Corporate Strategy

112: Everything You Need to Know About Being a Manager Feat: Danny Yonkers

March 04, 2024 The Corporate Strategy Group Season 4 Episode 7
112: Everything You Need to Know About Being a Manager Feat: Danny Yonkers
Corporate Strategy
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Corporate Strategy
112: Everything You Need to Know About Being a Manager Feat: Danny Yonkers
Mar 04, 2024 Season 4 Episode 7
The Corporate Strategy Group

When you step into the shoes of a manager, it's like playing a new position on a familiar field; the game looks entirely different. Join us for a candid conversation with Danny Yonkers, author of the humorously titled "And then I pooped my pants: Stories and lessons for new managers," as we uncover why tackling leadership is less about climbing a ladder and more about mastering a whole new skill set. We share war stories on the frontline of management, from the challenge of letting go of underperforming employees to the triumph of seeing them succeed elsewhere, highlighting the hard-earned lessons that shape effective leaders.

Ever felt like you've taken a role that's a square peg for your round hole? You're not alone. This episode digs into the nitty-gritty of setting expectations, building a team culture based on accountability, and the fine art of defining success across diverse roles. Bruce shares insights from his own leadership journey, emphasizing the importance of mentorship and the sometimes surprisingly light-hearted touch needed when steering a team through serious issues.

We wrap up with a heart-to-heart on the joys and tribulations of leadership, the legacy we leave through mentoring, and the bittersweet task of encouraging team members to spread their wings and fly into new opportunities—even when it means saying goodbye. We also tackle the dilemma faced by reluctant managers thrust into leading because of their technical expertise. Danny shares a personal tale from his Marine Corps days that drives home the power of goals and the magic of teamwork. Buckle in for an episode that's as much about growth and legacy as it is about the messy, marvelous world of managing people.

Danny's Book:
And then I pooped my pants: Stories and lessons for new managers

What It's Like To Be...
What's it like to be a Cattle Rancher? FBI Special Agent? Professional Santa? Find out!

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Everything Corporate Strategy:
All the links!

Elevator Music by Julian Avila
Promoted by MrSnooze

Don't forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it helps!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

When you step into the shoes of a manager, it's like playing a new position on a familiar field; the game looks entirely different. Join us for a candid conversation with Danny Yonkers, author of the humorously titled "And then I pooped my pants: Stories and lessons for new managers," as we uncover why tackling leadership is less about climbing a ladder and more about mastering a whole new skill set. We share war stories on the frontline of management, from the challenge of letting go of underperforming employees to the triumph of seeing them succeed elsewhere, highlighting the hard-earned lessons that shape effective leaders.

Ever felt like you've taken a role that's a square peg for your round hole? You're not alone. This episode digs into the nitty-gritty of setting expectations, building a team culture based on accountability, and the fine art of defining success across diverse roles. Bruce shares insights from his own leadership journey, emphasizing the importance of mentorship and the sometimes surprisingly light-hearted touch needed when steering a team through serious issues.

We wrap up with a heart-to-heart on the joys and tribulations of leadership, the legacy we leave through mentoring, and the bittersweet task of encouraging team members to spread their wings and fly into new opportunities—even when it means saying goodbye. We also tackle the dilemma faced by reluctant managers thrust into leading because of their technical expertise. Danny shares a personal tale from his Marine Corps days that drives home the power of goals and the magic of teamwork. Buckle in for an episode that's as much about growth and legacy as it is about the messy, marvelous world of managing people.

Danny's Book:
And then I pooped my pants: Stories and lessons for new managers

What It's Like To Be...
What's it like to be a Cattle Rancher? FBI Special Agent? Professional Santa? Find out!

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Everything Corporate Strategy:
All the links!

Elevator Music by Julian Avila
Promoted by MrSnooze

Don't forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it helps!

Speaker 1:

Welcome back to Corporate Strategy, the podcast. That could have been an email. I'm Bruce and I'm Gork, and we have a very special guest so excited to introduce today, joined by Danny Yonkers, our author, who wrote a book titled and Then I Pooped my Pants and, believe it or not, this is incredibly relevant to you, our audience, and I'm going to let him explain all about it. But, danny, welcome to the pod. Thank you for joining us. Why don't you introduce yourself to our audience?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, thank you so much. I'm excited to be here. I never thought I would be on a podcast, but I listened to all your guys' stuff and I loved it and I'm thrilled to be here. There is a subtitle to that. It's not just about then. Then I pooped my pants. There actually is a purpose about it.

Speaker 3:

I was happy to get a hold of it there, yeah it's just leave it at the title and leave it there.

