Crowning Connections: Top Gun Wisdom from Waldo Waldman

In 2022 many businesses struggle with recruiting, retaining and motivating employees.
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing New York Times Best Selling author Waldo Waldman on Crowning Connections.

Among our topics were many great tips for leaders to motivate their staffs:
Setting clear goals
Communicating often
Leading by example
Creating accountability
Understanding your employee’s goals
Taking time to visit your team daily

The Monarch Roofing team is a fan of the “Push It Up” message that Waldo teaches.

Tune in for these topics and more!
#team #recruiting #leaders #bestseller

Rob Clemons
Welcome to Crowning Connections with Rob Clemons. Today I want to talk a little bit about business leadership, as we like do on the show. So often, if you’re a small business owner out there, you’re a business manager, you’re a business owner; we have so many times that we’re looking for creating ownership amongst our employees. We’re always looking at trying to make sure that we can get the most out people, and that we can create a good company culture. That’s a challenge for all of us. And we always know, as business leaders, if we can get our employees to care more; if we can get our employees to commit themselves and understand our mission better; that we’re going to get the most out of them. And from my experience in the industry, a lot of the questions I get on a day to day are, you know, “How did you guys do this company culture at Monarch Roofing?” Or, you know, “How do I do this? Duplicate this at my company?” And it starts with several things. And a lot of times it’s going to be hiring the right type of person. And it’s going to be the way you train them. And it’s going to be the way that you give them their tools for success. But at the end of the day, on a day to day challenge we have as managers, we need to make sure that we’re always motivating our people the best that we can. So today, I’m very excited to have one of the most motivational guys that I’ve met. We met him originally in San Diego at a conference for GAF. And he kind of blew our minds. My whole team had a great time getting to know him. And so I’d like to welcome Mr. Walter Waldman, to the Crowning Connections podcast. Welcome, sir.

Waldo Waldman
Great to be here. Rob.

Rob Clemons
Great to have you. Great to have you. I got so many things I could ask you about today, Walter. But right off the bat, if you would give the viewer a little perspective, a little background about yourself.

Waldo Waldman
So right now, I’m mostly a leadership, keynote speaker and executive coach, I work with small business owners on maximizing team performance and culture and accountability, driving revenue, and and retaining that top talent, especially in this war for talent, environment that we’re in, then I traveled the world doing programs on on building cultures of collaboration and trust. You know, trust is a word people throw around very, very haphazardly these days. And there’s more to trust than just being dependable. There’s more to trust and just doing a good job. There’s a lot of variables that go into it. So in my programs, I talk about building trust, as that partner what I call a wing man, a trusted partner, something I learned flying this f 16. In combat. Were going up dodging missiles, and dealing with adversity, it was great to have a man or a woman on your wing, who had your back, who you trusted who you knew would do the right job and who you could go and fly, fight and win together, not fly, fight and survive. So that’s kind of what I do and how important it is to create that environment of trust and collaboration, to go out and kick some butt as a team.

Rob Clemons
That’s amazing thing. And by the way, for anybody and by backgrounds do a little funny thing, where you can see in your background as well. Never fly solo, the book, I think this amazing book, I bought it from a whole staff, after we heard you talk, I literally bought copies from a whole from a whole management staff. And we talked about this, because I was really inspired by what you said about trust. And about the fact that I know you talked about at your in your book and also at the convention, you talked about the fact that you have to have so much trust that you can’t sit there and second guessed things, because sometimes it can be so critical to mission. Of course, you talked about break, right? If you would share that share that story was a little bit about how you will get the whole break crate mentality because this way you described it that you’re speaking with us?

Waldo Waldman
So that people can see this right. It’s not just audio, correct?

Rob Clemons
Oh, absolutely.

Waldo Waldman
So everybody look on your screen, there’s a there’s an image there of an F 16 Looking fighter pilot looking over his shoulder at his wingman the men and women who he flies with, then there’s a concept called Check six. Now if you can picture strapping into this plane, you can see your most vulnerable position, which is behind you if you think of a clown that’s behind you. Now, if you’re strapped in, barely able to move, you can’t see if you’re leaking fuel, if you’re on fire, or if an enemy aircraft trying to come up and shoot you down. However, if you have somebody at your right three o’clock or left nine o’clock, just 90 degrees to the left or right, it’s easier for them to look over their shoulder and see what you can see to build the perspective to call out the threat to tell you to break right or break left to take action. Now when you do that. You’re building this this collaboration piece because as a business owner, as a leader, it’s impossible for you to see your most the most vulnerable position and it’s impossible for you to see the big picture revenue operations, marketing, it finance all those things are important. That’s why it’s you Want to build this team who is X has expertise in a certain niche, and is building your picture and giving you the situational awareness to maneuver accordingly. Now, the key is when somebody tells you to break right or break left ie give you feedback, you don’t second guess them and say I’m your boss, you break right, or, let’s have a zoom call and discuss this, right, because you got to be responsive quickly, especially in the business world. So part of your ability as a leader, to build your situational awareness is to be open to the break right of break live calls, to facilitate an environment and a relationship where others have your back, are going to call out the threads to you. And even if it means bruising your ego, even if it may mean pissing you off, right. And so you want to build a team that’s courageous enough, and that has enough trust, that they’re going to tell you what you need to hear. And not what you want to hear. That is the key. This is the most important point of any any collaborative environment, I think it’s great that you notice that Rob, because without this, then then your your your collaboration and trust and your ability to perform as a team will degrade.

