What do you do with the excuses your people come up with for why they didn’t make a goal? If you tolerate excuses, you will get more of them. This episode is about creating a “no excuses culture.” This episode is a proactive strategy to align your company to take ownership of their work. A “no excuses culture” will generate loyalty and creativity when times are challenging. If you are tired of the excuses, this is the interview for you. My guest today is Roy Dekel, Founder of SetSchedule. His company was ranked #196 in the 2019 Inc 5000 list. We talk about Roy’s approach to a no-excuses culture. Roy shares with you how he has created his no-excuses culture. We talk about using a powerful technique when excuses are tossed about. Discover how you could benefit and implement a no-excuses culture.
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Roy Dekel: The Transcript
Target Audience: Roy Dekel at CEO of SetSchedule. SetSchedule is the Data and Practice Management Company That Connects Realtors® With Homeowners, Buyers and Investors who Are Looking to Buy And Sell Properties.
Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.
I think the excitement is over. I would say two segments really it’s the growth of the company meaning the employees in the consumer base and the growth of the technology. I think the evolution of our technology has been phenomenal. And that’s super exciting.
[00:00:15].750] – Intro
Welcome to Growth Think Tank. This is the one and only place where you will get insight from the founders and the CEOs. The fastest growing privately held companies. I am the host. My name is Gene Hammett. I hope leaders and their teams navigate the defining moments of their growth. Are you ready to grow?
[00:00:32].730] – Gene Hammett
Do you have employees that come up with excuses or reasons why they weren’t able to hit their goals or the KPIs as well. Excuses are really something that you have to be you have to manage and lead people through because if you train them to always come up with excuses guess what they will always find an excuse. I once heard someone say and I can’t remember who it is but you can either have results or excuses but you can’t have both. Well you get to choose today. Do you want to have a culture where people are no longer giving you excuses.
[00:01:05].250] – Gene Hammett
Well today is the episode when we talk with Roy Dekel the CEO of SetSchedule amazing company that grown really astronomically fast over 2000 percent growth. There were no looking it up right here 196 on the INC list and really are a no excuses mentality when they’re hiring people when they’re training them and through the leadership process every step of the way. It is an absolute must for this company. And so you can learn from Roy’s approach to leadership here. Now I will tell you Roy is you know a Navy SEAL his background so he’s really kind of hard set in his ways and that’s really good. And it really will help you understand what no excuses means but he does it in such a an empathetic way when he’s kind of correcting someone you have to see the full interview to get the full picture up.
[00:01:56].430] – Gene Hammett
Thanks for tuning in here to Growth Think Tank. Really excited about sharing this with you. And before you run I have done so many interviews in the last few weeks. I have such a exciting time to share with you that those interviews have been organized into the 12 core principles of fast growth companies. So all you have to do we get that is going to GeneHammett.com/worksheet. You can get the 12 Principles and I’ve been able to go in there and find which episodes will align to each individual episode will you subscribe to Growth Think Tank you will find exactly what you need so that you can move forward and many of them haven’t been published depending on when you’re hearing this but you can you can tune in to the date that means the most to you. Here’s the interview with Roy.
[00:02:40].240] – Gene Hammett
Hey Roy how are you now.
[00:02:42].010] – Roy Dekel
I’m Good. Thanks for asking Gene.
[00:02:43].680] – Gene Hammett
Well excited to have you here. Growth Think Tank to talk about a no excuses leadership in culture. Before we dive into that tell us a little bit about SetSchedule?
[00:02:54].380] – Roy Dekel
Well thanks for first of having me I’m super excited to be here. SetSchedule I guess in that 30 second segment set schedule is basically a smart agnostic Marketplace technology company and a core product basically a marketplace that Everglades tremendous amount of data and leads in the space of real estate and we aggregate this software aggregate the leads from very well-known publishers such as homes dot com really track dot com Facebook and realtor dot com and others. And basically what happens is the data is aggregated into a smart marketplace that machine learns and creates certain prediction around the data. And basically it feeds it to the end user in our end users our real estate agents and brokers teams and franchises consumed the data and then track and manage the data using all of our SAS products on the databases.
