The OYT Coaching Series – Jeff Knauss at Digital Hyve

Every CEO is faced with dozens if not more projects that must be completed. The challenge is choosing the right projects. Not all of them can be done immediately. It is usually a balance of short-term and long-term projects that need to be managed. One way to look at choosing the right projects is to have a standard selection process or a rubric. Our guest is Jeff, co-founder of Digital Have. Digital Hyve was #52 on the 2018 Inc 500 list. Jeff begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, focusing on both the urgent and important. In part two, Jeff is coached on choosing the right projects. You will discover how to choose the best projects that drive ROI for your company in this episode.

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Jeff Knauss: The Transcript

Target Audience: He is the CEO & Co-Founder of Digital Hyve 5th Fastest-Growing Marketing & Advertising Company in 2018 Inc 5,000. The Digital Hyve is a full-service digital marketing agency. Connect brands and their message to targeted audiences online to produce meaningful results for our clients. 

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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.

Jeff Knauss
Every day choosing to be light slightly better than the day before in some way, you know, however small or insignificant may feel just making those those those changes in those iterations on a daily basis to compound, you know, in the year, five years, 10 years, how much better you’re going to be if you make the small changes be better. And so for me, I’m always I’m obsessive over the idea that you can always be better, I don’t care how well you’re doing in business, I don’t care how well a process is working, I don’t care how good a new CRM looks and how shiny it is, we can always make it better. And so I think my mind gets cluttered with finding these cool opportunities, and probably no different than a lot of entrepreneurs chasing that, you know, exciting new, shiny thing. I think it’s more about figuring out what’s the most impactful, scalable, holistic thing that really needs to be focused on and only choosing three of those tenants.

Intro [0:57]
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?

Gene Hammett [1:14]
Time is precious, your time is precious. We think about how you spend your time do you feel like you’ve got it under control? Or maybe control is the wrong word? Do you feel optimized to the level that you want? Well, odds are that many times you don’t feel as optimized as you could be. In fact, many times you may feel like you’re behind, you may feel like you’re always trying to catch up. The struggle is real. It’s not just your calendar. It’s not just your email, optimizing your time is really about how you are showing up as a leader and how intentional you are about this.

Gene Hammett [1:50]
Today, we’re going to be looking at, you know, what was one thing that one leader has done that really has changed the game, but also dive deeper into where he’s shifting. So specifically, we are with Jeff canals. He is the CEO of digital hive. They have grown 13,000% in the last six years, 54 employees. And one of the things he’s focused on right now has made the biggest difference in his time, is looking at how he best works. In fact, he talks about how the day to day versus the project work and which one is better for him and kind of curious, Which do you think is better for you the day to day going to meetings and and all the stuff that you do day in and day out? Or is it the project work? Where are you adding the most value? Well, inside this episode, Jeff shares exactly what he’s seen when he looks back at how he adds the most value to his company. We also talked about where he’s evolving, he said a lot of projects that are on the horizon. And how does he organize those? How does he know what to attack first? Well, that’s the coaching section that we do today, where I dive into it, help him really create some clarity around how to filter those projects out, and what he can do, so that he can stay on track with it and optimize his time to the next level. There’s a lot more details inside this episode with Jeff. So here is the interview and the coaching session with Jeff Knauss CEO of Digital Hyve.

Gene Hammett [3:11]
Jeff, how are you?

Jeff Knauss [3:12]
Hey, Gene, not too bad. How are you, man?

Gene Hammett [3:14]
Second time being on the show. I appreciate you sharing your time and wisdom with us again,

Jeff Knauss [3:18]
Thanks for having me back. It’s a great time last time.

Gene Hammett [3:21]
Well, we are doing a special series on optimizing your time CEOs get pulled in a lot of direction, whether it be you know, things in their calendar, maybe spending too much time in their inbox. I asked you ahead of time, like what is the real, most important thing you’ve done in the last year or so to really optimize your own time? What would you say that is?