Rob Clemons
It’s amazing point. And you start off by talking about something and you talked about recruiting. And I think that if I can speak for probably every business owner I’ve met, in the last year, at least, we’re all having an issue with, you know, getting quality talent out there. And and I think it comes down to recruiting, and it comes down to a lot of times being able to talk about your culture that you have at your company, I think people are interested in this. How do you find that you can convey this culture? Because in let me take a step back, I want to make sure I’m clear on what I’m asking. I’d like to know from the time that you bring in somebody to a company and let’s say that, you know, Monarch, we’re kind of evolved, we’ve got a little bit of a culture here. And I feel very good about it. And so my challenge becomes when new people are coming in, I want to get them adapt to the culture. But what if you’re starting from scratch? You know, you got a small company, you’re trying to create something early on, that’s special. How do you go about it? I mean, what are some good tips for somebody who’s trying to create a good culture at their company?

Waldo Waldman
Well, they need to know what you stand for, what you fight for, and what you’re passionate about. We talk about vision and business, you know. Where are you going? You know, what’s the trajectory of your business? What are you trying to achieve? That’s one type of vision, okay? This is what we want to achieve. This is that our, our shining, you know, star on the hill. This is our beacon. This is our true north. This is where we’re going to. “Okay, cool, I bought in. I love where you’re going.” The second vision is of you as a leader. Making sure that the men and women on your team understand what’s important to you. How do you see the world? Health and Fitness, integrity, culture, honor, responsibility, family, God, whatever those things are? How do you see the world. What what are the palette of colors that are important to you? And this kind of has to do a little bit with with standards. I think I have a mental image here, but I’ll show it later. But, you know, what are your standards? And what do you what do you stand for? And this could be through conversation. This could be on on how you lead your team events. This could be when you’re out at Starbucks, taking your team out for a cup of coffee or dinner, how you treat the waiter or waitress? How you show up in the world? This could be what they see on social media. If you’re degrading other people or complaining out there or or, you know, not not, you know, you know, creating an image of of honor and responsibility and respect in society. You know, making fun of people that may look different or act different.

Rob Clemons
Yeah.

Waldo Waldman
So you have to create a holistic picture, how do people see you. Not just your vision, but how do people see you. So there’s really four visions. There’s another company, your vision as a leader, how people see you, and the last vision and the vision that that enrolls people into your passion and your vision is understanding their vision. What’s important to them? How did they see the world? Learn about their family? You know what, my assistant is a great guy. And we’re very open with each other. He’s had some challenges with his dad, very old school, dad, his parents were divorced, etc, etc. You know, there was there’s challenges there. So a lot of my time on spending, trying to understand how he sees the world. What his dreams and goals are? And when you could do that as a leader and you and try to enroll them into your vision and the vision of the company. Then there’ll be like I Rob Clemons understands me. You know, Jason, Lisa, Sabrina, she understands me, she knows what I want. I’m willing to take that hill for him or her, and I’ll fight for it.

Rob Clemons
That’s amazing. Thanks. So talking about trust, and it starts with a lot of communication, and understanding your people and I really love that. You know, one of the concepts I know that you’re big on is something called, well, I’ve always heard it called management by wandering, by wandering around. But I notice you called it “leadership by wandering around” which I even I like that better. Because I think that you’ve got a different take on leadership versus management. But is that part of the strategy here and get to know your people, just being amongst the people and understanding things, in addition to the one on one discussions, but just to actually be amongst the people and seeing what’s going on.

Waldo Waldman
You can’t be in your ivory tower, you know, in your, in your home office or at the building, you know, sitting there sipping cappuccinos, or working from the computer all day. Especially if you’re a small business owner and contracting, where some of your folks are in roofing, for example. You gotta be out there getting your, your hands dirty with the men and women in the trenches, turning the wrenches. So we have a saying in the military, “Lose sight, lose fight.” If you lose sight of the target, you’ll lose fight. If you lose sight of the teammates, you’re going to lose fight. If they lose sight of you, you’re going to lose a fight. Once again, you can see how the vision is important here. So you got to be visible, you got to show up on your zoom or teams calls, check in with them, make sure they’re on frequency, they’re not lost wingman, you know, when the clouds whatever. And they have to see that you’re, you’re out there, you know, you know, “sweating in the trenches, turning the wrenches” with them. So that’s another way to build a spree to call and respect knowing that you’re not just out there, you know, in your quote, unquote, ivory tower. So get out there and we call walking the flightline. As a young man, as a, as a young fighter pilot, I never got out there enough to see what those folks were doing behind the scenes in the intakes. And 105 degree weather making things happen. So my Commander made me get out there and walk the flight line to appreciate the hard work that they’re doing. And it didn’t mean I needed to do it all the time. But it meant it gave you a new, fresher appreciation, especially when you ask them to do something because I know what he or she’s going through. Because I’ve been there. And I’ve done that.

