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#042 - Nine Lies About Work Series: Lie #7
Episode 4225th May 2021 • Wanna Grab Coffee? • Robert Greiner, Charles Knight, Igor Geyfman
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Lie: People have potential

Truth: People have momentum

Potential is an intangible subjective opinion about someone that is rooted in almost a character trait instead of a tangible behavior or skill. You can't assess the potential of someone because we're all unique, our brains develop differently, we have different interests, we're all at different stages in our lives, etc.

so. to bucket a person into one of two PERMANENT buckets, high-potential or low-potential might be well meaning but is ultimately an unsophisticated way to assess current capabilities and future performance. Worse of all, these labels stick with you for your entire tenure at the organization you are at and it's virtually impossible to change.

Idea here is to reframe the discussion around momentum, which has an analogy back to physics. Momentum is a product of mass and velocity. Two measurable traits, that when you multiply them together, you have a meaningful term that is a vector - so magnitude and direction. Momentum is a term that we all have experienced and is easier to wrap our head around and does not require us to tell the future.

"Potential is a one-sided evaluation. Momentum is an ongoing conversation"

In the idea of performance momentum mass refers to inherent and enduring traits. These things don't really change or if they do, not by much, or not very frequently.

  • behavioral tendencies
  • core values
  • extroversion/introversion
  • How they prefer to work
  • Favorite parts of their job
  • Things they get excited about

Then you have velocity. These are demonstrated skills, performance record, credentials. These describe what your responsibilities are, and how well you've done them. They can be used as an indicator of direction, but they can also change - people change the focus of their careers over time.

  • Record of performance
  • Demonstrated behaviors
  • Feedback from peers
  • Measurable and coachable areas that that be improved and adjusted over time

These concepts are rooted in something real, that you can take and help shape/coach/assess for the future. We have taken an unusable subjective assessment that is unsophisticated and, with a little bit of effort and data we already have, morph the discussion into something practical and gives us an opportunity to multiply our team's contributions within the organization in a sustainable way - and that are in our direct's control.

Understanding these two areas requires two desecrate lines of questioning and the ability to synthesize them - the point here is there is an ongoing conversation here with your team.

  • In your 1:1s ask probing questions over time to understand those behavioral tendencies, core values, and general personal and professional preferences.
  • At the same time, over time, through your 1:1s, feedback, coaching, and delegation, build a solid understanding of the existing skills and strengths of your team and overlay with the first part

And most near term, stop thinking about potential, stop talking about potential. Have a more modern, nuanced, sophisticated, and effective discussion around momentum as defined by a person's professional mass and velocity.

Never in my life have I wanted a high mass.

Thanks for joining us today and don't forget to hit the subscribe button or reach out at hello@wannagrabcoffee.com.

Transcripts

Charles Knight 0:05

Welcome back.

I haven't talked to you since you got back from your vacation.

Igor Geyfman 0:08

It was freakin awesome. It was great to be in a different location, I'm I was used to going to LA probably three or four times a year. And I hadn't been in a year and a half. And so I missed it. You know, I missed the vibes and this, the awesome weather that's some family out there, so I was able to see my brother and his wife. And that was really great. Yeah, just a cool trip and a different type of experience. So going to the airport, flying, you know, mass precautions, COVID precautions still in place, all that sort of stuff. And really LA, they just started to open back up about a month ago. So 25% indoor capacity. So things that we were doing this time last year, in the summer, they just started this crazy. Yeah. So it's like going into a time machine LA is or Southern California, let's say is definitely not like some homogenous sort of place. And you can see very distinct differences. When you went to West Hollywood, when you went to LA proper. When you went to South Bay, when you went to Orange County, people, you know, acted differently, obviously, and have their own sort of distinct vibes and ideas about personal space and ideas about masking. And I had some really interesting conversations. There's a couple of folks that I spoke with, but businesses and so on that were like, gosh, you must really love Texas. And I was like, why do you saw that and they're just so happy to be able to make money again, they've been locked down so hard for so long, that people's livelihoods were drastically affected for a much longer time, I think then, folks here in Texas, and then the people who can least afford it, feel it the most. And were affected the most for lucky wear, wouldn't get on a zoom call, bartender can't get on a zoom call to serve mojitos or whatever. So hearing those sorts of stories was really interesting because I think those experiences are distinct. And things that I haven't heard firsthand, I've read about them and so on. But I haven't spoken to people firsthand, because here we got back to places being open, not fully or whatever. But at least people can make money pretty quickly.

