A lot of people in the corporate world may find themselves entering into leadership roles, whether as their permanent position or just for a temporary amount of time.

Many of these people may only have had experience in the more technical aspects of their jobs, and may not be very prepared to lead others.

Stacey Graham has been helping many people adapt to leadership positions, and in today’s podcast we are going to sit down with her and learn how to become better leaders!

Reach out the Stacey on Instagram @staceysc

Listen in at: https://www.jasonmefford.com/jammingwithjason242/


00:00:02.250 –> 00:00:07.710
Jason Mefford: Alright well i’m super excited about today’s episode because i’m talking with my friend Stacey Graham.

00:00:08.400 –> 00:00:14.700
Jason Mefford: And you know we got it on a little call earlier to kind of talk about the podcasts and both of us just kind of geek out for.

00:00:15.630 –> 00:00:19.080
Jason Mefford: Half an hour or more and we’re like Oh, we should have been hitting record so.

00:00:19.800 –> 00:00:30.030
Jason Mefford: we’re hitting record today, so that you can get it, but you know if if you’re like a lot of people that are in especially corporate America or in corporations around the world.

00:00:30.690 –> 00:00:44.520
Jason Mefford: You may have found yourself, you know leadership role, but you were never really given leadership skills, you know so many of us end up growing up in a technical area let’s say.

00:00:45.090 –> 00:00:56.490
Jason Mefford: And all of a sudden find yourself managing people and we’re thinking holy crap how do I do this I don’t know how to do this, how am I going to have this difficult conversation at the end of the year.

00:00:56.910 –> 00:01:15.990
Jason Mefford: With an employee who isn’t performing you know what i’m talking about right so today i’m talking to Stacy because she’s experienced some of the same things and has been helping leaders for quite a while and so i’m excited to get Stacey on so with that let’s go ahead and roll the episode.

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Jason Mefford: Alright Stacy welcome welcome welcome.

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Stacey Graham: Thank you so good to be here with you Jason so excited to chat with you about all this.

00:01:27.870 –> 00:01:36.690
Jason Mefford: Well, I know we’ve known each other for a little while and there were some things that I kind of saw you saying on social media doing some other stuff and I thought I got to talk to her because.

00:01:37.230 –> 00:01:48.000
Jason Mefford: I think we’re two peas in a pod, if you will, that we’ve both we’ve had different career experiences, but as lead us to, I think.

00:01:48.720 –> 00:01:59.400
Jason Mefford: A lot of some of the same stuff and a lot of the ways that we want to try to help people because we see so many people are just kind of floating out on the ocean without a lifeboat.

00:02:01.500 –> 00:02:10.380
Jason Mefford: There they’re thinking is somebody come and help right so so first off let’s just kind of set the stage, so people can get to know you a little bit better.

00:02:10.890 –> 00:02:28.050
Jason Mefford: just maybe explain a little bit about about your career how you’ve kind of gotten to this point to how you’re helping people now because I think that’s important because everybody listening is is most likely going to be able to see themselves in your story so.

00:02:28.680 –> 00:02:35.370
Stacey Graham: Absolutely happy to and i’ll tell you first thing I never really expected to be in this spot.

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Jason Mefford: For me either.

00:02:38.580 –> 00:02:47.190
Stacey Graham: I think careers kind of take you know the path that they’re meant to take for certain reasons but yeah let me back up to kind of the beginning, and then I can kind of give some.

00:02:47.550 –> 00:02:59.220
Stacey Graham: overview into how all this crazy stuff landed me where I am today so by background I actually studied engineering so i’m an industrial systems engineer.

00:03:00.570 –> 00:03:13.320
Stacey Graham: And started off my career i’m very much in like a hardcore engineering role I started out in the aerospace and Defense world dabbled in manufacturing.

00:03:15.480 –> 00:03:28.920
Stacey Graham: And one of the things that I started observing over time was I kind of had the privilege to work with a lot of different leaders, by changing some roles getting new experiences all that fun stuff.

00:03:30.120 –> 00:03:40.440
Stacey Graham: When I was doing my master’s degree, I discovered the concept of applying industrial systems engineering knowledge to health care.

00:03:40.860 –> 00:03:48.060
Stacey Graham: And I oh that’s cool that’s what lights me up like, how can I make things better for patients.

00:03:48.690 –> 00:04:03.900
Stacey Graham: And their experience better and operations better and really kind of from like a behind the scenes kind of feel so that felt super aligned with where my heart is and helping people, so what happened tell a little story.

00:04:05.070 –> 00:04:18.870
Stacey Graham: So I moved into healthcare as an industrial engineer many years back, and I remember one of my first projects, I was led down to the operating room area.

00:04:19.890 –> 00:04:38.610
Stacey Graham: And was asked by the coo she just she said, you know we just moved to this area, and you know the nurses are saying we need more space, but I don’t think we do so, can you solve for that and then she walked away.

00:04:41.970 –> 00:04:54.720
Stacey Graham: uh sure so so I went into like my hardcore engineering background I created these capacity models and figure out how I figured out how to you know.

00:04:55.170 –> 00:05:05.640
Stacey Graham: optimize the space and slow and all this technical stuff and I worked on this for quite some time, like to the tune of probably a couple months refining these perfect models.

00:05:06.300 –> 00:05:19.980
Stacey Graham: And I remember being super proud of the work I did I went to present it and share this beautiful perfect solution for how we make things slow and minimize costs and all that and.

00:05:20.820 –> 00:05:30.300
Stacey Graham: I shared in front of nurses and doctors and other key stakeholders in that area and I got this look that said.

00:05:31.560 –> 00:05:32.220
Stacey Graham: nope.

00:05:34.500 –> 00:05:43.320
Stacey Graham: And, and not only did I get the luck, but I got some feedback some verbal feedback directly just people kind of scratching their head going.

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Stacey Graham: well.

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Stacey Graham: I see what you’re saying that it’s supposed to work, but it just doesn’t feel right.

00:05:51.570 –> 00:05:53.490
Stacey Graham: And so my engineering head when.

00:05:55.140 –> 00:05:56.880
Stacey Graham: I got my like analysis like I know.

00:05:58.260 –> 00:06:01.110
Jason Mefford: it’s not about feeling right, I did all the analytics.

00:06:01.170 –> 00:06:11.610
Stacey Graham: Like what’s what’s what fueling I know thing, and so that was a huge pivotal moment in my career, because at that point.

00:06:12.660 –> 00:06:25.740
Stacey Graham: It really kind of shook me into realizing like holy shit like it’s not just about having the technical capability to do this, it is way more important to have that connection.

00:06:26.100 –> 00:06:39.420
Stacey Graham: build the relationships understand why people feel the way they do, and really there’s a lot more to how you make things better beyond just the technical ability to optimize.

00:06:39.780 –> 00:06:51.030
Stacey Graham: you’ve got to build that trust you’ve got to get to know people you got to know what’s important to them, and so that really kind of steered me into this next.

00:06:51.510 –> 00:07:03.000
Stacey Graham: path that just I think serendipitously kind of opened up, because what happened, right after that is I ended up moving to a new organization in health care.

00:07:03.660 –> 00:07:17.220
Stacey Graham: Also hired in as an industrial engineer working in emergency department operations at that point, and I remember going to okay let’s take my industrial engineering approach, and you know I tried to go down that same.

00:07:17.250 –> 00:07:20.640
Stacey Graham: Technical path, even though I just kind of got slapped in the face about that.

00:07:21.120 –> 00:07:29.790
Stacey Graham: And my leader at that time really put the brakes on it and introduced me to this whole world of coaching.

00:07:30.330 –> 00:07:42.120
Stacey Graham: and asking people questions and building that connection and and you know just built building the the relationship that is so important in all of this work.

00:07:42.660 –> 00:07:54.840
Stacey Graham: And I resisted for quite some time and I, you know I kind of had the attitude of like so you’re saying I need to like ask people questions to get them to the same point that i’m already telling them works.

00:07:56.850 –> 00:08:13.530
Stacey Graham: yeah totally missed the point with like the importance of like knowing people as people and the the cultural piece of the element of any change and so that I feel like after that point, I even got into.

00:08:14.610 –> 00:08:20.970
Stacey Graham: You know, not only did the coaching piece kind of take off, but in that team we ended up building this whole.

00:08:22.170 –> 00:08:24.270
Stacey Graham: This whole program around.

00:08:25.650 –> 00:08:41.130
Stacey Graham: Leading leadership and around, how do you are leaders with the right skills to be effective leaders, and it was just exactly the medicine that I need at that point in my career, because I took so much of that for granted, up to that point.

00:08:41.910 –> 00:08:48.690
Jason Mefford: Well it’s funny because you know, again, I mean I come from a technical background to write accounting, auditing risk management.

00:08:49.140 –> 00:09:01.170
Jason Mefford: And, and it seems like you know you have engineering background and were taught in school right well look you analyze it you’re very logical about how you make decisions right.

00:09:01.650 –> 00:09:13.140
Jason Mefford: And that’s what we get taught through all of our training, but the reality is and you and I both know this right we’ve learned this and it sounds like again this is kind of where you are coming from because.