Jeff Knauss [3:44]
You know, I’ve been thinking about time latching and how important it is, especially with COVID. Man, it’s it’s completely changed the game for everyone. And I think it’s more important than ever to really utilize your time as to be what it is the most important resource that you have. And so when I thought about my time, I really went through a lot of self reflection, recognize that I’m best at project-based work. And one of the ways that I think about project-based work is really, you know, something that has a timeline associated with it, where there are a start middle, and an end. Because I tend to do better when it’s not some, you know, elongated kind of forever do this one thing and do it the same way forever.

Jeff Knauss [4:25]
I just don’t work well in that capacity. And I also don’t think it serves a fast-growing company like ours. And so what I’ve really done a lot lately has identified what are some of the major challenges, barriers opportunities we have at the agency that really I should be focused on that’s going to make the largest impactful holistic change to how we do we do and I’ve put my time and allocated my resources to a handful of projects that I can really own. And then that way I figure out okay, here’s a challenge I want to fix or here’s the opportunity. I want to go After I identify that first, then I reverse engineer everything else to say, what are the strategies and tactics to create this roadmap to get to this point. And then once I’ve done that, it really gives me a lot of clarity on what I’m doing. And then it also allows me to be transparent and communicative with my staff to say, here are the things that I’m focused on. So they can get a good handle on what’s important at the agency.

Gene Hammett [5:22]
I love that, you know, we didn’t even mention the fact that digital hive is an agency that you’ve grown 13,000% in the last six years, 54 employees. So your time is, is pretty precious to keep this moving, regardless of whether it’s COVID time or not. Right?

Jeff Knauss [5:40]
Absolutely, yeah, I have to recognize, you know, my time, really, everybody’s time being a service-based business. Our time is our money, as the saying goes. And so we really need to ensure specifically me as a leader of the company, that my time is being spent on the most impactful things that are both, you know, urgent and important.

Gene Hammett [6:02]
Just to take it a little bit deeper with this whole, you know, identify a project, is this something that you’re doing kind of with your team, are you doing it, you know, kind of being the visionary of the company going this is the one area which if we fix this, everything else will get easier or something like that, are you taking which approach Are you taking?

Jeff Knauss [6:20]
We certainly would not have been able to, you know, grow the company 13,000% if it was just me, it might have gone backwards the other way, actually, just because I don’t think anyone, I don’t care how smart or quick or, you know, clever you are. No man is an island. And I think that getting collab, but getting buy-in and collaboration is super critical in this process, I think my cube function and role is identifying because I have the biggest purview, I have the biggest, you know, aperture into the business to understand all the complexities between different departments, different goals and objectives, objectives within those departments. And so I can kind of take that 10,000 foot view and identify, hey, this really seems like it’s a challenge holistically across the organization.

Jeff Knauss [7:04]
Once I get to that identification process, and I start to create the roadmap, that’s when I’ll, you know, I’ll communicate to the team, I’ll kind of share with them my vision for what we want to change. And then of course, I’m going to need buy-in for how do we how do we execute against all these things? What are some ideas that we can put throw against the wall? To see? All right, what’s the benefit? What’s the pros and cons against, you know, this path forward to solve this problem or go after this opportunity? So yeah, absolutely. I it’s a very collaborative process that it needs to be that way or else, you know, we will, as a single point of failure, that’s just never a good idea.

Gene Hammett [7:41]
One more last question on this, you probably worked on a number of different projects, because that’s what you identified. Give us the you know, kind of one of those projects that really kind of you felt like move the needle for the company, and tell us how, how that’s worked out for the for you long term?

Jeff Knauss [7:58]
Yeah. And so I would say that one of the specific ones, probably the easiest one to point to, is, we had, we have had challenges for a number of years. So we’ve been in business, you know, over six years now. And we’ve never we’ve tried, I think we’ve we’ve at least tested over 50, different CRMs, we’ve utilized and bought into at least four, and none of them serve all of the exact purposes that we were really looking for into it. And so when COVID hit, we identified that look at this is really a time for us. A lot of our clients were paused due to all the regulations and quarantining. You know, our revenue was lower, which gave us some intentional time to say, all right, well, what are some of the major things that we can find some efficiency in? And so we said, All right, we’ve tried all these CRMs are nothing is exactly what we wanted. So we found a no-code development platform, and we built our own CRM.