Robert Greiner 2:11

Glad you had a good time.

Igor Geyfman 2:12

Go to LA. The weather's pretty good.

Robert Greiner 2:15

Alright, y'all ready?

Charles Knight 2:16

I'm ready.

Robert Greiner 2:17

Let's kick this off.

Igor Geyfman 2:18

People have potential

Robert Greiner 2:19

Lie number seven, we are on the last three, the homestretch. So yes, as Igor said people have potential as the lie. And the truth around it is Nope. People have momentum. And so Charles, you're going to need some explanation here. Because there is this is one of those chapters that hits I think, on a really good point makes a ton of sense. You have to know what potential means and what momentum means to sort this out.

Charles Knight 2:46

Got it. Okay.

Robert Greiner 2:47

So it does no good to have a first reaction. So let me give you some background.

Charles Knight 2:51

Yep.

Robert Greiner 2:51

Okay, so potential is defined. And let's, let's debate whether or not we agree with the definitions here. Potential is defined by the book by the authors as an intangible subjective opinion about someone that's rooted in almost like a character trait, it's a thing you are, instead of a tangible behavior or skill. And they're saying you can't accurately assess the potential of someone because we're all unique. Our brains develop differently. We have different interests, we're all different in different stages of our lives. And so if you say, hey, Charles is a high potential person, that's like a permanent bucket. And there's only really two, right, you're the high potential or you're not, right, there is no like gradiation of potential when we think of it as Igor's high potential. And so you might be well meaning it is a good thing to want to figure out how well people are performing and how to invest in them, how to assess current capabilities, how to think about project out future performance, but these are labels that stick with you, for your entire tenure of the organization, it's almost impossible to change. And so if you're labeled, if you're fortunate enough to be labeled high potential, in an organization, things are just going to fall your way more easily, you're going to get the benefit of the doubt more. And it's going to be like a self fulfilling prophecy. And the same is true for low potential, you just get anchored. And so it's like this unsophisticated way of a nuanced way of trying to figure out how good your people are. And it's well meaning, but it's ineffective. That's what the book says about potential. And the obviously, then the assertion would be we need a more sophisticated, more context rich way to talk about this thing that we call potential, which really is terrible. As a definition, it doesn't serve us well. So let me pause there and get your thoughts on that.

Igor Geyfman 4:44

Well, and Robert, there's

a lot of literature on high potentials that kind of says they must be identified, they must be nurtured. They're the ones who are going to tenx your organization and so on.

Charles Knight 4:55

That's, can you read the definition of potential again?

Robert Greiner 4:57

so it's, these are my words. intangible subjective opinion about someone that's rooted in, like a character trait. It's like a feeling or like an observation or an S, like kind of subjective assessment, Charles, your high potential, we're expect great things from you. You're going to do great things we're going to invest in you because your high potential

Charles Knight 5:16

Yeah, okay. Yeah. But I think I, I agree with that we kind of skirt around some of the pitfalls of bucketing people into high potential or not at our firm by saying that we only recruit those high potential individuals.

Robert Greiner 5:33

We define though we overloaded the term, we define that as what 75th percentile of performance though, okay, I don't know that we actually, we talked about growing to your fullest potential. So we do have we do bring the idea of potential into our talent discussion. But yeah, I think the stipulation to your point is everybody that enters these doors is by definition, high potential.

Charles Knight 5:58

And then for us, it's a hey, we, everybody who comes in no matter what level, we believe, you have the potential to grow to being an executive at a, you know, partner level, or vice president level, had a pretty good clip 10 to 15 years, if you come right out of college is a unspoken or maybe spoken language about that trajectory there. And so when I hear you say, hey, people have momentum, I wonder, I begin to wonder if that maps to our idea of people have trajectories? Like how steep is their curve of growth over time? And so does that map at all? Do we want to talk about momentum now? Or do we still need to unpack potential a bit?

