PP 647: Build Your Own Dream Team with Breanne Dyck
“You’re never going to have the perfect team. You’re never going to be the perfect manager, you’re never going to have a perfect business…what matters is how we treat ourselves and how we treat the people around us as we make those mistakes so that we can become better and better all the time.” – Breanne Dyck
You have the power to build your dream team and it doesn’t have to be a perfect team. Perfect doesn’t need learning and growth and it’s definitely not a place for a visionary like you. Today, CEO Breanne Dyck joins the platform to share how to build the team that you want. She also shares some values and skills that a good leader must have to keep the team going and scale the business at the same time. Whether you’re new in business or a seasoned executive, you are worthy to feel the fruits of your success and deviate from the day-to-day stress of being in authority. Tune in and learn how to structure your business to get the results you want with a team of experts in a healthy work environment.
02:37 Everything Lego
08:09 More Success More Stress
12:41 Visionary Pyramid
21:21 Starting A Business
32:20 Good Use Of Time
39:14 Team Zone Of Genius
48:11 Visionary CEO
16:42 “The willingness to stay focused on the results rather than all of the details of the steps will give you to that result.” – Breanne Dyck
18:18 “Never ever be afraid to make a mistake.” -Kim Sutton
20:57 “To create something better than I ever could have on my own- That for me is the essence of truly building a team.” – Breanne Dyck
31:24 “When we see extremes, let’s look for the third way, because there’s always a third way, there’s always a better way.” – Breanne Dyck
39:51 “Hire someone who is potentially better at it than you are, and have them show you how it should be done at the highest levels.” – Breanne Dyck
58:56 “You’re never going to have the perfect team. You’re never going to be the perfect manager, you’re never going to have a perfect business…what matters is how we treat ourselves and how we treat the people around us as we make those mistakes so that we can become better and better all the time.” – Breanne Dyck
About Breanne Dyck:
Breanne Dyck is the co-founder of the Visionary CEO Academy. She began her journey into entrepreneurship in the late ’90s and early 2000s as a user experience and web designer. As online courses came into vogue, she added instructional design, operations, team-building, and leadership to her skillset. She works with coaches, consultants and service providers who want to not only REACH that million-dollar year mark but EXCEED it without adding headaches or stress.
Kim Sutton: Welcome back to the Positive Productivity Podcast, this is your host, Kim Sutton. Be prepared because I think today we’re going to be having a lot of fun. Not that we don’t have a lot of fun on every single episode, listeners, you have heard a whole bunch of crazy lately from asking for you to leave comments using words that I totally didn’t mean to use, to forgetting my own name. Yes, it happens on Positive Productivity to blooper reels. Now, being included at the end of the show, I know that every single episode is going to be a whole ton of fun including this one, and our guest today is Breanne Dyck. She is the co-founder of the Visionary CEO Academy. Breanne, I’m so happy to have you here.
Breanne Dyck: I am super excited to have some fun, and have all kinds of bloopers, and who knows what’ll come out of each of our mouths.
Kim Sutton: I don’t know if you heard that this one was really bad. I’m just going to share what it was because it doesn’t include any expletives. But I was talking to a relationship counselor, we didn’t even talk about sex and I started to ask them to leave a condom. I was trying to say leave a comment, and for some reason, just instantaneous brain fart, and that’s what started coming out of my mouth, I was like, Oh, my gosh, it just had to stay in though. Sometimes we have to embrace the fun mistakes. Well, would you mind introducing yourself to our listeners and sharing a bit about what you do, and what brought you here?
Breanne Dyck: Yeah. Brilliance, as Kim mentioned, my name is Breanne Dyck and I am the co-founder along with my partner, life and business partner. Jill [inaudible], together we founded the Visionary CEO Academy. And what the visionary CEO Academy is all about is helping folks who are overwhelmed by the success of their own business. They’ve got to a point where their business is growing, and stuff is happening, and they’re kind of feeling like, when do I get a break where it’s all this freedom that I was promised, and we help them to get their life back, get their team to run more of the day to day and scale their business at the same time. So that’s kind of the business side of things. I was thinking about how I wanted to talk about the journey and how I got here, and as I’m sitting in my office, we’re recording this, I’m looking around and I am surrounded by Lego, which anyone who knows me knows I’m a big Lego fan. But in my bookshelf, I have a bunch of Lego displayed, and I also have a picture my mom framed for me. When I was a teenager, I think at Disney world or something the honey, honey, I shrunk the kids exhibits. So I’m standing beside this massive Lego block and there’s a speech written beside it. It was the grade five speech competition, and it was called, I love Lego. And the reason that I bring that up is because I used that same speech, the same opening to that speech many decades later when I was giving one of my first speaking engagements about the work that I do now, team-building, and scaling, and operations and that sort of thing. And the way that I explained it then as the way I explain it now, which is that when I was a kid, I loved everything. Lego. I love building Lego, I loved buying Lego, or at least going through the catalog and telling my parents what to buy for me. And I love the idea that you could open up this box of bricks and make anything out of it. But unlike most of the kids that I knew, I didn’t really like to build from my imagination. I was more of the type of person that would look at the back of the box and see what all of the different buildings were, what all the different options were. And I would try and reverse engineer it to figure out how they do that? How did they make it work? And why does it work? And why does it stick together the way it does? And that’s really what I’m doing in business now. I’m reverse engineering what works and what doesn’t work in business, and how we can build businesses that support us instead of us supporting it all the time. And I think it’s very much similar to what I did as a kid with Lego. I go going in finding those bricks, figuring out how do you put things together in a way that’s solid, in a way that’s going to stick together, in a way that’s not going to just fall apart all over you
Kim Sutton: We might be entrepreneurial sisters.