00:09:13.530 –> 00:09:24.720
Jason Mefford: People are saying look you got to have connection you got to have the relationships with people because interestingly enough right the way the brain makes decisions is not analytical.

00:09:25.350 –> 00:09:32.070
Jason Mefford: In fact 95% of every decision that we make is subconscious and is emotional.

00:09:32.550 –> 00:09:42.420
Jason Mefford: And again right if you’re listening and you’re like bullshit Jason that’s not true well there’s some pretty good research done by one that i’m thinking of right now the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

00:09:43.200 –> 00:09:56.880
Jason Mefford: That proves that is the case right so so it’s funny that you share that story right, because when when you first went in and you got all those blank stares and everybody’s saying, but I don’t feel like it’s right.

00:09:57.780 –> 00:10:12.690
Jason Mefford: Right you’re probably go what what the hell right, I mean just like you’re saying right well I did all the analytics What do you mean right, but how how as leaders we actually have to bring people along emotionally, as well as logically right.

00:10:13.080 –> 00:10:18.150
Jason Mefford: And i’m guessing that’s probably one of the things you’ve learned that makes a better leader than other leaders as well.

00:10:18.660 –> 00:10:27.060
Stacey Graham: yeah absolutely I mean if we kind of pull on that technical thread what I see a lot of times, it sounds like you know.

00:10:27.540 –> 00:10:38.220
Stacey Graham: brilliant any kind of technical field, and I mean it can apply to so many different areas is you get you get folks that are amazing their jobs, technically.

00:10:38.640 –> 00:10:50.310
Stacey Graham: And because they excel so much in their field, they end up getting those promotions, and they move up the ladders and they get the opportunities, because they’re really good at what they do.

00:10:51.330 –> 00:11:01.980
Stacey Graham: But those leader those folks aren’t necessarily armed with how to be a leader and as they’re moving up in those ranks as they get people under them that report to them.

00:11:03.000 –> 00:11:16.230
Stacey Graham: It gets really challenging for them, because it’s almost like a complete shift in expectations and, by the way, I don’t know that those expectations are always clear, as you move into leadership roles.

00:11:17.040 –> 00:11:30.900
Stacey Graham: You know, and so now, you get someone who’s technical, who is amazing at their job now has a team looking up to them going Okay, what do I do and they’re going to do your job, you know.

00:11:31.350 –> 00:11:34.500
Jason Mefford: yeah, but what is my job you’re supposed to tell me what my job is.

00:11:34.500 –> 00:11:43.620
Stacey Graham: Right right, and so you get a lot of these leaders that have naturally moved up over their careers, but don’t necessarily necessarily have the leadership skills.

00:11:43.950 –> 00:11:55.710
Stacey Graham: To develop their teams to then roll all in the same direction to better serve their clients their customers their their organization, whatever that is.

00:11:56.100 –> 00:12:04.440
Stacey Graham: And so what i’ve seen happen, a lot of times is you get a leader that feels like because they’re in a leadership position.

00:12:05.070 –> 00:12:22.890
Stacey Graham: Now they have to do everything they have to do more so if someone if one of their TEAM members comes up to them and says hey i’ve got this problem, the Leader things in their mind oh i’m the LEADER I must take this problem and solve it for them, and that is the opposite.

00:12:24.240 –> 00:12:37.320
Stacey Graham: Be what they could be doing to develop their people and creating a stronger team, and you get a lot of these leaders that end out having a ton of work and a ton of firefighting and they’re taking all the.

00:12:37.320 –> 00:12:38.850
Stacey Graham: Problems from their team.

00:12:39.060 –> 00:12:56.940
Stacey Graham: But they’re missing the skill set on how to develop their team to be those independent problem solvers to be you know, to have that that contribution and their own unique talents and their own unique way, so they can be stronger as a team, not just having the Leader do more work.

00:12:57.810 –> 00:12:58.470
Jason Mefford: yeah cuz I mean.

00:13:00.030 –> 00:13:08.070
Jason Mefford: It seems right to make total sense, but like you said so many people just jump on that and think Oh well, if my team’s not.

00:13:08.490 –> 00:13:15.930
Jason Mefford: doing what they need to do, then as a leader, I need to be the one that does it so leaders end up working long hours.

00:13:16.380 –> 00:13:28.230
Jason Mefford: You know, doing other things, and never really giving their team, the opportunity to actually do their job because they’re doing it for them right, I mean it’s just a silly as if we were in a war.

00:13:28.860 –> 00:13:45.090
Jason Mefford: Right, and so you know you’ve got some issue going on, and all of a sudden, you know the captains and kernels are coming in and saying Oh, we got a problem and the general goes well don’t worry about it, you guys just go back and sit in your tents and i’m going to go out and.

00:13:45.090 –> 00:13:47.970
Stacey Graham: win the war for us by yourself, by myself right.

00:13:48.570 –> 00:13:59.880
Jason Mefford: Now wouldn’t that wouldn’t work in the real life in real life, you know, in a warfare situation but isn’t that kind of what it sounds like a lot of leaders are actually doing and and.

00:14:00.480 –> 00:14:12.510
Jason Mefford: I guess technically they’re literally kind of killing themselves, just like the general would kill themselves if he or she chose to just go out and try to do everything that the team should be doing.

00:14:12.960 –> 00:14:18.000
Stacey Graham: Absolutely, I had a story came to mind, as you were talking through your example.

00:14:19.440 –> 00:14:22.170
Stacey Graham: When I moved into the the role i’m in right now.

00:14:23.820 –> 00:14:33.960
Stacey Graham: I came from a team, where we in our call it was the coolest culture, we would have a problem, and we would all sit together and brainstorm it and we would coach each other.

00:14:34.620 –> 00:14:43.110
Stacey Graham: So, within this last team, I was on we if we had an issue we would bring it to the team, and you would never couldn’t answer.

00:14:43.680 –> 00:14:51.120
Stacey Graham: You would be coached on coming up with that question on your or with the answer on your own, but you would never get an answer out right.

00:14:51.420 –> 00:14:57.210
Stacey Graham: Because how are you going to get better at Problem Solving if you don’t take the time to think through things on your own.

00:14:57.960 –> 00:15:05.520
Stacey Graham: And the story that came up for me is I remember what am I previous bosses I had just started in a new role.

00:15:06.150 –> 00:15:15.570
Stacey Graham: Once I had really gotten to this point of of you know, realizing the power of coaching and problem developing people to problem solve a problem solve independently.

00:15:16.080 –> 00:15:35.280
Stacey Graham: And I asked him a question when I started this new role and he goes oh Okay, and any kind of starts answering it for me and then he shoots off an email to this person to do it, for me, basically, and I remember being so mad at him.

00:15:36.300 –> 00:15:47.460
Stacey Graham: Why did you give me the answer you need to coach me to like ask me questions and help me figure it out, on my own and he was like oh like I didn’t even realize i’m like teach me to fish.

00:15:47.850 –> 00:15:50.400
Stacey Graham: I don’t want you solving all my problems.

00:15:50.640 –> 00:16:04.500
Stacey Graham: I want you having a dialogue with me back and forth, so we can get to that you know solution, but I don’t if you continue to do things for me you’re not empowering me to operate as the independent adult that I am.

00:16:05.100 –> 00:16:11.040
Stacey Graham: I mean, if you think about it, everyone who’s on a team are functioning adults.

00:16:11.130 –> 00:16:12.060
Stacey Graham: outside of work.

00:16:12.900 –> 00:16:22.920
Stacey Graham: Right we’re mortgages and families, and they have to pay their own bills and make their own decision like for remembering to pick up our kids like we’re making choices about.

00:16:22.980 –> 00:16:34.920
Stacey Graham: What to have for dinner, or what house to buy or even whatever we’re all making these adults and driving forward independently, so why is it that when we come into work, you see people that all of a sudden.

00:16:35.370 –> 00:16:40.230
Stacey Graham: turn into not knowing how to make any decisions on their own and they look to their leader.

00:16:43.140 –> 00:16:50.460
Stacey Graham: Dare, dare I say that we haven’t given the leader, the skill set and to teach their folks and empower them.

00:16:51.270 –> 00:16:59.850
Stacey Graham: To figure some of that stuff out on the on their own like, how do we keep them that capable Problem Solving independent thinking adult within the walls of work.

00:17:00.780 –> 00:17:08.280
Jason Mefford: Well it’s funny because one of the one of the things that I like to that I use for myself, I don’t know if I came up with it or heard it somewhere, but.

00:17:08.760 –> 00:17:19.140
Jason Mefford: You know, because a lot of times leaders complain about their employees acting like children and i’m like well if you treat your employees like children How else do you expect them to act.

00:17:19.200 –> 00:17:26.700
Jason Mefford: Right and so like you said, if you if, if we take away all their adult skills, while they’re in the in the job force.

00:17:27.090 –> 00:17:32.580
Jason Mefford: That doesn’t make any sense and the interesting thing too is because you were talking about that you know.

00:17:33.180 –> 00:17:41.250
Jason Mefford: Again kind of from some of the motive motivation stuff that i’ve read as far as why people are motivated or what they want more from work.

