Getting Sh*t Done with Jason Scott

Reading Time: 26 Minutes

In this episode with author, Jason Scott learn transformational leadership that gets sh*t done!

Takeaways We Learned from Jason…

Discipline is key.

Leaders should not get caught up in the whirlwind and should be intentional about their time.

Work on what creates value.

Leaders should take the time to know for certain that what they are working on creates value and be disciplined about not doing anything that doesn’t create value.

Change vs fail.

People are not afraid of change; they’re afraid of failing.

Try new approaches.

Instead of repeating the same old methods, leaders need to ask themselves how well they’ve worked in the past and be willing to try new approaches.

Be tranparent.

Resetting our expectations and being transparent about change will make team members more willing to go on the journey with us.

Leadership is not power.

Leadership is not about having power over people, it’s about influencing outcomes and enabling teams to be successful.

Leaders should listen.

A leader who actively listens and fosters a partnership with their team creates trust and high performance.

Using authority is not effective.

Motivation through authority is not effective; people need to feel like they are a part of a team and are working together to achieve a shared goal.

Create positive environment.

When a leader creates an environment of trust, partnership, and teamwork, people feel positive, motivated, and empowered to succeed.

About Jason Scott

Jason Scott is a CEO, founder, speaker, author, instructor, and location independent entrepreneur who’s recognized as an expert in transformational leadership that gets sh*t done #GSD. As CEO of 120VC, Jason has spent over 20 years leading global transformational efforts for DirecTV, Trader Joe’s, Blizzard Entertainment, RIOT Games, Sony Pictures, ResMed, AAG, Universal Music Group, Remitly, and others. He is the author of two Amazon- bestselling books It’s Never Just Business: It’s About People and The Irreverent Guide to Project Management, An Agile Approach to Enterprise Project Management.

Jason is one the most sought-after keynote speakers, with 5-star reviews for his unique, people centric and outcome-obsessed approach to change that has generated breakthrough results and created meaningful jobs. His passion to mentor and train a new generation of leaders, led him to start the Transformational Leadership Academy where he leads a 14-week certification program. In 2020, Jason launched the 120 Brand Community, featuring Brick and Matter CO, BAMCO, a brand accelerator transforming how brands can go to market, and Next Jump Outfitters, an overland guide and ecommerce business transforming how people balance work and play as location independent entrepreneur. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, J. Scott is a devoted husband and father of two based out of Tacoma, WA. 

Read the Transcript

Allison: Welcome back to the Deliberate Leaders podcast. I am your host and Executive Business coach Allison Dunn. I am very excited to introduce our guest. Today we have Jason Scott, he is the CEO and founder of 120, VC. He is a speaker, instructor and location independent entrepreneur who is recognized as an expert in the transformational leadership space. He is the author of It’s Never just business, it’s about people, as well as a book, The irreverent guide to project management and agile approach to Enterprise Project Management. Jason, thank you so much for joining us here today.

Jason: 1000. I’m super happy to be here. Like I love your theme, deliberate intention, deliberate leadership. The only way to get anything truly meaningful data in life is requires that we are deliberate. So I’m really excited to see what I learned from you today.

Allison: Awesome. Thank you. I love to kick these off with a deliberate conversation. What would be your number one leadership tip for our listeners?

Jason: Oh, wow. Okay. So the number one tip I think is both good and bad news.

Leadership is all about enabling our stakeholders, our team members, our vendors, our companies to define and deliver the necessary and expected results.

The magic there is, is there’s no magic, there’s no fancy methodology, there’s no religion necessary.

It just requires that people are intentional, meaning that people have a little bit of discipline, to take the time to figure out what the things are, that will move the needle.

It’s really easy for people to get caught up in the whirlwind and the you know, whatever Inc Magazine or Fortune magazine is saying organizations should do, it’s really easy to get up, get caught up in the new process, like, you know, agile, scaled, agile, whatever it is.

But you know, at the end of the day, the vast majority of that is a distraction.

Stop and ask yourself does do the things that we’re working on, improve customer satisfaction, team member satisfaction or profitability?