Breanne Dyck: Maybe.
Kim Sutton: I loved Legos as a child as well. I can not say however, that I loved them as a parent, just need to point out there. They hurt when you step on them in the middle of the night. And we seem to find the ones that blend into the carpet all the time. But yeah, I was constantly building Lego’s, but I don’t know, I had never got Lego’s. I think we, the girls got the Barbies, my ponies, and then my little brother who was 10 years younger, he got the Lego. So I would take all of them, and I took pride in using every single last Lego to build whatever I was building.
Breanne Dyck: Nice.
Kim Sutton: Yes. But I don’t know if they’re around still. It’s not rainbow bright, I think rainbow bright was a doll. There was this board that you had clear pegs, the light Bray. I loved just seeing what I could do, and I didn’t like to use the patterns. I wanted to see what I could do with those, but also I would drive my mother crazy because I would take apart my bike over and over again because I wanted to see how it all works. I wanted to know how the chain functioned with everything else and then she would have to figure out how to put it back together. She’s like, Kim again, how about we already talked about that, but I’m the same way now, and I joke with clients about being the guinea pig. Let me test it on my business first to see how it works, and then if it functions, then we’ll implement it on yours. Because I get all these ideas, but I want to see how they work. I have to admit, and I don’t know, maybe there’s just something in the air today, but I got a little bit choked up when you were talking about clients who wonder when they’re going to get that promised freedom that they’d been waiting for. Because I am admittedly, almost eight years into my business, and I’m still waiting for it. However, I’m starting to taste it and it didn’t even occur to me until you said that, because just minutes before our call, I was literally sitting in my living room eating my lunch from the couch. For those of you who don’t like that, I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. And I was watching one of the Marvel movies working as I wanted to not feel stress, and you just gave me the indicator that I am really starting to feel the freedom. Because the stress is going away and I’m sleeping, that’s the second indicator. I sleep eight hours at night.
Breanne Dyck: Yeah, yeah. That’s a big thing for a lot of our clients, they feel they get to a point where it’s like the business has become so successful that they’re not sleeping, they’re stressed out, there’s so much more responsibility. That’s actually a word that I hear a lot from folks is the sense of my business is bigger now, and so now the responsibility is bigger, now the pressure is bigger. This is especially true. If they start to hire people, maybe they start to bring on team members, now there’s not just pressure for them. Now it’s pressure for their team. They’re like, wasn’t this all supposed to make things easier? We Weren’t hiring people, we heard about delegation and that kind of thing, wasn’t that supposed to make my life easier? And what can happen if we’re not intentional, and if we don’t know how to do it in a really effective way, we can create a situation where we add to our stress. We create more responsibility instead of getting the freedom that we actually want.
Kim Sutton: You said an interesting word there. You said that the business is more successful, I’ve never said this word, I don’t even know if it’s gonna work yet. It doesn’t necessarily sound more successful, it sounds more stressed.
Breanne Dyck: Yeah. I like that.
Kim Sutton: That doesn’t really work because it was going to be stressed, yeah, whatever. Stressful than successful. And to me, that’s not successful because it means something is definitely broken. I have gone through waves in my business of at first thinking that I wanted this huge team because it meant that I could have each team member working on different projects, and I was here working on mine, but then I realized, Oh, my gosh, if one team member disappears and they take their stuff with them, which I’ve had happen, then, Oh, my gosh, now I need to pick up. So I scaled back to thinking, no, I don’t really want the agency model, but then I’ve gone back again because in both of those stages, I really never looked at myself as the expert in my business, and that was a huge problem for me. If I couldn’t, it was a huge problem, if I couldn’t look at myself as an expert, then how was I going to build the business? And then when I put the pieces together, I realized, okay, I’m the expert. I can do this strategy, I don’t need to be doing all the building. That’s how we’re going to scale. And now that I know what needs to be built, if somebody just has disappeared because it does happen, I don’t care how big and successful your business is, people will just not show up to work one day or ever again.
Breanne Dyck: Yeah. We we talk about the, actually when I was in my last day job, I had a team member and she coined the term getting hit by the lottery bus, because we never wanted to put the intention out there that anyone would get hit by an actual bus, especially after a colleague did actually end up getting hit by a bus. So we wanted to drop that line. We talk about getting hit by the lottery bus, which is when something amazing maybe happens in your life and life changes for all kinds of different reasons, and you’re exactly right that that differentiation between having people who can do the work while you still get to be steering the ship and guiding things. It’s a balancing act that frankly no one is really teaching how to do well, present company not included in that statement.
Kim Sutton: I love it. Yeah, I could have used your wise words of wisdom when I started hiring the first time because I made the classic mistake of hiring too fast. I believe the first time I hired, I brought eight people on at the same time, so it went from me to eight. I had no project manager, and my faith is important to me, but I think it is a good analogy for anybody. One of my first coaches said to me, he said: “Jesus had 12 disciples, that’s all he could manage.” But eight is too many for me, and I would have to say four would probably be good enough. I would like to manage four managers who manage everybody else, and that’s it. I want to know everybody on my team. I would love that. But to scale, I mean, I’m sure Jeff Bezos, that’s the right name, right? The Amazon guy, I’m sure he does know everybody, but he’s got managers, senior managers all the way up, and it’s those top, top, top people that he knows.
