Jeremy Weisz
Joseph, how’d you choose their original leadership? I imagine when you start something like that you really need, I mean, talk about strong leadership of a company where you’re hiring, you know, PhDs or Stanford, you know, computer scientists, but you need some really strong leadership at something like that.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, no question and, and a unique leadership that is not just competent, but credible. And so you think about students that are coming in, we had a guy sit on the bench yesterday, the bench is the access point if you want to come into the other side Academy. So we had a guy sit on the bench who’s been 20 years in prison. If you had some little therapists with a clipboard and a white coat, you know, this guy would eat them alive. And so the leaders have to come from that same background. We were fortunate to find a man by the name of Dave Durocher, who had come up through Delancey Street stayed his two years was forgiven. A 22 year prison sentence, and then stayed an extra six years and became a leader in the house. I found him out in industry working in another profession. And we were fortunate to have him join. He gathered a few of his colleagues and we have this world class team whose job it was to grow leaders not just to start a campus, but to take students that were coming in and help them be the next generation of leaders. We’re now on our third generation after about five years at the other side Academy and that’s where the leadership has to come from. They need not just the competence but the credibility to have an influence with with our students,

Jeremy Weisz
you know, so it was they were products of the Delancey Street and so they really love the same background, but they had, you know, proven to themselves and, you know, the companies that they could, you know, basically change.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. and Dave Durocher is a remarkable person. If he had lived a different life. He’d probably be running General Electric or something like that today. He was He was a Shot Caller on the prison yard. He’s just a poor natural leader. But he was wearing a black hat rather than the white hat. And so he needed to switch the hats first and kind of develop character in a, in a sense of morality in his life, but I know of no person whom I would trust with, with some more sensitive duties than Dave Durocher.

Today, it’s a testament to all of us that all of us can become something better than we are today.

Jeremy Weisz
You know, you know, there’s a there’s an interview, a mock interview that Dave David is doing, and he’s interviewing someone, you’re listening to the questions. I wonder if you could talk about it. I mean, it’s sort of how the structure of eliciting change, right when he goes through those questions, would you just talk a little bit about some of the methodology and maybe add some color to that?

Joseph Grenny
Yeah, be happy to so you know what one of the real challenges for a new student as soon as somebody wants to enter the other side Academy, we have to assess from Whether they’re there, they’ve got the right motivation. I mean ability you can fix, we don’t expect anybody have skills when they arrive at the other side Academy, they’re broke. But what we do have to assess is do we think this person is serious about wanting to change their life, not just beat a prison sentence. Because if they stay at the other side Academy for two years, they might be forgiven, I have a 510 15 year prison sentence. So sometimes the arithmetic is a motivator. And so the the nature of that interview is remarkable. And I think it’s a it’s an important lesson for us as business leaders as well. We need to learn how to understand who a person is, and and what their real values are. So one of the questions they might ask in that interview is, Do you have kids? And for most of our students, the answer is yes. They’ll say, Oh, you do? How many kids you got, you know, the answer could be 34567. Who knows? And they’re scattered across the planet generally. He says, Do you love your kids? Now the candidate almost inevitably at that point says, of course, I love my kids. And then Dave will lean forward and kind of point his finger in their face and say, wait a minute, I thought you told me you’ve been in and out of jail 30 times over the last five years, you’ve served two prison sentences. And now you’re on your way to another five years in prison. Tell me when you’re in prison, do you have your children visit you? They’ll say, of course I do. I want to maintain contact with my children. They’ll say you bring your children to prison, you actually have the audacity to break What did they do to deserve to go to prison? He says, tell me with with weight the way you have treated your children over the last seven years. How would you treat them if you hated them? Now this is a moment in the interview. Because what we’re testing for in that moment is number one, Are you really willing to hear somebody describe to you who you really are? Are you willing to take a look at the kind of person you’d become? And number two, do you care? Most people at that point are affected by it. You’ll see people tear up you’ll see them kind of reframe their their the story they’ve been telling themselves in that moment, and they’ll say no, I guess I don’t know. Thought I did, but I don’t. That’s a person you can work with. When somebody has that kind of humility. There’s a place that we can start with. And and that’s what we’re looking for as we test candidates to come into the other side Academy.

