Brian Comerford: Thanks for joining us for another edition lead dot
exe. I'm Brian Comerford in Denver, Colorado.
Nick Lozano: I'm I'm Nick Lozano, in Washington, DC.
Brian Comerford: We're joined today with our buddy Jon Abboud
who's who's returning for a third guest spot on the show. And we'll talk a little bit more about some of the other things that we've got in store. Welcome Jon.Jon.
Jon Abboud: Thanks guys. It's good to be back.
Nick Lozano: Welcome back again. But
Jon Abboud: Guess,
Nick Lozano: it's more than just a welcome, I guess the big announcement is that he's going to be a third host with us. We've enjoyed his company so much and his conversation back and forth on leadership that
we decided to just make him part of the
Jon Abboud: I appreciate it. It's exciting.
Nick Lozano: if you didn't know now, so
Jon Abboud: Negotiate my starting salary and all that
Brian Comerford: It's going to be a quick negotiation.
Nick Lozano: quick.
Jon Abboud: my likeness. That'll be fine. Just to
consider me an NCAA football
player and we'll go from there.
Brian Comerford: I definitely approve of your choice of hairstyle.
Jon Abboud: thank you. It's, low maintenance and I it really keeps me streamlined, which is what we're all about here. So
Nick Lozano: I know. My hair's too long now for this show, it needs to be shorter. I feel but
Jon Abboud: You
Brian Comerford: Is that right?
Jon Abboud: hook you up with trimmers.
Nick Lozano: I've been cutting my own hair for years. Like you just get Clippers out and just buzz it and even trim the back. You just get the first 10
haircuts or so are bad. But after that there, you figure it out with the mirror and doing it backwards.
Jon Abboud: go to zero. There's no edging. It's just out of there. It's not so
Brian Comerford: I've often found that the first step in leadership is a good self-awareness and and with that comes the ability to self groom. So I'm glad we're having this conversation. Like you, I am my own barber as well.
Jon Abboud: it's funny. I was balding anyway. And like I had, I didn't have the full on where like I had hair that was this long that I would, but was clearly part of my hair to cover it up. And I was one day I just looked at myself here you know what I mean? What are you holding on to this?
Isn't just get rid of it all. It's better this way. and yeah, just never looked back. But I look at some of those pictures from that like marginal time, I'm
like, Ooh, you're really holding onto
something that wasn't there fella.
Brian Comerford: There you go,
Nick Lozano: trying say, you would tell yourself yourself then to just it and get
Jon Abboud: I think I cut it like pretty early compared to some folks see out I think I was end of that spectrum,
but there were probably six or seven
months in there. have just let it go a little earlier
Brian Comerford: John, I'm telling you self-awareness. That's critical.
Jon Abboud: as my sweet. Now the part of grandmother used to say good Lord gave some people great hair. He gave the rest of the nicely shaped heads. I was like, okay, I'll take that. Yeah, she was rather self-aware herself.
Nick Lozano: so
John essence, we're bringing you on the show. Full-time as one the co-hosts, we're excited about that, but I know you've been on couple of times before, might have listeners who haven't heard any of the episodes. So why, why just do quick rundown of yourself leadership experience and what makes you.
Jon Abboud: I started balding at an early age now I've worked probably mostly in my life, in the public sector. Started in the Marine Corps at a relatively young age as a 17 year old recruit Marine Corps reserve. I just just recently parted ways with Marine Corps after about 15 years, give or take some months.
We'll see if I ever jumped back in and finish for my 20, but for now I've decided to put that part of my life in a different box. I worked at a variety of federal agencies and variety of letters from justice department of veterans affairs commerce department. leave out any of the specifics just in case I say anything stupid on here, I don't want that pointed back to anywhere I've I've had an opportunity to work at a lot of levels and a lot of different organizations.
I've dipped my toes into the private sector in the food and beverage supply industry for a little while. Which was a really interesting move as we didn't know, the pandemic was coming and that interested or It turned into some really interesting challenges for that industry that I was I'd be happy to never have to live through again, but I'm glad I did as far as experience and lessons learned.
And that's about it. I have a master's degree in management and leadership from a university here in DC. My undergraduate was in history and political science, which I think gives an interesting perspective to be able to read and analyze where we've been what that means about where we are.
I to apply lessons to the leadership whenever I can. And right now the field I'm in most specifically is communications. So I work in strategic communications at a federal agency, as I mentioned managing a small, but growing team of communicators. We
Brian Comerford: Yeah.
Jon Abboud: from, internal communications to press, to helping the agency leadership with speech writing really dialing in what are messages that we'd like to get out to the.
