Ep 010

Elevate Your Team, Avoid Burnout, and Drive Sustainable Growth with Robert Glazer

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Robert Glazer

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Inside This Episode

We’re ending the steroid phase of high-growth organizations that just kind of grew by breaking people and burning through them.” – Robert Glazer

Gone are the days of pushing people to unreasonable limits in order to hit “company goals.” People need boundaries. They need time away from work, so that when they are working, they’re focused, energized, and engaged.

Organizations can either provide the space to do that OR they can resist, burn out their team, and lose valuable players to a competing company that’s embracing the evolution of how people want to work.

This is what today’s conversation with Robert Glazer is all about.

Robert is an entrepreneur, author, and the founder of Acceleration Partners, a global partner marketing agency that has won more than 30 awards for company culture—despite the fact that their 270-person team is fully remote!

In this episode, we’re diving into Robert’s newest book, “Elevate Your Team,” to discuss his tips and tricks for helping your business thrive while improving your team’s personal and professional lives.

You’ll also learn how to mitigate burnout, more productive alternatives to firing employees, and why short timelines can hurt your evaluation of a healthy work-life integration.

3 of the biggest insights from Robert Glazer

  • #1 The four elements of capacity building—spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional—and how leaders can use them to create a more open, motivated and connected company culture. 

  • #2 Tips for avoiding burnout for yourself and your team members while maintaining stable business growth.

  • #3 More productive alternatives to firing employees. Say goodbye to “two week’s notice“!

KEY TAKEAWAYS: 

  • 00:00 The lessons about leadership, coaching, and practice that business leaders can take from athletes.
  • 04:25 Robert’s new book, “Elevate Your Team” – and how it can help leaders create sustainable growth in their companies.
  • 07:23 Focusing on return-to-office decisions instead of creating ultimatums.
  • 11:37 The four elements of capacity building.
  • 16:49 Soliciting outside feedback to improve company culture.
  • 22:42 How to avoid the repeat mistakes caused by cognitive dissonance.
  • 25:35 What is the proper way to deliver feedback to your team?
  • 30:28 How to set the tone as a leader to help employees stay motivated.
  • 39:16 How can advisors use the 80/20 rule to help avoid burnout?
  • 48:00 Implementing a 90-day transition plan instead of firing struggling employees.
  • 53:15 How helping departing employees find new jobs can actually benefit your business in the short term.
  • 01:01:38 The challenges with transitioning out of your financial advisory business—and how to effectively pass the torch to a new generation
  • 01:08:15 Evaluating your integration between work and life.

CLIP: ELEVATE YOUR TEAM WITHOUT BURNING THEM OUT

CLIP: WHY IT’S TIME TO END ‘TWO WEEKS NOTICE’

SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE: 

PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE:

MIC DROP MOMENTS WITH ROBERT GLAZER:

  • “Someone was showing me a poor outcome they got from ChatGPT this morning, and then they gave it a ton of feedback and it got the perfect outcome. You’re delivering feedback and you’re not getting any emotion or baggage and it’s a better product. That is actually a bug that we humans have that the machine does not have.” – Robert Glazer

  • People need boundaries. They need time away from work. In order to come to work energized and engaged, they need things actually outside of work and they need their mental and physical health. And the organization can either provide the space to do that or it could be the problem that’s resisting against that.” – Robert Glazer

  • “I think we’re ending the steroid phase of high-growth organizations that just kind of grew by breaking people and burning through them.” – Robert Glazer

  • “So, organizations that are psychologically safe where people feel free to challenge each other, where there’s vulnerability, where they’re sharing, where there’s like, ‘Hey, we screwed this up’ — those are the ones that improve rapidly.” – Robert Glazer

  • “You should never tell someone that they are or aren’t something.” – Robert Glazer

  • “Entrepreneurship looks sexy in the rearview mirror.” – Robert Glazer

  • “If you’re not doing big things, you’re not going to have haters. If you are doing big things, just welcome the haters, it’s going to happen.” – Brad Johnson

  • “I think a lot of us get to the top of a summit, and then we just rush to climb the next thing. And I don’t know if that serves us very well.” – Robert Glazer

Brad Johnson: Welcome to another episode of Do Business Do Life. We have Bob Glazer here today. Welcome to the show, Bob.

Robert Glazer: Thanks for having me. Well, I guess it’s sort of back maybe again.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. You’re becoming a regular on this show. I was thinking back, I think the last time we crossed paths in person, it was on a bus at Mastermind Talks on the way to a Savannah Bananas game. I remember having a really good chat with you.

Robert Glazer: That does not happen every day. So, yes, I remember that. That was very, very specific.

Brad Johnson: But before we dive into your new book, and we’re going to do a lot of conversation around that today, The Savannah Bananas and Jesse, those that haven’t watched the ESPN special, the guy that runs the team and the organization, he has created quite the culture around really baseball-inspired entertainment. What lessons did you take from just going and seeing that? I’m going to call it an experience, not an event, live. Any lessons you took as a CEO from the game?

Robert Glazer: I mean, it’s going to blurb my interview I did with Jesse after because I think I probably learned more from him than I did anyone else. I guess just how intentional everything was and how much they practiced it as I described it to everyone, it was like going to a party and a baseball game broke out, and also a thunderstorm broke out.

Brad Johnson: And it was still fun.

Robert Glazer: And it was still fun but even that night was long and I know Jesse was pained by a long game because he totally tried to change this with Banana Ball. But if you saw it, it looks impulsive and crazy and entertainment. When you actually talk and see how much preparation and practice and trial and error and sophistication that goes on behind the scenes, I think that just reminds me that you shouldn’t do anything that you haven’t practiced. The sports has some great analogies around leadership and coaching and practice and stuff that in the business world and stuff, we do things on stage for the first time ever. And in the theater and sports and stuff, you wouldn’t do that. You practice five days a week for a one-hour game.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. That’s a good analogy you said was you went to a party and a baseball game broke out. Baseball can be, I’m actually a big baseball fan. I grew up playing baseball but it can be a very slow sport. And it’s like Jesse intentionally every second that you’re at a baseball game, if you were to like, okay, this is dragging like he would insert some form of entertainment all throughout the whole experience. And it was a really cool lesson in just how to create a whole different experience than what you would expect to the ballpark.

Robert Glazer: Yeah. Again, the thing that he couldn’t fix which was the time he is now fixing and just gone all in on Banana Ball. The other thing, if it wasn’t good for the customer, he doesn’t do it. I just think that’s a super helpful orientation that we can all remember. You know, Bezos is famous for his chair in all the meetings, the empty chair that represents the customer. I mean, we talk about intrusive advertising and all this stuff like it’s not good for the fan and so he doesn’t do it. There’s no way he’s not going to do a deal with Chiquita Bananas at some point. It’s just too easy.

 

Brad Johnson: Well, he uses a lot of bananas as props during the whole game so he probably thinks a wholesale deal at least with them.

Robert Glazer: Exactly.

Brad Johnson: Well, and on that note, if it isn’t good for the customer, he doesn’t do it. I remember going and I think I bought a beer and a hot dog there, and it was priced very reasonably. And I was like, “Oh, a baseball park that doesn’t like jack the price of snacks 10X.”

Robert Glazer: Right.

Brad Johnson: And it was just like he had thought through the whole thing, which was really cool.

Robert Glazer: Yeah. And I think, look, you could either buy one $12 beer and feel totally taken advantage of or buy three $8 beers and feel like that was a value. Yeah. It’s an interesting orientation that I think a lot of people like what can you do versus what makes people want to keep coming back and buying from you?

Brad Johnson: Well, we better get to your new book, just came out I think March 9th, March 7th. Elevate Your Team. Correct?

Robert Glazer: Elevate Your Team.

