In this episode Josh talks with Mads Singers about effective management and some of the things he coaches companies on to improve their management.
Mads Singers is a people management coach and outsourcing expert.
Having worked with large corporations such as IBM and Xerox and now running 3 of his own companies, he’s here to share some of his experience with us.
In today’s episode you will learn about:
- People and Personalities
- Effective Delegation
- Growing the team
Narrator: Welcome to The Sustainable Business Radio Show podcast where you’ll learn not only how to create a sustainable business but you’ll also learn the secrets of creating extraordinary value within your business and your life. In The Sustainable Business, we focus on what it’s going to take for you to take your successful business and make it economically and personally successful. Your host, Josh Patrick, is going to help us through finding great thought leaders as well as providing insights he’s learned through his 40 years of owning, running, planning and thinking about what it takes to make a successful business sustainable.
Josh: Hey, how are you today? This is Josh Patrick. You’re at the Sustainable Business. My guest today is Mads Singers. Mads has a great program called Effective Management Mastery where he teaches you how to become a really good manager. It has all sorts of interesting stuff here about what it takes to create a good manager and a good management team. He’s been doing this for a really long time and tells me he’s hired about 500 people so he knows how to do that. That’s what we’re going to start our conversation table. First, we have to bring him on.
Hey, Mads, how are you today?
Mads: I’m fantastic, Josh. How about yourself?
Josh: I’m well, thank you. Thank you for joining us. We were having this kind of interesting conversation before we started. I kind of wish we were recording because it was some really good stuff in there. So maybe we’ll go back and redo it a little bit about effective hiring. We were really talking about using hiring instruments as an aid in hiring. Both you and I are long term users of disk. I also am a long term user of the Colby index which I’m a fan of. You’re not so much a fan of it. So let’s talk about why we would want to use a profile in the first place in the hiring process.
Mads: The way I try and explain it to people is that we have certain capacities. We have certain skills and some natural behaviors that enable us to do things, some things better than some things worse, right? So when you go back to school, some people are naturally talented at math and other people struggle a lot more with it. That doesn’t mean you can ever learn math, but the thing is people who are naturally gifted will generally naturally just be better at doing it.
If they, again, if you invest energy into things you’re already naturally good at, you will generally become much better. The fundamental for me is really finding easy ways to understand what is people naturally good at, what other sort of skills and personality traits that makes them good versus a specific job role? Right? For example, if you go out and hire sales, guys. What are some of the key things you’re looking for? Well, one, if they’re afraid to talk to other human beings in a face to face situation that’s not great for sales at least if you do face to face sales.
Josh: Probably not.
Mads: Probably not, but it’s some of those things. Like again, I honestly I’ve been there. I’m made the mistake. I’ve had a sales guy sit down across from me I’m like, “Oh yeah, I have 17 years’ experience working for this company in sales. I have all this experience. I was like I was blown away because personally I suck at sales. The thing was he had probably been in that role because no one had fired him for a long time because he was no good at sales. But I’ve been there myself, I’ve been blown away and I see a lot of people particularly the opposite. A lot of sales type people talk very well for themselves. If they really need a job, they can talk themselves into any job, even jobs, they will never enjoy doing like an accountancy job.
Josh: Well, you just keyed on something which I think is a really important thing when it comes to hiring. This is a mistake that almost every business makes is a focus on the technical skill of what they’re hiring. They don’t focus on whether the person is willing to do the activity to be successful in that job, nor do they focus on whether it’s the right person for the company in the first place.
Mads: Yeah a 100%.
Josh: I always find this really interesting is that I can teach you how to be a good salesperson if you have the right raw material. If I’m only focusing on how long you’ve been in sales, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not going to be a good fit. In fact, I was having this conversation with a client yesterday that we’re moving into is that whether they want to hire people who don’t know what’s going on and we’re going to teach them how to do sales or hiring inexperienced salesperson. Frankly, they’ve had more luck hiring inexperienced sales people because they get to teach them their system.
Mads: I’ve seen a lot of good example. I work with a lot of sort of small to mid-sized businesses. I’ve seen a lot of people being like, “Okay, I’m ready to step out of the company. I want to hire a CEO from the outside.” I found this guy with 25 years of whatever.