Jeremy Weisz
Yeah, because they aren’t automatically put in there. They have to want to come in there.

Joseph Grenny
That’s exactly yeah, he is court ordered. So you might have been on your way to prison, but you’re the one that has to persuade the peers that you’ll be entering the house with at the other side Academy that you’re a good bet. Because they’re going to have to live with you. They’re going to be in the dorm with you. They’re going to be running a moving company with you or a thrift boutique with you and and so they don’t want you if you’re not serious. So yeah, it’s, that’s that’s the evaluation.

Jeremy Weisz
You know, it wasn’t worse than the businesses that have come out of the Other Side Academy.

Joseph Grenny
Yeah, at this point, we’ve, we started with what’s called the other side movers, which is now the number one rated moving company in the entire state of Utah it absorb that for a moment, Jeremy and all of those that are listening. You know, Imagine going to market and saying, Hey, we’re longtime felons, we would like to come into your house and move your valuables. Not not a marketing message you would expect to succeed. And yet, if anybody goes on right now onto thumbtack or homeadvisor, or Yelp and types in the other side movers, you will see a list of five star reviews longer than you’ll have time to read almost exclusively five star reviews run by a bunch of balance. And and the reason they’re so successful is because we’ve created a culture there of high performance and accountability is the envy of any organization in the world. And so every successive enterprise they’ve started has had the same performance, profitable, highly respected in the community, incredible standards and we have we literally have employers lining up to hire our graduates as they come out.

Jeremy Weisz
One of my favorite lines of any of your videos, okay is when you We’re talking I think it was a radio host. And you asked him if he would be your first trial. I don’t know if it’s a radio host, you know, I’m talking about. Yeah. You said? He said, probably, you know, I don’t know, I’m not so sure about that. What did you say?

Unknown Speaker
Oh, yeah. So this was Doug Wright. He’s a, he’s a celebrity in our market here in Utah. And I heard that he was moving, he was talking on the radio, and one of his sponsors, apparently was probably the company that was building his house or whatever. And so this information crept out. So I, a friend of a friend knew him and got me on the phone with him. And I said, Hey, Doug, you know, tell you about the Other Side Academy because oh, it’s terrific. It’s wonderful. I said, we’re starting a moving company, long pause. And I said, I understand you’re going to be moving and he said, I am and, and I said, Well, I I know how much you like to get behind great causes, and we’d love to do the move for you. And he said, You know, he said, I really want to be supportive, but this is this is my family. You know, this is my staff, this is my, how do I know we’re going to be safe? And I kind of let it hang there in the air for a moment and finally said to him, Hey, Doug, let’s face it. Every other moving company you’re going to hire is probably going to be bringing felons in to move your stuff. I said, the difference is that the Other Side Academy, they’re trying to change their lives. Another long pause, and he said, You know, you’re right, I’m going to give it a shot. He ended up having a phenomenal experience doing an endorsement video that that really was part of opening the market for us. And our students recognize that they needed to earn his trust. And they do that every single day. 250 moves a month in the in the Salt Lake market.

Jeremy Weisz
It’s amazing. You mentioned the COVID crisis, even before we hit record and how they’re pivoting. Talk a little about that.

