Intro: Duration: (01:29)
Opening music jingle & sound effects
Welcome, everyone! This is Human Capital, a GoalSpan podcast, and I'm Jeff Hunt. Today we're going to focus our conversation on the most strategic decisions that leaders need to make. These include things like buying and selling companies, when to leverage an outside consultant, and the ways you do strategic planning, even if you're listening to this episode and you're not in a position to make these types of decisions, I think you'll find this discussion interesting.
These are the types of decisions that can be so consequential that they impact all employees. Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Jeff Rogers, who is the chairman of OneAccord. OneAccord is a consulting firm located in the Pacific Northwest that assists clients with building operational value and acquiring or selling their companies.
OneAccord also has a heart for assisting nonprofits and faith-based communities and they have helped over 450 organizations across the US over the past 22 years. Welcome, Jeff!
Well welcome, Jeff. It's nice to meet you. Thank you for that gracious introduction, as well as the opportunity to just talk to leaders in so many different segments of markets.
I really appreciate what you're doing because you're creating value for other people. So it's an honor to be here. Thank you.
Topic 1. Who or what inspired you the most in your career? (01:30)
Well, it's a privilege. And hearing you say that you just ran from a board meeting, makes me appreciate that you're setting aside some time for our podcast. So, thanks for setting aside a chunk of time.
I'm really looking forward to this conversation. We haven't talked too much on the show about these strategic topics, but the reality is, like I said in the intro, they really impact everyone in a significant way. I would like to segment our conversation into three topics. Mergers and acquisitions, consulting, and then strategic planning, which is really sort of a subset of consulting.
And before we do that, can you kick us off by giving us a thumbnail of your career journey, Jeff, and sharing with me, who or what inspired you most along the way?
Thank you for asking and, you know we all have a story, right? We all have a narrative. The trajectory that we set early in life may or may not be related to where we are later in our career, it could very well be, or it can be very different.
And yet one of those questions that I think most of us work through is what am I called to do? Or what's my identity? If you're a parent you can see in kids, what's their natural proclivity. What comes easy for them. We have three daughters and our middle daughter was in choir and was in the select choir and very good.
But her older sister, going through school, the choir director said to her, that if she would lip-sync, he would pass her. So, she was not gifted to sing where the other was. We have a daughter that's in human-centered design engineering and data analytics. And yet I have another that graduated in creative writing and literature.
They see things very differently, right? So we have this question of how am I wired? And then I think you integrate that or you mix it with experiences that you have that then you can leverage for your career. So there's a mix of what comes naturally and then what did I learn? And so, as you asked about my career and how I started.
I started, I think in a pretty humble way as I was recruited while studying finance at the University of Washington to sell educational books, door to door, moving in that case to Texas, with this company based out of Nashville and over a period of numerous summers, I paid my way through school.
I knocked on 300,000 doors. I had actually callouses on my knuckles and it was a great education. And I learned a lot about other people, but I also learned a lot about myself. And through that experience, I developed certain aptitudes, and yet maybe they were overlaid on top of who I already was.
I don't think that at 18 or 19, I really knew too much about who I was. And I ended up working for that company full time. And was there for 20 years and worked in the development of other countries actually opening up other teams. And I worked on 40 university campuses, recruiting training, and developing salespeople.
So that was a 20-year career from 80 to 99. In 99 rewinding for those that would remember the economy was going tremendously well, it was very strong. There were a bunch of IPO business plans on the back of napkins. The internet had just started, and people had cell phones, but not everybody used email.
It's not that long ago. And so I left that job after 20 years, searching for what I was going to do next unaware. I didn't leave to know what I was going to do. I knew it was time to transition. And I think some listeners are even asking the question, are they in the right position? And should you look for another job while you're in a job?
Personal question based on your ethic and perspective, but I decided to try and finish that job strong, take the time, a little time off to figure out what was next. And so through that, I ended up starting our own business, OneAccord in the fall of 99. So really let's say 2000.
