Ep. 235 – Facilitating Leadership & Growth – Part 1 With Cameron Herold

Today’s special episode features a platinum-level coaching call Cameron Herold had with his coaching clients, with an in-depth analysis covering various topics from casting your vision to bringing the best out of your projects.

This episode gives great clarity with real-life examples as told through the experiences of the other guests on this call. You’ll learn several methods to set the right culture and how to manage your team to get the best productivity. 

In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • When the visionary should speak during a meeting of ideas 
  • How the state of work cultures changed over time 
  • How to handle firing certain employees as a point of strength and learning from it 
  • How to get a project as close to perfect as possible without having to do it all yourself 
  • The power of creating momentum


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Why don’t we do a quick intro as to who everybody is on the call and then we’ll start in? Josh, do you want to start us off? Your name, company and title.

My name’s Josh Markowitz. I am the visionary because we use the EOS framework in our company. It’s analogous to the CEO. In some ways, more highfalutin and in other ways, less. My company is called The Next Level Planning Group. We’re based in Chicago, Illinois. We have team members also in Wisconsin, California, Texas and soon-to-be Florida, which is a big departure for us. Before the pandemic, we were just Illinois with one Wisconsin and now, we’re expanding geographically.

We are a full-service financial planning and wealth management firm. We serve about 600 families across the country. We’ve been growing at about a 20% annualized clip for the last several years. Back then, it was just me and our founding partner, Adam Stock. My integrator or COO is a member of the COO Alliance, which is how I got introduced to this call. We’re looking to continue that pace of growth through organic, one new client at a time and growing new advisors internally.

Welcome, Josh. Brandon?

I am Brandon Bowers, VP of Operations for the SMB Team. We are a digital marketing and coaching business for small law firms. We’re based in Philly. We also have a presence in twelve other states and a large presence in Florida. PA and Florida will be our home bases.

Brandon’s a COO Alliance member as well. Scott?

I’m Scott Shrum President and COO of Hennessey Digital. We also work with attorneys. We do digital marketing for law firms with an emphasis on personal injury lawyers and mass torts firms. I’m in Los Angeles but we’re all virtual. We’ve got people in 22 or 23 states and 15 countries.

Scott is also a COO alliance member. He’s also a past winner of Jeopardy. Scott, a quick question. Have you guys ever looked at doing SEO because you guys are amazing at SEO for personal injury lawyers? Have you ever looked at doing it for the financial services industry as a whole new vertical?

Not really. The whole litmus test for any industry is how valuable is it for them to win in search. For an attorney, getting one lead could be worth millions of dollars. That’s the litmus test. We haven’t gone after financial services. It might be fit but it comes down to that question.

Josh, what would a client be worth to you guys in terms of annualized or lifetime value and gross margin for a client?

I would say an annual revenue of $10,000 and multiply that by 20 to 40 years. It’s quite a bit.

The traction is there. The cash conversion might be a little bit longer but the lifetime value could be good. Matt, do you want to do a quick intro?

I’m Matt McLean. I work with Scott at Hennessey Digital, who summed it up pretty nicely. I’m the VP of Operations. I work with Scott in the Operations Department. I’m based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Thanks, Matt. Heather?

I am the VP of People at WishingUWell. We are a full-service Amazon agency. We work with companies like Dr. Bronner’s to list their products online as a reseller, optimize their listings and ship their products into Amazon FBA. Our VP of Ops is also part of the COO Alliance and before you hopped on, he’s going to be at the event upcoming. Cameron, I wanted to let you know that I stalked your sister on Instagram. It’s because you posted something and then she posted something on yours. I was very intrigued by what she does. I spent some time researching her.

She’s doing great. Thank you, Heather. Your company sent my dad a nice bouquet that was nice to get. My dad’s recovering pretty well in the hospital. It has not been an easy stretch but thank you. I appreciate you guys sending those out. There is something that you guys could take a look at. My sister’s company is called JAM. Has anybody on the call done one of the JAM events yet?


My sister is known for building almost a cult-like company. During COVID, her business had 78 employees. They went down to three because she ran co-ed intramural sports leagues for people in their 20s and 30s. She was running them in 7 cities with 180,000 people playing in her leagues. The government said, “If you play sports, you’re going to get sick with COVID. We can’t have you being athletic.”

They shut her business down. She’s been running it for 24 years. She had to figure out a new business. She launched this company called JAM, which runs co-ed fun online events, the online social activity events to connect people and have a good time. We did one that was a global scavenger hunt where you had to figure out what cities you were in. Matt, were you and I on the same team with that one?

