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The HaBO Village Podcast

Why You Shouldn't Ignore the Signs of an Unhealthy Business [Podcast]

Episode 170: Michael and Kathryn talk about the analogy of having a 'sick' or unhealthy business organization. Find out why leaders often ignore signs of an unhealthy company and what you can do to recover, and ultimately, prevent the same problems from occurring in the future.

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In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover the signs of an unhealthy company.

  • Find out the implications of letting your organization remain unhealthy for a long period of time.

  • Get Michael and Kathryn's strategies for helping your business heal and recover and preventative measures to avoid having history repeat itself.

“There's a level of shame that comes with realizing your business is not healthy. It prevents us from getting the help that we need."

- Kathryn Redman

 

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


Kathryn:
             And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
             And this is the podcast dedicated to you, business owners, leaders, entrepreneurs, because we're committed to helping you build yourself and your leaders, the whole leader for the whole business so that you can experience both profit, thriving business, and a thriving personal life. That's us.


Kathryn:
             That's us.


Michael:
             That's this podcast so we can encourage you, educate you-


Kathryn:
             Success in business, success in life, that's what we're going for.


Michael:
             How are you this morning, Kathryn?


Kathryn:
             I'm well. How are you, Michael?


Michael:
             I'm good. Folks, we're married and we live together, but we don't always get a chance to have a conversation in the morning.


Michael:
             Okay. So let's talk about today on this podcast. You brought up an interesting point from another podcast that you heard about being sick and the benefits of being sick. You want to do me a favor and help our listeners understand what you're talking about and then-


Kathryn:
             Yeah, I'm going to do a shout-out.


Michael:
             I really think it's worth the discussion for us.


Kathryn:
             Yeah, shout-out to Credit Where Credit's Due. So I was listening to one of my favorite authors, Pat Lencioni, this morning. He's at Table Group and they have a really great podcast. If you aren't tuned into that, you should be.


Michael:
             That's a phenomenal guy.


Kathryn:
             Yeah, so they just have great conversations and their whole company is built on helping other companies build organizational health. So there's a lot of alignment, there's a lot of things. He's written a bunch of books. He's stellar.


Kathryn:
             But this particular podcast that I was listening to this morning, and it's this week's podcast, was literally titled The Benefits of Being Sick, which sounds really odd and I was like, "Well, I'm curious about this." And he was talking about this concept of when we're sick personally, there are benefits. There's things like we learn empathy for others.


Kathryn:
             So for folks that are struggling, especially for folks who are chronically ill, when we get sick, we think, "Oh my gosh, am I ever going to get better? And how does that feel?" So there's just this empathy that can build up around understanding what it's like to not be 100%. So empathy was one of them.


Kathryn:
             Another thing was gratitude for when you are healthy, so actually daily being able to go, "Gosh, it's just nice to have a fully functioning body," and not taking that for granted.


Kathryn:
             And there was a couple of other things, but then they transitioned it into what the heart of their world is, which is organizational health. And the thing that I appreciated about it was that here's a company that all they do is help other companies gain organizational health.


Michael:
             Yeah. And they work with some really large companies too.


Kathryn:
             He's throwing out things like, "Years ago, I was talking to an NFL coach and he was saying their..." And I'm like, "Yeah. Okay, cool. That's awesome."


Michael:
             And he's worked with companies like Southwest to continue to help drive and build their culture.


Kathryn:
             Absolutely. So they've done some great stuff, but he was just saying, the realization as organizations that we have to have, no matter what our history, no matter what our service or product or whatever else, is that as organizations, we sometimes get sick. And every organization actually is going to sometimes get sick.


Kathryn:
             And the first step really in getting healthy is being willing to go, "Something has gone awry here." And it can be things like drifting morale. People just seem not to be happy. It could be people leaving the company more than a normal amount. Especially if you're a larger company, the turnover just seems to be increasing. So just lack of morale, all that kind of stuff, politics are going up. There's backbiting, all those kinds of things that can destroy a culture. So just the recognition. And he said, "Here we are, we're a company that does organizational health, and sometimes we get sick."