So since 2000 I have built and partnered with others within our business, not just me, to build OneAccord where it is today. So I have a history of coming from literally selling door to door and recruiting people to do that, to now having a portfolio of companies doing mergers and acquisitions, we've worked with about 150 nonprofits and 450 private companies.
And yet my trajectory wasn't a Harvard wall, straight trajectory and corporate finance to do it. I came through one path, though I learned some things that would hope there was relevant to it in the marketplace. There ended up being some, some things I assumed were true, and some were not. And I think that's how a lot of people actually start businesses with the belief that there's something they know or understand that can be used.
And so the career has been, what am I naturally gifted at? Then, what do I enjoy? Mixed with, I think a marathon approach versus a sprint approach of being steadfast in continuing to work, even when the motivation wasn't there, even when the alignment wasn't there, to continue to press forward. So there've been some seasons that sound really glorious.
There are deep, deep, difficult times along that journey where I didn't know if the business would make it or if I was even the right person to run it, and I'll save that for further inquisition or people can follow up with me and I can dialogue with them on it.
Topic 2. Inspiring individuals in Jeff’s career. Learn how to inspire others (07:40)
Yeah, I'm so glad you brought that up because often the perspective on people who have really excelled in their careers is that they haven't experienced those levels of hardship.
When those levels of hardship are really ultimately what defines us. But I guess my follow-on is in that journey, in your journey, were there any people that come to mind that really inspired you to keep going, even in the midst of those difficult times?
I appreciate the question and I'm not doing deference to handfuls of individuals who've been a blessing to me and an encouragement along the way. I'm going to focus on four and I'll give you quickly why those four. Early on in my career, Allen Clemens was the senior vice president of the company I've worked with. And he looked at me when I was 19 years old. And we're talking about what we do.
And I said our business really isn't about the books we sell the medium of exchange, is it? It's about developing people and we're in a meeting in Arizona and he looked at me and he just said, you got it. You're going to do very, very well. And someone that could affirm a young person in business to say, you're going to do well.
I looked at him as the epitome of success based on where he was in the company. And so that conversation that I can recall right now, 40 years later, was obviously meaningful. And so I think the power of words and speaking into someone else of life and what you can see in them when you have that nudge, when you have that little conviction in you take action on it, tell them, text them, call them, say, hey, I was thinking of you.
I think you're great at this. You never know to someone coming up, what you can mean. So, that's one. Two is there are two gentlemen, Barry Horn and Bob Nuber both very well-known business leaders in the Northwest. And the segments that they work in. Barry's company was. He grew to over a billion in revenue and it was acquired by a Warren buffet company Bob Nuber owns and has transitioned to a large accounting firm here by the name of Clark Nuber.
Both are highly respected. And I have two gentlemen that are more seasoned than me in age and experience who have been mentors that I can go to when I'm stuck. And just to say I'm facing the scenario. So for example, we have a number of team members in our business that want to quarter and I went to Bob Nuber and I said, how do you decide what your equity structure should be?
To people buy-in? Or are they granted shares? Do they automatically become a partner? Then if they are a partner, how do they get their exit value? If they want to transition out. I had no idea. I came up in a privately held company that didn't operate that way and I needed someone who could speak to me. So having Barry and Bob, people to go to.
You don't need an army of them, but I think you need a couple that can help you. And the last is a gentleman, Greg Brennaman who was on wall street and help co-found Bain capital. And I was on a nonprofit board meeting of a faith-based marketplace organization. We founded one here called Kiros.
It’s K I R O S.org. This gentleman was on the board and involved in a group called new Canaan society at a board meeting. He said, Hey, what do you do? And I said, well, we help private companies grow their value. And how do you do that? And he looked at me and Jeff, he said, well, if you do that, why don't you buy some of them?
No, it's funny. I had like a two-minute silence. Like, I don't know what to say. Now. This guy has his own capital fund today and I think it's 14, 15 billion. He’s a Harvard, Wharton, Wallstreet. I looked and I said I don't know how. And he said, what do you mean? So, well, look, you went to school, and you were in a trajectory in the ecosystem of learning how to do this, and then ended up at Bain and bank capital.