And how we'd like to do that. And I certainly don't do that alone. I
and with a number of people that that helped me do that effectively. I think that's kind of John in a nutshell from a professional standpoint and we can get any into my, into any of my weird idiosyncrasies of my personal
life as we go.
a relatively open book as well, so
Brian Comerford: There was one highlight that I noticed you
skipped over, which is this little thing that we all got to do together a couple of years ago called up path, which was our first foray into really designing a leadership program
that we could conduct in a sort of seminar kind of format and ironically, right about the time that we were talking about how do we do this?
Long term way that's able to reach broader and, potentially. do something that's more of a remote kind of structure along, came the pandemic and proved the point of what we were talking about.
Jon Abboud: Yeah, Yeah, for sure. Yeah. How dare I leave that out? I apologize.
Nick Lozano: No, and that, that
Jon Abboud: first,
Nick Lozano: so go ahead and talk, but I'm going
to pull up some photos cause I've actually got photos of that.
Brian Comerford: Oh my
Nick Lozano: you're talking to, yeah, go go
Jon Abboud: All of us in our jeans and sport coats and black t-shirts. That was
Nick Lozano: Yeah, go ahead. Talk about
Jon Abboud: uh, I felt, I felt very Silicon valley that they no, it was really cool. And and you're right. That is personally a highlight. That was my foray. That whole project was my first foray in the entrepreneurship. Really, worked with a small team to really build something independent of any other industry or a company.
So that really exciting for me. We had an awesome group out there in Colorado of young, mostly young young in the career sense, early on their leadership journey, I guess what I would say, not necessarily on the temporal sense, but it was really awesome engaging with these people who are just starting down their leadership path and being able to share some of our experiences through an experiential program for them in person we had about 20 or 25 folks, I think show up there's Brian teaching how to ruin your team was awesome.
Really a great day. And I'm hoping we can get back to doing some stuff here in the near future because I personally benefited from the program, but more importantly, I think some of the feedback we got from the participants sharing that they really gained some insight and were excited about their leadership journeys.
That really fired me up about it.
Nick Lozano: Yeah, Brian I don't know why I have So,
many pictures of you, but
Brian Comerford: I was just going to say,
I'm waiting for some selfies,
Nick Lozano: yeah, and there's Brian Kanthere teaching his lesson and and path shirt, right? The full frame there.
there here we are looking at that
Brian Comerford: Love
Nick Lozano: Silicon valley man.
Jon Abboud: Yeah Yeah.L.
Nick Lozano: But the crazy thing about that, is did that with the idea to launch this product and then the pandemic hit and we just had the everything.
It's very cool experience. We all had a lot of it And there doing your thiyour thing where that see what
on. You don't have Allbirds on, so you're not quite valley all the way. right.
Jon Abboud: I felt like I had have boots on.
Nick Lozano: Yeah. wear a flannel too, since we're in Colorado. Right.
Jon Abboud: I'll wear that for the next episode.
Nick Lozano: And so here, we've got pictures of that exercise that you did. And I thought that was really cool exercise that you put every through where you started a group and one thing,
and then you made everybody switch and it threw everybody off as they were working.
Jon Abboud: Yeah. It was fun. So this exercise was based on some of that actually started as a communications thing. I read some article somewhere and probably ripped off the idea is there so few truly unique new ideas in the world, but really honing down, we talk about strategic plans and strategic messaging and this, that the other thing, and you with these 20 documents and, your company has 20 values and all that stuff, and nobody could remember it.
It's hard to digest. This article was making the argument. Hammer it down to three or four things that people can remember. So I started thinking about that for my own work and internal communications, trying to sell good internal comms to agency leadership. I could walk and along strategic plan all day, but none of them are going to read it.
None of them are communicators frankly have more important things to do for their specific jobs, which is why they have a communications department. So I said, what are three or four things that make a lot of sense that any executive down to individual contributor can understand and implement daily.
And for me, for communications that was increased clarity, reduce noise, build trust, and save people time. If your, a communication product can do that Or at least two or three of those things, every single time, you're probably moving in the right direction. And I think we've talked about this a little bit on the podcast previously.
After implementing that as a communication strategy for awhile, I got to think, and this really is just a leadership management principle too. So if I'm increasing clarity with my team, they know what to expect. If I'm reducing the noise, if I'm cutting through all the other static and craziness that's going on and really helping them focus on what's possible for them and removing barriers for them to be successful.
That's the job of a leader in a lot of increased clarity, regionally building trust. If you're not building trust with your team and your actions and words, your positional authority will only get you so far. You want people doing things because they want to do them because they trust you.
