34. Don’t Get Treed By A Chihuahua

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/34. Don’t Get Treed By A Chihuahua

34. Don’t Get Treed By A Chihuahua


We all encounter problems and various things during our working relationships and flow of the day.

It’s often tempting to jump straight into action, working to fix the problem without taking the time to do a full analysis on what’s actually occurring.

Unfortunately, this can result in us getting treed by a chihuahua (listen to discover what that means)

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We're going to talk about something near and dear to my heart. And it's something that I had to learn the hard way. And it's about doing your homework. And as, as the episode is called, don't get treed by a Chihuahua, I'll get to that story in a little bit. So stick around and where you see what exactly that means. But to start with, look, we're often working in dynamic environments, things are changing rapidly, we're dealing with real people, like I said, we're, we're in the people business. Bottom line, I don't care what your industry is what service you have, you're in the people business as an operator, you're working with people. And while a lot of the work we do is one of my one of my employees called it steelie, called Operator mode when I go into Operator mode, and I'm just behind the scenes putting things together. That's my stealing called Operator mode. But I'm doing it with intention of the people that are going to be touched by this and are going to have to implement what I'm building. So I'm definitely keeping them in mind. That being said, we're going to encounter problems and various things during our working relationships and flow of the workday and the work week, things are going to come up problems are going to be reported by team members or contractors or even our customers, we're going to get complaints, we're going to get reports of things broken or not working correctly. Or maybe little problems that you see from your seat within the company knows that this is especially true when things may need fixing when we need to implement changes to fix these problems.

Here's the ultimate problem though. Many people far too many people rely solely on gut instincts and emotion to guide their reaction to decide on a plan of action to decide if it's even a problem to begin with. So as an example, we for the company I was working for, we had a online music course. And one of the sample songs that we use to teach a concept. I don't know some woke idiot decided that that song needs to be cancelled for some stupid and uninformed decision. I can't stand wokeness just to be clear about that. It just pisses me off like you have no right to go around canceling everything shut up. So one person complained about this particular song, because they must have read the latest cancellation blog. That's what I got to say to them. Boohoo. One person complained, I don't care. I don't care. If someone decided that something is going to be canceled. I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to play that game and bend the knee and be in reactionary mode to because some idiot decided that they were going to take an incorrect translation of a song or interpretation of a song and read some random blog posts from some unknown uninformed person, when quite frankly, we were the authority in music education in on the internet, not this uninformed blogger. So boo frickin who don't care, you can leave, you can ask for a refund. I don't care. I'll get rid of you before I go and jump through hoops because you decide to react.

Another example is we thought we were having a problem with refunds. Because the number of refunds increase, you know they did increase. And so I thought maybe there was something wrong with a course or something that was going on with delivery. But when I took the time to take a step back, look at the numbers. Look at the data. I saw Yes, there were more refunds. But the increase in refunds was actually in correlation with an increase in sales. When I did the numbers, our refund rate had actually decreased. Hmm. Well, if I would have been in reactionary mode, I would have thought we need to fix something right away to try to get this and I would have shot from the hip and drove my whole team crazy. Instead I took have stepped back, looked at the numbers and went, this actually isn't a problem that needs fixing right now I did see it as an opportunity to try to further lower our refund rate. And that's a whole nother story for a whole nother day. But we were able to to see the forest for the trees. When you see a problem, do your homework, get to the bottom of what's bothering you. Why you think it's bothering with you? And is it actually a problem? numbers matter. Numbers never lie, they never lie, and they're right in front of you. Get the numbers, get the data, as much raw data as you can find, do not rely on gut instincts, allow your gut instincts to tell you you need to look into something for sure, absolutely. Look into potential problems based on gut instincts, and then rely on data.