Jeff Knauss [8:54]
My Chief Operating Officer and business partner and co-founder, Jake really owned the execution and creation of the CRM as more of a tech-minded person. And I worked with him to create some of the objectives and what what it’s really trying to accomplish for each specific department like what can a CRM holistically do if we had a blank canvas and one and created one just for to self fill every purpose we wanted? What would that look like? And we work together to kind of figure that out. And now we have this awesome CRM, we just launched it. And it’s worked already. It’s solved a number of our problems, it’s created, at least I think, 25% more efficiency within our services department, then hand creating reports and order forms. And all these things are now just done in one beautiful automated CRM. And that’s going to help us tremendously as we, you know, continue to scale up.

Gene Hammett [9:46]
Quick question to wrap this section up. Any thoughts on maybe selling that to someone else as a platform or?

Jeff Knauss [9:52]
Yeah, you know, what, with all the work we put into that, that is that conversation has definitely come up. I think what we’re really focused on right now is is ensuring that it fits every need that we have as an agency, really testing it, you know, having our team work in it, fixing the kinks. And then once we once we kind of once we kind of get it launched, I think there’s a lot of agencies that have the same struggles as us. We know a lot of those agencies, and it’s definitely something that we would consider, you know, licensing or creating a product out of.

Gene Hammett [10:22]
Well, I appreciate you sharing with us that one big thing that you’ve done to optimize your time, I want to switch gears here and ask you, as a leader, we’re always evolving, we’re always hopefully changing and shifting as the markets shift as we grow. I know my journey is a leadership has never been over. What is the one area you’re working on right now as a leader, as it relates to your own time?

Jeff Knauss [10:49]
Yeah, so as I think about project work, and digital hive, I think it’s really critical that, you know, to kind of go back to what I said earlier, our, our time is our money, right. And as a service-based business, and so I’m really trying to focus in on creating efficiencies for my time, because one of the things that, you know, has been a challenge for us is, you know, our capacity, because we’ve grown so much at a top line standpoint, really focus on like, our, our whole scaling model has been, alright, you know, more new revenue, more new clients, that means more new people, and just kind of stuffing everyone into these processes we’ve built over the years. And we’ve iterated on them in, you know, small, you know, kind of incremental ways. But we haven’t completely taken a step back and said, Whoa, like, does this process even make sense? The way that we onboard clients, it’s very structured. But are we are we should we be thinking about it in a different way?

Jeff Knauss [11:49]
Right. And so, as, as the CEO and leader of the company, I’ve really been focused on how do I increase the efficiencies in my team’s time? Because that’s going to be the most scalable thing, right? And so looking at each department to say, how are we optimizing campaigns for clients? How are we serving reports, you know, one, another example is, about six months ago, or maybe eight months ago, we switched over to, you know, live dashboards, instead of pulling automated reports, out of a dashboard and sending them manually to clients, we created live dashboards, it’s just a much more efficient way, so that the creation of those reports and sending them manually, we took that time back, and instead are now using that same time to create much more deep-dive insight into the campaign.

Jeff Knauss [12:37]
So instead of just saying, Here, a client, here’s how the campaign is how your digital marketing campaign, you know, performed based on this report that was sent to from our analytics, reporting software. Now, hey, client, go look at this dashboard, because it’s live data. And we can supplement that time by saying, here’s all the things we’ve changed over the month. And here are the results from those things. And here’s how it’s impacted your business, here’s the return on ad spend, we can get much more deep inside of the actual things that clients care about, rather than just sending some like PDF that people will probably never open. Right. So and that took a lot of work to create the PDF. And so it’s about finding those different ways to better utilize our time, because then we’re helping our team with capacity. And we’re helping our clients with, you know, information that’s actually going to move the needle for their business.