They trust your leadership. They trust the strategic direction. Not because they have to or not, because they're scared of losing their job. And that's when you really get your effectiveness. And then all those things together, save people time. We're cutting to the chase. We're getting done what needs to be done or getting rid of all that stuff that's really just ancillary and not driving towards our mission.
And the interesting thing about save time to me is there's like a psychological aspect to it too. If you're increasing clarity, reducing noise and building trust, people are spending a lot less time worrying about those other things, because it's clear and know what's going and they trust their leader.
I'm not worried about, oh, am I doing a good job really what I'm supposed to be working on? Or, does my boss really like me or does my team really like me? If you're building an atmosphere with those first three elements, you're inevitably saving psychological time for people, as well as in the very literal sense of getting things done.
Anyway, that's the kind of deeper explanation of those four pillars of leadership that I try to ascribe to. I often fall short as we all do. But that turned into that exercise where we asked the participants, we broke them up into small teams. Okay. You tell me what increasing clarity means to you.
You tell me what reducing noise means to you. We picked a leader for each team and they led the discussion. And then after the first one, asked them all to on to the next one. And okay. What do you see here? What would you change? What would you add? And by the end of, we had one statement for each of those that was built by this larger group.
And then we use that to springboard in some other discussions. So it was a really fun exercise. I enjoyed doing it. I enjoyed seeing people stepping up to lead and the conversation was a lot of fun to watch people get really animated and argue it out. I enjoyed it.
Nick Lozano: Yeah, it exercise. I, and what I really liked about what you did about it is because it's And the last thing we want to do is, for those of us who went to college done some type of corporate last thing you want to do is there, there someone just reads PowerPoint slides to you.
And you did your presentation, what like five minutes and it was instant. Hey, we're going into this.
And then you instantly had people up and talking and moving, and I think that's so important. In adult education of some point as you got to get
people interacting, moving with each other, or else it just floats off and into nowhere
Jon Abboud: yeah, I agree. And I think a lot of the when you do an activity like that, you realize the answers are within the group. You don't need the book, you don't need the slides. And that was one of my takeaways from going to grad school, there was nothing. Content wise and grad school, I couldn't have found online or books.
I couldn't have bought. It was having those conversations with a cohort, with other people's experiences learning from each other. That was where the real value lot. I think we, we all did a good job of trying to do that with with all of our exercises. I think every one of us had a kind of experiential part of our program.
I know Nick did some negotiation stuff with the team that was fun to watch watching people negotiate. Brian you gave people this scenario where we have to this team and move people around the personnel board. then Brian Kane had his design type thing, built a product together.
it was a really cool experiential day, I think for everybody. So we should probably get
you guys to run in my mouth about my stuff.
Brian Comerford: No, I think it was
You spoke to it well, and certainly your approach, with your own strategy around communication, I think is it's, it does carry over into some of the most critical areas. Communication is key regardless of where you fall in the leadership chain and certainly trust has been, I think, a key theme for all of us in a variety of our own professional relationships.
You spoke well to it and, part of what I wanted to add on, particularly to Nick's comments about instructional design for adult learning. We recognized that different people have different leader or different learning styles. And I felt pretty good about how we tried to bake in a lot of those different approaches.
We, we had, plenty of the visual we had textual, we had experiential, all of those elements were put into each of the four tracks. And and we gave plenty of breathing room to cause you can't just hammer it hard all day. I know some leaders love to talk about the importance of the grind and the grind has its place, but there needs to be some flex in there also, you can't just keep going back to dish out more and more
Nick Lozano: Got hustling it.
Brian Comerford: Yeah, I heard I heard Terry Gross interviewing quest love the other day. And she said something to the effect of there wasn't some time that's built in as well.
Jon Abboud: For sure. I agree.
Nick Lozano: We
talked about, we just can't keep grinding all day long. Or what
hustle culture is that what it's called?
Brian Comerford: When things work out the way that you expect them to that's when you're a visionary, when they don't, that's when you're a hustler.
Jon Abboud: I like that.
Nick Lozano: I like that. Cause, cause we know as well in entrepreneurship, like sometimes stuff just doesn't work out. Look at everything we did with UpPath. We thought it was going to go gangbusters. We did our one test event and we're like, okay, let's slot one of these up or two of these up for 2020. And lo and behold, 2020, it became what it was like.
I don't think we need to
describe that, but it is
what That's what happened.
Brian Comerford: 2020. I had different ideas store.
Nick Lozano: Yeah. I still think there's a value there to pursue it some more. There's definitely people there looking for the education. And we saw that when we did our testing, So some of the people came from larger tech firms who are like, Hey, this is something exactly like we were looking for.
So we're just sending our people here to explore, to see what's going on. So I think it's important to just, like you said, test stuff sometimes to see what sticks to the wall
and when it doesn't work or you're hustling, right?