00:17:41.970 –> 00:17:50.280
Jason Mefford: One of the biggest things that they want is they want that responsibility they want that accountability, they want to be able to make the decisions.

00:17:50.700 –> 00:18:00.450
Jason Mefford: And so, when you take that away from people right they don’t feel satisfied at work and what do you think is going to happen if people at work don’t feel satisfied.

00:18:01.050 –> 00:18:13.140
Jason Mefford: they’re gonna leave right, I mean we’ve been seeing that actually these last few months here in the US with so many people, I mean it’s like nine nine or 10 million people in the last couple of months of quit their job.

00:18:13.470 –> 00:18:18.360
Jason Mefford: mm hmm whoa that’s I mean we’re a big country but that’s a lot of people.

00:18:18.840 –> 00:18:29.520
Stacey Graham: It is, it is, I think you know, one of the things that actually just came up this week with a leader, that I had is, I think I think there’s a lot of fear around.

00:18:31.080 –> 00:18:44.880
Stacey Graham: Giving clear expectations, so one of the things that i’ve seen come up quite often with leaders is all you know i’ll have a discussion with them one on one about a situation and i’ll get the feedback.

00:18:45.930 –> 00:18:48.330
Stacey Graham: Well isn’t that obvious, should they just know that.

00:18:49.350 –> 00:18:59.190
Stacey Graham: And so, then I asked him like, how do you how did you clarify your expectations have you explicitly told them what you’re expecting oh that’s just common sense.

00:19:00.030 –> 00:19:08.070
Stacey Graham: You know, and so you get you get these situations where i’ve seen some leaders get frustrated with folks not executing the behavior that’s in their head.

00:19:08.460 –> 00:19:21.180
Stacey Graham: But they haven’t necessarily communicated those expectations, you know, and so, and so you get and it’s interesting because i’ve had these types of conversations before and uh, but I see as a lot of.

00:19:22.290 –> 00:19:40.500
Stacey Graham: I get i’ve heard some feedback around well I don’t want to like insult people by over explaining something, and so I always go back to one of my favorite renee brown quotes clarity is kind unclear is unkind.

00:19:42.000 –> 00:19:52.470
Stacey Graham: And it’s as simple as that Oh, you know explaining something to make sure that people understand what their expectations are, that is, kindness.

00:19:53.550 –> 00:20:00.480
Jason Mefford: Well, and how can we ever expect anyone to meet our expectations if we’re not clear about what those expectations are.

00:20:00.960 –> 00:20:03.810
Jason Mefford: yeah right and then that that same behavior.

00:20:04.800 –> 00:20:14.880
Jason Mefford: That you’re seeing come up with leaders that you’re working with you know, is the same kind of behavior that you know, sometimes we have in our personal relationships right, so I know there’s a lot of times, where.

00:20:15.210 –> 00:20:21.840
Jason Mefford: My wife will ask me to do something or she will expect that I would notice something.

00:20:23.160 –> 00:20:35.010
Jason Mefford: And should therefore do it right, because she notices that right, and again I mean this happens in any relationship right like hey I noticed that it’s a certain time of the day, and she hasn’t made the bed yet.

00:20:35.820 –> 00:20:44.040
Jason Mefford: So she’s really hoping of the expectation is i’m going to show her that I love her by making the bed, without being asked tried.

00:20:44.790 –> 00:20:51.990
Jason Mefford: But chances are I haven’t even gone in the bedroom I have no fucking clue whether the bed is made or not right.

00:20:52.020 –> 00:20:52.350
Stacey Graham: yeah.

00:20:52.470 –> 00:21:01.680
Jason Mefford: I haven’t been in there, since I got up in the morning, and so you know, then, if she gets disappointed with me well you know again.

00:21:02.280 –> 00:21:14.910
Jason Mefford: How am I supposed to know if she never made the expectation right as opposed to her in the morning, saying you know what today it’d be really nice if you could make the bed sure honey, I would be happy to do that.

00:21:15.240 –> 00:21:15.540
Stacey Graham: Right.

00:21:16.020 –> 00:21:18.240
Jason Mefford: And then we don’t have those conversations.

00:21:18.540 –> 00:21:23.820
Jason Mefford: But without having the conversation like you said it’s it’s actually kind of unkind.

00:21:25.320 –> 00:21:30.690
Jason Mefford: To not share with people, because then again as a leader you’re going to have to hold people accountable for it.

00:21:31.230 –> 00:21:34.290
Jason Mefford: Right you’re going to have to have those performance discussions with them.

00:21:34.890 –> 00:21:35.580

00:21:36.630 –> 00:21:45.090
Jason Mefford: Is it their fault or your fault if you haven’t given them the expectation, I would say it’s the leaders fault.

00:21:45.360 –> 00:21:52.350
Stacey Graham: Totally and if you don’t have that clear expectation, then, therefore, you don’t have a boundary and therefore you don’t have leverage for consequence.

00:21:52.770 –> 00:21:58.320
Stacey Graham: And that’s where I feel like some leaders get stuck is going on, they should just know and.

00:21:58.770 –> 00:22:15.300
Stacey Graham: gosh This is ridiculous, you know and they they want to invoke some sort of like consequence for just not knowing but it’s like well if you didn’t make very you know clear explicitly what that is, you know that accountability only works if you’re clear and what that is being held accountable.

00:22:16.350 –> 00:22:16.620
Jason Mefford: yeah.

00:22:18.480 –> 00:22:22.650
Jason Mefford: And it’s and it’s not fair to hold somebody accountable for something they didn’t even know about.

00:22:23.730 –> 00:22:25.260
Jason Mefford: I mean, even in the law.

00:22:25.620 –> 00:22:37.050
Jason Mefford: Right, so there is there is a legal concept, you know i’ve got some technical legal background to but you know of of failure to know the law.

00:22:38.100 –> 00:22:52.950
Jason Mefford: Right is is sometimes a Defense right because again it’s it’s if you don’t know or it hasn’t been communicated to you, then, how are you expected to know.

00:22:53.490 –> 00:23:00.870
Jason Mefford: Right now, once you know, then it’s your responsibility at that point right but it’s just you know.

00:23:01.920 –> 00:23:02.310
Stacey Graham: yeah.

00:23:02.370 –> 00:23:03.720
Jason Mefford: very interesting very.

00:23:03.960 –> 00:23:09.060
Stacey Graham: interesting and you know, I was cracking up as you were mentioning your bed making example because.

00:23:10.230 –> 00:23:11.940
Stacey Graham: I have to share a couple of years ago.

00:23:13.020 –> 00:23:22.710
Stacey Graham: I remember having a conversation with with some of my girlfriends around mother’s day, and you know that you know you hear the stories around like.

00:23:23.220 –> 00:23:38.190
Stacey Graham: Like she didn’t give me the flowers that I would hope, or this day was you know I had to cut mother’s day dinner, you know and he’s gripes around like what that day looks like right and I remember going well shit i’m just going to make him a list, this year, and so.

00:23:39.840 –> 00:23:42.840
Stacey Graham: And i’ve done this every year, I mean my list is generally the same at this point.

00:23:43.290 –> 00:24:00.930
Stacey Graham: But I ain’t like explicitly so like this would be a perfect mother’s day for me and I like laid out the day and I put like specific examples of things I would like things that I don’t want to do and i’m just made it super clear and and my husband was very thankful that.

00:24:01.350 –> 00:24:08.850
Jason Mefford: I wouldn’t be very less like that right it’s like boom, I can knock it out of the park because you’re giving me the rules of the game so.

00:24:09.300 –> 00:24:16.770
Stacey Graham: In any crushed it, I mean he was in, and I said look like if that doesn’t work based on your stuff you have going on, or the kids or whatever.

00:24:17.100 –> 00:24:24.300
Stacey Graham: that’s fine as like this is my wish list and damned if you didn’t basically you know support everything on my wish list.

00:24:24.660 –> 00:24:33.720
Stacey Graham: He had a great day, because you know every everything was clear, I was in my element, because I got this you know wonderful mother’s day I felt super loved.

00:24:34.290 –> 00:24:45.420
Stacey Graham: But it’s like it just goes back to that clarity, like it’s so much life is so much easier when you can be clear with people and and one of the things that I think kind of.

00:24:46.020 –> 00:24:56.400
Stacey Graham: is challenging for some leaders is, you have to have vulnerability to be clear, because sometimes if you don’t know if you’re clear you gotta ask your people.

00:24:57.420 –> 00:25:04.560
Stacey Graham: And you got to put yourself out there, and if you’re not being very clear on how you’re communicating.

00:25:05.610 –> 00:25:10.410
Stacey Graham: You that’s something to work on and get feedback on but that’s okay.

00:25:10.770 –> 00:25:14.850
Stacey Graham: But you can’t know if you’re being if you’re excelling at your communication.

00:25:15.030 –> 00:25:17.820
Stacey Graham: Unless you ask, and that requires vulnerability.

00:25:19.110 –> 00:25:22.230
Jason Mefford: Especially because there’s there’s always that fear right that.