Gene Hammett [13:26]
So I know that, you know, you’re kind of going back to the project thing, but what’s the challenge you’re having in this as it relates to your time?

Jeff Knauss [13:36]
You know, I think, I think it’s about choosing the projects, right? Like, there’s a lot of projects I could go after right now to just create because I’m to your point, Jean, our battle cry, digital hive is better every day, every day choosing to be light slightly better than the day before in some way. You know, however small or insignificant, it may feel just making those those those changes in those iterations on a daily basis to compound you know, in a year, five years, or 10 years, how much better you’re going to be if you make these small changes to be better. And so for me, I’m always I’m obsessive over the idea that you can always be better I don’t care how well you’re doing in business, I don’t care how well a process is working. I don’t care how good a new CRM looks and how shiny it is, we can always make it better. And so I think my mind gets cluttered with finding these cool opportunities and probably no different than a lot of entrepreneurs chasing that, you know, exciting new, shiny thing. I think it’s more about figuring out what’s the most impactful scalable, holistic thing that really needs to be focused on and only choosing three of those is a ton of those. That’s probably my biggest challenge.

Gene Hammett [14:50]
Well, that gets more to the heart of it because one of the problems as visionaries have and I work with a lot of clients in the coaching world is we see idea, we read something and we can immediately see the impact that would have in our company. But we can’t do everything we can’t do. You know, it’d be great if we could just have an idea. And all of a sudden, the team was able to pick up on an execute, but you have to pick and choose. So what is, you know, have you gone through and thought about your filtering process to pick those those top three things?

Jeff Knauss [15:23]
Yeah, to be honest, probably not as intentional as I should, I think that there’s definitely opportunity for me. So part of the way I live my life in general is to have a rubric around all my decision making, right. So if that’s when I first started the business, I had a, you know, a very hard decision between staying in the corporate television world. And doing that, you know, for the rest of my career essentially, or going off and becoming an entrepreneur, an entrepreneur was never in my sight line, I never thought I would be a business owner. It just wasn’t in the game plan for me. And, but because I had a rubric because I knew that I wanted to two words are really important to growth and impact, because I wanted to continually grow professionally, personally.

Jeff Knauss [16:06]
And because I wanted to have the largest impact on a on a select number of issues that I cared deeply about. Because of those things, I felt it was a lot easier for me to make the decision to be an entrepreneur, because becoming an entrepreneur meant I had the freedom, flexibility, and the potential to be, you know, financially independent, that I could make a lot of those to be to grow as much as I wanted to grow and to have the impact I wanted to have. And so free, it’s a it’s an excellent question you just asked because I think I can do a better job at putting a filter in a rubric together around the decisions I make. Because right now it’s it’s just, it’s probably more gut than it should be. I think it should be more database.

Commercial [16:44]
Let me take a second here to remind you that if you want to keep getting episodes like this, you want to evolve as a leader, then you want to make sure you go to Gene for slash subscribe. is my home base. The podcast is growth Think Tank. And if you want to be a visionary leader, if you want to keep learning from all of these amazing founder CEOs that go to, so you don’t miss an episode.

Gene Hammett [17:10]
I you know, my job is not to solve the problems for you, but to have a conversation that allows you to see it for yourself. And a lot of people don’t understand coaching from that perspective. But here’s the here’s the beautiful part of it. It wasn’t me telling you, you have to have a filter, or a rubric for this. It was you realizing you know what, I’ve kind of just been running by the seat of my pants or my gut. And so I want to spend the rest of our time together, maybe just helping you craft what that looks like for you. Again, I’m not trying to to reveal any special secrets are go deeper than you want to. So let’s just finish this up with some getting very specific around what that rubric is. Is that fair?

Jeff Knauss [17:49]
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I couldn’t agree with you more. There’s never, no one will learn better than if they teach something themselves. Right. And I think that was an excellent question.