And so on. I said I sold books door to door. I have no idea how you would do what you're talking about. He said, do you want me to coach you? I said what? He said, do you want me to teach you how to do it? He invested two years with me on the phone, pre-zoom, walking me through how you would set up a fund and how you could do acquisitions.
We purchased yesterday, I closed the seventh company that we own, and they're all manufacturing, distribution, and service. They're not consulting. They're very different types of pluses making boomer-owned companies that are transitioning. Had he not said that to me. I don't think I would have ever gone in this direction.
I think we would have had our consultative business and continued on. And I don't think this whole world of actually running companies and developing future leaders through those would have ever entered my mind because I wouldn't have thought I could do it. So career history, you got the first part, the second part has been influenced significantly by a few people that have spoken.
I think what I would say is truth in me that they saw in me, things I didn't see in myself.
That's such a great story, set of stories. And what I'm just reflecting on Jeff is one of the things that you said in the beginning, which is to pay attention to those nudges. Because they can change the trajectory of somebody's career in their life.
There are times when I know I'm guilty of having that nudge and not taking action. And I know what that feels like, but then there are also times when I'm following that nudge and it's tremendous to be able to encourage and inspire others. And we also benefit as a result in terms of that.
Yes. And I think in our world we often think, oh, I'm bothering someone or they're so busy.
And I just believe if you get a nudge, just take the little action that you know, I leave voicemails all the time. Say, don't call me back. You don't need to call me back unless you need to call me back. Otherwise, I'm just leaving you this message to encourage you. You're on my mind. I think you're great.
Here's what you're good at. And a hang-up nine out of 10 times, they're like you called it the perfect time. I need to talk. I'm like, well, maybe it was more of a nudge from a greater understanding than I have, but I think taking those steps as those gentlemen did for me was really significant.
Topic 3. Merges and acquisitions (14:43)
I'd love to jump into some of these topics. The first one is really what you have so much experience in, which has mergers and acquisitions. And to tee this up, it's fascinating looking at the data. And so, I want to set the table for our conversation. If you look at 2021 last year's global M&A activity hit record highs.
Exceeding 62,000 transactions. That number was up 24% over the prior year. Which of course was the first year of the pandemic. So that's part of it. And this sort of frenzy of activity was fueled by a number of things, including demand for technology and pent-up demand from the pandemic. The first pandemic year.
The reality though Jeff is, unfortunately, many of these acquisitions fail according to Investopedia, about 50% of them fail on average. And some studies have put the figure closer to between 70 and 90% of acquisitions fail. Let's get pragmatic for a minute. Why do so many deals fail? And as a follow onto that, what can be done to prevent that?
I want to back up and affirm Jeff, just the data though. Cause I don't come from M&A right? I wasn't raised in it. I was in business. We're doing consulting and understanding the impact of what's going on, I think is important just for someone working in any business to understand behind the scenes, the dynamics.
So right now there's about roughly in today's dollars, $10 trillion worth of dollar transfer that's going to take place over the next 10 to 15 years. As you see baby boomers, matriculate. And I think it's over 90% of jobs I think it's 96 or something, but over 90% of jobs are held in private companies.
They're not in public companies, right? Okay, it is suggested that 85% of those companies are going to transition ownership in the next 15 years. So 85% of our 90% of our workforce are going to flip over, well, why? Because you have boomers that are aging out. And whether they're proactive in making that transition or reactive, even being through their estate, it's going to happen, and it's going to accelerate, it's not decelerating.
Sure, the pandemic had some influence, but a greater tide. It's a tsunami. The tsunami taking the pandemic out is still coming through and is not even totally crested yet. And so, I think we should all be aware that this needs to happen and that companies and leaders should be astute in thinking about how we pass the baton and whether it's an internal transition, a generational transition, or most often those that have not been planned.