Unknown Speaker
Every organization is probably struggling at a time like this. And how do you reinvent your processes? How do you change the way you deliver your service? How do you cut things in To be cut, how do you make hard decisions and most organizations we struggle with that. One of the reasonsThe Other Side Academy succeeds, is because it has a culture of what we call 200% accountability. What that means is everybody is not just responsible for themselves following new standards, protocols, hygiene practices and policies or what have you. They are also 100% responsible for everybody else around them. And you watch today as his businesses are trying to reopen, and you see so many that are floundering. Because we start with a rush of enthusiasm. Everybody’s glad to have their jobs and glad to be opening a restaurant or bar or a tattoo parlor, whatever it is again, but then within a week, everybody goes back to laziness. Now, the only way you maintain high standards and compliance in any organization is if everyone is responsible for everyone else, and that’s what happens at The Other Side Academy. And so we have a thrift boutique. It’s a beautiful 30,000 square foot floor space. It’s like the Nordstrom of Thrift boutiques and interactive Surface epic. But today, if you walk in, you’re going to be handed a mask. And if you take the mask off, our students are going to see you and they’re going to let you know we expect you to have your mask on in the store. And they’re going to do it with each other. And if somebody needs to have their temperature taken, everybody’s going to make sure that’s done. It’s 100% done 100% of the time. And the reason is we have a high accountability culture. So when you talk about pivoting the real challenge for us as business leaders, it’s not just coming up with a new idea. It’s influencing people to comply with those ideas and to execute on them flawlessly. And you cannot do that. Unless you build a culture where truth is more important than power, where it’s not about deferring to the boss or the owner. It’s about doing the right thing for our customers for safety, for our values, and so on. And that’s what happens at the other side Academy and that’s what accounts for the way they’ve been able to thrive through this pandemic so far.

Jeremy Weisz
You compare one of the biggest hedge funds to Other Side Academy. There’s a lot of parallels there.

Joseph Grenny
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So there’s a hedge fund called Bridgewater, Bridgewater financial, the most profitable in the history of hedge funds. And they have exactly the same kind of culture, a culture where the founding, the founding partner of the firm, his entire focus is on saying, truth is more important than power. This is not an organization where who says it matters. What matters is what said What matters is what’s the truth. And what’s the best strategy, you think about a hedge fund. And there’s so many disparate pieces of information that have to be assembled to create a strategy, a narrative, a methodology that we believe is going to pay off. And if you can’t get the best, the best of all of the smart minds that you’ve drawn together, if one of your impediments is deference to authority and people’s inability to speak truth to power, you’re going to lose every single time because you’ll suppress information. And that’s true whether you’re a hedge fund, whether you’re a movie theater, whether you’re a factory, it doesn’t matter. What matters is if the the knowledge that the people have the potential to contribute It is leveraged because you have no interpersonal impediments, the ability to speak truth to power anyplace that needs to happen.

Jeremy Weisz
Joseph I imagine, you know, serving all these large organizations, there are really powerful and strong personalities, right? Like CEOs, C suite executives, I’m curious have you know, we saw speak the truth or used to probably being in power? And maybe, you know, they have a certain personality about them curious, the toughest leader, not toughest meeting super tough, physically, but they were resistant to the ideas and then the turnaround. Do you remember like one of your favorite executive stories where they were just no, like, I’m the boss. They listen to me. I don’t want to hear your truth. Your truth is what I say the truth is,

Joseph Grenny
yeah, yeah. And there have been cases where we parted company because it was clear that what they wanted was to feed their ego rather than build their organization. So my challenge as a change agent, as a consultant at times to senior executives is to make sure that, that I’m not trying to come in and make a moral point, I’m trying to make a practical point. If what they’re saying is I want to grow my business, then what I tell them is, are you willing to do whatever it’s going to take to grow your business, then are you willing to subordinate your ego, because if you have to choose between your ego and your growth, which is going to be more important to you, because what I’m going to help you see is connections between some of your own weaknesses, your character flaws or interpersonal weaknesses, and some of the results that you claim that you want to get. And once I’ve persuaded you that there is a connection between your habits and behaviors and the results that you want to get, the question will be, which is going to be preeminent for you. Now, there are times where we’re at the end of the day leaders don’t want to hear that. And that’s fine. We parted ways. But but more often than not, I think you can motivate through natural consequences when people see those logical connections and they recognize that I’m in my own way. Then Then they tend to suck it up, swallow their pride and begin to work on the hard work of change.

