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This is the Geocode De-brief podcast, Episode 12 with Dave Burke and me, Jocke Willink, Dave, let's debrief right on.


It's had a client call me actually just recently. This was a call I had from two senior executives with the company we've been working with for actually like two years, one of our longest range clients. And so they called me in.


The description they gave me was they've been working through a communication problem they had with these two senior executives, with a subordinate manager. They kind of laid out the situation.


This is an IT company that kind of solves problems through software. And their client base comes in. They figure out what the problem is. They build a software solution for it and give it back to them. And we've been working with their executive team for a while. These two folks specifically have been really good with the principles. They've been embracing them. They've been using them. And this whole idea of ownership from the beginning has been something that's been working well with them.


So the problem they were describing to me was this manager that one of the managers that works for them was communicated to from a client client, reached out to him and said, hey, I'm looking for some information on how you could solve this problem, what it would cost, and how quickly could you turn this problem around to a solution.


And this request and other requests like this had been going unanswered by this manager, which to them was just it was borderline impossible to understand why this was continuing to happen. And each time this this situation would arise, they viewed it as, what are they doing wrong? How are they not communicating correctly? How are they not conveying the message? How are they not getting this manager to basically do the things that they they wanted him to do? And the frustration was, is they were kind of running out of ideas on how to change the way they were communicating, what really in their mind was kind of a simple thing.


This aligned with the conversation that you and I had had somewhat recently, not just with each other, but with another client, which was this communication issue or this issue that fit under the umbrella of the simple law, actually really wasn't necessarily a communication problem. What it really was and what we talked about, this is more of a problem of alignment. So we kind of took a step back and the conversation was, hey, let me just hear how you're explaining it.


But the real issue is why do you think this manager isn't answering what appears to be very, very simple questions?


And then we started to kind of peel back a little bit about the alignment.


So these two executives there really their primary role, their responsibility is to really grow the company. They're the ones that bring in the clients. They're the ones that have to forecast hiring long range strategic objectives. Where do we see ourselves? How do we get to where we need to be? Things from revenue and operating costs, all those things. The manager underneath them's his real sole responsibility is just servicing the clients that he has. He's a salary guy who doesn't get bonuses.


And so I think what was going on is there was a disconnect between the strategic objectives from the senior executives and the objectives that this manager had about what they should be doing. The the deeper part of this, that was why this was such an important conversation, is that it was one of my first one of the first times I saw that the principals themselves sometimes won't give won't give you the answer that you're looking for. So if you view this just as a communication problem, the way I communicate with you and I keep looking at myself, what am I doing differently?


What am I doing differently at what I need to do differently? It doesn't matter how I communicate. If you are misaligned, no matter how articulate I am or clear I am in my own mind, if you and I are going in different directions, what I say is never going to get the outcome that I want.


And so the cool part about that was that when they took a little bit of a step back, the real question that should have been asking, what we needed to ask was where are we out of alignment? What is it that's getting us to be moving in different directions? So rather than view this as a communication problem, this was an alignment problem.


And of course, that opened up a whole conversation about how do we get aligned. And at the at the lowest level of the conversation, there is misalignment because this manager in his own mind doesn't have a connection of, well, why would I prioritize bringing in new clients? I don't have a particular benefit to that that I can understand. No matter of fact, I have a negative benefit because I bring in more clients. I do more work getting a salary.


So it doesn't really matter. Why would I want to return these calls?


Yeah, and and this manager wasn't like going out of his way to not answer these calls. They were just going into the list of things to do way down at the bottom because they had all these other things they had going on.


Of course, senior executives had this different perspective and really all it was, was the solution that they implemented was to talk to the manager and go, hey, let's just take a step back.


What is it that you as a manager and what is it that your team sees as the long range objective? What is it that you guys are trying to accomplish? And it didn't take very long to realize, hey, there's a clear connection between this manager's responsibilities and the success of the. Company, it just happened to be a little bit of a step above of where his focus was, so when he was prioritizing, executing or thinking about things, he was going to work on answering external client calls or just soliciting for information simply wasn't making the day to day cut.


And these calls were going. These questions were going unanswered days, sometimes weeks at a time. So the cool part about that is this idea of.


Finding alignment for me when we talked about this, it was nice to make the connection between the principle itself sometimes won't solve your problem. But if you have this kind of narrow view of, hey, I need to take ownership, the problem is me. The problem is communication. You can kind of bang your head against the wall and never get to the conclusion because the way that they perceive this problem was they're just not explaining what they should be doing well or what what he should be doing well.