Jon Abboud: I wonder if we're all hustlers until we become visionaries. it's like that overnight success 10 years kind of thing that,
Nick Lozano: yeah.
Kevin Hart instantly says, it took years to an overnight success.
Jon Abboud: yeah. That's Yep.
Brian Comerford: John Accuf
this book start talks about importance of having a hustle, and it's a. And energy, quality energy, and as much as it is, what is it that you're trying to prop on the side of whatever your, your quote-unquote real is,
Jon Abboud: Yeah.
Brian Comerford: A side
a, where are you driving passion? How are channeling that energy? And those things become self motivators. And I think we, we all know that hand in glove with leadership characteristics comes the importance having enough motivation that be a starterright.starter Continue to be a lifelong All of those things so that you can cultivate those passions.
Nick Lozano: I you up a good point, Brian like. So idea of hustle, right? through the pandemic and this what, whatever they're calling the huge resignation, people are resigning jobs, moving on new ones and this idea side hustle as a leader.
What are both of your thoughts on having an employee who has a side hustle? I know where it's probably not okay. Where you're like you're in the same industry, poaching clients from your current work, but your, each your thoughts on employee? Someone you're leading having side
hustle, curious what your are on.
Jon Abboud: Yeah that. I think first, just one quick
comment while we talk hustle in the broader sense and Brian wrote the book start, which I haven't read yet but what described of it is. Rings true for sure. Is that it sounds like you were talking about channeling that energy and you sure you can hustle.
You can grind all day, but are you grinding on 70 different things or if you really clarified what it is that you want to hustle towards. And I think that's where a lot of this, I'll sleep when I'm dead. We were joking about Silicon valley, but that's where I hear it referenced a lot is, just work all the time, blah, blah, blah, do a million things.
That's not really useful use of anybody's energy. So got to decide for yourself what it is maybe that's a short term goal, right? Maybe it's just, maybe your first goal is just to figure out what the heck it is you want to aim at and then, okay. Next step. So you can make small adjustments towards a bigger aim.
You don't have to figure out the whole end product. But to the extent possible begin with the end in mind and that end is a short goal. That's my first comment on hustling. As far as employees having a side hustle, to me I don't have a problem with it, as a manager, as a leader, I'm the type that if you're available when needed within reason and a normal Workday and you're getting the job done, I don't, I have to sign time sheets and they have to read 40 hours a week and 80 hours every two weeks and et cetera.
But functionally speaking, if it helps you to take a 20 minute walk with your dog in the morning and answer emails afterwards, and, if that gets job done and I'm not going to be nitpicking every minute day. So as long as the quality and quantity of suffering pursuing passions on side.
That's great. As a Marine Corps reservist all these years I had a mandatory side hustle for me in a more than decade. I liked to as that. Yeah. Sometimes these interfered with each other. But that's just a challenge on the individual to make sure you're managing your yourself appropriately with within the time that you have.
But I also felt that being good at one made me better at the other, I wasn't Marine Corps all day all the time. So I learned some other things from these other places I worked with these other people I interact with we can bring those ideas to the Marine Corps. discipline and hard work some innovative stuff that I learned in the Marine Corps.
And some ways I view the world that I wouldn't have otherwise, I was able to bring that to my private work and I still do today. So I think that can be true of any endeavor. As long as you're keeping them separated enough in your mind, To know when you really need to focus on, or maybe your primary responsibility.
And when you need to put some off other stuff off to the side, and if that side hustle is starting to interfere with your daily work then you gotta make the value judgment, can I live my life on my side hustle at this point and get rid of this other piece or do I need to really refocus on what I'm doing and maybe dial back on this other thing.
So all about balance to me. And, I guess the final point I'll make is that you accept the job and somebody's paying you for your time you have an obligation in my opinion, to, to make sure that you're doing, what's required of you in that role. And not taking advantage of that person.
That doesn't mean you don't have flexibility. That doesn't mean you can't pursue other passions, but you're getting to the point where your quote unquote primary gig is suffering and you're not doing it, the justice that. They deserve from you. Then it's time to really reevaluate where you are.
But I've seen some of these stories in this virtual age, working two full-time jobs and on two at one time. that's probably pretty clearly over the line, but Godspeed the people
that can intellectually, that's pretty crazy. I think I'd lose my mind, but those are
Brian Comerford: I'm not anyone really can manage that. I think there's a lot of people who have been bought into this concept of multitasking in years past. And I think it's pretty much proven itself as not being something that we're mentally equipped to be able to do at least not to do effectively.