Speaker 2:

No, it's stories and lessons for new and aspiring front line leaders. So many new managers come in and there's no and you guys have both experienced this, I'm sure. There's no guidelines, there's no rules, there's no. You know, you don't know how to do this, do the job, and you don't know if you're doing a good job or not, and people have a really hard time telling you what there is. There's no onboarding for managers, there's no anything. So I fumbled around in the dark for years trying to figure it out, and most people don't, man. Most people just shut it down after about a year and say, screw this, I'm going back to doing what makes sense, where someone can tell me what good is, and I can just do that. So I wanted to help people out, man, so I figured it out the hard way, unfortunately, and so I wanted to give some people a primer, to give you some structure around how to know what good is and how to get there.

Speaker 1:

So I love it and I've got some questions I'm going to ask, and I'm sure Clark does too. But before we do that, I do want to share a little bit of my own journey here, because it's funny. You publish this book, you know it's all about exactly what you said. It's kind of making that step. I'd been a director for years before I became a manager, and I've only recently started managing people in the last six months, and let me tell you, I wasn't ready for it, still am not, so I'm going to take a lot away from this today too. I know Clark has a little bit more experience. Clark, how long have you been managing people?

Speaker 3:

I've been people managing, I think, for about seven years now, but do I know how to do it? I guess that's debatable. It's still. You know, it's still yet to be told if I'm effective at it, but I kind of I think both of us actually we've gone through that ladder of. We were individual contributors and we moved into management kind of in our domain, but to your point, you may or may not be managing people as you kind of move to a manager. So the corporate world is weird man.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I mean, you don't. You don't give someone the title director before manager, in my opinion. But here I am. Clearly mistakes were made and hope where we can remedy some of those. So my first question and I don't know if this is in your book, I don't want to steal all your content for our listeners. I want to get them to check your book out. But what is the first mistake that all managers make?

Speaker 2:

All new managers make yeah, every it's dealing with urgent is the first mistake they make. So when you first become a manager, stuff just starts flying at you and it's all critical, right, you know fires to put out things to do. And so you never stop to think, like, what is my new role? People mistakenly think it's a promotion. Right, and in a promotion you do what you used to do, plus a little bit more generally. But being a manager is a totally different job. It's not a promotion.

Speaker 2:

Your whole role now is to do through others and not to do yourself. But because there's so much urgent stuff coming at you all the time, you find yourself immersed in just doing things. Meanwhile you're really responsible for the people who are now on your charge and you don't get to them because, one, it's unfamiliar and it's kind of scary and two, you've got all this urgent stuff to distract you from doing the things you need to do with your team right. So because you got your promotion or whatever by being really good at what you did, your natural inclination is to keep doing that thing you did really well, because that's what got you there. And that's the first place people fail, right.

Speaker 2:

Because that's yeah, it's comfortable and it's comfortable and it's you know you can hide for a long time doing things and being out there in front and meanwhile you know the team's not getting the support they need for themselves to get better in advance and everything they need, while you're out front, very visible, doing, doing, doing and ultimately that's what you get wore out. You can't keep that up for that long. Meanwhile, the team is failing and it's your job to manage the team, manage the business, and you're not doing that because you're doing what got you there instead of what you need to do to get you to the next level. Right?

Speaker 3:

This hit me so hard.

Speaker 3:

Like I'm just thinking through that. It's like everything you just said is the way I felt when I started managing people, you know, for seven years ago. It's like great, I'm getting promoted. And then I did the exact same thing you basically outlined. I just kept doing what I knew and what I was good at. And then I had a couple other people and I was like okay, and I also got to like manage them right, like performance reviews, and I got to make sure you know they're not doing anything stupid. They understand how to do their work.

Speaker 3:

But I still was doing the work and it wasn't maintainable and because I did that, it developed a lot of blind sides of I wasn't checking in enough, I wasn't providing them the support and air cover that they needed, because I was just so into doing the work. And that's where I failed a lot as an early manager, because no one kind of explained to me it's a whole different role and you got to step out of that and stop doing the thing that gave you success before and now getting that fulfillment through your team instead. Oh, danny, you're preaching.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. So I mean, it's hard to start over again, right, it's hard to start and tell yourself I don't know how to do this job, but I need to learn it really fast and apply the same kind of behaviors that made you good at your previous job. You don't want to do that because you feel like you're abandoning all those skills. You work really freaking hard for those skills, man, and some people think that their technical proficiency or what they did at that job, why they were so good at it, is what gives them the authority to be the voice for that job. But really, authority is an illusion, man. Authority is not real.