Robert Greiner 6:42

Yeah, I think we're good. We're saying here that it's this subjective way of labeling people, that doesn't really mean anything. And it's a hard squishy definition to iron out. Because what we say internally is, we use this example, like everyone we hire is, has high potential, every human collection that you can stratify is on a bell curve. So you can't mean that in the scientific sense. What we're really saying and I think you honed in on it, is we hire people who have met a minimum standard of demonstrated skills that we use as a proxy for success, not only at the role that we're bringing them in at, but also the ability to navigate their career towards the executive level, across a pretty well baked expectations framework. So when we say that, like that's a very sort of multi word definition, which I think is what we mean, when we say everyone here is high potential.

Charles Knight 7:49

Yeah. And yeah, I totally agree that there is a spectrum, we're not saying that everybody has equal potential. Nobody is saying that and to know how much potential somebody has, I think it takes time, like it takes time to see how quickly do people grow? And how quickly do people move up and get promoted and take on additional responsibilities? Yeah.

Robert Greiner 8:14

Alright, so you have waded into the definition of momentum. So that the idea here is to reframe the discussion and use a different word. So I like that there is a new word being brought into the mix here. And there's an analogy to physics, right? momentum is a vector, it has magnitude and direction. It's a product of mass and velocity to measurable traits. So when and when you talk about momentum, that's a phenomenon that we felt as humans like we can get, we can wrap our head around what momentum means. We can't really wrap our head around what potential means, right? Like how many number one draft picks have been busts, or how many Tom Brady, right was drafted in the fifth round, people didn't think he had a lot of potential best quarterback to ever live. So you have this sort of weird, subjective thing that we need to make real. And so these two measurable traits of mass and velocity are broken down into things that we can discuss and wrestle with and consider together as an ongoing discussion, not a label that changes over time that evolves over time. That ultimately helps us most effectively assess the people on our team and help them grow their careers. Okay, so we have this meaningful term, which is mass and velocity, right? We can wrap our head around it. potentials this one sided evaluation momentum is an ongoing conversation. Okay, so what's momentum? If we talk about mass, the idea of things, these are things that don't really change or if they do not buy much, so behavioral tendencies, core values, extraversion introversion, how you prefer to work, favorite parts of your job, things you get excited about. That's how you're wired as it relates to your professional work. And these are preferences and things that can be discussed. They're still tangible, but they're a little bit immutable. And then you have velocity, which these are the demonstrated skills, this is an easy one to understand, right? performance record, demonstrated behaviors, feedback from peers, measurable and coachable areas that can be improved over time. So this is the indicator of direction of slope. And the thing here, though, is you can change this over time, right, you can retool your career, you can go to a different path. But there is a pretty concrete measure of where you're at as it results as it relates to your velocity.

Charles Knight:

That makes sense. It's a hey the mass, it's things that are unique and somewhat intangible, hard to quantify. But it's very clear, specific to the individual. And the trajectory is a factor of maybe environment, and situations, and maybe an element of luck is in there as well. And it's the combination of those things that give somebody a momentum or trajectory, I can wrap my head around that. And that seems to make sense.

Igor Geyfman:

Yeah. When I originally read this chapter, the definitions that they set, made sense to me. And it also resonated, I don't know, maybe as a more humane mindset towards people and their performance.

Charles Knight:

And it makes me think about, there were some studies done with, I want to say maybe elementary aged kids in school. And I think what they did is that, within a class, they told teachers that certain kids were gifted, based off of some assessment that was taken. And it turns out that they weren't, they just made up which kids were labeled gifted. And the teachers, what they measured was, hey, what was the growth and educational attainment of those kids that were labeled gifted. And regardless of their actual objective assessment, they grew and learn tremendously. And and I think the takeaway was, because these teachers think that these kids are gifted in some way, and therefore give them more opportunity to learn, and more attention to help them learn. And lo and behold, when you do those things, people end up doing better when they grow. And so I think about the same thing. So if you're labeled high potential, at many companies, where there's a hypo program, you immediately get access to rotations, like through the mentors and mentors, yes. And that immediately removes those possibilities and support and encouragement for those that are not labeled that. And you're squandering talent that way. And that's what I, even though nobody has equal potential, treating, providing the support system, and the encouragement and the coaching and the mentoring to everybody, like providing access to that to everybody, I think makes total business sense. It makes total sense, because everybody has some potential. And you have to be able to help unleash that potential. And people need a chance to show that they're worth being invested in based off of their trajectory or momentum. And I think we do a pretty good job of that here. But I've seen other companies pretty much alienate their workforce by saying, You're not worthy. You're not worthy of us investing in you. We're gonna invest in these people. And

