23 episodes

From THE YES WORKS, this is MIGHTY GOOD WORK. A podcast built on the stories of people and companies who are making good work happen. Whether it’s work as a place to be, work as a product or service, or work as a way to spend your life, we will be talking to those who are committed to excellence and who are succeeding in bringing Mighty Good Work into existence.

We aim to deliver actionable guidance to people shaping business about engagement, company culture, and healthy business relationships.

Mighty Good Work The Yes Works

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 8 Ratings

From THE YES WORKS, this is MIGHTY GOOD WORK. A podcast built on the stories of people and companies who are making good work happen. Whether it’s work as a place to be, work as a product or service, or work as a way to spend your life, we will be talking to those who are committed to excellence and who are succeeding in bringing Mighty Good Work into existence.

We aim to deliver actionable guidance to people shaping business about engagement, company culture, and healthy business relationships.

    MGW #24 - How To Fire People

    MGW #24 - How To Fire People

    MGW #24 -  How To Fire People
    Welcome back to the newly relaunched Mighty Good Work with your hosts Aaron Schmookler, Co-founder and Trainer of The Yes Works and Kristin Adams, Co-director of Startup Grind and first time founder of ALL2.  Last episode we discussed shifting both the thought process surrounding, dialogue about and facilitation of people quitting their jobs and this episode we are focused on the other side of that equation - how to fire people compassionately.  
    While one might think that goes without saying, you’d be surprised what still occurs in the workplace on the regular.  As a podcast dedicated to leaders and aspiring leaders who insist that work should be good, even in the toughest of circumstances, we’d argue that a refresher course is in order.
    There's a common saying in the startup world the one great hire and the one great fire.  Both are inevitable milestones – rites of passage in one’s career, if you will – so knowing what you should and should not do is pretty key. 
    Firing DOs:
    Healthy company cultures champion continuous performance improvement PIPs (Performance Improvement Plans) used solely as a means to document and justify dismissal are not typically effective in managing an under-performing individual back to successful contributors  Timely communication, immediate feedback, resetting clear expectations and outlining consequences in the moment are key; summarize and document for the benefit of both parties to follow through Open and encourage dialogue that helps get to the root cause of the performance issue (i.e. not having access to the right tools, inefficient processes, unrealistic expectations, improper staffing, lack of skills or interest, personal issues or life events, etc.) – some may be overcome, others not but determining that together can facilitate a smooth/mutual exit  Individuals being fired for cause should know well in advance of the actual termination because of the open and frank discussion leading up it Pre-plan and coordinate the timing of both the internal and external communication/messaging Put it in writing and practice what you are going to say to the individual (i.e. don’t wing it/ad lib) Cut to the chase – no need for a long preamble; start with the statement and acknowledge the difficulty of the situation (NOT how hard this is for you) De-personalize the situation.  Keep the focus on the big picture and if you do say something off-script, stop (apologize if warranted) and come back to topic  Be authentic; if it makes sense to acknowledge their positive contributions, say they will be missed, etc. – do it Explain what happens next Keep it conversational  Let them speak, ask questions – stick to your speaking points, do not argue the details/circumstances leading up to, etc. Discuss what they are looking for in their next job, provide constructive direction advice if asked Be their advocate to the extent it makes sense Most terminations are rooted in some kind of disconnect (skills, pace, life circumstances, etc.).  This does not make them a bad employee – just the wrong fit Be generous when possible  Severance, extension of benefits, etc. Ensure they get home (or to their preferred destination) safely (pay for car service, call friend or family to pick up, etc.) Firing DON’Ts:
    DON'T fire on a Friday or the end of the day, ideally early in the week around lunch hour Gives the individual the weekend to feel miserable, stew, get angry without recourse (i.e. puts them in a holding pattern until the following workweek) Gives time for the rumor mill to churn whereas a firing followed by a full work week provides the ability to ask questions and return/adjust to the new routine Take security precautions but DON’T perp walk if not necessary Stakes are higher than letting one person go; the performance of remaining employees often suffers if the message/statement being made is one of fear and/or r