I don’t think so.

We did one for the COO Alliance. It was crazy. You’re looking at videos and pictures online. You’re having to try to figure out what city in the world you’re in by looking at the pictures. We did a trivia game, music trivia and some bingo but fun events. For the cost, it’s $25 an employee. It’s a no-brainer to run those kinds of things. You should check that out, Heather. You guys would’ve had fun doing it.

Yeah, I will.

The format of these calls is to be an ask-me-anything and I try to answer last. I did a post about the leader should be the last person to speak in every meeting. Josh, you’re the visionary. You should be the last person to speak and your integrator should be the second last person to speak in every discussion that happens. Our job is to grow people and their skills and confidence.

If we as a leader are sharing our answers too quickly, they don’t get a chance to answer and be heard. We don’t get a chance to hear their answers and go, “That was pretty good,” which builds their confidence or to realize, “They all said what I was thinking anyway. I didn’t even need to be here,” which gives them the skills and the confidence. The leader’s job is almost to flip the org chart upside down to be at the bottom.

If we ask a question of our team, get them to answer and then we answer or if we have a new idea, get them to give their ideas and then we share our idea last. It’s also to get the quiet people, the analytical people and the more amiable people to speak. That’s often not the marketing sales people and leadership. If we can get them to speak, we’re growing their skills and confidence. That was a video that I shared but any questions that we want to dive into? I’ll be the last one to share. I’ll get you guys to give your insights first. Is anybody thinking, worried or working on anything?

Cameron, on the last call, people brought up the idea of quiet quitting, which I had never heard of before the call but now I’m obsessed with it. I’m sneaking, trying to sense quiet quitting. I want to hear if anybody else is experiencing anything like that.

I’ll let everybody share. I want to say one thing about quiet quitting that I found out. Gen Z rebranded something that’s been around forever. We used to call it coasting. “I’m doing my job at coasting.” All they did is rebrand quiet quitting. “I’m coasting along waiting until I find something better or waiting to be fired. I’m doing a minimal amount of work.” It’s nothing new. It’s been around forever but is anyone experiencing that?

SIC 235 | Facilitating Leadership And Growth

Facilitating Leadership And Growth: Gen Z rebranded something that’s been around forever. We used to call it coasting.


I hadn’t heard of it until you mentioned it, Cameron. I’m seeing articles everywhere. It’s like when you say something, your phone’s there. On LinkedIn, every post is about quiet quitting. We have two people that got some concerns about it. I’m reluctant to say that it’s quite quitting. They’ve at least been a little bit more open because of our culture. We are very open, honest and transparent. We try to get that out of our people.

What I have noticed is it’s all in that generation and they have friends in their ears saying little things. It’s crazy looking back at what this generation is earning right out of college versus the past generations and yet, it’s not enough. They’re like, “Why are you so invested in your career or your job?” They’re working from home. They’re friends hanging out. Those things are what I’m more concerned about, their influences outside of the office pushing them towards quiet quitting almost in a sense. They conflict with themselves.

What do you think some of those influences are? Their friends are one set of influences. Are you noticing any others? I’m noticing one.

I’m sure social media is probably affecting it. People talked about they’re having conversations more with their families and things like that. I don’t know what their parents are saying. I would think they’d be in a different generation and would have a different mindset but I don’t know what to predict anymore.

Don’t try to predict. What we have to do is ask questions and listen to people who will tell us what’s happening versus predicting it and figuring it out. I have kids who are 21 and 19. They’re not quite in the demo that you’re hiring but pretty close. I’ll give you a fun example of what happened. My son wants to work in the film industry. He’s been doing all these jobs and getting all these jobs in the film industry. I said, “You need to have a side hustle or a side job to pay the bills because the film stuff comes in fits and spurts.”

He is going to get a job in a restaurant. He landed this job and I said, “You don’t have to be at this restaurant forever. You could put that on your resume and start looking to work in some of the great restaurants because it gives you experience. Why don’t you start applying for these other three places?” He laughed and said, “Dad, I haven’t even had my first shift at this restaurant.”

Here’s the dad teaching him how to get the job that he just got. He hasn’t even started the job and I’m also teaching him how to move to the next one. What’s happening with every Gen X-er is teaching their kids and every Baby Boomer. The Baby Boomers were raised by traditionalists. Baby Boomers were taught to be in the job for life and then Baby Boomers all of a sudden were pretty disgruntled. They started raising the Gen X-ers saying, “Don’t do the job for life but five years and then move and five years and then move.”