It's one of my mentors said, In God, I trust everyone else bring data. I love that phrase. And I implement that with my team. Put some thought behind it don't just react on emotions. You are the leader in your team, and CEO rely on you to be even headed and methodical in your thinking. They, they require you to be able to bring that to their to their desk, bring not only a problem, but potential solutions, potential ideas of what could be causing that problem. If you take time to examine the situation, you're more likely to see what the actual problem is, if there is one. By looking into it, you will see what is actually causing this to happen or have a better idea than just putting our own assumptions onto something and getting everyone mixed up kind of in a tizzy. When you don't know what the problem, what the source of the problem actually is. It allows you to immerse yourself in the full in the full picture. So you may see various things that could be improved. That might not even be related to the one year investigating because you were taking time out of a curious nature, in order to find out what was going on in an area of the company. I like you know to be constantly curious, intellectually curious, is a phrase I used in the military, when we were recruiting for a special operations unit I was part on part of someone asked me what's the number one? What's the number one trait that you're looking for, for this special operations unit we had.

And I said, I need guys that are intellectually curious. They're not going to rely on their preconceived notions, they're going to want to do the work, do the reading, do the research, and be able to get outside the box. Imagine how powerful your role in the company can be. If you're constantly intellectually curious, getting outside the box, doing the homework, doing hard work, to be honest, and be able to bring that to your team. What's going to be the perception of your authority and your know how, if when you bring something to them, you do it from a highly informed place. You're bringing the data to them, you're bringing them real solutions that are tied to that data. What do you think their motivation level is going to be in helping you with that, they're going to be highly motivated, because they're going to see it. They're not just doing something because you tell them to do it. If you rely on your authority as a means for getting shit done. It's only going to work for so long guys, be honest, especially with some of the trends and work that we're seeing right now. What's that latest dumping? I heard about quiet quitting? What the hell is that? I don't know. It's weird. It's weird what's going on in the labor market and any little thing you can do to help shore up your employees trust in you, your team members trust in you, you got to take every opportunity you got, because reacting will only cause more problems, you're gonna get team members running down rabbit holes trying to fix something that didn't need fixed. And it will increase any uncertainty that your team members already had in you. You're reinforcing their perceptions. If they had that perception. I like to reinforce positive perceptions. If I want them to think of me in a certain way, I'm going to take every opportunity to reinforce that decision, that perception.

So how the heck does this have to do with a Chihuahua? So there's a wonderful book out there I highly recommend it's called the men the mission and me. It's a story about one of the first Delta Force commandos that helped start Delta Force when they started back in the late 70s, early 80s. And he's talking about going through the selection process for delta. So I think, truth be told I wasn't in Delta Force. I was in a special operations unit. Not Delta Force. But we have similar training that we go through delta delta, as you know, to quote Spinal Tap deltas is turned up to 11. But one of the training things that we both did was very long. ruck marches.

In Delta's case, it's much longer, and it's through the woods, and mountains and all sorts of things. So this particular guy was going through the long walk and navigating his way through these mountains. And he had he had was had been rocking all day long. He was tired. He was distraught. He was emotionally and physically beat down. And when he went to go put down his pack, just to take a break, he looked to his right, and thought he saw a bear. Not me kidding, thought he saw a bear. So he leaped to the left. To get away from the bear. The problem was to left was a ravine. And he craned about 150 feet downhill, in this ravine, and nearly broke limbs. If he would have broke limbs would have been the end of his training, he never would have made it to Delta Force. The irony was, that wasn't a bear. It was a squirrel. He was so emotionally drained and physically drained, that he thought he saw a bear, he made a bear out of a squirrel.

When you're in your business, it's the problem that you're seeing a bear or a squirrel, you're only going to know by taking a couple of moments to actually analyze what you're looking at what you perceive to be a problem around you are near you, and acting accordingly. All right, well, there you go. Alright, so I hope that helps. It's a constant thing I have to remind myself of. So if you find yourself emotionally reacting to things, take a step back, breathe. Get away from the problem for at least a couple of minutes. To properly reflect on it before you move into massive action. To try to fix something by shooting from the hip. Come with facts come with data, come up with solutions. And don't be reactionary.

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