[00:03:46].920] – Gene Hammett
For just some context here. How many employees do have Roy?
[00:03:50].350] – Roy Dekel
So currently we have in California about 50 staff members and internationally we have five different offices in Congress so punitively we have about 120 employees.
[00:04:01].990] – Gene Hammett
And companies been growing pretty fast. What’s the biggest the big thing excites you most about all this fast growth.
[00:04:10].640] – Roy Dekel
That’s a tough question what excites me. There’s a plethora of things that excites excite me. I think the excitement is over. I would say two segments really it’s the growth of the company meaning the employees and the consumer base and the growth of the technology. I think the evolution of our technology has been phenomenal and that’s super exciting.
[00:04:33].880] – Gene Hammett
Well I want to dive into this because I tease the audience in the intro about this no excuses leadership. So what is that to you?
[00:04:44].690] – Roy Dekel
To me, everything no excuse mentality. To me it’s just everything. I mean if I’m allowed to use the F word in your and your podcast I’m careful you know it’s so easy to put so much weight and life over everything that comes after a year but right. I mean bubble bubble bubble blah yet. But right everything it comes up to be it but to us is an excuse and we made a point in business in business development and Internal Affairs H.R. recruiting that the end but it’s not something we’re interested in hearing and we would like to solve and create solutions to avoid and to mitigate the impact hence the set schedule more predictability around sets dental and run schedule around my so we take that approach externally with our customers and they approach internally with their staffs and the no excuse mentality just basically honed in on on on.
[00:05:37].480] – Roy Dekel
Run your KPI eyes you know what your performance requirements are you know what you’ve committed yourself to just do what you commit yourself to and rich those those numbers of which goals and if you can not figure out why and let’s do it the right way let’s fix it and let’s make it work and that’s just something that I mean that’s kind of like maybe the still mind my in my my my history right. It’s the mentality of the boot camp it’s not the military. Just do it the right way and get it done and don’t focus any energy on making excuses.
[00:06:05].290] – Gene Hammett
So you know we’ve all heard this that you have to lead by example and this is just natural for you because you’ve you’ve grown up to the CEO leadership programs. Do you have to catch yourself every once one when you make an excuse. Even at home.
[00:06:22].350] – Roy Dekel
Yes. Rarely though. I’m not not to be to be cocky about right. I think that. I get more of the list that you’re not in seals anymore you’re not an officer in a military area anymore. You don’t expect everybody to be. You have to go through this boot camp anymore. More so than than me starting as I’ll say like I’m making an excuse but I mean truthfully like every person yes. There are moments where I think about making an excuse and I stop myself I said there is no yep yep.
[00:06:48].670] – Gene Hammett
Well you know one of the challenges you have when you when you think so doggedly about something like this no excuses mentality is how do you get others to adapt it. So do you. Do you remember the kind of the steps that you took to to really ensure that everyone in the organization had a No Excuses mentality.
[00:07:07].340] – Roy Dekel
Yeah absolutely. And that’s one of the key component I think I’m most proud of our human resources and the way that we focus our efforts and incorrect recruiting in cherry picking and look at the worst start. All right. I mean we probably going to lose against the budget of the Fortune 500 company especially in regions like California Southern California et cetera. Right. But we obsess over picking the right individuals and trading them right and building right culture. So for us I mean it starts with obviously the human resources team and the recruiting when individuals come to the company.
[00:07:41].800] – Roy Dekel
There is no single individual in a company that didn’t pass a very comprehensive assessment. And if the they passed the assessment regimen they actually get a complete outline of boot camp training and corporate training a basic personal development ask where we know that we’re going to just lead the culture and really focus in personal development until it reached a point of success. I mean we even have a ceremony where we kind of give the signal after a certain amount of time in a company and graduation we went to sort of benchmark. So we really mimic the approach of of of officers academy of personal development and military of school training and others to really bring the right team members. And again I mean we’re not huge red under 20 employees internationally and 50 in California we’re growing but we still have the ability to bring the right team members to the company and that’s what we focus on.