And therefore it just ends up being an acquisition. So the swell and the impact and looking at some of the signs that things are happening, and being aware of your role in the position to say, Hey, do I see activity that looks like this company might even be sold? It's probably astute to see, and there are things you've seen in terms of spending and investment.
And corporate culture change and so on to be aware of. Now, why do some make it, and some don't? It is a very difficult scenario to follow an owner founder, being the next owner in that seat from not being the founder. I think the single biggest thing is culture. The continuity between the owner-founder and the next owner is changed.
And as much as we can keep things the same for a season that people feel comfortable and secure and in a generic sense, loved, appreciated. We're not going to pull the rug out from under them. We hold companies for a long time. We don't flip any companies. So that's a bit different, but even if you're the acquirer.
That you get to know the people and keep things as they were for a season before starting to affect change and slowdown that pace because companies are made up of people, not spreadsheets. That's the single biggest thing. Now, if I were to add a couple of layers, I'll go here quickly. Get to know the people.
In the organization, not just the role, but the person, which means just meeting with them. That doesn't happen. So, I'm going to tell you a truth, two weeks ago, a company that just sold and I was talking to the CEO, and he said, okay, through the acquisition process. And now two weeks post, he has never talked to the new owner, and this is the CEO. He goes, I don't know my job description.
I don't know my compensation. I don't know the expectations for me. He said, I'm left, I'm running the company still, I'm still getting paid, but that is emblematic of kind of this, Hey, we got the deal done. So it's kind of that old adage in our goal was to make it to the super bowl, right? Versus we're playing to win the super bowl.
And I think a lot of people think as a transaction is it's done now. And I'm like, we just closed the company yesterday and we send a note out to all the investors I did last night at about 11:30 that says now the work begins. It's not finished. It's just started now. So, getting to get to know the people would be one that's very, very simple.
And number two, there's the statement that comes out of the Bible that without vision people perish, well, the reverse is with vision, they flourish. So help create what's the vision about how we're all going to win. In other words, how is this good for me? Not the buyer, the team of the company that's going through this, how's it good for them?
Create a vision about where we're trying to go. There are two tips.
What's interesting to me is that these concepts are actually quite simple. So, what you're talking about is having a proactive communication strategy. Looking at the transaction as one that is not purely financial, but is people.
It is a people-oriented change that is occurring. And to really take that to heart before, during, and after. The acquisition takes place. If you think about what people really want Jeff, to me, it seems like mostly what they want, they want to be seen and heard. So they want to be able to have a voice and be able to speak up and know that people care for them individually.
So that they're not just a producer, but they're a person. And we care about that individual in terms of who they are. Their friends and families, the things that they enjoy in their lives. And they also want some sort of sense of security, which can't always be provided within an acquisition.
So sometimes there are segments of the working population that get, let go, but the greater the transparency in the midst of the transaction, the greater the communication and the openness, that is possible from the buyer to the employees of the company that was acquired, the greater the levels of trust and an understanding and engagement are. Wouldn't you say those are all truisms?
Spot on! Let's put really rubber meets the road.
You're buying a company or you're involved in that transition taking place, send one or two people on your team for a couple of weeks to meet with every employee if possible, but at least all the department heads, not just the CEO and listen, take an hour say I just want to get to know you, and tell me your story.
What's your role? What are you doing? What would you like to see in the future? And then whatever they say, make sure to respond to them with here's what I'm going to do with what you said, right? And then take that back to the leadership team and say, okay, this is what I heard. So just a person, literally, whose role is to listen to the team and learn from the team.
In OneAccord, the word we use is "consultant". But we're really almost the antithesis of consultants because all our team is people that have built, run, and exited companies. They've actually sat in the shoes. None of our team comes from consulting. They don't really have that background. It's just the easiest word to encapsulate what that one part of our business does.
But in the companies that we help facilitate the transition. We actually bring one of our key team members to do exactly what I said, which is to sit in the seat and go listen and learn. You would find that probably eight out of 10 things need to be done in the business. The ideas already reside within the walls of the company.