It's it's like giving less than to every activity that you're involved in. I, I go communication I think it's critical because the more transparent you are about what your own personal needs are, the more you're able going to be able to deliver the best of who you can be for any organization that you're involved in.
For many years I've had. this or of course, produce a radio program as well. I had a board membership, for many years that that I'm also very passionate about and committed to. And that's just always been something that I've clearly communicated up through my own reporting structure, so that they're aware that those things are important to me.
And there will be demands on my time during normal working hours. And that's just going to be part of the requirement that I have in my own work agreements to make sure that I've got that availability and flex for myself. So I think as as you continue to be true to yourself, but also true to your word and communicate clearly what your needs are, those are the kinds of things that then can do help build.
Right within your team structure or within your reporting structure. And it also, I helped, I think helps earn some respect because you're standing your ground on some of the things that are critical to you. And having employment doesn't, it's not analogous to indentured servitude as much as any people I think have that perspective of it.
So it's the kind of thing where I think it's important to be able to carve out availability for yourself and whatever it is that you're doing. If you don't have time to mentally reset and physically refresh then you're not going to be delivering the best of what you can offer, within your own employment structure or your own reporting structure.
Jon Abboud: Brian, I'm interested what Nick has to say on the topic too, but real quick you mentioned that this is something, when you, this is something you need to make clear up front, that there's going to be other demands on your time your leadership structure and whatever your quote unquote primary gig might be.
How do you communicate that going into a job interview? How do you prove you're have enough value that, we have two candidates that may be all things being equal. We could hire each of them, but this Brian Guy says he runs a podcast and is on a board and, two days a week, he's going to need an extra hour.
the day. I don't know if that's the exact situation
Brian Comerford: Sure. I'm sure.
Jon Abboud: you make that sale.
Maybe going into a new experience or a new employer,
Brian Comerford: I think there's a couple of facets to it, right? The first is
using my own, personal examples. I think those things demonstrate a quality of thinking and quality of commitment of who the individual is. So for for an example with the podcast there's a a personal brand that is a value that comes from participating in these activities.
And and so if you're in a relationship oriented business, as most of us are you don't have to be in sales in order to have, relationships as a primary function of the work that you do. But when you know, you're working to forge greater professional relationships within your own network, having those types of activities as something that people know about you number one, it demonstrates that you're actually a real person with real interests outside of this one sort of siloed perspective where most people may recognize the value that you can deliver to them.
But it also helps extend some awareness of your own personal brand. And there might be some things that are a reflection of some of your own ethical choices because of some of the things that you choose to engage in, publicly. I sit on a board for an organization that helps families work with foster children.
It's an area that's important to me and I'm passionate about it's something that consequently I've had. A lot of people reach out to me through my network. Specifically for that. They're not necessarily is interested in my professional work as they are in some of this other work that I do a volunteer basis.
And then with the podcast, here, we've got something where we are contributing openly and freely to the quality of thinking and leadership performance of other people who no differently than ourselves are wrestling with very similar challenges, asking very similar questions, looking for other resources to help augment their own style, their own approach, their own awareness of things that they might be able to, put into their own quiver.
So that's what I have to say about that, John, what do you think.
Nick Lozano: Gave him the ultimatum there. Huh? That's what I have to say about that. So to get back to John's question there so I can answer my own question. I'm on board with both of you. I think there's nothing wrong with it. Obviously there's lines that need to be drawn. Like you said if you have your primary job and employer that pays you, there's an expectation that work's going to get done as long as there's no suffering on that end.
I think it's a great thing, right? employee a creative outlet they can learn different skills you might have time resources pay them to do. And like I said, benefits can come out of it. Like the personal branding, like Brian was just talking about we have a whole podcast on leadership.
I don't know hours. There are me talking, but you can literally find out what all my ideas and ideas and beliefs arest by looking at this podcast. So I think there's definitely benefit it. And especially nowadays see job advertisements, people like, oh, we want to be entrepreneurial, but I'm like, what does that really mean?
Does that mean that you're okay if people do things on the side or does that mean just want to leave somebody over here in the corner and let them do their work and expect them to do their work? So I think there's just two different
dradraws thed I think with both of you guys on, on everything.
Brian Comerford: No, I think there's also consideration, going back say scenario where you're actually interviewing actually interviewing, you're a finalist u you do bring some of these things and you've got a prospective employer that says that's going problem. There's a pretty strong indication right there. This might not be the right gig for you. The number that I've heard people in variety of industries, the importance of entrepreneurial thinking, and then when you demonstrate it, they are very resistant
Jon Abboud: Yeah.
Brian Comerford: any of creative thought process that might actually evoke some change.