Brad Johnson: And we actually had a previous conversation around Elevate, which was and as we were talking before we started recording here, really, Elevate was almost looking internal personal development where Elevate Your Team is looking external team-based development. So, if you were to give us the CliffsNotes version of, “Hey, I love the first book, number one Wall Street Journal bestseller. Here’s the new book. Same methodology, but now outward facing your team,” how would you break the difference between the two now?

Robert Glazer: Yeah. And there’s a story. It starts in the book, my genius idiot epiphany around trying to solve a problem at work and realizing I had spent two years kind of writing this book, Elevate, and coming up with this framework and that it could be the same solution. And a lot of people really liked that framework around getting better as an individual or a leader. But then I started thinking about, well, how do you and it’s interesting timing kind of matters around this stuff. I think we’re ending the steroid phase of high-growth organization that just kind of grew by breaking people and burning through them. My analogy is like do you think NASA would ever send a rocket to the moon and celebrate if it got to the moon and all the astronauts were dead? That’s sort of like what startup culture has become rather than like, “Hey, the team rose up and made it and did it.” And so, when I started thinking about how do you build this company by building a team and what did we do and what other people do? How do these become organizational and team cultural embedded principles? It was pretty interesting, and I actually think it is the playbook for how you can build that we can get back to growth.

I think growth is kind of a bad word right now. I think everyone’s tired. They’re exhausted. They don’t want the 10X growth. Elon Musk told everyone they’re going to have to work super hard and double down. They all quit the next day. And he’s been pretty successful with this formula at a few other companies. So, we’re going to get back to growth like everyone’s kind of playing defense right now. They’re nervous with everything going on. But when we get back to growth, I think it’s just going to have to look a little bit different. And I really believe that this is the playbook for how organizations and leaders can get back to growth in a way that’s a little more sustainable.

Brad Johnson: What was… Elon was, now that he’s… Yeah. I feel like on Twitter now, there’s always a little sound bite from Elon, but this just was a few weeks back.

Robert Glazer: The number one thing I noticed when he took over Twitter that like my Twitter feed, which I don’t use that often, was he always had the top spot on any post, like, I don’t know. Maybe he could have bought some paid ads rather than spending $40 billion.

Brad Johnson: It’s just a small adjustment to the algorithm once you take over the company and that’s all it took. But on that note, I think one of his recent comments was and I know obviously COVID, everybody’s kind of coming out of this, fully virtual. Is it now a hybrid model? And every company is trying to figure that out. But it was like, “Hey, basically back to the office or you’re fired.” But I think there was another comment he made that was interesting. It was his only reason for someone not being in the office was if the talent level was so high that it required them not to be just because that’s the only way that he could get them into the organization. Now, I’m going to throw that at you because you ran essentially a fully virtual company for a long time with an incredible culture like Glassdoor award-winning culture. So, what’s your take on that thought process?

Robert Glazer: Look, I am actually a real fan of people getting together. And I think there are certain things that should be done together or in person. I was just lamenting to someone yesterday that when we had to do our virtual offsites, we do quarterly management team offsites, it was like the worst thing ever. Like, it was just horrible. But look, the majority of these, I would say ultimatums have come from older males which I think is an interesting thing on with a lot of real estate and it just feels like a power dynamic play rather than a business dynamic play. What you don’t hear them say is like, “We need people back in the office to do X. We need them back for these meetings.” Like, what I would say if I was the leader of a bank is, “Hey, if we’re pitching against our competitor for a $10 million thing like you need to be in the room. Zoom’s not going to cut it.” But if you’re crunching a model all day in your underwear the day before the deal closes, you probably don’t have to come in that day. So, I think people are getting away from outcomes. They’re getting away from context. They’re kind of like falling prey to the sunk-cost power play thing. And look, the reality is the data is probably going to show us that people that get together have more connection, that people do want to get together. Sometimes people don’t know what’s good for themselves. I mean, Steve Jobs was good at that.

I firmly believe that if people never meet each other, it’ll be easier to leave those teams in those organizations. Doesn’t mean they want to sit in traffic for 2 hours a day or it doesn’t mean that they want to be told they have to do something versus like, “Hey, look. We’re having a huge meeting today and we’re deciding who gets promoted and who’s not. Like, if you want to call in now, that’s on you.” So, I’d like to see more people talking about the why or the context, not the ultimatum. The ultimatums have really not gone very well. I think, again, a quarter of the company quit the next day. So, take that for what it’s worth.

Brad Johnson: Most people would say that wasn’t an ideal outcome.

Robert Glazer: Yeah. Look, and the banks have done this too and there’s like the third and fourth boutique banks are like, “Look, we care about performance and outcome.” I mean, my favorite thing is that the CEO of Goldman Sachs said that Lloyd Blankfein I think or maybe that was the old one, whoever it was, that he basically said in January 2022 that work from home is an aberration that we are going to fix as soon as possible. Two weeks later, they had their best earnings in the history of the organization with everyone working from home. A year later, after he forced everyone back into the office, David Solomon was his name, forced everyone back into the office, they had their worst earnings decline in ten years. So, I’m not making the argument that, you know, I’m actually making the argument that there was no causal relationship. One was a good business environment. One was a tough business environment. It probably didn’t matter where exactly how people were working but I’m sure that his shareholders were much happier last year than they were this year.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. It’ll be an interesting study ten years from now, the whole COVID situation just on working in person versus working remote because I see definitely both sides. So, well, let’s go in…

Robert Glazer: Yeah. The truth is always in between, right?

Brad Johnson: Rarely in the extremes. Rarely in the extremes. Well, let’s go into the book. So, those that didn’t catch our last interview, we’ve really got four, do you call them four principles?

Robert Glazer: Yeah. There are some four sort of elements of capacity building.

Brad Johnson: So, if you don’t mind, let’s just kind of review those at a high level. And I don’t know if you’ve done this before, Bob, if you want to. I could kind of see a cool dynamic. We just had Jocko out at one of our Triad experiences and he’s rolling out this new mirror. And when you were talking about book one, Elevate, the mirror at the bottom is going to say, “Problem identified.” And I was like, “That’s a perfect Jocko product.” You know you look in the mirror, “Problem identified.” So, I feel like your first book, Elevate, was a problem-identified individual like let’s work on myself. Now, this one’s looking out. So, could you do kind of a comparison and contrast? Like, here’s how this work individually. Here’s how it applies to the team. If you’re open to it. I don’t know if it’s the framework you usually teach in.

Robert Glazer: Yeah. So, let me go through the four capacities. So, there’s spiritual capacity, intellectual, physical, and emotional. So, spiritual, let me tell you how I define them in Elevate first because I think that would be helpful. So, spiritual capacity is about understanding who you are, what you want most in the standards you want to live by. Intellectual is about how you improve your ability to think, learn, plan, and execute with discipline. Physical is your health, well-being, and physical performance. And emotional is how you react to challenging situations, your emotional mindset, and the quality of your relationship. So, I talk to a lot in Elevate kind of how you would work across those things. In an organization, in Elevate Your Team, in the context of spiritual capacity, this is how do we help our teams identify their core values, their strengths, the things that they are neatly good at? Because if we believe that they’re going to develop into level four, level five leaders, as Jim Collins would say, they’re only going to do that from a place of authenticity and sort of self-awareness. They’re going to be like a leader who actually understands what’s important to them. And these things run really deep, having done the core value stuff about why people value certain things like it is just who they are.

You can have standards for your leaders across the organization but they’re not going to be kind of a carbon cutter person. So, talking about how to do that and how to give people that awareness so that they can develop into the best version of a leader. Intellectual goes a lot into how does the organization build a culture of learning, and feedback and learning go super hand in hand. And how does it promote like best practices around discipline and time management and prioritization and things that are holistic that actually particularly when you’re working from home and you’re the same person would make you a better spouse, partner, child, otherwise, as it would an employee? Because, look, your morning routine matters for your business performance. If you get up late, smash off the alarm, you’re exhausted, you’re rushing to a meeting, you’re terrible at financial management, not you’re going to get to work and all those things are going to be kind of clicking in all forms. So, again, how do we make our personal operating systems better and do that holistically?