They're just not heard. We're not that brilliant. Now, once in a while, I still don't think we're brilliant, but we'll pull something from something else we've seen in another business that we could use. But 8 out of the 10 ideas that caused the significant growth in the company reside within the team members there, listening to them, aggregating that feedback, and then aligning it with strategy, which we'll get into the strategic planning conversation a bit.
And you know, you can get a lot of lifting growth from the people that are there, they probably understand the customer and the needs sometimes better than the owner or the leader that's there.
Topic 4. Consulting for beginners. When to hire an outside consultant and what to expect? (25:20)
Great advice. Yes, definitely. Let's talk about consulting. I know you mentioned that you don't really see yourselves as consultants, which I appreciate.
We have a consulting arm at GoalSpan as well and we think and operate similarly, but I'd love it if you could speak to leaders who have never used a business consultant before. What do they need to know about? And when will they know when they should hire an outsider to help them?
Okay, great question.
I'm going to give two analogies to this. First, just help the belief that should I even have one? Or does that make sense? Here's a picture I'm going to give. I had a really bad, lower back. I ruptured two disks, so I'm trying to figure out what to do. I got an MRI, I got a couple of x-rays.
Okay. I went and saw a chiropractor. Jeff, what do you think the chiropractor said I should do?
Yup. For sure. Okay. I went to an acupuncturist. What did the acupuncturist say I should do?
Be in the present moment and release your pain.
Well and do acupuncture, right? What's called a deep needle and they died some nerves. And I went to a surgeon, actually three surgeons. What did the surgeon say I should do?
We can open you up and fix you physiologically.
Right. So they saw things through their own set of lenses. And I would say let's give them the deference that they were accurate.
They were correct based on the way they see things and their worldview. So most of us running private companies, the most of us in that seat have a hard time with a consultant “coming in”, who's not been in our company and doesn't know the idiosyncrasies and is going to have a certain set of lenses.
They see things through. First is to come to a recognition that having different points of view, as I explored what to do on my back was actually healthy. I was willing to seek counsel and not just one point of view, I was willing to open the kimono, so to speak. Okay. So that's really the first thing, would external objective opinions be helpful for me.
To either solve a problem I have, which is usually when you get called in because there's a problem, or perhaps of the few to be proactive around what it is we want to accomplish and how to grow. So, I think the first thing is an acceptance to say, I'll be willing to get another opinion. Okay. That's first, the second thing is I'll draw a second story is I work out at a club.
In our area and I work out in the same area, it's got five, four, or five floors, and I work out on one floor in one section of the basement, no windows. It's the old equipment, but it's the easiest for me from the block room. I go in there and do my thing and come out. So I've been in there about six years and I see people come in and out.
That is starting and they're evidently new cause I'm there kinda the same time. So I know the regulars. The people that show up and have a trainer versus those that don't. This is my data, I’ll just throw it out to you. People that show up, they're going to be working out.
They don't have a trainer. What percent do you think are there three months later?
It's gotta be a very low percentage. I have no idea, but I'm going to say 20% or 30% maybe?
And I would put it 10 to 20. Of those that have a train what's their percentage?
Ah, 78, somewhere in there?
70% - 80%. Yeah, it's just different.
Now some people I would see they'll use a train or they get on a routine, then they can back off and they'll, they'll keep a high percentage. The point is what do you do to increase your statistical odds? Can you do it on your own? Probably. As a business owner, I've brought in outside counsel. So let's call it that not consulting, but I've brought in outside counsel in specific areas multiple times.
I actually paid our team to do our process called a discovery diagnostic, which is like an MRI on a business. I paid our team to do it for us. Not fun. Seriously. Cause they're there to tell me what's not working. A few good things, but here are some things you can improve and they did a good job of narrowing that down to two or three tactical and two or three strategic, not like here are 20 things.