Breanne Dyck: Yeah, and I think when you, I love what you’re talking about, we talk about this in terms of what we call it, the visionary pyramid where you have your implementers and helpers who are doing the day to day work, they’re figuring out how to do stuff. You have your managers who are more coordinating, they’re figuring out what needs to be done. You have your leaders who are figuring out strategically, when are the priorities? Then at the visionary, that’s where you want to be, right? And each of those levels can have teams of teams underneath them. But what I think is so powerful about what you just said, there is one of the things that happens when we build the team, the other model where it’s a whole bunch of people, and we’re at the center of it, we’re the hub of a wheel and everyone spokes, but we’re the one who has to keep turning over, and over, and over, getting dizzy to keep this wheel turning. What’s really powerful is that it can become very lonely because we as the visionary or an entity unto ourself, and we’re spending all of our time trying to coordinate all these other people. Whereas when you build towards the model that you are more talking about, what we find is that we can actually be part of our team. We can have a collegiality with the smaller number of people that we spend time with, that we’re close to. They can become mentors and advisors for us in their own areas of expertise. And I remember one of our clients saying that a big shift for her as she went through this process was feeling like she no longer had to put the business on her back and support it all the time. But instead, now she had a team and the structures in place, that everything was supporting itself, and as a result, the business and her team was supporting her rather than her feeling like she was the one who was putting everything on her back and marching up the mountain with it.
Kim Sutton: Oh, yeah. I was totally the bottleneck. Completely the bottleneck because every, that’s why I didn’t fail so miserably for me because everybody was always waiting. So they found busy work to do, which I didn’t tell them not to do, which was another mistake of mine. But when they were finding busy work, I was still getting charged and there were income generating activities because they were all waiting for me. I’ve also noticed as the business has grown and become more successful and less stressful that the client level or the client demographic has also changed. I’m not saying that the industry has changed, but where they are at in their business has also changed. Because the scarcity minded clients are much more difficult to work with than the ones who are going along fairly well already, they just need some added support. The scarcity minded clients for me, they got hung up on a simple typo. Whereas the ones who are further along, Oh, it was just a typo. If they can’t stand that we forgot to put a period there and they’re going to get hung up on that, then they’re not our ideal client anyway. And when I saw that there was that big shift between clients who were struggling to make six figures a year, and the clients who were making multiple seven figures already, I was like, Holy Moly, that’s amazing.
Breanne Dyck: Yeah. I think what’s so interesting about that is, that when we look at it, we can look at it from two angles. We can look at it from the perspective of, they had to be less controlling, if you will, be less micromanaging. And as they grew, they had to become less micromanaging. But I think it’s even more valid to say that it’s not that the growth of the business was the cause, and the less nitpicky was the effect. I think it’s actually the other way around, which is the ability and the willingness to let other people own their area of responsibility. The willingness to stay focused on the results rather than all of the details of the steps that got you to that result. That is the cause, the effective, which is a business that can grow to high 6-figures, 7-figures, multi-70 years, 8-figures and beyond. And that’s a really important kind of flip to make in the head is to realize that it starts by letting people make mistakes, and my not getting hung up on the details starts wherever I am, and that is actually what will propel me to multi-7 and beyond figure growth, not the other way around. It’s not that I get there and then I give up control, that I allow people to make mistakes, and that’s what gets me there.
Kim Sutton: Absolutely loving this. I remember two team members, and I’m back to one right now. Admittedly listeners, you know I’m always really transparent and I’m sure you’ve already heard this, but I let my biggest client go at the end of last year because I realized it wasn’t in line with me anymore. It wasn’t with me, and I was out of integrity staying in that position. And for me to get to the next level, I realized I needed to have the confidence to take the leap, and it was damn scary but it’s working. What I was going to say though is that with that transition, I had to slow down on contractors and they’ll come back, they are excited to come back. But I remember when we started working together, there were a couple of instances when they were scared because they had made a mistake. And it was like, never ever be afraid to make a mistake or to be afraid of telling me that you’ve made a mistake because I am not going to freak out about it. What I will freak out about is if you speak to a client rudely, that is not acceptable to me, and that has actually happened in the past, and I won’t work with anybody anymore. Like you speak to a client rudely, that’s your last day. It’s the communication.
In 2014, I became an Infusionsoft certified partner and I went down to Arizona for my certification, and I remember being blown away. They had a cereal bar in the middle of their office, shelves and shelves of cereal and milk in the fridge, and bowls in the cabinets, and if at any point during the day you were hungry, you could just go to the kitchen, get a bowl of cereal. They had chairs all around like lounge chairs and little areas where team members could get together and chat. And I was blown away because that was the first office I had seen, and I never, I don’t want an office, I just need to put it out there. But it was the first office I’d ever been with, or been that was like that. Because in my previous corporate experience, I had been an interior architect for a decade and you got the raised eyebrow from the managers if you were at the water cooler for two minutes talking to somebody. But it’s that type of brainstorming, that letting go and letting team members collaborate and brainstorm, that I realized, Oh, my gosh, this is what’s going to take it to the next level. So when I started hearing that my team members were getting together, I was excited. What are they working on? It wasn’t like, what are you billing me for now? It was like, okay, I want to hear, what are you talking about? What are we doing? That trust needs to be there.
