn: All humans. Those humans. Humans.
Michael: Humans to humans.
Kathryn: Humans to humans.
Michael: And so, that's a really good goal.
Kathryn: It's almost like we want to jar your thinking a little bit. As you're thinking about work, it isn't just system, procedure, protocol. It's rhythm, ritual. It's those things that make it human, because you're working with humans and you're a human.
Michael: For those of you that like your systems and protocols and SOPs, I'm not suggesting you throw those out. I'm actually suggesting that those things are not the end result. Those things help us create the positive rhythms we need. You need those tools. How do we create these rhythms? Well, we do make sure our communication is very clear and our accountability.
Michael: We talked about management. Make sure that your goals are clear to people and for your organization. Make sure that communication is clear. Make sure there's accountability. Make sure you're building trust. And then, acknowledge people for doing well, so that there is this repetitive, "I know I'm appreciated. And I know I'm on the right track. Okay. This is good."
Michael: You also build a culture when you do that with your team in a team format. So that everybody else is saying, "What Sue did was doing really well. What Jim did? That first thing he did didn't work well, but the second thing he did to solve it, that worked beautifully. That's the thing we want to do." And then, you also, like our intern noticed ... We weren't even thinking about it anymore, because it had moved to a ritual. And I hadn't realized this.
Michael: But that system of our staff meeting and some other things. While some people get bored with it and things like that, somebody walked in from the outside and watched it and went, "This is super powerful." I don't discount a 21-year-old's opinion. Especially, this 21-year-old, who grew up in an entrepreneurial family. He understands business. He's looking at big business and hanging out with a lot of people who talk about large dollars and large things and everything else.
Michael: He's going, "Here's this culture," that he valued and thought was really productive. And it is for us. Because it's a rhythm of support that builds our culture and makes us more efficient and productive with our clients. We produce a better product because of that specific thing and things like it.
Kathryn: Yep. Agreed.
Michael: When we're talking about just encouraging people to set up rhythms ... Kathryn, what do you think? As we're winding down here, what are the important things leaders need to understand if they're going to say, "I want to set up rhythms. Positive rhythms in my company." What would your encouragement be? What are the things that you think are important?
Kathryn: One of the first things. I'll say this, because this has been my battle, so it's easy to start with me. If it isn't something you're good at, get help.
Michael: Great. Elaborate on that.
Kathryn: I tend to be a, "Fly by the seat of my pants." React to what's in front of me. I work best under pressure. Blah, blah, blah. And I forget to document things. Our office manager helps me a lot with that. And then, a year ago, it's been a year. I hired an assistant and her job, in some sense, is to help me document things. To document me, because there's too many things that still live in my head.
Kathryn: Just the realization, the self-awareness to be like, "I can't document things to save my life." Part of it is because I don't think detailed enough. I do stuff, but I don't realize all the steps that I'm doing. I just do them. To have somebody pick it apart and go, "Let me ask you questions about that and walk me through it."
Kathryn: That's my first encouragement is, "If you're not good at it, get help." If you are good at it, allocate the time, and really just give yourself a moment to pull back and identify, first of all, what do you have in place? What are the rhythms and rituals that you have in your company? Just get those in front of you and be like, "Okay."
Kathryn: And then, what are the places where nobody even has to tell you. You know, "If we could create a consistent way we approach X in our company, it would increase our efficiency. It would change things." Pick one or two and go after them and see how creating that rhythm, creating that ritual, whatever that looks like, begins to shift how your people work and how your companies run.
Michael: The one thing I would say is do an audit. Do a rhythm audit. It's very practical. But what I mean by that, and what you would do is, you would actually start to go, "What are the rhythms that our company has?" Start with the corporate rhythms and those kind of things. Do you have staff meetings? Do you have any kind of weekly celebration or weekly debrief that happens?
Michael: We do staff meeting on Mondays and we do what we call wrap on Fridays. If you've been listening to this, you know wrap is our debrief from four to five o'clock on Fridays. Our entire staff gets together. No work. Hanging out. They're on the clock, and there's beverages and appetizers and stuff like that. We do company celebration stuff at wrap.
Michael: Anniversaries, parties, births. All that stuff. We do all that stuff there intentionally. I would write down those two things. Do an audit and see, "Do you have rhythms?" And then, next to it, look at all the rhythms and go, "This rhythm adds or this rhythm subtracts from the health of our company, the productivity of our company, the community and culture of our company."
Michael: I think this will be really helpful for you when you're looking at rhythms and trying to decide, "What do I do?" That's the place to start. And then, start to investigate and look at, "What does it mean to have healthy rhythms?" Now, you're going to say, "Well, then what do I do?" Well, that's a perfect lead into our series. I think it's our first real series, per se, that we're going to do. On leadership health and basically restoration for making sure that we can go farther.
Kathryn: It's building resilience. How do you build resilience in your leadership?
Michael: Really, a lot of this is going to be around self-care. This is important. We're going to do about a three ... We don't know if it's going to be three episodes or five episodes. Somewhere in there. What we're going to do is we're going to talk about this self-care of leaders. Because what we know from research and experience is that we have an issue of longevity that is shortened when we don't take care of ourselves enough.
Michael: We also know that self-care is directly correlated to the stress in our lives, avoiding burnout, and being able to have good judgment on a regular basis. The biggest mistakes that successful leaders have is when they have faulty judgment. They make lapses in judgment. Your people are the same. We're going to start, because water runs downhill.
Michael: When the leaders are healthy, usually the rest of the organization tends to be healthy or healthier. And so, we're going to talk about that. What do you do once you have this audit done of rhythms? Look at rhythms in your own life. We'll start talking about personal rhythms and rest, and in the next episode, what makes up this idea of self-care. We'll talk a little bit more about why we should do that. That's rhythms today.
Kathryn: There you go. Rhythms in work.
Michael: Anything else we need to say about rhythms?
Kathryn: I don't think so.
Michael: I think we've said enough about rhythms.
Kathryn: I think we have said enough.
Michael: Well then, on that note, I think this is the end of today's podcast. Thank you so much for listening to this crazy step back into podcast land. We're super excited to be with you and super excited to be recording stuff that's valuable. And if you have any topics or subjects that you would like us to discuss or talk about, we would really love it if you would reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael: Info@halfabubbleout.com. Let us know what are those subjects that you're curious about, you want to hear more discussion about. Maybe because you are successful, but overwhelmed. What are those issues that are standing in your way? Or maybe everything's going a way. How do you maximize this great groove you're in right now? We can talk about those things.
Kathryn: And always if you like us, if you can tell your friends, if you can share the podcast on whatever platform you're listening to it on.
Michael: Like on whatever platform or a version of a thumbs up or a heart or anything else.
Kathryn: I don't even know what they are anymore, because they just keep morphing.
Michael: Just too many of them.
Kathryn: Whichever way you say, "Yes, I like this," and you can share it. Please do that.
Michael: Please do that. For that, this is the HaBO Village Podcast. I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: And I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: We just wish you well. Have a great week. Bye-bye.