Physical, since everyone started working from home and remotely, we have lost a lot of the last remaining boundaries and work around being able to turn work off, have a life outside of work. So, how do you create these boundaries? How do you reestablish them? I can get back to later like some specific tactics and examples. I think we need to do that because how do we get people focused on outcomes and not hours? There’s a case study of Marissa Mayer and a book taking over Yahoo! sort of an anti-case study of just coming in and bragging about 100, 130-hour workweeks like everyone working to death and no tangible results from any of that and a culture that was just spinning its wheels, did 53 acquisitions that were all worthless after five years. Having done four in two years, I didn’t even know how you do 53 like it’s crazy.

Brad Johnson: Yeah, that’s insane.

Robert Glazer: And then the last is emotional capacity. And again, the organizational version of this I think for a lot of – so how do you have psychological safety? How do we take the things we know about ourselves and make them available to others to understand people’s different communication styles and elsewhere? How do we get our teams focused on the things that really an orientation around what they control, not what they control, but sort of as a team? This is where it becomes cultural, right? If you’re someone who focus on the external locus of control, that’s you. Not internal. But we were talking about this before, like very common in sales teams. Their sales teams I see where the culture is like, “We never lost a deal that was our fault.” Like, it was, “We got screwed by the client. We got screwed by the competitor. We got screwed by this,” like that. That’s a cultural thing that you allow to exist in your organization. So, organizations that are psychologically safe where people feel free to challenge each other, where there’s vulnerability, where they’re sharing, where there’s like, “Hey, we screwed this up,” those are the ones that improve rapidly. But that’s a cultural thing that you need to develop within a team or within an organization.

Brad Johnson: You used an example before we went live here that I just want to bring up around like the culture of a sales team. And maybe this was, you said, I think the exact quote was, “The boss sold the dream. The team serviced the nightmare.” And what was sold was not actually what was provided or even existed. So, let’s talk about like if you were dropped in as a CEO and to a team that had a culture like that, are there some principles out of the book that could start to steer the ship in the right direction?

Robert Glazer: Yeah. I mean, there are things on there like asking for feedback following up with like, “Hey, why do we…?” How many organizations call the person and say, “Hey, I’d love to get on a call and understand why we lost the deal,” and they just listen? No arguing. Someone once asked me to take one of those calls, and I told them why they lost the deal and then they argued with me about all. I was like, “I’m not doing this.” Well, if you called me, it’s already done. Like, if you want the feedback…

Brad Johnson: They ask for feedback and then I will argue with the feedback, you give me a call. That sounds fun.

Robert Glazer: Yeah. Like, it was ridiculous. They sent me like a fruit basket, and I was like, “Come on.” So, yeah, I think, look, people follow the behavior of the leader. I tell a story in the book about we’re a services firm. We partner with a bunch of different tech firms. We’re agnostic. We have no economics in it. One of those tech firms really had built up its agency business. It was like really paying attention to pricing in the model, and they were coming in, meeting with us, and we were doing sales together and we were doing a lot of business with them. And the other platform didn’t like this and they’d say, “What can we do to do more business together?” We’re like, “Look, you can have an agency strategy. You could stop selling against us in some cases and try like there’s a lot of market confusion. With these folks like they’re not offering. This other firm offered services and tech and the other partner just offered tech. And so, we gave them the feedback over and over. And eventually, we were at a conference in London and someone came up to someone on our team and said, “I know for a fact that you accept kickbacks from that other firm.” And they got back to me. I was like, “Well, that’s really interesting because we’ve been super adamant about and I’m pretty sure I would know about these kickbacks like I’m going to cease all this stuff.”

And actually like someone at the firm, rather than taking the feedback and augmenting what they were doing decided that they would come up with an external locus of control narrative to why this wasn’t their fault. And I was like, “Look, I’ll give you $1 million if you can tell us, point where these kickbacks.” You know, I talked to the leaders of the firm. I’m like, “Look, your people created this narrative and they’re sharing it amongst each other and it’s a total lie.” So, if I was at that firm, I would call everyone in the room and I would be like, “We are not doing this. And if I hear this again, you’re fired.” That to me would be a really strong like, this is not how we do business at all but it’s just so interesting to me how that perpetuated. I mean, it’s an outright lie. I talked with somebody with the firm. I was like, “You can say you don’t like us. You can say a lot of things that are subjective or objective but this is an outright lie. Like, someone just made it up.”

Brad Johnson: Yeah, I’ve seen that happen. It’s almost like this cultural creep like not a great cultural creep, a negative cultural creep that can happen in these organizations as they get big. And then it’s like if you let these narratives perpetuate…

Robert Glazer: Yeah, if you permit them, then it’s like, “Oh, that’s what you do.”

Brad Johnson: Yeah. It’s like the and we’ve all probably been in these sort of corporations before where you’ve got these core principles on a wall and they’re like really dusty. And you can tell they’ve been there since the 80s, probably.

Robert Glazer: Like the Enron ones of integrity, trust, respect, and whatever it was, it was great, which is not how you got promoted at Enron. Their real core values were stab the other guy in the back, take excessive risk, so on and so forth.

Brad Johnson: Yeah, but that’s the thing. It’s like to me and Triad, we’re just over two years into this but that will be when I know, number one, it won’t happen while I’m here. But if that were to ever happen where core values become just BS or a mission statement becomes BS, it’s like that’s what you’re talking about there because, obviously, if narratives are happening that are straight lies and nobody’s doing anything to fix them, it’s like either, number one, you don’t have a culture you care about or you’re not actually…

Robert Glazer: Right. Or no one challenged that. And again, it’s really common. Again, I’m not picking on sales but just anything to think about like as a leader, and Jocko would totally align to this and agree to this. Don’t look externally. It’s your fault. It’s your problem. What did you do wrong? We had another thing or similar thing where one of these tech clients like we pitch with one, we pitch with another, and one of them won it and the other sales team calls furious that they blew the deal and their rep was at the end of the quarter and he overpriced the deal and we had introduced them to the client and put the table and they lost it. And he’s calling us, looking for this. I was like, “Dude, we introduced you. We put you at the table. You lost the deal. You’re trash-talking the other person to the client. Don’t blame us.” If you introduced me to a client and I went and I lost the deal, Brad, and then I called you to complain about it, that’s a terrible orientation like, “Brad, my pricing was wrong. Why didn’t you warn me?” That’s a crazy orientation to take that like it’s the other person’s fault. When they put you in the position, so, in this case, they thought they got screwed and the other company set them up and the rep was behind quota and totally overpriced it trying to make his number. And that was the story that no one wanted to admit to.

Brad Johnson: Why is that so hard? Let’s just go down a philosophical conversation.

Robert Glazer: Cognitive dissonance, my favorite topic ever. I mean, it’s just really hard to admit that we…

Brad Johnson: Why is it so hard to say it’s me and not pointing the fingers outward?

Robert Glazer: Because the whole premise of cognitive dissonance, we can’t hold these two separate things in the word that I’m good at my job or whatever, and I made a mistake, or I am a good person and I made a mistake. There’s an incredible stat in one of my favorite books, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me), that when DNA evidence came out that irrefutably showed that the wrong people were put in prison, the prosecutors came out of retirement to retry them and put them back in prison. When the data was saying they weren’t even there and the reason was they’re like, “I’m a good person. I did my job well. I couldn’t have put an innocent person in jail, therefore, they must be guilty.” So, cognitive dissonance is a super powerful force and it causes us to repeat mistakes because we can’t handle these two things, which is like, “I’m a good person but I screwed it up, right? Therefore, I have had not screwed it up because I do everything right.”

Brad Johnson: How do you work on that in an organization and a team? Because I think it’s easier to see that when other people do versus yourself. But as a leader, that’s part of your job is to obviously pour into people, give them honest feedback, help them grow as a professional.