Let's actually take tactical and start knocking off some low-hanging fruit. And that's what we did. But I think it is first to say, am I open to the counsel? One and number two, am I willing to get someone that can actually hold me accountable a little bit to take from ideation into execution and increase your odds?
So that's my foundational. Now back to your question, you know, what do you do to help this be successful? How do you find that that person can really add the value that you're looking for and not be like the strategic plan that you did, that you spent a bunch of money on, and then it sits on the shelf and collects dust?
How do you help that? You have to first identify and narrowed down the specific issue that you're working on and then find someone who's a deep subject matter expert in that area. The reality is that most privately held companies, I said this earlier. In most companies that ideas of what you can do exist within the team, probably 70 to 80%, but not always does every person on the team feel safe or comfortable to share those.
So sometimes someone that's external. Can be objective, can gather that information and assimilate it in a way that can be received by the business leader or owner. So there's, there's that part I think of ok, we have some issues? Okay. The second thing is in most privately held companies you’re typically excellent at the thing you do, or you wouldn’t be in business.
The big guys, the public ones would knock you out. For some reason, competition, can't take you out. So you must be really good at the product or service, but there are three parts of the business kind of in a macro that I look at, there's the thing you do.
So you have to have the operations to deliver what you do. There's the revenue engine that actually gets customers whenever you do sales marketing, biz-dev right? So you gotta make the product. You have to make sure that is something people want and then you've got to make sure the financial mechanisms of its work and that's everything from, CFO work to the billing and the controller and all that.
Well, typically people go into the business of the thing they're great at, but that's not probably sales and marketing and that's probably not administrative and finance. Now HR, legal, and IT are all other functions that support that. So, what I have found is you probably have an area that you know you're not as strong in.
It will behoove you to accelerate the business, to find someone who's expert in that area, that can come in and objectively get feedback that otherwise people in your own team may not be willing to say or provide you. And then we can talk about future questions if you want. How do you make sure that those deliverables actually work?
What's coming to mind for me is Patrick Lencioni. He wrote all these great books, including the five dysfunctions of a team and the ideal team player, and all these great books. He coined the phrase: “Ambiguity is the enemy of accountability”. And what I'm hearing you say, Jeff is ultimate, whether you're talking about selling a company or major strategic decisions, how you're moving in the marketplace, whether you're a boomer and you're trying to access building a vision, waves away a lot of that ambiguity and allows for accountability.
So, if I'm intentional and I think about where I want to go as an organization and an individual, and then I've clearly defined that. And then I'd build in structures and plans that are really pragmatic that allow me to make progress over time. Eventually, I'm going to get there and it might not be exactly what I intend, but it's probably going to be something close right?
Yes. And again, if you're going to show up to the club anyway, it probably makes sense to have the trainer cause you're going to spend the money. So in other words, you have a business, you're going to be in. What don’t you increase the odds of it being successful and putting together a strategic plan?
Look, even if only one out of three times at work, do it three years in a row, then statistically, at least once it'll work. And you'll probably be ahead of where you were if you never did it.
Topic 5. Lighting round questions (34:49)
Yeah. That makes great sense. All right, let's switch to some lightning-round questions. I'm going to ask you a few questions. I want to just hear your top-of-mind answers. The first one is what are you most grateful for?
By the way, just to be really straightforward. Jeff gave me no prep on these. These are lightning round right off the cuff. Relationships, so I'm just thankful to have started with my family, with our Lord, but in our community, try to invest in relationships.
I think relationships shouldn't transcend transactions.
Definitely. What is the most difficult leadership lesson you've learned over your career?
As I said, I brought our own team in to do our process and they were delivering the results and I was sitting listening, and to our leadership team, I looked and I said, as I look at this out of the 10 things, you've identified, the majority of those are me.
I said, eight of those 10 problems are me. And they looked and they go, no, just seven.
And I called my wife after that meeting and said, I just got fired. And she said, how you got fired? It's your company. I said, well, the question is, what's more important, my role or the mission of the organization? So if it's my role, you're right. I can stay. If it's the mission of the organization, I need to step down.