Breanne Dyck: You mentioned the word trust, and that’s such a good word to use. It’s interesting you hear about Silicon Valley, and you can Google, let you have a massage during the day, and this company will let you know. I’d have foosball tables everywhere, and it’s almost become a cliche that that’s what culture is. But of course, that’s not actually what culture is. Those are maybe representations of culture, but that’s not culture. And the definition I love of culture comes from Nathan Barry who’s the founder of ConvertKit. And he says that, for him, culture is trust. Do you trust your team members? Do they trust you? Do you trust your manager? Do they trust you? And for me, when I’m looking at, yeah, I want my people, I want my team to be able to take an idea and run with it, and create something better than I ever could have on my own. That for me is the essence of truly building a team, a culture, of business that is going to build results in the world better, better than I could ever do on my own. And that’s what’s super exciting and amazing to me.
Kim Sutton: What sparked you starting your business Breanne?
Breanne Dyck: This was not the business that I originally set out to start. This was kind of an accidental journey if you will. It makes sense in hindsight, but at the time if you’d asked me where I was headed, I would have had no idea whatsoever. It started when I was, I think I was a teenager, I think I was 18 in fact, and I had my first paid freelance gig designing and building a website for the company my dad worked for, so I was always kind of a nerd attack, I had learned to program, I learned to do web design, I learned all of that kind of stuff, and I paid my way through college as a freelancer, and wasn’t really much into the business side of it. It was just a way to make some money on the side. True, freelancing side hustle kind of idea. And I was working in post-secondary, and I had managed to keep some of these clients, again, just extra cash on the side, and got myself promoted to a lower level supervisor management position. And a couple things happened when I got promoted there. Number one, I learned that I loved having a team, and I loved being able to set the big picture and then empowering them to go and do amazing work. The second thing that happened is that I loved my team, but I didn’t love what my job had become, which was bureaucratic paper pushing. And then the third thing that happened is that I ended up working for a woman who showed me exactly what a boss should not be. And I was bullied and to the point where I would do a project and she called me in her office, I remember it so clearly. Called me in her office and said, I’m not calling you stupid, but I don’t know how you could think this was acceptable. And I mean, I was devastated. I put my heart and soul into this. I felt really proud of it. I mean, I always do my best, and I was devastated, and I didn’t know how to handle it.
I went, and I had a conversation with a mentor. We were talking about it, and I said to him, I bet if I tried, I could actually make a goal of this web design thing. And like I said at the time, in hindsight I can see the threads, I can see the threads of, I had the experience of I think being a good leader, a good manager to my team. And I also had the experience of having a horrible boss and knowing how people should never be treated.So it took a few iterations. I did web design, web development, managed, kind of accidentally found myself doing curriculum design for online business owners because I’d worked in Higher Ed, specifically on curriculum. So I found myself helping people create better learning experiences, create better courses and programs, and that sort of thing. But even through that, I got more involved with my clients’ businesses and I noticed that none of them actually knew what it meant to have a really amazing team. They didn’t know what it meant to lead that kind of team. They didn’t know how to have anything other than just a whole bunch of contractors that were sucking up all their time. They didn’t know how to build that environment that we were talking about, which was one where the team comes together and creates one plus one equals three situations.
So I was making that transition and I thought, well, maybe it’s business operations that I should be focused on helping people scale, not just through courses but through the operations side of their business. Around the same time when my partner who I mentioned off the top, Jill got promoted in her job to being a manager, and she was/is a fantastic manager. Her team loved her, everything was great, it was just amazing. If I could give higher praise, I would, and I think her team would, would have said the same at that time. And I started to watch how she talked about her team and we would say, what’d you do today? And she would tell me about what happened with her team. And I started to notice that what she was doing and the approach she was taking with her team was what my clients were truly missing. They didn’t have this type of team environment. So my business at that time, it was just my business continued to grow, still doing operations consulting to the point where Jill could no longer work in her day job, and she could come and work in the business. And bringing in her skills of managing, and leading people, and building teams was the perfect compliment to my more strategic operations kind of focus. And ultimately what we found is that our clients really needed support with the team, with the scaling, with the growing. And I can bring all of my theoretical best practices. She can bring all of her hard won experience and practical hands on interpersonal stuff. And it’s been really cool to see how that has created results for clients. And that’s why ultimately I put aside all of the web design, and put aside the curriculum design, and put aside the hardcore operation stuff, and we launched together the company name or the brand name that we use now, which is the Visionary CEO Academy as co founders.
Kim Sutton: Absolutely loving this, because I didn’t see my company getting where it is today either. I didn’t know what it was going to be. I was basically throwing pasta at the wall and seeing what to expect. I experienced in corporate, and then I also experienced it as an entrepreneur, as a contractor myself. Too many meanings, do you find your clients ever doing that with their teams?