Rob Clemons
I can tell you, you know, one thing that I used to like to do in the construction industry is occasionally I go do a job installation myself. And because you remember how hard it is. You know, I mean a lot of times is you raise up through the ranks and at least in construction, you know, you start off by doing a lot of things with your hands. And as you move through the ranks, you start using a little bit less your hands, a little bit less your hands, by the end of the day, you’re using all your head, not much of your hands. And I felt like it was important to get out amongst people and, and break a sweat and just realize, wow, at the end of the day, as hard as your your stresses are as a manager, sometimes the people at the base level have so much going on that it’s it’s it’s just a tremendous challenge. We always have to stay connected to our people, right?

Waldo Waldman
Yep.

Rob Clemons
So let’s talk a little bit about fear and motivation. You know, I know that you seem to be one of the more motivated people that I’ve actually heard. I believe in the authenticness of what you talked about with us. I like to talk a little bit about the the fear side and conquering your fears because you told a story and if you would share it off for the podcasts or appreciate it. But about, you know, when you when you first got in, you knew that you wanted to get into… I don’t know if there’s always a fighter pilot. Was it always a fighter pilot, or was it just a pilot in general?

Waldo Waldman
I wanted to really be in the military and eventually fly in I love the Air Force. And if you’re in the Air Force, as well flying. If you’re gonna fly, you might as well find the best jet in the world, which is the F 16. Right?

Rob Clemons
There you go.

Waldo Waldman
Yeah, you want it, you want to get out there and be amongst the best. And that was me. You know, I call it a compelling goal, call it maybe a little dysfunction in my upbringing. I’m just like, I gotta go out there and be amongst people who want to kick some butt, right? I want to do it the best. So that has its advantages and disadvantages. Much more advantages and disadvantages, but you want to say “hey, you know, if I’m going to do something, let me go for the best,” right? That’s why business owners and managers are watching this because they have this goal, this, this challenge inside them that says “I want to I want to grab life by that by the horns and kick some butt.”

Rob Clemons
And sometimes it you have to conquer your fear. And so I love this. And by the way, before I get into the rest of that question, you know, my father’s Air Force, you know, retired colonel in the Air Force and, and he was the Chaplain. You know, and I think he always, you know, he felt like he played an integral role. And anytime like, you know, when desert storm came, my father was one of the first ones get shipped out. Chaplains are, but as it goes, you know, I know he always respected the pilots. He always wanted to be a pilot, you know, but I felt like a lot of people and I’m not saying my dad was in this category, but you look at this, and you go, “Wow, that’s a lot of power. And that’s a lot of height up there.” So if you would talk to us a little bit about that story about the diving board. Could you share that with the crowd here?

Waldo Waldman
Yeah, so for me, when I went to the Air Force Academy, in order to graduate, you have to jump off a 33 feet high diving board with the 35 pound pack, right? And it’s like, it’s really scary. And I and I grew up always afraid of heights. I was a kid at Space Mountain at Disney World, my twin brother would make fun of me. I was a kid at the end of the diving board, and you know, 10 years old, looking down, and my twin brother screams, “Jump.” And I turn around and walk down the ladder of shame, right? I didn’t jump. And so so. So here I am, at the Air Force Academy, and they say in order to graduate and have any chance to flying, you got to jump off this 33 feet high diving board. Which really is pretty, pretty tall. And so I faced my fear. And I jumped, last in my class to do it. I did it actually, a couple more times by the way, Rob, there’s more to this story than that. So I want to get it out of my out of my system. And I guess the analogy really is, look, we’re all peak performers, we’re going to have some latent fear, right? Some some, you know, weight that’s hanging on us: a fear of failure, fear of rejection, a fear of not being good enough, a fear of not reaching our goals, a fear being average is kind of one of my fears. I think I want to kick some butt. So I’m like, I just don’t want to be average. But there’s a lot of ways that we define success as a parent, as a as a business person. So don’t let your revenue determine your success, which is a whole topic of another discussion. And so a lot of folks who push this fearlessness, you got to have fearless leadership. It’s a crock of baloney, if you ask me. Because it forces us to be present. It forces us to acknowledge our humanity. It humbles us. Makes us more human with our teammates, right? So your fear, your anxieties, your insecurities, are the one thing that’s tapping into your soul saying, “This is what you need to focus on. This may be holding you back from taking the next leap of faith, a leap of action in your life, which is going to take and make a difference.” So there is a sense of risk involved. You always will have some risk when you make that leap. Will you fail? Will your parachute open up if you bail out? Well, you not drown if you jump into the water? And so, embrace that fear and understand as a leader, that’s the opportunity for you to be more than who you were yesterday. That’s an opportunity for you to build resilience. Because resilience isn’t just about smelling a flower, you know, listening to music or meditating. It’s about saying, “I am a, I am the type of person who’s going to step into the fire, face my fears, make that leap, get uncomfortable. And it’s going to build up this sense of power and competence in me because I flew through the headwind. I dodged the missile. I stayed in it.” You know, I worked out this morning, I know you’re into fitness to Rob. And most of the folks I think are successful have this sense of fitness. And you know, when you’re running and you’re, you know, you’re kicking body, you’re doing that power, high intensity workout, and you’re like, man, 10 more seconds, and you just feel like you want to quit, it’s just that pain. And you keep pushing and pushing and pushing, or you’re running that last two minutes, and your heart rate is sustain and you’re starting to panic a little bit, but you just stay in that zone. You’re resilience. The way people are able to do it, especially performing athletes or peak performing leaders, is they’re used to being in that fear zone, that panic zone. And they’re used to operating inside of it.