    • 53 min
    MGW #23 - How to Retain Talent

    MGW #23 - How to Retain Talent

    MGW #23 - How to Retain Talent
    Welcome to the Mighty Good Work relaunch. The focus hasn’t changed – this is still a podcast for people who want to make work a place worthy of the time we dedicate to it and for leaders and aspiring leaders who are committed to inspiring the same.  We’ve tweaked the format, including a permanent new co-host, in the hopes of adding diversity of viewpoints, experience and topics for the benefit of our listeners.  We are excited to share version 2.0 with you and on that note, let’s get started!
    In this episode we focus on shifting both the thought process surrounding, dialogue about and facilitation of people quitting their jobs. With tenure averaging 18-24 months (and dropping), if you're thinking about why and how people leave their jobs in the right way, you have an opportunity to actually do something to retain your best and brightest longer.
    Conventional wisdom is that people leave their jobs – having outgrown the role.  The latest data would tell you that people leave people, more specifically, their managers.  We contend that this is not an either/or situation, but rather people leave “bad experiences” and as such leaders must address the issue more holistically.
    If you think about a workplace version of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, successful leaders fulfill those needs by creating a sense of community, providing opportunity for development and growth and communicating the value of their employees’ contributions. Recognition, appreciation and critical feedback are key to how people interpret their experience (i.e. positive or negative), growth (i.e. improvement or stagnation of work product/process) and contribution (i.e. perceived importance of), making all three critical parts of the feedback loop. An oft cited reason for leaving is a lack of meaningfulness/purpose in their work.  Find ways to tangibly connect individual contributions to outcomes. Strong leaders think big picture and balance methodology with results.  Do physical butts in seats matter if objectives are being met?  When is it ok to make process allowances if outcomes are achieved?  Conversely, when is it not?   We all have fear based reactions at times but how we address those slips matter.  A private apology may not be sufficient, as public acknowledgment goes a long way towards demonstrating a commitment to the company’s mission and values. Promotions to management positions should not be made lightly.  Tenure and the ability to perform hard skills consistently at an individual contributor level are not sufficient.  Introducing an unskilled/unsupported manager into your ecosystem can quickly lead to employee unhappiness and subsequent turnover.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, people do not necessarily have to be good at specific hard skills – be it writing code, accounting or creating content – to be leaders.  Recognize the ability to communicate vision and strategy and give those folks opportunities to lead/influence.  Don’t be so quick to dismiss the first-alerters – those you might chalk up to being hyper-sensitive or whiners.  They often can signal early warning signs of problems that if addressed at that point won’t manifest as bigger issues. Strong leaders do not think in terms of a static employment contract, but rather on that allows for change over time.  As employees’ lives evolve, what they need from work to support those changes also evolves.  If the role or the company’s needs do not allow for that, then understanding those limitations and being prepared to gracefully facilitate that transition is key. Strive for better than average tenue.  Nobody goes into a relationship with a predetermined end date in mind. You wouldn’t accept average product/service quality, sales results, etc. so investing in the things that keep your people engaged longer is just good business.  Find ways to measure and improve. How you handle attrition factors into ret

    • 57 min
    MGW #22 - Putting Core Values to Work

    MGW #22 - Putting Core Values to Work

    Here are some action items taken from the episode to help you put your company's core values to work:
    Step 1: To get your company values off the wall, and actually working in your organization from top to bottom, make sure INTEGRITY tops the list.
    Without integrity, your other values are just suggestions.
    Step 2: Define integrity. Don’t take for granted that everyone knows what it means.
    Many companies define integrity as, “do the right thing.”
    The problem with that is... people can and do argue all day about what the right thing is.
    A more practical definition for integrity is Consistency. Consistency of thought word and action. You, your company, me… We have integrity to the degree that our actions are consistent with what we say, is consistent with what we think.
    Step 3: Get everyone’s explicite buy-in. If you don’t have a shared commitment to integrity on your team, then every other value will collapse when it becomes inconvenient enough.
    So, Integrity provides structural support for everything you do as a team. Including the primary driver of performance, growth, and fulfillment… A tool that’s difficult to wield: FEEDBACK