Jeremy Weisz
Yeah, it’s tough one, you know, I guess that’s you’re sitting on the bench for them, they have to prove that they want it to work with you, I guess connection, what is the equivalent there like for them? And if anyone knows, you know, when they go, I remember listening. And sometimes they’ll make people sit there for an hour or like a long period of time to make sure that you really want this. What is that for you for a company to make sure that they are really going to be serious about change?

Joseph Grenny
Yeah, we tell leaders when we started working with him that that if you want to change the the real values of an organization, not not the explicit ones, not the ones on the wall, but what really governs how we make decisions around here, that that the key to change is sacrifice. You have to be willing to sacrifice ego, time and money. And so if people don’t know See that you’re willing to put particularly ego on the line, then then it’s a farce, then what you’re claiming you want from them just isn’t true. So I was working with a senior leader of a large defense contractor A while back. And he claimed that he needed to speed up decision making. And it was clear that people’s inability to be honest with each other was part of the reason, decisions bogged down because all of the real information came out too late or never. And so we made bad decisions and slow decisions. And so as he started to realize that he was one of the impediments that it was people’s inability to speak truth to him at times, that that set the model for the leadership throughout the rest of the organization. I said, right, what are you going to do to sacrifice your ego? What are you going to do to show that that your ego is less important to you than people being able to speak their minds? Well, he decided to personally conduct interviews with scores and scores of employees to find out their complaints about how the organization was running. One of the first things he had done when he took the job as CEO was he had restricted Around around teams, he had created kind of self contained cross functional teams where they’ve been functionally organized before people hated it. It was creating all sorts of downsides. I’ll never forget the moment. He’s sitting in an interview that he’s conducting exposing himself to others critiquing his weaknesses and bad decisions. He’s made their 10 employees from probably like 50 levels down in the organization sitting in the room, and it’s dead silent, because none of them believed that they could say whatever they want it. And so he’s sitting there and he says, you know, if you could change anything, if I handed you a magic wand, what would you What would you want to do differently here? Everyone’s staring at their cuticles and, you know, just counting the minutes until this excruciating. 30 minutes is over. And finally, he said, I’m gonna take a shot at something. He said, I understand there are a lot of people that are pretty dissatisfied with the restructuring that we did with moving to cross functional teams 18 months ago. I’m guessing a couple of reasons are and he gave a couple of compelling reasons. did so in a way that sounded almost convincing, has started to sit sit up, people started a lot guys on him. And finally one guy raised his hand and dumped. And he responded well, and then another one dumped and another one dump what was important was not just the information he received there. But after they left that interview, yet hit the hallways like a wildfire. And in the story that went across the organization was that he was serious that he wanted truth. But it wasn’t until he sacrificed his ego that he was willing to sit as a petitioner in front of people who were experiencing the downside of his policy decision, that that people believe that it might be real. So that’s what’s critical. The bench is are you willing to sacrifice things that you would have previously protected in service of what you say is important to you?

Jeremy Weisz
You know, what’s critical in that is if he would have reacted in an angry way that would shut the conversation down. Then the word wouldn’t have spread. And how do you coach? People? What’s the best ways to take tough feedback?