Speaker 2:

I tell people that all the time. People say, well, I want to do this thing, but can I do that? And I'm like, did someone tell you you couldn't Just do the thing? And if you're not supposed to, then someone will tell you. But nine times out of 10, no one's going to tell you not to do this thing that you're passionate about and it's going to move something forward because they don't really know either. They'll end up just falling in line because everyone's just trying to figure it out as they go along, man, and if you run into someone who has vision and passion and an idea, and they're pushing it forward. They're going to fall in line with that, and so you get authority, because people start trusting you, your vision, your whatever, as long as it's not actively working against them, then you get the authority to do whatever you need to do. People get so wrapped up in. Well, my title is X, so I don't have the authority to. But authority is a total illusion, man. It's a total illusion.

Speaker 1:

I love it. Yeah, you're pretty good.

Speaker 3:

To your point. It's like when is that deer in the headlights moment? I'm curious, danny, from your perspective. I think back to when I got started is I thought I was doing great. I was like I'm doing my individual contributor stuff, I'm also a manager, like I'm growing in the company. This is awesome. I've got more authority. Now to your point, that was naive early manager days and I'm trying to think of course, right then I was kind of deer in the headlights, but to that point because expectation words said. I was like, okay, this isn't that different, I just got an extra person I got to worry about. And it's interesting to think through it. I'm curious on your perspective, when does that realization hit of you can't do both and what is that breaking point where, ultimately, you've got to step back and be like okay, to be successful in this new role, I can't be an individual contributor as well?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean the reason I got into management is because I really love people, man Like I.

Speaker 2:

I, as a younger man, I was a marine and did a bunch of stuff and not always the kindest, nicest things and the rest of my life I've tried very hard to be a positive influence, a positive impact on people, and so whenever I come into contact with someone I want them to be better for that experience right.

Speaker 2:

And when I became a manager and I was doing, doing, doing and trying to make a team full of little me's right, I figured, well, I was good at this and you can be good if you just do exactly what I did, not taking into account my weaknesses or their strengths or anything else. They started, they started failing, they started being worse off for having me as a leader and that killed me inside right. That I couldn't. I couldn't, even if I was successful, the business was doing okay. People who I knew were good at the job were disheartened, disillusioned, you know. They were feeling like it wasn't as good a job as it was before I became their manager and that gutted me, man, that really gutted me, and I realized I had to do some serious work to be the kind of person, the kind of leader I wanted to be. So yeah, that was the kind of gut check moment when the team was kind of falling down around me and they were a great team before I picked them up, you know.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, well, I love that. I love we talk a lot on this pod about introspection and retrospectiveness and, just you know, taking the time to get feedback and evaluate, make decisions and then try new things. What was the moment for you where you had that realization? I mean, I know you said you saw the team it used to be great was not performing, you know, lackluster. But was there like a conversation or something that hit you, that made you think like, okay, I have to treat this differently than the way I treated it before?

Speaker 2:

I think it was a ton of different things, like one of the big ones was I had an under performer on the team and I was trying to will them to be better at the job when they just weren't the right fit for the job right. And because I was spending all my time with that one person trying to will them into being good at it when it just wasn't in the cards, man, I neglected everyone else and started seeing morale slip really bad and the business was slipping really bad and that person wasn't doing any better. And when I finally, after a year of flailing around and messing up, I had to let the person go, and when I did, he was so relieved that it was over, right. Like he was trying and he was failing and everyone was trying to help him and it wasn't happening. It wasn't going to happen. He just wasn't ready for the job. But the whole time, for a whole year, he felt like a total failure. He was stupid. There was something wrong with him. There was when that's not true Like he just wasn't the right fit for that job.

Speaker 2:

Not everyone's going to be right for every job and when he went to a different you know he, I cut him loose. He was very grateful. You know he was ready to do something new. He started up his own business a couple months later and within two years it was a multimillion dollar business Wow. So yeah, he was brilliant. But I held him back and made him feel stupid the whole time because I didn't have the courage to like say, look, this isn't working man. You know we've done everything we can. It's not your fault. You know it's not a bad job. You're not a bad person. It's just not a right fit. But I was so scared of that that I let the team kind of languish and the business languish, all trying to will someone to be something they weren't ever going to be. They didn't need to be. I, you know he's a brilliant businessman. No business thinking he was insufficient in any way. It's just the wrong job.

Speaker 3:

Yeah that's super insightful and I'm trying to think back. And, Bruce, I'm curious you know, for you as well.

Speaker 3:

I think my dear or my dear in the headlights moment or yeah, I and I pooped my pants moment was, I think, for me. I was doing the individual contributor work, I was trying to be the star there and also managing people, and then I had a situation come up that was just toxic within the team and I had someone reach out to be like, hey, this person on your team just said something really rude in a meeting like HR worthy, and I was like what? And I was just giving them so much string because, like I'm a high trust person, I really love people and I'm like, yeah, you know I hired you, you know I trust you to go in there and do it. I'm not going to micromanage you. That was like a big thing. For me is autonomy is super important. So I gave them a lot of rope and then I didn't realize that they were creating a toxic culture to everyone around them because I was not giving enough oversight to help coach them through that period of their career.

