Bonus Episode – Coaching Through Uncertainty

Right now the people on our teams are experiencing unprecedented amounts of change and uncertainty. Rather than shying away from these conversations, great leaders press in to help their people navigate these challenging times. In this bonus episode, we’ll provide you with practical tips and insights to help you coach your people more effectively during this season.

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Todd Mosetter (00:03):
In the 1980s at the army war college, General Thurman coined a term called VUCA; volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. As the cold war was coming to an end, things shifted in a way that nobody knew what was next. 30 years later with technology and globalization, we are living in that in a new reality. So as we look at today, we find ourselves in a point of unprecedented change and uncertainty. Between the recession, the global pandemic, social unrest and equality issues, things are more difficult, complex, and uncertain than they’ve ever been. If we, as leaders want to help our people process this, we need to lean into this. We need to meet them where they’re at and be able to coach them. My name is Todd Mosetter. I’m Vice President of Content and an Executive Coach here at Building Champions. And in this bonus episode of the Building Champions Podcast, I’m joined by my friend, CEO and Founder of Building Champions, Daniel Harkavy.

Daniel Harkavy  (00:59):
Good to be with you, Todd. And I think that was an exceptional setup. You know, the one thing I would add if our listeners are already have not felt the weight of uncertainty is I would go ahead and throw in there that there’s a, a big election coming up. And if you want to talk about VUCA, you talk about all those factors that you just mentioned, and then you throw the next big one coming as well as, as you know, here we are in July and we see a COVID on the rise and we see different States having to go backwards and measures. So yeah, we need to be making sure that we’re coaching our people through these times really, really well, but as I’m sure we’re going to unpack, we need to make sure that we’re thinking and believing and leading ourselves really well.

Todd Mosetter (01:50):
Yeah, that’s a great place to start Daniel. So when we think about how we coach leaders and by extension, how they coach their people, we always start with what we refer to is that inner game, right? Often in life, we want to focus on what we do, our actions, our behaviors, our results, our relationships, and those are important. But if we start there, any change is always going to be short term, right? There’s going to be a difficult conversation and missed deadlines, some unexpected stress. And we’re going to revert back to who we truly are on the inside, what we think, what we feel and what we believe. As we think about what many leaders and humans are struggling with right now, how does that affect our thinking, feeling and believing?

Daniel Harkavy (02:28):
Yeah, so, you know, what’s happening is the playing field has been completely leveled for everybody listening right now, regardless of what you lead, how large the organization, or whether the who you lead is just yourself. The uncertainty is all across the world. This is a, a time of global confusion. And it’s been fascinating to me because I’ve led so many webinars now with thousands of people since the beginning of March, let’s just say the middle of March. And I will always start my webinars off by asking people for them to share their dominant emotion of the week past. And they put it in the chat and I can have hundreds and hundreds of people on the webinar. And it’s been fascinating to watch those one-word responses over the weeks, over the last four months now. You are seeing the majority of people exhausted, anxious, fearful, overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, and then you’ve got the other side and you’ll see grateful, blessed, optimistic.

Daniel Harkavy (03:41):
You know, you’ll have those folks, but if you were to look at the largest percentage of us humans, the largest percentage are suffering, and we just need to be real with that. So, you know, when you look at thinking, believing, and feeling, and we understand that as humans, we are feeling species, we’re a feeling species that uses feelings to make decisions and how we feel impacts our relationships and how we feel impacts the routines and the decisions that we make. So feeling right now, it’s a big deal. And if I’m taking polls of thousands and thousands of all sorts of folks in different businesses, and we’re being real, people aren’t feeling so good. So it’s going to impact relationships and it’s going to impact performance. It’s going to impact decision-making; it’s going to impact results.