    The shared commitment to integrity helps you as a leader to overcome 4 obstacles to effective feedback.
    1st, the THRESHOLD question: A question I hear from leaders often is, at what point do I have to give feedback? How incongruent, how “bad” does behavior have to be before I have to give feedback?
    My answer… Use your shared commitment to integrity to rethink the question. Integrity is all or nothing. You’re shooting for 100%, so every behavior you see either supports your values and goals, or not. So every behavior is an opportunity for kudos or correction. Thank you. That’s the ticket. Or, hey, we’re committed to consistency -- and that behavior is inconsistent.

    There is no threshold.
    2nd, its corollary, the permission objection: Clients tell me, I give feedback, and my team acts put upon. They think I’m patronizing them or they think I’m picking on them. PArt of a shared commitment to integrity is the idea that we’re going to talk about the behaviors we see with one another as a team. “Maybe you already know what I’m about to tell you. In being obvious about what I’m seeing, I’m supporting your commitment to integrity. THis is the expectation we have of each other, and permission is granted in advance when getting everyone on board with integrity.
    3rd, the Respect Hurdle: The VP I mentioned earlier had a respect problem. Her team didn’t respect her because she asked for above and beyond from them, but created policies that prohibited them from going above and beyond for the customer. They felt demoralized, and thought she was a hypocrite. As she committed to integrity -- and as the company came into consistency as well -- the team’s respect for her and the company grew. They became less resentful and even appreciative of feedback.
    4th, the self-worth challenge: Acting with integrity, growing ever greater integrity is a matter of aspiration. Inconsistency on occasion is a part of the human condition. And our sense of self worth is tied to it. The more we practice integrity, the greater our sense of self and self worth. The greater our sense of self, the more in touch we are with our responses to one another. We’re more confident both in giving and in receiving feedback with equanimity and balance.
    So, growing integrity is also growing feedback capacity -- as a giver and as a receivier.
    For more on how to give and receive feedback effectively, check out my podcast conversation with Elaine Lin Hering on Episode 16 of the Mighty Good Work Podcast.
    Thanks for your efforts to make work good. Together we can insure that people are good for work, and work is good for people.
    If you’re ready for High-Performance Accountability Culture in your company, let’s discuss your training goals. Book a call today at TheYesWorks.com.

    • 9 min
    MGW #21 - “Anxiety Free Workplace” with Bud Torcom

    MGW #21 - “Anxiety Free Workplace” with Bud Torcom

    GUEST: Bud Torcom https://mazamamedia.com/
    Twitter: @BudTorcom
    Bud Torcom’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal is an anxiety free workplace.
    I’ve wanted to treat people the way I want to be treated and work in the kind of workplace I’d want to be working in.
    As a digital marketing company, being in the office for normal business hours isn’t necessary.
    We’re on a constant, steady drip of the stress hormone, cortisol. OUr bodies did not evolve for a constant cortisol drip. Anxiety is making us sick.
    Bud’s not sure an anxiety free workplace is possible. Even so, he’s on a mission to try… to see if it’s possible.
    The people of Mazama Media are the face of the company -- and the interface of the customers. Happy team members create happy clients.
    Human Prairie dog -- When each member of the team looks out for the interests of the others, then all individuals feel they can afford to look out for collective interests.
    “It’s my responsibility [to take on the stress].”
    The message to the team… “The thing that just happened is not going to mean you don’t eat tonight.” You’re not going to lose your job. We’re going to learn from the way things went down.
    We’re anticipating dips on the path of growth. Setting expectations of inevitable setbacks helps to smooth out the experience people have of the ups and downs of any business.
    “Blame the process, not the person.”

    Where did the problem hit? What can we learn about our processes and procedures from each setback, failure, or bump in the road.