Robert Glazer: Yeah, I think this is one of my next Friday Forwards. You’ll like this. So, do you want to know why I think the most risk that ChatGPT taking over people’s jobs is, and this was my epiphany this morning while I was using it?

Brad Johnson: I’d love to hear it.

Robert Glazer: It takes any feedback and gets better. What people don’t realize though like, “Oh, I put something in and the answer is not good,” and then if they actually tried following up and saying, “Actually this is wrong or you used the wrong source or can you make it better or you can be more empathetic,” it just comes back to you with a different version until it’s right. So, someone was showing me a poor outcome that got from GPT this morning, and then they gave it a ton of feedback and it got like the perfect outcome. And I was like, “Oh, interesting.” You’re delivering feedback and you’re not getting any emotion or baggage and it’s a better product. That is actually a bug that we humans have that the machine does not have.

Brad Johnson: That is a solid take because as an algorithm, it has zero resistance to feedback. It just takes it openly and iterates.

Robert Glazer: It just takes it and iterates and it says sorry and it’s programmed to say sorry and try again. And we get so defensive and we get into all these things and we bring a lot more baggage. Now, there’s a whole chapter on feedback. A lot of people don’t know how to give it. They don’t know how to receive it. This is part of training the team on, again, how to do both well. A lot of times we don’t give depersonalized feedback. You know, we talk about the person and not the action or what they did.

Brad Johnson: So, let’s go there. One of the biggest struggles for financial advisors of which is most of this audience is they’re great salespeople and that’s what leads them to a certain level of success. But then it’s that transition to business owner and leading a team which takes how to deliver constructive feedback in a way that doesn’t run people off, create high levels of turnover. So, if you were to coach a financial advisor, that’s a great salesperson, maybe just becoming a business owner on delivering feedback the proper way, what would that be?

Robert Glazer: So, two cardinal rules and I talk about it in the book and there are a lot more examples. One is criticize, well, not criticize, maybe whatever the word to talk about behaviors, not character. So, we’ve all dealt with someone who’s not strategic at some point in our thing, right? Brad, if I tell you, “You were just not strategic,” that is an insult on your character. It seems like a fixed trait, “How do I fix that? I’m just not strategic.” Versus, “Brad, on that call, you had a lot of tactics. What was really missing was strategy and that’s what the client was upset about. And here are the three strategic points that you could have brought up that I think would have made them and you do it fast. And so, again, you make it about the actual action and why what happened was bad for the person, not just that annoys you, right? A lot of times it seems like it’s something that annoys us. So, there’s a framework, SBO: situation, behavior, outcome. What was the situation on that call yesterday? The behavior was that they asked for strategy and we gave them a lot of tactics. The outcome is they don’t seem super happy and we’re likely to lose them as a client probably to someone who’s going to provide that strategy for them.

So, this is the bad-for-you approach that I talked about on Friday Forward. And so, Brad, you would understand why losing a client is probably not a good thing for you, right? Not that it’s just something that annoys me.

Brad Johnson: That makes sense. Yes. So, situation, behavior, outcome, I love that framework. And then the other thing I heard is it’s the action, not the person. It reminds me, I think it was Microsoft has a phrase that says you are not your idea. So, it’s almost like extract the idea, put it on the table, bat the idea around, that way you don’t have to resist it not being your good idea. It’s similar.

Robert Glazer: Adam Grant talks about relationship conflict that good teams have task conflict, not relation of good contract. They are arguing and fighting about ideas and whatever but not, “Brad, you’re an idiot. Christine, you’re smart.” You actually should never tell someone, this is a good rule as a parent, you should never tell someone that they are or aren’t something. There’s a set of damages by telling a kid that they aren’t smart and there’s a set of damages by telling a kid that they are smart, which gives them permission to do dumb things. I’ve definitely told my kids things that they have done are very smart or not smart, but that’s very different. I heard a child development specialist say years ago, “Never tell someone they are or aren’t something.”

Brad Johnson: You know, that was a book. There was a book called Mindset by Carol Dweck. Are you familiar?

Robert Glazer: Yeah.

Brad Johnson: That’s like a big point out of there like I remember I say when my kids were young and you’ve got your little five-year-old that run in the yard, “You’re so fast,” creating that label. Now, it creates this fixed mindset where if they ever run a race and they get beat, now, they’ve been proven they’re not fast versus the growth mindset of, “Go against fast kids and you’ll get faster.”

Robert Glazer: Right. “I’m not smart. This kid in my class is so smart.” “Well, they studied eight hours for the test. You studied one.” Right? I mean, that’s the tradeoff.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. Her argument in that book that changed how I parent my children it’s if they’re acing every test in math class, “Oh looks like you need to get harder problems.” Not like, “You’re so smart. You’ve conquered math,” because now the next math test they take that they don’t conquer, now there’s a fear of going and doing hard stuff.

Robert Glazer: Yeah. There are people on our team I have talked to. They are emotionally scarred 5 to 10 years later by being told they weren’t something or they would never be something or otherwise. The damage it does is pretty common.

Brad Johnson: We’ll get off this topic that you literally just remind…

Robert Glazer: You just had a flashback to someone who said something to you?

Brad Johnson: No. Episode 3 was Michael Hyatt of this show and he shared a story. He was on a plane with a friend and he was telling a story about his personal finances as an adult. And his friend made the side comment of, “You’re just not very good with money, are you?” And it literally scarred him as a super successful CEO that just needed to level up his personal finances a few decades ago. And, yeah, like that can scar anyone regardless of how successful or how well they do in different domains. So, that’s a solid lesson here. Okay. We’ll get back on track but I love that aside. So, let’s go back to spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional. Seems like we kind of jumped to the number four quite a bit here on the emotional side of it. If we were to loop back on spiritual, intellectual, physical, like maybe just some high level, if I’m running a team or trying to build a team in my business, it would be like, “We should talk about at least these two or three things,” what would come to mind for you?

Robert Glazer: Yeah. Let’s see. Let’s talk about physical because I think we’re dealing with a kind of epic thing of burnout right now after two to three years of a pandemic, which I said I think most people now, the CEO of their company, came to them in 2023, and they’re like, “We’re going to grow 500% next year.” Then they’d be like, “Oh.” I don’t want to do that versus in 2019, people are like, “Let’s go.” So, this is where, look, people need boundaries. They need time away from work. In order to come to work energized and engaged, they need things actually outside of work and they need their mental and physical health. And the organization can either provide the space to do that or it could be the problem that’s resisting against that. And as leaders, we set the tone. So, if I’m the CEO of an organization, Brad, and you’re in my team and I’m going on vacation next week and I set my little out-of-office and it says, “Hey, everyone, I’m out on vacation with my family this week, but if you need me, you can text me, email me, write me. I’ll check my email three times a day, and so on and so forth.” What’s the very clear message that that sends?

Brad Johnson: Essentially, you’re not on vacation.

Robert Glazer: Yeah. And how do you think employees will emulate that? You know, that a vacation is not a vacation. Now, the alternative to that would be and this is a real thing that I saw someone write from a company. They said, “I am out on vacation with my family this week. This time’s like super sacrosanct and so I’ll be offline and whatever. And if it’s an emergency and you need me, you can text my wife’s number and here it is and she’ll get in touch with me. Or you can email me and interrupt my vacation at company.com. I hope you have a great week.” So, that sends a totally different message to the organization that it is okay and expected to have a vacation and have some time off. Again, people need boundaries in their day. They need to not get emails all hours of the day. I’m not on board with the French go to jail for sending an email after 5 p.m., particularly if you’re trying to have a startup. But actually, as someone who led the organization for years and the realization that I like to respond to a bunch of things on Saturday morning when my kids were asleep, but then other people think they need to respond, and my response is I started five years ago using delayed delivery.