And what they should do is explain how what the priorities are are much more easily understood. If we can both be aligned. And what we're actually trying to accomplish in the big picture makes sense.


Yeah, and it's I mean, this is a decentralized command that actually is completely wrapped up in the principles of, hey, we all need to know what the mission is look like, that we all need to know what the mission is. Now, you know what this is? That when we get to my turn, I'm definitely going to talk about alignment and we talk about agendas and we talk about all those things and how they fit together.


But. What I find interesting about this is when we're when we're looking for. Problems, right, when we're looking for a problem, we overlay our knowledge onto the problem and then we look.


OK, so I see I know that there's a problem here, I overlay my knowledge onto the problem. Well, guess what I see. I absolutely see my overlay. I see what I put on top of it. So sometimes what we have to do is actually see what you know.


I see what I know. I see what I've seen before. I'm look, I'm looking for I'm actively looking for pattern recognition. So when I actively look for pattern recognition, when I actively overlay my knowledge onto a problem, then it becomes hard to see what the actual problem is or it can be hard to see. Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes I go, oh, there's my knowledge, there's OK. Then it stands out. And that actually is a ninety seven percent solution.


Ninety seven percent of the time. Here's my knowledge. Put it on the problem. This is why and I've tried to explain this a lot, even within the own our own echelon front team.


When I get asked a question, one of the ways that I avoid just overlaying my knowledge on it is by trying to figure out what I would do if I were in that situation. Now, when you're in the situation, you're not you can't overlay onto it because you're in it.


So now I start thinking, OK, if I was in the situation, what would I do right now if I had a manager that was not doing what I wanted them to do? And I explained it to them 14 different ways in the most simplified terms. And I drew it up on a chalkboard and I gave them diagrams and I did all those things. And the person still not doing what I want to do now, there's a core principle that comes in all the time and it with decentralized command.


And that's why we're doing what we're doing.


And when if we know why we're doing what we're doing, cool.


That should bring me a 90, 90 percent of time. I should get you to do what I want you to do, what you need to do, what we need to do for the team when it doesn't.


Well, then I need to actually ask you, why are you doing this or in this specific case, why aren't you doing this?


Yeah, because that why is so important that when it's when it's not the same when you're y or it doesn't even have to be the same when your Y is not aligned with the overall y, we're going to have a problem. And that's exactly what this is. And so I have to be careful as a leader not and as a person, as a human being. Right. Not to overlay my knowledge onto something which actually interferes with my vision. Instead of helping my vision.


I have to be careful about that and we have to be careful about that.


You know, it's really a blatant example of this is when you're talking to your kids, right? You can't just overlay your knowledge onto your kids because they don't they're in a completely different world than you.


You know, this is when I wrote Way of the Warrior Kid, the the example of the flash cards and the not knowing the Times tables that came from my oldest daughter who came home from school one day. I'm stupid. Why do you think you're stupid? And she's definitely not stupid. I mean, she's very smart. Goes are one of the best colleges in the world. She, she, she had come home in whatever grade that is and I'm stupid.


Why do you think you're stupid. I don't know my times tables.


So here's where the overlay comes in for me. It's like, OK, first of all, this isn't really a problem. This is no big deal. It's no factor. Because I'm looking at a girl, I'm literally looking at my daughter's life from a global perspective, I'm thinking we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan.


That's that's that's like part of my brain. So how can you possibly be concerned about your stupid times tables? It doesn't matter. Guess what?


It's her world. It's her world.


So what I needed to do and I did at that moment, I was like, oh, why don't I think this is a big deal? Oh, look, I know you're not stupid.


I know I, I know you're not stupid. I talk to you all the time. I see how, you know, you're a great reader and blah, blah, blah. So I know you're not stupid, so let's just carry on. No, actually, what does this look like from your perspective?


Oh, from your perspective, all your little friends know their times tables and you don't. So you think you're stupid. Oh, OK. I get it in your world.


That's what it looks like and that's a bad thing.


So to actually try and understand someone's perspective will open your vision wider so that you can see more, which is which is absolutely critical when you're trying to not only answer questions, when you're trying to solve problems inside your own organisation.




What's also about what you just described is there are two things that kind of came out of the conversation. We had to try to solve this. One was this this was kind of a first for them. So you talk about ninety seven percent of the time or this high probability that that the principal themselves and taking that viewpoint are going to solve the problem. And so this is one of the times that that by itself wasn't enough and that kind of put them on and they didn't know what to do.


Hey, how else can I possibly explain this? What what more simple way is there for me to explain this to you so you understand it?