    People want to have purpose, meaning, and fulfillment.
    Checklists help insure success. Set people up for success.
    When you work together as a team, and with the support of technology, much fewer errors are missed and less slips through the cracks. Both team redundancy and technology backup makes for effective performance.

    Processes and systems get refined over time. Learn from the data and refine as you go.
    The message to the team, “These processes and checklists are here to support you.”
    Limit the number of things on your list of to dos. A huge list is a stresser. Focus on the few that will have the greatest impact.
    Your team is going to be right about their priorities 90% of the time. Go with their gut.
    The presence of ping-pong and other games in the modern workplace does have a work relevant role to play -- to give the mind a break during which breakthrough can happen.
    Bud fires paying clients when they treat his team in ways that he doesn’t want people to be treated.
    Prospects who will create anxiety in the organization are disqualified as clients.
    Where are the places to relieve stress and anxiety from the whole system -- the team, leadership, and clients. Stress is cumulative and contagious.
    Prevent burnout by defining limits. Setting limits can enhance performance because results will have to come from effective behaviors over hustle.
    Delegation is a leader’s force magnifier.
    Richard Branson says that your team comes first, not clients. This is because people who know that someone’s got their back are freed up to care for the clients.
    Enough high-level thinking. Here are seven specific actions you can take to reduce anxiety in your organization.
    Blame the process, not the person. Build a got your back culture. You can get people to do more through praise than through condemning. So praise people. Thank people frequently. Give people the ability to create. Give them agency to affect the work they do and the way they do it. Put relationships first. “It’s never about the thing. It’s always about the relationship.” Build relationships that will deliver results. Let the people go surfing.  
    Your host on Mighty Good Work is Aaron Schmookler.

    • 1 hr
    MGW #20 - “Dream Big. Perform Big” with Dan Ralphs_01

    MGW #20 - “Dream Big. Perform Big” with Dan Ralphs_01

    GUEST: Dan Ralphs www.thedreamblog.com
    Twitter: @dreamtolead

    You can’t teach another person anything they don’t want to learn. They have to choose to learn it. If you can’t motivate people to choose to learn and grow, you won’t be very successful as a teacher… or as a leader.
    There’s a magic lever you can use to awaken that intrinsic motivation. It’s the question, “What’s the future for you? I’m an advocate for you.” Give them ownership of their future.
    We’re afraid of letting our people define success for themselves. We can trust our employees a lot more than we do to define an ambitious success outcome.
    People can and will be able to create a balance and synthesis of self-interest and company-interest. They can comprehend the interdependence.
    As a leader, ask yourself… Do I diminish or increase those who report to me? Do you think of them as being as capable, well-intentioned, and hard-working as you are? If not, how does your communication to and about them reflect those beliefs?
    Every company should have a dream manager. That may sound like a silly idea. It’s mutually transformative.
    OUr brains are designed to help us survive. We’re programed to seek sameness and to resist change. So we get into routines, and then into stasis. We resist change and growth.
    Dreams are those things that we want and that lie outside our comfort zone and that can be expressed in language.
    Try this: Make a list of 100 Dreams. Then choose one you could accomplish in 12-18 months. And commit to that dream. Make it happen. Get someone to hold you accountable. Watch yourself expand and grow to make that accomplishment a reality.
    Dreaming and executing on those dreams grow a capacity to perform that an employer benefits from.
    Intense side-hustling employees are higher performers than those with no side hustle.
    At Infusionsoft, the word “Dreamer” is akin to “Entrepreneur.” It’s someone with vision who brings vision into the world as reality.
    Managers hold people accountable to their dreams and to the steps it takes to achieve them. We invite managers and team members to dream together. That amplified the results.
    To create change, we need a community of people to believe in us even when maybe we don’t believe in ourselves.
    There are two parts of dream making: Imagining. And, Executing. These are fundamental business skills. Most people are much stronger in one than in the other. And the capacity in the other can be learned and grown.
    There’s great power in imagining possibilities -- and in aligning resources to support a desired possibility.
    If this improbable thing were possible, then what would it take for us to get there?
    Theoretically, it’s possible historically has turned into in actuality, it exists.
    Having a Dream Manager is a recruiting draw. The greatest benefit to Infusionsoft, though, is the growth of our employees.
    We want to see leaders recognize that part of their opportunity is to help those that they lead to aspire to bigger things, believe they’re capable of bigger things, and to put plans and actions into place to accomplish bigger things.
    We can magnify those whom we lead.
    Believe in people. When we believe in people, they are magnified and they accomplish more than they coul dhave without your belief buoying them up.