Speaker 3:

Again, brilliant person. This got a little too much ego go to their head and they needed to be reigned back a little bit on how to kind of manage and work with others, and so I think that was my you know, I pooped my pants moment, if you will where I'm like oh yeah, this is a it's. It's a new perspective. I need to take on management where I can't just let them go do whatever they want. I got to make sure they're doing it successfully, their peers are, you know, ultimately working well with them and they're creating cohesive workplace, and that was not something I even thought of doing before.

Speaker 2:

So I started like that was really hard for me in the beginning. Telling someone that you hired and believe in and you know same thing, you care about them, they weren't doing a good enough job was like pulling teeth. Man, I got, I'm a, I'm a veteran Marine. You wouldn't think I'd have a hard time delivering a hard truth, but it's gut wrenching, man. It's hard to tell someone that you know you're not, you're not doing it. So it's also really hard to tell someone they're not the right fit or they're not doing a good job If you don't have a good system set up for what good is.

Speaker 2:

And I think that's the second place a lot of leaders fall down in. They're scared to define what good is for their people because they think it's micromanage, right, like you know, I hired you, you're really smart, you'll figure it out, type of thing. But human beings need a set of boundaries so they know they're safe within those boundaries. And if you can lay out like what are the successful behaviors for this role? And then when a new person comes in, you tell them these are the successful behaviors, this is what I'm gonna hold you accountable for, right, and this is what you're gonna hold everyone else accountable for. This is what we believe in, this is what's gonna help us be special and help us be successful.

Speaker 2:

Then they have those boundaries. They're safe as long as they're acting within those and when you get someone acting outside of that, you have a real basis for saying look, this was the expected, you know, approved behavior, this is what we know is gonna help us be successful. And you're acting outside of those. So you need to bring it back in and because you've established that upfront and it's a you know, it's a behavioral standard, not a you know code written or sales made or you know support cases closed or whatever the job is you can easier, more easily, give someone that feedback and have it make sense. Because if you haven't established those behavioral guidelines and you just feel like someone's out of line, it's really hard to say like well, you should be doing this when you haven't defined that as a leader or as a team, right?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think that's the part.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I was gonna say Bruce, I was curious if you had another question on that, but I mean, it is.

Speaker 3:

It's difficult and I think some roles are harder than others to define what success looks like, but that is one of my earliest learners and managers that just wasn't there. So, obviously, when I started talking to this individual who was, you know, creating this type of environment, it felt like they immediately knew something's up, like I did something wrong, right, which is not a bad thing. But they immediately were like, oh shoot, like I messed up. And then I obviously had to start, you know, talking a lot. It wasn't really improving and then I had to start writing things down and they immediately knew that I'm going on a PIP, aren't I Right? They immediately saw the signs coming. But it was my fault as a leader that I didn't set up what success looks like and what are the guide rails you have to work within to meet that success criteria and then having those conversations so I think that's such a great point is and we talk about it a lot on this podcast too.

Speaker 3:

Bruce and I are always talking about. The first thing you want to do if you're an employee, an individual contributor, is make sure you understand the expectations that are given to you and to be expected for the role. Otherwise, you don't know what success is and you could just flounder forever until you either are successful or, if you fail, you know it could go away. So both mentor or leader, manager and individual contributor need to make sure that they're aligned on what expectations are so they can be successful.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and most new managers or even seasoned managers. I'll take, like technical sales, for instance, an SE or a sales engineer. I've met some amazing sales engineers that were just absolutely incredible at the job and didn't hit their number that year, right, but does that mean they're bad sales engineers? No, I've also met some sales engineers who sucked hard and crushed their number and got you know pats on the back and riding around on people's shoulders and everyone else is looking at like dude, that guy sucks, you know like how, how. So if you let the business dictate, what good is you end up stack ranking people right. And when you stack rank people based off of a deliverable or whatever, then those that becomes toxic really quick. Right, cause you have your top of the list, you have your bottom of the list and no matter how good the people are at the bottom of the list, they suck, you know. And you don't have to be good, you just have to be better than the person above you on the list.

Speaker 2:

So if you can identify correct behaviors, successful behaviors that people can follow, and hold people accountable to those one, it's a lot easier to you know, behave in a certain way, especially if that's the kind of person you are already, if it's natural to you, and know that. You know behaving in these ways, being a good teammate. You know having empathy, you know growing and learning all the time. Those things, if you keep doing those things, you will be successful, even if you're not successful right now, right, keep on that track.