Breanne Dyck: That’s a really interesting question. I would say, it’s the opposite, but that’s partly a personality thing. Because my clients, our clients tend to be more of the coaches, consultants, online business owners, maybe they have courses, membership sites, maybe they work in small group programs. Goes back to that freedom narrative that we talked off the top. A lot of them have a story that I don’t want to manage, I’m not a good manager, I don’t want to be a boss, I want to just have my freedom. So they almost will go to the other extreme where they don’t have meetings because they think that meetings are bad. Meetings are a holdover of corporate, I don’t want to have that on my calendar, I don’t want to have that on my schedule. But the cost of that is that they are now spending all of their time in Ad hoc meetings, chasing people down, trying to connect with them on zoom, going and having all of these spur of the moment conversations. It’s almost like in the search for freedom, I want to be free from meetings. They’ve created a situation where now they’re spending so much time chasing people around. They’re actually having more meetings, but they just don’t think of them as meetings because they’re not booked on their calendar to look like meetings.
Kim Sutton: That is so fascinating. I had never thought about that before, so thank you. What I experienced was that, one of my biggest, my main employer when I was working in Manhattan would have a Wednesday morning meeting with all staff members. So there would be a hundred of us in a room for two hours going through every single project, and it seemed like a poor use of time when each of us was probably only involved in one or two of the projects out of the 60, we could have had smaller team meetings with the principals, and that would have been just fine. And then one of my clients as an entrepreneur would have the same type of thing once a week, and go through all the projects, and at that point I was involved in one and it was another two hours of time every single week. So I thought it would have been better to just have a project meeting. No, or a set slot in this bigger meeting that you and the whole thing the whole time, you still have it for two hours on every Tuesday afternoon, but we know that from 3:15 to 3:30 we’re going to talk about this project, and you don’t need to stay the whole time because I know you’re busy. And that just seems like it would have been more effective with my team. The second that you were talking about was running all over with the Ad hoc meetings, that’s exactly what was happening because I was scared of meetings, because of the other two examples I gave. So thank you, I’ll go in the middle.
Breanne Dyck: That’s right. And this is my philosophy in general, which is when we see extremes, let’s look for the third way because there’s always a third way. There’s always a better way. If I had to say what my life philosophy is that there’s always a better way. So let’s not go to the extreme of no meetings. Let’s not go to the extreme of big meetings with everyone all the time. Let’s find a framework that works based on what the outcome is that you want to achieve.
Kim Sutton: Absolutely. Yeah. I started to present the every week meeting as an entrepreneur because I was paid by project. So when I was asked to be there on camera for two hours every Tuesday afternoon, it’s like, come on, I have other things to do, I’m not getting paid? I mean, I was getting paid. But when you look at the overall scope of work, and how many hours I was getting paid for, all of a sudden it just tripled. And that’s just not effective. And the last thing I want for me is to be resentful or for my team members.
Breanne Dyck: The flip side of that is, as the business owner is, how profitable are you allowing your team members to be? And this is something that a lot of people don’t really ever think about, which is that every person on your team should be profitable. Not means that they need to be generating more value for the business than the amount that you’re paying them. Not in an extortionist way, but in a way where they are creating more value for the business so that you can use that margin to grow the business, reach more people, and help more people. That’s the way that we want this to work. But what happens is that you gave the example of sitting in these meetings, that’s not a profitable use of your time. Or the other example that we talked about off the top is where we’re not making good use of our teams, so they’re going and doing busy work. They’re doing all these other tasks, again, not a good use of their time. And are we really creating an environment where they are able to provide the most value for us, which is represented in terms of how profitable they are in what they’re doing. And it’s not, like I said, it’s not about extortion. One of the big things that I believe is that the power dynamics systems that are in place in most management or most big corporate types of environments are not serving us as a society or as people. So it’s not about squeezing every dollar out of every person. It’s about allowing them to create maximum value for the business. And then compensating them based on that value so that you can use the value to create more for your clients and more of a change in the world that you want to see.
Kim Sutton: Where do you see promoting from within and the team members passions coming into play. And before you answer, I had my team members take a quiz. I won’t name it just in case you have one that you give out to your clients for their teams. But I had my team members take a quiz to find out where their strengths are and their genius zones. And it’s not like the strengths finder or anything like that. And I was shocked to find out that their areas that they would most thrive in were not where they were. And I went back to talk to them, two in particular, where I thought that being customer facing or doing marketing work was their strengths, and all actuality it wasn’t. And they’re like, Oh, well we just love working with you, so we were willing to do what you gave us. But yeah, I so loved that more and I was like, you can tell me that anytime.