Todd Mosetter (04:32):
And I think you make a good point there, right? Because the thinking, feeling, and believing, when we think about a visual of them, we’ll often put them on a gear because they don’t happen. Sequentially. They happen at the same time, right? I mean, to pull back and say, well, my thinking that, or my feeling it, or what am I believing the connection between the through three happens so fast. But I think in this state, feelings tend to take a larger proportion of that, right? To your point, we’re so emotional and the amount of change and uncertainty and unrest and confusion. It’s gonna put our emotions on high alert.

Daniel Harkavy (05:05):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, I think what people are starting to realize, and, and we’ve been sharing this and I don’t, I don’t know where I heard it. I wish I was the one who coined it. Cause I just love it. But you know, when, when we look back in March, many of us were preparing for this. Like it were going to be a blizzard and for a blizzard, you know, you go to the grocery store, you buy all your essentials, you make sure you’ve got your candles. You know, you’re going to be shoveling when the thing passes three, four days later. But what we soon found out was this isn’t a four-day episode. This is more like a winter. And now many are saying, is this a winter? Or is this the end beginning of the ice age? Which the reason I bring that up is because if we don’t have the right expectation, you know, I was talking to my wife last night about this.

Daniel Harkavy (05:54):
If we don’t see this as a long term battle and we think it’s going to be fixed next week. Well then what happens is we’re disappointed and frustrated because every week it’s not getting fixed, it’s not getting better. And if we have that expectation that it’s going to be fixed or it’s going to be better, or it’s going to go back to the norm next week, we’re going to be on this emotional roller coaster. And when the, the emotions that you’re feeling are the emotions that I shared have been dominant for so long, it takes a very real toll on our limbic system. And that takes a very real toll on our thinking and our performance. But what we need to understand is it takes a very real toll on our cardiovascular system, on our immune system, on our overall health. So this is a huge health conversation.

Todd Mosetter (06:43):
Yeah. I think the effects show up in so many areas, right? And a phrase that you’ve heard me use before that I love that I think is good to dive into here is we always talk about the neurons and the narratives, right? So the neurons understanding how our brain works and the narratives, the stories we tell ourselves. In times of uncertainty, both of those things are at work, right? You just touched on one, our brains, absolutely love routines and what to expect next evolutionary wise, you know, hundreds of years ago, change usually, always meant danger. If something was unexpected, it was a bear or a fire or a storm. So different meant change, which meant threat. Well our brains don’t know the difference today. So when we see these amounts of change, our brains still think threat, and it’s an emotional threat, but physically we react the same way, right? Cortisol levels, fight flight or freeze. And the duration of this season, like you just talked about, we need to understand the toll that’s having on us, in our people.

Daniel Harkavy (07:40):
Yeah, no doubt about it. What you see is you see emotions right under the surface and just a shift in wind direction can cause you to explode. You know, just a cloud passing in front of the sun, uh, can cause you to, to fall into, uh, a state of real sorrow or apathy or, uh, sadness, right? These emotions are right there and it just doesn’t take much to bring them out. And, uh, it’s a result of what’s taking place in that part of our brain and the amygdala, the part that stores, emotional memories, it’s fatigued. It’s just, it’s releasing, it’s juicing all day, every day, all day, every day. And what we want to do in this episode is we want to help to give you some tips and tactics that will help to prevent that from happening, not just with yourself, but with your teammates. And it’s going to work with you and your partners, your spouses, your kids, your neighbors. We want to give you some tips and techniques to help, to really minimize the effect of that. And to be able to just think better and to feel better as we move through this winter, for sure. And possible ice age.

Todd Mosetter (08:54):
Yeah. I love that analogy. The one that I’ve used a lot is if you’ve ever caught yourself driving in a bad storm and you grip the steering wheel, extra tight to get those white knuckles, because in your mind, you’re like, I just get through this storm. I know this is dangerous. I can do this. Let me focus. Let me hold on tight. But the storm is going to end. And while our storm has been going on for four months, and we’re still holding onto that steering wheel really tight, and we weren’t designed to do that. I think the second piece is that narrative piece. And when we think about change and uncertainty, we need to realize that most of us are prone to have some, maybe not so healthy voices pop up in our head. “He always”, “well, she never”,  “will it’ll always be this way?” Well, the last time this happened, I think we need to be aware that with that change and uncertainty, there can be some distracting voices that pop up.