And as they ran out of ways and they were interacting with each other to almost looking back and forth on what are we doing wrong here, the other piece that you talked about that's connected to that was what they understood strategically was taken for granted. So this assumption of, well, obviously this guy has to know how important it is for this funnel of future clients coming in, clearly, because it was so fundamental to their role that they took for granted this idea.


And so the solution ended up being actually very simple because as you just described, if I sit down and go, which is what they did, and go, hey, listen, I know you got a ton of things going on in these priorities. Make sense.


I want to talk to you a little bit about our funnel of future clients. Let me talk to you about how we cultivate they come in and just the explanation of how this sets us up to be successful over time, as simple as that sounds and as rudimentary as it is.


And it actually is very straightforward for running a business, it was still required for them to do that, to get this manager to go.


Oh, to be honest with you, I'm not thinking about because I'm so heads down trying to just get through my daily work workload. So the solution really wasn't some big, complex thing. It was that simple, but it was them taking for granted their understanding of the clear, obvious way this company survives and thrives down the road was absent at that level of leadership. And that's really all the explanation was required for him to go. Oh, yeah, I can carve out a little bit of time where I can get one of my guys to carve out some down to send them a proposal.


We're not no factor.


Yeah, that's in leadership strategy and tactics.


I wrote about the thread of why which was, you know, I watched to see I was working with a company, watch CEO deliver the big victory speech about how well the company had been doing and they'd given dividends for the first time and were profitable, made eighteen million dollars or whatever the number was.


And he's expecting a roar of cheers from the crowd. And it's just silent because the people that he's talking to, which was two thirds of the company at the time, they were all sitting there shaking their heads because how did they make more money? Will they cut cost? How do they cut cost, fired the people's friends, took their gear away from them, didn't give them supplies that they needed and all those things.


And yet all those people that were disappointed in the crowd, they also weren't recognizing and this is eight hundred people, eight hundred or a thousand people that weren't going. Yes, the company made money.


That means we're going to go big. We're going to be in business. That means nobody can you know, they just weren't making that connection. And so what whose fault is that? Well, it's a leadership, and I said, hey, here's why this is important. Here's why it benefits you. And the other thing that's you know, when you talk about getting perspective, when I when I when I try and get in someone else's head and get their perspective, not only am I getting in their head and getting their perspective, if you are getting in someone else's head and getting their perspective, what are you also doing?


You're also detaching from your own perspective.


So there is a real benefit to detaching, not only so you can or not, there's a really benefit to getting other people's perspective, not only so you can see the perspective, but so you can detach from your own perspective because you don't even understand what other people don't understand and you don't even understand what you see so obvious.


And again, another root problem here is. The the cliche of all cliches in business problems is communication, and even more than that is relationship, because if I don't have a good look, if I don't have if I'm a bad communicator or we're not communicating with each other, that's horrible.


But if we have if we have a good relationship, we can overcome the communication gap because you and I just sit there and say, OK, hold on a second, I don't understand what you're talking about. This doesn't make any sense if we don't have a relationship.


Then we are not even aware that we have zero chance of overcoming our communication gap. Now, if I'm a great communicator and and you're if I'm a great communicator and I can get this message to you, maybe it's OK. We don't have a great relationship.


If I'm so good, by the way, no one is.


But let's say I was so good at communicating and so good at making my point that I could convey information to you perfectly with with 100 percent perfection. If I could do that. Maybe we don't need to have a relationship because I'm so good at communicating that when I speak, the words are absorbed into your brain with such clarity that you never have a doubt as to what you're supposed to do. If that's where we're at, great. No one's like that.


So what does that mean? I have to have a relationship. So that means when I say, hey, Dave, we're going to do A, B and C, Dave goes, hold on a second. We already did a B, I don't understand.


And C doesn't make any sense whatsoever if you can't say that back to me.


Then we have a freakin problem, but if I have a good relationship with you, then you ask me questions, I respond to your questions, and we go round in circles building that building that comprehension and unifying and aligning that comprehension and plotting that mission until until we go, OK, I got it. And I say, cool, thank you.


So there's a whole bunch of lessons to be learned there in a scenario like that. And again, that's that's why we do this. And what's interesting is, you know, this is a client we've been working with for two years. And actually we had a good a really good F. online topic the other day from from one of a guy that we've been working with for a long time that I've personally been working with for a long time. And he had gone into a meeting.


He had heard there might be an ambush waiting for him from a certain individual. He prepped, he loaded magazines. He was ready for that ambush. He went in there when that guy ambushed him, he he crushed him.