So, anything that I send to someone who’s not on my executive team and not urgent that’s kind of out of hours is set to go to them at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. the next business day and I think people really appreciate that. And if it’s over a weekend, I could be sound asleep at 8:00 on a Monday morning and I look like I’m super productive and getting a lot of stuff done as a side benefit. But I actually believe it’s like I think that if I ever hear that people are running a marathon or training for something, it’s like, “Go do that. That’s awesome.” You will be in better mental and physical. You need to do it during the day, great, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the meeting or work because I think they need stuff that energizes them in different parts of their life. All the data has proven that since people have gone home, they are working more and you have a Pavlovian situation that there’s always an email from your boss at 11 p.m. at night. Then you’re checking that before you go to bed then it’s in your head and you’re not sleeping. And like, I mean, we’re encouraging unhealthy behavior. You know, Marissa Mayer bragged about 130-hour work weeks, which means 130-hour work week means only 6 hours a day over a seven-day week. You can make them work over five. Only 6 hours a day outside of work over a seven-day workweek.

The World Health Organization says that if you regularly and I think she was one of these rare people that needed less sleep, but most people, if you get less than 5 hours of sleep on average a night, you are like as cognitively impaired as someone that is drunk. So, like if someone came in to work drunk, you would throw them like you would fire them or make them go home. There are deals and times when people are closing or have slept at the office and come in where you’re actually encouraging that behavior, which is crazy to me.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. Well, you’re preaching to the choir here. This podcast is called Do Business Do Life. Our mission at Triad is do business do life. And I would say the whole 130-hour workweek it’s a real epidemic inside of finance. It’s a very sales-driven business model. So, where a lot of these advisors will literally grind 20 appointments a week, multiple live presentations a week and they’re on this hamster wheel of production, production, production, all for walk across the stage, get recognized, top producer.

Robert Glazer: But except it doesn’t align with the 80/20 rule, right? Like, it just doesn’t. That’s the problem.

Brad Johnson: Well, like back to the physical side of it, I’ve seen over, well, I guess I’m 15 years in the space now, I’ve seen people almost like collapse from exhaustion after they face this imaginary carrot.

Robert Glazer: You will hit a wall. You can do that. Look, I’ve done it. You can do it for days, you can do it for weeks. You will hit a wall, and then the problem is, will you get up, right? Depending on maybe how long you’ve been running, how big the collapse is. If the collapse is a heart attack or a stroke, you might not.

Brad Johnson: So, let’s go there. Let’s go to a season where you were redlining out. And what did it take for you to change the trajectory to get off of that?

Robert Glazer: I had a couple of those. I think it– look, there was COVID, which we all had to kind of just stick it into overdrive and elevate. I told the story about thinking I was having a heart attack and I had a panic attack because I was in the middle of starting two businesses, building a house and having a child and living with my parents, as the Great Recession was sort of kicking in the housing market, was completely imploding. And yeah, I was having two cups of coffee in the morning, glass of wine at night, like nonstop. And I literally had a full-on panic attack and got taken to the hospital in the ambulance. And so, on my desk, if I look up right now, I still have the medical bracelet up there as a reminder, where I feel like I got to get out of jail free card, I got to like, hey, this is your– this is Christmas, whatever, coming back and giving you the warning.

Brad Johnson: A wonderful life.

Robert Glazer: Yeah, wonderful life before it happens. So, yeah, I mean, I started running after that. I mean, I made a lot of kind of just lifestyle changes and I just realized– and look, as we get older too, the problem is you start to realize as you get older, like relying that as a default mechanism, just doesn’t work as well, your body doesn’t handle it the same way it does in its 30s and 40s as it does in its 20s.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. I was asked this question not long ago by a friend. I worked inside of a corporation as an employee for most of my career in finance, and then August of 2020, stepped away, and then obviously, started up Triad. And I coached entrepreneurs for over a decade. So, you think, if anything, I would have been the guy that would have known the stress and the roller coaster, but I will say that one of the biggest lessons for the last two and a half years, it’s been a lot easier to coach entrepreneurs than it is to be one. And that roller coaster that you’re talking about, I never had any issues sleeping, and waking up three in the morning with 15 things on your mind, heart beating like crazy.

Robert Glazer: Pulse rate.

Brad Johnson: Yeah.

Robert Glazer: It’s why the depression rates are so high. I mean, I always say entrepreneurship looks sexy in the rearview mirror.

Brad Johnson: So, I heard a few things, I heard changed some lifestyle habits, kind of maybe stopped self-medicating whether it’s caffeine or alcohol, maybe to that sort of level where it was just constant, nonstop. Anything else? Like if let’s just say you’re talking to an advisor that’s literally at burnout right now, what other advice would you give?

Robert Glazer: Look, I’m a big fan of 80/20 rule. I don’t think we escape it. If you go into your closet, go look right now. It’s probably where 10% of your clothes, 90% of the time. So, I think we’re judging our success a lot on the amount of activity going on. And if you start actually looking at your schedule, doing some deep dive, looking at everything you’re doing and find, where’s the 20% that’s getting the 80% of the outcome? And pull back to that, like entrepreneurs and particularly with their ADD, they fall prey to this all the time, new opportunity, new opportunity, new opportunity.

I mean, social media, for most companies, they try to do every channel. Most people are lucky to get one. They either figure out LinkedIn and they do it well or TikTok and they do it well or something that they do well, but trying to do all of them actually has the worst result possible. So, when people can stop, kind of and take a deep look at where do they just have a lot of noise and action going on versus what is working and try to think down and how to double down more. Again, I need to have 100 meetings a week, let’s just say. Okay, well, let’s double-click on these meetings. Which ones produced results? Which ones were good? What attributes did they have in common? Okay, now, I actually start having a model of the meetings I want to take.

This is to me the working smarter, not working harder. I build a filter of what’s a meeting that’s 80% likely to convert, I’ll take those. The meetings that are 5% likely to convert, I won’t take those. And I’m not trying to fill every hour of the day. I also think you need to time block your schedule, which means you put in the things that are most important. So, if you’ve got a family thing, or you want to go to the gym, or otherwise, that’s got to go in first because then everything else will fill around it. If you think you’re just going to find time to work out or find time for family and you book 100% of your calendar, that’s never going to happen.

Brad Johnson: Yeah, I love that principle. We call that at the Johnson house, putting the big rocks on the calendar first, and then the pebbles filter down around it. It’s kind of that old. I think it was a biblical analogy of just the pitcher full and you put the big rocks in and you put the sand and you put the water. And I feel like a lot of people’s calendars, it’s a subject to the whirlwind of the day, whatever that happens to be. So, did you have an EA when you were running CEO? Or how did you manage the calendar? What was your trick there?

Robert Glazer: Yeah, I had an EA. And again, I think, I don’t ever use Calendly or any of those things, which would say you can kind of grab all of my time whenever you want it. So, it’s my job to sort of fill the rocks and the buckets. Here’s the buckets for meeting, here’s the buckets for this, and then the EA helps with understanding that. But I also had a rule with all my EAs, I’m like, look, there’s a total capacity to a day, I don’t want to be booked 100%. So, if you start seeing that I have all these meetings that day, the free space has to be protected. Some of that free space is delivering things and doing stuff.

Brad Johnson: It’s like when you get done a full day at the office and you have more things on your to-do list than actually getting stuff executed, it’s probably a good clue that you need to maybe carve some of that down a bit, so. Well, I definitely want to get to– let’s jump there now unless there’s any closing thoughts on the book stuff because I want to get to when you were active CEO, you were one of the top-rated CEOs on Glassdoor. And I just checked the reviews today on Glassdoor, they’re still stellar. And so, I want to get into some of that. And you have some really cool principles that drove that culture and kind of even how you transition people out. But before we jump there, anything else on the book that we want to hit before we move on?

Robert Glazer: No, I mean, the book is a lot of those cultural principles and sort of how they embedded them in the organization.