Daniel Harkavy (09:44):
Yeah. And you hit a few of them to where we can look at this and we want to point blame at another person. You know, it can be leadership. It can be some entity or it can be circumstances. And it’s you know, I’ll never get a break. This is the way it always lines up. You know, the system’s broken, it’s rigged, it’s wired. I can’t win, when we can look at a person or we can look at a circumstance, the world, the system, but we can also look at ourselves and we can make ourselves the villain where it’s like, you know what? I suck. I can’t do this. I don’t know how to cope in these times. So yeah, that narrative piece, the inner voice, we need to be really mindful of it. And we need to make sure that we’re feeding our brains in ways that minimize that stinking-thinking and enable us to look at things from a position of opportunity, because there are very real challenges right now.

Daniel Harkavy (10:44):
You know, as, as we’re recording this, we just learned of a client who is in ICU, a young, very physically fit young man, a CEO of a company who’s in the hospital as a result of COVID. So we don’t make light of the fact that there are some real challenges right now. And for his family, our prayers go out, we’re rooting, you know, there’s some very real pains that are taking place right now as a result of the absolute evil that’s taken place that we all saw firsthand on our phones with George Floyd, absolute, awful, right? Awful. And there’s a lot of pain for a lot of people right now. And we can’t minimize that. But what we want to do is we want to acknowledge all of that and allow the grieving and allow the venting and allow the dealing with and coping and put it into its rightful place. But folks, we’re a Coaching Company and we’re here to give you some tools to help you to get back into the driver’s seat and to move forward because there are opportunities. And when we talk about opportunities, we’re not talking about opportunities just to make another buck this week. We’re about opportunities for you to make a difference. For you to make a difference in your home for you to make a difference on your street, in your community, and really why we’re here for you to make a difference in the companies that you serve as leaders.

Todd Mosetter (12:07):
So, Daniel, I love that point about trying to provide, you know, tactical things for folks to do. It makes me think of our good friend, Dr. Henry Cloud in his book, Boundaries for Leaders, did some interviews with some wall street folks coming out of the ‘08 recession. And I think Henry gave a great little framework that can help us is that often in these times of uncertainty and change, we tend to think about things personally, pervasively and permanently, right? So we see all this change and we start to personalize it. Like you’re saying, right, I’m going to have a hard time doing this. I can’t do it. It becomes pervasive. Well, if I’m struggling in this area, I’m struggling in all of these areas. Now suddenly, you know, I’m screwing up as a dad and a friend, as an employee, and then we can run the risk of getting into a permanent. Well, now it’s always going to be this way. And when we talk about those practical tips to overcome that to your point as well, I think helping people understand, focusing on what they can control, influence, and accept in times of uncertainty – hugely important.

Daniel Harkavy (13:06):
Yeah. I would agree with that. And that’s been something that over the months we’ve worked on in our own home, my youngest is 16. My oldest is 30 and we have a lot of young people around us and we’ve had a lot of conversations and a lot of time just dealing with the accept, the things that fall into that accept bucket. We have no control over them. I cannot control the government’s response to a certain situation. I cannot control what happens out on the street. I can’t control what happens with regards to employment or unemployment beyond my own company. I can’t control the spread of a absolutely squirly disease that nobody can get their arms around right now. There’s just so many things that we talk about, and yes, we can give those their rightful place in a day. We can talk about them for a little while, but when that conversation becomes the pervasive conversation, we just needed to understand it’s going to take a toll on us because we’re talking about are things that we can’t control and they’re negative and they’re scary and they’re bad. So we need to, you know, back to Dr. Henry Cloud’s boundaries, we need to put boundaries around conversation because conversation feeds thinking and that thinking influences belief, and that thinking in that belief impacts feeling and as leaders, we’re responsible for helping people to feel their best so they can be their best.