In fact, he crushed him so hard that he realized as soon as the meeting was over, he was going to have a even though he won the tactical battle and made that guy look bad and prove them wrong, he realized now he has a very hard battle to fight now because he's got an enemy that's going to be looking to tear him down and looking to poke holes in his plan, get his revenge.


But that guy, the guy that made that mistake and had caught that mistake, he said he said was before the meeting was over, I forget the like, you know, he could tell the guy said, you got anything else you guys like now got nothing like he was beat down. He was like, oh, I beat that guy down so hard that he's he's he's going to find he's going to look for that moment to get back at me.


So he won the argument and created an enemy. And that is a bad thing to do.


Now we've got an antagonistic relationship and he knew he's going to have to go out and try and repair that.


So that guy that made that mistake, he has been completely in the game since extreme ownership came out. These listen to every podcast. He's doing great in multiple facets of his life. And he still made that little mistake.


So, you know, it it's constant, yeah, we constantly have to work to get better. Yes.


What do you do next? Somewhat of a of a similar situation where we got someone who's who's frustrated with their leadership, which is you talk about common themes of folks. We work with folks that if online, a lot of times what they're trying to do is figure out how to better manage the relationship with their leadership or their bosses. So working with this company, what this company basically does is similar. Again, they they essentially have a software application that helps people optimize the way that they shop.


So as you might guess, in this whole online retail thing right now, the last year, people aren't going to store. So much of this has been a booming industry. And you know what was cool about working with this group as we have been there sort of pre kovács, we've got to see them really from from the beginning of this kind of massive growth they're going through. And one of the things we did when we first got to this company, we sat down with their key leaders.


We went through an exercise that we almost always go through with all of our long range clients, which is a simple exercise just to prioritize and execute matrix. So we just kind of go through and just try to identify all the different things that need to be working on all the focus areas and try to help prioritize and execute. So we are applying our resources to the most important things. And it also gives us that Echelon front gives us some really cool insights into things that are working on, because what we typically lack with a company is context.


We got the big picture, but I don't know what you're doing every day. So this is really helpful exercise. Well, the most obvious thing that this company needed to do was essentially redesign the platform that this application operates under. So when we got there, they explained to us, hey, what they are doing works really well. It's a really cool solution for a bunch of their customers. They're very well liked. But they were having this application would crash all the time.


And when it would crash, as you might guess, when they needed the most, like big sale days, Black Fridays, Daza, you would look at and even the most casual observer would know, these are not the days for your program to not work correctly. And it wasn't something where they could just kind of do a Band-Aid fix here and there. What they need to do is redesign this thing and created a whole new platform to move here, which, as you also could guess, is going to take a lot of time and a lot of money.


This is not an easy fix, not going to happen overnight. And they had this project team lead, whose sole responsibility really was the platform, which meant the number one priority in her mind was, hey, the platform redesign. And there's a migration of this whole new system, which is going to take millions of dollars and probably over a year is what she needs to be focused on. So there are about six or seven months through this process.


And the conversation we had is, hey, this is from my boss, who is the CEO. She's reporting directly for the CEO. And his frustration has been growing to the point that he is frustrated. That doesn't think any progress is being made. And so the conversation is, how do I let him know? How do I convey that even though we can't necessarily see it, we are making progress and this takes time.


And so the conversation was about how do I get my boss to give me a little bit of breathing room here and to better understand that what he's asking for is going to happen, but it's going to take more time. And it's hard for me to show, hey, these are the things that are happening, because that's a lot of behind the scenes, a lot of, you know, in the data type stuff, she wanted her boss to be more patient.


Bottom line.


So we looked a little bit we kind of sat down and looked at how, first of all, how do they track progress? What is what are their measurements of the things they're doing along the way? What are their checkpoints along the way? The progress? I also talk to her about what are the other things that you are responsible for other than this one project. And she probably has four or five pretty key things as the as the product team lead, she's got to do training for her team.


There are some really easy, small fixes that they need to plug in to make this thing functional until they can migrate it over. And then they even have a bunch of clients that don't even need the platform. They can literally just give them what they call raw data, let them use it on their own system. And there's a bunch of different things they can be doing between now and the time this whole new product comes out. And she hadn't been doing any of those things.


Her number one focus was what was in her mind, the only thing that really had to happen for the company's long term success. So we talked a little bit about how to get a little bit of how to get that breathing room, how to get that boss to to give to be a little more patient and give her kind of some more latitude. And I relate a story that I had when I was working when I was flying in the Marine Corps, as I was in an Air Force squadron flying the F twenty two.


And my job was to actually be a test leader for a bunch of software fixes and fix a bunch of things. And then number one project we had was this multimillion dollar, eighteen month program, which was what everybody wanted done.