Michael:
             Yeah. Because it's a natural part of being a company. It just happens.


Kathryn:
             It happens. Yeah. And then just to realize not to be ashamed about it, but to get the help and get fixed. So that was the context of the conversation.


Michael:
             It's a really interesting concept because you realize that, A, not everything's perfect and not everything goes as planned, because it'd be nice if we planned our growth on a straight line or a hockey stick. It would be nice if we could say, "Everything's going to go great." I walked into the office today and all of a sudden I realized there's staff that are not here today. And they're like, "Yeah, they're not doing well and they're at home." And I'm like, "Where the heck are they?" Well, any plans that I had or any thoughts that I had had to be adjusted.


Michael:
             And so realizing that, yeah, this analogy, when you said this, this analogy of being sick, whether it's a sniffle or 4 stage Hodgkin's, and you're just trying to adjust for little things today because somebody's out sick and you've had a plan or, is this the last hail Mary?


Kathryn:
             Right. Well, and in this season, all of us as organizations have had to adjust to the reality of what it looks like when people get sick. Because during COVID it's like, "Oh no, what kind of sick are you? Oh no, what does that mean? Oh no, how do we have to change our HR policies?" There's this constant reactive mode to this virus that causes everything to feel very [inaudible 00:05:09] and that has had an impact even on organizational health for some companies.


Michael:
             Well, it's been ridiculous because also it's been so unpredictable and so volatile. The consistency is just all over the place for. So then when you get sick, you have to realize, A, you're sick, and B, you have to figure out are what do you do? Because if you're healthy, the analogy, if your body's healthy, at least this is where I started thinking, if my body's fully healthy, I can push hard, I can push into a workout, I can go the extra mile, I can starve myself with some sleep and everything else. But when I've got a cold or something really bad has happened and one of those things that lays me out, I need to sleep. I need to rest. I need to make sure I pull back or I need to not put in a full hard day. I need to dial down my schedule a little bit. So I'm-


Kathryn:
             Well, and your expectations of yourself, right?


Michael:
             Yes. Because your performance definitely is tendered. This reminded me of talking to a friend of ours, [inaudible 00:06:10] Gareth. And one of the first things he said is, "I have had to dial it back," He owns his own company, because he had pneumonia and his cold that was no big deal, "I'm fine," that he was saying, this is the second time it's happened to him in the last five, six, seven years. So he thought, "Well, it'll never happen to me again." And he got sick and he started pushing in and he ignored it and didn't do the things he needed to do. The last five times he ignored it, he finally got over it. It might have slowed him down and he might not have had the performance, but this is a risk and the risk came back and he turned him into pneumonia and really shut him down for over a month.


Kathryn:
             Well, and it's interesting, because that kind of analogy of when we get a little sick, but we look around and we're like, "That guy came back after two days. Surely I can come back after two days." And then we don't or we do and it basically sets us back another week. So you translate that to what happens when we ignore a sickness in our company, like, "You know what? I just think it's not that big a deal and we just push that aside. We're going to just get through it. It's not that big a deal." It can come back and take you out.


Michael:
             What would be an example of that?


Kathryn:
             So I'm thinking about if there's an employee issue and you're just like, this person, maybe they're really an important part of your team and yet they're doing something that isn't reflective of your values. Let's choose kindness. They just seem to be really unkind and people around them are being affected by that. As a leader, you're like, "I don't really want to confront that, because I don't want to them off and I don't want to make it awkward and blah, blah, blah." But you let that go. And then suddenly, you let it go too long and someone else that you really care about on the team is like, "I'm done. I'm done being treated this way," because you didn't address it when it was small.


Michael:
             They don't tell you often up front that's why they quit. And the client that leaves doesn't always tell you that's why they left. And if you're lucky, you get that open conversation honesty. But a lot of times, it's way down the road and you're like, "You know what? I loved it except for X, Y, or Z." That's a big deal. It's interesting because it makes me start thinking about not only are we paying attention to ourselves when the company gets sick, using the sick analogy on the body, are we doing things, do we spot it? Do we do what needs to be nurtured a little bit and spot things ahead of time? I get sinus infections. You know this. I have allergies and about every couple of three years, every three years or so, I get a pretty good infection.