Speaker 2:

Whereas you can have someone who's a total jerk, they're killing the team but, man, they're crushing their number, right, and you may think like, well, that's, you know, that's great, we need more of that guy. But really, from a team perspective, you're getting one good outcome and it's debilitating to those other nine people, right, they're hating it the whole time. So, from a team perspective, by allowing that one person to be a total jerk and act outside of those successful behaviors but you know it's celebrating them when they do get big numbers you're killing the morale of the team. And it's your job as a leader, as a manager, to make sure that everyone can be successful, not just one jerk. You know it's really hard to reign that jerk in if you don't have those successful behaviors down and explicitly set up as like a metric for what we should be doing, what good is.

Speaker 1:

It's the old squeaky wheel gets the grease right, like it's, you know, saying older than we know the meaning of. But there's always that idea that the thing that is the problem or the thing that needs the most attention is what receives it. And you know, I have a team of two, so I don't really have the numbers problem yet, but it's just so interesting as I'm thinking about my future in management and as I continue to grow, these kind of issues are gonna come my way and I really appreciate you sharing all this because I'm taking furious notes. I do wanna ask, just based on, you know, the book that you have published recently, what was the moment that you said to yourself I need to take what I know and put it out? Like there had to be some kind of inspiration behind the amazing title and book that you put out, and I'm curious what that was.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I, like you, Bruce, I tend to move around quite a bit. I make my own raises, right. When I start feeling like I'm not learning anymore, I'm not growing anymore, I go to a different something else. That scares me. So I moved out to a federal technical sales leadership role out of Washington DC and I loved it. It was great. I almost never go back. I always go forward in my career. But my wife got really sick with liver disease and I had to stop traveling. And when I told the sales team like hey, I need to stop traveling, they were like, well bye. So yeah, sales baby.

Speaker 2:

So I went back to the job that I was doing previously, or a kind of a peripheral job, you know. I let them know what kind of situation I was in. They're like oh man, come back, we'd love to have you. And so when I went back, I didn't realize what kind of impact I'd had on that organization. I think there was like 40 managers in that organization and 15 of them were people I had hired and mentored. So after I had left and come back, like almost half of the managers were people I had a direct hand in mentoring and bringing up and I thought whoa, that's big man, that's huge. So people started asking me like, well, how did you do this? And as I was explaining it, I thought you know if I was pretty successful doing this and I think I have been as I've gone through my career I just never realized it firsthand. Maybe I should put it down on paper and write a book about it.

Speaker 2:

And the act of writing a book you guys had a podcast on imposter syndrome and you know you think you get past it as you get on in your career, but you never do, man. There was a voice in the back of my head screaming like who do you think you are? Man? No one cares what you think about this, no one's gonna read this, right? But I fought through it, I put it down.

Speaker 2:

But the act of writing a book is pretty pretentious. Any time in my life where I've started to take myself super seriously, I've got hit in the face with a bat, like it never ends. Well, right, as soon as I think I know what I'm doing, the world tells me actually you're just a dude, you don't really know anything, right? So I couldn't give it a serious title. I just couldn't, man. Like I said, the act of writing was so pretentious I had to give it a light title, and so, yeah, one of the stories in the book is in fact, about a time where I got this crap literally scared out of me, and so I named it, and then I pooped my pants to take a serious thing, and the job is serious, but you shouldn't take yourself super seriously, I guess.

Speaker 1:

I mean, that's part of the reason why we do this podcast. You listened to any of our rambling endings of the show ever? You find it. Clark and I we can't be serious for more than 20 minutes, since otherwise we'd fall apart, but it's such a great way to think about like there's always the humor and tragedy, and taking the learning from things that happen to us and making it fun. That's how we share and grow with others, and I love your inspiration because it's similarly what inspired when we didn't, you know, grab our pants in this case, but we thought like, hey, we had this very yeah, well, okay.

Speaker 1:

All right well, you know, moving on.

Speaker 3:

I just love it. Yeah, it's really good, I agree, and I'm super curious I don't know if you talk about this in the book at all, danny, but if I'm an individual contributor for any of our listeners who are, how do you know if you wanna make the jump to manager? I think for me at least, I didn't know. I wanted to be a manager and I always just felt like it was a promotion. So I was like, yeah, of course you know I gotta climb the corporate ladder, like this is what you do in corporate America.