Josh: [inaudible 00:04:58] an MBA
Mads: That’s even better. The challenge is I am a big fan of hiring and promoting from within when possible, right? Because the challenges when you hire from the outside now sometimes can go really well. You can get someone in who is absolutely amazing fits in and can add a lot of improvements. For me, it’s a question of when I recruit it’s about minimizing the risk. The last thing I want to do is something that explodes my organization. I’ve seen quite a few companies where they brought in someone and a high level management position either CEO or COO.
They come in with a lot of new ideas, a lot of new patients, and they’re like, “I’ve always done this and I’ve used this project management tools that have this one. Let’s change the whole organization.” They come in with all this new energy, change a lot of stuff around and eventually they don’t deliver and people realize, whoa, that’s not the right person. But at that point, the organization have already been changed that much that, I’m not saying it can’t be saved, but it’s tremendous amount of stress that’s been put on and change for no reason. Which occasionally actually kills an organization.
For me, it’s both not so good hiring, but sometimes it’s also the fact that you have to really, for me, at least when you hire people, you need to make sure one they fit into the culture and values. More than anything, like you want the right mindset and mentality more than anything.
Josh: I would say you have to have both. You have to fit into the culture. You have to have the right mindset. You have to have the right skill set to be successful on the job. But I wouldn’t start with skill— I will use skill set basically as a screen to say, “Do I want to talk to this person further not do I want to hire this person?” Once I get past skill set that, all the people I’m talking to have the right skill set then my focus should 100% be on, will they fit into the company? Will they be a positive type person in the company? I want to ask you another question because I think this is also a big deal when it comes to building the team is that too often I see business owners build teams in their image. Why is that a mistake?
Mads: Right? So I’ve seen a few businesses where it actually works generally it don’t. But generally, again, when you multiply your own strength and you also multiply your own weaknesses which is often the challenge. Honestly, personally, I’ve gone into the other side and I’ve basically hired a team of not [inaudible 00:07:36] and that is also challenging. But fundamentally, the key thing is you want a well-rounded team with the different types of skills and personality type of full of different kind of roles. Because again, if you just duplicate yourself like, yeah, you can agree with yourself all the time. You can get people thinking the same way. Obviously, whatever you suck at your company will suck. That’s generally not good for any company.
Josh: You actually keyed on this little bit earlier was that you want to magnify your strengths. If I magnify my strengths, I can become world class. If I fix my weaknesses and can get all the way up to mediocre. I can hire people who are going to be world class where I’m weak. Now, the challenge with that and I know that you just kind of refer to this is that you can have a personality mismatch. Where I see dysfunctional companies when they have different personalities is that the different personalities don’t respect each other. So you have to build trust and respect into your process.
One of my core values is rights and respect. If you don’t respect those who are different than you in my organization, you’re not going to last for a long time. That’s in my opinion, I mean, it doesn’t have to be a core value for your company. But if you don’t respect those who are different than you, you’re never going to have a great company.
Mads: Hundred percent agree. I would say honestly, this is what this helps a lot. Because I think one of the big reasons why people struggle to communicate and I’ve worked with large companies like IBM and Xerox and worldwide. The reason why, like when you see a web developer team, a sales team, they do not talk the same language ever. I found this to be extremely helpful because I mean this doesn’t necessarily close the gap completely in any way shape or form.
The thing is a lot of it is helping people understand how other people think. Because if you can see how other people think it’s a lot easier to respect them right? Like I use the example that they like, if you have two people going out to a restaurant, a very logical one and a very emotional one. The logical be what’s close, what’s not too expensive, what’s convenient. The emotional one will be like, “Oh, it looks good on that Instagram photo and Western food served in a beautiful way.”
An emotional person might pick a place that’s way out of town in the middle of nowhere and a logical person so why the hell would anyone pick that place. If you can actually learn to understand how different people think and you can sort of learn to see where they coming from, I think that helps bridge a lot of that gap that you traditionally see between the likes of sales teams and operations and the like. I actually find this guy as super, super powerful tool particularly in terms of mitigating those issues.
Josh: In my experience, and in fact, I think that’s actually probably the best use for DISC is using a common communication tool for different styles within a company and different behavior packages that come with the party. You can also say, like, for example, one of the traits in DISC is high dominance which is high D. You don’t want too many of those folks running around your company because they’re going to fight with each other. They’re going to tear your organization down. It’s just like if you’re using Colby, one of the traits and Colby is quick start. You don’t want to have a whole bunch of quick starts running around your company.
