In our series on time, we aim to improve how you spend your time. One of the most significant issues I see with CEOs in my work is the struggle to create the space to be visionary. It is straightforward for leaders to focus on optimizing the time to get more things done. However, many are not making the space to be the most effective leader the company needs. Today’s guest on the podcast is Chris Anderson, Founder, and CEO of Ledge Loungers. His company ranked 1154 on the 2019 Inc 5000 list. Chris begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, which is having better one-on-one conversations. He shares small shifts in how he engages with his employees and executive team so you can improve your relationships. In part two, Chris is coached on creating space to be visionary for his business. You will discover insights to creating the space to be visionary your company needs inside this episode.
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Christopher Anderson: The Transcript
Target Audience: Chris Anderson is an Entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of Ledge Loungers. At Ledge Lounger™, they developed a full line of products made to be in the water and under the sun. Featuring a contemporary design, all of our products are made with the highest quality outdoor materials so they’re guaranteed to stand up to the harsh pool environment and complement your poolscape’s aesthetic.
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 hate to say that life gets in the way, but it’s the reality, right. So it’s learning how to even delegate to have some sort of assistance at some point to help you with some of your life outside of work stuff during the day. So it doesn’t get in your way to be successful in any way. But I’m interested in your thoughts on that where you’re going.
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 [0:38]
Your time is the most important thing you have? Well, maybe not the most important your health is just as important is how you spend your time and your relationships. So there’s a lot of things that are just as important as time. But today, we’re going to talk about optimizing your time. This series is something I’m really proud of. It’s a very different approach to creating content for founders and CEOs of fast-growth companies. My name is Gene Hammett I work as an executive coach to the founders and CEOs from the Inc 5000. And other companies that want to grow fast. They want to create leadership and a culture that is world-class. And this is what I do. Today, we’re going to talk about optimizing your time with Chris Anderson. He’s a founder, CEO of ledge loungers, they’re on the Inc list. They’re growing fast to COVID. Because a lot of people are trying to find how do they spend their time at home around their pools. And so their business has really taken upswing of late. What we talked about today are two things.
Gene Hammett [1:38]
The first is the one strategy that he’s done that has made the most difference for him, which is a better one on one conversation with his executive team. And we structure the details behind that we look at you know, the agenda who brings the agenda do does the employee bring it? Or does the CEO bring it to the conversation? Well, we answer that question inside here. And it’s something we talked about a lot across other interviews, we also look at some of the other elements inside of how you structure that to make the most of that time. And that is a really interesting conversation for you. The second thing we talk about is a struggle that he is looking at how does he create more space to be the visionary inside of his business. And so it’s a coaching moment, we talk about some of the key elements of being the visionary in your business. And we talked about some of the key things that you can do you help him along that journey, one of them is firing himself. The other one is being intentional about how to schedule this time. And so a lot of the things inside this episode will help you be a stronger leader, but it also helps you be a more visionary leader. If you want to talk about what’s next for you and talk about your specific business, then I would love for you to reach out and talk to me just go to GeneHammett.com. And find start the journey that is all about you becoming a better leader, but you becoming the visionary of your company, and I can help you do that. We’ll get on the phone, we’ll talk we’ll create a plan for you. If you’d like to plan, you’ll run with the plan yourself. Or you can have me help you with the plan. I’m happy to do it either way. But I wouldn’t want you to get the plan that you need to focus on so that you can be the visionary that your team deserves. Now, here’s the interview with Chris.
Gene Hammett [3:12]
Hey, Chris, how are you?
Christopher Anderson [3:13]
I’m doing great. How have you been?
Gene Hammett [3:14]
I am fantastic. Glad to have you back on the show. Join us for a special series on optimizing your time.
Christopher Anderson [3:21]
Well, we’re excited to be back. Thank you for inviting me.
Gene Hammett [3:24]
Well, I got this idea because I have a lot of my clients as an executive coach that really want to create more time for themselves so that they can actually be the leaders that their team needs. And I know everyone’s in a different place in that journey. So I kind of wants to just give you a chance to give us some context around the company first. But that’s what we’re here to talk about today. All right.