I think there's a sort of precaution that you need to keep in the back of your mind when you start hearing buzz terms that get thrown out there. There are a lot of B level managers, right? Who tend to only to be able to gravitate level people. that's what they are capable within their authority A level managers are always looking for a level players people who may actually supersede their own capabilities or knowledge and in roles because if you're an effective leader then ultimately you are hoping to lead people beyond what you can deliver them, right? You actually want to retire yourself in the process of providing quality leadership.
That's a true mark in my opinion of of success as a leader when your own direct reports have outgrown your need for leadership.
Jon Abboud: And that, that often signals that maybe you're ready for the next level of leadership too there's that old saying that, you're, maybe it's not a saying some kind of having trouble coming up with the exact phrasing, that the true evidence of your leadership is what happens when you're not there.
The team continue to run. Do they understand that the end goals and all those sorts of things and are they stepping up to lead? When I hear about an organization or a team that says, we don't know what to do if this person leaves, or if that manager leaves, because there's no one ready to take over.
If you're having to go outside the organization to replace a manager on a team a team that's been established for any significant period of time, which isn't to say, you never do that. Sometimes you want some fresh blood. I'm not saying you don't recruit outside, but don't have one or two people that are at least candidates to replace, whatever manager is moving on or moving up, I have serious questions about that manager to begin with.
they'd been there more than a year or two, who are they developing? Who are they leading behind? What was the succession plan? What got done while they were there. And that those are serious questions. you see it a lot in a lot of organizations, nobody's ready to step up.
Then what have you been doing for the last five years if nobody's ready to step up? So that's something I take really personally, with my team leadership development. You said it, Brian, I want to work myself out of a job. I want to develop these people so that they don't even need me.
I want to get to a point where I'm sitting around staring at my inbox and it's the employee is going to take care email and employee B is going to take care of that one. I'm really not needed here. So my own mortality you're, I guess it's time to move on or move up or find a new challenge.
And I think should be one of our goals as leaders to really get to a point where we don't even need to be there because we've empowered them and educated the teams so well and hired good people. I think that's an excellent point to Brian. As don't be afraid of hiring people better than you.
should want to hire people that are in. You should want to hire that person who you think might take your job. Not backstabber or a small politician, but because they're good enough and they might do it one day. And that's just going to do nothing, but make your life easier and show to people above you that you're thinking strategically and that your team can get things done
and that maybe you're ready for a higher level of leadership.
Brian Comerford: Yeah. Again, having that quality of trust
is critical in that kind
of approach. I think a phrase that goes something to the effect. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. And I think that's true at whatever level you're at. if you're truly equipped to be working yourself out of a job then, hopefully that means that you're also prepared to recognize what the next step in your own path should appropriately be.
My son is a lover of dogs, though unfortunately he's got terrible allergies to animals. So we tend to live vicariously through other people's pets. And one of the programs that that we enjoy watching together since we often talk about, media artifacts that are influential to us on this program one that surprisingly me has some great
training in it is all of these programs produced by Cesar Milan,
Jon Abboud: yeah.
Brian Comerford: It used to be the dog whisperer and
Ceasar Milan nine 11, all these different things, but he's got a catch phrase that goes to the effect rehabilitating dogs training humans. Which I think is great because in a lot of these what you start to identify is that the underlying bad behaviors these animals are actually a reflection of quality of leadership being exhibited by who should really be the alpha and the pack leader position.
And I know talked about this relationship to, examples and books like by Jocko, Willink, where, you know you take a team. And you give them a leader and you can start to measure the quality of the effectiveness of that leadership based on the performance of the team. And a winning team that's given a leader that doesn't recognize their role as the pack leader suddenly is not performing like the outstanding team that they are when they've got someone who actually recognizes those characteristics.
Jon Abboud: Yeah, I agree. I have other co-host Lincoln here, snoozing beside me here. So
Nick Lozano: There he is love a good dog. And the podcast.
Jon Abboud: we got him about, about four years ago and I I really dug into the dog training stuff, reading some books and doing some online things and, he's not ready to be a service animal or, joined the local department or anything like that, but he's pretty well behaved. And, we've gotten some behavioral stuff, worked out with him and you're so are there so many correlations between dog training and leadership that, that I've found through reading is it's all psychology and, positive reinforcement, negative and all that stuff.
So it was a little off from what you were saying but you made me think about it is that, right. That leadership thing, that dog means to look at you for leadership. It's not one of the things, and one of the books I was reading about animal training is that, it's, you don't want the dog to just respond to your command or to know how to deal with every single scenario, because there's too many scenarios that, a car could go down the street or the mailman, or, I don't know, and pick a thing and an alarm could go off whatever you just want the dog to look to you when that thing happens.
response is that, Hey, I don't know what's but I know that this guy probably does, or he's going to tell me what to do. So for a dog, that's a really valuable thing. I could see there being a diminishing return for that in leadership with people, yes, you want to be the leader.