Michael:
             I'm doing everything I can. When I start to feel it, that is going from allergies and just stuffed up nose, there's a regimen I start going through every year and I can stop it, but I have to take care and I have to start doing certain things and not do other things to make sure that my allergies are being taken care of and it's not shifting. When it does start to slide, the first thing I've got to do is I've got to get to the doctor and get my antibiotics. Whatever y'all think about antibiotics, when you need them and there's nothing else working, an antibiotic is a beautiful thing. And about every three, four years, I need a Z-Pak for that kind of thing. For those of you who don't know, a Z-Pak is a type of antibiotic treatment for-


Kathryn:
             It's like a five day thing.


Michael:
             But if I don't catch that and get to the doctor that will escalate itself. So it escalated to a sinus infection. Then it escalates from a sinus of infection to a really bad one that's not easily fixed with a round of antibiotics. And the misery of something like that, if that's not taken care of, does can slide into pneumonia, which, again, if you've ever had pneumonia, you do not pneumonia. It kills people. There's a reason it kills people, but it's not a fun thing at all.


Kathryn:
             Well, and here's the thing. I think when we get sick and we see whatever led there, part of the goal that you have is to avoid that in the future. And the good news when you think about in an organization, owning that we all have our seasons. We talk about a lot a really hard season where our culture was just not in a good place and we didn't want to come to work and we were miserable. It was part of the impetus of-


Michael:
             During the Great Recession.


Kathryn:
             Yeah. Part of the impetus of just trying to figure out how to do it differently that has led us to where we are. So there's a gift in that. But one of the realities is that when you get sick as an organization and you address it and you figure out how to heal, the good news is you're then attuned to that, so you can help avoid that thing in the future.


Michael:
             If you pay attention to it


Kathryn:
             Yeah. If you pay attention to it. So a specific weed in your yard and you figure out the way to deal with that weed, then you know what to do the next time you see anything close to that cropping up. I know what to do right now. And so being sick can have the benefit, ultimately, if you take the steps of getting healthy, of giving you perspective on the kinds of things you can do to continue to nurture and grow a good culture, as well as things that you can do when your culture is struggling.


Michael:
             So for some people who are listening right now who don't like to use analogies or get lost in analogies, let me just explain really quickly that we're talking about, very clearly, we're talking about challenges equal sickness. And if you are having challenges in your company, they reduce your effectiveness and efficiency and speed at which you can make profits, get work done, be effective in the company. Right?


Kathryn:
             Yeah, absolutely.


Michael:
             And so you have these problems in a company, and especially in any business unit in any company, but small businesses that it can affect the whole of the entire company, no matter what size the small business is, whether it's 10 employees or 250 employees. And so being able to watch these things and keep an eye, and that's part of your job as a leader is not to be going, "I just don't want to be bothered by these problems anymore." Problems to a company are challenges that need to be solved are just the same as the human body who can get a cold, who can get allergies. You cannot stay perfectly healthy all the time. The average person can't. The average business can't. So that's important. How do you deal with challenges? Do you have the right mindset? Because the right mindset allows you to address them and get through them faster and they will actually have less impact on your company as opposed to being frustrated trying to ignore them, trying to be frustrated and-


Kathryn:
             Or feeling ashamed that you have it to begin with.


Michael:
             Yeah. Well, that is-


Kathryn:
             We fixed our culture. We got healthy. Why are we sick again? How did that happen?


Michael:
             You mowed your lawn last week, but now it looks shabby again. I'm getting my haircut today. I'm shabby a little bit. Here's the other thing that makes me think about, so let's preface this. One of these things in this part is we're talking about when you see a problem or a challenge in your company, IE you're getting sick, are you addressing it appropriately and dealing with it? And are you spotting the symptoms ahead of so that you can catch it and pause, take a breath, take a rest, address an employee issue, a customer issue, a supplier issue, and not feel like you're supposed to keep going, that the whole machine's supposed to keep moving at the same level that you were when everything was running smoothly? You may have to stop the car and change the tire type of thing. That said, there's also a pre-care. And the analogy, as you're talking, the analogy I hear is when we care about our health, we take time and money to invest in our health so that we have less bruises and less sore muscles and less sore joints, that we actually have flexibility.