Christopher Anderson [3:47]
Gene Hammett [3:48]
Oh, tell me about ledge lounger so that we can understand what you do and why your business has been so strong through the COVID times.
Christopher Anderson [3:56]
Yeah, absolutely. So we were founded back founded the company back in 2011. I think the short and sweet is we develop outdoor furniture, some most of it, we’re kind of specialize in the furniture, maybe go in the swimming pool, we have constantly doubled the business year over year. Obviously, that continues to get harder. COVID actually has a very positive impact on our business people are wanting to get outdoors. In fact, the whole industry, outdoor furniture as a whole has just gone through the roof. We’re our business virtually doubled this year after doubling for many years and then doubling this year. It was a big impact on our business. And it was more important than ever to do exactly what it is. We’re here to talk about today, which is learning how to delegate and learn how to manage a team so that I can focus on what the future is for the business and not get caught up in the day-to-day activity.
Gene Hammett [4:46]
And just to put that in context, you went from 30 ish employees over 100. But what are those exact numbers?
Christopher Anderson [4:53]
We did. We had about 38 in March and we’re just I think we’re right hovering right around the 100 marks right now. We plan on having about 15 more by March so that we’re prepared for next season. So our employee count is almost 3x. And our revenue again is almost 2x. What it was last year.
Gene Hammett [5:11]
Well, let’s dive into it. When I asked you this big question around, what’s your number one strategy that’s, you know, created the time and space for you to be the leader? Did you talk about it? It’s one on one meetings, but really better one on one meetings? Tell us a little bit about your one on one meetings?
Christopher Anderson [5:29]
Yeah, for sure. So, you know, I think it as we’ve continued to grow, and I’ve had to round out, my executive staff or my management team for the company. When, when I first brought on the managers, it’s almost like, I was not confident enough to let them go do their job. So I would, I would go assist them or help them or work on something alongside them. And then we compare our results. As well as there are just the constant interruptions during the day where once you bring on people, and you’re working on something else, and they need to check in with you, you know, they interrupt you, you focus on something else, and then you forgot what you were you were working on. And then vice versa. And I don’t think a lot of leaders think about the fact that you do that to your team just as much as they do that to you.
Christopher Anderson [6:16]
So you’re constantly barging in their office, expecting them to stop what they’re doing and talk to you, versus a very structured weekly meeting. And we call it a one-to-one meeting here. And basically what I do is I have my executive team, meet with me once one day a week, it’s their responsibility to generate and develop the agenda for the meeting. Now, of course, I want to point out, we still have our executive staff meetings, and then our executive staff meetings, we certainly review a scorecard. We look at all of our rocks, what we’ve accomplished what percentage completion they are. And we really drive them forward a week to week. But I really don’t get into the nitty-gritty, which each one of my executive staff members in those team meetings, we wait until the one to ones.
Gene Hammett [7:01]
So I want to take you back to what it was like before, you were probably still having one on one meetings, was it just a little bit less structured?
Christopher Anderson [7:10]
Absolutely. And let me explain why. So obviously, when you’re growing a business, you’re busy, you’re one minute, you’re working on a legal issue, the next minute, you’re working on an accounting issue, the next minute, you’re working with a sales customer situation, right? You’re one of the only people within our organization that has to be on all these different topics all the time. So if I had a Thursday meeting with, for example, my product development director, I put so much pressure on myself to have what are we going to talk about what’s the agenda going to be able to have an agenda for him when he walks in the meeting to have a guideline to what he’s going to follow.
Christopher Anderson [7:47]
Sometimes it’s important, obviously, to get them the agenda before the meeting, so that they’re prepared for what you want to talk to them about. But what I’ve found is by truly turning it back on them, and I’ve got some great advice on this, but by turning it back on them and saying you come with the agenda because they know what it is they need from you to go be successful. And it’s my job as the founder, president of the company, to provide them the resources they need to be successful. What I found is when they bring the agenda, about 90% of the time, when we get through their agenda, we’ve covered all the topics that I wanted to cover that day. And so it’s then bringing it in, in discussing now occasionally, there’ll be a topic that I have in mind that they don’t bring up. But again, a large portion of the time, it’s topics that they bring up that I was intending to talking about anyway.