Breanne Dyck: Yeah, literally before we got on this call, I had wrapped up a call with one of our clients, and we were working on exactly this. There were a whole bunch of people on the team and they were doing stuff that they were good at. If you think about the Gay Hendricks, a zone of genius, they were in the zone of confidence, maybe even zone of excellence, but where they really in zone of genius? So we have a process that we take our clients through and this is what we were working on with this client today where it’s, let’s do these two things separately. First, let’s figure out, what is the zone of genius for each member on our team? And we look at what are all the things they’re doing, and what is the top 1% of all the things they’re doing that they’re best at, that they love most, that they would love to do more of, and then we ask why? Why do you love that most? Why are you best at it? Why would you love to do more of it? Because that gets us, maybe not right to the heart of their zone of genius, but it gets us closer to it in the context of the business that we’re running. That’s part of what we do. But separately from that, we do a look at what does the business actually need because very often when we hire people, we hire them to start doing one set of jobs and then the business grows, and we give them more things, and then we find that they’re not good at those things. So then we change what they’re doing and we end up with stuff that’s everywhere. So we do this look and say, what does the business actually need in order to become the business that we want it to be in order to be able to serve the clients in the way we want to serve in a way that creates the revenue, the profit, the impact, the freedom that we want. What does the business need in terms of what does it mean to be done, and what kind of positions does the business need to have built? Then we match make, so we say this person’s zone of genius is representative of what the actual needs are of this position. And they may not have all the skills, we can train them, or we can pay for them to be trained, that’s fine. But we match the zone of genius with the position that the business needs in order to bring the team into alignment. But we have to do those things separately because otherwise we’re always thinking, Oh, what can I give this person? What should their job be? We forget about what the business needs, and if we focus exclusively on who we’re going to hire, what the job title is, what the job description is of the person I want to hire, we forget about our team’s zone of genius. So when we look at those two things separately and then we say, what is the match made between them? You will find combinations. And this is what happened on my call this morning. You will find combinations that never would have occurred to you, but when you look at them, you realize this is exactly the person who should be doing exactly this work and they’re gonna blow our minds at it.
Kim Sutton: Absolutely love that. So when I started the business, I didn’t have any types of standard operating procedures or processes period. It was flying by the seat of my pants. I went too long before doing that mass hiring that I shouldn’t have done because I didn’t want to hire anybody. I thought it would take longer for something to explain to somebody how to do it than it would be for me to just do it myself, that was eight years ago. I’ve morphed into, now finally having standard operating procedures, which are fluid, they can change at any point. But in order for a team member to move on to something else, they were asked to write up the standard operating procedure for what they were doing so that they could also help support me and the company in finding the person who replaced them in that position, and that worked so well.
Breanne Dyck: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I love that, and I love it too because so many people believe that they should create processes, SOP, checklists, all of these things before they hire. And they spend an inordinate amount of time on it because it’s not, for most of us as entrepreneurs, we’re more of the visionary type, creating documentation is not our zone of genius. And what I have advised many clients is, number one, don’t hire someone who’s going to need that level of direction. Instead, hire someone who is potentially better at it than you are, and have them show you how it should be done at the highest level. And then what it becomes is a situation where they’re going to onboard them, you’re going to train them, you’re going to show them the nuances, of course, of how you do things in your business. But guess what? Everyone that I’ve ever seen who goes into a new job and they’re learning to do something new, they generally have a notebook with them, and they’re writing down notes about what to do and what to do next, and how to do things, that is the system. They can then create the system, they can create the process, they can use the SOP, but because they are creating it, they now own it. So long as the result is accomplished in a way that is what we agree with what the results should be, and it’s accomplished in alignment with our values and our culture. They can update that checklist. They can update that SOP if they find a better way to do things, please do. Please don’t do things the way that I have done them all the time because I want you to do it better than me. They then create the processes which become the living documents, become the way that things get done, and whether it’s that they get promoted within the organization, or they end up leaving, whatever that situation is, now, the person who comes into that position and takes over has a running start. They have something, they don’t have to follow it verbatim. They now can use that as their starting point, and improve it, and make it better. And the processes become an evolution along with the business instead of something that works until it breaks, and then you redo it.
Kim Sutton: Amen. I’ve outlined over 250 different processes that are done routinely in my business to this date. And I started this document over two years ago, maybe 50 of them actually have been written up to this point. So I really appreciate you saying that so many people think that it’s gotta be written up before they hire somebody. No, no, no, I mean, my documents go from as simple as what’s Kim’s bio to what are the brand colors? There’s a specific doc for that to all the social media links to how to book a flight for Kim. Come on, what airline? It seems like silly things, but I don’t want to go through 18 rounds of questions just to get a flight book from here to San Diego. You can go here, you can see that I like to fly this airline, I’m not going to say which one. I don’t want to fly middle seat, I will wait and take a little later flight if I don’t have to take a middle seat, and here’s my preferred times of flying, and that just eliminated so much time necessary. And even simple things like here’s what you do to order replacement business cars. This is the type of stock, this is the type of shipping. It’s those repetitive tasks, and those are the simple administrative tasks. It goes way beyond how to set up a blog article, how to optimize SEO, anything that’s done routinely. It was a non Haas to me to realize, Oh, my gosh, this is something that could be documented, and then yeah, I can get that one thing off my plate, which takes that much stress off me.
Breanne Dyck: Yeah, I think that is such a good point, and I think what really the next level of that, and we can easily set ourselves up to be in a situation where we spend all of our time creating documentation about how to do things. We had a client who literally said, I am spending all my time writing SOPs because my team needs them to know what to do, again, that story that we talked about much faster to do it by myself. And there’s a shift that we can make which can take us even a level beyond that, which is rather than telling someone how to accomplish the results, we can instead focus on the results and let them figure out the how. Let them make the decisions about how. So the results, and this is where we have to be clear about success criteria. The result might be, I want a flight, and for the flight to be booked successfully, it needs to be booked, here’s my criteria, it needs to be booked on this airline, not the middle seat, don’t make me get up this early in the morning, and don’t make me blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? So there’s usually, when you boil it down, there’s usually only five to eight bullet points that make something a successful outcome. I want to be booking flights. These are the five to eight bullet points about what makes booking a flight for Kim successful. If we can simply give that to people and let them figure out the HOW, we’ve now created a situation where we don’t have to keep updating the checklist and updating the processes. We just know that so long as the outcome is achieved the way we want, now we’re happy. So we’ve moved from dictating the HOW to dictating the WHAT, what is the result, and allowing our team to figure out the how. The next level above that is that you can start saying, I’m not even going to dictate what, I’m going to instead focus on the strategy. When are we going to focus on things? You make decisions about WHAT, and then other people can make decisions about how, this is how we get ourselves out of the weeds of the decisions, we get ourselves out of having to tell people do this, and this, and this. She will actually be able to focus on the problems that we really do want to be solving, which is where are we going, and why are we going there as a business?