Robert Greiner:

we have deemed through some subjective mechanisms, that these people are high potential. Yeah. So did you read outliers by Malcolm Gladwell by chance? Have you ever read that?

Charles Knight:

I actually have not. I've never read it. I know a lot of it. But I have not read it.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah.

So it's been a few years. There's I'm a huge hockey fan. And there was this really interesting section here, you probably know what I'm talking about, where in Canada, there was a sort of researcher, that was a hockey fan at a Vancouver Canucks game or something and was looking at the program they give you when you walk in, and it gives you the starting lineup and some history about the players and things like that. And he noticed I don't have all the details, but I think directionally this is right. Hey, why are all the players on this hockey team? Why have they Why were they all born in January, March? That's weird. It's not 70% of them. It's like all of them were born in the first quarter of the year. What's up with that? And you go do some research in the hockey leagues, a hockey growth system in Canada, which is substantial, right? Like the world's best players come up through the system. It's the national sport of Canada, right that they take hockey very seriously like we do football. And the way the cut off ages are for the different leagues. By the time is like the cut off month might be March. And so if you have a January, February, March timeframe birth, you're almost a full year older than your counterparts your peer group. When you start playing, and so you're bigger, you're more mature, you can sit still more you can. And when you're 5,6,7, that's a huge deal. Like you're 20% older than some of the people that are, quote, unquote, the same age as you. And so they look at these bigger, stronger, more mature, more well behaved kids that have better hand eye coordination, and they say, hey, like, you're better than those around you, like I'm witnessing you playing better, you get to go to the travel team. And the travel team has better coaches, better opportunities, more opportunities for play time. And that just keeps feeding into the growth and development of these players. And so the assessment, after coming to this conclusion was Canada, you're missing out on about half of your potential pool for professional hockey players, because of the way you're structured, the way your assessment system is set up. Maybe we should do something about that. And that's alienates like good luck. If you're born in November, like you're probably not going to be a professional hockey player, that's pretty terrible that you don't have any control over that. And you may have had a chance there. So I think there's a analog here to organizations that, you know, just because you have some picture of potential in your head, you can't possibly know yourself and you humans can't really be trusted to make those assessments properly, year over year in a sustainable way. And you said it before, like you're alienating a group of your of your team that could turn out to be great. And you're just running them away?

Yeah, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. So we've marked them as hypose. And of course, they're going to be successful. And

oh, yeah, because you have to drag them along. You can't be wrong about that.

Charles Knight:

You can't be wrong.

Igor Geyfman:

Yes.

Charles Knight:

And if you for those people that you don't deem high potential, of course, they're not going to do as good as you hope and expect because you aren't giving them the resources to learn and grow. So yeah, creates this really perverse cycles. It's really unfortunate.

Igor Geyfman:

It goes back to lie number six, which was people can reliably rate other people. And I think it goes to like, you can't reliably rate who is truly high potential and who is not, specifically by the definition of potential that that we're using.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah,

if you, if you think of potential as like performance ceiling, there's probably something there. It's just that we can't quantify it or assess it consistently. But you see this in all performance based outcomes, though there are people who are just really prolific who are best in class, it's very hard to pluck them out of a crowd, though,

Charles Knight:

I wonder what's the I feel like there's a maybe there's like a scarcity mindset here at play for organizations, where they just assume that there's just a scarcity of top talent, and therefore we must conserve our resources, in terms of developing our people and our talent, and reserve it just for the select few. I wonder, and I know that there are metrics out there in terms of how many dollars are allocated for learning and development, you know, per head, within a company. I really wonder what it's like then how disproportionate it is across hypo programs and not? And is it truly, is there truly scarcity at play? Like what's the marginal cost of mentoring one additional person? But can you design a mentoring program that touches everybody, as opposed to only being reserved for those high potentials? It just seems like such faulty mindset and thinking that it should be pretty easy to debunk and show that in fact, you can apply hypo resources learning growth and development at scale. I don't know. Maybe it's hard. I'm biased, though, because we provide learning and mentoring and, and support to everybody, but we're architected to do that, right? Like we're designed to do that. And so maybe it truly is not financially viable to do in other places.