Gene Hammett [8:35]
Chris, I want to ask you a question that kind of gets to the heart of this. When you are bringing the agenda to it. It’s almost like you’re telling them, I want you to pay attention to these things. But when they’re bringing the agenda now, they’re telling you what they’re paying attention to. Is there more of a sense of ownership because they’re bringing the agenda, now?
Christopher Anderson [8:55]
I absolutely, I mean, they feel like I’m not micromanaging them like they have the autonomy to go be successful, and they’re driving their success. You certainly bring up a great point because there’s, there are quite a few times or they bring something up and I asked him why are you even focused on that, that based on the current priorities? Why are you spending time on that you’re wasting your time like that is not a priority? So we certainly readjust priorities based on what it is that they think is important. So yeah, absolutely. I mean, without a doubt, we, they’re bringing it they feel more autonomous. They feel like they’re in control. And we all know right people right seat, right, you’ll quickly learn if the person that’s doing the job is capable of doing the job or if you’re just carrying them along.
Christopher Anderson [9:43]
I think too many times we have people in roles and they shouldn’t be in that role. And we carry them along, and we ended up doing 90% of the work and they do 10% of the work or you know we do 60% of work and at 40 you really need to find executive leaders within your organization you can rely on to carry that torch in You’re just there to help them occasionally, versus you caring. And that’s what this has done, it’s really shown some clear examples of where some of our leaders aren’t, aren’t successful. And I can really focus on helping them in those areas versus the stuff they’re good at, I don’t want to get in their way.
Gene Hammett [10:15]
I picked up on something you were saying there, and I just want to make sure we put a spotlight on it. When you were talking about this one on one conversations, they’re bringing the agenda, you’re asking a lot of questions, which is really working on your coaching skills as so you can actually help them through the questions versus telling them what to do is, is that fair to say or that? Just read that into it?
Christopher Anderson [10:37]
No, that’s critical. Because when, when I was taught this process, from some other business advisors, if you will, you know, they told me, if you’re talking, if if I am talking more than 20 to 30% of this meeting, it’s not a successful meeting. The other comment was, listen to listen, don’t listen to respond that a lot of times, we will listen to somebody, and after they say the first five to 10 words, you already have your response ready to go. And you’re just waiting for them to stop talking. So you can tell them what you want to tell them, the best thing to do is stop listening to respond and just listen to listen, let them get from the beginning to the end of whatever it is that they want to talk about prior to interrupting them or prior to breaking it up, let them get it all out. And then you’re going to have a better response or a better answer to what is worth discussing. Because you actually listen to what they were saying.
Christopher Anderson [11:34]
I was doing a lot of that in the early days as I was listening to respond and not listening to listen. Additionally, again, as I mentioned, if I’m talking more than 30% of this meeting, then we’re not succeeding, I need to keep my mouth shut and listen, ask questions, let them continue with the topics just based on some questions. A lot of the time, you’re teaching your leadership team, how to solve their own problems, and they don’t even realize that you’re doing it and you and you realize you’re doing it because you’re not talking the whole time. But they talk through it, they solve their own problems. And then it’s their idea. And they’re gonna run off and be much more successful at it than if you were to go tell him to do it.
Gene Hammett [12:11]
I’m glad you added those details. And I want to switch gears here a little bit. Because as great as that strategy is there’s always a next level that we’ve had to evolve into as leaders. And you had talked about one area that you really were working on now. What did you share with me the other day when we talked about this.
Christopher Anderson [12:29]
Specifically, being the visionary of a company, I believe is what you’re referring to.