Rob Clemons
Yeah.

Waldo Waldman
And they’re building that that resilience muscle, the callus of character, that fear and that said, I can drive through this. So the more you put yourself out there and experience that discomfort and fear and those jumps that exhilaration after you’re done, the envisioning the victory, the better of a leader you’ll become, the more risks you’ll be able to take, the more fears you’ll be able to overcome. So there’s a lot to it with that but I think it’s wanting to do that and I didn’t share I think it’s yeah, for how I overcame massive panic attacks and claustrophobia I don’t think I share that with you guys.

Rob Clemons
I know I I saw a little bit in the book about it, but I think it would be a great thing to share it if you could just talk about how did you do… I mean obviously attack the fear head on and but but tell me a little bit about that. How do you get to that point that you can you can defeat something like that in such a… and by the way, anybody who’s never seen it? I mean, those cockpits are kind of tiny, right?

Waldo Waldman
Yeah, yeah, it’s pretty, pretty small. You can see I got a little image of one there. You know, your feet, your knees could barely move and your head is two inches from the top of the canopy, etc. So that’s why you have to be really short and good looking to be a fighter pilot.

Rob Clemons
That’s right, absolutely.

Waldo Waldman
One out of two ain’t bad, right. So, if you look at so this Just kind of we could get a little deep here. But so everything was going great for me as a fighter pilot was top of my class instructor part of the year, and basically almost died in a scuba diving incident three years into my 11 year active duty flying career, and it brought out this late and claustrophobia. It was Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I would fly in the weather at night and have these panic attacks similar to what I experienced on the water when I almost died scuba diving. And so every time I strapped it to the jet to fly in this tiny little cockpit, I had to deal with this phobia and anxiety and claustrophobia and fear that no one knew about. But I didn’t quit, I stayed in that plane and did my job. Now, once again, we’re going to abbreviate this here. But there are folks that are watching this, who may be having a great life or life was going great last year, last week. You have cruising along the weather is beautiful business is solid health is great. And then you get that phone call. You look at your test results, you have that conversation, the divorce, paperwork gets signed, your PSA goes up. Your kids are failing out of school, and there’s some issue and turbulence in your life. And suddenly you doubt yourself. You doubt your ability to execute, your sales are down, you lose your biggest customer and you like how am I going to do this? This is the opportunity for you to double down on your passion and your courage and commitment. And ask yourself what kind of leader are you? The one that only straps in to fly when the threat isn’t there when the weather’s perfect. Or when you know that you may get shot at today? When you know you’re gonna get kicked in the gut, that you’re going to have fear bubble up inside of you, that you may fail, and where the stakes are high. That’s where great leaders operate in. That’s where the leaders step up and say “Me. I’m going to lead this formation. Because if not me then who.” And so you may not be having panic attacks or claustrophobic fit of flying an F 16 at dawn at an eight hour night mission in Iraq where over enemy territory where I’ve had some panic attacks. And so you got to stay in the jet. Couple quick things. Number one, number one, number one that I focused on my team, this is how I got out of my head. And stay focused, because there were folks that were flying with me who needed me and who depended on me to execute. If I failed on that mission, or quit, I would leave the other guys and gals at a disadvantage that day. And I had these wings on my chest, it’s such a responsibility. I earned those wings! If I couldn’t fly, when the proverbial crap hit the fan and my fears were present then who was I. So our commitment is only tested in those, in the heat of battle. A true philosophy in passion for excellence. So monitor your team. Focus on what they need. Know that without you, they’re at a disadvantage. And when you distract yourself from yourself, you focus on who needs you, and you check their six and help them out, you distract yourself from your fears and get present. And that’s where true service is. Right Rob, you’ve truly serve when you don’t care about your own outcome, you care about others. And that’s when flow happens. So So that’s that should be part of it. It’s also responsibility for you. Passion is not as important as responsibility. We’re always going to lose the passion. Things are going to suck. We’re going to be out there grinding it out. Our sales aren’t going to be duff. We’re going to be cranky, some days. We’re going to wake up and not want to hit the gym or make the calls or get out there in the field or do the marketing. But it’s your responsibility to still execute. Even though your passion is down. It’s like for any mom or dad watching this when your kids were young, and they didn’t want to have you weren’t passionate about changing the diapers or feeding them. You didn’t just blow them off and say I’m losing the passion. So no, it’s my responsibility. And so I think we have to double down more on our responsibility. That’s what great men and women and leaders say: it’s my responsibility, do it. I need to step up to the fire and lead my team because others are depending on me. That’s how you build a trusting partnership. And face your fears. And business and and finally, most importantly, I think is just to envision the victory. Man when you break through that fear and you’d make that leap and land after an eight hour mission conquering your inner fears. And you look yourself in the mirror and say, “man, I kicked some ass today. I made it happen. I conquered myself.” That’s when you start elevating your mindset and your competence. Build your… that courage, which is going to be the next level of success. You’ll build the capabilities and competence needed to take the next level the next leap, and perhaps face the next fear. I get pretty passionate about this, Rob.