[00:08:32].500] – Gene Hammett
So I heard the part about you know selecting the right people and cherry picking. Do you give them training before you hire them or is that after the hiring?
[00:08:41].690] – Roy Dekel
You know that the training is is absolutely after the hiring. OK. We really focus in the first part of the assessment it’s really pre screening and psychological basic psychology based interviews. And once we identify you know weeks and a company we can train you on knowledge we can train you on on. We can develop experience together. We can give you the tool the technology we can we can you know we can do all of that right. But we cannot train smart right. We cannot develop smart. So I mean, meaning that the DNA is the DNA the capabilities or capabilities and that’s what we screen for first before we we we bring you to the.
[00:09:19].800] – Gene Hammett
So you’re hiring for a culture fit before a skill fit.
[00:09:22].900] – Roy Dekel
[00:09:24].520] – Gene Hammett
And that probably makes it easier for people to adapt to the no excuses because some of that prescreening is filtering out those that that have excuse minded approach to everything.
[00:09:36].120] – Roy Dekel
Absolutely.We have this kind of like internal line that we use. We would we would hire on passion and drive and desire for experience and knowledge.
[00:09:48].550] – Gene Hammett
Which is kind of goes back to that DNA part. Like the natural person. And I think a lot of fast growth companies because I talked to a lot of people interviewing on here really do that. The ones that are struggling in all of business hire based on where they have three years of that experience. OK yeah. You must be a you must be able to fit into our culture which rarely happens.
[00:10:12].110] – Roy Dekel
No. It rarely happens and just a plethora of challenges with experience right. Mindy the desire for a certain amount of pay and the prestige notions of what they are entitled to receive and it makes it very difficult for startups that really struggles with so many elements of its development at the beginning where it just makes sense to focus on culture integrity bringing in the right people. I mean I’ll give you for example in the engineering side I mean we every engineer that we’ve brought was just just a winner. I mean I mean our engineer is a phenomenal individual that came in with you know Sean Bean not not to mention experience if you will. And I mean I could be happier with the results right. To me the product speaks for itself. And it’s just a function of culture and desire.
[00:11:00].790] – Gene Hammett
Well I want to go into after this training because of your certain training that you take them through like a leadership academy through the military but how do you reinsure the people know that there’s a no excuses mentality I mean is this something that happens in meetings is it one on ones is it everything you do?
[00:11:19].330] – Roy Dekel
It’s everything we do our stuff right it’s everything. It’s everything we do everything we do all the time. Anytime anywhere. Right. But but definitely I mean fundamentally spotless starts with human resources. Right. It starts with the prescreening of the interviews at the level when we ask about serious free interviews for every position in that company. So you have to go through that process and it starts with step 1 and the resources understand that mindset and that’s what you’re looking for when they are obviously cultivating or prescreening. Then when the hiring manager interviews you get get they get the same amount of medication if you’re Willow or jar.
[00:11:55].570] – Roy Dekel
But basically it’s that amount of culture warning if you will before they get selected and again not to the interview stakes usually placed after the assessment. So once they get to training usually people know what to expect. Now we also understand that many people during the pre screening process and the assessment process don’t retain 100 percent of the data. So when you get the training every retraining really focuses first on culture history background and vision and then it goes to knowledge and that’s how it breaks down with training.
[00:12:26].300] – Commentary
Hold on for a second. Roy just talked about focus on culture now. I mentioned some questions inside here but I want to make sure we really put a spotlight on this whole idea of culture before skills. If you have a culture what you’re really trying to develop you want to make sure every person that comes in has the same values around the culture that you do and that the other team members do because those values will bind them together. This doesn’t mean they all think the same. They don’t have to be the same color or the same gender or the same religion even you really want diversity but you want people that have the same values at their core. And every smart company I know that’s growing fast has put a stringent hiring practice on bringing people in that have that core values in line. So I say this to you definitely want to make sure that you’re putting culture before skills. You can always develop the skills but you can’t teach someone things like passion and drive and honesty and integrity.