00:25:23.610 –> 00:25:27.390
Jason Mefford: It is a leader we’re gonna look like we don’t know what we’re talking about.

00:25:28.410 –> 00:25:30.690
Jason Mefford: yeah you know and it’s it’s.

00:25:31.950 –> 00:25:37.620
Jason Mefford: Well there’s there’s a whole fallacy behind that too, but anyway, I don’t want to go down that path or not, but.

00:25:38.220 –> 00:25:46.710
Jason Mefford: But you know you’ve kind of shared a little bit about your background right and some of the stuff that you’ve seen and and i’m sure you know, again you’ve seen.

00:25:47.130 –> 00:25:52.830
Jason Mefford: What makes a good leader what doesn’t make a good leader right so maybe we can talk about some of that and kind of how.

00:25:53.310 –> 00:26:00.480
Jason Mefford: How you’re helping people now to write, because obviously as you’ve gone through your experience.

00:26:01.080 –> 00:26:10.290
Jason Mefford: You know, just like we’re talking about with expectations most leaders don’t give good expectations right So what does that look like and how can I help people or.

00:26:10.710 –> 00:26:21.240
Jason Mefford: You know what are you doing to try to help people, because your story is very similar to mine where we came up technically and we just got thrown into it, we had to figure out what the hell to do.

00:26:21.600 –> 00:26:28.560
Jason Mefford: Right and there’s a lot of people that are in the exact same situation that you and I both were in.

00:26:29.100 –> 00:26:41.160
Stacey Graham: yeah absolutely yeah and it’s it’s interesting I feel like i’ve just been so I feel so grateful for where my my career path has gone because.

00:26:41.910 –> 00:26:53.310
Stacey Graham: i’m now at the point now where i’ve worked with over 60 different executives in multiple on in multiple types of industries.

00:26:53.760 –> 00:26:59.070
Stacey Graham: You know whether it’s healthcare, we talked about automotive aerospace manufacturing, I mean.

00:26:59.970 –> 00:27:07.200
Stacey Graham: covered a wide variety of things over the years and i’ve always been fascinated with leadership since day one.

00:27:08.010 –> 00:27:16.680
Stacey Graham: And one of the things you know to kind of go back to what you were just saying, as I started kind of mapping out all these different leaders.

00:27:16.890 –> 00:27:29.850
Stacey Graham: And and putting together what are those characteristics What are those qualities, where I saw that leader be successful right, and in my terms i’m defining successful as.

00:27:30.540 –> 00:27:45.630
Stacey Graham: They had a happy productive effective team they’re meeting their metrics they’re excelling they’re growing they don’t have a ton of turnover everyone’s involved in conversations there’s there’s good camaraderie right.

00:27:47.640 –> 00:28:00.090
Stacey Graham: And it’s so funny what you were saying before, because one of the things that POPs out with with this data set is some of the best leaders say I don’t know.

00:28:01.920 –> 00:28:14.940
Stacey Graham: They say I don’t know and then they figure it out, or they asked questions of their TEAM members and they invite that dialogue, so the best leaders don’t have all the answers.

00:28:16.920 –> 00:28:24.360
Stacey Graham: And that’s something that I feel like is a really tough pill to swallow, especially with new leaders, because you go you get into this position.

00:28:24.720 –> 00:28:44.370
Stacey Graham: And you think okay so being a leader is synonymous with having the answers for my people like I have to have the answers for my people, but what you’re doing is you’re actually doing them a disservice for their growth for your growth by not admitting when you might not know something.

00:28:45.780 –> 00:28:49.590
Stacey Graham: You know leaders I think leaders so many leaders underestimate.

00:28:51.480 –> 00:29:02.880
Stacey Graham: Really kind of the power that they have in their organizations on their teams, I mean I work with a ton of executives right now and i’ll give them some feedback on what they said, and they go.

00:29:03.480 –> 00:29:11.820
Stacey Graham: really like people took it that way or or you think that could be a problem, and I go Everyone is looking at you.

00:29:12.630 –> 00:29:27.180
Stacey Graham: You set the tone for the culture, you set the tone for the environment, what you’re modeling what your behaviors are doing, everyone is looking up to you on how they should act how they should perform.

00:29:27.630 –> 00:29:41.370
Stacey Graham: In this culture, and I think you know the power in just recognizing that is huge that everyone it’s like being a parent right like your kids are looking up to you.

00:29:41.940 –> 00:29:51.570
Stacey Graham: For like what to do and how to behave and so whatever you’re modeling as a parent whatever you’re modeling as a leader that’s what people are going to latch on to.

00:29:52.530 –> 00:29:58.560
Jason Mefford: Well it’s interesting that you use that analogy right because, again, we can all think about I mean every family is different.

00:29:59.460 –> 00:30:06.240
Jason Mefford: right but, but as a leader, if you think about effectively like that what kind of a parent, am I, being.

00:30:06.870 –> 00:30:20.700
Jason Mefford: Right and i’ve seen leaders that are abusive leaders, I mean it’s the equivalent of you know, the dad beating up on physically beating up or sexually molesting or doing other stuff I mean i’ve there’s.

00:30:21.630 –> 00:30:30.660
Jason Mefford: What most of us would consider dysfunctional families that are out there, but we also see dysfunctional teams to right.

00:30:31.170 –> 00:30:38.130
Jason Mefford: You Anna and I think part of it, like you said is that that added level of responsibility it’s not just about.

00:30:38.580 –> 00:30:52.860
Jason Mefford: meeting your metrics getting the shit done that you’ve got to get done but it’s also about developing and nurturing your teams as well right and we already know as a parent right we both have kids.

00:30:54.900 –> 00:30:56.610
Jason Mefford: They don’t come with an owner’s manual.

00:30:57.690 –> 00:31:07.230
Jason Mefford: yeah and each one of them is different right but but as leaders, I see so many leaders to that try to treat everyone exactly the same.

00:31:07.620 –> 00:31:12.390
Jason Mefford: Right yeah try to parent each of your kids exactly the same and see where that gets you.

00:31:12.900 –> 00:31:16.770
Stacey Graham: Exactly exactly one of the best pieces of advice I got.

00:31:17.970 –> 00:31:32.970
Stacey Graham: From a leader, I remember, I was starting another situation, where I was starting a new role, I had a one on one with him and I remember him asking me like how it’s going like the ultimate question right how’s it going good.

00:31:34.320 –> 00:31:50.130
Stacey Graham: And so I spent probably 2030 minutes word vomiting all the things I was stressed out about and now i’m not learning quick enough and I need to know this and I need my skill set here, and you know all kinds of stuff that I felt like I needed to know yesterday.

00:31:51.180 –> 00:32:04.140
Stacey Graham: And he listens like a really good leader right, so he listened and, at the end of it, he asked me if he could give me some advice and I was like yes, yes.

00:32:06.240 –> 00:32:08.580
Stacey Graham: And he goes Stacy.

00:32:09.660 –> 00:32:11.370
Stacey Graham: Just care for people.

00:32:12.780 –> 00:32:16.710
Stacey Graham: Just care for people and the rest will fall into place.

00:32:17.760 –> 00:32:26.340
Stacey Graham: The metrics will fall into place, everything is going to fall into place just care for people see how you can help them.

00:32:27.360 –> 00:32:38.580
Stacey Graham: And I remember that felt like I mean I just felt like a ton of bricks fell off my shoulders and I walked away from that going holy shit is it that easy.

00:32:39.300 –> 00:32:53.610
Stacey Graham: Like I can do that, like I care for people absolutely you know, and it was that was another very pivotal point in my leadership journey, where it was almost like it was almost like he gave me permission to be myself.

00:32:55.170 –> 00:33:06.750
Stacey Graham: You know, and to because I love getting to know people I love helping people with things and getting to know what makes them tick and getting to know them, you know, on a personal level two and.

00:33:07.980 –> 00:33:13.290
Stacey Graham: That just it felt like such a relief, and so I feel like with leaders.

00:33:14.640 –> 00:33:28.230
Stacey Graham: care for your people and care can look so many different ways right like caring about them as people outside of work, I mean Do you know what your team members kids names are.

00:33:29.250 –> 00:33:38.640
Stacey Graham: Do you know if they have hobbies outside of work that stuff matters like you don’t need to be best friends right with everyone that reports to you.

00:33:39.210 –> 00:34:00.660
Stacey Graham: But get to know your team as people that fosters that connection, you know and it’s it in order for it to be genuine that requires the leader to be vulnerable and also share things about themselves, personally, because anyone can see through the bullshit like let me get to know you.

00:34:02.820 –> 00:34:03.330
Stacey Graham: Right.

00:34:05.070 –> 00:34:08.730
Jason Mefford: yeah there’s there’s an authentic way and there’s the bullshit way.

00:34:09.360 –> 00:34:20.700
Stacey Graham: Is there and and everyone can feel that everyone knows that, like and I hate to you know take this example, this one that popped in my head like if I walk into the bank sometimes.

00:34:21.300 –> 00:34:30.060
Stacey Graham: And they asked me like oh like how’s your day going how’s this and, like it, it just feels so scripted to me like do they really care I don’t know.