And by the way, none can be at the expense of the other, you’re definitely not going to improve profitability, if expensive, your team members because they will leave. Same with your customers, right. So you can do one, as long as it’s not at the expense of the others, or you can be working on something that potentially does all three.

And so the where the discipline comes in is that we as leaders can’t just be running from meeting to meeting to meeting to meeting, we can’t get caught up in the world, when we actually have to take time, I am a huge fan of time blocking, I block a few hours a week to stop and think about what our priorities are. And my question always is do these things that we’re working on, accomplish any of those three things. And that’s where the discipline comes in, and the intentionality and so I’m, I’m perfectly happy to stop midstream if we realize that whatever it is that we’re doing doesn’t accomplish those things. So my advice is simply take the time to know for certain that the things that you’re working on are going to create value and then be very disciplined about not doing anything that doesn’t create value.

Allison: Great example and how to actually implement it. I’m just curious if you’re willing to share, have you kind of gone down the road and realize that what you were focused on was not providing the value in what are all three of those areas? Do you have an example of where?

Jason: Oh, my gosh, here’s the thing. Absolutely. Because I was talking this talk long before I was walking this talk, I don’t have a recent example. I because I do practice what I preach. So I do spend the vast majority of my time working with clients to help them do that realize that maybe they’re spending time and so I have a great example, I was sitting in an executive meeting with a C level executive CIO, chief information officer and his direct reports. And they were talking about new ways of working that would enable them to get the better results, the results that they were hoping to get. And one of them the new person on the team who came from a DevOps shop, said, Hey, we should convert our way of working to DevOps. Half of the, you know, there was probably eight people in the meeting, half of the executives were like, Yeah, we should do that. The other half was like, What’s DevOps? Again, it’s another fancy discipline, like agile or Enterprise Project Management, right?

And so I see the excitement, and usually the way that these meetings go, somebody just throws an idea out there and everybody jumps on it like, like, like a dogpile, and an hour goes by and no decisions are made and therefore like all that time gets wasted. So I, my role is to really kind of help keep them focused. So I jumped in and I asked a bunch of questions and got them to acknowledge that this is a very large effort. And the individual that proposed it had his team was an expert in DevOps could implement it for his team, but wasn’t the right person to manage the implementation for the seven other teams.

The CIO in the room ultimately would own this initiative, but it has a full-time job isn’t going to be the project manager. So we talked about, you know how long they thought it would take, they all agreed it would take nine months, that would require that they hire a project manager, it would require that they hire a coach, because it’s not as simple as rolling out the processes, and then just everybody’s masterful suddenly, no, it requires them to be disciplined and intentional, but we need coaches, people to bookmark like, did you do that thing? Did you keep that promise to yourself that you said you were going to keep your promise you’re, you know, to yourself and keeping people on track until they develop the cadence that they need for it to become sort of the new status quo.

And so what it boiled down to was this initiative that they just proposed would cost a half a million dollars would take nine months, we get in the way of doing the other things that they’re already struggling to do, because they don’t have too little to do. And then I asked a very simple question to the CIO. I said, So do you think that this will be game changing needle moving? For your CEO? Is this going to be the thing that’s going to make all the difference? He said, I don’t know. And they did. The best thing that they could do, they parked it. Yeah. Because they had at least 10 things already on the list that they were struggling to get done, that they knew would either increase profitability, customer satisfaction, or team member satisfaction.

Allison: Yeah. Great example. And I can think of dozens of times a day sometimes that that gets the little shiny, shiny squirrel, I guess is what I call them. Right? Shiny new object like, yeah, yeah, that gets in the way. And do you have to quickly decide? Does it do those three things? So great markers. Thank you, Jason. So the what we’re diving into today is obviously one of your books. It’s never just business. It’s about people. Who did you write it for? Tell me a little bit about it so that we can build on that conversation.

Jason: Got, I wrote it for a couple of people.

I owe an apology to my very first leadership team for being a terrible leader. And learning the vast majority of the good leadership traits that I have today at their expense.