Jeff Knauss [18:00]
So you’ve said something, and I wrote it down in my notes here, because that’s what I do when I’m scribbling down here. I could be more intentional. So know that you’re probably intentional about a lot of things in your life, you’re intentional about the growth, you have probably very intentional about the people you bring on and invite to your crew. I remember that was one of the things you you call all your employees crew. So what are the two or three areas within these big projects that you’re looking at to improve the efficiency of time spent on on the work done for clients that we need to start with?

Jeff Knauss [18:37]
So when I think about work with clients, I think there’s a number of things that we do, just because we’ve always done them that way. And there’s nothing that bothers me more than doing things just because we’ve always done them that way. So, you know, one example of that is, how do we create a filter around? What how do we do creative and who gets a certain level of creative when do specific creatives get involved? And what I mean by that is we have a hierarchy around our creative team, no different than any of our departments.

Jeff Knauss [19:10]
We have a creative director, we have an art director. We have graphic designers, we have copywriters, we have developers, we have a number of different people on our creative crew. And how do we insert them into client work? When do does a creative director enter the chat, so to speak? And when does a when and when does our creative director allow our art director to take over direction over a certain campaign? I think understanding those those nuances is important because often it turns into, you know, a client that has an urgent need, we’ll just run in and do it without a real filter without intention. It’s just yeah, this makes sense. Or maybe it’s based on capacity. This designer makes sense to work with this client, because they have time rather than they have expertise in this specific field. And so I think getting more intentional around How our creative department fits into our client work is something that we’re trying to be thoughtful around.

Gene Hammett [20:06]
I want to back up to this because I’ve done a lot of work with digital agencies. And, and creative is certainly a big part of it. But there’s also kind of the, the process, do you look at those, when you’re when you’re looking at something like this and go back to the dashboard, the live dashboard, which I happen to love, because I’m a numbers person, I’m an engineer at heart. That was my education in school. But to be able to push that out to a client, you, it wasn’t just about creative, it was about improving a process that was taking time, and automating that in a way. So there’s process and there’s people, what else would be included in this rubric? Besides those two?

Jeff Knauss [20:45]
It’s an excellent question. You know, I think about time efficiency around like, really two things, it is that it’s automation, or, you know, people and and so I think there’s opportunity to create automation inside of a process. And or be more intentional about how our team spends their time. You know, I think about creative I think about, you know, to your point around digital agency work, the way that I always say this, anyone can run a Facebook ad, anyone can can run a Google ad. So why would you hire a digital agency, right, like I can teach anyone in 20 minutes how to run a Facebook ad, it’s not complicated. You know, the real secret sauce, the real, the real value that an agency brings, is their ability to optimize those campaigns and look at data become numbers focused and say, you know, we’re gonna drive down your cost per acquisition by x by testing out different creative testing out different headlines, testing out different copy points, testing out different features and benefits. And that work is time-intensive and very skill-oriented. And so branding, speak to another thing that we’re focused on is branding our optimization process, because that is our that’s really the the value that we bring. And so I don’t I mean, I don’t know, I you know, to go back to your original question, I’m not sure. In terms of a rubric, how to think about it. That’s that’s the majority of what we really focus in on is efficiency through automation, efficiency through operational processes, which can include opera automation, and or people focus.

Gene Hammett [22:22]
So let’s pause right there. It could be just start with these three, because a rubric, as you know, can change over time. Absolutely. But if you want to create this filter immediately, you have to probably the way I’m coming envision this, Jeff, and correct me if I’m wrong, is is this a process more process than people? Or is it more automation, then? Then people, you know, some kind of like numbering system that allows you to go, where is it in the mix of those three? Is that fair?

Jeff Knauss [22:51]
I think it is. And then I think on top of all that, you kind of spurred that, you know, including that rubric needs to be impact, right? Like it needs to, there needs to be some level of understanding, you know, if we’re going to put all this time and effort into it, what’s the impact? How many departments does it impact? I mean, people do it impact how many processes does it impact? And what is going to be the efficiency that we’re going after? Because there’s a shouldn’t be some kind of KPI so we can measure against ourselves to say, was this worth it later on. So then we can get back to your point, create a better rubric.