Todd Mosetter (14:33):
Yeah, I think that’s so good. You know, we think about those three things control, influence, and accept, right. And if we can help ourselves and our people focus on those first two buckets, what are the things I have direct control over and influence. Because too often, I think we are quick to put it maybe in the accept category and maybe we have a greater influence than we realize, but that third bucket of I have to accept this. It is the way it is. And putting more time there doesn’t usually lead to good results. Right? So as we think about, these times of uncertainty, you know, the, the thought that comes to mind is our mindset really gets challenged in this, right? Because our thinking and feeling beliefs are under attack and for us to be able to coach our people well, I think it starts with our own mindsets. So we want to make sure we put emphasis on you as a leader and how you can help your people. But I think it needs to start with where is your mindset first?

Daniel Harkavy
Yeah, no doubt. And you know, if you’re listening to the podcast, we want to make sure that you’re also aware of the fact that we’ve done some webinars. So we did a whole webinar series on leading in difficult times, and we focused on self-leadership, team effectiveness and organizational impact.

And in those webinars, the first one being self-leadership is where we always start. And that’s what we’re going to start with you. So if we’re going to give you some tactics to help you with your own mindset, I just really quickly want to run it through a few points. Number one, you want to minimize your exposure to social media, as well as the news. This doesn’t mean you put your head in the sand, but what it does mean is that you’re not on social media or you’re not on the news all day throughout the day, nor are you on social media or are you allowing the news to be the first 30 to 60 minutes of your day? You know, we’ve been saying this for years and when you really get to study the best of the best leaders, there’s one thing they all have in common.

And as they prepare for the game, the first thing in the morning, they run through their routine and their drill that first hour, that setup that pregame routine is going to determine whether or not they win throughout the day. So I’m just going to ask you right here, and right now limit social limit news, and protect what you put into your brain the first 30 to 60 minutes of your day.

Todd Mosetter
Yeah. Daniel, that’s such a good point. I was looking at a research study the other day, people that watched just three minutes of negative news in the morning, three minutes, they were 27% more likely to report their day as unhappy six to eight hours later. The researchers describe those three minutes as a poison pill that infected the rest of their day. So your point is dead on. I think that the, what I’m trying to drive home is some people say, well, it’s not that big of a deal.

And we got to tell you the experience that we’ve had coaching leaders, and now there’s studies that back this up three minutes, that’s it three minutes and 25%, more likely eight hours later to say your day was unhappy.

Daniel Harkavy
And many of you are clients. And you’ve, you’ve heard us saying this for decades. We’ve been preaching the first hour of your day sets the trajectory of your day. And it determines what kind of a day you have when you go night-night that night, and you show me your first 30 to 60 minutes, day after day. I’ll tell you what kind of days you’re going to have. And I’m going to point out where you have a ton of opportunity. So be really vigilant with your first 30 to 60 minutes. You know, the second thing Todd and we’ve talked about this before is if you really want to protect your mindset, not only do you need to prevent poison pills from being ingested, you need to make a conscious decision to ingest good stuff. So what can you be reading, listening to, or doing the first 30 to 60 minutes? Not just trying to avoid the bad stuff, but we’re going to look from the negative to the positive. What’s your game plan to make sure that what you’re putting into your brain will make you to think better, believe better and feel better. Because you’ve got to bring that goodness to everybody around you all day long, you’re a leader. You need to be a positive force in the lives of those that you lead.

Todd Mosetter (18:49):
And I think for everybody, those lists of inputs are going to be different. One that I’d encourage you not to miss is some practice of gratitude in the morning, especially with all of the change and uncertainty of part of your morning routine is carving out and focusing on, in the midst of everything, what do I have to be grateful for right now? And how can I express that to someone else during the day? If you include a practice of gratitude in your morning routine, it will have a positive impact on your mindset, the rest of the day.