Brad Johnson: Okay, well, let’s go. So, I’m looking at Acceleration Partners, your Glassdoor rating. What’s really cool, I mean, you’re in Boston, you’re in London, you’re in Singapore, Chicago, someplace I can’t even pronounce in Mexico. And these are stellar ratings across the board in multiple countries, and then I don’t want to mess this up, Bob. So, you were rated at what size of company as far as top CO’s on Glassdoor?

Robert Glazer: I think it was number 2 when we were in small, medium– I have a small, I think, I don’t know whether they just have two sizes. I think we’re medium.

Brad Johnson: So, small/medium, like top five CO in the world based on who Glassdoor has on their website. And the thing with Glassdoor, don’t throw rocks if you live in glass doors and glass house because it’s like, oh…

Robert Glazer: I’ve looked up their reviews at some point. Yeah, it’s very funny. I’ve actually looked up their reviews at one point. I was curious to see how they filtered those.

Brad Johnson: Oh, like how is Glassdoor if you’re on Glassdoor? How they do? Were they okay?

Robert Glazer: Yeah, they’re okay. Not that great. Look, everyone has a love-hate relationship with Glassdoor. I actually think it’s kept a lot of people honest, I think they know if they do something pretty sh*tty or otherwise, like, you’ll expect to see it on there. And maybe that’s sort of the accountability of better behavior. I also don’t love, I think there’s a lot of fraud. I think competitors do stuff. We’ve seen a lot of stuff. Actually, it becomes very hard to stay on top of some of these things because as soon as people see you up top, people really trying to bring you down, which is interesting. I’ve heard a lot of companies.

But yeah, I think it’s a good mechanism and I appreciate the anonymous side. I’m also not sure how. I’ve seen experiments of people putting kind of hit jobs on there and it’s up to the company just to respond. It’s not up to Glassdoor to prove it was a legitimate review. And we’ve definitely had some of those from stuff that just is out of left field from countries we’re not in, from job titles we didn’t have, which I think was the wrong organization. And they’re like, yeah, you can respond. We’re not going to look into it. So, you got to take the good out with those things.

Brad Johnson: Well, on that note, it’s funny. So, just relaunched the podcast, and my prior show was fortunate, had some great ratings over the years that we did that. And I think it was three, four years until I got my first one-star rating. And literally, first one-star rating pops in within three days of the new show going live, like great. We’re on somebody’s radar. So, this is fun.

So, I think that’s one of those things. It’s almost a stoic principle in business. If you’re not doing big things, you’re not going to have haters. So, if you are doing big things, just welcome the haters, it’s going to happen, whether it’s a hit job on Glassdoor, whether it’s a bad review of your latest book. Is there anything from a mindset standpoint that you personally utilize when you’ve got haters coming at you in different domains?

Robert Glazer: Again, I don’t actually mind truth and opinion. I think I get frustrated in these venues. Again, there have been some reviews that people had a really bad experience and they are clearly demonstrable of inside baseball and what was going on in the organization. And we will write back and like, I’m really sorry, you had this experience. And if we can do anything, reach out or otherwise, and actually, it’s provoked some discussions. But there are other ones where there’s–it doesn’t have any context, right? And so, then to me, I’m like, I don’t know if this is real. I don’t mind anything that– I think I’ve learned a lot of things, if someone’s, what’s the real perspective of their experience? It’s just when you might not be real or someone has a motivation, then I think that’s more frustrating, or the context just doesn’t make any sense, right?

Brad Johnson: Yeah. Well, let’s go to one of the things, you did a panel discussion at MasterMind Talks. For those unfamiliar, Jayson Gaignard runs a really cool community. In fact, I think that’s where I mentioned the first time, Bob. But he runs a really cool community. And he did a breakout on just culture, employee culture, how to do it intentionally, and he pulled a number of members out of community that he believed really ran businesses that exemplified, that you were one of the guys on the panel.

And I’m looking at my notes right now. And you had a really cool approach to not firing, or you call it mindful transitions when you needed to transition somebody out of your business. So, I’m going to guess that’s one of the reasons you guys continue to stay very highly rated on Glassdoor. So, would you mind just sharing a few ideas around that concept?

Robert Glazer: Yeah, I mean, look, we’re not perfect on this. We’ve tried it over the year. I think we’ve since renamed it the Career Engagement Program. But even in the number one company on Glassdoor, if you’ll go look in large company, the average tenure will be like 1.8 years. So, whether it’s Google or otherwise, we’re probably not this year. But I think we’re all pretending that people are going to work at somewhere for life and there are reasons why the company needs to do something different and the reasons why the person wants to do something different.

And there’s a lot of psychology and history tied up into this, and I think rather than ignoring that if we could actually foster those discussions, I think we can get to better outcomes, rather than someone giving two weeks’ notice or two days’ notice after they’ve always quit and new job, start a discussion around, “Hey, this might not be the right thing for me and I want to do something else, and we’re a client service business. So, we would love to transition someone out over several months, let them interview or otherwise.” So, when something is either creating the safety for someone could come to us and know that they will never be walked to the door by starting that discussion or the reverse by saying, “Look, we don’t need you to leave tomorrow, but this isn’t working. And so, we can keep trying to do this, but I think it’d be better if we helped you find a new job that would be a better fit.”

And this is easier if you have an organization that’s focused on outcomes and goals and dashboards, right? If you’re a click on sales, again, because it’s just easy sometimes, if you’re a salesperson and you’ve got a quarter-million-dollar quota, and it’s 250 a quarter and you’re at 100, 100, and 100 every week, it’s a red light on the dashboard. It actually shouldn’t be a surprise that someone’s about to have a discussion with you that, particularly if you see that all of the other salespeople are hitting their quota and green light.

So, I think, again, the more that you get the outcomes right and the data right and you’re having this on an ongoing basis, the more these things don’t come out of left field. But let’s just stop pretending that people are going to work at companies forever because that’s not the case. So, how do we take all the emotion out of leaving and have positive alumni? You look at someone like McKinsey, they’ve always been amazing at this. As soon as you want to leave McKinsey, they will set you up in outplacement. And what does everyone do? They go to lead companies and hire McKinsey. It’s been their feeder for decades.

Brad Johnson: So, a couple of things from my notes that I just want to see if this is accurate. You said it was almost a 90-day transition plan. Was it always 90 days? Was it depending on the situation?

Robert Glazer: It depends on the situation. Again, if you’re going back to school in six months, that can be different. We’ve found that 90 days is about the right gestational period. I think you need the person, if you’re pushing it, you need them not to feel like they have forever, right? And if they’re leading it, at some point, they’re going to be mentally ready to move on to their new job, but you eliminate a lot of the surprises. And again, actually, everyone who’s kind of argued with me and I did a TEDx talk or whatever, when they have tried it, they are kind of surprised how much of a better outcome.

All the lawsuits and stealing and all the stuff that you hear with that, they all come from distrust and surprises, right? I had an organization I worked with, and they were like, “Look, we trust our people. We have the best culture ever.” But as soon as they are going to leave, they walk them to the door like that hour. And I’m like, well, you are never going to have anyone tell you the truth because what do they see? They see that as soon as you tell them to leave, you get walked to the door. So, you’re telling everyone you don’t trust the people. So, why are they going to trust– they didn’t actually see that they were creating this incredibly vicious cycle where, of course, no one’s going to tell you that they’re unhappy or interviewing or whatever. They’re going to have their box packed before they tell you, give you the two weeks’ notice.

Brad Johnson: Yeah, it’s not what you say, it’s what you do, right? Oh, we really trust our people. And then, you’re out the door the moment that you’re not wanting to be here. I believe…

Robert Glazer: Someone said to me once, “If you have all these people that are leaving your company that are doing extremely nefarious things to your organization, then either you are really hiring the wrong people or there’s something you are doing to them and your company to make them that way.” And I always thought that that was a really good perspective on it.