00:34:30.660 –> 00:34:41.490
Stacey Graham: Or is it just part of what they’re supposed to do, I don’t know but, but there is there’s a big difference between authentic connection, which requires that shared vulnerability.

00:34:42.570 –> 00:34:46.650
Stacey Graham: But that is part of carrying it is getting to know your people because.

00:34:47.460 –> 00:34:59.400
Stacey Graham: When you have a healthy culture, and you can foster an environment where people can be themselves, they can feel like they belong on a team right that’s where you get.

00:34:59.910 –> 00:35:11.430
Stacey Graham: People all of a sudden sharing more ideas, all of a sudden they’re speaking up more meetings they’re giving creative innovative solutions to things like, how do you how do you cultivate.

00:35:11.910 –> 00:35:22.230
Stacey Graham: That environment that allows people to bloom and share their own talents and I think so much of that is connection.

00:35:23.460 –> 00:35:36.540
Jason Mefford: Well let’s go down that path, a little bit, because I think one of the myths, or at least you know what i’ve seen i’m old enough now that i’ve kind of seen how we used to do business, how we do business now.

00:35:37.740 –> 00:35:51.600
Jason Mefford: And so I can I can just hear people that are listening, maybe pushing back a little bit and saying no no right in today’s environment, we really have to keep business and personal separate.

00:35:52.140 –> 00:35:58.170
Jason Mefford: Because you know I can’t tell an off color joke, because that might be construed as sexual harassment.

00:35:58.680 –> 00:36:09.240
Jason Mefford: I can’t get to know somebody because I might find out some information about them that i’m not supposed to know or you know I can’t do my job right.

00:36:09.960 –> 00:36:22.170
Jason Mefford: If I feel emotionally attached to the people that I work with right, because how can I be a leader, you know and bring the hammer down on somebody if they’re not performing.

00:36:22.680 –> 00:36:29.370
Jason Mefford: You know if if I actually care about him as a human being right i’m not supposed to do that at work.

00:36:30.000 –> 00:36:46.980
Jason Mefford: And it feels like, especially the last you know 510 years, maybe even starting back 20 years ago we’ve started swinging the pendulum right to where now and i’ve talked with this with other friends that I have it just.

00:36:48.300 –> 00:36:53.160
Jason Mefford: It feels like corporate America is so sterile.

00:36:54.780 –> 00:37:02.670
Jason Mefford: Right like you know you got to be really careful about you can’t say this you can’t say that you can’t you know sort of a thing to to where it feels like.

00:37:04.050 –> 00:37:11.880
Jason Mefford: Some leaders just don’t want to deal with any of the emotion, because I think they’re afraid they’re going to get themselves in trouble.

00:37:12.330 –> 00:37:15.690
Jason Mefford: Right so there’s there’s that one side i’m afraid i’m gonna get myself in trouble.

00:37:16.110 –> 00:37:29.280
Jason Mefford: there’s the other side of I have no fucking clue how to actually do this and and how to be emotional how to have those authentic connections I don’t know how to do that right, so you got you got people kind of on both both scales there so.

00:37:30.360 –> 00:37:33.510
Jason Mefford: But it sounds like the best leaders are the ones who actually do it.

00:37:33.750 –> 00:37:44.460
Stacey Graham: They are they are and and you know sure yeah you don’t want to be telling you know this off color jokes but I guarantee you everyone has met a stranger for the first time.

00:37:46.410 –> 00:37:55.440
Stacey Graham: Right like, how do you connect with a new friend outside of work, you know, have you had any sort of experience, where you’ve met someone new.

00:37:56.040 –> 00:38:03.120
Stacey Graham: For the first time, and how do you get to know them, how can you apply some of you know, rather than being fearful of the.

00:38:03.780 –> 00:38:10.830
Stacey Graham: You know the implications of you know the rules we have in place which by the way, they’re there for a reason, they should be there for a reason.

00:38:11.580 –> 00:38:22.680
Stacey Graham: But there are things you can do to create connection, and I think that really requires courage and bravery from the leader to take the first step.

00:38:25.320 –> 00:38:34.470
Jason Mefford: yeah because that’s, the only way that it’s actually an account right it’s a live the leader has to be willing to take the first step, we have to give first.

00:38:35.760 –> 00:38:43.980
Jason Mefford: Because that’s what’s interesting is you know, maybe kind of back to that authentic versus bullshit getting to know people right.

00:38:44.670 –> 00:38:53.760
Jason Mefford: Is you know and it works this way under the principles of influence and everything to right where there’s reciprocity, but reciprocity means you got to give first.

00:38:54.330 –> 00:38:56.550
Jason Mefford: So if I want to get to know you.

00:38:56.880 –> 00:39:10.800
Jason Mefford: Right, I have to feel comfortable or have the courage to probably share something about myself before I ask you to share right.

00:39:11.250 –> 00:39:21.090
Stacey Graham: that’s that’s true, it is, and I think you know, even if we should absolutely I mean, yes, we can certainly go down that path, and I, yes I.

00:39:21.450 –> 00:39:29.100
Stacey Graham: Ultimately, believe that it is up to the leader to be that courageous model and model that behavior.

00:39:29.850 –> 00:39:47.310
Stacey Graham: But you don’t need to get like super touchy feely with this stuff either I mean some of this can start with those famous three words I don’t know I mean I have seen i’ve kind of experimented with some of this stuff with various leaders over the years and.

00:39:48.390 –> 00:39:55.050
Stacey Graham: started just being a lot more transparent, if I don’t know something.

00:39:56.340 –> 00:40:10.620
Stacey Graham: admitting it and it’s really interesting because even something as simple as that and sharing that with them well you know, the next time I have a conversation with them all of a sudden her little bit more open to.

00:40:12.240 –> 00:40:14.820
Stacey Graham: You know, and I had, I had a situation.

00:40:16.440 –> 00:40:29.430
Stacey Graham: A couple months ago, where I intentionally started being a lot more open, with a particular leader that i’m building a relationship with.

00:40:29.820 –> 00:40:48.720
Stacey Graham: And I shared with him, you know, so my concerns and the things you know I don’t know yet and just in general, just tried to be very like authentic and open about you know various things at work, and I remember, we were going to have a call that was.

00:40:49.740 –> 00:41:01.500
Stacey Graham: You know, somewhat contentious potentially and out of the blue, he texted me and says i’m really worried about this call.

00:41:02.910 –> 00:41:18.000
Stacey Graham: And there is no way that he would have admitted that or shared that with me, six months ago if I hadn’t first taken the steps to me personally being way more vulnerable with this person.

00:41:18.810 –> 00:41:26.790
Stacey Graham: And so, by mean modeling that like hey I don’t know I have things to learn like here’s where i’m kind of struggling.

00:41:27.270 –> 00:41:36.240
Stacey Graham: That then gave him permission to reciprocate that with me and now that relationship with this person is so much stronger.

00:41:36.660 –> 00:41:47.640
Stacey Graham: than it’s ever been I feel like before making those steps both of us were pretty closed off it was kind of like yeah i’m i’m great i’m good like everything’s fine we’re fine good.

00:41:48.360 –> 00:41:54.660
Stacey Graham: And, but now you know, because both of us are choosing right we’re choosing to be more open about things.

00:41:55.560 –> 00:42:01.440
Stacey Graham: It is so the relationship is just so much better and because the relationship is better.

00:42:01.710 –> 00:42:08.280
Stacey Graham: Now we can bring things to the table that would have felt awkward or weird or he wouldn’t have wanted to admit before.

00:42:08.490 –> 00:42:15.810
Stacey Graham: And if we’re bringing those things to the table that’s making our team better it’s making the organization better it’s making us be able to ultimately.

00:42:16.290 –> 00:42:26.850
Stacey Graham: serve people in the way that we want to serve people so by taking that chance, by taking that step of courageous action to admit, something you don’t know.

00:42:28.260 –> 00:42:34.350
Stacey Graham: That is that is ultimately what creates that shared learning and that growth and and culture and the team.

00:42:36.270 –> 00:42:48.990
Jason Mefford: yeah but it takes it takes the Leader actually having the courage to do something to begin with, and like you said, I mean that’s what this example that you just gave this has been a six month process.

00:42:49.110 –> 00:42:49.650
Stacey Graham: mm hmm.

00:42:50.010 –> 00:43:01.260
Jason Mefford: Right, so I think this is another thing for people to realize right, sometimes I mean almost everything in our life we can take a pill, we can you know, we want the immediate you know Amazon next day delivery.

00:43:01.680 –> 00:43:10.380
Jason Mefford: sort of thing but, but while we’re talking about anything that is valuable for the long term, takes a longer term to develop.

00:43:10.560 –> 00:43:11.400
Jason Mefford: As well right.

00:43:12.480 –> 00:43:19.860
Jason Mefford: And it’s almost kind of like a courting if you will right, I mean you know same thing is like if you’re you know out courting.

00:43:20.730 –> 00:43:32.370
Jason Mefford: You know, dating people to maybe be being a long term relationship you’re not going to know everything you need to or have the kind of relationship after the first date to get married.