[00:13:31].070] – Gene Hammett
So Roy my mind is going to ask the question that maybe the audience is thinking right now like say you’re sitting down with the employee that’s been there for six months and you hear that. Yeah but what is your first thought. You stop them right there or do you let them go on and like let them catch themselves.
[00:13:48].530] – Roy Dekel
So I’m going to I’m going to answer it differently because I’m extremely proud proud of it. I mean the team is amazing. I love the team that works for the firm. And it’s just like I’m a proud young dad. But anyways the reason I’m saying that is absolutely if they one day when our staff members reach the benchmark of six months I think that the D.M. mount of the year but usually we diminish due to pretty much virtually nothing. Right. I mean to get to stay here for six months and to go through the challenge of the business the challenges of that market the challenges of of of consumer satisfaction the challenges of all of that product adoption.
[00:14:24].990] – Roy Dekel
Right. If you survive six months the ratio of the above gets really low. But if that happens if that happens we like mirrors. We just basically take a mirror approach and we turn around and say just say it again and tell me what you’re trying to achieve by saying that I mean what what’s your end goal. How do you want me to react in a way that will satisfy what you’re saying. And usually when you kind of take this virtual mirror and say I say Well I don’t want it yet but you know what. I guess that makes sense. I’m just making an excuse that’s not going to help me overcome the objective right or reach key objectives.
[00:14:59].200] – Gene Hammett
And that’s a really strong way to do that because I feel like you’re being very supportive and letting them really really see it for themselves and that will ingrain it quicker. Is that what you see out of that?
[00:15:13].250] – Roy Dekel
[00:15:14].140] – Gene Hammett
So this whole showing someone the mirror approach if you probably use this in other areas as well. When you think about you know setting goals and things like that and people or you know maybe they’re close to achieving it and they want to come up with some excuse or or some reason why do you just not listen to these or do you ask them to re reframe it and to what do we need to do next. So they ensure that they get those goals.
[00:15:42].620] – Roy Dekel
So we listen to every excuse not to venue that will listen. But the approach it would take outside of the mirror obviously is we take a simplistic approach of KPI. I think the key performance indicators and and kind of like I mean it’s a bad bad analogy but kind of like taking it to the additional world. Right. Cancer treatment or identifying a major disease you go through very basic scans to understand what’s the source of the disease and what’s the source of the challenge and the problem. And then you know so.
[00:16:12].730] – Roy Dekel
So by elimination kind of like we take the same approach. By mandating the easy the positive aspects and focusing on what what the negative challenges for sales for example with simplistic basically for KPI pass and we’ll look at the four KPI we cross out across across out and I promise you that you’ll find a one KPI or the one indicator that identifies the path of a chance for this a month for your quarter right. That’s in sales and the same goes for obviously development if we have issues with retention we have issues with certain with certain user engagement and analytics and we identify that by just but just eliminating the items that work well and we focus on stuff that doesn’t work well and that’s what we attack and that’s what we is well.
[00:16:56].230] – Gene Hammett
I appreciate you’re going through that with me. I want to kind of take a break here and say you’ve been growing fast. You’ve been developing this company hiring these people and building a leadership team. Is there any one mistake that kind of stands out as something that you made. But it led to something bigger led to a transformation inside your own leadership.
[00:17:18].710] – Roy Dekel
Well there are a lot of many mistakes that we made. So I’ll own my mistakes and I’ll be very proud of sharing them right. If I need to think about a couple of major ones I think that one of the key mistakes for us was collect technical is that technology. Are we going to roll out our user interface first or are we going to build out the sales and distribution model first and work with our end consumer users which are the professional professional license individuals in real estate. We’re going to go and sell the product first and we obviously wanted to go go go go because we are pretty much we’re very much the go forward mindset company.