Well, I didn't just work on that. I actually found three or four other small, cheap, easy projects that I could work on and fix. And I go to my boss and go, hey, here's the eight month timeline. We're three months in and we're doing well. This is also done. Project C is done, Project F has done, and Project G is about sixty percent done. And all that did was let my boss know, hey, Dave's in the game, he's making progress.


And I was accomplishing little things along the way to make him see that I was doing these things. All because what I wanted him to trust me is that. This long range project was happening, so part of the conversation was just, hey, there are just because this is a number one priority does not mean it's your only priority. And if there's other things you can do to help along the way to give you the freedom to work on this, and it kind of reoriented her viewpoint of the problem.


Isn't her boss being impatient? The problem is that she hasn't proven to them, to her leadership that she's actually accomplishing the things she wants to accomplish for them.


So then she lined up some things to report on. To the cool part about it is the one fix. There was a they call it a Band-Aid fix and don't want to give a negative connotation. It's basically a short term fix that helps them get through sort of critical phases. And this happened not too long ago. And as we know, this Black Friday big push, they didn't have a whole new platform. But there's a couple of things that they could do to make sure that that weekend of shopping went well and that weekend of shopping went through without any problems, which gets her a whole bunch of goodwill, a whole bunch of credibility and whatever pressure or stress that comes from being successful there, she was able to work on that, which gives her a whole bunch more room to operate on this long range project.


Yeah, there's a couple of things that I was thinking about.


When we talk about prioritize and execute, one thing that we normally say is, hey, when you've got multiple things, multiple problems, multiple issues, you pick the biggest problem and you focus your resources on that problem until you get that problem solved and you move on to the next one.


That's that. That's absolutely true, especially from a tactical perspective.


But as we know, we don't like to think tactically. In fact, we want to think strategically all the time. So sometimes even the biggest problem that you have, it might not be the best strategic move to do that thing first. And, you know, a real simple example is if you've heard one of the ways to if you're in debt, one of the ways to pay off debt.


Look, you got 14 different debts that you owe to this store, that credit card and this car company or whatever.


One methodology for getting caught up is you actually take the cheapest one and pay that one off first, then take the next cheapest one and didn't want to. So you're just you're whittling down the big ones, getting them off the plate so you can focus on the other ones. So you're actually what you're doing is you are mechanically prioritizing and executing. You're getting rid of the small problems so that you can focus on the big one. So that is something to think about all the time.


Hey, if I've got some, you know, some little tiny mosquito that's bothering me while I'm trying to shoot my gun and take out a target, well, maybe I should kill that mosquito first so I can focus on the ball on my weapon. Right. And focus on my big target so that those things do happen.


The other thing that happens is, listen, I don't think I've perfected this this analogy yet.


But if you are building a house and there is a certain room that needs to get drywall in the room for whatever reason, need to get drywall hung, which means the electrical needs to get put in there in this building that you're building.


And so you have you want to get the room wired with electrical as quickly as you possibly can. And you run a big company with all kinds of different contractors.


And, you know, you have. 20 electricians on hand that you can put on that project, do you take 20 electricians and put them in that room to wire the room?


No, there's there's a certain capacity where now, actually, you've got electricians that are either in the way at at at a minimum, they might some electricians are standing around at a maximum. You have them in the way. So what you do is you go, wait, what's the maximum number? Hey, hey, Bill. Who's running the electrical? How many guys? What's a most guys you could take that's going to help you? I need a team of five.


Cool. Here's five people. Now you've got the other 15 electrical contractors that electricians that you can go and put on something else. So prioritize and execute does not mean target fixation. In fact, you better check your flanks. And we had a hole.


There's a there's a methodology in the SEAL teams when you when you are doing an immediate action drill, when you're actually in a gunfight, there is a procedure that you go through so that you remember to check your flanks so that you don't get target fixation. That's why as a leader, once you issue the priorities, you then don't jump into the priority yourself.


No, you issue the priorities. I say, hey, Dave, this is the major thing we've got to take care of. Cool. You go start attacking that problem with your team. I don't go with you know, I take a step back you go. And now I start looking, checking the flanks. What's next one of which of these problems could be growing? Which one of these problems did not notice? We don't want to get in the weeds.


So those are all important things to think about.


And the last thing I'll say is like performance, right? If you want to get trust, if you want to get leeway, if you want to get breathing, room perform. Yeah. And if you stick yourself in a hole where you're only can report on something that is a very slow moving object, it's going to be hard to increase your performance visibility because you're only focused on one thing.