00:43:32.880 –> 00:43:42.420
Jason Mefford: Right it just doesn’t happen that way right but you’ve got to you’ve got to do things in time, you know, for you to be able to to get to that point.

00:43:43.050 –> 00:43:51.510
Stacey Graham: It does yeah those relationships, they do take time and that’s you know kind of the interesting part about doing all this work to is wanting.

00:43:51.870 –> 00:44:00.480
Stacey Graham: You know that immediate connection and just wanting things to be you know, at a certain level and it just takes time that’s part of building relationships that’s part of you know if.

00:44:00.870 –> 00:44:08.850
Stacey Graham: You were to ask someone, you know how long they’ve known their best friend, you know it’s probably years right like I don’t think they were a best friend on day one.

00:44:09.210 –> 00:44:11.610
Stacey Graham: Right like they probably saw like a spark.

00:44:11.790 –> 00:44:20.490
Stacey Graham: In the other person that you know they felt drawn to and that you know, over time, that relationship bill and the authenticity and transparency.

00:44:20.880 –> 00:44:23.700
Stacey Graham: You know, became part of you know that relationship, but.

00:44:24.120 –> 00:44:35.100
Stacey Graham: No it’s not something that happens immediately and that’s why to me that’s why it’s so important for leaders to be intentional with building opportunities for connection with their teams.

00:44:35.550 –> 00:44:45.630
Stacey Graham: If you’re not intentional about how to create that connection it’s not going to happen it’s too easy to just be busy there’s always more work to do.

00:44:46.890 –> 00:44:55.050
Stacey Graham: There will always be something else to be done no one’s to do list has ever done in work, but how can you be intentional about carving out the time.

00:44:55.710 –> 00:45:06.630
Stacey Graham: Just to shoot the shit with people, especially in a world right now, where everyone’s so remote, you know I remember you know being on a team, where we were literally all in the same room.

00:45:07.410 –> 00:45:20.880
Stacey Graham: It was a big room there’s like you know, half a dozen desks or so and we would all come in and we would talk about our work and we build connection we talked about our weekends that’s gone now.

00:45:21.870 –> 00:45:31.050
Stacey Graham: With a lot of people’s work with code and all the you know changes that have happened in the workforce those environments are few and far between now.

00:45:31.560 –> 00:45:40.500
Stacey Graham: So how do you how can you as a leader still facilitate that connection those you know i’ll use my official term shoot the shit moments, you know how.

00:45:40.710 –> 00:45:42.180
Jason Mefford: It is an official term, by the way.

00:45:43.770 –> 00:45:56.970
Stacey Graham: How can you be intentional with that connection, because it is so critical, it is so critical to just carve out that time to just give someone a call without the intention of asking them to do something right.

00:45:57.630 –> 00:46:05.400
Jason Mefford: But that’s The important thing to write is it’s like is is, and I can tell that from business and personal relationships to write is it’s like.

00:46:05.820 –> 00:46:13.080
Jason Mefford: If somebody just reaches out they don’t know me and they’re asking for something, the first time they contact me it ain’t gonna happen right.

00:46:13.590 –> 00:46:29.340
Jason Mefford: Or if you haven’t talked to me in five years, and all of a sudden, even if we had a great relationship before, but all of a sudden, you reach out and need something from me, you know i’m not being an asshole by saying no but it’s like I feel like i’m being used.

00:46:29.940 –> 00:46:33.060
Jason Mefford: And anybody would feel like they’re being used.

00:46:33.480 –> 00:46:42.420
Jason Mefford: If you haven’t developed that relationship before you have to have an ass right that’s why I, like the analogy of the I you call it the emotional bank account.

00:46:42.810 –> 00:46:52.770
Jason Mefford: Right, the chicken us with relationships any relationship right and every little thing you do is like you’re adding coin to that emotional piggy bank.

00:46:53.460 –> 00:47:00.720
Jason Mefford: And because at certain points are going to have withdrawals you’re going to do something that pisses the other person off it’s going to take away some of that right.

00:47:01.200 –> 00:47:11.010
Jason Mefford: But it’s those little things that you’re going to be doing that you’re intentional about doing, giving them a phone call saying hey I just you know.

00:47:11.430 –> 00:47:17.040
Jason Mefford: How did, how did your daughter do it or soccer tournament I know you mentioned that she you know you guys were going.

00:47:17.520 –> 00:47:29.670
Jason Mefford: You know up North you know for a soccer tournament this weekend it’s the little things like that that when you pick up it actually shows people that you are listening and you do actually care about them.

00:47:29.970 –> 00:47:37.770
Stacey Graham: it’s so important, I mean and stuff like that takes five minutes you know I remember you know another story here.

00:47:39.360 –> 00:47:57.030
Stacey Graham: I had a boss ones who you know, as I was kind of getting my feet wet on his team, I remember he called me just on his commute into work he called me, you know, once a week, maybe twice at the beginning and just said how you doing.

00:47:58.200 –> 00:48:08.700
Stacey Graham: There was no, you know secret message behind it about Oh, I need this done by X or do this or whatever like he literally honestly just cared for me.

00:48:09.570 –> 00:48:15.030
Stacey Graham: And that’s it and that meant, so much so much that I would get these random calls.

00:48:15.420 –> 00:48:25.620
Stacey Graham: I mean, maybe they were a minute long maybe they were two minutes, it did not take much effort at all on his part, but it meant the world to me because it felt like oh.

00:48:26.520 –> 00:48:36.270
Stacey Graham: Like he cares about me like this person cares that i’m doing okay as i’m starting something new and difficult or you know, even if, even if I wasn’t new on the team.

00:48:36.840 –> 00:48:43.860
Stacey Graham: You know just reaching out to check in and say hey just want to say i’m things are going, you need anything, how can I support yeah.

00:48:44.970 –> 00:48:45.390
Jason Mefford: well.

00:48:45.450 –> 00:48:54.900
Jason Mefford: In so let’s let’s flip it around a little bit right because you’re sharing that example and again i’m guessing that with somebody that you work for somebody that was in a leadership role above you.

00:48:55.020 –> 00:48:55.380

00:48:57.030 –> 00:49:04.650
Jason Mefford: The fact that you know he called you how did that make you act differently, as an employee working for that person.

00:49:05.400 –> 00:49:07.650
Stacey Graham: Oh that’s a great question yeah I mean that.

00:49:07.890 –> 00:49:11.670
Jason Mefford: Because we’re usually always talking from the Leader down about you, but let’s.

00:49:11.970 –> 00:49:21.990
Jason Mefford: let’s talk the experience back up right that those couple of minutes that that that leader was investing What did it mean for how you showed up as an employee.

00:49:22.890 –> 00:49:28.920
Stacey Graham: I mean it made me show up honestly more courageously more confident because I knew that he had my back.

00:49:30.000 –> 00:49:41.280
Stacey Graham: And so it made me feel like oh like cool like i’m not alone like on this island like I have support if I need it, you know i’m have a phone a friend right.

00:49:42.690 –> 00:49:55.980
Stacey Graham: But it made me also like motivated to get up to speed as quickly as I can write it made me motivated to want to like tell them about my wins the next time I got like a random call from him about something.

00:49:56.430 –> 00:50:08.040
Stacey Graham: You know, rather than me using his time for me to like ask questions about something and I know like I was now turning it into like oh cool Okay, so what can I show him, but I learned.

00:50:08.670 –> 00:50:20.970
Stacey Graham: You know, like what can I, what can I share with him and and to me like that just felt so huge especially being on a team where geographically were dispersed.

00:50:21.060 –> 00:50:22.140
Stacey Graham: all over the place.

00:50:22.410 –> 00:50:34.560
Stacey Graham: And so I didn’t see people physically very often and it’s easy to get that mentality of feeling alone and feeling like well shit does any of this even matter does anyone care.

00:50:35.730 –> 00:50:44.160
Stacey Graham: You know, and so by by those one or two minutes like literally one or two minutes, maybe once a week, maybe twice a week that he would spend with me.

00:50:44.700 –> 00:50:59.640
Stacey Graham: That was enough to light a spark for me and make me want to learn more be more show up and really just served in the best capacity I could because I knew that I was supported and I knew that it was appreciate I knew he cared.

00:51:01.260 –> 00:51:11.910
Jason Mefford: yeah so for everybody listening right, some of you may be going I don’t know if it’s worth that minute or two did just hear how Stacy lit up when she talked about that boss.

00:51:12.570 –> 00:51:21.240
Jason Mefford: You know, was it worth a few minutes, was it worth being intentional, was it worth you know developing that relationship over time.

00:51:22.290 –> 00:51:33.060
Jason Mefford: yeah and you can just hear from her voice right, and I mean I know i’ve worked for people that I just loved I thought the world of I would I would die for that person.

00:51:33.690 –> 00:51:46.320
Jason Mefford: there’s other people I work for asshole bitch whatever you want to you know good riddance if they drop dead next to me, I would be happy right, in fact, a few people I worked for actually had some.

00:51:48.840 –> 00:51:54.510
Jason Mefford: Not good thoughts about how they would drop down next to me, and you know anyway.