Gene Hammett [23:23]
So you’ve said those things together. And I want to make sure we don’t combine things that don’t need to be combined but keep them separate. It’s impact versus effort, right? Because there’s some projects that are probably low effort, but a pretty good impact pay off. And there are some projects like CRM systems that are high effort. And unsure what the impact would be because I’m sure you were like, can we create a better system?

Jeff Knauss [23:48]
Right? Yeah, absolutely. We were literally putting the airplane together in the air as we were flying it with that one. So you’re right.

Gene Hammett [23:55]
So, you’ve got this like, kind of, maybe it’s a three-step system that you work through this, where you go through, you know, really what is defining what the problem is right? Then you’ve got to go through the, is it a process problem, a people problem or automation problem, or some combination of those? And then you kind of finish it up with the, you know, how are you going to measure impact versus effort? And if you did all three of those kind of separately and walk them through with very much intention? Would you be able to filter through all the projects in front of you with a little bit more ease?

Jeff Knauss [24:33]
I believe so. I believe so. I think that yeah, it certainly is. I think that’s comprehensive. And and, you know, another thing that I’m being really intentional about is that I also know about myself that I’m very fast-paced, and I’m and I’m quick to make decisions. So one thing that I’m also trying to do just as a part of this that I think the rubric can help with, is that I think it can help to slow me down For a moment, because, you know, so often I see, prior to kind of this way of thinking, you know, I was the stereotypical leader that you came to, and I’ll solve your problem for you. I’m fishing, I’m not helping teach you how to fish, right. And so, because of my decisive mind, and my my just deep desire to want to make change quickly, but at the scale that we are today, that can be almost more detrimental by making a very fast decision that can have spider, you know, webs into very large impact, you know, that that you’re not necessarily thinking of. So I love that idea of the rubric. I think those three kind of things can can help. And then I also think that it also may, you know, create more time for me to think about what is the true impact of all this, and what’s it going to affect?

Gene Hammett [25:52]
You know, that’s a really good insight that you picked up on there. Because, you know, two things, you can actually solve the problem for your employees, but that’s not necessarily the best path. If you want them to take ownership, you mentioned the fact that your co-founder took ownership of the CRM, I’m sure you involve were involved in some way. But for them to have ownership was probably a real benefit to you,

Jeff Knauss [26:15]

Gene Hammett [26:16]
And other projects, that you may identify through this, this new process, this rubric of filtering out the, you know, which ones should go forward and not slowing down actually is a really good thing. Because you want to make sure that you’re not, you know, putting too many cooks in the kitchen, when you’re trying to push out these projects. You want to slow it down to work on just the highest value stuff. I remember I had Jeff, no, what’s his name? Papa Sam, the one thing Have you read that book? The one thing

Jeff Knauss [26:51]
I have. Yeah.

Gene Hammett [26:52]
So the one question they have in there, and I’m sure I’m gonna kind of butcher that up is, what is the one thing that we must do to make other things either easier or not, you know, no issue to that. That’s probably one of the questions you put in this rubric. What is the one thing that if we did only did this one thing, and only focused on this one project would make the most impact for the company?

Jeff Knauss [27:17]
Yeah, absolutely. And that’s, and that’s a great point and great book because it narrows down. You know, I think so often, you know, people I just had this conversation with one with one of our department heads. An idea got brought up. And they immediately started getting anxious, because they started thinking about this huge project and all the deliverables underneath and all the steps and talking to their team and figuring all this stuff, like one bite at a time, man, just you can’t, you can’t try to Gulp that elephant, you got to take one bite at a time, focus on the one thing and then move on to the like, we as leaders often try to take on these massive things and think about all this. All the different facets. And if I did this, and I did this and this and this. Yeah, of course. But I think to your point, like thinking about the one thing that can make the largest impact. That’s all about focus and time is the focus. Right?