Second, I wrote it for all up and coming and existing leaders. Just because success does not make you an excellent leader. And it is possible to motivate outcomes with authority. It’s just that a 30, or 30 is not very motivating. More importantly, you can be in a position where ultimately you get things done, but at what expense, right? Like what wake Are you leaving behind. And so you know, I wish that I had a mentor that could have taught me all of those things without me getting it wrong, and it causing pain and frustration for my team.

So I literally wrote it for everybody else out there that that wanted to be intentional about being a great leader in ensuring that the experience was both about getting things done.

But that acknowledging that we’re, it’s the people getting the things done, you know, people talk about leadership. It’s so popular, which, frankly, is probably the reason I can make a living. But it’s also a little embarrassing that it’s so popular, because what it implies is there’s a void of good leadership out there. And I think the big misses, people often think leadership is about the leader, the individual when it’s not really leadership’s not about us. leaders take organizations on a journey. Nobody hires a leader because they want an organization to be the same in six months or a year. And that journey isn’t the stuff. It isn’t the new policies and procedures.

Organizations are optimized for the results that they’re getting. If an organization wants to get different results, they need the humans in that organization to adopt new ways of working.

The other thing that they need is the humans in the organization to be excited about adopting the new ways of working or they will not know threat of fight, you can’t fire everybody and your company would go out of business and the people subconsciously know this, right? And so leadership is about identifying the new results that we need, figuring out then how we need our people to behave differently to accomplish those results. And then what we might deploy technology to support the human behavior.


But in the end leadership is about helping individuals get comfortable and then masterful.

With new ways of working, and the first obstacle to that is human beings fundamentally want to be successful. And so if I was, if I was to, everybody agrees when I ask that question like, you know, do you do you want it? Nobody ever says, No, I don’t mind. I don’t care. You know, I don’t care if I succeed or not, right?

And so the second I asked somebody to do their jobs differently. They’re like, Okay, fine. And then I love to ask this question. Do you know how to be masterful doing your job differently? And they always look at me like dumbfounded? And the answer is like, no. And I say, I know, and I’m here for you. Right? People say that people are afraid of change, no, they want they want to be successful. And when you ask them to do their jobs differently, they don’t know how to do their jobs differently, and be successful. And so this is the journey that we show up every day to take our stakeholders on.

Allison: Yeah, I like the idea of that people are afraid of change, I think is a new way to look at it. Because I do think like I hear consistently, like, they’re not adopters, they’re not, you know, they’re not leading the change. They’re not willing to make the change. And it’s really they just don’t want to fail.

Right? Yeah. Right. And nobody’s saying, nobody shows up. I very rarely ever hear leader, I have occasionally heard leaders do this, and I ran up, gave him a hug, you know, like, Hey, guys, we’re going to, we’re going to transform, hugely scary word for team members and employees, right, we’re going to transform, we’re all going to learn how to do our jobs differently. And by the way, it is going to be a disaster at first, and that’s okay, we’re going to get through this together, right, like just rip the band aid off, like, there is still this expectation that the executives are like, we’re going to change and you better do it perfectly. And don’t screw anything up.

Like, that’s impossible. Change by its very nature is an experiment, you’re trying to figure out how to get something done successfully. But what you really don’t know. And so it is impossible to ask people to change without screwing something up. So if maybe we were, first of all, reset our expectations, that change means it’s going to get, it’s going to be super disruptive, that things are not going to go smoothly, that it’s going to be frustrating, and it’s going to be hard. That’s our expectation, then we can be transparent about that with our team members, then they would be less afraid, they would definitely be more willing to join in and go on the journey with us.

Allison: I agree. And I also have kind of people talk about change, but then they also talk about the level of trust in change. How can how can the leader instill or empower or build trust amongst their team to evolve and transform in this way?