Rob Clemons
Oh my gosh.

Waldo Waldman
Thank you for sharing.

Rob Clemons
I mean, it’s so good because as you’re talking, there’s so many directions I want to go. Like you’re always gonna be too much good stuff. Because I thought about a number of things. I want to follow up with you on it. And one of them I’m going to talk about is victory in itself. Because I think you eloquently discussed things like, you know, what drives you and what pushes you through. And as leadership, we have to know that occasionally, bullets gonna be fired our way. And we have to, you know, let the people know that we have a confidence, we have a plan. I think that’s part of the trust sight. But I want to talk about victory in itself, you know. What does victory look like on a person to person basis? I know that we’ve talked a lot over time, and I’d love you to speak on this if you have any thoughts. But, you know, KPIs and letting people know, you know, look, this is what victory looks like for you. And let me give you an example what I mean. And I know these are kind of some old outages, but you know, until somebody broke four minutes, it was like, ya know, nobody in the mile was like, oh, well, you don’t even think about it. You weren’t even trying to do it, you know. What did victory look like to that person? So do you feel that for managers that sometimes we’re not clear enough on what victory actually looks like?

Waldo Waldman
I do, I do. And I also think it starts with the individual, either as a leader or a co worker, somebody wants to eventually run their own business, or hit a million in sales or buy their own home or get married for that matter. I call it envisioning victory. You may have heard me just say before.

Rob Clemons
Yeah.

Waldo Waldman
If you don’t create a context, in your mind, of what success looks like. How you define it and you’re kind of flying by the seat of your pants, when it comes to success, or hitting your numbers for the day, or your workout, or the weight you want to lose, or the type of person you want to have a great relationship with, perhaps get married, etc. And it won’t just magically pop up. So creating a definable, true north and true, accurate description of what that looks like. I was talking to a fellow speaker mine, and I say, “so what’s your goal this year, you know, in sales, you know, what are you trying to do?” He was like, “I’m not really sure.” And like, what have you been successful? “I’ve been doing pretty well.” I’m like, “Well, what’s your number? What are you trying to reach? Can you defy it?” He’s like, “I’m just gonna keep doing great.” I said, “Listen, that’s fine. But, you know, when, you know, how does it feel to make $100,000?” Yeah, I remember when I was making $100,000 a year as a speaker, and I was in sales and marketing before that, but $100,000 I’m like, what if I do $200? What about $500,000? Oh, my God. What about a million dollars a year? What about 1.5 and I hit all those goals.

Rob Clemons
Wow.

Waldo Waldman
And I created it and manifest in my mind, I believe in God and spirituality. And that, you know, you have to manifest and create it in your mind. That’s the beauty of the gift of our spirit, our soul. So you have to have that vision. And so as a leader, you got to create that vision, right? This is why it’s important. Here’s my goal. Here’s what it looks like. Put it into the brains and hearts of your teammates. And then when you’re talking about vision, what do you want? What do you want to make this year? I just want to make 50 grand and finish graduate school. Great, how do I help you achieve it? I want to lose not a few pounds I want to lose five pounds and and lose it by June. Is that a high and realistic goal or is it something fluffy and stupendous that you’ll never be able to meet? Make it definable and definable goals should be broken down to definable actions. Disciplines that will allow you to get there. Same thing with revenue, key performance indicators, number of phone calls during the day, revenue of the month, you know, how many rejections do I need before I get one call? How many? How many speaking engagements do I need to make my goal etc. So the find it don’t be haphazard about it. And here’s the last thing. What’s great about great teams and mentors and coaches, the folks who show you the way and say this is how you can go in and crush the enemy and hit your targets is get around other like minded leaders, okay, who maybe have different businesses or similar ones who who are going to create a context of success for you that you may not be able to I fly in right now. This is why I love coaching folks, and getting in mastermind groups because everybody has his or her own perspective on success. They may be great in accounting, finance, they may be great in marketing and social media. They may be greed and operations or retaining or onboarding. When you’re around those soldiers sharing best practices, they’re creating new realities for you. And allowing you to say now I have a different goal, and or perhaps a different tool to use to get there. That’s the power of great wingman men and women who sharpen your sword you can get with every every month or so, to break bread and sharpen each other sword.