Robert Greiner:

Let me pause on that. Because I think we're, we're getting to the point where we're blending these a little bit. So if we go back to momentum, so let's leave potential off to the side. And let's say that's a silly way to think about people, right? You might be excited about somebodies abilities, and you may be excited about where they're going to grow their careers. Those are intangible things that amount to subjectivity. If we go back to momentum, these concepts are rooted in something real. And you can take those things, the mass and the velocity ideas to help shape coach assess for the future. And with a little bit of effort and data we probably already have, you can morph that discussion is something practical. And that really gives us an opportunity to multiply our team's contribution within the organization in a sustainable way. I agree with you there. And it's more under our control, especially under our direct control, right, where they want to take their careers, the kind of conversations that we're having. Where I'm not sure Charles I see this the same way you do, and that's totally fine. I don't think we apply coaching and development equally among everyone in our organization, and I'll use an easy example, we have people in our organization who just aren't interested, say, I'm doing my thing, I'm happy where I'm at, I got this life stuff going on, I'd rather I'm happy. Like, I just want to chill right here. And the messaging that we give typically, is cool. As long as you're meeting expectations at the level you're at, we're not really going to bicker too much about it. And then we have other people who come to us like almost on a weekly basis, saying what I need to do to get to the next level, I want this opportunity, what else can I do? And I have a feeling we devote more time and energy towards the ladder and their growth.

Charles Knight:

I totally agree. There. I guess what I was saying is that everybody has a mentor, whether you choose to use them to rapidly accelerate through the cohort ranks or not, that's up to the individual, right in that relationship. Our trainings are available to everybody at the level at which it's appropriate for all associates get to go to our associate school, for example, and I guess I was talking more about their, like everybody has access to the same resources.

Robert Greiner:

definitely got it.

Charles Knight:

but yeah, the you know, what you do with those resources? I think that's part of what you do with those resources is part of the mass, right of the individual itself. Is that is that an accurate understanding of the mass analogy? There are some people who are wired to achieve and will have type A personalities that that will, you know, have their momentum and trajectory be higher? Is that an accurate use of the mass component of the equation here?

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, it's funny, I thought of an example where so being money motivated is mass, right? Where you might say, there's a hill to climb, to get this next promotion, I'm going to have to go above and be I'm gonna have to do 150% of my job. And I'm going to have to demonstrate almost flawless execution where I'm at, and then I have to show some capabilities at the next level. And because I'm money motivated, I'm going to do what I need to do to get that done. If somebody says that, that's part of their mass, the performance that they exhibit, and the skills that they build, and the feedback that's given by their team and how they show up to work every day. That's the velocity. So you have this character trait almost. That is I want to get promoted, because I want more money. And we've said this on multiple podcast episodes, nothing wrong with that, as long as you aren't doing anything nefarious or unethical. And so if you want to come in and work harder, so you can provide for your family more, we don't have a problem with that. And the velocity increases as a feedback loop, I think from so there's two things are related, right? Like you multiply the two together. But I would say and this goes back to the situational leadership model, there's there are directive supportive behaviors that are calibrated, the recommendation is you calibrate your support as a leader, to people who have both the need to be supported, and also the interest in motivation, and skills to be supported. And so I think we do calibrate at that level, based on mass and velocity

components,

Charles Knight:

That's really important for leaders of teams to, to think about, we've been talking at kind of an organizational level, and there's hypo programs, and there's not what it boils down to, though, at a lead of a team level, though, is that you have finite time and energy to devote to each person on your team, and their learning, growth and development. And that's on top of your other job, which is around executing, developing whatever the plans are, given what your responsibilities are, for the organization. Yeah, this connects back to some of the one on one stuff that we talked about for manager tools. And I know there was a struggle that I've had as, as I've moved up in terms of responsibility of teams and teams of teams, my desire to help everybody is limited by my time and energy to give. Yeah, sure. I assume everybody has potential. But can I equally give the same amount of time and energy to each person in my team? Realistically not? Right? It's like I've had to develop a my own little heuristic to figure out Hey, in this situation with this person, what can I offer of value? Because that is, unfortunately, like, I can't take every single person under my wing and shepherd them through their entire career. Maybe you do that with one or two people in your career, not 20 or 30. Yeah, so I've struggled with how much time and energy do I give, you know, people that I interact with people that are on my teams? Have you all experienced that too? And do you have any advice?

Robert Greiner:

You're on mute?

Igor Geyfman:

Alright, you can fill out your bingo cards. If you haven't heard that today. I look, I know that there's like a scarcity of time, and I just tend to To meet people where they're at on their growth journey and support them towards their next step, and not think too hard about some big standard that they need to be like in the far future. I also try not to think about what people might call headroom, because I think everybody has got at least some level of headroom, and everyone is worth, you know, my time. And I probably just took on too much if I can dedicate at least some base level of time to everybody on my team, and I should think about structuring my team differently, whether some teams need to become teams of teams, or if I need to take on less, for example, but I tend to take an like an abundance mindset towards this particular.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, I think, when it when we get down to practical practicality here, I think you have to invest the lion's share of your time to the people on your team who's opt in?

Igor Geyfman:

And oh, yeah, like, that's the difference, right? There's some people that are just like disinterested, and I can help to create an environment that is motivating, but I can't really motivate anyone. And so if somebody for whatever reason, sometimes it's a disposition thing, sometimes it's a life stage thing, sometimes it's just having a particular type of year thing. Trying to try to invest energy to drag people towards progress, when they're not ready to invest and make that I'm with you, Robert, ie, you can't, you can burn your time there, because that's like a zero

profit gain.

Robert Greiner:

And I want to be careful here too, because I think leaders tend to stipulate tend to assume this person cares, this person doesn't care, we have to fold in some of the stuff we've talked about in prior episodes around having one on ones, building great relationships with our team, providing coaching and feedback opportunities, those are the baseline standard that needs to happen consistently. When you have discretionary effort to lean in and provide an extra level of coaching and support. That should be in my opinion reserved for the people on your team who are opting into this, who are in an area on the cusp of of two, we call them cohorts, but two levels, and they've demonstrated some level of competence and trajectory, the velocity thing that we talked about has to be there as a prerequisite for that extra energy, in my opinion.

Igor Geyfman:

Yeah. And opting in, I think, through effort too, because I think early on, when I became a manager, I would get like false positives. And so I would have these sort of conversations with my team members, and they would verbally tell me, they're interested. But then what I learned is that there's not always like the follow through right there. They're interested in words only, if that makes sense. And so you have to look for action towards progress, not just I want for I'm going to

language

Charles Knight:

I've structured kind of the advice, and how I engage with folks based off of that reality. And it's in it's a, hey, I will give you a baseline minimum of time, but I'm going to ask you to do something. And if you don't do it, well, then it's just a non starter. Right? It's like, I'm going to give you homework, essentially, and support you and finishing that. But if it's on you to take that step, and put in that effort upfront, and for those that do, we can continue, we can continue to have ongoing dialogue and but for those that that aren't, for whatever reason, they're just not ready to leave, they've got stuff going on or, or they disagree with the homework, or the kind of the tasks that I offered to them or suggested to them, Do you. I'm gonna ask you a question. Do y'all know how many hours a week you spend mentoring and coaching people? Do you know that roughly off the top here,

Robert Greiner:

as a matter of fact, we do only because we have just gone through this pretty in depth effort assessment as an account trying to figure out where everyone's time is going. So we haven't we didn't go do a forensic exercise of like calendar time, and where those kind of things but roughly 25% of my time is direct one on one coaching conversations.