Jason: Oh, my God. Exactly. So it’s, here’s the funny thing. I spend my career playing the role of Captain Obvious. Okay. So it is it is not infrequent that I’m working with my clients to figure out how to deliver some global transformative change. And the way that they initially want to go about it is exactly the way that they’ve always gone about it. Now pause for a second, why am I there? Because they’re unhappy with the results that they’ve gotten. And so my role, I mean, isn’t to teach them it right. It’s to really be there for them. And so what I do is I ask questions, I say, Okay, this is what I’m hearing you saying you want to do to accomplish this? Is this what you’ve been doing? The answer is yes. And I know it’s yes. Because, you know, generally speaking, I work with a bunch of global companies. And you know, somebody sees it done some way over here. And then it’s time to implement it at their new organization.

So even though it didn’t get great results over here, that’s the model that they have. So they’re going to implement it. So. So my first question always is, how did that go the last time. Right, and then they stop. And they think, Oh, well, it didn’t go great. Well, I knew that that was going to be the answer. So back to answering your question, how do we, how do we, how do we develop the trust so that people will follow us into the unknown? It’s by being realistic, right? Like it’s by being human. It’s by you know, pointing out, Hey, I know I just asked you to do something you don’t know how to do. In fact, I have a great story.

I recently realized that we needed somebody in our organization at 120 vc to be an expert in connection in bringing groups of people together and helping them very quickly connect with each other for the sake of accomplishing something right. I mean, we do this all day long. And I would say that I’m probably today the closest thing in at 120 VC is a connection expert, my team members in varying degrees, but we don’t have one person that ohms this competency, and the I asked her name is Mina. And she is legitimately the most sincerely caring human being that I have ever met in my life. And I thought, God, you’re the perfect, perfect person for this. And so I ran her through what I was thinking. And I said, Do you want to do this? She said, I do. But and I said, but you don’t know how to do it. Right? She said, Yes. I said, I know, how could you. Like, let’s just figure out what our next steps are. And we’ll go, we’ll go through this together. So just, you know, having the emotional intelligence to realize when you present somebody with an opportunity that is perfect for them, and they can’t refuse, but that they’ve never done before. That is both exhilarating and terrifying, right?

So if we could just get out of our own ways and reset our expectations, like, when was the last time you did something you didn’t know how to do flawlessly? So why are we expecting people that work for us or anybody to do that, right, like, and so the leaders job is to say, look, hey, I’m going to be honest with you, I understand what I’m asking you to do. I get it. And you know what, frankly, I’m freaking out a little bit to like to let you know, we’re taught like, Don’t ever let them see you sweat. Yeah, but that’s also the people that wrote that. Don’t ever let them see a sweater. Also, the people that said, don’t take it personally, it’s just business and then did something terrible, you know. And that’s, that’s why my theme is the opposite. It’s never just business. It’s about people. So from that basic premise, like, let’s just be real with each other. Like, the best thing that I can do is say, hey, look, I understand that thing that I’m asking sounds nuts. And I, I don’t know how we’re going to do it. I know, you don’t know how we’re going to do it. But here’s what I know. Together. We’ll, we’ll figure something out. Let’s just get started. And I’m here for you. Yeah, awesome.

Allison: Even in my own organization, like everything you just said, like we’re all in this, you know, we’re trying to do some transformation of our own. And at every level, there’s kind of almost a little bit of a resistance and a discomfort. And it just simply comes down to that we don’t really know how to do it. So we are figuring it out. And so that message super resonates with me right at this moment. Thank you.

Jason: Can I give you another tip on that specifically?

One of the things that I teach my team members and all of my clients is to stay focused on the outcomes.

Now, that’s not at the expense of human beings. Because it’s never just business. It’s always people. However, human beings have a tendency to focus on all of the obstacles. I can’t tell you how often when I have a new idea, and I throw it out there. The first thing and I know it, so I’m cool with it, it used to frustrate me. But now, you know, I learned a trick from a guy named John Mayer, not the singer.

I was in a conference room. And I watched this happen, where he said to these group of really smart people, Hey, we have to do this. And he already had his whiteboard marker, he was standing at the whiteboard, and they start telling him all the reasons that can’t be done. So he writes, obstacles, underline, right. And he starts writing them down. And this goes on for like 10 minutes. And it was like a feeding frenzy. They were so excited that somebody would just let them get it out. Because, you know, frankly, most of us leaders, we don’t want to hear that. Like it’s, it’s, you know, it’s like, Oh, my God, this can’t I have to make this work. And you’re telling me it can’t be done. So we get terrified, and we act badly, right? But he’s just writing it down sort of indulging them. And then it sort of gets quiet. And he goes alright, is that all do we think we have it is it’s all the reasons, this is going to be a total disaster. And they were like, Yeah, and so he erases obstacles, and he writes things we need to come up with solutions for.