Kathryn:
             Yeah, we eat right. We exercise. We do the things that we know we need to do to stay healthy.


Michael:
             Right. And so some people exercise and they actually invest a regular time exercising, whether it's just simply walking or going to the gym or something more aggressive. We invest in, in trainers. We invest in healthier foods. Some of us choose to eat organic foods, all the time or as much as we can, over something else that's an option. So we're investing money, we're investing time, which is arguably the most valuable thing we have in this world, and then we are willing to invest in healthcare. We're willing to do all these things to make sure that we're staying better. Supplements. Man, the supplement industry. A lot of people want to get a into it and because it's so lucrative and profitable. What kind of things are we doing as we look across that analogy to a business that we're pre-doing?


Kathryn:
             Proactively, yeah.


Michael:
             Yeah. For us, it is investing in our staff meeting and making sure we're taking extra time on Monday mornings for us, that everybody on the team is hearing what needs to be heard. We're making sure that we're syncing for the rest of the week. Communication is reestablished. There's a little bit of laughing and joking. And we talk about challenges that are in front of us and the work that we're doing. So everybody has an idea of what everybody's working on. And even though I heard the same thing or mostly the same thing last week, just that weekly catch up. And then our wrap at the end of the week where it really is a, we're not working, but we're spending an hour just taking a breath together at the end of the week and having some beverages, eating some food, laughing, talking, and sometimes... Well, the conversation wanders all over the place, but it never intentionally is about work per se.


Kathryn:
             Right. It's a personal investment in getting to know each other and reminding ourselves we have life outside of work and we care about each other's lives.


Michael:
             Well, and we have life, and that life at work isn't just about getting an assignment done for a client or for the company itself. So knowing that it's holistic, we're investing money and time in those events as business owners, not to mention training and education in our staff are other things that we invest in.


Kathryn:
             Well, and then over the last couple years, we've had one or two staff that have just hit places of real challenge. They're struggling. There's a little burnout coming on. And so being proactive about let's check in and then let's schedule regular check-in meetings to see how the progress is to make sure that we're actually moving forward and not backwards and helping you move forward through this as opposed to getting stuck or getting worse. So those kinds of proactive, paying attention types of things.


Michael:
             These are things that we can all do. And if you're not doing them or you used to do them and somehow you fell out of habit, these are good things to start bringing back into it, some kind of community building lots and activities, building in relationships and taking an extra three or four minutes when you need to talk to somebody about something, as opposed to just diving into talking about it. If you haven't seen them that day or in a couple of days, to be able to say, "Hi, how are you?" And feel like there's at least a human connection.


Kathryn:
             Yeah. Or if there's a moment in time where you have an interaction with someone, and we've all done this, and you walk away from that interaction thinking, "I'm not sure that went right. I feel like I might have said the wrong thing. It's possible that I offended that person." And it's nagging at you, to actually be willing to go back and engage that and say, "Hey, okay. So we were having this conversation yesterday and I'm wondering if I offended you somehow and I just wanted to make sure that I was addressing that."


Kathryn:
             So even those kinds of things, where instead of just letting something go, or worse, letting it fester, just proactively going after those things when they're little, when they're just little. Because otherwise, they can build and build and build. And suddenly, something explodes and there's all of these layers of it that weren't addressed. And you're like, "What? Why are you reacting to this?" I heard somebody say on a TV show I was watching last night, and this was really interesting to me because I just thought the visual was so good, is she said to this person in her life, she said, "You're pushing a button that somebody else installed." And I loved that visual. What does it look like to-


Michael:
             Pushing a button meaning-


Kathryn:
             I'm really mad at you right now.


Michael:
             You pushed my buttons, you pissed me off, but it's not your fault.