Otherwise, you’re going to have total chaos because you have all this energy for bright shiny objects that are kind of going together. The unfortunate thing for me is many, many business owners are high D’s high dominance. One of the bad traits of high dominant people is they’re not often good listeners. The word a good question there. There’s a natural challenge that fits in there with the owner of the company, of doing the right stuff with recruiting the right people. How do you help these folks overcome that issue?
Mads: Honestly, there’s a big part lying in there. I would say, probably about 60 to 70% of my clients are high D and one way or another. This has definitely been part of the solution. Like when I coach people, I talk a lot about mindset. Also in my training, like, I think obviously skills is important, but it’s much more about how do you think about that the situation. When you’re delegating something, what makes you pick that person? Like, what’s the whole mindset behind delegating in the first place? What the whole mindset behind hiring a new person? So I’m very, very focused on mindset in general.
I think if you—high D’s even though they’re very dominant and very sort of bullish, they still do generally listen to reason. I think if you can really get into the mindset, understand how they think, and tweak their thinking a little bit if they’re too aggressive in some points that’s super helpful. One of the guys I work with who was extremely successful in the online SEO space, he struggled with his team or let’s say his team struggled with him. Right.
Basically what he did, he literally found the highest. He literally gave the highest responsibility for this so called [inaudible 00:12:50] job function in the company. It made such a huge difference. Because the highest was really, really good at going in and supporting people and doing all the nurturing that the high D naturally didn’t do. I think there’s a lot of ways to work with it. But fundamentally, for me, it’s always about the mindset and really understanding, helping them understand the right way of looking at things.
Josh: So when I find at least this is true of most business owners I work with and this is for folks who are listening, you might want to pay attention is that the people who own and run companies often are not really good at adopting other people’s ideas. If you happen to be one of those people who’s not good at adopting ideas, first, you have to admit it. Then you have to start taking some action about changing that which sort of gets into my chicken and egg conversation with anyone mindset which is, is it action first or is it mindset first?
Mads: So I always believe it’s mindset first. I’ll give you some examples. For example, when my employees would come to me and ask me questions, I don’t really care about the action or the outcome. I care about what got them there. If they’re like, “Hey, I have this problem.” My first question is, what do you see the options be 123? Then my next question is, what do you think is the right choice? The last question is, what made you say that you think that’s the right choice? Because I’m trying to understand their mindset. I don’t really care if they picked, quote, the right thing, because really there’s the right thing. I care to understand how they think about the situation to understand if I feel they’re thinking about it in a sensible way. Or if there’s something in the mindset of the thinking that I need to adjust somehow. Like, as a business owner, it’s really hard to understand what people understand about your business because you know it all. The people you have that you hired six months ago, they don’t know what you know. It’s easy to say, “Oh, you’re stupid.”
That should be this one of course. I’m always trying to understand how does people get to the decisions they’re doing? Basically by asking these questions and helping understand how they think about certain situation, I basically get to where I understand their thinking.
To be honest, if they used to right kind of thinking, I don’t really care what option they pick because honestly, I’m no better at picking options than anyone else. I might technically be more right picking my option. But it’s much more important for me that they pick what they believe in as long as they have the right mindset, right.
Josh: I would submit that it’s not so much mindset that’s getting you the action, but the act of asking questions. My experience with folks is that most business owners like to tell they don’t like to ask, or most managers like to tell, and they don’t like to ask which is one of the reasons they’re allowed to delegate. One of the things you also mentioned is that when you’re talking about the process delegation. In my experience, the main reason businesses don’t grow is the owner of the business never learns how to delegate. The reason they never learn how to delegate is because they don’t know how to trust.
Mads: And again, I go into mindset here because I think a lot of the time— I hundred percent agree. I mean delegation is the number one issue most of my clients have. I think a lot of the time again it’s the mindset about how they look at things. Because they look at, oh, I’m the only one that can do this. The way I tend to look at delegation saying, you have a value pyramid. If you’re doing stuff that’s worth five bucks an hour or is generating you five bucks an hour.
You’re not getting paid more. If you want to make more money, if you want the company to grow, you need to do more valuable stuff. Now, the way to grow the company is for you to do more valuable stuff and let go of the stuff that is either not as valuable or could be done by other people. Because that effectively grow your value. I think if you get that understanding, right, if you understand because most people feel that everything has to be perfect.