Yeah, you talked about this idea of prioritizing actually not being the same as target fixation, which is actually what was very much going on. The fixation in some sense can be a good thing. She was she was fixated on this problem. She wanted to solve this problem. One of the biggest sources, the frustration as a CEO, felt that he was always having to pull information from her. What's the status here? What's going on or what's the progress here as opposed to just the very simple reverse?


If you give me something to do and I know it's going to take a long time, I'm not going to wait to the end, even if it's on schedule.


If I know this is going to take a long time, I'm going to get you progress reports. I'm basically just going to funnel you just enough information for you to understand that what I'm doing is what you want to do. And if you got some broader corrections or some steer some changes along the way, nope, no problem. I'll take those. But once your leadership is coming down, you and they are extracting and pulling from you because you are so fixated, you're actually just creating more problems for you and your team as well.


Well, we're always looking for indications of our performance as a leader.


And a good indicator or a bad indicator is when my boss is coming to me asking me for information. If my boss is coming to me asking for information, I know I must be doing something wrong. Not only must be doing something wrong, but I'm not providing them with enough information. I never want my boss to have to ask me what's going on. I never want that to happen. I want my boss to say thanks.


Hey, you know what, Dave? You don't really need to tell me where we are in that project. I'm good. You don't need to give me a daily report. I'm good. You don't even need to give me a weekly report checking with me every month. Or if things go fall off track, then you can let me know, Jack.


So some some good lessons learned right there, which I guess turns it to my turn.


And and I'm glad that you I'm glad that you brought up alignment. And I know I've been talking a lot about this. And I went kind of on a major I went on a major tear into alignment on F online.


And here's the deal without alignment if we're not aligned. We can't work together. If we're not aligned, I'm going to say that again, if we're not aligned, we can't work together. In fact, I'll take it one step further.


If we're not aligned, we're enemies, we're enemies, or we're at a minimum, we're competitors. Here's the thing.


This is very, very seldom the case. And it is almost never the case if you and I are at the same company. Or where we're on the same team or we're part of the same family, if we're at the same company or the same team or the same family, there's a ninety nine point nine percent chance that we are aligned.


At some level, at the highest level, we'll get to that now, look, I'm not saying that we don't have agendas. Which I can't remember how did I describe on the phone when I described agendas as the little brother, the agendas are the little brother of alignment.


Agendas are the little brothers of alignment because agendas are what you are trying to do, alignment is what we are trying to do, right?


Agenda is what I'm trying. I'm over here trying to make this happen. That's me. That's my agenda. You've got your little agenda. You're trying to make something else happen.


That's cool that we have our little agendas, alignments, what we are actually trying to do together as a team.


And these agendas can absolutely drive people crazy, right? They can they can get crazy. But here's the thing.


Even agendas shouldn't really matter as long as that agenda eventually is in alignment, is in alignment with what it is that we are trying to do.


And you mentioned briefly the alignment ladder and I don't know where I don't know what sparked that image in my mind. But talking about this alignment ladder, this alignment ladder, you know, if you picture a household ladder, kind of looks like an a right. There's two sides to it. And each you can go up the ladder and at the top of the ladder, guess what? They meet. They in the end, if you climb up either side of that ladder and the end those steps, you're in the same place, they lead to the same place.


So when we go high up high enough up the alignment ladder, we get aligned.


So we got the Army in the Marine Corps that both want to do whatever mission there's a mission that needs to get done. And the Army and the Marine Corps, they both want to do that mission. They both have an agenda.


Right, because if they do that mission, what happens if I get if the Marine Corps gets to do that mission, they get the recognition, maybe they get some extra supplies, maybe they get the higher evaluations, they get some awards.


Right. And last but certainly not least, they get that ego satisfaction that they got the big mission.


So so the Army and the Marine Corps, you know, whatever Army battalion, a Marine Corps battalion, both want to do this mission, whatever it is, they have their reasons for doing it. And, look, they're opposed.


They're opposed to each other. If you're in the Marine Corps and I'm in the Army, you're like Marine Corps should do this mission. I'm saying Army should do this because that means we are we're saying the opposite things. You're saying Marine Corps. I'm saying Army. But guess what, if we go up that alignment ladder a little bit higher, we realize that we both want to. Take care of our guys, kill bad guys and win the war, so if we go up high enough.


Then we are aligned, even though you want even though you want something different than me, you want the Marine Corps to do the mission. I want the Army to do the mission, even though we want something different that we both have our own agenda.


If we go up a little bit higher, we are aligned. Now, does that mean that the agendas don't get in the way nor the agendas can absolutely get in the way and we can fight your agenda against my agenda all day long?