    Your host on Mighty Good Work is Aaron Schmookler.
    And, we’re The Yes Works -- Helping to make work good for people, and make people good for work.
    Resources mentioned in today’s show:
    Liz Wiseman’s book, Multipliers
    Matthew Kelly’s book, The Dream Manager
    www.thedreamblog.com and Dream School

    • 58 min
    MGW #19 - You’re Doing Conflict Wrong

    MGW #19 - You’re Doing Conflict Wrong

    There’s a lot out there about how to reduce conflict at work. A lot of the stuff out there is very good.
    This episode is about transforming conflict, and using it to your advantage. If conflict seems like something to avoid… If it seems like something you can win… Then, you’re doing it wrong.
    We’ve got a companion blog post you can read. For those of you who don’t have time for well thought out articles, here’s your Mighty Good Work ADEPTability Skills Checklist:
    Slow Down
    Your primitive brain, and the fight or flight response is powerful, but it’s not the only game in town. You can teach yourself to override it.
    Breathe: Try something called box breathing. Practice it anytime you feel a bit anxious or angry. Breathe in for a count of four. Hold your breath for four. Breathe out on a count of four. Hold for four. Breathe in for four. Repeat. This may not be practical during an argument, but it’s great before initiating a conversation that you anticipate may be stressful. And, even during the interaction, bringing your attention to your breath, and doing this box breathing as much as possible is a powerful fight or flight defuser. Just ask a Navy Seal. This is a technique they use in actual battle. Look for common ground. Actually take a moment with your collaborator, your employee, your negotiating partner, whomever. Name the things you agree on in detail -- breadth and depth. Notice how much common ground you have that surrounds the points of contention. It’ll put the disagreement in perspective and remind you of how aligned you truly are. Puzzle it. Sit on the same side of the table -- literally or figuratively -- and investigate the problem. You’re looking together at a jigsaw puzzle, trying to find the solution. Your pieces aren’t better or worse, or even yours. Theirs neither. They’re not your ideas or their ideas. All ideas are joint property. They’re all just puzzle pieces. And they either fit, or they don’t. Murder the unchosen alternatives. When the decision is made about which direction to go down -- yours, theirs, a third unrelated one or a hybrid of the two -- put your doubts to rest. You may not be able to quash them, but don’t feed them. Instruct yourself, “We’ve made a decision. Whether I agree with it or not is irrelevant. That ship has sailed, and my job is to back this plan of action to the hilt.” Every plan of action but the one that was chosen is done. Burn your boats. Don’t dwell. And if it’s your plan that’s in action, don’t gloat.  
    Reap the benefits
    By following this approach to difference and conflict, you’ll reap rewards. Your relationships will thrive. Your blood pressure will improve. Your organization's decision making will be more effective. Your results will be better.
    If you want, you can think of this as the “BLIMP” method. If you look above, you’ll see the steps… BLPM. Ok. BLIMP is a stretch. I just know people like acronyms.

    Your host on Mighty Good Work is Aaron Schmookler.

    And, we’re The Yes Works -- Helping to make work good for people, and make people good for work.

    • 20 min

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Aaron is Amazing

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Consider it time well spent! Awesome interviews about what type of environment brings out the best in people. "Mighty Good Work" is engaging, inspiring and offers tools you can put right into place to improve your work place.

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Mighty Good (dare I say Excellent) Podcast!

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