Improving Employee Communication with David Danzig at Cosset Inc.
Communication is the backbone of every organization. In fast-growth companies, we can easily dismiss the importance of improving employee communication. However, my claim is that teams that aim to move fast need to enhance employee communication constantly. Today’s guest is David Danzig, CEO at Cosset Inc. Inc Magazine ranked his company #262 on the 2020 and #391 on the 2019 Inc 5000 list. Cosset makes bath bombs to encourage indulgent relaxation. David shares his strategies for improving employee communication. We discuss what gets in the way of how we engage with each other. Discover techniques you can use in your journey of improving employee communication.
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David Danzig: The Transcript
About: David Danzig is the CEO of Cosset Inc. Cosset’s Purpose is to relieve life’s stress through therapeutic experiences. Currently, Cosset products can be found at over 10 locations in Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. Each of our bath bombs is a unique therapeutic bath. We hand make all of our Therapy Bombs in Salt Lake using Salt from the Great Salt Lake.
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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.
David Danzig: [00:00:00] Think about what it is. Think about that one thing that’s guiding all of your decisions and then I’ll also tell him it’s okay. If you need to change it just because you pick something today, doesn’t mean it’s the thing tomorrow, just to figure out what it is. And it takes all of us a little time to understand who we are. I mean, one of the things that I learned this last year is you can’t attempt. To take care of others until you were taking care of yourself.
Intro: [00:00:33] Welcome to Growth Think Tank. This is the 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: [00:00:51] Improving your employee? Communication is something that every leader dreams about. Just having people understand each other, have them truly connect. And how do you do that? Well, there are a lot of different ways and a lot of different techniques, but I’m going to share with you today a very simple way to do it. It really is about understanding the core values of that person, how they see the world, how they see themselves, and what they really do. Get a charge from. Today, our special guest is David Danzig. He is the founder of cost. It cost, it is a bath bombs company. They’ve exploded over the last few years and they’ve made the English twice. They are a fantastic company. And what we talk about today will really give you some tools that you can use inside your own leadership. Now, you may be resistant to this because you may think it’s touchy, feely. But imagine that you have the words that unlock attention and unlock connection, and those words are right there at your fingertips. If you have this work and you really intentional about understanding someone’s personal core values, you can unlock that. And we’re going to share with you exactly inside this episode.
Let me pause here for a second. I’d love to share with you some of the details about what’s going on lately to help you be a stronger leader and help you really make the impact that you want to within the organization. We have something called fast growth boardroom. Now, this is peer-to-peer only for Inc-level companies. So you must be a founder, CEO, or president of an Inc-level company. Nope. What is it? Well, we get together and really support each other in our own evolution. You want to lead by example, we help you improve that. You want to improve your culture. We want to help you navigate you know, the virtual working world, all of those things.
We come together as peers and support each other. Now what makes us really different is it’s only for fast-growth companies. So if you’re not on the Inc 5,000, it doesn’t apply to you. But if you are on the Inc 5,000 and you would love to get the support of other founders, you’d love to get the support of a private coach. All that can be combined inside a fast-growth boardroom, where you have trusted advisors to help you grow as a leader, help hold you accountable to some of the things that you’re working on, and really support you as the company grows through all the chaos of fast growth. When you think about what you really want to do as a leader, this may be the perfect way for you to understand that if you want to find out more information about fast growth boardroom, just go to www.Fastgrowthboardroom.com.
It’s a mouthful, but it will help you understand if this is the right fit for you. And maybe if you’re not looking for it now you can just check it out and maybe let it play in the back of your mind. We’d love to invite you in. You do have to apply. We want to make sure we have the right people in there. So if you’re interested, go to www.Fastgrowthboardroom.com and check it out. Now, this is the Growth think tank here is David.
Gene Hammett: David, how are you?
David Danzig: [00:03:38] Doing really good.
Gene Hammett: [00:03:39] Excited to have you on the show.
David Danzig: [00:03:41] Well, I’m Gene. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be on the show.
Gene Hammett: [00:03:43] You are the very first person we’ve interviewed in the car. You said this is the quietest place in your office. I guess things are bustling over there.
David Danzig: [00:03:51] It is. It’s really quiet here. Plus our internet is still a little bit of a work in progress supposed to get finished up tomorrow. So I’ll have a good connection with you here as well. Not driving through. Just sitting in the car, got to be clear.