Daniel Harkavy (19:19):
No doubt about it. You know, I, uh, I always love quoting a line from one of our building champions, partners and CEO mentors, Raymond Gleason. And Raymond has always said, when we’re speaking, we’re doing our experience or, you know, we’re sharing with the large group. He was, he would always say, don’t listen to agree or disagree, don’t listen to judge, listen to learn. And you know, when we’re talking about the morning routine, and we’re talking about positive inputs for me, I’m a man of faith. So I can’t imagine starting my day off without prayer, without meditation, without, reading and meditating on scripture. That helps me because it helps me to set context for how this situation, July 2020 fits into my bigger life story. Now that’s me. And, and I share that with you because I need to be true to who I am, as I share a little about how I go through my morning, regardless of where you’re at, don’t turn it off right now.

Daniel Harkavy (20:24):
If you have a different theology, a different life philosophy, don’t turn it off. What I would encourage you to do, is I am going to encourage you to find your path. What is it that you can be reading? What is it you can be doing that is going to equip you to deal with all of the brokenness and uncertainty and the challenge that is going to come your way today, because it’s coming, you know, I’m not sitting here saying it’s a doomsday, but I’m telling you look around, there are people hurting and difficult challenges to our left or right in front and back. So, you know, that for me is a positive.

Todd Mosetter (21:01):
So when we think about, actions that we can take, not just in our morning routine, but through our day, one of the main jobs of this podcast for our listeners so far, we’ve touched on understanding the mindset of our people and ourselves starting with ourselves first. The morning routine is good for us. It’s good for our people as well. So ask some good questions. How are they starting their day, right? What does it look like? And also, how were you setting expectations as their leader? Because if you’re sending them emails at nine o’clock at night and four o’clock in the morning, because you’re trying to get stuff done, remember that you’re not leading your people in a way that’s going to put them in a position to execute on that morning routine. We also touched on the control, influence and accept. So as you’re having conversations with your people, that’s a great framework to use. I want to focus in on a couple of other things, right? Things that we’ve seen effective for people and Daniel, one of them that I know you’re passionate about, that we know in these times are super important. You need to be having one on ones with your people.

Daniel Harkavy (21:59):
Yeah, absolutely. Your one-on-ones right now, especially if you’re working virtually, which many of you are in the virtual space, the one-on-ones matter more now than they ever have before, because people are feeling disconnected. People are feeling emotionally not-engaged. They’re confused with regards to how to succeed, how to win in their role. They’re losing a lot of the benefit of being in community with one another and belonging to a like-minded group of guys and gals that are doing really good work together. You just don’t see it as much. It’s more difficult. So yeah, we’re in zoom meetings all day long, but your one on ones with your people have absolutely one desired end result. And that is to connect in a way to where your teammate feels like they matter. And they’re clear on what they can be doing in the week ahead to win.

Daniel Harkavy (22:54):
So it’s that connection, clarity thing. That’s why you do your one-on-ones right now. It’s you supporting them and understanding where they’re at and making sure they’re clear on how they can win in the week ahead and be okay with that changing from week to week because you’re learning as well. And you don’t need to see it all absolutely clearly right now, but you need to be helping your people to make sure they understand how they can win in the week and in the 30-day period ahead. And we’ll offer you a tool on that when we get to the end.

Todd Mosetter (23:25):
You touched on something there that I think we really want to focus in on for a moment, which is understanding where they’re at. So you may be having one on ones with your people and they’re good. And they’re spend on making sure we’re working on the right things and you have the resources that you need, and you’re on track with a win. That part of the one-on-one is still super important. Agree. But you may need to be carving out a little more time and frequency to connect with them as humans. I mean, we need to be heads up that our thinking, feeling and beliefs, not just us, but our people they’re under attack right now. And this isn’t just a soft, fluffy thing. This is you as somebody who cares about them, ensuring that they have a space. So you understand where they’re at. Leaders, you can’t miss that.