Right. And so. So one of the things that happens when humans are trying to figure out how to do something they don’t know how to do is that it feels all of us. daunting. It feels daunting, and this is the thing that trips up most people and this is where the grit comes in. This is where the intentionality comes in. This is where the discipline comes in. Because it’s scary, and it doesn’t feel good. And by the way, you know, there’s successful people out there that look like they have it all together. No Baloney, they suffer from what’s it called? impostor syndrome, just like I do, and everybody else does and the entry level people, right? They’re just good at pretending that it’s cool. Like, you know, I could be in a full on panic attack and you would never know it around a while, right? Um, so the idea is there going to be like, every day inundated with oh, we can’t do that. Or here’s the excuses, or I didn’t get it done.

The leaders job is to be empathetic.

Also go a great, but there’s a vacuum here. There’s this thing that has to get done to move the organization. And as much as we are coming up with all of these excuses. We have to solve For this, and if we can’t come up with a solution to solve for this, we have to bring somebody in that can help us. We may we need to bring a different expertise on the team. But what I see happens so often is the leader gets sucked up and involved with all of the reasons and all of the excuses that it can’t be done, they get blinded to the fact that it still needs to get done. Yeah, right. And so to me, the true measure, the true measure of success, is we’re defining and delivering the necessary unexpected results.

That’s the key performance indicator of a leader. And we need to do that in a human way, because it’s the humans that are going to do it. But if we get caught up in the drama in the world, when and continue trying to fix and work with the excuses, we lose sight of the outcome, which is why, you know, Patrick Lee, and I see his name wrong. I’m sorry, Patrick, if you hear one of these, he wrote The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. I hope, I hope he calls me and he’s like, Jason Scott, this is how you say my last name, because I quote him all the time. But he wrote a book called The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. And the fifth dysfunction was inattention to results, right? And so there’s, there’s just got to be this balance where you’re empathetic to all of these things. But we have to keep focusing people at okay, I hear you. And we still have to get there. So what else can we do? Do we need to bring somebody else in? Do? Do we need to have somebody take a two week vacation? Like, how do we move forward?

Allison: So let’s dive into that for just a moment. I mean, I consider myself, someone who guides people into achieving their goals. That’s kind of what I get to do as a coach. But I would like for you to share some thoughts on how you bring an entire team along to get the outcome that you want, and then be like the architects of their own roadmap to achieving that, like, what tips do you have for that?

Jason: Oh, well, first thing, and it’s a little thing, but it’s a really important thing. So obviously, we we’ve learned that the leader doesn’t tell the subject matter experts how to do their jobs, they’re the experts of their own domain, that would be silly. They’re smarter than me in in their domain. And more importantly, the way that I would do something is optimize for me, not them the way that they would do it is optimized for them.


That said, though, if we do have to set the expectation, we’re going to do our best work. That’s the expectation.

And then I would look to my team and say, what does that look like? And this is where I would start the active listening exercise. I’m not going to ask a yes or no question. Do you agree? Because of course, they’re going to all say, Yes, we’re going to do our best work. This is a rookie move. This is why so often will sign up to do something for one of our managers and work really hard for like three days think we totally nailed it, drop it down on the desk in front, and they’re like, this is not an expected result. This is not, this is not what I was hoping for. And hopefully they use those words, as opposed to this is wrong. This is not what I asked for, right? Because that’s a judgment, this and it’s never good for the conversation. So the act of listening is Hey, guys, we you know, being too busy is not an excuse for doing crappy work. Maybe bleep that out? I don’t know, which is actually something I had to bring up at 120 years ago. And they all acknowledged and I said, Okay, great. How are we going to fix these things?