Again, if you can build nine businesses that are 90-95% the way you want them a one business that 100%. Now, the nine business is going to be working a lot more. That’s really like how I try and get my clients to think about it. Because fundamentally like you have to let go sometimes, but you also have to understand. A lot of businesses, let’s say, as a business owner, the last thing you will think of is maybe customer service. At 6pm, or something at the end of the day, you quickly answer a couple of emails.
Now, that’s the bottom of your priority list. If you give that to someone else who gets the boss’s work and suddenly have that as their priority, that’s going to be top of their priority list. So even though they might not start out being better at you added, they should get that pretty quickly.
Because both they have the time, but also they just prioritize it so much higher. I think having the right mindset around delegation, I think is really, really helpful as well. Totally, I mean, that there’s people who significantly struggle with a lot of—
Josh: In the challenges, again, going back to using DISC in this sort of process of saying, here’s your challenge. As a business owner, there’s a pretty good chance if you own a business, you’re a high D not 100%, but there’s a pretty good chance— 50 60% of the time you’re going to be a high D. High D’s by their nature are not especially trustworthy.
They don’t trust others easily. So just having that awareness that this is who you likely are is a basic personality. This is something you need. It is not a nice to have. This is not one of those things where we’re trying to make a bad skill mediocre. What we’re trying to get you to the point is where you can trust people enough to allow them to learn by making some mistakes along the way.
Because my experience with high D’s and I was the poster child, this when I was in my early 30s has killed the messenger. If you’re going to kill the messenger, there is no way in the world you’re ever going to have a good company.
Mads: No, unless you work with people who can survive that right but you’re 100% right. I mean, it generally doesn’t work.
Josh: Well, you can’t build a big company. Let’s put it that. I was fine when I have a small company with four or five people around me when we get up to 25 people and I played kill the messenger, it was how can we get back at the boss not how can we do the job because he’s being abusive about this and I don’t get yelled at.
Mads: I think for a lot of high D’s like, generally for people I mean, if they are very assertive if they aren’t listening like what one of the exercises that I’ve tried a few times and it kills people, but it’s literally do a team meeting where you don’t say a word. That’s a funny exercise because the thing is, what happens is your whole teams when they go into a meeting, they might be listening, but all the action, all the productivity stuff because they’re used to going into a meeting and the boss is going to tell us what we need to do so we don’t need to do anything. Right?
Josh: Right. What the boss needs to tell him to do is likely to change within 25 minutes.
Mads: That as well. But actually having a high D boss going into a meeting and not saying anything and saying as little as possible. It really changes things for the people. You’re right. The challenge is it takes a while when you run a company like that for a period of time, it takes a while to turn it around.
Josh: Oh, yeah, I made a metamorphosis when I was 34 years old, essentially my company, my first company, and for the next 15 years which I ran this company, nobody believed that I had made a change. They still thought I was the screaming meanie that was about to go out and scream every single day. Now, the performance of the company got a whole lot better because the truth was the actions were different than what was before. But the belief system about people believed about me never really changed. Although that annoyed me, that was reality. Mads, you have a wealth of really, really good information. I’m hoping the folks who are listening will look you up and do some stuff with you. So how would they find you?
Mads: My website is madssingers.com. Basically, the way I generally get people in to my system, if you will, is they go through my training. I called it 80/20 of management, but really the focus for me is giving people a good foundation to work from. Then for those that still need additional work, I then going to coach them individually. That’s generally how my management culture works. That’s why I love doing.
Josh: Cool. I also have an offer for you, too. I do some more stuff. My focus is really on helping you create excess cash in your business. There’s a path that people go through and there are places that people get stuck as you’re trying to create cash flow freedom from yourself in your business. I call this the success path and cracking the cash flow code. I did a little infographic on this just shows the stages, show where you get stuck and what the major skill is of each one of these steps you need to be taking. To get it’s really free go to www.sustainablebusiness.co/cashflow and you get a chance to download our infographic. I bet you’ll find it interesting. I would love to hear what you think about it. This is Josh Patrick. We’re with Mads Singers. You’re at the Sustainable Business. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.
Narrator: You’ve been listening to The Sustainable Business podcast where we ask the question, “What would it take for your business to still be around a hundred years from now?” If you like what you’ve heard and want more information, please contact Josh Patrick at 802-846-1264 ext 2, or visit us on our website at www.askjoshpatrick.com, or you can send Josh an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening. We hope to see you at The Sustainable Business in the near future.