Daniel Harkavy (24:08):
That’s big, you know, if you really look around, you’ve got some of your people, but their home doesn’t work anymore. You know, we have a teammate right now who had to sell his house, because the homeschooling, as well as having an office at home, he just absolutely sees that it can’t work. And for us, we’re going to be working like this for a while. You have people that are making huge decisions. We have people who right now, as a result of the disease and the uncertainty and all of it, they’ve got some real health concerns with family members. Your teammates have some real health concerns with family members. They themselves might be sick. They might have sick kids. They might have vulnerable parents. There’s so many situations, their spouses could have been laid off. They could be having to financially shoulder the weight of another family member.

There’s so much going on. And like we talked about earlier, the narratives that all of us humans are hearing right now, they’re different. You know, you’ve got some people who are in the camp of six feet is not enough distance. 13 feet might cut it. A little mask? Heck no, I want the full face. And then you’ve got another camp all the way on the other side that are saying, you know, we understand the statistics and we understand that there’s sickness and there’s brokenness. And we’re just going to continue to move forward and give me a hug. Right? And then you have a group of people in between. Those feelings are real. And, your leaders, your teammates are living with people who are also having those feelings, ranging from kids all the way up to spouses and everybody else. So it’s a difficult time. And if you can connect with people in here where they’re at, that can help them to move forward.

Todd Mosetter (25:52):
I was on with a client the other day and I shared with them in, in today’s day and age, I think it’s easy for us to ask a question like, Hey Daniel, how are you doing? And if we think about it, it’s a question we get all the time. And usually the answer is going to be good, fine, tired, whatever. Consider this slight adjustment. He Daniel, how are you feeling? That simple little change of word. They’re giving everything. We talked about mindset and what we’re feeling. You’re engaging your people in a different way. And you, as a leader are saying, I’m okay with you answering that question because I care. And I know that how you’re feeling is important right now.

Daniel Harkavy (26:25):
That’s a really good point. Now, Todd, what you’re jumping into are the skills of a coaching leader. So in Becoming a Coaching Leader, I’ve got a whole section on powerful questions because as a coaching leader, asking lazy questions, it gets you to surface levels and it will not help you bring out the best in your people. And that was a great example of a little skill shift. You know, you can ask your teammates, “Hey, since I spoke to you last, what’s gone really well? And what’s been the greatest challenge?” Greatest victory, greatest challenge. We set our whole company up on that where clients give us greatest victory, greatest challenge since our last meeting, because that’s where the, the magic happens is when we understand where people are really at. So if you can ask them how they’re feeling, you can ask them about their greatest challenge, their greatest limiter, their greatest victory. What’s going well, what’s not going well, ask better questions than Hey, what’s up. You know how you’ve been? You got you, you’ve got to dive deeper and your questions are going to determine the direction of that one-on-one.

Todd Mosetter (27:25):
That’s a great point. You know, one other quick, one on that note that I’ve been working with some clients on is the difference between saying, Hey Daniel, is there anything I can do to help you right now? Which most people are conditioned to say, no, I’m good. To hey Daniel, what can I do to help you right now? Because that shift there, is an easy yes or no answer, but what makes them pause for a second and go, Oh, is there something, yeah. That ability as Daniel just talked about to ask the powerful question, especially in times of uncertainty. Yeah. We’re moving so fast and there’s so much unknown. We can’t allow our coaching sessions to go on autopilot. You need to find those opportunities to press in with your people.

Daniel Harkavy (28:08):
Creative and powerful questions. It’s going to be a game changer. And I think we’ve got a, a guide on that. If I remember right. A guide to powerful questions,

Todd Mosetter (28:18):
We’ve got a good sheet with some examples of powerful questions to help you understand, and we can make that available as well. Last big tip here, because we don’t want to take too much time from your day is Daniel made a point about focus and right now, if you want to coach your people, one of the greatest ways you can do it is to help them focus.