Gene Hammett [12:34]
Christopher Anderson [12:35]
I’ve got to work on my business and not in my business, or else my business will stop growing. There’s only so much residual success that my business has in it, that is going to be a success based on prior achievements and prior things we’ve done. And if I’m not driving it forward, that is a residual success is going to run out, I’ve got to go seek to see the thing that’s going to go develop or create the thing that’s going to make us more successful towards the future, as opposed to just focus on what why we’re successful today. And to me, that is what a visionary does is a visionary focuses on what’s next for the business?
Christopher Anderson [13:10]
Not only what’s next, let me let me back up just to hear how can we do things differently than we’re doing today to be even better, but then additional? What else can we be doing to be successful. So typically, when you’re working in it, you’re not focused on how to make it better, you’re focused on just fulfilling the order or communication with your customer, or this or that better focus on making the existing business better, and focusing on what’s going to continue to allow us to grow beyond making the current business better.
Gene Hammett [13:41]
So I appreciate you giving us the context to what the issue is. And it sounds like you have a really solid understanding of why it’s so important. But because this is a coaching session, and you’ve given me permission to kind of coach you through this, we’re going to go deeper than just what you know, what we know is important. So when you think about being a visionary leader, what gets in the way?
Christopher Anderson [14:04]
Well, man, I mean, everything from, again, the daily things that are the daily pop-up stuff that you have to handle because maybe you’re not confident somebody else on your team can handle it all the way. You know, I hate to say that life gets in the way, but it’s reality, right? So it’s learning how to even delegate to have some sort of assistant at some point to help you with some of your life outside of work stuff during the day. So it doesn’t get in your way to be successful in the day. But I’m interested in your thoughts on that where you’re going.
Gene Hammett [14:35]
You know, I hear a lot of different things. You’re not giving me anything new. But it sounds like you are still stuck in a lot of the day today.
Christopher Anderson [14:44]
Yeah, I mean, we’re certainly getting to the point where I have confidence in my leadership team and I’ve been able to, you know, focus on KPI on a weekly basis versus get in the middle of their business during the week. So you know structuring our executive staff meetings to more of a scorecard reporting on your tasks, reporting on your rocks versus just getting in a meeting and talking about what’s going on in their world today that that’s our old exact staff meeting, right? Hey, tell me what’s going on in marketing today.
Christopher Anderson [15:14]
Tell me what’s going on in operations today. And then everybody in the room would listen, now they’re much more structured, again, to goals, percentage, complete scorecard, that sort of thing. So that’s helped significantly. And of course, there are other things we’re focusing on, which is, you know, filling out the team, making sure that we have, you know, I’m really been focused on making sure that we have all the gaps filled and understanding At what point we’re going to need more people, you know, usually you don’t you have an identified, you’re going to need another person until you get to it. But we’re also focused now on that future planning structure as well.
Gene Hammett [15:45]
Chris, when you think about one of your roles there, I want to ask you a question that, you know, I never know what you’re going to say to these questions. But if you’re ever thought about the need to fire yourself from certain things that you’re doing, so that you don’t have to keep going back to them and fixing the problems?
Christopher Anderson [16:03]
Absolutely. I mean, there are two ways you do that, right? You fire yourself because you know, because you’re getting somebody else a chance to handle it, and you’re, you’re not sure how they’re gonna handle it. So you’re going to hand it over to them and hope they learn. And they might make a mistake, you got to be okay with that. But they’re gonna learn from that mistake. And if they show improvement, they’re doing a good job, or go find somebody that has the experience in can do it. Typically, the second one there is there’s quite a bit more expensive. Yep. In not a lot of growing businesses have the capital to do it. But I’m very eager and interested in what the next thing you’re going to say is because we give some advice.
Gene Hammett [16:40]
When I’m walking clients through this process, typically, we would have to get down on paper, exactly the things that they know that they need to fire themselves from, by looking at their calendar and being able to say, you know what, I really shouldn’t be at this meeting anymore. This team has got that thing, whatever it is, they’ve got their scorecards, they’ve got their processes, I need to be updated. But I don’t need to be there for that weekly meeting. Does that make sense?