Kathryn:
             It's not your fault. But to be the person who is on the receiving end of that, that requires a mature conversation, to be able to say, we've done this in our marriage, where you'll look at me sometimes when I'm just really irritable and be like, "Did I do something?" And to be able to say, "Actually, yeah, you did." Or, "You know what? This isn't about you. It's about this." But that sense of we're all complicated human beings. And it's really interesting because one of the things that was said in the podcast I was listening to this morning that kind of cracked me up because I think it's true is that as human beings, we're designed, physically, individually, we're designed by God to want to get better. We get sick and we're not going to stay sick.


Kathryn:
             We're actually going to get healthy, because dog on it, I don't like how this feels. But you put a bunch of those same humans that are motivated to be personally well into a company or an organization and that organization is sick, there's a lot of organizations, they're not motivated to get healthy actually. And so those people, they don't feel like it's ever going to be any different so they just leave or check out, disengage.


Michael:
             If you've always had a low level health issue, you start to measure things based on that reference point. If you get to the place where there's the least amount of discomfort and pain, that starts to become your optimal health. And the goal is to get back to the least amount, as opposed to solving the problem and getting rid of it. And a lot of companies just, unfortunately, they never were able to come out of whatever happened when they started up or the level of maturity of a past leader or current leaders. And all of a sudden, it's like, well, this company, it's operating the best it's ever operated. How do you measure that against health and dis-health or un-health?


Kathryn:
             And if you've never worked in a really healthy culture, in a work environment, sometimes that's hard to sus out.


Michael:
             Totally. Well, we have people-


Kathryn:
             Because you don't know what you're comparing it against.


Michael:
             We have people who come, over the years, have come to Half a Bubble Out, and gone, "I didn't know it could be like this. I've never worked at a company like this." To toot our own horn a little bit, it's not just a brag. We do everything we can to practice what we preach and we still screw it up at times.


Kathryn:
             Yeah. Sometimes we still get sick.


Michael:
             And we have to deal with conflict resolution. We have to deal with fixing things that. You and I broke and caused, or we brought our own infection into the company, metaphorically speaking,


Kathryn:
             Not COVID.


Michael:
             Not COVID.


Kathryn:
             We didn't do that.


Michael:
             Okay. So we've talked about getting sick and starting to spot those things. We talked about, briefly, the issue of pre-care. One of the things that occurs to me that's probably really important that we comment to on this in this podcast is the idea of, okay, what's the implications? Why does this matter? Why do we care? Well, we're in a situation right now where our society has more stress and more unpredictability and more complexity and more ambiguity with volatility, we call this VUCA, this volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity.


Michael:
             There's more of this everywhere in our society. We don't quite know what's going on. We don't know what the administration's going to do next week. We don't know which state's going to be the state that's going to help us or hurt us. We all have our opinions on what's going on and we can't just pick up and move our businesses, most of us, into wherever we want to live. So you've got all these challenges. I'm going to say that there's two very specific things that we can look at. And one is client retention, customer retention, and lifetime value of the client. Retention equals lifetime value. And the other is retention and maybe a lifetime value of an employee.


Kathryn:
             So what you're saying is those are two metrics to measure your organizational health. Yeah.


Michael:
             Yeah. And why would you do this? Why would you measure it that way? And what's it going to do that's going to bring financial return? So being very clear, let's talk about lifetime value for a moment. So for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term or have heard it, but aren't quite sure what it means, what we're talking about is you take a customer, and usually it's your average customer, what is the most a customer is worth over a history of a period of time? So if you're a client that people buy stuff from you because you sell toilet paper, they buy every six weeks or eight weeks, you could probably measure the lifetime value of a customer over 12 months or 24 months or 36 months. If somebody buys something from you and they only purchase once every five to seven years, or seven to 10 years, like an appliance.


Kathryn:
             Or a car or something.


Michael:
             Right. But the lifetime value of somebody, a car, let's say a car, I've bought a fair amount of Fords in my life. I've also... BMW Lexus. So we've had other types of cars. But some people are just real loyal to that. So over their lifetime, over 30 years, 40 years, they're going to buy lots of that type of car. So your lifetime value might be over 30 years or 40 years. My first Ford was when I was 17 years old. The last Ford we purchased, we just purchased, and it's probably the fifth or sixth Ford that I've owned.