Gene Hammett [28:12]
I want to wrap up today’s conversation, Jeff, just maybe asking you one final question, you would mention that the biggest challenge you have going forward is selecting the right work for this kind of create more efficiency inside your digital agency. And, you know, developing a rubric, what is? How will you put this into play as you carry out on evaluating the project moving forward?

Jeff Knauss [28:39]
Yeah, I think it’s about the creation of it, of thinking through and then testing. I really like everything in my life, I like to because I move fast, I come up with an AI hypothesis, I create some information, I synthesize that information. And then I just try it, you know, so I think being able to take the next project that comes across my desk that I want to make capacity for, I think, allowing myself to take a moment to say, Alright, does this, does this make sense through this rubric? Am I looking through a lens of is this more people as more automation as a process? You know, what kind of impact will it have? How much effort will it take thinking about all of those things will certainly allow me to make a stronger decision for it. So I think it’s just about testing and implementing,

Gene Hammett [29:27]
I might suggest this to Jeff, if you really want to make this pay off for you is to track it over time. Having having a system a notebook or some type of electronic system, I use my iPad for notes on everything, but being able to go back to look in the past. Like was I right? What are the assumptions I made this appropriate? Because I will. I know within my own work, I can think something will take two days. And I’m not usually right, to be honest with you. And I’ve got a factor that I have to multiply my ideas with, which is three after multiply the time by three. And, you know, you could create this rubric, which is great, you can change it over time, I’m certainly not offended if you change it based on what we quickly put together on a napkin. But be able to measure over time how you’re doing with that rubric. And in really creating something that just you go back to every time you’ve got a filter, an important project running through the system before you activate the team. And I guess slow yourself down and teach yourself what’s what, how you really are thinking about these processes. Does that make sense?

Jeff Knauss [30:42]
It really hits home because I think so often, you know, when you’re a fast-growing company, you’re like a racecar and you’re just you’re gone. And you’re not even thinking about the dust settling way, way, way back there and your rear view, right. But so often, there’s a lot of insight that you can pull from, you know, did I turn my wheel this way that I, you know, accelerate too fast. And I and I think I absolutely believe that looking in our rearview and thinking through and setting benchmarks to say, Is this working is the only real way and only shot you have of getting becoming more efficient, being more successful? Because if you don’t, you’re just gonna keep testing these hypotheses, looking at a very small window of success or failure, and then making you know, long term decisions based on short term visibility. So I think that’s a great idea and a great point.

Gene Hammett [31:32]
So Jeff, thanks for playing along with me here. Has this been helpful at this little coaching session?

Jeff Knauss [31:36]
Yeah, I love it.

Gene Hammett [31:37]
Nothing you’re working on here.

Jeff Knauss [31:38]
Extremely helpful. Thank you, Gene.

Gene Hammett [31:39]
I didn’t even realize that, you know, as I started doing these, you know, how, how would I pull it off, but I know that my job is not to solve the problem for you, but to ask questions allow you to solve it for yourself and, and really help you get more clear about it moving forward. And we just took something that was, you know, a little bit of a challenge for you and put some clarity to what you do next, and created a way that makes this payoff for you long term to optimize your time. I really appreciate you playing with me, Jeff.

Jeff Knauss [32:08]
That’s it’s been super valuable. I really appreciate the insight and thoughtfulness. And, you know, that’s, that’s what makes you a great coach, man.

Gene Hammett [32:16]
Well, when you think about your job as a leader and CEO, I want you to think about the conversation I had with Jeff here today. Because when you think about what you’re doing and how you’re prioritizing your projects, this will help you but if you’re there are there any other areas you’re stuck in, make sure you go to the free content we have on my website,, you can find out more ways to become the visionary leader that you really want to be for your team. And what you really need to let go of today so that you can become that visionary, right now. Just go to Find all the free races you need. You can even jump on the phone with me and have conversations about your business much as I had with Jeff here today. So thanks for being here on the podcast. When you think of growth and you think of leadership think of Growth Think Tank as always lead with courage. Well, see you next time.

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.


The OYT Coaching Series with Jeff Knauss



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