Christopher Anderson [17:03]
It absolutely does. And I can give you some very clear examples of you know, right now we’re working on building a new, a new office building, a new facility, a new office, it’s not a building, we’re just building out space. And we’re developing a showroom, we’re developing the office space. And now we’re doing everything from picking out desks to office chairs to paint colors to tile on the floor because it’s a new experience. For me. It’s something that I want to be involved in. So I’m meeting with all the contractors, I’m trying to figure out, you know, how they all overlap and get quotes and pricing and all this stuff. And I quickly realized I am spending the majority of my day focusing on planning and off. And if I don’t get somebody else to help me and put a lead on this, then what else am I going to be dropping? Right?
Christopher Anderson [17:47]
What am I not going to be focusing on that I need to be focused on? So this is an example where we identified somebody on the team that had some project management skills, and now they’re, they’re the lead on it, they come to me with the questions and I help solve them. But they’re the lead on it. It’s something so badly that I want to do because it’s fun. It’s the next cool thing. It’s you know, it’s like the hamster, you know, getting distracted by something, I want to do it because it’s fun, but I can’t really be ultimately responsible for any one thing other than, you know, my executive staff team got to let them do it. And I’ve got to delegate to them without
Gene Hammett [18:22]
One of the things I’m hearing in there is early on in this process, you were getting caught up in the emotion of it because it’s something fun to do. It’s something you want to be a part of, but it probably isn’t the highest value for your time. I think you realize that that also the bigger picture here is it? That’s a good example. But there’s there are others that are already going on right now that you haven’t like go up yet. Is that fair to say? Absolutely. I mean, and I’m not going to dive into the specific ones. But that’s, that’s a part of the process when I’m coaching with someone is to identify where they can fire themselves. And I know it’s a weird term to fire yourself. But that is the key. I want to kind of switch gears here a little bit. Do you have any more questions about this, this concept of firing yourself?
Christopher Anderson [19:03]
I’m going to be more attentive to it, I think I think you certainly have got me intrigued to really, you know what, one thing I commonly will do is write down on the list of all the things I do in a week, and then prioritize them and look at things in the bottom list and see if I can cross them off.
Gene Hammett [19:16]
So let me give you a little detail behind that before we move on. And really this is about putting together kind of a matrix, if you will, because when you identify the project or tasks that you need to fire yourself from, and I don’t know what one of those in your example is, but you identify three, four or five, maybe it’s 10 of them. And the exercise is who is the person that would do this. If you weren’t available and you write down a name. I’m not asking you to do anything but you would write down a name next to that slot and then the third column on this matrix if you will want you to jot down why you think that person is the right person for that job, like what is their mindset or what is their skill set.
Gene Hammett [19:55]
What is the reason why that would be the person if you were not able to attend this meeting, for example, you’ve got, you had to take a medical leave of absence, you would have someone else doing that for you, right? And it’s forcing you to write down the areas that you want to find yourself, who is the person that would step up in that role? And then why it is and then you just prioritize from there? Because some of those are really easy. And actually, the easier ones are easy, you know, Oh, I know, there’s usually something that’s already on the top of your mind, I’m kind of curious, is there anything on top of your mind that you know, you should fire yourself from?
Christopher Anderson [20:30]
Well, I think, let’s talk about it for a second, I totally appreciate where you’re going. But like, let’s look at the quote-unquote, psychology behind it, right? It’s, we’re afraid, as leaders to let somebody else go do something because we don’t know how they’re going to treat it, we don’t know if they’re going to make it the best it can be, we’re always we know, we will make it the best that best it can be. But over the period of growing this company, we’ve had to put leaders, you know, middle management in place, executive level management in place, and we have to be confident that they’re going to go treat it like it’s their baby, they’re going to go treat it and make it as absolute best it can be you, you know, we made the comment earlier to one of my, actually my partner in the business, I said, we have to give our leaders rope, but we don’t want him to get to we don’t want that rope to get too long. Because then if something happens, it’s going to be so much harder to correct. Yeah. So. So I think there’s a process of a little bit of time to the point where you get really comfortable with somebody’s skill set. And they’ve gained an understanding of how you expect it to be done within your organization.