Joseph Grenny
Yeah, one of the most important therapies, when you’re feeling defensive is to stop and ask yourself the question, What do I really want? That our behavior is really governed by our motives. And often our motives aren’t even apparent to us. So in moments where we’re being defensive, and we’re protecting our ego, we’re the last to realize that’s what’s happening. And one of the best ways to overcome a degenerated motive is to make it apparent to yourself. So the two questions that I coach leaders to use are number one, what am I acting like I want right now, what am I acting like I want tell yourself the truth. As soon as you ask yourself that question, you’re going to get an ugly answer. You’re going to realize, Oh, I’m acting what I like what I want is for people to defer to me to make me feel good about myself. Yeah, you know, that’s an awful thing to have to acknowledge that I’m that small that I’m that brittle is a human being. And then the second question that comes is what do I really want? What do I really want? For me? For others for the relationship? What do I want? If you get in touch with your higher motives, in that moment, it will transform your response. So one of the best ways to to inoculate yourself against against that kind of defensiveness is to be clear about your motives, even write it on a three by five card before you enter a situation where you think you might be vulnerable. You haven’t had that, that kind of preparation moment, it’s possible to cue yourself to do it in the moment as well. It’s a it’s an incredible therapy.

Jeremy Weisz
Yeah, that’s a tough one, right? Because you’re in the heat of the moment. Also, sometimes personal relationships. family knows how to push your buttons better than anyone. So you say basically remember those two questions and even the beginning if you know you’re going to be triggered you’re going to situation you may be triggered. have that handy, too. To look at them.

Joseph Grenny
Yeah, yeah. And family is a whole separate category level of vulnerability goes up so high in those relationships. Oftentimes you can practice a little bit at work and hopefully get better at home. And because works a little bit, the emotional stakes are a little lower.

Jeremy Weisz
Yeah. You know, you, you gave a talk at Google, and you’re talking about procrastination, also creating change. And what I loved about that is, you talked about how it’s not just willpower, because people immediately say, how do you create change? How do you stop procrastination? And we all go to Well, it’s if we just had more willpower. So you could talk about a few other factors. It’s way more multi dimensional than than I was, you know, even realizing when listening to

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, the, the the book we wrote called Change Anything I is. It was a powerful transformational experience for me writing that book, to realize how naive we are about our own behavior. We all think we’re masters of our destiny. And we think that with enough willpower, we can get things done. But I think the evidence of the last 30 years for all of us that have grown grown up during this period, we ought to be the first to recognize that we are controlled and manipulated by so many sources of influence around us. And we ought to be humble enough to start recognizing that. So the the basic message of changing anything is if you want to control your behavior, you have to take control of the things that control you. And there are there are a set of six different categories of influence that control your behavior. So one for example, is is just proximity. What is close is in control. If if you put a bowl of m&ms within arm’s reach, you will eat a lot of m&ms End of story. If you put those m&ms In fact, we did this experiment we took an office building that had about 50 different offices in it. We put m&m bowls in some of them they were about two feet away from the desktop computer, and in others they were up on a bookshelf. And then over a period of a week, we measured how many m&ms got me Gotti. Now I encourage your viewers to, you know, to just predict, you know, what would you predict that those that had it, it’s only five feet closer, it’s five feet, you know anybody can get up, walk over and grab some m&ms if they really want them. And so if what you really believe about human behavior is people do what they want to do. Well, first of all, I think you’re wrong. But secondly, go ahead and make a prediction about this experiment. So you would predict probably that they would eat an equal number of m&ms because if you want m&ms, you’ll get the m&ms or you might predict 5% 10% difference. The people with the m&ms just three or four feet closer, ate five times more m&ms, five times more m&ms. And so the principle again, is if you want to control your behavior, take control of the things that control you and one of them is proximity. What is close is what you do. And so if you move it five feet further away, if you just cover it with an opaque surface, if you remove it from your office, that’s how you take control of your behavior, you need to understand these sources of influence that manipulate you. And you have to control them. So you really aren’t controlling your behavior directly. You’re doing it indirectly, by immediate in your environment. And the less people do that, especially in today’s sophisticated environment, you know, every App Designer, every product designer these days is a behavioral scientist. Their goal is addictive response. That’s the psychology of marketing today. They don’t want you to purchase their product, they want you to need their product. They want you to have this this sort of primal response, whenever the ding goes off, or whenever you see it, or wherever you smell it. And so you’ve got social engineers around you that are working to try to manipulate your behavior and here you are naively telling yourself, I just do what I choose to do. You’re a sucker. You’re a Patsy. And so we’ve got to, we’ve got to increase our sophistication in order to be able to control our lives.