And then I facilitated a conversation where they would throw out ideas, and then I would ask questions, to kind of understand how that idea was going to get us where we were going.

And now the beauty in active listening is they’re going to come up with a solution.

But if they come up with a solution, and I don’t understand how it’s going to get us there, I’m going to continue to challenge like, but I’m not going to say it’s wrong, I would have 27 and even 37 year old Jay Scott would have been like, that’s wrong, but I cannot tell you how often they did it anyway, just to prove that I was wrong. And I was. So now I say, I don’t understand. Because that’s the truth. It’s not a judgment, it’s the truth that understand, helped me understand. And so ultimately, the act of listening exercise is an alignment exercise. And I’m going to keep asking questions until they come up with a solution. And I mean, I’m, I’m asking what if, what if this happens? Have you ever thought of this? Right? I am definitely throwing my expertise in there. But in no way shape, or form? Am I going to tell them how to do their jobs? I want them to build the confidence I want them to do the problem solving, right? I just want to get to a point where we both or we all think it’ll work.

And then I’m going to High Five everybody and that’s what setting your team members up for success looks like nine times out of 10 it’s going to work because we all thought it would work.

Then the best part is on the off chance that one time out of 10 that it doesn’t work. That natural instinct to blame because you know if it’s their fault, I don’t have to feel bad, right? I mean, that’s nature. It’s not nurture. We I mean, you know, everybody wants to pretend like we’re these enlightened creatures. So much, you got to work for the enlightenment. Anyway. So we all thought it would work. Nobody complained. We’re just like, well, you know, we were still in this together. Let’s figure out that didn’t work. So what might we do next? And we again, can take the next baby step, you know, run the next experiment to work toward what we’re hoping success looks like. Yeah. Cool.

Allison: I appreciate the kind of the leading questions that open up the act of it, active listening to engage the right thinking around, it’s so awesome. You brought up the word authority, and I just want to kind of have a chance to free to touch on what is the difference between authority and a leader?

Jason: Okay, so there’s a couple different kinds of authority, let’s just start there, there is authority in that I have power over someone. And if I’m an employer, and I decide who gets hired and fired, who gets the promotion, who gets the bonus, like I, I have authority over someone. There’s also knowledge, right? Like, if I was having a conversation with a structural engineer, and they were to say something about structural engineering, which I know nothing about. I mean, I know you need a structural engineer to build a building, like him, or even on a project, they, if they said to me on this project, this is what we need to do. Because the structural engineer, even if I am the leader, I’m deferring to their authority, because they are an expert in their domain.

So note that when I talk about the difference between authority and leadership, I’m talking about the ladder, the power over people, so we can motivate people with authority, you know, tell people how to do their jobs, you know, like, make them be on time, like, basically, it’s kind of like, you have to do it, because I’m the boss.

And then they need to decide how much they like their job, versus how much they don’t like you, and whether they’re going to do it or not. But whenever I asked people to think about a time where they worked for somebody that made it super clear that they were there to work really hard so the manager could get their bonus, or next promotion. I asked people to blurt out a one word emotion for how they felt. I’m going to ask you, Alli, like, how did you feel working for that person?

Allison: Flustered, frustrated, exasperated, aggressive sometimes.

Jason: Yeah. I’ve had the pleasure of uncovering a few universal truths in in my career, and this is one of them. Nobody ever says anything positive. When I asked that question, I’ve done this in a room with 3000 people and nothing positive is ever blurted out. Okay. And then I asked the question, then I asked them, so. So one, now we know it’s not motivating. And that manager that tells a team of people how to do their jobs, because they’re not smart, even if that person has a genius IQ. Because the team is only as smart as one person. Innovation is not possible here.

Now, leadership is about influencing outcomes.

Right. And again, my job as a leader is to enable my team to be successful, and when they’re successful, I’m successful. So in that, what how that usually manifests. I want you to think about a time where you worked for somebody, but it felt a lot more like a partnership, like you worked with them. They never had to tell you how to do something, they helped you figure out how to do something, the active listening thing, you felt like they were playing for you, when things went wrong, they lifted you up and we move forward. There was no blame, right? They, you literally felt like they were playing for you. Give me a one word emotion for how you fell for that person.