Gene Hammett [21:37]
Let me give you an example of this with one of my clients. And this is a guy that Mike I was working with over the last few years. When I first started talking to him, he knew that he was the bottleneck to a company that was growing, you know, to 10 million. And I said, Well, you know, how do you? How would you tell you’re the bottleneck. And he goes, I can tell you right now there’s a stack of reports on my desk, that I have to review that no one else on the team can review because they’re expecting me to approve these. So then go to clients. And I go, how long does it take to do those reports? He goes is that two to three hours each report? I said, How many are there he goes, let me count them. There were 14. And I said That’s half your time? He goes, yep, I spent half my time reviewing the work of my team. And I said I’m just kind of curious, who would you pick on the team to do that, if you couldn’t do it, he immediately picked two names. He immediately said, I think they could even be better at it than me, even though I’ve got 30 years experience. And he goes, but he hasn’t given it up because he’s emotionally attached. He’s just used to doing it. It’s comfortable. They need him. It feels good. But what eventually happened was we put people in the place we put the right people in the right seats, as you said, and no longer Is he the person reviewing those reports. And, in fact, he only gets the special exceptions now. And so a year later, maybe nine months later, completely different experience, because half of his week is now allocated to being the visionary of his business.
Christopher Anderson [23:00]
Gene Hammett [23:00]
That makes sense.
Christopher Anderson [23:01]
Gene Hammett [23:02]
It’s everyone has different little things, most of the time, they’re not that big, that’s a very glaring, big area where if you fix that area, you can move on to something else at a higher value. And what you have to understand is there are always areas where you have to be able to let go find the right person, whether they’re on staff, now, maybe it’s an outside contractor, maybe it’s someone else that you have to hire. But your job is to not always hold on just because you do it the best but to find people and coach them to the place where they can truly rise up to the occasion, and you spend your time coaching them and supporting them until you realize they own it. Does that make sense?
Christopher Anderson [23:40]
Absolutely. And I think there’s there’s an accountability factor, too, right? I mean, if if if he was doing those reports, and it was two hours each, it was 14 hours. And he’s got a lot of distractions, he might not do them as perfectly as they need to be done. Whereas in he can hold somebody accountable in it require them to do it perfectly, because it is their job, and it’s potentially a large portion of their job. You know, it’s as we’re talking, it’s very clear to me, you know, one thing I did this morning was I approved some terms for some customers in looking at the process that I go through to approve those terms. It’s relatively simple. What are their credit references? What do they pay quickly? And do they not have a large overdue balance? And if so, I give them the terms that they’re requesting no reason why my accountant shouldn’t be doing that. But for some reason, I want to hold on to the control of that, because I don’t want a whole lot of businesses owing us a lot of money. But that is a really good example of where you’ve, you’ve helped me realize like, Hey, get rid of that task.
Gene Hammett [24:37]
Here’s part of that, that will help you do this. And I’ve just seen this with many clients is a lot of times we do these things just like you talked about because we haven’t set up the boundaries and guidelines that will allow other people to do it. It’s it is a formula or it there is a boundary at which you know, you might say well, a million-dollar deal. I still want to kind of be involved, like you got to let me know on a certain threshold, but when it’s built Low some number. Look, please don’t bother me. And so I give you that. I want to switch gears just a little bit here, Chris, because I’ve asked this question before. And I think it’s a pretty interesting question is if you’re not the visionary of the business, if you’re not spending as much time as you can, to look for the new opportunities, and to see where you need to innovate and create new products if you’re not doing it, who is?
Christopher Anderson [25:25]
Well, I mean, the reality is, is nobody, I don’t want to say, anybody. I mean, we have a product development team. And they’re certainly going to focus on that. But they’re more focused on executing what’s in front of them. They’re more focused on developing the products that they’ve been asked to go develop and take to market. In time, I realized that I will not be able to always be the one deciding on what our next products are. Right? So identifying the gaps. And this goes back to the last conversation, we just said, identifying the gaps that are within the organization of all the things that I do on a daily basis. Even as the visionary right now I’m really focused on what’s the next trend, what’s the next cool thing, we should have somebody with an organization that’s, that’s doing that’s thinking through, hey, what should our next products be? So I don’t think you ever stop delegating. I think as you continue to focus on being a visionary, more and more and more, you even start getting delegating some of that visionary stuff.