Kathryn:
             We had a couple of Fords in between that I would never want to own again.


Michael:
             No, not at all.


Kathryn:
             I remember a particularly bad Taurus.


Michael:
             Yes.


Kathryn:
             And a Pinto. But I was young.


Michael:
             We were very grateful for that Taurus at the time. Okay. Lifetime value is all those purchases added up together and then all of your clients and then averaged. Your goal is to delight a client enough that they would buy from you as often as is appropriate for your product or service. We have clients in the service industry that a lot of times, our competitors have them for three to nine months. We have clients for years. We don't measure in months around here for our average client. We average probably over five years for our average. And some of our clients have been around for a year or two and then they move on and some of them are here for us for 10 years. That's a lifetime value. Well, I can tell you right now, when your company is unhealthy, your customers are hanging around a sick person. They're purchasing of a sick person.


Michael:
             And you just, after a while, you're like, "Okay, I know things are a little rough right now, but you're going to get better." And then you don't get better and it becomes a chronic thing. And all of a sudden, you start losing customers. Right there, pre-health and investment in your company, when you do that, if you do these things to keep your company healthy, you're investing in the lifetime value of your customers, which is more money to the bottom line, more profit, because it is cheaper to keep a customer than it is to get a new customer. That's just statistically proven.


Kathryn:
             Yep. And let me just illustrate that. One of the things we talk about a lot is that for customers to keep buying from you, you have to build trust with them. Building trust is really, really critical. But realize that the trust factor in your company, if you're the owner or the leader, isn't always about you. It's about the person who answers the phone and how helpful they are that builds trust. It's them making sure that the thing that they said you would do as a leader, you had time to do when you got back to them. All of those things are building organizational trust. If that person who's answering the door or answering the phone is not healthy and they're not happy and they're not loving their job, that's going to reflect on organizational trust. It will impact, ultimately, lifetime value, because it's how they're treated that interacts with that-


Michael:
             Well, we have a new prospect, and I ended up taking the second contact with them, one of our staff had the first couple of contacts with them, can we help you and set up an appointment? In that conversation, one of the things that was really clear is he was looking for a company he could trust that did what we do. He articulated in that conversation just briefly some frustrations on other companies that would not communicate on time. I'll have that done by the 23rd.


Kathryn:
             The 24th comes.


Michael:
             The 24th and the 25th and the 26th comes and they haven't heard from them yet, things like that. And he illustrated a couple of those things. What I knew right off the bat was that if I could say to him very specifically, "Here's what going to do, and I'm going to contact you here." And really, what I did was I said, "Okay, you're going to send me some extra stuff that I can look at. I'm going to connect with you in 48 hours," which would've been a Friday, "And I'm going to have an appointment set up for the next week." He delayed even on getting his stuff to me for 24 hours. So I didn't get it until later, which I could have said, "Hey, I didn't get this. I can't look at it." But what I did is I said, I decided to go, "I'm going to make an appointment anyway."


Michael:
             So by the time Friday was over, he'd had a communication with me. We had a time, we went back and forth. We had a time set up the next week, and immediately scheduled all that. And he didn't have to ask for anything. I told him specifically what I would do, because if you're going to gain trust with somebody, saying, "I will do something very specific," and then delivering on that and then telling them that they're important enough that you deliver on your promise re-illustrates and strengthens the potential to continue to have another chance to build more trust. So we're doing that really quickly with him. That's a big deal, because to what you're saying, and that's a very specific way of saying, "I'm going to build trust whether that person is a prospect or a client that's been around 10 years," that's really good to the lifetime value.


Michael:
             Let's switch over really quick to an illustration. Now, the profit is obvious there in an employee. It is one considered one of the most, probably the top two or three biggest financial drains of companies in America is the idea of turnover. And it is totally underrated by most companies, but when it's calculated over and over and over and over and over again over the decades, it is incredibly. Expensive because it costs somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5 to 2.5 X an annual salary. Once the annual salary, you figure that annual salary, if somebody's making $50,000 a year, and we're not talking the senior level right now, that could really cost you anywhere from 75,000 to possibly $100,000 to find another person, get them running up to speed in your company, and to see them at full productivity again before you're actually able to do that. That's a lot of money.


