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#TheCSuite

Leadership development specialist, Malika Begin, texts with the CEOs of Watch Mojo and Bulldog DM about how they run their business and motivate their...

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Ash
If you r honest everything else can work out
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John Petrocelli
Integrity
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Ash
But you can be many things but a lack of honesty will doom you.
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John Petrocelli
Empathy
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Ash
All good ones John
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Malika
How can you root out that lack of honesty in the interview process?
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Ash
Coachable
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Malika
Yes to empathy! I want to know what that looks like on your team John.
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Ash
Well it’s behavioral like sometimes if someone bashes their old employer on first interview
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Ash
It’s a bad look.
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John Petrocelli
I read that book a few years ago by that Stanford business professor “The No Asshole Rule” - terrific insights
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Malika
Yessss
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Ash
Yeah agree that those bad apples are just a bad trade off
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Ash
You spend more time with colleagues than family
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John Petrocelli
You want culture enhancers not culture killers
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Ash
Missionaries > mercenaries
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John Petrocelli
Love that
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Malika
How do you then go about investing in these missionaries or culture enhancers once you get them in your org?
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Ash
But important to nuance ones personal situation
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Malika
How do you grow, promote and keep them?
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Ash
Like I get it that some people have different priorities or realities etc
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John Petrocelli
Assign responsibility
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John Petrocelli
Let people work on the big clients
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Ash
We have had less than 10% turnover in 10 years. Starts with hiring right type and profile
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John Petrocelli
Dive in
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Ash
Then training, mandate, challenges, comp, delegation and creating right culture
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Ash
It’s not hard if you’re not an asshole
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Ash
Like, entrepreneurs are masochists but execs are sadists
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Ash
So NOT inflicting pain is obvious you’d think that many drive talent away
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John Petrocelli
Right - see who gravitates to learning and growing vs CYA
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Malika
A lot of people are taking about “creating culture”. What does that mean for you?
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John Petrocelli
Vibe - energy - positivity
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Ash
My wife and I started biz and we’ve always had a family vibe. Challenge is to keep it as you grow, in good or bad times
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John Petrocelli
Genuine curiosity- also like a form of altruism and doing good
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Ash
But it’s about communications largely I think and leading by example
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Malika
Ash, do you still look at your company as a fam? Or does that have to change over time?
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Ash
Yes BUT
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Ash
I am less naive but wanna always remain idealistic
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Ash
Like
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Ash
I used to say and still believe that today employers should show loyalty first and then they’ll get it back
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John Petrocelli
Well said
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Ash
But I acknowledge that my new staff won’t see ME as family early on so that’ll take time
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Ash
That’s not being naive but being idealisfix
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Ash
Old Ash was naive in thinking people will view ME as fam from day 1.
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Malika
How do you change now that you realize people don’t see you that way at the beginning?
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Ash
I’ve learned so much in 2 years we’ve gone from 25 to 75 prople
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Ash
People
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Ash
Main way is that for 10 years I always treated company as a collective of people but admittedly people also need to realize that it’s about the ORG and not them.
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Ash
Selflessness back to sports analogy
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Ash
If someone wants the ball, doesn’t get it and becomes a negative dynamic, as CEO you have to address that
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Malika
Lots of wisdom there.
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Ash
These days it’s very easy to get lost in mushiness
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Ash
But business like sport is WAR
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Ash
you need toughness and we will see a regression to the mean
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Malika
Define mushiness?
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Ash
Showing emotion is awesome and I urge it. So NOT that
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Malika
John, would love your thoughts on mushiness! Haha
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John Petrocelli
Hmmm
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Ash
More about being too PC, everyone touching the ball shooting or everyone getting a medal.
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Ash
Life is unfair, but it’s what you make of it
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Ash
See the silver lining in all
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John Petrocelli
My perspective is that if I am leading a company it’s going to be successful
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John Petrocelli
We’re going to have major clients
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Malika
Confidence 💥💥💥
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John Petrocelli
Whether a big company or a start up
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John Petrocelli
But
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John Petrocelli
With big clients come big challenges
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Ash
Always a but :)
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Ash
True so true
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Ash
Things should be hard
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John Petrocelli
I want people to be able to both express themselves and take on the work
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John Petrocelli
But we all have to enjoy the work
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Ash
So that also touches on mushiness part
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Ash
People don’t seem to understand how much hard work goes into success
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John Petrocelli
I’ve been very successful at closing big accounts but sometimes I have to not allow the clients to overwhelm the team
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John Petrocelli
The Asshole rule applies to clients too
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Ash
Agree
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Ash
My decision on accepting a deal isn’t based on $
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John Petrocelli
So the mushiness for me is setting expectations on both sides
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Malika
We’ve all experienced that in growing quickly. Sometimes it can feel too successful. If you have a closer at the head there is no slowing down.