Kim Sutton: Hmm. You just named this episode I think, getting out of the weeds of our business, love it. Oh, I just had a brain fart. I had a really good question, but I forgot it. Oh, well, it will come back probably right as we’re closing, but if it doesn’t, that’s okay.
Breanne Dyck: Oh, that’s better than me. Usually for me, it’s not until I have the shower the next day that it pops backups.
Kim Sutton: Yeah, absolutely. That too. Oh, I remember now, a dear friend and I have a weekly accountability call, which these, once I started getting out there as an entrepreneur and making connections with other entrepreneurs, because not just within our teams can we get secluded, but when we’re especially home-based entrepreneurs, and I think back to the movie in the 90’s, that was Sandra Bullock where her neighbors. I only just recently met my neighbor across the street, and the old neighbors left or moved at least a year ago. He came over and introduced himself because his drone had accidentally flown into our backyard, but my neighbors wouldn’t know who I was. So when I was trying to get to was like getting out there has been really awesome, but what I noticed that my friend was doing, and we’re both, we’re on parallel journeys trying to get to the same level on our business, she went through this whole list about how she had organized her inbox, and now she had organized for project management software. She doesn’t even have a team right now, but it all looks really nice, her inbox was empty, all over her pillow had nice covers on them and I said, you know what? Okay, that’s all great. Good for you for getting all that done, but what did you do this week that was a prioritized purposeful action versus getting stuff done, because everything that you did this week does it really matter next week because your inbox is just going to get more emails. I mean, my inbox right now is not as bad as some of my clients. It’s a little bit uncomfortable for me, it has 400, but I’ve taken care of the important emails. I realized though that cleaning out my inbox on a regular basis is not going to get me, it’s not the most important task of my day. Where do you see the visionary CEOs, the ones who are really getting into the freedom and out of the stress? What are the shifts that they’re making in what they focus on?
Breanne Dyck: Yeah, that’s a really good question, before I give a direct answer to that question, I want to emphasize that it’s a process. You don’t go from being down in the weeds of your business to being the visionary CEO in one big step. Many people have tried. When they came to us and said, it didn’t work. Can you help? Because you know we talked about this idea of the visionary pyramid. If you think about a pyramid or a triangle, if you just randomly start pulling blocks out of the middle, the whole thing’s going to collapse. It’s like Jenga, right? You pull blocks out and the whole thing’s going to fall over. What we need to do is move up the pyramid one step at a time. We need to get out in the day to day and focus more on answering the questions of what, trying to focus more on coordinating the team, trying to focus more on planning, and goals, or metrics. Once we’ve got that settled, then we can move up to the next level, then we can move up to these focusing more of our time on strategy and strategic planning, and starting to think not what’s happening next week, but what’s happening next quarter, and what could the future look like here. In order for us to move up to that level, we need to have other people who start to take over the responsibility for the week to week, for those shorter term concerns. When the time you get to that visionary level of the pyramid, as I alluded to before, really what you want to be spending your time on is where are we going and why are we going there? What is the big picture of the company? Where are we going next? Where is the industry going? This is the land of ideas, of vision. It’s where you get to go and do research and development on a project that the success and growth of your business has nothing to do with.
You can go and play with an idea, and it could fail miserably, and yet your business will still have grown because you are operating at a timeline that doesn’t affect the day to day of your business. It doesn’t affect the week to week of your business. The fun part of that is that when you operate as the visionary, and when you have the rest of these structures in place for your business that have given you the freedom to do that, you also have the opportunity to choose when you want to go and operate at some of the lower levels so you can choose, when do I want to go and do some client work? When do I want to cherry pick a project that looks fun to participate in? When do I want to go and set some, have a conversation with my sales and marketing folks about a new campaign that we might be working on. So the big difference at the visionary level is it switches from, these are the things I have to do in order for the business to keep running and growing, to becoming these are the things that I get to do and the business will keep growing and running whether I do them or not. But now I have the choice to choose where I want to give my energy, how I want my contribution to be, and how I want to move us forward into whatever that bigger, brighter future looks like together.
Kim Sutton: This is a really bad example, but while you were talking about this, I was thinking about the Titanic. Give me the name of a ship that didn’t sink. Okay, listeners, just think of a cruise ship that you know is like–
Breanne Dyck: No, we don’t do cruise ships because they’ve got the big virus thing going on.