Gene Hammett: [00:04:06] Well, Cosset has been an incredible growth company and it’s a great story. Tell us a little bit about what Cosset is.
David Danzig: [00:04:12] Yeah. So I’ll start with the meaning of the word cost because I think that helps to explain what we are. So Cosset is an old English word. It means to care for and protecting overindulgent ways. And so for me, one of my big core values is. Actually making a difference. And so, as I thought about what I was going to do and where we were going to go, it was what could be something that would actually make a difference in people’s lives. And then how would that difference actually give us a competitive advantage. And so we make bath bombs. That’s what we’re really, really good at, but they were just bath bombs. Every single bath bomb we make is a therapeutic bath. And so there’s. Some that are great for sleep. Some are great for anxiety. Some are great for sore and aching muscles after you’ve worked out each one is a different therapeutic bath and that’s what makes us really different. And what so far has resonated well with our customers.
Gene Hammett: [00:05:06] What you did something that didn’t even have to do with this lead-in. We’re going to talk about personal core values. You just mentioned yours is making a difference. Yeah.
What does a personal core value? Cause I don’t think a lot of people understand what this means.
David Danzig: [00:05:19] Yeah. So one of my more favorite self-help authors, if you will, is Bernay Brown. And one of my team members suggested a while back that. We go through her dare to lead book that also has a workshop attached to it. If you have you’ve done it, it’s really, really excellent. Very emotional though, not for the faint of heart, but one of the things she does in there is she asked everybody to define their core value. And when I first heard that and I started reciting the boy scout oath in my mind, you know, honest, true tastes benevolent. And then she goes on to say, that’s. Not what we’re trying to accomplish here, what we’re trying to accomplish areas. What’s one thing, maybe two max that really governs every choice that you make. And so I thought long and hard about it for me. And at the end of the day, it’s to make a difference. I get really, really engaged when I felt like we’re making a difference. If I don’t feel like we’re making a difference, it’s super easy to get disengaged really fast. And I mean, there’s a million things that you could do for work for money, for whatever. You need to find something that keeps you motivated to do it beyond the money because the money comes and goes.
Gene Hammett: [00:06:32] Can we dive into the customer? Sorry. Back up. Before we dive into the employee side of this and how you use it, how does this really play out and your approach to leadership and how it, how it’s impacted the growth of the company?
David Danzig: [00:06:44] Sure. So one of the things I really started doing with my team this year is asking them to define what their core motivation is. This is really, really important. I’m going to sidestep to an out-of-company response here. My, my father is 81 years old. And sometimes my father doesn’t have great boundaries and he does things that you’re like, Oh, that felt really awkward. But his core or motivation is to actually make others feel better. Better. Right. That’s his core value is to make others feel better. And so then it makes sense. Why a cute little 80-year-old man might go up to a 20-year-old woman and say, you look really beautiful. It comes off really awkward sometimes, but at the end of the day, he means no harm.
That’s his core motivation. And I think that’s important to understand where someone is coming from. That doesn’t mean that they won’t still need coaching. Right? Like. My dad loved him, but like, we still, we talk about that as well. Hey daddy, there’s a different way to say that and a different way to make someone feel good, other than going up to a 20-year-old and saying, you look so beautiful. But same with team members. It’s, in my opinion, it’s really, really important to understand their core value because then you can frame it. What they’re doing up with, Hey, look, I know your core value is to help others. And when you said this thing the other day, it didn’t feel to me like you were living into your value.
Could you explain a little bit more about how that conversation went and? Why you reacted the way you reacted, because I don’t know if you’ve thought about their core value, but the team member that you were talking to their core value is this. And so ultimately this is what they’re trying to accomplish.
Commercial: [00:08:35] Hold on for a second, David just said using the core values and the communication and leadership of others, here’s how that works. When you understand how someone sees the world, when you understand the key element that unlocks their attention, you can use that very intelligently. When someone’s core value is to make a difference. Like David’s, you can use that specifically to unlock their attention. Here’s how I would use it. Hey, David, I know that you want to make a difference, but when you think about this next project, what does making a difference mean to you here? Because if that’s their core value, then you can use that in sentence and structure. And listen to what they’re saying because they want to make a difference. Whatever the core value is, hopefully, this is clear to you, but if you take a moment to understand what each person values and you use that in your leadership, you will have the chance to communicate and connect with them at a deeper level. Now, back to the interview with David.