Jeremy Weisz
chosen. What’s the been one of the favorite you’ve run a lot of experiments, social science experiments over the years. What’s been one of your favorites that sticks out?

Joseph Grenny
Yeah, I think one of my favorites, okay, there are a number I’ve been able to do with my boys as they grew up, I had a couple of boys that they took an interest in social science and continue to in their careers and I, and it’s been delightful to be able to work with them. I think one of them was a an experiment that we co designed with Albert Bandura, one of the one of the most prominent psychologists of all time, the most cited living psychologists as well remarkable human being. But I but he wanted to challenge the notion that that that moral behavior comes from moral people. And of course, we have character of course, we have morals, of course, we have values, and some people resist temptation more than others. But one of his arguments was that there are mechanisms that are used against us to try to detach us from those morals and causes to behaving morally. You mentioned having a grandfather that was what was in the Holocaust, you know, that’s that that’s the best evidence in the world that you can take human beings and you can cause them to detach completely from their morality, and, and commit horrific crimes. And so we conducted a little experiment, we got teenagers together, and we wanted to see if, if under different conditions, by using some of these mechanisms, we could get them to behave badly, to lie, to cheat, to do things that were horrible and abusive to others. Now, these are all at a teenage level, it was nothing, nothing life threatening. But it was remarkable testing these, these theories, in cooperation with Dr. Bandura, and finding that that you and I are far more susceptible to manipulation to influence than we like to admit. And it’s been humbling to me and helped me to recognize that when when I see others using these mechanisms against me, that I need to be on the alert that that that manipulation is is at play,

Jeremy Weisz
what were some of the things and then experiments that were done.

Joseph Grenny
Yeah, so so I, one of them is kind of favorable framing. I, for example, if I, I, in the experiment, we had one group, I come up with a name for their team, they were going to be competing with the other group. And they came up with a name like the champions, and we said, Oh, the other team has decided to call themselves the rats. Now, if, if the other team had called themselves, the the monks, or the nuns, or the orphan children or something like that, we wonder, just the name of that other team does it allow me to treat them differently? So when you and I start to frame another person in a different way, when we refer to them as a category, or when we dehumanize them in some way, does it give us permission to behave differently towards them? Well, it was astounding to see that as soon as that team was told that they are calling themselves the rats. This team over here felt it okay to cheat to lie to them to steal from them. All of these things became more permissive. In spite of the fact that I see myself as a decent, honest human being, hmm little mechanisms like that make an enormous difference.

Jeremy Weisz
That’s, that’s really amazing. Um, you know, the birth of VitalSmarts I believe was in a car or a vehicle, right as actually was my daughter was born in our minivan. I’m literally so different. What was the original ideas that you came up with your co founders?

Joseph Grenny
Yeah, it was a magical moment. And I you know, I’m forever blessed by that having happened, whether it’s serendipity, coincidence, or divine intervention, it was a, it was an incredible blessing for me that I in the summer of 1990, with Al Kerry, Ron and myself were kind of sitting and dreaming talking about where we wanted to go with our careers. Here’s just all friends. Yeah, we were acquaintances, business colleagues, and so on, with a lot of respect for one another, but One of our suspicions was that that one of the most broken markets in the world was the market between what social science knows, and what leaders and parents and and business entrepreneurs need to know in order to succeed, that the social sciences know so much about human beings and human behavior, but very few leaders who really are the ones that should be understanding human beings and human behavior, very few of them have access to that. And so our dream was to say, could we change the world by helping people become more sophisticated in influencing positive behavior change? Could we solve this broken market problem? And I and we set out to do that and hopefully it made a contribution in that director, indirect direction many are, it’s a problem that still needs to be solved. You and I as voters, as citizens, as people are interested in our communities with the COVID crisis. You know, take a look at that, for example. The COVID crisis is one that we hope eventually will be solved by medical science, but medical science can’t do it yet. They are No therapists, the ad therapies, and they have no I know, inoculations. And so it’s a social science problem today. It’s a problem of trying to influence human behavior. And if we have leaders across the world that don’t get social science that don’t understand why people do what they do and what it takes to help them change will continue to lose hundreds of thousands of lives.