We started realizing you don’t even need five years. You only need two years and then move and you can ladder up. Now, we’re saying, “Go work for a great company. Work remotely. Take your laptop. We’ll travel.” We’re not necessarily saying doing the minimum amount of work but we’re saying don’t go to an office.

Why would you drive 40 minutes to an office and have to spend time getting ready and driving home? That’s a waste of an hour and a half a day multiplied by all. We’re teaching them to push back on that stuff. You’re right about the influence of their friends though. Is anybody having to deal with that? Josh, are you seeing it in your space at all with your employees?

We’ve become customers of the engagement multiplier service because we wanted to know what people think. Even then, survey data is as good as what people are willing to share but so far, it’s been pretty good. We have identified some weak spots but nothing has been super glaring. Amazingly, we haven’t lost anybody whom we didn’t want or expect to lose since the pandemic began. We’ve added some amazing people. I feel like we’re doing a lot right.

I’ll give one comment that I’ve seen around and it typically happens from the entrepreneur, more than the COO even. Brandon, if an employee quits, does Bill ever say, “I’m glad they’re gone,” or Scott, when an employee quits, does Jason say, “We’re glad they quit anyway because we weren’t happy with them?” The entrepreneur somehow externalizes and makes it okay that this person has quit.

My question is, first, if you were that unhappy with them, why didn’t you fire them? Second, how long have you known that you’d be okay with them quitting and why didn’t you do something about it? Third, the data point says the cost of the wrong person is fifteen times their salary. The fact that you’re keeping them for this stretch of time is not only potentially risky financially but your A-employees, your best employees are wondering why that person is still there.

Anytime an employee quits, it makes other people wonder if they should be staying. When an employee gets fired, it tends to make people work harder and get more focused. I always think that a company should act from a position of strength versus a position of weakness. The next part of the question is, what did we miss as the leadership team in the interviewing and hiring?

Also, in the onboarding, training and leadership of this person that got them to the point that we are okay that they quit because we hired them in the first place? There’s almost a debrief for our retrospective that needs to happen in our companies. When we do that and we force our team after someone quits to ask ourselves those questions, that’s a good strategy exercise and it raises our bar as a company. Does anybody do any of that kind of stuff?

We have discussions after we let people go. I was part of a webinar that talked about how you calculate your turnover rates and analyze them. There’s a big focus on having low turnover but they brought up this vocabulary term, which is regrettable turnover. We look at turnover in a different light and say, “Whom did we care that we lost? Why did we lose them?”

We look at it from that perspective and then the same as what you’re talking about, “Why didn’t we let go of someone sooner?” I feel like a lot of it comes from a manager being scared of letting somebody go and having human feelings of, “Am I going to hurt their feelings? Am I going to damage their family? What am I going to do to this person specifically?”

We’re talking about that a lot because we have a lot of inexperienced managers. I copied the three paragraphs out of your book, Double Double about the person that you let go and you should have let them go six months prior. I shared that with a couple of managers and said, “Cameron did this person a big favor and you are probably doing this person a big favor too.”

We have to set them free. When you started talking about that, I was going to tell you the story so I’ll tell it to the rest. I was meeting with a mentor on an early Tuesday morning at Denny’s and he said, “Is there anybody in your company you have to fire?” I said, “Yeah.” I said, “Who is it?” I said, “It is this guy Tyler.” “How long have you known you should fire Tyler?” I was like, “About six months.” He said, “Why haven’t you done it?” I was like, “I could have coached him better and maybe he’ll turn around. I feel bad for him. He’s broke. He’s been amazing. He got us on Oprah. Sometimes he’s not so bad. Sometimes he is. We’re busy in these other areas.”

I had twelve reasons why I hadn’t fired Tyler. All of them in my mind in and of themselves are probably very legit. Stacking them up felt legit. Rob said, “You’re chicken.” I went, “Pretty much.” He said, “When are you going to fire Tyler?” I said, “I don’t know. I’ll do it by Friday.” He shook his head. He said, “Never give me a deadline of when something’s going to happen. Tell me when you’re doing it and Friday is too long.” I said, “Fine. I’ll do it tomorrow.” He shook his head. I said, “Fine. I’ll fire him today.”