Allison: I one word emotion. Positive, positive. And I like the word that kept coming to mind as I felt sharpened.

Jason: Sharpens, right probably even connected to the human being. And you know what happens in that scenario, that connection fosters trust, and high performance, right? Because you’re not scared, there’s no repercussions. We’re in this together. And so that leadership is me helping you architect your own roadmap to a shared goal, setting you up to succeed, all of the buzzwords that we read and all of the magazines, but it’s as simple as laying out like, Hey, I think we need to go here. And you know what, even listening when they’re like, I think that’s a mistake. Get into the active listening thing. Right?

So leadership actually looks a lot like teamwork, right? So we’re influencing outcomes. It’s motivating.

Everybody throws out universal truth, always a positive. One word emotion. Right? I’m, I’m leveraging the collective IQ, right? Like, I’m trying to figure out how you would do it, but I’m also judging. Do I think that would work and so in the end, we both think it’ll work. That’s two times IQ. If I’m this militating discussion with a team of five people, and they all kind of land close to the same page. Exponential IQ, right?

In this scenario, people are motivated, they’ve done the problem solving to get there. They understand why they’re doing the things they’re doing. They’ve they’re committed, they came up with it. It’s funny, we’re told as managers and leaders, we’re supposed to assign work, I don’t assign work, I find the person whose wheelhouse the work is and I say, is this you? When they say yes, I say, Well, hey, organizationally, we need to accomplish this. What do you think? When they say yes, I say, Okay, how would you do it? You know, like, they sign up. So this whole hold people accountable. My job isn’t to hold anybody accountable. My job is to help people get accountable. Okay. Yeah.

Allison: One of the tips that you brought our is communicating your accomplishments, daily talk. Talk to us about that.

Jason: Well, so it’s twofold. It comes back to that intentionality. So we, I think that in fact, there was a study years ago, there was a, there was a research student in a ball field, and a storm had come through and took down the scoreboard. And you know, I’ve never been to one, but I hear these local football games like high school football games, the energy is just insane. Like, it’s their community, people are connected. And this research student noticed that at this particular game, the energy was super off. And that, you know, there was like, whispering like, the crowd wasn’t paying attention to the game. So she leaned in. And it turns out, everybody was like, Do you know what the score is? Who’s ahead, everybody was distracted, because they could not keep track of or interpret what it meant, what was going, what was going on in the field meant they were confused.

The other so with, with daily status reports, what we do is we cover three gratitudes. Like what happened today that we’re literally grateful for. And that’s just a gratitude practice that I think is really important. And you know, we’re, we’re again, all about the people, what we do is really hard. Everybody in my organization, leads change, helping people develop new ways of working, and by the way, messengers get shot a lot. Okay, so it’s hard. So it’s, it’s a way, it’s a gift that I give to my team to relieve stress. The next thing we do is ask ourselves, what have we what did we actually accomplish today? You know, the first 10 years of my entrepreneurial career, I felt unsuccessful. And I would say to my wife, I don’t understand like, I’m working so hard. I’m doing all these things. I don’t, you know, I don’t I don’t feel like I’m living any different than anybody else. No, I wasn’t because I was living in my stress, right? When I started keeping track of, you know, the things that I actually accomplished, I was like, Well, I did get something done today, I did accomplish something done today. So again, both stress relieving, but also, you have to know where you’re at. So you can intentionally determine where you’re going.

And so and by the way, when I say we list our accomplishments, like, there’s never 10 on my list, never. I mean, if there’s three, that’s a big, huge day, and there’s a lot of days where I’m struggling to get one. And then I’m going to plan out, what am I going to accomplish tomorrow? And by the way, and accomplishment isn’t? I’m going to attend a meeting. What’s my role in the meeting? What out what thing? Do I need to be true if I’m spending my time in a meeting, so I get really intentional about the outcomes I need from my day based on what I’ve planned to do in my day. And there could be like, five, if I get all five? Oh, my gosh, like maybe once a year? Like it’s like getting your inbox empty? How often do we do that? Like once a year, right?