Gene Hammett: [00:09:33] I love the story actually because I could just imagine the, sometimes that can probably get a little creepy and sometimes it’s meant to be, you know, it’s always meant to be very sweet, but when you are using these core values inside of leadership, you actually help your employees figure out what their core value is.
David Danzig: [00:09:53] We try to, you know, of course, I’m not like, Hey, here’s a list pick it’s like, think about what it is. Think about that one thing that’s guiding all of your decisions and then I’ll also tell him it’s okay. If you need to change it just because you pick something today, doesn’t mean it’s the thing tomorrow, just to figure out what it is. And it takes all of us a little time to understand who we are. I mean, one of the things that I learned this last year is you can’t attempt to take care of others until you’re taking care of yourself. It doesn’t work. You can try and try, but you’ve got to make sure that you’ve carved out that time to make sure that you’re building yourself before you can work on building someone else. You can’t really even build someone else. You can just ask them questions that help them to understand where they choose to go. What are the modes? There are powerful things I see around this approach is using it in conversations. You would just give us the example of using someone’s core value. I know this is how you see the world, because that’s really what a core value is, how you see the world, and now you want to play into it.
Gene Hammett: [00:11:01] As my, my definition. But you are people using it. Amongst themselves, not just you, but are your managers using this or your frontline employees using this, this personal right? We would certainly hope that they would.
David Danzig: [00:11:15] Right. I think it’s really important. Give me another example the other day at a team member who was really frustrated with one of our maintenance people, because one of our bathrooms says. It smelled really terrible since we moved into this new facility and I found out that there was a broken toilet, it’s easy immediately to connect the two broken toilets, bad smell. This is why it’s smelling poorly. I find it’s really, really good to go slow and gather information anytime you’re doing anything. Right. So we didn’t. And we went a little bit fast and we were like, ah, you’re going to fix this tomorrow morning. Cause it was the team member who should have fixed it. And then I went and searched and there’s no way that that smell could have coming from that toilet. Right. So everybody had kind of jumped the gun with this team member thinking they just want to do what they want to do.
Right. They don’t want to support me. They’re not even living in their values. They’re not, they’re not part of a team. We hear this all the time, right? Like this person is not a team player. They’re just doing what they want to do. He had had in his mind that this was not the problem for that. And quite frankly, did not know how bad the problem had gotten. And so figured it wasn’t a big deal to get that smaller item fixed because of it. Wouldn’t have been the source of the problems. It left everybody else feeling really unsupported and unloved. And like they didn’t care. Like their core value was to do whatever they wanted to do instead of actually help the team. So I think you asked, you know, Do you find them using it? I think it’s important too. When you have it, an experience like that comeback takes a step back and says, so let’s look at it. Like, what is this person’s core value? Like the reason why he’s in maintenance is to actually make sure everybody has what they need.
And here we were thinking that. He just wanted to do what he wanted to do on his schedule. It just didn’t fit into his brain and the way that it made sense that that was the thing that needed to be done. So let’s know that he’s still living into his value. And instead of thinking that he just doesn’t care. Sorry, that was a long answer. Hopefully, that answered it.
Gene Hammett: [00:13:24] That’s part of the answer. I’m sure. When you think about your journey as a leader, I’m sure you’ve been through some ups and downs. What’s one of the mistakes that you could share with us. That would help us understand leadership to a higher degree.
David Danzig: [00:13:38] So, yeah, I think the most poignant example I can give four years ago back in February I was down in Las Vegas, actually setting up our newest store and I got a call from my brother letting me know that. My mom was going to end up going on hospice and she passed away within about a week of that time. And, Oh man. Instead of resolving the grief in my head, I threw myself into the, into the work, right. I just drove, drove, drove. We went that year. The Las Vegas store was going to be our third store. By the end of that year, we had to include our carts in eight brick-and-mortar stores. And we had started setting up grocery stores.