Jeremy Weisz
So Joseph, what are some of the services people check out VitalSmarts? And like, what is VitalSmarts? How can I, you know, utilize the services? What are the different ways they can engage with your company?

Joseph Grenny
Yeah, so VitalSmarts is about changing the world by changing behavior. And we work primarily in AI in a business context. So leaders who are trying to understand how to get truth out in their organization, we have training on what’s called Crucial Conversations. It’s been a best selling book and, and so that book is very helpful for leaders to create a culture where people can speak truth to power, we have one called crucial accountability, which helps build a culture of 200 percent accountability as I described earlier, we have training on influence how can leaders be more sophisticated about understanding why people do what they do, and how to create rapid, profound sustainable behavior change. We also, as you talk with David Allen have training on, on getting things done. So getting things done is a way of creating not just a high productivity organization, but a sustainable high productivity organization. It’s remarkable intellectual property. And our newest release is called The Power of Habit. There’s no more critical success factor in an organization than people being able to change their own habits to align with the direction the organization is going. It’s a best selling book written by Charles duhigg, who is now part of our intellectual property team and just phenomenal material. So we focus primarily on the small set of skills that that create the biggest impact in organizational change to improve performance.

Jeremy Weisz
So they can they can get the books, they can get trainings, online trainings, and they can also hire you and you will come out and do more individual trainings for companies

Joseph Grenny
also racked down trainings these days are available in three formats you can get it i online anytime you can get virtual instructor led, so live sessions virtually. And also classroom training, which today we’re not doing so much Oh, but as we return to normalcy in the next year or so, there’ll be opportunities for that instead, but all digital available as well.

Jeremy Weisz
So talk about some of the mentors or colleagues have influenced you. I know we talked about David Allen. I know Stephen Covey was a big influence as well. So yeah,

Joseph Grenny
yeah, Steven, I really I was very fortunate to become friends with him as he was opening his organization. I worked with him for about five years. And he was one of the first to really be able to kind of unequivocally state that that the success and the performance organization are inextricably inextricably connected with the morality with it with its Character health. And I ended to advocate for that. And as he made that connection clear, for so many millions across the planet, it inspired me to try to look for other ways that we could try to improve the the character values and ethics of organizations. And so I hope we’ve we built on his legacy. He was important. I mentioned Albert Bandura, there have been scores of others that I’ve had the privilege of working with that were formative to me. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz
You also thanks for sharing that. Um, you also talk about zero lag time, which I think is a very interesting concepts as well.

Joseph Grenny
Yeah, the one of the most enduring findings from our research on organizations is that you can pretty much measure the health of an organization by looking at one simple thing. And that is the average lag time you have to buy the book for Crucial Conversations.

To kind of boom, sorry. It would be worth it. price of the book for the one concept because of leaders just go to work on this one thing. And it doesn’t just apply to the organization or apply it applies to your executive team. It applies to relationships at home relationships with your teens. The one thing that you have to pay the most attention to is the lag time between when people see it and when they say it. Between when they feel it and when they discuss it. Between when they think about it, when they reveal it. It’s all about lag time, the longer it takes for information to come out. So you think about it in personal relationships if you’re if you’re in a marriage, and and your significant other your spouse has concerns. The lag time it takes before that gets on the table in a healthy way is the place where all the bad stuff happens. All the resentment and the cold, the Cold War stuff, the competition, cheating, lying, any of that all of it happens in that lag time. In organizations. It’s the it’s the same. The lag time between when one department is concerned with another department. The lag time between then and when they sit down And in a constructive way, get that out on the table is where you develop mistrust and politics and petty games. And that’s where it all happens. And so if you create an organization where the lag time is as close to zero as possible, you create the best opportunity for two things to happen. And that is number one for you to execute flawlessly. And number two, to innovate consistently. Those are the two dependent measures of the health of an organization, execution and innovation. If organizations can do those, well, they can they can thrive and survive. And they can’t do it when lag time is long.