He said, “What time today will you fire Tyler?” I said, “I’ll fire him today at 12:00.” He said, “Good. Call me at 12:15 and I’ll be there for you because I know this is going to be a hard termination for you but you make sure you’re there for Tyler. Every day for the last six months that you haven’t fired him, you’ve picked on him, excluded him and shown him all the areas he’s screwing up. You didn’t have the confidence to fire him so every day you’ve systematically destroyed a human being’s confidence because you didn’t have the courage and skills of the leader to do what needed to be done. Support him until he is back on his feet but fire Tyler and do it today at 12:00.”

I leave breakfast. I have to buy breakfast. I drive from Denny’s back to the office. It’s a three-minute drive. I’m wishing it’s an hour. I get to the office at 8:00 AM and the first person I see is Tyler. I said, “Ty, can I grab you for a sec?” We walked into the boardroom and closed the door. We’re both 6’4”. Neither of us sat down and I turned and both of us started to cry.

Tyler was one of my closest friends. He is the guy that got 1-800-GOT-JUNK? on Oprah. He was amazing. He’s culturally an icon in the company. He spoke first and said, “What took you so long? Three months ago, I told my mom you were going to fire me. This is the right decision but why have you guys waited so long and made my last three months so miserable here?” We did help him. We did coach him. We did exit him that day. He came to huddle and introduced himself as a missing system. He started his PR company up.

For months, I would get emails and text messages from Tyler and one was, “Thank you for setting me free that day. Thank you for making one of the hardest business decisions of your career but one of the best decisions of mine.” My disappointment is about 3 years later, Tyler went on a 5-day hike and went missing. He’s never been found. Tyler was the largest search in BC history, with 7,700 hours. You can look up the name Tyler Wright and you’ll see the search.

I’m happy that I did it and was able to set him free but I will never ever wait that long with an employee again because it’s not fair. A quick show of hands. Thinking about your business and the people that work for you, is there anybody that you know that’s in your company that you should be firing either because they’re not getting the results or because of the wrong core values or culture fit for the company?

We just let go of somebody.

I’ve got one that I have to do.

I have a couple who are on the fence and their managers have confronted them about it. They’ve both stepped up but I still need to see more to feel as certain of them sticking around as everybody else.

I’m glad that they’re stepping up. Here’s my system or the way I work with people. We put them on a personal development plan or we say, “You need to improve.” As soon as I’ve decided to keep them in the company and I’m going to give them the stuff to improve on, I flip the model real hard and I’m there to support them and cheer them on. I coach them and cheer them on and click. I am hyperactive in helping them get there. Otherwise, I’m waiting for them to screw up enough times that I have the confidence to finally fire them, which is delaying the inevitable.

If you were a professional sports team, you wouldn’t keep that person for nine months saying they’re not quite there yet unless you were active as a team helping to grow them. The question goes back to what are we doing to grow those two people. What are we doing to grow their skills and confidence? That would be my thoughts for sure.

That’s interesting because I was reading a trending article about how things are getting flipped in a way and it’s called quiet firing. How do you know if you’re getting quiet fired? It’s the opposite of what you’re saying, Cameron. It’s like, “You shouldn’t drag it on. If you know there’s someone there, don’t quiet fire someone. Just pull the trigger.”

We’ve heard the saying, “Slow to hire quick to fire.” Josh, with these people, what is it that you need to see change? What are the 2 or 3 core areas you want them to get better at?

We have articulated our core values as a company. We’ve used that as a framework to let them know where we see them struggling to demonstrate certain of them in their work. For one of them, the issue was reliability. Reliability is one of our five core values. He kept dropping balls more than was acceptable in his position.

We gave him examples of that and told him, “Steve, you’re doing great at our other four core values, which is awesome. You’re a team player. You do your work with a high degree of craftsmanship.” That’s our second core value. “You’re courageous in your communication. That was something that you struggled with early on.” Steve’s been with us for several years. He’s made incredible strides. He was one of these guys who were like the pistachio with a tiny hole in it.

He’s managed to grow a lot in his willingness to speak up. The fifth core value we have is the human touch. The reliability issue had become big enough that we thought, “If you’re not able to improve in this area, then this is not going to work out anymore. You’re not going to be able to move to the next step in your job. We need to have confidence that you’re able to do that to keep you around.” That was Steve.

The other one is Deb. She was struggling with multiple core values like reliability, craftsmanship and courageous communication. 3 out of the 5. Deb had only been with us for a year at the time. She came from two previous companies that had extremely different cultures than ours and an extremely different pace of work. We overestimated the skillset and capabilities that she would have on day one.