Rob Clemons
We’re talking about leadership here today on the podcast and I think that’s a very, very good tip Andre Get to get amongst like minded people that can push you along, lift you up. Because I can tell you if you’ve ever been had a gym partner that was really good. If you’ve ever had a church group that you met up with, it was really good, you will find some of your greatest success because you all lift each other up and at times that you cannot even predict a time. So I really love that you said that. Let me leaders lived there. Yeah, wow, that’s powerful stuff. I’m gonna go a different route now. So So we’re talking some level 3.04 point 5.0 leadership advice here. And I love that. What about when you get the people at the very base level, you hire a new employee out of college? They haven’t had a lot of experience with this. And I find this as a personal challenge as a leader. Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to push them to leadership levels too fast. You know, what do you recommend? You know, when you have that dynamic kind of approach, like yourself, you know, you probably get people want to do anything for you. But you know, at the base level, you hire somebody, and they’re not quite ready yet. They’re not quite ready to take that next level. They’re not ready to conquer their fears, things like that. What are some ways to get people moving along on the front end? Just not not throw them into the deep end of the pool just yet? Or should you throw in the deep end of the pool?

Waldo Waldman
So there’s a lot to that question. Number one is, when you’re leading, they need to see you emulate the type of standards and characteristics that you want them to. They need to see you putting in a hard day’s work, showing up on time, asking questions, being vulnerable, saying I don’t know I need help, or showing an encouragement, right. So you want to emulate those characteristics to your teammates to those maybe young men and women who may be new to the business or maybe new to the industry, maybe with 20 years in another industry, but they’re kinda lost, they have the values, the work ethic, etc. But they just need a little bit more mentorship and guidance when it comes to your business. So stick to the fundamentals. You know, as a fighter pilot, when we brought men and women into the fighter squad into training, they already had to become pilots. Right. And I was instruct I was an instructor pilot before flying fighters. So I would teach young men and women how to fly. We weren’t doing formation three feet away for another aircraft. At first, we first learned how to stay wings level, right there airspeed consistent. Here’s the horizon, here’s how you land the plane, here’s how you do it. 30 degree turn, basic, simple stuff. And so you have to teach them the fundamentals on how to fly. And you can’t take that for granted. So you have to put your team through basic training, the core values that are important, the fundamentals of operational excellence, here’s how we conduct our procedures. Here’s how we install a roofer, you know, install an HVAC system, here’s how we do a cold call or a bold call, you know, because you never cold call, you always call with cold call, oh, yeah, like I do some I do some sales training. And I call how to, you know how to turn a cold call into a bowl call. So so give them the basic training and the tools easy. And you have to make it step by step, we have checklists in the Air Force, do this, then you do this, then you do this, right. And so keep it very simple, uncomplicated for them have somebody to refer to your standards of operation, your procedures, and then always be available to them. When they call out for help. Mayday, mayday. Hey, that’s your call to action to lead. Now. That being said, if you see folks who aren’t putting in the time, who lacked the work ethic, the integrity, the passion, the commitment necessary to win. That’s a hard thing to train. And so your job as a leader is also to identify those folks who may not be emulating excellence, give them all the tools, everything you need to do. But if they’re being lazy, or even worse, don’t have the integrity, then you have to have that tough conversation, and potentially move them to another position or remove them from your job. Because Nothing’s worse than having a wing man or a wing, ma’am, on your team. Was it executing with competence, so we can’t handhold we got to lift and push perhaps we don’t want to handhold and accept mediocrity, because then it’s going to influence the rest of your teammates as well.