[00:17:58].070] – Roy Dekel
As you probably figured out by now. All right. So we move forward in the tech was always trailing. And that was mistake number one it created some friction points with with with the platform and understanding diagnostic marketplace and understand the value proposition of the SAS products. So that was number one and that also create a certain hindrance on on our own priorities in recruiting and building a development team versus the sales team et cetera that would be one mistake we made to get it. And second one I would say in early early years we went through I’ll call it common for shipping a time through the lip service hiring process meeting.
[00:18:38].820] – Roy Dekel
You know I’m a go getter I can do it. I mean I’ve done great at school like Doug fasted two two two two two. New technology I can study of above a block. And we realized you know what. If you don’t go through assessment regiment if you don’t really go through the Brisbane process of screening you probably going to have a huge churn you’re going to probably fail and you’re going to probably hire wrong and we sacked and we fixed it pretty pretty quickly.
[00:19:02].090] – Commentary
Let’s pause for a moment. Roy just said something that I don’t know if you caught on but he said as a leader he must own his mistakes. I want to ask you as a leader are you truly own your mistakes or those just words that you would say if you own your mistakes you truly are vulnerable enough to share with your team that you made a mistake. It takes courage to have that level of vulnerability and you have to be that kind of leader if you expect it of others. You’ve got to lead by example to own your mistakes if you want your employees to own their mistakes. If you go first they will learn how to do this so that they can you can create that ownership culture that you want so much.
[00:19:40].210] – Gene Hammett
And that’s reason why now you have such a stringent focus on hiring.
[00:19:44].990] – Roy Dekel
[00:19:47].120] – Gene Hammett
You know a lot of experts will say that if that first release is not ugly you’ve waited too long. So maybe that that wasn’t a mistake by pushing and I know it’s hard because I’ve been there too. Looking back that is was it just a hard period or what do you think it was really a mistake.
[00:20:08].290] – Roy Dekel
I think it was a mistake. I’m going to forgive. I’ll go look history will look what we like to criticize ourselves. I mean sometimes it doesn’t seem that way and some people may not see it that way but we criticize itself daily and we fix repair and change daily and we daily. Right. I think it was a mistake because we deal. I mean look our our target demographic for our core product. Now when we’re rolling out three different products now the core product was really real estate centric Chris agents for Steam’s franchises. And this guy works hard. I mean this is we’re talking about business development here. I mean our target demographic is the biggest sell selling community in the world right. I mean real estate license individuals and an end date and date and a Klein date. Right. So to come out with a product that is half baked is wrong and we obsess over execution and we obsess over obviously perfection when we can writing in a standard perfection is a long term play. And for me because of that I’m kind like asking myself I said this is a mistake.
[00:21:07].090] – Roy Dekel
This was a mistake. But obviously I mean the amount of price that we have out there and the way the technology operates now speaks for itself and that’s what we have. The growth that we have.
[00:21:15].930] – Gene Hammett
Well Roy I really appreciate you being here sharing part of your journey as a leader of a fast growth company being at Growth Think Tank really is an honor to have you. So thanks for sharing your wisdom.
[00:21:27].760] – Roy Dekel
Thank you so much for having me.
[00:21:29].360] – Gene Hammett
Wow. I just love that interview because he talked about so many things that are really important inside of our leadership. A lot of my clients know that I will say this to you all the time you get what you tolerate. So if you tolerate excuses you will contend to get more excuses if you absolutely won’t tolerate them then people will learn not to give excuses they will learn to to increase their level of activity increase their level of focus increase their level of production and conversion whatever it may be they will change their behavior because they know you won’t accept excuses. I love this interview.
[00:22:06].340] – Gene Hammett
If you want to create a culture of ownership a no excuses part of that is really one of the most important elements to you as a leader to begin with. Well again this is a great episode to share with you and share with others so you’re getting much out of these interviews make sure you take a moment to share it with one person. We’re not looking to grow really big by numbers. We want the right people tuning in to grow a think tank. So make sure you share this message with one person as always lead with courage. We’ll see you next time.
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