Brad Johnson: Well, it goes back to Jocko’s mirror. We just talked about problem identified, right? It’s not them. It’s you as a leader. I want to make sure I’m not making this up because I believe what I remember hearing is you would actually even for certain team members, help them get their next job. Was that part of the plan as well?

Robert Glazer: I have someone texted me yesterday about, who’s in one of these transitions and asked me for some idea. Yeah, we’ll give them a ref– I mean, again, we do this the right way and we will help you. I have made intros. I’ve opened my Rolodex. We have someone doing that now who reach out to the CEO and myself and give him a bunch of ideas. So, again, how do we just– this person’s not a bad person, it’s not working in the role. And I think they want to do something different. So, actually, maybe this is a point they’ve done this a couple of times and it’s not working in the role. So, I think maybe this was an epiphany of them. I’m like, maybe I should think about a different type of role. This isn’t the right role for me.

Brad Johnson: Are there any exceptions to this, an ethical breach where they’re stealing and it’s kind of like no, this isn’t a 90-day, this is an out-the-door sort of deal?

Robert Glazer: Yeah, we’ve had only twice in the last 10 years that we’ve had ethical things where it was instantaneous, but I actually think people tend to be more respectful and be– you’re kind of watching them. Everyone’s always worried about what someone is going to do. I’m like, if they knew that they were leaving and they hated you, they’ve already done all of it. They’ve already copied the sales database. They’ve already done that. You think, like actually, when you’re watching them and helping them and trying to get a better outcome, that should not be the point when they are in– you’re trying to address these things before we get to the angry stage on both sides. The whole point is you’re shifting the timeline forward to say before we get to the point of no return, let’s have a very honest discussion about what our options are here.

Brad Johnson: Yeah, it’s rather than go look for jobs in secret, and then your performance blips because you’re just doing job searches all day.

Robert Glazer: Right. And then you just said in your last check-in that you love it here, and then they find out you’ve been interviewing, right?

Brad Johnson: Yeah, just come talk to us. And by the way, we’ll support your transition, and so…

Robert Glazer: And three years later, when the person calls for a reference, I mean, that’s also not a great last memory, or one-week notice, you’re telling everyone you love it. People forget, it’s a small world and it’s LinkedIn. So, you might think it all worked out well, but then when you lose that job and you have no references from your last two jobs because of how you left, it could be very problematic for you.

Brad Johnson: Yeah, that’s awesome. And so, if I’m out there and some people look through the lens of line item expense when they’re looking at business and they’re thinking, well, Bob, you just paid a person that needed to go after two weeks and you just paid them for 90 days, your argument to that would be?

Robert Glazer: My argument is would you rather pay severance for them not to work or would you rather have them help maintain the client relationship because this is where 80% of the people are for us, while we hire a new person that they’re here, switch it in, do the transition, and reduce the risk of that client leaving? Because account changes are one of the number– people hate, particularly last minute when their client engagement person switches…

Brad Johnson: For sure.

Robert Glazer: And if you’re to pay them two to three weeks not to work, wouldn’t you rather pay them more time to work and help you have a proper transition?

Brad Johnson: Okay, so that’s an interesting take. You’re basically, instead of saying, “Hey, you’re transition out, here’s a four-week severance,” you’re basically saying, “Hey, keep showing up during your severance. We’ll be working behind the scenes to kind of set you up on your feet for what’s next.” So, you’re basically almost paying the severance as you help them transition out versus they’re out and there’s additional severance.

Robert Glazer: And you’re getting utility. And rather than them being totally checked out, even during their two-week notice or otherwise, you’re getting some utility. It might not be 100%, but again, in the grand scheme, my job is to have enough. My job is, in a perfect world, we figured out it’s 90 days. We hire Kristen a couple of weeks with your help, and then Kristen starts showing up on the call every week with you with a client. And after six weeks of those calls, with Kristen slowly taking over, you start to announce that you’re leaving, that’s very different than, “Hey, Brad’s gone and Kristen’s going to help you this week. And then we’re going to figure out, like, that’s just a really bad client.”

Brad Johnson: Right, yeah. Here’s a random stranger we just plugged in. Yeah, for sure.

Robert Glazer: Who may not be staying because we’re busy shuffling pieces on the deck.

Brad Johnson: All right. Let’s go to firing yourself a CEO. So, you have this baby that you have a company that you grew up, and we coach a lot at our company kind of four phases at scale. In our space, we call it advisor in charge to business owner to CEO to board member. What’s interesting, you went from CEO to board member, which would be our kind of final two phases that we coach on.

Robert Glazer: So, what do I get? Death is next? Yeah.

Brad Johnson: Then you just die. Hey, you can stretch the board as long as you want, man. Okay. So, what was the hardest part about that, as you navigated that?

Robert Glazer: This was a very intentional two-year process, in which I think we did a lot of planning, we thought it out. I think, for me, the only hard part, and actually, I would say that is, for me, this is something I’ve noticed is like, even though we planned all this time, as you got to the last stages of knowing that you’re doing something different, it’s hard. Again, it’s what I was always saying about the 90 days, it can be hard to keep doing what you’re doing, kind of knowing what’s coming next. So, I actually, and I learned that lesson when I sort of even– I pushed ahead kind of my stepping down a little more this year by three months because I kind of felt like I was already mentally there. And so, I wanted to be physically there.

The thing that I think would be the hardest in that sort of situation in the long-term CEO and I think we did this really well as a team is I made some sort of cold turkey things to– well, we actually did behind the scenes a lot of what I just said. I had Matt, who’s a longtime number two, start leading the calls and doing these things. And actually, so when people said, “What’s going to change?” I’m like, “Actually, we already changed most of them. You didn’t see it, but we already changed it because he’s been leading all these things.”

But then, as hard as it was for me, I stayed out of his way, I got out of meetings. I said, that’s Matt’s decision. I’ve always felt like when I was in YPO and EO and stuff, and then you’d be president, and then the person would come back on the board and you were just the president, I felt like you should get off the board and give that person the total space of authority so people aren’t confused about who’s in charge. So, I think that would probably be the hardest thing for most people. I think we did it really well, where when we made the cutover, it was really clear. I didn’t try to hold on to anything. All the employees were handed over. I didn’t run the meetings. It wasn’t my voice. I’m sure I chimed in a few places, but I really tried to give him the space that I knew he was going to need.

And even when people protested, I stopped coming to the second day of our offsite meetings because that wasn’t about the strategy. That’s about what everyone’s going to do for the quarter and they’re playing with the teams. And I didn’t have a team. And so, I was like, “Look, I shouldn’t be in that session.” And so, people don’t like the change of that stuff, but having seen a lot of things that didn’t work, I realized, I think you need a certain cold turkey. You don’t want any ambiguity around who’s in charge or which ideas it is or looking to mom and then looking to dad.

Brad Johnson: Was Matt your COO at the time that he was part of this?

Robert Glazer: Yeah, he was president. He was kind of longtime number two, yeah.

Brad Johnson: Okay. And where my head goes, just thinking through the audience that’s listening in here, we have this– it’s like a demographic shift that’s happening. And we talked, I think, our last conversation about your financial advisor, and I believe it’s a lady, right? It was her transition. What we have is a generational transition going on right now where there’s a lot of 60, 65, 70-year-old, typically white dudes, because that’s who’s in finance, mostly. And I know that’s changing demographically, but– so 65-year-old fathers that are handing off businesses oftentimes to sons or daughters. And I see this really painful, emotional, like, it’s so hard. It’s like I’ve done this for the last 40 years.

And it’s what you just voiced, it sounds like you did pretty intentionally, pretty strategically. It’s really, really hard. And I don’t know if that’s because it’s a family dynamic, because I’ve done this my whole life, and identity dynamic. But did you deal with any of that at all?

Robert Glazer: Yeah, look, there’s a Yale piece that shows this curve of sort of stepping out and exiting and the satisfaction, and it really plummets after six months. There is definitely a whole identity piece that comes along with it, that’s separate from the organization, right? I think there’s the organizational piece, and then I think there’s a yourself piece. So, it’s taken a lot of work with me and redefining things and working with coaches and stuff to change my– like anyone who takes a new world say you have to change your identity and your kind of source of validation.