00:51:56.130 –> 00:52:03.330
Jason Mefford: So you can see the difference right, but again it’s it’s about us being courageous authentic being intentional actually you know.

00:52:03.810 –> 00:52:11.490
Jason Mefford: doing some of these things, and I know you know, one of the words that you use at the beginning, when we started talking was coaching.

00:52:12.480 –> 00:52:19.020
Jason Mefford: And I know probably a lot of people that are listening, you and I are both coaches, you know, been trained That way we kind of.

00:52:19.560 –> 00:52:36.870
Jason Mefford: understand what it is, but, most people don’t so maybe if you can give kind of a little tips or just kind of explain a little bit, what does it look like when a leader is actually you know, being a coach instead of just telling people what to do.

00:52:38.070 –> 00:52:57.930
Stacey Graham: Well, I think you hit the nail on the head with that last door and telling right, so one of the biggest differences, I see in coaching coaching is about asking not telling it’s about figuring out the right open ended questions to get people out of their own way.

00:52:58.950 –> 00:53:00.720
Stacey Graham: it’s about getting them to think.

00:53:01.800 –> 00:53:02.940
Stacey Graham: Think through.

00:53:03.990 –> 00:53:12.630
Stacey Graham: Their problems where they are now where they want to be one of the best tools that i’ve ever learned was around kata coaching.

00:53:13.320 –> 00:53:36.210
Stacey Graham: And my my mentor Ken polone introduced me to this years ago and it is such an amazing simple tool to help develop your team to coach your team into becoming independent problem solvers, and so what this kata coaching there’s a little card actually used to attach to my badge.

00:53:36.720 –> 00:53:39.960
Jason Mefford: So it’s like seo seo ta or how do you spell it so if people.

00:53:40.260 –> 00:53:42.450
Stacey Graham: At a and if you.

00:53:42.480 –> 00:53:43.590
Jason Mefford: Google today.

00:53:43.890 –> 00:53:46.290
Stacey Graham: there’s plenty out there on Google.

00:53:48.510 –> 00:53:55.050
Stacey Graham: The name of the gentleman who came up with this is escaping my mind, right now, but you can see it on the on the.

00:53:55.410 –> 00:54:07.770
Stacey Graham: right there oh I oh it’s Mike rother actually comes from like rother but this tool is really we put it on our badge card, and when we developed in the last row I had we developed this leadership transformation Program.

00:54:10.200 –> 00:54:27.450
Stacey Graham: And one of the things we had folks do is kind of going back to what we were talking about at the beginning of this where we were looking at continuous improvement so as we improve as an organization implement projects to improve operations, how come they’re not sustained.

00:54:28.500 –> 00:54:39.480
Stacey Graham: Okay, so that’s one of kind of the key issues with any sort of improvement, work is that sustainability when we did an analysis on that we figured out well gee we’re not giving leaders.

00:54:40.020 –> 00:54:50.130
Stacey Graham: The skill sets to even know has the state improvements So how do we expect them to be able to do that, and so one of the things that came out of this was using this kind of coaching card.

00:54:50.790 –> 00:55:01.860
Stacey Graham: And what it essentially does and how we helped coach leaders on this is when someone comes to you with a problem, one of your team members someone who reports to you.

00:55:02.640 –> 00:55:11.100
Stacey Graham: What you can do, then, instead of taking instead of taking the monkey off their back and saying Oh, I will take your problem, I will save the day and all that for you.

00:55:12.120 –> 00:55:12.960
Stacey Graham: Rather.

00:55:13.410 –> 00:55:15.420
Jason Mefford: The monkey is scratching your eyes.

00:55:16.620 –> 00:55:18.780
Stacey Graham: And it’s fighting with the other monkey’s from the other.

00:55:21.780 –> 00:55:29.880
Stacey Graham: But what you can do, and we have folks be intentionally transparent with this we had them pull out their little badge card and say.

00:55:30.840 –> 00:55:48.300
Stacey Graham: I am trying to become a better leader i’m trying to grow too so i’m going to ask you a series of questions to help you solve this, and so what they would do is they would pull this out and this card has a series of questions that basically has folks think through where are they now.

00:55:49.320 –> 00:55:50.610
Stacey Graham: Where do they want to be.

00:55:51.900 –> 00:56:05.400
Stacey Graham: What have you tried what obstacles are getting you to where you want to be, and really kind of having that reflection around experimentation right, so if you’ve heard the terminology plan do check act.

00:56:05.520 –> 00:56:17.550
Stacey Graham: Like kind of the lean world and really that this card is laying out that problem solving methodology and so what that that enabled leaders to do is they were no longer taking the monkey.

00:56:18.180 –> 00:56:24.720
Stacey Graham: And they were also developing their people and giving them permission to solve problems on their own.

00:56:25.200 –> 00:56:35.520
Stacey Graham: And that’s a huge difference, I feel like in a lot of our culture, we talked about how in years past, it was very much like command and control do what I tell you to do and now that’s turned more.

00:56:36.030 –> 00:56:42.600
Stacey Graham: On and so now, this is kind of giving folks that ability to say how do we develop our people.

00:56:43.500 –> 00:56:49.230
Stacey Graham: To trust and to try things, how do we let them try experimentation within guardrails.

00:56:49.800 –> 00:56:57.930
Stacey Graham: And so, this card enabled people to become independent problem solvers gave them permission to try things they didn’t have to go to their leader and say.

00:56:58.170 –> 00:57:04.740
Stacey Graham: You know miss Mr so and so can I try this thing it was like yeah I expect you to go try it and let me know how it went like.

00:57:05.100 –> 00:57:10.890
Stacey Graham: you’re a fully functioning independent mental and you know I trust you within the guardrails that you know.

00:57:11.340 –> 00:57:18.840
Stacey Graham: i’ve developed that you can figure this stuff out on your own, and so it was really funny because I remember when we first started using this card with leaders.

00:57:19.260 –> 00:57:27.180
Stacey Graham: They would take it out and you would get these folks coming up to them with a problem, it was kind of like you know elbow to elbow coaching at this point.

00:57:27.840 –> 00:57:35.160
Stacey Graham: You would get folks coming up to them with a problem, and they would start pulling out their card and the direct report the team Member be like ah.

00:57:35.550 –> 00:57:36.000
Jason Mefford: I know what.

00:57:36.990 –> 00:57:43.380
Stacey Graham: They knew and they hated it they hated it because it’s a lot easier right to just pass along the problem.

00:57:44.700 –> 00:57:46.770
Stacey Graham: But it’s also not developing their skill set.

00:57:47.790 –> 00:57:55.980
Stacey Graham: And so it was funny you had a lot of grumbling at the beginning, as you kind of had these conversations and and helped coach people through it talk through it right.

00:57:56.460 –> 00:58:08.790
Stacey Graham: This is not just about asking the questions it’s also about you know, having the dialogue with them around you know what they’ve tried and all that so it’s not you know Sara Lee asking questions and walking away, but what was so.

00:58:09.180 –> 00:58:11.550
Jason Mefford: Do you have to read the questions in monotone to.

00:58:11.910 –> 00:58:13.110
Stacey Graham: yeah totally.

00:58:16.860 –> 00:58:24.600
Stacey Graham: But what was funny about this experiment is when I was working with this particular leader, she would pull out this card, you know at the beginning of all this.

00:58:24.930 –> 00:58:38.130
Stacey Graham: We did this for about a year and her folks would grumble for a while and then we, the next progression, we saw is which you pull up the card, and they would start answering the questions as they’re walking up to her.

00:58:38.580 –> 00:58:45.690
Stacey Graham: Well, creation here’s where I want to be, this is what i’ve tried this is where i’m stuck, and that is where the Leader comes into play.

00:58:46.500 –> 00:58:55.320
Stacey Graham: If there’s a barrier that you know the direct report the team Member can’t resolve and absolutely let’s get the leader in there if it’s something out of control of the direct report.

00:58:55.920 –> 00:58:59.520
Stacey Graham: But until that point like let’s try and see what you can note on your own.

00:58:59.910 –> 00:59:05.220
Stacey Graham: And then, it was so funny it got to the point where she didn’t even like really have to pull the card out like people would come up to her and be like.

00:59:05.610 –> 00:59:14.790
Stacey Graham: Oh so and so just wanted to let you know I had this issue yesterday, this is where we’re at this very one be this is what I try and network, so I did that, and it was almost just like.

00:59:14.850 –> 00:59:15.630
An update.

00:59:16.770 –> 00:59:19.350
Stacey Graham: yeah like okay great good job.

00:59:20.370 –> 00:59:32.580
Stacey Graham: And it was like the coolest thing because you saw you know this leader get unloaded from all these problems that she was taking on from her direct reports, and then you saw the growth and development from our TEAM members.

00:59:33.030 –> 00:59:40.530
Stacey Graham: into figuring stuff out on their own solving it on their own and being proud of the contribution they’re making to make their team better.

00:59:42.090 –> 00:59:45.420
Jason Mefford: Well, I think that this this credit card to is is a great.