Daniel Harkavy (28:36):
So we’re going to give you a tool because what we’ve learned over the years is when you can take the complex, when you can take the complexity of the day and when you can fit it into a one page sheet, what somebody needs to be doing in order to win. And if they review it over and over and over again, well, they’re going to perform better. So focus right now is a big deal. And we for years had a one page business plan. And when this whole pandemic hit and people left their offices and went home and their work life and their home life, and now homeschooling life and everything started to blend. We wanted to modify that and improve that tool to include a plan for you to accomplish your goals, identify your non-negotiable disciplines, and to identify the big projects that you wanted to execute over the next 30 days, not only for your business, but for your life.

Daniel Harkavy (29:34):
So we now have a tool that outlines your goals, your disciplines, and your projects for the month ahead. And what it does is it provides you something to focus on, the things that matter most in your home life and in your work life, so that you can experience victories. And it puts you back into the control seat. So when you’re in the control seat and you experience little victories, you start to feel better. You start to perform better. You show up better. You get out of that state of learned helplessness where nothing good happens. And it’s, you know, you’re doing the blame game and you’re letting a lot of noise and you’re moving back into control. You’re moving back into positive influence. And by filling this tool out and then reviewing it daily, you will start to see that you will think better, feel better and perform better. And those around you will appreciate it. So we’re going to give that one to you.

Todd Mosetter (30:27):
I think there’s two key things there in terms of coaching tips to follow up on, right? The first is that integration between personal and professional, we’ve been moving that way for decades. The pandemic has made them clearly intertwined. Most of us, the boundaries that we set for ourselves look different now than they have before with most of us working from home, the hours bleed a little bit, the weekends bleed a little bit. As a leader, make sure you’re pressing in with your people here, because if it suddenly feels like I’m always on and never off, long-term, that’s not good. So understanding that work and life are intertwined. They’re not things we balance. We’re not a different person when we do one or the other, but understanding that there needs to be boundaries between when I’m on and when I’m off and with our digital shiny devices today. And most of us working from home, if you, as a leader, aren’t setting the right tone there and coaching your people on that long-term, that’s not going to have the right effects.

Daniel Harkavy (31:26):
And that’s a difficult one, you know, for me, when I moved from our offices here in Lake Oswego to my home office, back in March, my home office was always open. That home office store was always open and the computer didn’t get turned off. And, you know, in the world we live in, we’ve got clients overseas. And so we’re kind of a 24/7 business because you know, I’ll have coaching sessions. And today I’m leading executive retreats that start at 11:00 PM here, and they go till eight in the morning or nine in the morning, the next day, you, you can’t allow that to become your new way. And you’ve got to set those boundaries. So now Todd, when I’m done at the end of my business day, and it’s over, it’s 5:30, it’s six o’clock or on some days it’s 4:30. If I’m starting early, what I’m doing is I’m turning my computer off. I’m turning the lights off and I’m closing the office door and making a commitment, not to go back in until the next day, because it’s too easy to be at work all the time. And that’s what I was experiencing a guy who wrote a book on the drift and you know how to fight it. I got sucked into it hard, just like we all did for that period of time.

Todd Mosetter (32:35):
And the key there, I think that you just said is for that period of time, so you a leader have these conversations with your people. The second point is with that new plan 30 days, and that’s intentional, we talked about the level of uncertainty and the playing field being level. You need to both for yourself and your people narrow that time horizon because us guessing what’s going to happen in 31 days, let alone 60 or 90 days right now is a fool’s errand. So by getting that focus down on, okay, what are the next 30 days look like? It does two things, right? It allows your people to have clarity on their high value activity so they can get lift. And it clearly defines what the win looks like for them. And if you can give your people those two things, what do I need to be working on? So I feel like I’m focused and what does a win look like? So I can have success and know how my contribution is helping the team. You will see engagement go up.

Daniel Harkavy (33:32):
And Todd, we’ve talked about a lot. And this is a podcast where I think the topic is a three-hour topic. Like I think you and I could be rolling for three, four, five hours on this. And we’re trying to cram a whole bunch in. And I’m aware of the fact that we’ve hit a few different areas. And, it hasn’t been perfectly aligned, but I want to land right here right now, because what you just said is the big takeaway for, for everybody. Yeah, for some of you, it’s going to be the morning protection and the boundaries, and you need to be doing that. You know, we didn’t talk about your health routine. We didn’t talk about exercising. We didn’t talk about right now, making sure that after a hundred days of this chaos, you need to get a vacation in here somewhere and you need to encourage your people to do the same.