Michael:
             So we're talking about employer retention in a world where we've got two major problems that I see for retention. It's not just these two, but it is two. One is we have a societal perspective that we teach our college students and our young people. You have to go from job to job to job to job to job, because you're going to be more valuable if you have multiple positions within. So don't stay at any one place very long. Jump, jump, jump, and you're going to be more valuable. And for some reason is employers, we have a lot of employers, especially in the tech arena, who said, "I want them to have more experience with different companies and different products and different services before they come to me." It's really nice if they go out and get all that experience at somebody else's expense and then they come and stay with you.


Michael:
             But when they use your company as the next stepping stone and they say, "I'm going to be here six to 12 months and then I'm out," you are losing. It's actually costing you that 1.5 to 2.5, especially two to 2.5 if you have a senior executive that has been with you a while and they leave. So longevity in a company, especially if you manage your organization well, is incredibly important. Right off the bat, we talked about lifetime value as a profit to staying healthy and to being proactive. These proactive areas to keeping a healthy company and a healthy culture are actually going to drive up your profits and reduce your costs when it comes to employee turnover, because what you're going to have is two different things. One you're going to keep your employees longer. Therefore, that cost is saved. Two, you're going to have them engaged because you are actually running a healthy company.


Michael:
             Because a healthy company, a proactively healthy company, as we've talked about before on this podcast and we work with our clients, a proactively healthy company always has engaged employees, a much larger percentage of engaged employees, which are financially with more efficient, way more effective, they waste less money, they cause less mistakes, and they actually problem solve things so that they're not only making money for the company, but they're actually creating opportunity for you and the company without you having to babysit it and micromanage it. So now we have this whole idea that we started out with of this we all get sick, so you do as much as you can to not get sick, realizing that at times, you can't avoid it at all. There's always going to be something that comes along.


Michael:
             But you catch that quickly because you have a healthy mindset and you address those issues, those challenges in your company, as opposed to letting a cold or an allergy turn into a sinus infection that turns into pneumonia that turns into going into intensive care, and potentially, in some cases, actually ends up in a funeral. Nobody wants to see that in a loved one's life and nobody wants to see that in a company. But with a 90% business failure rate and that increasing right now, we have way too many companies that are not healthy. They're not dealing with it properly, either because they refuse to, they're not paying attention enough to notice that they're sick, or they don't know what to do. Or they see it, they're very aware of it, they're paying attention, they just don't know what to do.


Kathryn:
             Yeah. And I think that we've talked about this a little bit before, but I think the other piece that happens is that there's a level of shame associated with the fact that I'm not healthy. And so-


Michael:
             Something went wrong.


Kathryn:
             Something went wrong and I should know better. And so it prevents us from getting the help that we need. And let's be honest, if you're sick and you're not getting healthy, you go to the doctor. So if you are at the place in your company where there's some un-health, first of all, you're not alone. And second, you would probably need some outside help, just like a doctor. You need someone who can read the label from outside the bottle. You need someone who can help give you perspective and maybe give you some strategies and ways to address things that you're not able to think of because you just haven't been exposed to them.


Kathryn:
             Don't let being ashamed or thinking you should have it all figured out stop you from seeking help. We definitely drink our own Kool-Aid. Michael and I have lots of outside advisors over the course of time that have come in and helped us position things. And even in this last year, we did something proactively, which is where we brought a corporate coach in to work with every person in our. And part of that was proactive. But the reality is all of us need outside perspective. So don't let your mindset that says, "I ought to be able to fix this myself or I ought to know better," stop you from seeking the help that you need to get healthy, to get a healthy company, to position your organization to have good growth and to be a place that people actually like working.