We can we can we can despise each other because of you working your agenda and my working me working my agenda.


But but here's the deal, if your agenda, which is the Marine Corps does the mission, if your agenda, which is the Marine Corps does the mission, moves me towards the ultimate goal and moves us toward the ultimate goal of killing bad guys and win the war, they guess what?


I say, go ahead, man, go ahead and do it, I don't care. But. That can be hard to see. It can be hard it can be hard to see that if we don't go up that. Ladder of alignment to where we are fighting for the same thing, if we can't get detached enough, if we can't see past our ego, if I can't see past my own agenda.


Or if I can't see past your own agenda, if I can't see past your agenda, it can be a problem for me, because if if you're trying to do something, if you're trying to get that mission for the Marine Corps, and I let that bother me, even though even though I don't even I don't even have I'm not even in charge of I don't even have an army unit to send. But I see that you've got this agenda and I see you working that agenda, which, by the way, I will.


And we all will. You'll know that everyone knows that you're working your agenda. So we all know it, and if I let that bother me, if I let that offend me, that can be a problem. So even your agenda can make me mad enough to where I call it, causes a problem for me.


So what a. And those are all problems. All these different things, right?


The ego, the the inability to detach, not being able to see past my own agenda, not being able to pass your agenda, all those things can inhibit me from actually finding the alignment, from climbing the ladder of alignment. So what a good leader does. What a good leader does is. Finds that alignment, and that seems like such an obvious thing, it seems so obvious. Seems so obvious, but all the time there's people that don't do it, and you can.


You can. You can. I'm telling you, people are aligned so much more often than they think. They get caught up in 14 agendas. By the way, by the way, each rung of the alignment ladder is an agenda. And it's all it's covered with tax and it's sticky and it's slippery and it's broken.


And there's all these reasons why you can't get any higher than that thing, that that agenda that's holding you back.


I gave an example of this on on the phone line the other day because I was trying to think in the moment I'm trying to think of like an extreme moment when people have an opposing agenda.


And I started thinking about. The building a house, right? So so if if I'm building a house or if I'm having a house built right, I've got my contractor. And my contract is going to build or is bidding or is building my house and I've got me. OK, so we're both aligned. We want to build a house. But wait a second.


He wants money and he wants more money. And what do I want? I want to pay less money. So so all of a sudden he wants more money, I want he wants to charge me more money, I want to pay less money. Those are opposing those are opposing agendas.


And wait a second, can that even be a lie? Like if he's over here, I just want to make money and I'm over here going, I want to pay less money. How do you find alignment there? Well, check it out. Here we go. Let's climb the alignment ladder a little bit.


If the contractor contractor ends up doing a good job for a fair price, well, then I spread the word and I write some recommendations.


I write a little Yelp review and I bring him in and let him use my house to showcase what his work looks like.


But he ends up getting more business and he makes more money. So that's what we as leaders, that's what we have to do, what we have to do is we have to find alignment and it's. A dichotomy because it is very easy. And it is very hard and you will not be able to do it if you don't detach, if you don't put your ego in check, and if you don't learn to see past the agendas and step past the agendas up that ladder to find alignment.


Anything else we've been talking about alignment a lot and. No, man, it said so well that just climbing up that ladder and how often do we see people that where they're spending their most resources, where there's the most amount of conflict with the most amount of friction is with people on your team because you just won't climb up to the next level. And you said something that's in leadership strategy and tactics, the power of saying, I don't care, not I don't care, meaning, bro, I don't care.


And that means if you get your agenda, we're going to let you know I'm going to back you up and support you 100 percent. And I'm going to contribute to whatever that agenda is, because I know that it contributes to the bigger thing that we all care about and the power of being able to do that. And if you're worried that you're going to get overlooked or somebody else is going to get the credit when you support them and given you have a reputation that no matter what's going on, no matter whose project it is, no matter who the leaders you're there supporting, making it happen, you can you will win with that alone, you know.


Here's the other thing to remember about these little agendas in most cases, what you're what what these different agendas do, in most cases they are kind of aligned. But I also expect to have Delta Platoon and Charlie Platoon. I expect them to both be trying to get issued new gear. I expect them to both be trying to get additional people. I expect them to both be expected to be trying to get to be the lead on the mission. So I have to, as a leader, expect and kind of be OK with, in fact, in fact, be OK with.


Dave has his division and he's trying to get to hire more people in his division. Yes. Why is he trying to hire more people? Because he wants to grow. Yes, he wants to grow his division. Yes, that I like that. And what about Bill over here, Bill? Bill also wants to hire more people. We can only have 10 people. You know how many Dave wants to hire? 10 Eumundi bill on fire, 10.