Daniel Harkavy (34:14):
Like I said, we could go for three to four hours. If you want to harvest the gym of this podcast episode, it’s this, that 30-day plan, it’s not perfect. It’s not the only way, but it is effective. And it’s been used by thousands upon thousands for decades. And it helps executives all the way on down the ladder. So that tool now blending the personal and the professional and helping your people to understand this is why you’re needed, this is what you can do to win, and it’s short timeframe because of the level of uncertainty, you will be coaching your teammates in a way that enables them to get out of victim, out of confusion and into clarity with regards to what they can be doing today and in the week ahead so that they are performing at their best possible levels in the midst of all of this.

Todd Mosetter (35:12):
I think that’s a great place to land. The only thing I would add to that is embedded in what you said. If you aren’t treating this like a big deal, you’re missing an opportunity. So if you’re not pressing him with your people and asking these questions, understanding their mindset, giving them these tools like the 30 day plan, if you’re coaching and leading like it’s business as usual, you’re missing an opportunity because this season is, is like anything we’ve experienced before. And you, as a leader, need to understand that, you need to adapt your focus on your style, so that you can meet your people where they are and have that heart of a coaching leader, which is pressing in to help them be the best version of themselves and the tips and tools we shared today, Daniel, that 30 day plan, you’re right. But I don’t want you to miss that if your carrying on like, this is business as usual, and this storm has passed, I guarantee you for many of your people, it hasn’t.

Daniel Harkavy (36:05):
So, you know, I thought I made the big point, you know, the big takeaway and then Todd just made the bigger takeaway. Todd and I are competitive. And it would be really difficult for me to end right now and try to make the biggest takeaway. So you want the biggest takeaway? Yeah. Just to understand what Todd said, because it’s true. It’s spot on. We could talk about this for hours. And our hope is that in, the trade of your time to listen to us, you gleaned a gem or to be encouraged leaders. There’s opportunity out there for you. You have the opportunity to make a huge difference. Yes, the environment for many businesses has changed. You might be facing incredible headwinds or you might be getting immense lift from great tailwinds and having a whole different set of challenges, there’s opportunities. And, we’re here to help you. Our hope is that you can take from today’s conversation and you can apply it in your one-on-ones. You can apply it in your own life. And as a result of it, in the weeks ahead, you’ll be a much stronger, more positive force in the lives of everybody that you coach one person at a time

Todd Mosetter (37:18):
Well said, and you weren’t going to try and one up my last point, but then there you go and do it anyway.

Daniel Harkavy
I can’t help it. Now it’s your turn. Go ahead.

Todd Mosetter
Like always building We mentioned some tools and resources, powerful questions guide, as well as the tool that Daniel mentioned, we have some other stuff we’ll put on there for you. Our heart is to give you whatever you need to be the most effective coach that you can be on that note. If right now you’re saying I can up my coaching game, right this season and what I’m doing, I could really use some help in figuring out how to meet my people where they’re at. We’d love to help you send us an email And we’ll get you on the phone with a coach 30 minute session. And, the whole goal of that will be to help understand where you are and help you be better.

That’s our heart. While you’re there, do us a favor, leave us a rating or review. It will help us. We are hard at work on official season three of the podcast. So stay tuned for an update on that as well as we have a pretty new, exciting announcement coming out in a week or two about something new that we think will add value here. So stay tuned, Daniel, thanks for joining us.

Daniel Harkavy
Todd, thanks for a great conversation as always.

Todd Mosetter
If you need us building, a big shout out as always to Scott Higby at Studio C Creative in San Diego, he makes a sound a whole lot better. So you need help with audio – he’s your guy.