She was way behind the capabilities and productivity that we were expecting from her. Beyond that, she was struggling to demonstrate these basic aspects of how she goes about doing her job. I was not confident when we shared with Deb that she was going to choose to stick around and try to make it work but she did. She even told us that she had told her wife that she thought she was going to get fired.

Here we were saying to her, “We are on the cusp of letting you go and here are the reasons but if you want to stick around, we’re here to support you and we would like to see it work out.” She does still have some great potential. She has a unique background. We think she could be an asset to the company.

I love that you’re going to tell her that and then she’s making a decision to stay but 20% of the time, they come back and are like, “I’m not going to change. Everything’s wrong,” which is great. “See you later. Don’t let the door hit your bum on the way out.” Eighty percent of the time that they do stay, I like for them to create a plan of what they’re going to do differently. They have to submit a one-page plan of the things they’re going to do. You need to have a plan. It’s like, “You’re going to stay so you’re going to change but what are you going to do?” If you’re deciding to let her stay, what is the company going to do?

Get her to submit a one-page plan of what she specifically is going to do to improve in these areas. You guys make sure that the plan includes everything that you need to be done and then coach her, cheer her on and celebrate the wins. I had a franchisee at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? whom I did a 15-minute coaching meeting every single morning for 6 months.

At 5:00 PM at the end of the day, we did a debrief to see how she’d done on all the things that we said she was going to do during the day. We called it the KAMP, the Kick-Ass Marketing Program. About 3 months into the 6 months of me coaching her every single day, she turned out to be great. She’s still a franchisee many years later. It was me digging in because otherwise, it was easier to cut her and let her go. We’ve heard the saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail. Hoping isn’t a plan.” If you’ve got the person who wants to be there and it sounds like you guys have the right foundational focus on core values, a plan is going to be a good bridge.

That is a gap. As you were talking about that, I was thinking, “What’s Deb doing? How has she made improvements?” It’s nothing more than her trying harder at doing the job that we’ve asked her to do. I’m concerned that that might be enough to raise the performance for a short period but there’s a finite amount of gas in that tank. I don’t believe that her supervisor is watching her that closely or giving her much direct guidance.

Without the plan, there’s nothing that they’ll be able to focus on. Take a look at the twelve modules that are in that course. If there are 2 or 3 of those modules that would help her, I would get her signed up for that. For the money, she’s going to grow. We have one of our COO Alliance members who have 34 of her managers going through this content.

SIC 235 | Facilitating Leadership And Growth

Facilitating Leadership And Growth: Without a plan, there’s nothing you can focus on.


Does it matter that she’s not a manager?

Not at all. I’ll give you some of the skills that would be helpful for her, time management, conflict management, delegation, situational leadership and being able to ask how she needs to be led one-on-one. There are skills in there that could potentially be good for her. For the managers though or anybody who’s managing her needs to be better at one-on-one coaching, meetings, coaching, delegation and hard discussions. There could be some good modules in there for them too.

With the Invest in Your Leaders course, I’m leading and coaching our entire client services department in two weeks on one of those elements in there on delegation. I took that course. I saw that part and there was so much that I learned from and I feel like our client services team can be stronger at delegating to free up some of their time. I’m taking that one little section and doing a whole coaching course with them. It’s very valuable.

Have you watched the session on classroom training?

No. I’m 67% done with the course. I don’t think I’ve gotten there.

Before you run a session for them on delegation, watch the session on classroom teaching and it’ll teach you how to run a session on delegation. It talks about the pre-test and the different styles of adult learning. It will teach you how to run a proper session so that they can then leverage that. This is how we built College Pro Painters. We had to go out to College Pro Painters. It was the world’s largest house painting company. In 4 months, we had to hire 800 franchisees. There are not many companies on the planet that hire 800 people in 4 months.

SIC 235 | Facilitating Leadership And Growth

Facilitating Leadership And Growth: College Pro Painters was the world’s largest house painting company in four months.


We had 6 weeks to hire 8,000 university students to paint houses and we had 4 weeks to train 8,000 kids. In 4 months, we did $64 million in house painting and then 8,800 university students went back to school and we did it again. We were operationally world-class in coaching, delegation, time management, project management, classroom teaching and interviewing. All of the skills that are in this are how we built College Pro and how I built 1-800-GOT-JUNK?.