Charles Knight:

So 10 hours a week. Is that math, right? He said 25% of your time, and a 40 hour a week 12

Robert Greiner:

I think it was closer to 50 hours, I'm consistently but yes, 10 to 12, depending on the week, and we also categorize things as are they energy giving or energy taking activities and that's an area of my professional life where I spend a really measurable chunk of time also gives me a lot of energy. And I do feel like my there is an imbalance currently for me, which is I have a lot on my plate that's energy taking, and partially it would be good to maybe reduce some hours. But it doesn't make sense in this case to give up that sort of coaching bucket, which is broad POV support team, one on ones weekly stand downs, those kind of things all lumped into one bucket, but it was a helpful discussion to say this seems right from a percentage aspect. And don't really feel like I want to cut anything here because it gives energy.

Charles Knight:

Yeah. Cool. Igor, you did the same exercise?

Igor Geyfman:

Yeah,

that's right. And c came out to be about 20%. 8-10 hours a week.

Robert Greiner:

I just wouldn't get my way our account structure. That's pretty that seems about right. And given the number of people we have things like that,

Charles Knight:

yeah. I just looked at my last few timesheets, and like eight to 10 hours a week, consistently, for me, which depends on if it's just purely a one on one, then yeah, it's eight to 10. But if you consider like group team meetings and stuff like that number might be higher. But anyway, yeah. Just curious. Yeah. Just curious, I don't think there's a right or wrong answer, I do the there is a baseline that you should offer a really, if this is energy giving, then you should do more, you could do more, because you could invest 100% of your time and energy into this sort of stuff. And those are executive coaches. Right. There's a, there's a whole industry out there supporting the source stuff, but

Robert Greiner:

It'll vary

between people and stages of life and levels and organizations. I did hear really good heuristic one time, which is how many people should I have on a team? What's my immediate sphere of control? What should that be? And it's basically the number of people that you can consistently meet with for 30 minutes every week. And so if that's two, then it should be two. And if that's 20, then you can have 20, but it's probably closer to 5, 6, 7 kind of thing. So Charles, you hit the very first practical sort of advice, area of this podcast episode, which is skin in the game, you want to be investing your time in people and in people that are that have skin in the game, that are you give them homework, they have to there's a price to participate. And that price is not taking away from their careers, it's actually additive. But if there's an unwillingness or inability, or this stage of life is not right, or whatever, that's not a value judgment, that's not a good indication that you should be spending your time there. But if someone's opting in and they have skin in the game, then that is a good indication that spending time and energy to help coach and grow and figure out the mass and velocity ideas and put those together is a good use of your time. Cool. The other two I was thinking of you have one on ones, right? So probing questions over time, like these are not things you have to solve today. These are ongoing discussions when we start to talk about momentum versus potential. And you really need to understand those behavioral tendencies, right? What's the mass look like? core values, General personal professional preferences. And then at the same time, over time, through the foundation we talked about before, you can check out manager tools, like we talked about one on one feedback, coaching delegation, that's a management foundation, you can build a really solid understanding of the skills and strengths of your team and overlay that with the first part, those asking those probing questions, those open ended questions over time. And that should be that's a baseline to do with everybody. And that will help you understand the momentum, which is variable overtime, as well. So that's why it's an ongoing discussion. And so if you have this idea that we've talked about around asking for some skin in the game, asking probing questions over time for the, for the mass side, and then really paying attention to the velocity side, like you'll be I think you'll be in a much better spot. As a leader of a team,

Charles Knight:

the thing that I've been offering as homework, I hate calling it that I just don't, I don't know what else to call it right now.

Robert Greiner:

I call it homework because it implies I want you to have this done by the next time we talk like it it is it sends a signal. I think it's accurate.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, okay, fair. The homework that I've been doing a lot for people is because a lot of the people that I've talked to that are more of my peers, as opposed to people that report up to me through the account or whatever, like that, hey, Charles had, how do you do all the things that you do? Oh, I just plan out my week really deliberately. And I don't know if we've talked yet about this idea of your ideal week. So taking a week, and then deliberately chunking out time to do all of the things that you want to do both personally and professionally, and plotting that out to make sure that you have time to do those energy giving things versus those energy depleting things and you're balancing professional responsibilities were things like your personal health and exercise and spending time with a partner and friends and things like that. And so that's been a pretty fun discussion with those people that have actually gone through and done that. But there are some who are like, yeah, cool, that sounds great. And then they just don't do it. And it's it is really interesting, because it's I think what's hard for me is, Hey, I have a pretty good idea that doing this exercise will be somewhat helpful. Right? I've done it myself. I've worked with other people on it and it's been helpful. And it can be hard, at least for me to just let those people go and say, Ah, you know that, for whatever reason, they're not willing to do this thing, even though I know it'll help them. And Igor that goes back to what I think you said before, it's like, all we can do is really just meet them where they're at, can't force it, can't make them do it. I've tried and with mixed results, and that's something that I've really had to come to grips with is I just want to help people so much, that it can be hard when people aren't willing to put skin in the game. Yeah,