Allison: I’ve achieved it twice. So far. I have one so far this year, twice so far. And I said I was gonna do it daily. It’s so hard.

Jason: Oh, my gosh, you got it twice those zoom i Five. Oh, okay. So we list those. And then here’s what happens, we send it out. We also send it to ourselves. So on the off chance that you show up to wherever it is that you need to show up and there’s an emergency, right, you go deal with that. And then you come back. And you might not accomplish everything that you plan to accomplish, but you at least planned to accomplish something and you could pick up that plan where you left off. Lastly, and this is probably the most important thing. We the vast majority of our projects are global in nature. And so we’re working with people constantly all over the world, my team, my team has been virtual for 23 years. And even my leadership team like I live in the state of Washington. Several people on my leadership team are in Phoenix ones in Los Angeles ones in Texas, right? And so what happens is we send these out and to each other. So we have that team accountability, but moreover, I can’t pass the ball to whatever player is closest to the hoop if I don’t know where they’re at.

And so how could we If we’re not communicating our accomplishments and planned accomplishments to each other on a daily basis, how can we support each other as a high performing team on a daily basis. So what happens is we send these CSRS out. And so I get I, I spent 10 minutes every morning over coffee, I read what everybody did the day before I read the gratitudes, it’s my favorite part. It became much easier to read everybody’s DSLRs, when we started posting gratitudes, we have a team member that super into coffee, he happens to live in Seattle. You know, I get to know things like dogs names and spouses names, it’s cool. And then I’m like, Okay, this is what God’s done. So now I know where they’re at. Cool. This is what they’re planning to do today. And then I’m like, Oh, my God, I had a conversation with that client recently. And this thing that they’re going to do doesn’t seem congruent with my understanding, let me just pick up the phone and make a call. So it’s less about bragging about what you’ve got going and much more about aligning.

But here’s the last thing. You know, I tell my clients a lot they spent, they think that if they do a good job, and they build it, all of their customers, they’ll get it. And especially in it, they don’t get it. Technology. Divisions are like NASA, always building new stuff that hasn’t been done before. They’re busy, and their business thinks they’re the helpdesk, they’re the people you call when your PC is not working, when in fact, that is the least complicated thing that they do. And, and so often, what gets highlighted are the things that break, not how, even though it broke, they kept business operations running, how they were actually the heroes of the story, right? And so I have to tell them, hey, look, if you’re not regularly communicating the value that you’re creating, for your business, they’re unaware.

And I know that in your mind, you’re thinking that it’s bragging.

Here’s the truth. If your business customers think of you as a failing team, they’re going to treat you like a failing team, they’re going to tell you how to migrate to the cloud, which is not appropriate, like you guys are the expert, they’re going to fund you like a failing team, right?

They need to know what you’re doing for them, that’s creating value in their business, because then they can treat you like the team that’s creating value for them. Instead of telling you how to do your job, they’ll request Hey, you know, we need to have some transformation in our, you know, in our supply chain, what can you do for us? Right? So, ultimately, that if you don’t let them know, what you’ve done for them, they can’t appreciate you. And frankly, I think it feels good to appreciate people. So we are robbing them of the ability to appreciate us. So there’s a million reasons to accomplish to, to communicate, not just your accomplishments, but then what you’re planning to accomplish every day.

Allison: Okay, fantastic. Jason, I just want to make sure that I capture what is the best way for our listeners to connect and or follow you.

Jason: I definitely say LinkedIn if you Google Jason Scott, or I’m sorry, said Google. That’s crazy. If you search for Jason Scott 120 vc on LinkedIn, I’ll come up and just say, Hey, listen, I heard you on Allison’s show. Deliberate directions. And you know, it was it was terrible. I’ll still connect with you. It was great. I’ll connect with you.

Allison: Perfect. Awesome. Jason, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our conversation today. Thank you so much for joining us here.

Jason: Oh my god. My pleasure. Thank you for being so interested in what I had to say you made me feel like a rock star. So you my five.

Allison: Thank you.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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