Speaker 3:

Looking back, I had a lot of just natural leadership skills, you know, in sports and school and whatever it might be right, where I was the captain, I always took the lead on projects or whatever it is. So I think that was just a natural thing for me. But I've had many times to your point of imposter syndrome where I thought about man, wouldn't life just be simpler if I went back to being an individual contributor? I think that'd be kind of nice, and especially if I could make the same money like, would I be fine with that? And so I'm curious on your advice, you know, for people who might be looking to make the jump, or, you know, on the fence for it. How could they kind of look at one, could they be an effective manager? But two, if they should even do it?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I tell people all the time the job sucks, man, it's not a fun job, it really isn't. So you are. You're never gonna master it because you're dealing with people all the time and they have emotions and you know life situations and you're never gonna figure it out. It's gonna be a constant. You're gonna screw it up a lot, right, you're never gonna master it.

Speaker 2:

One, two, you're putting yourself into a much smaller group for promotions and things like that. Right, being one of you know 600 individual contributors. You know you could really advance in that kind of situation because it's all about you. You know how much you wanna work, how much you wanna grow, how much you wanna whatever. But when you move over to being a manager, it's kind of not about that anymore. It's about how well your team is doing. So your how you're viewed as successful or not successful is now in the hands of however many people you lead in that business group. You lead that team you lead. So it's not about you anymore. And it's hard to go from it being about you and how much effort you can put into it to being about how much effort you can get 10 people to put into it. Right, Right, absolutely. The money isn't that much better right, and for most jobs it's a kind of a lateral move. So there's a lot of things in the job that you'd look at and go.

Speaker 2:

Why the hell would I ever do that? That's crazy. But the reason I love it and continue to do it is because you can have a real impact on people's lives, a real positive impact on people's lives. You can help people see the very best versions of themselves and realize their potential. And that's an amazing feeling. When you get someone and they're not sure about themselves and they're not sure what to do, and then a year later they're motivated and inspired and happy. That translates into their life too, and you can be that person. So if you get joy out of helping other people realize their potential, if that's what puts purpose in your life, then it's the best job in the world. But if that's not your main motivation, it sucks, man, it's not fun. Don't do it. You know, like yeah yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I agree with you completely there. I always tell my team, people are the hardest part of work.

Speaker 3:

Because people aren't yet to your point. They're unique. They have different interests, they have different emotions. Their outside life could be affecting them and that being a success criteria for you as a people manager makes it really hard to be successful Because something could happen detrimental in their life and they could start failing at work. And it's not your fault, it's not their fault, but it's the situation at the end of day or business and you gotta make hard decisions. Sometimes you have to lay people off when that happens and it really sucks.

Speaker 3:

And so it's a super hard job, but the fulfillment you get from it is just. It's phenomenal getting to mentor others and getting to see them grow and getting the fulfillment out of it. And also I think some of the best ideas come from the challenged smart people give each other being like. I disagree with you on this because X, y and Z and you end up coming up with a really good outcome.

Speaker 3:

And so I love it because I surround myself with really smart individuals who a lot of the times, I struggle to manage because they're so good. I'm like I don't have anything positive to give you or like I can't help you anymore because you're doing an awesome job. I have nothing left to say, and for me that's like the best feeling. It's like they're doing so good I have no more guidance to really give them here Like they're crushing it, and that's so rewarding to see someone go from like someone who's early in their career to someone who then does that, because then you know you as a leader are doing a great job making sure that they're going to be successful.

Speaker 2:

And most of my teams have a high turnover rate because as soon as someone gets there with me, I help them find something that's gonna be the next challenge, the next big thing, the next whatever. And I help them get there. And then I bring someone fresh, new onto the team. A lot of managers will be like oh man, I've got this guy and he's so awesome, I need to keep him because I or her I needed. I put so much into her or him that now I need to milk that for all I have.

Speaker 2:

And you have that situation where you have your best people and you just keep piling more bull crap onto them until they burn out and they're like screw this man. Whereas if, on the other hand, you help that person get to the next stage in their career, that next thing, be it leadership or that next big role that they've been trying to get to, the people behind them see, like if I work my ass off, danny's gonna help me get to the next thing, right? So there's not that work your ass off so that you can work your ass off more and stay in the same role Is where a lot of managers kind of fall down. But having a constant movement cycle where people are coming onto your team doing their best work and then go on to their next thing, and people seeing that that flow and know that their turn will come if they keep doing what they're doing is amazing, and then you get a really motivated and excited team and things start working really well.

Speaker 1:

So what's interesting about that is the outcome is similar in both cases, right Cause like if you're a bad manager, they're going to leave and they're probably just gonna go take a pay bump laterally by going somewhere else, or maybe they get a title change. But the outcome in the positive is not only do you have a relationship with this individual and you've made an impact on their life, you feel better, they get the growth opportunity through you, they advance, they excel and they inherit some of the goodness that you've given them along the way that we hope they'll carry forward and can just spread that goodwill.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Right, that's your legacy, ben Right Making everything better from you out as far as you can reach. You know what I mean.