Gene Hammett [26:21]
I totally agree with you. And it comes with you, being able to let go of what you currently have creating space to think creating space to let your mind wander about the future and around the corner. And a lot of times, we’re just not very intentional about it, I will kind of lead us to this last piece here. If it’s a visionary, do you believe that you? Does it just happen? Or do you believe you’re intentional about that?
Christopher Anderson [26:46]
Oh, you certainly have to be intentional. I think there’s, there’s the inspiration that just happens. But you have to intentionally focus on that inspiration.
Gene Hammett [26:54]
You know, a lot of famous people out there do this differently. A Bill Gates is famous for going away for a week and reading books that are completely outside the realm of, you know when he was at Microsoft, but he did this religiously because he wanted to take the time away from the day to day look around the corners, take his head up and say, where’s the world going? And where are we as a company positioned to get there? And so if you believe in being intentional, and you want to be a visionary, one of the things I would urge you to do is think about, when are you creating visionary time, and when are you putting that in scheduling it and it could look like for some people, it’s a little bit each day.
Gene Hammett [27:32]
For some people, it’s big blocks in a certain week or two or three hours. And for others, it’s once a quarter, I’m going to go on a solo vacation for myself, and I’m going to spend two days thinking about our business. I’m not asking you to pick which one it is. But that’s what it kind of looks like that kind of intentionality around being the visionary that the company needs.
Christopher Anderson [27:52]
Yeah, and I’m, I mean, add to that, it’s, you know, we, we actually require our executive staff, if we call them clarity breaks, we call our all of our executive staff to, to take that time and go do something where it’s now they can shut everything off, whether it’s an hour, whether it’s two hours, whether it’s four hours, or whether it’s a weekend. And then what we do is we ask them, and then in the executive staff meeting, after they’ve returned to share what they came up with what they thought about, and it kind of helps everybody else wants to go hit that clarity book. So absolutely,
Gene Hammett [28:21]
I love that. The same thing, if you know, you came to me and saying I just want to be a little bit more visionary, and get out of that the day-to-day. So these are some of the things that you have to think about is you know, you’re letting go. And I know there are some emotional components to everything that you’re holding on to either you can do it better, you don’t have someone else on staff that can you trust enough to pull in. But here’s the thing, eventually, you’ll find someone. And what I’m asking you to do as we wrap up this segment is to think about the things that are more in the near term. And get rid of much of those who can and empower your people. And all those one on one meetings that you’ve been really good at, encourage your team members to do the same thing with their staff, and this is something that you can do. And then that will create space for you to be the visionary leader, as long as you don’t, you know, fill it up with other things that are kind of pulling you in different directions.
Christopher Anderson [29:14]
Yeah, great thoughts. Appreciate that. Gene.
Gene Hammett [29:17]
Chris, thanks for being here. Appreciate it.
Christopher Anderson [29:19]
Hey, thank you.
Gene Hammett [29:20]
Well, this wraps up another incredible conversation with a founder who has their finger on the pulse of what does it take to grow a company? You’ve seen the examples of Chris, we’ve talked about some of the things. And you know, one of the things I want to leave you with this today is, if you are in the day-to-day so much that if you saw an opportunity and you didn’t have time to react to it or even consider it. Are you truly the visionary for your company? And this truly hit me yesterday when I was thinking about why is it so hard for people to take time away from the business in the day-to-day to think about what’s coming. It’s not happening very well, or very much if you’re not doing so you should be the one that’s very intentional.
Gene Hammett [30:00]
This wraps up another great episode of the grow Think Tank podcast. If you want to be a visionary leader, make sure you check out some of the free resources. Keep listening to the show. And when you think of growth and you think of leadership, think of Growth Think Tank, as always lead with courage. We’ll see you next time.
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