Unknown Speaker
Because it will just fester inside of people.

Joseph Grenny
Yeah, yeah. So you think about execution. And if I if somebody is making mistakes in most organizations, people wring their hands, they take it to HR, they hope it gets escalated to a leader but day after day after day after day, we did a study with the Wall Street Journal years ago and asked, I think about 4000 respondents we said, Do you work with somebody you would describe as a little hire somebody you described as as dangerously incompetent, somebody you would describe as a gossip somebody who would describe as as miserable, rude, obnoxious, selfish. So all of these different descriptors. 98% of people said, Yes, I work while driving that way. Now here’s the key, Jeremy. Because then we asked the lag time question, we said, How long have you felt this way? And have you brought it up? The average response was four years. For one out of five people said that they had addressed it honestly, four out of five. No. So for years, this is going on. You want the scariest version of this, we do this in hospitals. We ask physicians Do you work with other doctors here surgeons even you would describe as incompetent and then we say how long does it take for that information to get out on the table so that that dangerous position gets dealt with one to four years is the typical response. It’s all about lag time.

Jeremy Weisz
You know, you just did that so you know which doctor To go to, like, okay,

Joseph Grenny
we’re not going to watch me I do that.

Jeremy Weisz
You know, you know, the funny thing with that is how if you’re I could see, you know, you go to the executive team, if someone is like that they may, I don’t know, you probably know better than me maybe feel helpless, like I don’t control, how can they elicit change from if they feel like, well, the leaders just aren’t listening aren’t going to change? What should they do in the organization?

Joseph Grenny
Yeah, what’s what’s remarkable to me is that it doesn’t matter how high you go up in the organization, these problems still persist. Almost every single CEO I work with when I say, all right, you got 12 direct reports on your executive team. You know, give me give me a briefing on each of them. almost inevitably, they’ve got one or two that they wish they could fire and they don’t. Most of us think a CEO is God right? But here’s this person with godlike powers that can just you know, fire whoever they want. The executive team obviously is who they know it’s not. They get themselves tied up in their underwear the same way you and I do. And so it has nothing to do with how you are in the organization, it has to do with, do you know how to speak truth in a way that minimizes defensiveness? The whole message of the crucial conversations book is that our research there came from watching people who had relatively less power, speak about incredibly controversial things to somebody who had a track record of being defensive. Those were the Those were the study moments for us. We watched for over 10,000 hours looking for moments like that, and then said, All right, who are the people that can speak upward in a power differential to people that are traditionally very defensive about remarkably risky things and get away with it? And then we tried to document how do you do this? So Jeremy, this is an issue of competence, not of level. This has less to do with the power level that you’ve got in organization and more to do with your competence and expressing truth in a way that minimizes defensiveness.

Jeremy Weisz
Joseph, first of all, thank you, thank you for the work you do. Thanks for Putting out in the world I suggest everyone check out VitalSmarts check out Crucial Conversations The Other Side Academy any other places we want to point people towards online or any any final thoughts?

Joseph Grenny
Those are great ones so yeah, if I crucialskills.com is a newsletter that is a wonderful resource for entrepreneurs. But vitalsmarts.com will give you access to all these resources if you know somebody that belongs at the other side Academy we take people from all 50 states and have had some come internationally as well go to theothersideacademy.com and check it out. It will change their lives.

Jeremy Weisz
Thank you, Joseph. It’s great to visit with Jeremy