Speaker 1:

It perpetuates the sort of optimistic positivity we wanna see in your corporate. Yeah, no, I love that. That's fantastic. So, of course, anytime this podcast gets too positive, I'd love to just drag it into the dirt. So my question is what about the unfortunate souls who get promoted to manager Not because they wanted to, but wartime promotion? Oh, you were great as a programmer. Now you're running a team of coders and this person has no clue what to do. Would you ever say it's time for them to get out? Or maybe, like this wasn't the right fit for me, I should continue to be an individual contributor, or should they take on the challenge so?

Speaker 2:

I, whenever a team of mine runs into it, like there's always hard times, right, and you're always going to hit something where you're in over your head, and I remember a time. Can I tell a story real quick?

Speaker 1:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Please. So I remember a time in bootcamp, marine Corps bootcamp. I was in the very last platoon in bootcamp. So a company of recruits, they get the platoons filled up. There's six platoons in a company and those platoons fill up as people are processed in. So they're smart, strong. Whatever the guys are easiest to process go in the front platoons, the lead platoons and the misfits go in the very last.

Speaker 2:

So I was in the very last platoon and we got made fun of all the time, and we were rightfully so. We sucked man, we sucked at everything. We were good at fighting, we were good at hand-to-hand combat and we were good at physical fitness. Those are the only two things we were good at, but the rest of it terrible, right, a laughing stock.

Speaker 2:

At the end of bootcamp we, the platoons, used to do this competition for who is the best platoon in the company, and the competition was based off of drill, so marching around like who could be the most precise, that's all graded Marksmanship on the range, hand-to-hand combat and physical fitness, and so you got a first, second, third place trophy for each one of those things. If you write, you know first, second or third, and the platoon with the most at the end was the best platoon and through the three months of working on it we had gotten better and better and more cohesive as a platoon and we really wanted to win that trophy. We wanted to go from the worst group of misfits to the best and we did really good on the range. We scored like first in hand-to-hand combat and like second or third in drill. So we were like neck and neck with the top platoon and all that was left was the PFT, the physical fitness test, and the physical fitness test was a pull-ups set-ups in a three-mile run.

Speaker 2:

So I was in pretty good shape. You know I could do pull-ups all day. So 20 pull-ups no problem. But the running I'm a big man.

Speaker 2:

I'm not built for speed Like I'm a big lumbering ox right and you have to run to get a top score. You have to run three miles in 18 minutes. So that's a six-minute mile back-to-back-to-back, which is like thinking of doing it now I think I'd probably die, there's no way. But I wanted to do it. I needed to do it in order to get to where I, you know the platoon would win the trophy and it would be great. And I realized there was a guy on my platoon who was like the fastest runner I'd ever seen. He was an 18-minute three-mile runner all day. He was awesome and I figured if I just kept him in my sights I could get a good time. I think my best time was like 1930 or something like that before. But I figured, no, I'd just keep the guy on my sights and I'll get a better time.

Speaker 2:

So Jones-Shecter calls it, and we head off and about a half-mile in I'm right behind him. The guy's bowels just let go, like he pooped his pants badly, just completely exploded. But he never stopped running. He ran through the whole thing and there was like a rooster tail of feces kicking up behind him. It was crazy. And I'm right behind him and I thought like, oh my God, like I can't. I had it like either fall way back and try to get out of the rooster tail and the smell, or get ahead of him were my two options, and I couldn't fall back because I'd still be smelling it. So I ran as hard as I could to get in front of him and as soon as he saw me in front of him he was like hell no. But you know, like I'm a running machine, this lumbering ox is not gonna pass me, are you crazy? So he started running faster and every time he passed me I'd smell him and I'd be like nope and push it into another gear.

Speaker 2:

So, like I don't know how long we were running like that, but I thought I was gonna die. My chest was like on fire, my legs were totally numb, my eyes started started closing around me and closing in around me and I hear the general sector calling times and we had finished. I had no idea, I wasn't thinking about it, I just didn't want to get poop on me. But we finished in 17 minutes and 50 seconds. Wow, I had taken off almost two minutes of my runtime, which is insane. That's not possible, right? Yeah, insane. But what it taught me is like you don't really know what you can do. You think, you do right.

Speaker 2:

People have told you and you've believed them You're not smart enough, you're not strong enough, you're not fast enough or whatever, and you've believed it. But you never really know what you can do until you're faced with a shitty situation. And it's right, I love it, yeah, yeah. So you gotta embrace that man If you find yourself in over your head. Oh dude, that's the place you want to be, because you can do it. Or maybe you can't, you don't know, but you'll never find out if you don't push through it and try and work your ass off. Yeah, so I'm sorry to take your downer and turn it into a motivational speech, bruce.