Rob Clemons
Totally agree. And I love what you said there. You know, when we hire people, sometimes we might not have hired the person that fits our company the best and I think that’s the responsibility of leaders. And there are a lot of things that you know, over here monarch I know you know a little bit about us, but you know, we’ve grown to the size been very blessed and our hard work has paid off to that we have five different departments now. And so I have five leaders of those departments and some of the things that I usually come back to we’ve had one of the team members underneath it has not quite performed our standard’s sometimes we haven’t hired the right type of person in the first place. Sometimes we haven’t trained them properly. I feel like a lot of times it’s on us as leaders to have our ear to the ground on that. And if I could, I want to share one thing. That’s my tip to leaders out there. You know, when you get to the reviews, you said something a few moments ago about you having those those clear and identifiable goals. I feel like a lot of times, when we get to our reviews, our 90 Day reviews, our one year reviews, you know, our weekly reviews, if we are, sometimes the goals are too ambiguous, it’s like, Hey, keep having good customer service. Hey, keep, you know, smiling, you know, like I prefer to see and I’ll usually go back my department managers, I’ll say, hey, let’s come with a more tangible goal. Let’s, let’s get 50 Google reviews in this next year, so that when I’m sitting down with them and doing their next review, peer review, a year from now I can say, hey, look, we set a goal of 50 Google reviews, but you got 60 Great job, you know. And so I feel like that’s something as managers we owe to our employees. So I do appreciate your take on that. If we could, I know we’re getting towards the back end of this. And I’m so grateful of your time, I want to rapid fire maybe a couple questions at you. But before I can do that, I got one of my favorite stories you told if you would share it with us, I just love it because I believe perseverance has a big role in this. Okay. And you told us a story when you did our keynote speaking and by the way, anybody who ever needs a keynote speaker, look up your wing man hear? I mean, lotto wild man. I mean, you’re amazing. And you blew us away. So I definitely could give you that plug. But one of the my favorite stories was you talked about the event that you were going to, that you were putting yourself out there to speak at, and they were going to hire and I don’t want to give away the story. So I want to let you tell it that we’re gonna hire a certain boxer that we will all know the name of and I would love if you could just tell that story real quick. It’s such a great one.

Waldo Waldman
Yeah, so So when I first started out speaking I pick up the phone and do it a lot did a lot of bone calling right made some mistakes, but I was once again I was in sales and marketing before so I had some experience cold calling a bold calling. And I applied a lot of the lessons that I learned in the military attention to detail preparation. You know, you know, aggressive right? But but but confident at the same time and being proactive, right, not being overly too eager. So a lot of the things that were necessary as to succeed as a fighter pilot applied to the business well, look, I’m in a pretty intense guy, but I don’t i.my I’s and cross my T’s like we all should. Long story short company with Juniper Networks. I was trying to get a keynote speech in Scottsdale, Arizona, and instead of hiring me I sent them a contract. I thought it was a done deal. They went with Sugar Ray Leonard though the world middleweight champion, right. And this guy’s a celebrity right Sugar Ray Leonard, I compete against a lot of these guys and gals in the speaking world. And, you know, they earn their wings and sports but as far as I’m concerned, they didn’t earn the wings in business that I did. So basically, I knew it was time for you to push up that throttle and stay passionate because I was pissed off and if you’re not pissing lose a sale, you shouldn’t be in business. So I called him up and basically convinced him to change his mind by asking him you know, how much money Sugar Ray Leonard made when he lost a fight. couple million bucks, right? Not a bad day Palooza and and what a fight apart makes when we don’t do our job. I asked him if he was competent that trigger Ilana would customize a program like I would. I was I asked him if he thought Sugar Ray Leonard ever made a cold call in his life, right? Probably not he was he was relying on his celebrity brand. And that shoe a Leonard’s a great speaker, oh, sure. And very awesome on the platform, and one of the most legendary athletes that I ever was, but I wanted it more and I didn’t quit. And I picked up that phone and I asked for the sale with competence. And in my heart of hearts, I knew that I was the right choice. And so many times we’re going to experience rejection, they’re going to go with a celebrity brand, the guy or gal the company down the street, who you compete with, who has better billboards and better marketing and pay per click social media, yada, yada. But if you believe in your heart of hearts, that you’re the right solution. And if you deliver that with competence, if you ask your peers for help in that when that missile that objection comes up, should I did it you prepare relentlessly about all your competitors and no to pre qualifier, have a pre objection. before it happens, then you’ll minimize those. We’re going in another direction emails, and you’ll you’ll be able to get back up off the tarmac and knock your competitor out. So it takes work. It takes humility, it takes passion. Because ultimately I think at the end of the day, Tom laver you all Emily hired me, what my heart not just in this my head, he believed in me, because I believed in myself and people buy that passion these days, almost as much as they buy your expertise and skills

Rob Clemons
100%. And it’s a happy ending of the story. But I gotta tell you, you know, you could have easily walked and said, “Okay, well, you know, that’s just kind of more famous guy,” or, you know, but you you fought through it. And I think if you’re in sales, if you’re in management, if you’re ever in a situation, and hey, life is about sales. You know, it may be the just anything that you’re doing out there, that’s important to you don’t don’t turn and run the first time you get a rejection and have confidence and passion in what you’re doing and perseverance and that is such a powerful story. And I appreciate you sharing it with us, because it spoke to me more than you know. So I’m gonna rapid fire a few questions for you. And and we can kind of like just take it as it goes. And so what do you think is the biggest… loaded question, right? But what do you think, if you’ve talked to a lot of businesses, what do you think is the biggest mistake most managers make?

Waldo Waldman
They don’t ask for help. They don’t take off then ask and seek help from others, or maybe get some coaching to help them improve that perspective, and get better.