You want to be people look to in those really tight situations or difficult situations, you want your team to be able to look at. To provide direction or at least stability, even if you don't know what's going on, but I think, and I'm thinking through this, as I say, it's a very with me, but I think that we were talking about learning styles are there, I've learned by talking.
So I might disagree with myself by the end of this. What I'm unpacking here is that it's almost like this maturity model for your team, right? So first yeah. When we're new and we're all doing a new thing, I want you to look to me every time something's confusing, but as you grow, all right, you should be able to handle that task it.
then to point where, I better be a real crisis or something really new and unique before you need to look to me and judgment of the employee or of the person being led. It's a judgment of you again, as a manager, how will have I prepared you for every scenario that I can think of where at least to be able to think through a new scenario well enough that you don't necessarily need me.
Maybe what used to be, Hey, what do I do? Hey, can I run this by you to make sure I'm thinking about it correctly? And then yet you've got it. And then next time you have the confidence to do it. That was a roundabout dog reference there, but I think it'd be neat to talk about some of that.
There's some really interesting stuff in animal training and human behavior, and not that I'm not all that much
smarter than that furry thing sitting behind me.
Brian Comerford: Welcome to the program. Jon we are masters of the roundabout.
Jon Abboud: indeed, I think he's training me. I'm not really sure.
Nick Lozano: That's the way it feels all the time. Yeah. We get, we go about roundabout ways still. And we, Brian it's like like I remember we had Peter margaritas on it. Somehow we talked about shooting him with an arrow or
something like, wasn't there a whole thing with an arrow or something. I
remember he I'm going to send him an arrow.
Brian Comerford: yes. Yes, there was. Yes, there
Nick Lozano: Yeah. what Brian said, that was the execute part of the
show. That's what he said.
Brian Comerford: we cover a lot of territory here, Jon
Jon Abboud: indeed. That's fine. Great.
Brian Comerford: We tried to do it with good humor and as much as we tread, like right along the edge of the inappropriate at times,
Jon Abboud: It's a good place to live. Yeah, it's where all The interesting stuff happens,
Nick Lozano: so he gets it.
Brian Comerford: that's right.
We've got a lot more
territory to cover in a roundabout way with with you on board. So again, welcome to the program.
This is this is effectively now part of our season three, right? As we've shifted
Nick Lozano: It is.
Brian Comerford: based model. So a lot more to come. We'll have some other great guests that we can continue to thread the needle on the roundabout with
Jon Abboud: Yeah,
Brian Comerford: Keep keep the curve balls coming.
It's part of what keeps the
Jon Abboud: I'll throw on a, both of you now. It seems like we're winding down a little. I thought maybe it'd be interesting for me to ask each of you. What are you reading this week?
Nick Lozano: That is a good question.
I'll take that first. My reading style kind of happens to depend on what's going on. And I've actually been reading this as marketing by Seth Goden. For people who aren't familiar with Seth Godin, he's a pretty popular internet marketer. Basically, he came to rise what Brian probably, who he is like probably in the early two thousands.
blog literally be a paragraph. Make this whole thing about how marketing has changed from the Don era to what is now, and it's built on trust and relationships. So it has a lot of leadership principles in it too. That's what I've been reading, really enjoying it, maybe quarter of the way through it.
That's, what's on my plate this week. What about you, Brian?
Brian Comerford: Yeah. So I tend to
have two books
going all the time. There's usually one that's related to my professional development and one that's related to my personal interests. It's interesting that you ask this because I just happen to have one book open that I've been reading challenger sale by Brent and Matthew Dickson.
And it's part of, interesting about is, we've talked here and there and this episode about psychology of leadership. And part of the psychology of the challenger sale really to be active in your listening, you're interacting with someone who's prospective client and using data, using factual information upend some of their preconceived notions come in a variety of forms. It's a little bit less about, a structured approach to what a sales model looks like versus, the quality of your thinking and the quality of your listening as you're interacting with clients.
And then the other book that I've been reading is called living with Islam. And a book that was written by Brian Gisen who was of beat generation. So it's a book that was written. I think probably in the early, like between 1952 and 1962. And and he was a, English born Canadian who had been in the Canadian air force.
And and then, following that had just fascinating career. He was a participant with the surrealist movement and he ended up living in Morocco for about 20 years and was a magnet for a lot of, the beat generation sort of significant personalities, Paul Bowles, William S Burroughs even the rolling stones, that all gravitated towards that that region during that era. And because he traveled throughout the Arabic world pretty extensively. He ended up, he was not a historian. He was an artist. And but he did a lot of writing as well. He ended up writing this thing. That's actually a really incredible historical perspective on the contributions of the Arabic world and how Islam, factors into that.