As I had heard it and plan for it, and actually, a lot of people talk about losing their platform. But I had a brand, I had my writing, I had all that, I always felt like that was a little lifeboat that I would be able to jump into. But even with that, I think it is a harder personal transition than people make it out to be. Not that it’s not right and you wouldn’t go through that anyway, but when you’ve done something for a long time and then you change that, there are going to be unintended consequences and unknown consequences.

I think I was really good at the known talk. We’re all good at the known. I thought about what the known things would be. I didn’t think about the unknown things would be. Just little things, like, oh, what do you do now, right? Well, that becomes a self-worth question. And some people say it jokingly, some people don’t realize they’re saying it, but you find yourself getting defensive with the answer. There’s a lot of stuff that goes along with that.

Brad Johnson: Well, fortunately, you can still answer. You have one of the largest email newsletters in the world, so that’s helpful to be able to…

Robert Glazer: But it’s funny, like the way I did all the AP stuff and non-AP stuff was work 100 hours a week to our earlier discussion, which just wasn’t sustainable anymore. And so, all I’m doing now is trying to work a regular workweek between my obligations to the business and the thing outside, but it’s funny how people are like, “Well, what are you doing?” So, it’s interesting.

Brad Johnson: Well, on that note, that was what, end of 2021, you stepped away?

Robert Glazer: Yeah.

Brad Johnson: Like you said. So, let’s say, we’re a year and a few months into this journey. What’s next for Bob? Is this going to be another chapter, start up another business, do some speaking, write some books? Where are you headed?

Robert Glazer: All of the above. I am consciously, as a lot of people who kind of have an achiever orientation and trying to create some space because I found myself running into the next thing and trying to figure out the next thing, and I feel like I earned that space. And I think, sometimes to figure out the right thing to do, you need that space, and I’m not good with the space. So, I’m still very involved with the business. We have a partnership going on. It’d be a few more years kind of seeing that through, even as my role changes within the business, but it’s a little bit of a portfolio approach now.

Would I be happy being a full-time author, writer? I don’t know. Maybe. I know I don’t want to speak three times a week and travel, but I love speaking one to two times a month. So, I am taking a little bit of a portfolio approach and my kids are all in that sort of about-to-be college space. So, the family and the flexibility thing is really important to me and like, want to go on college tours, you want to do something, let’s do that. And we’ll see what’s next. I’m trying to intentionally not put pressure on myself to figure that out because I think a lot of us get to one top of a summit, and then we just rush to climb the next thing. And I don’t know that serves us very well.

Brad Johnson: That’s awesome. I did it, not the extended version that you did, but I took a couple of months. And it was really healthy for me. But I also learned something about myself. I can identify with the achiever mindset. I realized, if I didn’t apply my energy to something that I felt was bettering humanity in some way that I was turning into what wouldn’t be the best version of myself, crankier at home, kind of, like, what’s my purpose? So, I think a lot, like you said that Yale study, it’s like six months and then she falls off the cliff…

Robert Glazer: And then actually rebounds back pretty hard, yeah.

Brad Johnson: Oh, is that how it works?

Robert Glazer: Yeah. Six months was like the trough.

Brad Johnson: It’s good. I should have just held out for a few more months, then.

Robert Glazer: Well, I have a lot of friends who sold their businesses or quit a job or had some payout or otherwise, and I genuinely– and they’re kind of coming off a big burnout period. And if I talk to them, it’s like zero to three months, they’re loving life. Three to six, you start to get a little angst. Six plus, you start to hear some real angst. And it’s almost very consistent.

Brad Johnson: Well, there’s a small percentage of the world, I think, depending on the study you look at, like one percenter entrepreneurs in the human population. And so, it’s almost like, if you’re in that percentage, you are kind of designed at some level to do things or to build things. And so, I could see how just chilling would be kind of a tough scenario for someone wired that way. Well, so as we wrap here today, I want to get your take.

I’m really going to enjoy it because a lot of what we talked about, whether it’s the Marissa Mayer, the Elon Musk mentality of just grind it out however many hours a week, one of the things that we’re really trying to change here at Triad in our industry in the finance space is just this kind of redline behavior of more, more, more, and more production. That does, I’ve seen it over and over, lead to burnout. I’ve seen it lead to just letting your physical self go, just all kinds of just negative things when it’s just out of whack, out of balance. And so, I would be curious to hear, Bob, your take on what is Do Business, Do Life. What would that mean to you if you’re about to have a very healthy business side of your life, and also living the life that you actually want to live?

Robert Glazer: Yeah, I mean, you and I share a similar philosophy on this. I’ve been talking for years about what I wrote. One of my most popular articles I ever wrote was you don’t want work-life balance, you want integration, right? Out of these pieces all fit together so that you can have meaningful work, meaningful family, meaningful personal things, and they’re not ever going to be in balance. You’re going to have weeks that are more family and weeks that are more– but how over time do those things fit together and you create a puzzle that works for you, where you don’t feel like everything is always a compromise or sacrifice or that you’re missing out.

I think the stress that we put ourselves is that we look at too tight of a timeline, like two weeks ago, I had an over family week. This week, I had an over workweek. I’m not stressed that– the two of those worked hand in hand in terms of the schedule that I’ve designed. So, I think, looking at a month’s lens or multi-month lens and saying, like, “I’ve had really quality experiences all across the spectrum of the different things in my life that I want to do.” And then one has not been the detriment of the other.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. You kind of share the example of your workweek and putting the big rocks in, the things that matter most first. If you zoom out to a year and kind of that family dynamic, work dynamic, do you kind of do that same thing on a zoomed-out annual basis as well, with trips, things like that?

Robert Glazer: Yeah, we have usually vacation in mind, like a year out. Six months or a year, we’re thinking about that. They’re not always ready, but yeah, that has a long orientation.

Brad Johnson: So, basically, you’ve kind of retro, it’s kind of the Covey’s 7 Habits, start with the end in mind. You’ve already kind of guaranteed those big blocks of family time are going to happen no matter what before work kind of overtakes them and overpowers them.

Robert Glazer: Exactly. I know if I’ve planned these sorts of times off, then I won’t be working then, right? So, yeah.

Brad Johnson: Did you use the trick of text my wife if you need something? Have you tried that one yet?

Robert Glazer: Haven’t used that yet. But I showed that slide the first time I present this material and people were laughing hysterically at that email. It’s a great email. You get the point when you read it. Also, they interrupt my vacation at. That was the other…

Brad Johnson: I was actually thinking, I was like, if somebody actually did text Sarah, she’d be like, “What is–” I think she’d like…

Robert Glazer: Well, it just creates such a high threshold of, like, you’re not going to do it unless it’s an emergency, right? That was the point.

Brad Johnson: Yeah, it’s a really good hurdle, the way of somebody interrupting your vacation, that’s for sure. Unless they actually use it, then it probably gets you in trouble, so.

Robert Glazer: Exactly.

Brad Johnson: Well, cool, man. I always, always enjoy our conversations. So, thanks so much, Bob, for coming on the show. And congrats on the new book, Elevate Your Team. I just know the type of value you bring. So, I’m sure it’s going to be a bestseller on just about every list that can be so congrats on the new launch and we’re going to buy a box and give them away to listeners. So, thanks again for joining us today.

Robert Glazer: Thanks for having me.

Disclosure

These conversations are intended to provide financial advisors with ideas, strategies, concepts and tools that could be incorporated into the advisory practice, advisors are responsible for ensuring implementation of anything discussed is in accordance with any and all regulatory and compliance responsibilities and obligations.

Copyright ©️ 2023 Triad Partners. All rights reserved. Copyright of all Triad Confidential content belongs exclusively to Triad Partners, a Delaware corporation. TP05232876885

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