Michael:
             Yeah. Whether you're a small one man shop or one woman shop with a few vendors and literally that health of how healthy you are and how healthy those interactions are is going to either call out you are just a paycheck to them and they're just going to take care of you short term and you're going to have to look for somebody else, or as a vendor, they're going to go, "I like you. I really want to support you. I want to do everything I can [inaudible 00:35:57] health in the relationship," because there's a lot more loyalty and people will go the extra mile if they like you. Let's face it. A lot of this is do I like you? And will I go the extra mile for you? I want staff that are going to go the extra mile for us, I want leadership that's going to go the extra mile for us, and I want vendors that'll go the extra mile for us. And we've seen for years, over and over again, the value of that.


Michael:
             Now, the other group of folks listening to their leaders and they get it. They understand. They're all on top of it. But what they're needing is just to say, "You're doing a great job. You're staying on top of it. It's not easy." The problem never goes away, like caring for animals or your family or your yard. There's a nurturing. Anything living, like a business, needs to be nurtured. Just, you're doing a good job. If you're working on this and you're saying, "Yes, I'm thinking about these things, and yes, I wish we were sick less and I wish our company had less challenges," well, they're never going to go away. There's going to be seasons where it's running smooth, but it doesn't mean there's not white water around the next bend.


Kathryn:
             And humans are complicated. Let's face it.


Michael:
             Yeah. So just be encouraged-


Kathryn:
             A group of us together, I don't know, we get crazy.


Michael:
             Be encouraged that you're listening to all these things and that you're excited and that you're trying and you're fighting the good fight, being a business leader and working on this, and then continue to think about just the analogies that we heard, this analogy that Kathryn heard from Pat Lencioni and that we're sharing and talking about more because it's these kind of things said in the same issues talked about in different ways allow your team, your people to catch it, to get it, to understand. And as you keep over communicating, you will see them continue to grow and turn around and encourage your team, educate them, train them, help them to continue to see that this is your goal is to create this healthy company that doesn't overeat, doesn't over this or over that, which you don't want to be lazy as a company, you don't want to overspend on things. But at the same time, you want to find that basis.


Michael:
             And this is what we talk about in a holistic perspective. This is part of what we're meaning when we say developing the whole leader for the whole business. We're trying to be healthy as leaders and strengthen all the important areas of leadership in our business and all the different areas that we have to address and the people we have to address, from finance to culture, to management, to just direction of the company and strategizing to problem solve with this VUCA, this volatility in our world, and then realizing that the whole company is whole complex system. It has all these subsystems and you don't just pay attention to your respiratory health or your cardiovascular health. You have to pay attention to your weight. You have to pay attention to all those things in your body. In your company, you've got these other things. Hopefully you're seeing the whole body are the whole leader for the whole business and how this health issue is really a key aspect, a key analogy in the midst of all of it.


Kathryn:
             Yeah. Throughout, I'm just thinking about this analogy from the Bible that talks about, you can't ignore the smaller, weaker parts of your body. So like if you're big toe or your little toe hurts, it actually does affect the rest of the body. It doesn't seem like a real important part. It isn't the brain, but it actually affects every part of your body. Because suddenly, all you can think about is the pain in your little toe. So paying attention to those things and realizing that, again, it's a whole organism and a living, breathing thing, running a business, and it has all of those moving pieces and parts. And so the more that we can be proactive and keep it healthy and then the more that we can quickly solve and quickly recognize when there's drift and when people are starting to disengage or be cranky and really struggling, it isn't just about something to happen at home. So those are the kinds of things you want to be paying attention to, when people are being unkind to each other, not honoring one another.


Michael:
             No, that's good. That's really good. I think this is a good discussion today. Thank you for joining us today. We really appreciate you joining our podcast and we invite you to come back to listen to more podcasts and go to website, halfabubble out.com, to see past episodes. Because there's lots of really good stuff that we talk about on this podcast that all surrounds around you being business leader, entrepreneur, founder, that has a thriving life and a thriving company. And we go about doing that by helping you develop the whole leader for the whole business. This is...


Kathryn:
             The HaBO Village Podcast. Easy for you to say.


Michael:
             I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
             And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
             Thanks for joining us today. Bye-bye.


Kathryn:
             Bye.