That was the hardest thing.
That's a great lesson. Who is one person you would interview if you could living or not?
You know what I would say based on kind of my faith is that that person that I think the calendar is somewhat tied to it. And so, but there are many people I think we can learn from that would be of interest.
And so right now I'm going to give you one that probably most wouldn't say, but my daughter just asked me this question. I said, Louis Hamilton, he's a formula one race car driver, his helmet, you can see in the back behind me. And he has remained relatively humble in a sport that is all about that person. And he's been able to win consecutive titles which are incredibly difficult.
And he came back after a massive setback last year that most people probably would have hung up the cleats. And I'd be just curious, what keeps him going?
Now I can probably find it out on YouTube, but I think he'd be very interesting to learn from.
Do you have a top book recommendation?
Yes. And I'll be very specific. I will tell you that just based on my personal convictions, I listen to scripture just over and over, and that's what I do when I work out. And it's a renewing of my mind. It keeps me grounded. So that be it podcasts for people or whatever. I find that that medium, your podcasts is a good example of that listening time.
But I will recommend a couple of books to be very specific. I've already referenced two of them. I think good to great is very good for business owners as the seven habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey, the book Traction by Gino Wickman if I were to give one for privately held companies and there's a book that people don't know.
It’s called Right Away and All At once, it's a long title, right away and all at once by Greg Brennaman, and Greg was the gentleman I referenced that was the co-founder of bank capital. And in his book, he talks about, he has numerous portfolios of companies and what's, he has seen that works, that doesn't work, and it's kind of akin to attraction.
He gives very specifics that business leaders can implement all the way up to large public entities, and public companies. So his content is really good from kind of small business through enterprise public company. So right away and all at once is when people don't know.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
You know, when my girls have headed off to college, I sit down and I've had dinner with them and it's three daughters one's adopted. They're very different from each other. As I've said, there are two things I want to share with you. One is to find your identity and who God says you are not what the world says.
And number two is to be authentic to it. I said, now number one. I don't know how to do it. I find my identity so much in what I do. I'm trying not to. And how I go at it, I'm trying not to have that be my identity, but the more you can understand who you are and then be authentic to that reality is saying I'm actually not good at most things, you know, as a business owner, I'm actually not that good at a whole bunch of stuff.
And once you realize that it's very freeing my job is to find someone else that that is what they're good at and empower them to do it and let them do it and give them the latitude to do it well. So I think the understanding of who you've been designed to be. I think we have a design and then learning to be authentic because that's where your leverage is.
You can work out strength and develop skill sets, and while you're not gifted, that’s true, but there's a natural bent. That's where your leverage exists. So I had two coaches that I worked with and I've hired two different coaches to work with me. So eating our own dog food, that is non-OneAccord folks. And they both really leveraged into that.
Let's figure out who you are and in your business, sometimes people call it your superpower. Right?. It's going to be around that thing. So that would be who are you, and how do you be authentic to it?
So as we wrap up, what's the most important takeaway to leave our listeners from our talk today?
Well, I want to affirm, I'll say secondarily, I applaud anybody for being here today and listening because as I mentioned, one of my mentors at the outset, Berry Horn.
Berry is older than I am. He's always telling me, Jeff, about the newest book he's read and the newest exercise he's doing and it's the best ever. And I'm like I realized, wow, you're probably 15, 20 years my senior. And you continue to learn and read and study and grow. He's never stagnant. He is never stagnant. So he keeps investing in new ideas and new material.
But again, I would go back to number one is knowing who you are and finding your leverage in that zone, and letting other people do what they're gifted at and empower them and let them go, don't hold them back. As long as they stay within your values, not the way you would do it, but the values they have to be considered.
You're going to find your organization, but likely thrive if you do that.
Great piece of wisdom. Jeff, thank you so much for coming to the show today and sharing all this great information.
It's a pleasure. It really has been an honor. Thank you.
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