00:59:46.560 –> 00:59:55.140
Jason Mefford: example you know because, again we kind of started off talking about a lot of times leaders get thrown into this they’ve got a technical background, but they don’t have some of the.

00:59:55.530 –> 01:00:06.900
Jason Mefford: What I like to call tools right because I grew up on a construction site so i’m very familiar with hand, you know with hammers and you know different stuff like that, and I think most of us.

01:00:07.590 –> 01:00:19.920
Jason Mefford: are familiar with that and realize the importance of tools when we’re trying to do a project, but we don’t realize that we don’t have tools.

01:00:20.640 –> 01:00:30.780
Jason Mefford: In our toolbox as a leader so giving people tools, like a credit card right is a way that now those people can actually.

01:00:31.230 –> 01:00:35.550
Jason Mefford: I got a tool right somebody comes up, and I can kind of go through, and in remember.

01:00:36.090 –> 01:00:43.590
Jason Mefford: how to do it, the more you do it, the more you get used to it, you don’t have to look at it anymore, I mean this is the example you just share right.

01:00:44.190 –> 01:01:00.270
Jason Mefford: But, but without having tools like that you’re just kind of stuck right, and I think that’s what you’re you’re doing more and more of is actually helping give people, some of these tools yeah.

01:01:00.540 –> 01:01:04.110
Stacey Graham: give them some of the tools, help them it get clear and to me.

01:01:06.210 –> 01:01:19.650
Stacey Graham: To me, you know kind of going back to that statement around caring for your people caring for your people to me kind of falls into two buckets one way, you can be clear.

01:01:20.310 –> 01:01:32.550
Stacey Graham: Is or i’m sorry to care for people is to be clear on things, so you care for people they by being clear by building connection by building the culture, you want, for your people to thrive.

01:01:33.150 –> 01:01:39.510
Stacey Graham: and foster that innovation and creativity so that’s kind of the one bucket of carry the other bucket of carrying.

01:01:39.930 –> 01:01:48.990
Stacey Graham: Is stuff like the tools okay so it’s being clear on how how they can specifically do that it’s it’s giving people a vision.

01:01:49.380 –> 01:01:57.810
Stacey Graham: being clear on what your strategy is where you’re going where you know why you’re going there where you’re going there and how they contribute to that vision.

01:01:58.770 –> 01:02:06.150
Stacey Graham: You know strategy is such a key part of what I work with leaders on to because, ultimately, if you don’t have vision.

01:02:06.660 –> 01:02:13.050
Stacey Graham: Then, how are you all going to align on what the right work is to accomplish what you want to accomplish.

01:02:13.560 –> 01:02:22.800
Stacey Graham: And so, part of the things that come into caring for people in the context of strategy and vision is creating some of those structures and processes.

01:02:23.070 –> 01:02:32.490
Stacey Graham: To help make clear what it is, people are contributing to and how they fit into this this picture of this team or this enterprise, whatever it is.

01:02:32.970 –> 01:02:43.050
Stacey Graham: So caring for people involves creating that intentional culture, creating that connection, but then also developing that strategy that vision.

01:02:43.350 –> 01:02:57.210
Stacey Graham: And the structures and processes that a lot of people roll their eyes out but it’s such a key part of caring for people going back to what we’re talking about with expectations processes and structure, create those clear expectations.

01:02:58.530 –> 01:03:02.460
Jason Mefford: Well it’s interesting because, as you as you were kind of summarizing there at the end kind of what it.

01:03:03.660 –> 01:03:10.830
Jason Mefford: What it means to you actually for a leader to be caring and the things that that kind of fall under that you know again.

01:03:11.580 –> 01:03:19.110
Jason Mefford: Going back to kind of what I may reference to before about like the reasons why people leave jobs are the reasons why people stay in jobs.

01:03:19.620 –> 01:03:25.920
Jason Mefford: You know another one is I don’t know where I fit into this I don’t see how what i’m doing helps the bigger picture.

01:03:26.370 –> 01:03:34.590
Jason Mefford: that’s again part of your vision and strategies another one is I don’t feel like I have what I need to be successful there’s some of the tools right.

01:03:35.430 –> 01:03:46.200
Jason Mefford: You know i’m not i’m not sure what expectations people have of me or I don’t have good communication as to what’s actually going on right, these are all reasons why people quit jobs.

01:03:46.620 –> 01:03:55.650
Jason Mefford: yeah right and and you know, again, most people think it’s money it ain’t money for why people leave jobs it’s all of these other things and exactly.

01:03:56.070 –> 01:04:05.880
Jason Mefford: What we’ve been talking about now for almost an hour is just as simple as you know, that person told you just care for people.

01:04:06.660 –> 01:04:17.820
Jason Mefford: Just care for people and you’ve kind of got a roadmap now of what that actually looks like and again it’s not you know, giving everybody hugs and singing kumbaya.

01:04:18.210 –> 01:04:25.620
Jason Mefford: Okay, that might be relevant for some people, but other people it’s not right or may not be appropriate in the environment that you’re in.

01:04:26.490 –> 01:04:43.770
Jason Mefford: But there are still ways that you can be intentional and care about other people as a human being, see other people as a human being treat other people as a human being and when you do it sounds like that’s really kind of the recipe of great leaders that you’ve seen.

01:04:44.400 –> 01:04:50.430
Jason Mefford: And again you’ve been in lots of industries right, so it doesn’t matter aerospace manufacturing healthcare.

01:04:51.000 –> 01:05:01.290
Jason Mefford: All of these things sounds like right so correct me if i’m wrong, but what i’m gathering from you is, these are all characteristics of great leaders.

01:05:02.100 –> 01:05:12.180
Jason Mefford: Regardless of what level, you are in an organization, regardless of what industry you’re in probably even regardless if you run your own business right if you’re the owner.

01:05:13.050 –> 01:05:22.020
Jason Mefford: And even probably some of the same things that we should be using in our personal relationships and with our children and other relationships with family and friends too.

01:05:22.500 –> 01:05:30.120
Stacey Graham: Absolutely yeah you hit the nail on the head at the end there, I think, whether you’re in the corporate world, which I know we’ve talked about or you’re an entrepreneur.

01:05:30.450 –> 01:05:42.600
Stacey Graham: You know or your parent, like all this stuff applies, I remember, using the credit card on my one year old just to experiment, I mean there are so many parallels and so much of this boils down to.

01:05:43.140 –> 01:05:54.420
Stacey Graham: Seeing people as human beings and connecting with them as humans being clear on expectations and then using those tools at your disposal to help support them.

01:05:57.150 –> 01:06:06.690
Jason Mefford: Great stuff great stuff and I know, unfortunately I could keep on going for a couple more hours, but we need to you need to get back I need to get back when you let people get back, but.

01:06:07.800 –> 01:06:13.560
Jason Mefford: Stacey, thank you for this and I, and I know, again, I mean you’ve started helping more and more leaders now so again, I mean if.

01:06:14.010 –> 01:06:25.770
Jason Mefford: People listen to this and they’re like man that Stacy I I need to get to know her better how how it, how is it that people can can reach out to you or kind of know what else you’re doing to try to help leaders.

01:06:26.340 –> 01:06:42.720
Stacey Graham: yeah so you can reach out to me i’m on social media so on instagram that’s probably the best way to contact me so my handle is at Stacy s see that’s sta CE E Ly s C.

01:06:43.200 –> 01:06:51.570
Stacey Graham: And from there you’ll see a link in my bio around how to connect with me and we can have a chat and kind of see if we’re a good fit and how I can help you because.

01:06:52.230 –> 01:07:01.320
Stacey Graham: Ultimately, like cash I just look back on all this and i’m like, why did it take me so long to start you know, helping other people beyond what i’m doing now.

01:07:01.530 –> 01:07:09.090
Stacey Graham: there’s just you know 15 plus years of learning all this that i’m just so excited to now finally be helping other people with it’s really.

01:07:09.480 –> 01:07:15.330
Jason Mefford: Well, I know that’s one of the reasons why I, like you, so much too because, like I said, you and I had very.

01:07:15.960 –> 01:07:34.740
Jason Mefford: Similar but different career experiences, where, again, we were throwing in we’ve spent the last you know 15 for you 25 plus for me on just trying to figure this out right and it’s like if we can do anything to help people, so they don’t have to take that long to figure it out.

01:07:36.150 –> 01:07:42.570
Jason Mefford: You can avoid a lot of pain and frustration in your life and, believe me, you i’ve had plenty of that over my career.

01:07:43.140 –> 01:07:54.360
Jason Mefford: And you know there’s there’s things that stacy’s learned that she shared with you today that if you just do them you’re gonna shave years years of time off of your learning curve.

01:07:54.720 –> 01:08:00.000
Stacey Graham: Absolutely yeah it was a pleasure to be here Jason Thank you so much for having me on this.

01:08:00.060 –> 01:08:15.300
Jason Mefford: Thank you Stacy and you know, keep caring for people and seeing people as human beings that’s again, one of the greatest lessons in business and in life in general, so and be authentic yourself, so thank you, thank you, thank you.

01:08:15.630 –> 01:08:16.680
Stacey Graham: Thank you so much.