What else on the people stuff? On the quiet quitting, how do we know that our employees are doing work? Is anybody worried about that? Are we paying them for 40 hours a week but we’re getting 4? How do you know what’s happening with productivity? Is it more that if we have the right people we know they’re working hard?

I’m very interested in everybody’s answers. We’ve talked about this in the previous meetings but it’s a constant conversation we’re having with Tyler, our CEO because part of his vision is to purchase a very large space to continue working in the office. Several of us are like, maybe instead of investing in that, we look more at a hybrid workplace. I’m always interested in learning more about this.

I shared last time or a couple of times ago about getting more so an idea of how much time we’re spending per account but it was giving us some other insights. For the most part, we move very quickly. We have a lot of balls in the air at all times. Our gauge is, “Are we getting things done efficiently with high standards?” We have exited so I believe all the people that we had concerns of we’re seeing results. All of our metrics are going in the right direction. We’re seeing timelines of projects. The ones that are consistent like website builds or landing page builds all are dropping and going in the right direction with higher results than before.

It’s interesting that you talk about the standards that you’re looking for. Think about any project that we have. Let’s say it’s a marketing piece that’s going out at the door or a landing page. It can be done and become 100% perfect. However, for one person to do something, to get it to 100% perfect takes a long time. What I try to do is to get one person to mock it up and get it done quickly so that it’s 80% perfect which still leaves this much here, 20% it could be perfected. That 20% has the opportunity for it to get 100% perfect but if you can get some person to take it and get it to 80% perfect quickly, you’re at 96% perfect.

This piece here can be passed to somebody. Opportunity in our teams is to have people working on a project and passing it and giving them the least amount of time and the least amount of money that we want them to spend on it. As an example, if I had to craft a memo to send out to all of our COO Alliance members, it would take me three weeks to get it done. I would sit on it. I’d stew on it. I’d think about the wording. I’d look up the wording. I’d have to craft it or what I would do is I would grab my phone and do an Otter. I would send that transcript to my assistant. She would take it and craft it into a proper memo.

It would take me three minutes to do a recording. It would take her ten minutes to rewrite it so that it made sense. She would pass it to a copywriter who can take it, polish it and make it pop off the page in 30 minutes. My memo could be out to all of our COO Alliance members on the same day because I get it to 80%. Meredith gets it to 96% and a copywriter gets it to 99.2%. If we approach our business that way, we don’t need the stuff to be perfect, we need it to get done and out the door, it’s the momentum that creates momentum.

Often our junior and mid-level managers are afraid of screwing up. They spend a lot longer on something than needs to be spent. If I said to you, “Spend no more than five minutes and write this up and get it out the door,” that’s very different from me saying, “It will only take you five minutes to write this memo.” If I said it’ll only take you 5 minutes, you’re going to argue, telling me all the reasons why it’ll take you 1 hour.

If I say, “Spend no more than five minutes,” you’ll get it done in four. If I say to you, “It will only cost $1,000 to do something,” you’ll give me all the reasons why it’ll cost $5,000. If I say, “I need this done and don’t spend more than $1,000 doing it,” you’ll get it done under budget. There’s a wording art for some of our delegations. There’s also a skill to teach our managers that stuff too to be able to get more things done with fewer people faster.

Cam, you said in the delegation about the verbiage. It’s interesting because like anything else, it also comes from the top down about not getting it perfect. I’m very OCD so in the past, I had to have everything perfect to get out the door. We moved so quickly here. As you know, we don’t have time for that. Me getting okay with that and I know Bill talks about it all the time, we communicate that to our team, that we should get it out and it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. Usually, those middle-level workers want to be perfect. They think it’s their reputation. They don’t want to make a mistake but us practicing that culture and delegating it with that verbiage that it’s okay has changed it a lot.

I don’t think that perfect is ever completed. There’s a Japanese saying or something like, “You can polish a stone forever and then soon enough, it’s a speck of dust and it’s gone.” How perfect is perfect? My dad taught me when I was a young kid that when you’re putting a screw in, you turn it until it’s tight but don’t turn it that one extra time. It’s that one extra time that you strip it. When you try to have it perfectly tight, you screw the whole thing up for real.

Brian at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? used to say that our dress code had to be professional. I’m like, “We’re in the garbage industry. What does professionalism in the garbage industry mean?” We came up with a definition of it for us that meant first date dress code. If you wouldn’t wear it on a first date, don’t wear it to work.


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