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John Petrocelli
I am never going to be the company that has to take on the abusive client because I would never hire the abusive emplo
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Malika
And it’s exciting. I love that you are so conscious of protecting your team because burnout is real.
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John Petrocelli
Employee
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John Petrocelli
It is
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Malika
Well said.
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Malika
That really is putting people first. Not just lip service.
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Ash
Yeah defending a client from other abusive staff or clients
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Ash
Last year we decided to part ways with people under those scenarios
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Ash
No one is worth it
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Ash
And to your earlier point
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John Petrocelli
That’s how I run my baseball team
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Ash
I asked the affected staff why they didn’t say anything and their response hurt me: “we thought you knew and were cool with it.” Heartbreak!!!
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John Petrocelli
There are some ex pros in the league but they can’t play on our team because they don’t fit the culture
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Malika
Wow!
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Ash
I wasn’t aware. I wasn’t cool with it. We made swift changes
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Malika
Are either of you willing to share a leadership fail and how you grew from it?
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Ash
OMG I have 5 per day
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John Petrocelli
Ha ha ha
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Ash
Sometimes I just need to more patient
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Ash
It stems from that
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Ash
So jumping to conclusions
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Ash
But I’m also first to admit fault, apologize
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Ash
Instead of finding an excuse
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Ash
Also there are 4 Ps
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Ash
People, profit, process and product
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John Petrocelli
Sure I’ve incorrectly assumed that everyone can or wants to bring in and close business
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John Petrocelli
In fact many don’t
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Ash
I will never get mad at people and I don’t care to get mad respect profit but when people don’t follow / improve process and hurt product, that’s upsetting
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John Petrocelli
So I learned and adjusted
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Ash
But you still gotta keep ur cool
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John Petrocelli
Always keep your cool
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John Petrocelli
You are leading by example
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John Petrocelli
No one wants to work with or for a phony
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Ash
True but balance if as leader you accept mediocrity and losing then that seeps into cukture
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Ash
Always BALANCe
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Malika
Someone told me when looking for leaders, don’t look at the title but see who people are following.
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John Petrocelli
Good point
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John Petrocelli
Yes who do people respect
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Malika
Balance seems like a major talking point right now.
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Ash
For me it’s been a central guiding tenet
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Ash
Chinese principle of yin yang
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Malika
It must be difficult to consider with the level you are both at.
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Ash
One of 4 themes of my 1st book
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John Petrocelli
It is but I’ve working with millennials to be very refreshing
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Malika
Tell me more!!
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John Petrocelli
Sometimes they get a bad rep but they’re collaborative by nature
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John Petrocelli
Very ok and adept at sharing information
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Ash
Agree gotta see good in all
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John Petrocelli
Digital natives - great at blending technology with creativity
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John Petrocelli
Kind of an art to me
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Ash
Mgmt and biz is art and science cliche but true
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John Petrocelli
Yep
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Malika
Well it sounds like you should each be writing your own leadership book. What else that I haven’t asked is important to you in this conversation.
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Malika
Or needs to be said?
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Ash
Put yourself in others shoes
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John Petrocelli
I think the concept of philanthropy
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John Petrocelli
Give back
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John Petrocelli
Align with causes
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Ash
When you read email or say stuff ask not how you wanna convey it but others will Interpret it
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John Petrocelli
Right - total transparency
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Ash
And remember to have fun and note we are the lucky ones
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Malika
☀️
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Ash
Easy to forget in our 1%-ary
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John Petrocelli
Yes have fun and leave the ego at the door
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Malika
Well you are both fantastic leaders. I’m sure everyone will want to work with you after this interview! Lucky teams.
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Ash
U r too kind thx
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Malika
If you are tuning in, you can find me at begin-development.com with Begin Development. And you can find Ash and John taking over the world. 🌎
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John Petrocelli
👍🏼
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