So there should be some tension that is created by agendas.


Now, what we have to be careful of is if Dave starts to undermine Bill to make his agenda work for himself when he knows that really, really what would be smart is if both market areas got five more people each, that we could grow properly and to be an even distribution.


And now we take over the market like we I know that would be good.


Dave kind of knows that would be good, but he prioritizes himself over the overall mission, so we have to be careful of that. We have to be careful that we don't, even though even though Dave's agenda is lined with bills, we're all trying to grow. But at certain times there there is tension between agendas and we have to make sure that the overall mission comes first.


Now, here's the other thing about alignment.


When I can't figure out what the hell you're doing or why you're doing it, when I can't make sense of why you're making a move and I'm asking you earnest questions about it.


When I when I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why you're doing this thing over here, I want to ask you about it.


You explain it, maybe a circular argument or you you deflect when there's that's happening. And I can't get through. That is a.


Warning sign that what we could have here is an alignment problem, we could have we could have an actual alignment problem, we could climb up all the rungs of that ladder and you could be sitting somewhere else.


You could be in a different place than me.


And if we if that's what's happening, that is a real problem, that we either have to consolidate, we have to get aligned.


I have to compromise and we have to figure out figure, OK, Dave wants to actually go over here. I want to go over here. Those are two different places. I either need to figure out how we maybe I need to compromise. Maybe you need to compromise a little bit and be OK.


Here's here's here's where we're going. Yes. We all agree with that now or. You truly are trying to go somewhere else that does not that I do not want to go. And if that's the case, guess what, we are not going to be able to work together. We are not going to be able to work together. Now, could I could you be a subordinate unit that's trying to make things happen and and you can go as far as you want, like there's times where my my ultimate goal is so much senior or so much higher than your ultimate goal.


That doesn't really matter. Like you say, hey, I really want to build this into a million dollar division, and that's your ultimate goal.


My ultimate goal is, you know, that you have a ten billion dollar division, that's my ultimate goal.


We can still work together because you're not detracting from your your goal is subordinate to mine, but it's still alive and that's OK.


But if we get to a point where your ultimate goal and my ultimate goal are not, that's where that's where it's a problem. So so that's why it's so rare. It's so rare because we're talking about the finality of the ultimate goal that's so high that it's very rare that someone says, well, you know, I want to build a big company that's very profitable, take care of our customers and take care of our client. That's that should be at the top of every company.


Right. So now everything that we're doing should be moving in that direction. If Dave says, you know what, I want to make a million dollars, I want to make a huge company, I want to be extremely profitable, but I'm not I don't care about the customers or I don't care about take care of my people. So that's a problem.


That's a problem. Now, it's pretty easy for me to go a little bit higher and say, hey, Dave, guess what? If you want to build a big giant company, the best way to get there is we do take care of our people. And we do we do take care of our customers because then we get good reviews and we get people coming back here and we get our people that want to stay here. We don't have to retrain a bunch people.


And Dave goes, oh, wow, you're right. So I can actually put we could actually work that out.


We could get a line, you know, Dave's over here going, no, screw the customer. Well, Dave, if we screw the customer, we look up in here, we won't have a business anymore. So it's even possible. It's possible and likely that you can pull that that you can take that other person up the ladder a little bit higher.


But it can be challenging. It's very rare that you're not yet you're not able to align with people.


If it happens, you're going to have some real problems with that. Probably a good place to stop. And if you want to dig a little deeper on all these aspects of leadership in any arena and man, what a variety of people that we have on if online, if you want to want to hear us talking about the stuff, more detail, you want to interact with us directly, go to your phone line dot com, where we solve problems through leadership if you want leadership guidance inside your organization.


Come check out our leadership consultancy at National Front, Dotcom, and by the way, the companies that we're talking about here, when you hear us talking, we have scrambled up the the identities of these companies to a point where.


We are talking about totally different things, you know, the the the the point of sale company that they've just talked about is actually in real life, you know, an energy company, a manufacturing company or a financial company, like there's no way it could be traced back. So you are you are not going to be used as a example for the world to see.


I've also written a that's a national front if you want us to come and help you out. I've also written a bunch of books on the subject of leadership, extreme ownership, the dichotomy of leadership and leadership, strategy and tactics. Got some other podcast called podcast Joggle, Unraveling, Grounded and the Way of the Warrior Kid podcast.


And if you want to support any of these podcasts, including this one, you can get some gear from JoCo store, dot com or origin main dotcom.


Thanks for listening to the debrief. Now go lead. This is Dave and JoCo out.