Robert Greiner:

yeah. And the side benefit there, too, is are the sort of underlying message between the lines context between the lines is, without that homework, the baseline, what's my ideal week, it would be hard for you to engage in a meaningful coaching discussion around what are some areas you can push on, that will help grow your career, like you need some context. And so I think it's very helpful to go and think through those things on your own and come up with a perspective. And so that's a really good sort of low bar, I think that will could inform you pretty quickly if someone's ready for your advice or not.

Charles Knight:

And if anybody's interested, I have a worksheet that I got from someplace else, you can even Google ideal week, there's a bunch of different templates out there, it's a, it's a pretty good exercise to do on a regular basis. I do it annually, along with my goal setting which we talked earlier on on the podcast, and that those goals that I set either quarterly or annually, require some time on so I deliberately think about when is the best time in a week to work on these things and do my best to try to schedule around that

Robert Greiner:

I added to our Trello when we should have an episode on ideal week, I think that'd be good.

Charles Knight:

Down for that. Cool.

Robert Greiner:

Alright, so bringing it back to potential, stop thinking about potential stop talking about potential, it's not a helpful construct, we really recommend here we agree with the author's you should shift to a more modern, nuanced, sophisticated, context rich and effective framework around momentum, which is defined by a person's professional mass, the sort of character traits that make them who they are. And velocity demonstrated competence and skills. You put those two things together in an ongoing conversation, you're going to be in a much better spot to lead your team. Yeah, never in my life. Have I wanted a high mass. I had to think about that for a second. Igor didn't think it was funny. That's okay. I'll bomb every now and then. Better. He's laughing on mute again. I'm gonna say you work as you're on mute. And we'll never know.

Charles Knight:

We're not on video, so we can't see your face. Yeah.

Robert Greiner:

Okay, yeah. Okay. Well, you know, I try. Yeah, I try to keep you all entertained.

Charles Knight:

I

appreciate it. That takes courage.

Robert Greiner:

Thank you. To be not funny in front of people. Yes. I'm used to. All right. So Charles, Igor, thanks for joining today. Lie number seven in the books. I like the chapter I'd give it a solid nine out of 10

Igor Geyfman:

Is this your highest rated chapter

Robert Greiner:

It definately is. If they nailed the, the sort of practical what to do next? I would again a 10 out of 10. But it was a really strong chapter

Igor Geyfman:

one of my favorites. Okay, and not just at work. And sometimes it's a definition thing too for me so maybe this is my last takeaway is actually just believe everyone has potential. But I define potential differently. And because I believe everybody has potential I think everybody's worthy of investment and attention and care.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, and they agree in the we it's hard to redefine to overload the term potential but they do say in the chapter, humans retain their ability to learn and develop their entire lives. And so I don't think there's ever like a period where it's this person can get no better and so for that reason, yeah, you're totally right. Everybody deserves a chance an opportunity to opt in like we talked about before.

Igor Geyfman:

And great chapter great talk and I think really important discussion on on this topic, because there is a culture of hypo identification and support that then happens in different organizations and, and and I think it is wasting a lot of talent and profit for companies.

Robert Greiner:

Okay, cool. Two lies left. work life balance matters most. That'll be interesting. So that's next week. Yeah, leadership is a thing.

Igor Geyfman:

Leadership is a thing.

Robert Greiner:

We'll talk next week.

Charles Knight:

See ya all.

Robert Greiner:

That's it for today. Thanks for joining and don't forget to follow us on Twitter @wannagrabcoffee or drop us a line at Hello@wannagrabcoffee.com

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