So it's been a fascinating read for me and it, the timing of me picking up this book proceeded any of the current conflict that's going on in Afghanistan, but it's also been helpful to me, just to wrap my mind around something that is pretty unfamiliar territory to me otherwise.
And it's refreshing also because again, because of the period of time that it was written in, it proceeds a lot of the. Sort of sensationalist perspective that the media brings to a lot of the conflict that we've seen in the Arabic world my entire lifetime, honestly.
Jon Abboud: Cool. Interesting. I it's always cool when you you pick up a book maybe even somewhat randomly, but you realize tie in, especially with mentioned, I'm a history kind of nerd a little bit. when you can find that, that historical perspective, that's helping to inform, what's going on today.
I it's an interesting time.
Nick Lozano: What about you, John? You can, you can't get out of your own question. You Hey, I gotta.
Jon Abboud: I actually just finished. It is, this was not a setup, but it is sitting on my desk was the way by Ryan holiday. It's a book on stoicism. essentially a decent read, stuff in there. I'm trying to read a little bit more stoicism and practice it, when I can, or at least a modern version of it.
And that felt this stoicism has my, my boss is a big Winston Churchill fan. he's recommended a few books to me. And in talking about Churchill I was reminded of this quote from Churchill about never give in except to what does a good sense and courage and good sense or something like that.
Don't give it to anything else. That's, I'm butchering the quote. So I was reading that speech that he gave, which led to a a poem by Rudyard Kipling called if, and it's a really excellent poem. So I've been reading that and digesting it a little bit. I heard on a podcast from a gentleman whose name I don't even remember about the value of poetry.
And I don't read a whole lot of don't even read a whole lot of non-fiction. playing around with some some poems seeing just, it'll probably be a fleeting fan. The poem, if by Kipling, I highly recommend it. It's really interesting. And it's a good perspective on life.
So I will not deign to try to recite it here. I think I've already forgotten most of the lines, but it's really interesting. So the obstacle is the way I also finished the war of art by Steven Pressfield. Yeah, look, I've been doing, chapter, page or two long in that particular book.
So I've I've been reading that about a day at a time for the last couple of And just finish that this morning as well. So two, two interesting books and a little foray into some poetry that will be
short-lived, but put as interesting. That's what I got on my plate lately.
Brian Comerford: Maybe you can
add to your list of poetry 100 poems by the Japanese, by Kenneth Rexroth.
Jon Abboud: Okay.
Brian Comerford: It'll I think tie
your interest in stoicism as well as poetic brevity.
Jon Abboud: Yeah. That's actually one, one final roundabout while we're here. While you were talking Brian and we were talking about history and stuff think you read the book of five
Nick Lozano: sure have yep.
Jon Abboud: Brian?
You may have. I believe it's from that book that says, when you know the way broadly you see it in all things, is that,
Nick Lozano: That's correct.
Jon Abboud: um, and that's, just thinking about that when you're talking about history and, the books
you're reading and how you might apply them today.
You can really find leadership or whatever your thing is. You can find anywhere once he wants to learn how to look for it. As you say, when the student is ready, the
teacher will appear. That's my roundabout to close it out as
Brian Comerford: That's great. What a way to conclude cool.
Nick Lozano: That's perfect then named, so that then welcome aboard. So if people are looking for
you, Jon, where can they find you to get ahold of you other than this
Jon Abboud: You can find me on LinkedIn, John Abboud, ABBOUD. Otherwise I am relatively quiet on the other social media forums. I actually tried. Not look at those as much as I think in the first podcast, Nick described it as when you make chicken all day, you don't necessarily want to eat it.
So we're working in communications. I I try to turn it off as much as possible when I'm not at work. But reachable there. I also have [email protected] for I believe the email
Nick Lozano: that is correct. janitor.media. And you're also [email protected].
Jon Abboud: Great. So yeah, I'm
Brian Comerford: Just so you know where you can find yourself.
Jon Abboud: I'm doing,
Nick Lozano: Hey, you
did check your email to get on this somehow to
Jon Abboud: it.
Nick Lozano: that's winning a winning us Charlie sheen would say, right?
Jon Abboud: Yeah, you can reach And I think invite your to, leave comments. Maybe tell us what you're reading comments or in the chat on any of this stuff. that'd be cool. Just start
hearing our, listeners
a little bit.
Brian Comerford: Awesome. Thanks John. Welcome.
Nick Lozano: All right with that. Thanks everybody for listening. We'll catch you on the next one.