Rob Clemons
That’s amazing. I love that. I’m gonna go ahead and say, I don’t know if you read “The Ride of a Lifetime,” by Robert Iger. But he talks about this. And this was CEO of Disney and you know, obviously, amazing career. And he said the one thing he was never afraid of doing was to say, “I don’t know a lot about this particular subject. Can you help me with it?” I think that was just such a powerful note. I love that. Next question. Have you ever done a DISC assessment or Myers Briggs or anything like that?

Waldo Waldman
Yeah. MBTI?

Rob Clemons
Yeah.

Waldo Waldman
Yeah, I think I’m an ESTJ.

Rob Clemons
ESTJ, okay!

Waldo Waldman
From years ago, but that was probably 25 years ago. I wonder what I am now. I think I’m a little more introverted than some people give me credit for. Yeah.

Rob Clemons
You get your power from within? Well, you know, I can tell you I’ve taken the Myers Briggs a number of times over the years, it always comes up ENTJ and so that’s a good thing. If you ever get a chance to take a DISC assessment, let’s circle back around I’d love to see what you are. Kind of have a feeling, but I don’t want to blow the suspense. As far as yourself you’re a great motivational speaker. 100%. That’s from the heart. When you’re looking to get motivation, who so you listen to?

Waldo Waldman
Man you know, Ed Mylett. You know Ed Mylett? He’s pretty sold.

Rob Clemons
Yeah.

Waldo Waldman
Another guy is The Warrior Coach. Goodness gracious. I know his name. I was just listening to it. Garrett J White, Garrett J White. You know he is?

Rob Clemons
Yeah, I’ve heard of him. Yep.

Waldo Waldman
Yep. Yep. Pretty Pretty intense dude. Hardcore actually very strong believer in God. Divorce couple times. Just really just good juicy stuff. Check out Garrett J White. Wait, I love it because I’m in the gym I listen to I put it on on the phone and I and you know your environment. What did you feed in your brain is important, right? And this morning, I read something spiritual. I try say every day. I try to do it every day. But it’s a discipline I need to stay with but I read something spiritual. I think it’s important to kind of give you that true north that vector. Fill yourself with something good, you know, fill you something with something positive. I call it a setting the vector of your day, your direction. And Ernest Holmes, if you’re familiar, Ernest Holmes is just an amazing author. And I love his stuff.

Rob Clemons
I haven’t read it but I will definitely check it out. Do you have a favorite book that you’re reading right now? Or just a favorite book in general?

Waldo Waldman
Oh, goodness gracious. So I’m reading “The Presence Principle,” about being present that’s next to my bed. I’m also reading the the Jordan…

Rob Clemons
You’re gonna give me Jordan Peterson? Are you going a different route?

Waldo Waldman
Yeah, Jordan. “12 Rules of Life.” Yep, I’m three quarters like that with that. I just love this stuff. I get I’m more conservative in my in my values. I kind of lean to the right. But I like his philosophy. I like that he kicks me in the in the in the stomach a little bit saying “oh, man, I need to improve that.” So Jordan Peterson “12 Rules of Life.” I love that. And you got to be careful when you’re scrolling through your phone or listen to this stuff because you get distracted down the rabbit hole of BS really, really quick. So make sure that you’re intentional about what you’re listening to.

Rob Clemons
Intentional, yes. If you don’t want that, that’s, that’s great. And that is a great book. I’ve read that one as well and a lot of great principles from that. And there’s also this book called, Never Fly Solo. Definitely make sure you read that one. You don’t have to read it but everybody else does, you know. Listen. I appreciate everything you’ve given us today. We could talk for hours. Obviously the podcasts I’ve tried to keep it to a certain range but Amazing tips. If you guys are out there you looking for leadership, you’re looking for some thing to change your business. Check him out. Waldo Waldman, you can see the QR code here.

Waldo Waldman
If they want my audio book for free as a listener of your podcast, it’s 20 bucks on Audible. If you go use that QR code or go to that website, when you get it, just send me a quick note saying, “Hey, I was listening to the Rob Clemons Podcast.”

Rob Clemons
Crowning Connections, yes, Sir.

Waldo Waldman
Crowning Connections. And so that’s a free gift for all of you guys. And then that way you can get into my ecosystem, my sense and resilience videos, you’ll get links to my social media as well. And if you want to do some one on one coaching or team coaching, that’s a great way to get in touch with me as well.

Rob Clemons
Oh, terrific. And that’s I was gonna ask you that, how people to get in touch with you. So fantastic advice there. We’ve been blessed to have you on the show today. A lot of great advice. Thank you so much for being on and, and we would love to have you on in the future.

Waldo Waldman
You got to Rob. Thanks for your leadership and mentorship, too. I I picked the right table to sit next to before I did that speech. And I believe there was a reason for that happening. And I’m proud to be your wingman.

Rob Clemons
Well, the likewise that and there is a story in there and itself will have to tell that we’re in a different time. But it was a great way that we met. So, everybody, thank you for viewing us today. Make sure you like it and, you know, share our podcasts with others. And we will see you next time on Crowning Connections with Rob Clemons.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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