Kim Sutton: Well, I don’t think any Disney cruise ships have CoronaVirus right now. We’ll go Disney cruise, but I’m going from, but this is going back a century, so just bear with me everybody. I’m thinking about the people who shoveled the coal into the furnaces, and that’s where we are when we start. We’re shoveling the coal, and then the engineers, you move up to an engineer who is telling people to shovel coal. They might not be called engineers, but I’m just thinking how you work your way up the decks, and then when you get up there to the visionary, I just picture myself being the captain. A female captain in my case. On the top deck with the binoculars looking ahead. We’re just going to move a little bit this way, I don’t know the difference between the size of ships. I’ve never sailed, but we’re going to move a little bit this way to make sure we don’t hit that iceberg and everybody’s got their part to play in. We’re all steaming brilliantly.
Breanne Dyck: Yeah, absolutely. I love that analogy, and I’m going to add one caveat to it, which is that, this is the fortunate thing with the time, that was a hundred years ago and there are still a lot of industries that work that way. Whether it’s any of the industrial type of jobs, a big forestry area, and there’s hard labor that goes on. And for most of the people that are listening to this, I’m guessing that’s not your industry. You’re not dealing with manual labor, there’s no one shoveling coal in your business, there’s no one shoveling coal in my business. So the one caveat that I want to offer is that we have an opportunity now with the types of businesses that we have, with the technology we have, with the opportunities we have to make it where we aren’t the only ones who get to be doing what we love most. We love looking out and being the captain of the ship, but we don’t have to have the grunts at the bottom doing all of the grunt work, and sweating, and getting injured, and ending up with black lung and those kinds of things. We have an opportunity to create a business, an environment, a culture, a team that allows everyone to play to their strengths.
Kim Sutton: Absolutely loves that caveat because for me, bookkeeping is the groundwork, but for somebody else, they could absolutely love it. I just want to make sure that they do.
Breanne Dyck: Yeah. For me, I think of it like a sports team. There are different roles on a sports team. I’m a hockey fan, so the goalie does something very different than the center, and the fourth-line center does something very different than the first line center. Everyone has a different role to play, but everyone gets to play the game they love.
Kim Sutton: I’m over here cracking up, I think you’re the first time that hockey has been brought up on the show, and I love hockey too.
Breanne Dyck: Well, I’m a Canadian, so it’s a professional–
Kim Sutton: Yes, and I’m from Western New York, like Rochester, Buffalo area where we grew up with hockey.
Breanne Dyck: There you go. There you go.
Kim Sutton: Total side. I just have to throw this in there. My older boys are 14 and 17 now, we took them to their first hockey game. They were a little, my now 14 year old, I think he was four, he was, this is so bad. He was telling the opposing team, you suck, you suck. And they thought, he said, give me a puck. So I threw one over to him, I was like, if you only knew, I know we did not tell him to say that because we encourage good sportsmanship, whatever the case, but now he plays soccer and he was so proud of himself, this season or last season, because he got his first yellow cards, but whatever. He thought that that proved it. But anyway, yeah, I love that analogy. I mean, this just must be a movie reference day because now I’m thinking even of Rudy, and he absolutely loved when he got to contribute to the team success by getting the players uniforms ready. That was his way. Okay, I am loving so many aspects of this conversation, and thank you because you’ve really pivoted how I will move into my next scene, which I’m hoping will happen by quarter three of 2020. Not just hoping, it will happen. I’m doing it right this time. I’m not going to do this mass hiring. Where can listeners learn more about you, learn more about visionary CEOs, and everything that you do.
Breanne Dyck: Yeah, that’s a great question, and I would love to invite folks to come and actually put together a resource for you guys where you can go to visionaryceoacademy.com/, or to make sure I get the name of it right, positive productivity, I just use the name of the show. So visionaryceoacademy.com/positiveproductivity, and when you head on over there you will find a link. No opt in required because I know we all have too many emails that are required. Too many emails in our inbox, so no opt required. There’s a link to an article called the delegation deception, and that is all about how to build the kind of team that we’re talking about here, what it looks like to have implementers, managers, leaders and visionaries. How to build an amazing culture that keeps you out of the day to day and do it all in a way that gives you the freedom, gives you the growth, and gives you the impact that you want to have.
Kim Sutton: Amazing, if you are driving, if you are trying not to burn dinner, if you don’t want to fall off the elliptical, you can head on over to the kimsutton.com/PP647 and you will find all the links including where you can find Breanne right there, one place. I’m over here thinking about how we need to talk before I build my team, so thank you.
Breanne Dyck: You’re welcome.
Kim Sutton: Do you have a parting piece of advice or a golden nugget that you can offer to listeners?
Breanne Dyck: Yeah. I just want to encourage you, and I think this is so great because you know, Kim, you were so generous in sharing your experience the first time you hired and you didn’t go the way you expected. And I think if there was one thing that I want to leave you with as the listeners, that you’re going to get it wrong. You’re going to get it wrong. Things are going to go wrong. You’re going to snap at a team member, you’re going to hire the wrong person, you’re going to do things, and you’re going to do it wrong, you just are. The thing that matters isn’t what you did wrong. The thing that matters is how do you look at that? How do you treat yourself as a result of having done it, quote unquote wrong, and what are you gonna do to move forward into doing it differently the next time you will get this stuff wrong. You’re never going to have the perfect team. You’re never gonna be the perfect manager. You’re never going to have a perfect business. That’s not what matters. What matters is how we treat ourselves and how we treat the people around us as we make those mistakes so that we can become better and better all the time.