And I mean, I just, I drove, I kept going, going, going. And the reality was. I was just working through my grief of losing someone so critical to me. I didn’t stop and pause for one second to consider anyone around me, how they felt, what was happening to them, how I was breaking them. Right. And you know, the thing is when you go through something like that and you just drive and you work through the grief, right. I had a lot of people who actually left during that time because they, well, they loved me and cared about me, the damage I was doing on my end, driving, driving, driving, made it intolerable for them to stay. Since then some of them have come back, which I’m really, really, really grateful for because I’m a big fan of like, Keeping good relationships, but I think that’s, that’s something where we’re all going through different things, right? We’re, we’re all going through different phases in life. And sometimes we just throw ourselves at something and you can end up breaking everything around.
Gene Hammett: [00:15:30] You really get really clear on what the lesson you learned through that is and how that applies to your leadership today.
David Danzig: [00:15:37] The big lesson that I learned from that. Was, you need to be aware of your surroundings and your support team. You’re not an Island. So as much as you wish something to be, you can certainly drive, but it’s important to make sure that if you’re driving the bus, there are still some people on the bus. And I mean, say, Hey, cause there are times as a leader where essentially you’re saying, look, we’re driving this bus to this destination first off. Does everybody feel comfortable with the destination? We’re going to. Yeah. Does everybody understand it’s going to be a really long bus ride? Yeah. Has everybody used the bathroom? Yes. Perfect. All right. Let’s make sure we’re all signed into this. Because the reality is once we start down this road, we need to finish the throat. And so I think that was the big thing for me is to really understand how to get buy-in from my team and make sure that they took the ride with me.
Commercial: [00:16:33] Hold on for a second. David talked about getting buy-in from others as a leader. You want to make sure you get buy-in from others. How do you do that? Well, one way is to create a framework around how you communicate, where you’re going as a visionary, you want to make sure that they not only has done where you’re going, but also why. That why we’ll give them context to why this is important. Why we must make a change here, why we’re doing something different than before you want to make sure that you pause enough to get buy-in and not just barrel through it. You don’t want to be the bull in the China shop. You want to be very meticulous and intentional about getting people aligned together. Your job as a leader depends on everyone feeling that sense of buy-in and moving forward together. Not individually. Back to David.
Gene Hammett: [00:17:21] I can so relate to getting buy-in with the team because if you fail to do that, it can cause a lot of frustrations and not just lost team members, but lost direction and lost kind of cultural elements. So I really appreciate you sharing that with us, David. I am kind of curious as we wrap up today’s message around leadership, what is the one area where you’re growing as a leader right now?
David Danzig: [00:17:45] You know, my big thing over the last, over the last year I worked on me and as I worked on the I think one of the things I told you on the last call I weigh about a hundred pounds less this year than I did last year.
So I did a lot of work on myself. And as I did that work, I realized how critical it is for my team members to work on them. And it’s not something that you can tell someone to do. Right. You can certainly provide an example. You can make sure that you’ve done it yourself and then you can provide a framework for somebody. But I think it’s really important to again, you can’t, you really can’t lead effectively if you’re not going to lead yourself first.
Gene Hammett: [00:18:28] Well said, David, thank you for being on Growth Think Tank to talk about leadership and culture in a fast-growing world. I really appreciate it. Any final words biggest thing that
David Danzig: [00:18:38] I’ll just say that I love to do test them, challenge everything. Right? So make sure that you’re tracking everything, that’s trackable, test it and challenge it. Check the ego at the door, just because you’re excited about something doesn’t mean that it’s going to resonate with anybody and ultimately you need to do what others want instead of. Try to make this thing come out of nothing.
Gene Hammett: [00:19:05] Thank you so much. Let me wrap up today’s episode just by talking directly to the audience about what did we tend to take into this? Well, this personal core set of values is something that you can actually use within your own company by creating a common understanding of each other. When you understand what someone values, the way they see the world, you can actually connect with them through that when you’re empowering them, when you’re delegating work and when you’re having difficult conversations and it’ll help you understand them, but to also help them understand you if you think that you want to continue your evolution, your evolution, if you will, of being a leader that makes sure you keep tuning into growth, think tank we’re here to help you transform as a leader.
Do you have a new program that we’ve launched called fast growth boardroom? It’s just for Inc level companies and the founders and CEOs want to grow to the next level. If you want more information about that, just go to genehammett.com As always lead with courage. We’ll 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.
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