Speaker 1:

It happens every time I bring up a downer. No, but those times are my favorite times, man, those are my favorite times.

Speaker 2:

I love being in that place. That's great, yeah, you get to prove to yourself.

Speaker 1:

Right. I love it. And I think that's the perfect answer to my question because I think all three of us, when presented with something new or unknown, I would imagine we all are interested to at least explore and charge headlong, and we've offered that advice a lot on this podcast to our listeners is don't be afraid to try. Yeah, Like what a? I can't think of a better story to tell than the one you just did. That is just fantastic. I think you have another book in you and it's turning that into like a screenplay that turns into a million dollar movie.

Speaker 2:

All we ask is that we get invited to the premiere.

Speaker 1:

That's all you have.

Speaker 2:

Oh man, yeah, yeah, you're there, you're there. Oh wow, you and Clark for sure.

Speaker 1:

Well, thank you. I think that is such a phenomenal just story, to kind of encapsulate everything we've talked about today. I'd love it if you could just plug your book a little bit so our listeners know where they can go and get access to it. I'll definitely include a link in the show notes, but sometimes those show notes are hard to parse, so where can they find your stuff?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so the book is called, and then I put my pants. Stories and lessons for new leaders or for new managers. You can find it on Amazon in Kindle or paperback versions. I also recorded an audio book. One of my, one of the people I mentor I put that in quotes because I feel like she has taught me more than I've taught her. I told her that I was going to have someone read my audio book and she was like no, danny, no, no, no. You have to tell your own stories, man. And I argued with her about it and she bullied me, and she bullied me and finally I acquiesced, and so I have an audible version as well, read by me. I never thought I'd be an author and I certainly never thought I'd be a narrator Wow so.

Speaker 3:

That's awesome.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that is awesome, I mean one.

Speaker 3:

Just the title alone, and this story should motivate you to read it or listen to it, whichever works best for you. But yeah, danny, I really appreciate you coming on and I think it's such good material for our listeners. We get a lot of people coming in who don't really know what that path is for them and, like me, I mean, I had no clue what management was. So, having something like this even just talking now I'm learning, as a manager of seven years, some stuff you said I'm like, yeah, you're right, I need to do that. So, if anything, just a great reminder of like, oh yeah, these things are important. This is how we help people moving forward. So really appreciate you just taking the time to come on and really appreciate you and your listenership for our podcast. I'm happy you feel like it's making a difference and I hope everybody gets a chance to read your material as well.

Speaker 2:

Thank you very much.

Speaker 1:

It's been a pleasure, guys. Yeah, thanks for being here and thank you for your service and the military and thanks for joining us for the pod. So I do want to let our listeners know obviously, go check out Danny's book if you get the opportunity. If this podcast wasn't enough to sell you on the stories he's got like I don't know what will, but if you want to connect with us, there's one way you can do it. Actually, there's multiple ways, there's numerous ways, but the one we recommend is going to our Discord. You can do that by going to the show notes, clicking Join the Discord, or go to our website. That's corporatestrategybiz. The biz stands for business It'sbiz, though we don't spell it the way it should be. Go there. You can sign up for our newsletter, join the Discord, send us topics, reach us out to us directly or listen to previous episodes. It's all there, clark. Is there anything else we need to share with them?

Speaker 3:

I think, first and foremost, you just got to share with your friends people you love people. You think you want to help promote their career, help them get better. Even the managers that's suck. Send them this episode, get them to read the book and hopefully they'll become a little bit better. They might think it's a joke when they read the title, but it's good stuff, as you've heard here. So, yeah, no, and I think the only other thing was newsletter on the websites. You can jump in there If you want to get notified every single time we drop a new episode. Enter your email. That's all you got to do and ultimately you'll get that email every single time we publish a new episode, unless it's broken and I don't realize it for three weeks and then you may not, but this time it'll work, I promise.

Speaker 1:

And when it is broken, please tag Clark in the Discord because it's time to go and fix these things.

Speaker 1:

Lastly, we are a listener-supported podcast. Well, actually we're a host-supported podcast, but we could be a listener-supported podcast if you choose to make it. So you can always donate to help us keep this going and, again, you can do that by clicking Support the Show in the podcast show notes. Thank you again, as always, for listening. Do share with your friends, leave us a kind review if you like what you heard today, and thank you for your listenership, as always. One more big thanks to Danny Ockers for joining us today. Please check out his book. And then I pooped my pants. Stories and Lessons for New Managers. I'm Bruce and I'm Clark and you're on Mute. See you next week.

The Pitfalls of New Managers
(Cont.) The Pitfalls of New Managers
Leadership Insights and Lessons Learned
Challenges and Fulfillment of Leadership
Embracing Challenges for Growth